Media Statement by Teresa Kok, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Seputeh in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, November 14, 2013
It is shocking that the federal government is now considering imposing toll charges on motorcyclists when it knows very well that motorcycle is the cheap mode of transport for the low income group and that any toll imposition will burden the motorcyclists.
But Malaysians perhaps should not feel surprised at the government’s proposal because it is obvious that the BN government has totally abandoned its favourite slogan of People First after the May general election.
If the government is still committed to People First slogan, it will not implement the Goods and Services Tax next year when income level of ordinary Malaysians has not grown significantly over the last 5 years.
If BN government is committed to People First slogan, then there will certainly be no proposal from DBKL to impose sharp increase in property assessment rates in Kuala Lumpur starting January 1.
The assessment hike comes at a time when the government has also recently announced the withdrawal of sugar subsidy, RON 95 petrol price hike despite the fact that most wage earners’ have been complaining about the increase in prices of many goods.
While some city dwellers will face an unreasonable 20 to 30 % increase, there are areas where the increases will hit the ridiculous figures of 100 % to 250%.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor has tried to defend the assessment rate increase by saying that the rate has remained the same for the past 21 years and that there has been increase in property value.
Should increase in property value be the only criterion to consider when imposing assessment rate? Should not factors like the possible chain reactions of the rate hike, the financial burden on the people be taken into account?
Undoubtedly, property owners will pass on the assessment rate increases to their tenants by imposing higher rentals. Life will certainly be difficult for urban dwellers and businessmen who are residential and commercial property tenants.
It must be noted that while assessment rate has remained the same for the past 21 years, DBKL has been able to collect substantial increased revenue in assessment rates due to the big increase in number of properties in Kuala Lumpur.
Is “Money First” DBKL’s new slogan and practice?