Eyeing the GOOD NEWS: City Hall will be holding dialogue sessions with residents and business owners in 11 parliamentary constituencies in the city from January to March
KUALA LUMPUR: CITY Hall will be organising dialogue sessions with residents and business owners in 11 parliamentary constituencies in the city on the assessment rate hike for next year.
The sessions, which are expected to take place from January to March next year will be chaired by City Hall's advisory board and its valuers. The sessions will be organised by City Hall's branch offices in all 11 constituencies.
A City Hall spokesman said that the new rates will only be revised in the second assessment bill (July to December 2014).
Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib said the sessions will take place after City Hall has received all the objections from ratepayers.
"We are still in the midst of collecting the objections. We have also asked the members of parliament to inform their constituents on the proposed assessment rate hike," he said after launching the route of the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 yesterday.
According to City Hall's recent revaluation of properties, ratepayers who have received their notices have until Dec 17 to submit their objections.
Phesal reiterated that the proposed assessment rate hike is crucial for the development of the city.
He said that fees collected will be used for city maintenance such as cleanliness, road and river infrastructure maintenance, pedestrian facilities, green areas, public health, security, house renovation application process, public housing maintenance, affordable housing and petty traders development.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng welcomed the move by City Hall to engage the ratepayers on the rate hike.
"We are glad to hear that City Hall will be having a dialogue session with the ratepayers. This indicates that the new rates will not be implemented in January," he said.
Bukit Bandaraya Residents' Association president Datuk Mumtaz Ali praised City Hall for their proactive measure. "We are grateful to hear that City Hall is organising a dialogue session. We hope that they will listen to our grouses and take into consideration our feedback on the rate hike," he said.
Bangsar Baru Residents Association secretary Prem Kumar Nair said that it was a good move by City Hall to organise dialogue sessions with the ratepayers. "This shows that City Hall is transparent. We also hope that City Hall will address the ratepayers concern on the valuation notice," he said.
Prem also said that it was fair for City Hall to raise the fees provided that the percentage is reasonable.
The city council came under fire recently when it sent out the proposed valuation notices to property owners in the city.
Residents around the city were upset with City Hall for proposing to raise the rates drastically.
Meanwhile, Phesal welcomed the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 event, which is being held for the third consecutive year. "We are delighted to host this event for the third time. Now, Malaysians can appreciate our iconic landmarks on their bicycles. The routes will show the world what a beautiful city KL is and hopefully be a catalyst to encourage more locals to use alternative modes of transport," he said.
The route, which spans 12.1km, will start at Dataran Merdeka and pass through Jalan Parliamen, Jalan Tun Ismail, KL Tower, Golden Triangle and back to Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad.
Phesal said that 6,200 cyclists from all over the country are expected to take part in the event. "There are still slots open for the event, which will take place from Jan 17 to 19. There will be a night ride on third day of the event. We hope that more people will come out to ride with us," he said.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib (centre) and Spectrum Worldwide managing director Chris Robb (second from right) at the launch of the OCBC Cycle Malaysia. Pic by Salhani Ibrahim