KUCHING: IF the PR1MA Bintawa Riverfront housing scheme is considered an “affordable housing scheme” why the excessive assessment rates?
Violet Yong Wui Wui (DAP-Pending) urged the local council in question, Kuching South City Council (MBKS), to immediately review and lower the assessment rates for the housing scheme.
“This has defeated the purpose of the housing development project of 1,320 units managed by Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia established under the PR1MA Act 2012 which is to deliver more affordable homes for low- and medium-income households in key urban areas.
“Shockingly, Kuching South City Council (MBKS) imposed an excessive assessment rate (between RM400 to RM540 or even higher yearly) which is four times higher than the Matang PR1MA housing.
“The rate is also much more expensive than landed terraced properties in places like Tabuan Jaya, Tabuan Height, Kenyalang Park, Taman Riverview and Bintawa Taman Phoning,” she said today when debating the motion of thanks to the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s opening address on May 17.
She said the council should review and lower the assessment rates as most of the maintenance works, including grass cutting, drainage cleaning, public compound cleanliness, street lighting servicing, and playground and green area maintenance within the compound of PR1MA Bintawa were carried out by the PR1MA management team solely and not MBKS.
“The residents are not against paying the rates. They are against the unreasonably high rates and hope that there is room for adjustment to lower it.
“I can only say with MBKS insisting on charging such expensive assessment rates despite knowing the strong objection from the residents of which the majority of them are from the lower middle income group, the council is showing its ignorance or blatantly being inconsiderate.”
Yong also urged the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government to take immediate action to address the issue together with MBKS, adding that they must understand the reason why people chose to buy the units at PR1MA Bintawa.
“It is important for the ministry and the council to carry out a ground survey and talk to the residents of PR1MA Bintawa directly to effectively address this issue and know the real core of problems,” said Yong.
In addition, she questioned the coming into force of the Strata Management Ordinance 2019 (SMO) on March 1, after it was gazetted on the Dec 12 in 2019.
She also noted that, till to date, the Strata (Management and Maintenance) Regulations were still not ready, halting the implementation of SMO 2019 which was passed to provide for the management and maintenance of building or land intended to be subdivided into parcels and subdivided building.
“Though the ordnance is already in force, we have yet to see the establishment of the Strata Management Tribunal as required under Part 1X of the SMO.
“Does the minister know that without the regulation being introduced, SMO is just a mere sheet of paper that cannot be implemented, making the stratified unit owners continue to be in limbo and vulnerable?
“The lack of regulations has also unfairly prejudiced the developers as they are equally clueless in going about implementing the required provisions of SMO that come with hefty penalties.
“As such, the ministry must ensure the regulations specifying the clear direction pertaining to the new policies and procedures are place for implementation as soon as possible,” said Yong.