Pelawan rep urges state govt to waive this year’s assessment rates


David Wong

SIBU: The state government has been urged to waive this year’s assessment rates for all Sarawakians and businesses in order to save jobs and help them to tide over this difficult time.

In making the call, Pelawan assemblyman David Wong said he had recently made the call and was  disappointed that the state government responded with only 25 per cent reduction on the assessment rates with annual rates of over RM 400 which is a far cry from his proposal.

“When we are facing a ‘do or die’ scenario, why can’t the state government give its best to help the people?” he said in response to the 25 per cent discount on assessment rates offered by the state government.

Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Sim Kui Hian yesterday announced that the Sarawak Government is giving 25 per cent discount on assessment rates and extending the first half payment due date from May 31 to October 31.

Dr Sim said the 25 per cent discount on assessment rates is for residential holdings with annual rates of RM400.01 and above, commercial, industrial and special purpose holdings for the year 2020, which involves 185,819 holdings.

Wong pointed out that majority of the people and economic sectors have been badly affected by Covid-19 and the Movement Control Order.

“Businesses might not survive as the economy would not recover until next year as been predicted by bankers as well as economic analysts worldwide,” he said.

Wong said when businesses collapse, many would be unemployed as the Association of the SMEs of Malaysia had conducted a survey with all its members and found that many would not survive in the near term.

“The ramification of businesses collapse and people losing jobs can’t be underestimated this time.

“Twenty-five per cent reduction in assessment rates is so insufficient which shows that the state government is not sincere in helping the people at this point of crisis.

“l hope the state government will seriously consider giving a full waiver of assessment fees for 2020,” Wong added.