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MB tells landowners to verify bill

22/01/2008 The Star By Sarban Singh

LANDOWNERS in Negri Sembilan who have been billed excessive amounts in quit rent have been advised to verify this with the Land Office.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said a technical glitch at the Land Office had resulted in many people being billed exorbitant amounts.

“There is a case in Gemas of a landowner, who used to pay RM799, being slapped with a RM61,000 bill. I believe there are many more such cases,” he said after chairing the exco meeting at Wisma Negeri in Seremban.

Citing another example, he said landowners in Ladang Geddes near Bahau were told to pay premiums similar to those living in the town.

“Those living in Ladang Geddes cannot be paying the same premium as the town folk as the status of their land would either be agriculture or rural. I hope the people will take note of this,” he said.

There are some 400,000 titleholders in the state.

Mohamad said the glitch could have happened when the Land Office was switching from the manual to the computerised system.

“Also, we have re-categorised the status of some of the areas. But the amount should not be more than 15% above last year’s bill,” he said.

He said that among the landowners who would have to pay more were those living in Seremban as the status of their land had been reclassified to commercial.

“Previously, some areas in Seremban were classified as 'nil' because the land was unoccupied. Although we have since reclassified this under the commercial category, the landowners can still request for a review if the land was vacant or if they lived there,” he said.

Mohamad said if the status of a parcel of land was reclassified from “nil” to commercial, the difference in quit rent could run into thousands of ringgit.

He said residents in Seremban 2, Seremban 3 and Bandar Baru Nilai (BBN) would also be paying higher quit rent as the land status had been changed from “rural” to “urban”.

“This is understandable as these are new townships. I hope the people living there would understand why they are asked to pay slightly more,” he said, adding that the rates had not been revised for the past 10 years.

The state derives about RM120mil annually from quit rent.

On a separate matter, Mohamad said although the Seremban Municipal Council had requested that the assessment rate for the municipality be increased, the state government had deferred this.

“We have already allowed assessment rates in Bahau and Nilai to be increased. We may allow an increase for Seremban once the administration boundaries for Seremban and Nilai are determined,” he said.

Mohamad also said landowners who wished to clear their land of timber or other trees should get a permit from the Forestry Department.

“Even if you want to clear your one-hectare orchard, you must get approval from the department. This is because if you decide to sell the wood, you will have to pay a royalty to the state government,” he said.


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