One voice against rates

Residents of the One World and One Sky condominium blocks in Bayan Baru, Penang, are disputing the annual property value (APV) fixed for their units by the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP).

One World chairman Brandon Oon, representing the owners of all 538 units of both blocks, said the APV of their units were very high compared to some other commercial units in the municipality.

Citing a commercial centre in Bukit Jambul as example, he said the APV there was just RM3,100 for a 730sq ft unit while theirs were between RM22,800 and RM28,000 for units which are from 1,160sq ft to 1,450sq ft in size.

Oon said the owners understood that their condominium units were classified as commercial units in a small-office-home-office (SOHO) development as the contracts they signed stated so.

He said they were willing to pay the assessment rates for such units but felt that the APV was unjustified.

“When our appeal to reduce the assessment rate was rejected, the only reason MPPP gave was that our homes are commercial units. We are looking forward to have a dialogue session with MPPP to get an explanation why the APV for our units are so high,” he told a press conference at the One World community hall yesterday.

Oon said the assessment rates fixed by the MPPP for their units were between RM2,350 and RM2,884.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) head of complaints Ravinder Singh, who was present, said the questions raised by the residents were valid.

MPPP Financial Management Committee alternate chairman Joseph Ng Soon Siang said he believed the residents would write in an official letter to the council for a dialogue session to review their case.

“We will look into the matter if we receive any letter. I must discuss with my colleagues before deciding on the issue as previously we had a dialogue session with them on Feb 14,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The council had, on March 27, announced that the appeal by the condominium residents to reduce their assessment rates had been rejected. - By Logeiswary Thevadass (The Star)

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