By Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, on Friday, 23rd January 1981:
Call on Petaling Jaya Municipality to reduce assessment rate for Sungei Way new villages to the same level as that at MAHA district, which is 5%
After a visit of Sungei Way new village, in the company of Selangor State Assemblyman, Sdr. Pan Su Peng, CEC Member, Sdr. Lau Dak Kee, DAP Petaling Liaison Committee Chairman, Sdr. Yap Ah Ngau, DAP Petaling Liaison Committee Member, Sdr. Tai Sin Ng, to meet the residents and find out their problems, I have written to the Petaling Jaya Municipality Yang di-Pertua, Encik Abdullah bin Satar, urging that various urgent socio-economic problems of the people in Sungei Way New Village should be immediately attended to.
High on the priority list of the problems of the Sungei Way New Villagers is the new assessment by the Petaling Jaya Municipality.
The Petaling Jaya Municipality should revise its assessment in two aspects:
Firstly, for the whole of Petaling Jaya, the annual value should be reduced, for Although the Municipality claims that the assessment rate is now 8% as compared to the previous of 10%, the increase in annual value results in many cases in several times of assessment payable by the property owners.
Secondly, for Sungei Way new village, there should not only be a general reduction in the annual value of the properties recently assessed, the assessment rate for Sungei Way should not be on par, or close on par with Petaling Jaya, in view of Sungei Way Village’s socio-economic backwardness. In fact, Sungei Way New Village should be put on the same level as areas like the MAHA district nearby where by the assessment rate is 5%. A one per cent reduction as now proposed for Sungei Way new village, i.e. 7%, is grossly inadequate and unjust.
To put a new village, which originated from the forced resettlement of villagers 30 years ago, on the same level or near the same level as Petaling Jaya, is to disregard the acute socio-economic problems of the Sungei Way new villagers.
Apart from the problem of assessment, the other problems which I have written to the PJ Municipal are:
The Sungei Way New Village market has become a eye-sore. The market roof leaks, there is an urgent need for a new market to disperse the marketing, and also an urgent need for an immediate allocation to improve the condition of the present Sungei Way new village market both from the point of view of maintenance and sanitation.
The roads in Sungei Way new village, in particular the main road, are in a terrible state of disrepair. Telecoms dug up the main road but after their works, left the main road in a dangerous state for several months. As the authority in change, the PJ municipality should take immediate action to repair and restore the roads to good condition. The road next to the market where the morning bazaar is held also needs immediate repair.
There is an urgent need for the installation of more public telephone to service such built-up and crowded area. The existing public telephone is always out of order, and this needs to be attended to regularly, for the people who need public telephones most are poor.
Building in Sungei Way New Village
After incorporation of Sungei Way new village into the Petaling Jaya Municipality, any extension of buildings in the new village had to conform with the PJ Municipal by-laws. This has created great hardships to the new villagers when it is borne in mind that previously, they had full liberty to build or extend. The Sungei Way new villagers face the further problem that after 30 years, although land available for them remains the same, the population has increased many-fold, creating problem of accommodation which will become more acute if Municipal by-laws are applied rigidly to the Sungei Way new village.
I therefore urge the PJ Municipality to relax its building by-laws with regard to Sungei Way new village to meet the pecukiar socio-economic problem of the Sungei Way new village.
Houses at Jalan 14, Sungei Way burnt in July 1980 awaiting rebuilding
In July, 1980, a fire rezed seven double-storey shop houses at Jalan 14, Sungei Way. The Sungei Way new villagers are most unhappy with the fire-fighting performance in that fire as the new villagers are convinced that more houses could have been saved with more efficient fire-fighting. In this connection, a repetition of a situation where fire-hydrants are found to be defective during a fire.
Following the fire, plans for the re-building at the burnt sites were submitted to the Municipality in September, but to date where had been no news of these applications.
In view of the special circumstances of these seven applications, and to enable the affected persons concerned to quickly stand up on their own feet to continue their business, the Municipality should give priority to the approval of these plans to enable them to start rebuilding.
I will be seeking a meeting with the PJ Municipal President to discuss the above and other matters related to the problems of the people in Sungei Way and Petaling Jaya.