Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Govt likely to set up office for convenience of landowners - The Star

May 13, 2008

THE Perak Government is likely to set up an office in Ipoh to allow ratepayers settle their quit rent or check the status of their land.

Senior state executive councillor Ngeh Koo Ham said the state was aware of numerous complaints that the Kinta district office in Manjoi, near Ipoh, was situated in an area many ratepayers found to be inconvenient.

“We will look into ways to make things easier,” he told residents at the new coalition government’s first people’s forum at Wisma Chin Woo in Ipoh on Saturday night.

The Perak DAP chairman was responding to a question by a resident, Ernest Balasingam, who said: “Lawyers have gone to Manjoi to try and look for the district office in vain”.

Ngeh, who is also Beruas MP and Sitiawan assemblyman, said he would also suggest in Parliament that the Federal Government set up a budget fund to look into expenses of Indah Water Konsortium (IWK).

He claimed this was only fair instead of forcing the people to pay sewerage fees incorporated into their water bills, adding that IWK had failed to provide good service.

Addressing another concern, Ngeh said he would also look into why water rates appeared to be higher in high-rise buildings than normal homes.

To another resident’s question, he said that Perak, as a welfare-friendly government, was looking into how it could help the elderly and the disabled.

He said the DAP was the only party with two elected representatives with disabilities – Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong and Aulong assemblyman Yew Tian Hoe.

Earlier, Ngeh apologised to an Indian resident who pointed out that a banner on the forum, with Chinese and Bahasa Melayu words, had failed to include Tamil lettering.

Also fielding questions were Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran and state executive councillor Nga Kor Ming.

One resident, speaking for pomelo farmers in Tambun and Changkat Kinding, asked the leaders if they needed to check with the exco members of the previous government on the status of their land.

Nga asked the affected parties to see him at the state secretariat as he needed to look at their files.

“Some of these cases are over 20 years old and we need to look at the files to see what has transpired.”

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