All round support for move to abolish quit rent by state government

Alan Ling

Alan Ling

Datuk Sebastian Ting

Datuk Sebastian Ting

Temenggong Abdul Rahman Fadzail

Temenggong Abdul Rahman Fadzail

MIRI: The state government’s decision to abolish quit rent for land from the middle of next month is well received by the people here including those from opposition parties.

SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting said his party was happy with the decision as it would also benefit the poor people. It also went well with the devolution of power to the state and the Stamp Duty Act 1949.

“These are contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and inter-governmental Committee Report.

“Tax on land is supposed to be a state matter. Thus stamp duty collected on land transaction should be retained by the state government. SUPP fully agrees to this,” he said.

Ting, who is also Piasau SUPP chairman, said this when asked to comment on the recent announcement by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem that quit rent would be abolished from next month. It is one of the steps taken by the state government to help the poor, especially those in the rural areas.

Piasau assemblyman Alan Ling said DAP too welcomed the announcement but he was uncertain how it would work.

“Anyway, the people benefiting from the abolishment of quit rent are those with properties (land, shoplots and residence). How will it impact the lower income group? Very minimal, I would say.”

Ling, who is also state DAP secretary, however said the quit rent for foreign-owned factories, warehouses and plantations should be maintained.

Temenggong Abdul Rahman Fadzail said the people welcomed the announcement.

“I understand that some local councils in Sarawak give incentives to those who paid quit rent in advance, but in Miri we have yet to get such incentive.

“The abolishment of quit rent is a good move to help the people meet the escalating cost of living,” he said.

The Land and Survey Department here meanwhile said quit rent on land depended on categories – agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential – the sizes and locations.

“Some people pay less than one ringgit per year.”

On Tuesday in Sebuyau, Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan

said the department was still studying a suitable mechanism to abolish quit rent.

He said the mechanism was necessary in view of the different dates of expiry of land.

He however assured that the implementation would certainly be this year, focusing first on small scale farmers and residential areas.