Penang assessment rate hike objections: The whittling-down exercise

Blowing the rates hikes on silly underpasses and alandslide-prone highway

Hearing sessions are taking place in Penang Island and mainland Penang to allow upset ratepayers to present their objections to the hefty assessment hikes from next year. One Penang Island city councillor said 50,000 written objections to the proposed hikes have been received.

But many people are unable to turn up at short notice for the objection hearings. They might be working or they may not have transport to travel for these objection hearings, especially if they are senior citizens living far away from where the hearings are being held.

In a couple of cases in Butterworth, ratepayers, including senior citizens, have been told to travel to a sports complex in Bertam, 15km from where they live. How are they to go? And what about those who are working? Are they supposed to take leave from work?

In the notice informing complainants about the hearings, they are also told that, if they do not turn up for these hearings, the council will assume they are not interested in pursuing their objections.

This is ridiculous! The complainants have already provided the reasons for their objections in the online forms. Why should they now be forced to turn up and repeat what they have said? Either you accept their reasons or you don’t. Don’t make them waste time on silly hearings. If more information is required, just let them know.

Some people have to earn a living and can’t take time off from work just like that. Isn’t this just a way of whittling down the number of objections?

And for what? So that the councils can earn an extra RM40m-RM50m extra revenue annually to blow away on an expensive controversial underpass (at Mount Erskine), a RM300m landslide-prone highway (Bukit Kukus), a multimillion-ringgit convention centre (on the mainland) and questionable IT spending – instead of doing more to improve public transport infrastructure.

One complainant found that the council had raised the annual value of his property by 60% even though his apartment complex had been hit by floods on several occasions (due to inadequate drainage to support overdevelopment). The unpredictable floods make it unsafe to park vehicles at the basement level. These floods can knock out power supply and stop the lifts from functioning, incurring thousands of ringgit in damages. Surely, the value of the apartment can’t have soared that much – if at all it has risen. This is the kind of nonsense that has left ratepayers fuming.

Is the state government even aware of the widespread anger over these rate hikes that one city councillor has highlighted? Read Councillor Chee Heng Leng’s speech at a Penang Island City Council meeting.

She said: “… the recent exercise of assessment rate revaluations, where we received more than 50,000 written objections (from 17% of ratepayers) show that we were not prepared for the level of anger and dissatisfaction from ratepayers. A participatory council would have started at least a year-long dialogue, educated citizens, corrected misunderstandings, got feedback and made changes to suit the different circumstances of a diverse ratepayer base.”

This is a letter from one such ratepayer who filed an objection:

Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Encik Chow Kon Yeow,

Terlebih dahulu saya ingin meminta maaf atas tindakan untuk menulis surat ini. Ini adalah kerana dalam ruang Facebook YAB, nampaknya tidak terdapat comment function yang membolehkan saya untuk memberikan feedback terhadap isu ini.

Notis MBPP/MBSP untuk menghadiri mesyuarat mengemukakan Alasan Bantahan hanya diterima pada 31 November 2019 (Sabtu) di mana mesyuarat berkenaan adalah pada 4hb Disember 2019 (Rabu).

Malangnya pada 4hb Disember saya tidak berada di Pulau Pinang.

Bukan senang, malah, amatlah susah untuk mencari seorang wakil yang sesuai dan memahami isu kenaikan cukai pintu untuk mewakili saya dalam kesuntukan masa 4 hari ini.

Saya dan juga pemilik harta yang menghadapi keadaan yang sama amatlah kecewa dengan tindakan ini yang kurang munasabah.

Diharap notis baru dengan tempoh sekurang-kurangnya 2 minggu sebelum mesyuarat akan diserahkan kepada semua pemilik termasuk saya supaya membolehkan kami menghadiri mesyuarat baru. Tanpa menghadiri mesyuarat ini bermakna sebagai pembayar cukai, kami telah hilang kelayakan untuk membuat bantahan terhadap kadar kenaikan cukai pintu yang mendadak ini.

Saya amat berharap kesempatan kami menghadiri mesyuarat ini tidak dirampas semata-mata kerana notis yang dikeluarkan terlalu lewat. Saya memang mengambil berat, memandang tinggi dan menanti-nantikan mesyuarat mustahak ini.

Sekianlah terima kasih.

Berkhidmat untuk negara.

Yang Benar,
Pembayar Cukai yang ikhlas
No. Taksiran: XX/XX/XXX/XXXXX/X

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BTS Mutiara becoz of cyberbullying prompted “enforced disappearance” of regular contrbutor tlang???
As a moderator, Anil is responsible to avoid such happenings.
Merry Christmas to all. No Team A or Team B in this social cyber realm. Learn toagree to disagree and no personal attacks from 2020.

Farewell T_lang

Instead of colourful comments from the now disappeared tunglang, now we get bully talk from that useless chap earning troll money. All because Anil allowed cyberbullying to happen. Sad.


LOL…where is the bullying? if you are so fragile better you stay home and do gardening…and who pay troll money to who ? so you can simply making false accusation and spreading false news ?

Wong Rong

We shall await the second coming of tunglang! He needs time to recharged after months of abuse and bullying.

Be patient!

Don Anamalai

We need Anil to “pujuk” tunglang to return as he is probably “merajuk”.

Honestly this blog has lost its oomph factor withot the comments from tunglang.


Any proof of cyberbully? But rather expose the hypocrisy. Say and shout but when come to actions, it was done diametrically opposed. If want to claim high moral, then must practise it or like japs be humble.

Roger Kool

I think tunlang felt that he could write for money with his talent as social media writer instead of writing comments here and got abused unnecessarily! Nail will miss him.


If he can write by abusing others, you mean others orso cannot write using the same tone? Others do not have any right to the same tone and language?


Penangites cry foul of high cost of livings when barang naik naik naik no mood for Xmas and 2020 New Year n CNY.

However, foreigners like it so much keep saying CHEAP CHEAP Penang. See clip below as i dont make up.

Can be good news for hawkers as Mat Sallehs come and eat and spend contributing to local economy????

Anil and Penang Forum and Consumer Penang msy want to analyse such implications.


A World Bank report released today showed that 40% of millennials in Malaysia spend beyond their means due to impulsive buying behaviour, easy access to personal loans and credit card financing.


Young people can spend their parents’ money without guilt.

Everyday they surf Lazada and Shopee for bargain and waste money on things not needed.


You could say it is the power of marketing. They have been immersed in it since birth. They make themselves debt slaves to keep up with rich friends who enjoy daddy-kasi (not dedikasi). On the other hand they can see that (a) meritocracy and jobs that pay a living wage are evaporating (b) some who take short-cuts or talk with a forked tongue are doing well (c) the planet is on the way to collapse. So, what advice can others offer them? They are better than older generations in one way: many of them are resisting the biggest debt scams:… Read more »


Sunway University Business School economist Professor Yeah Kim Leng believes that the issue of low wages can be overcome by raising the quality of the education system, improving industry competitiveness and productivity, and accelerating the shift to higher value, knowledge-based and technology-driven activities.

However, PH is doing nothing on these initiatives.


Tegridy, Prof. Yeah must be rubbing shoulders with more PH leaders. He is just covering polite obvious points. There can be no improvement in wages as long as capitalism and the gig economy run wild, and cheap labour, close-one-eye and apartheid are pervasive. Cheap imported labour has been an important source of “politcal” and other income from the time of MM’s Dy. Home Minister in the 1980s. One reason for the 1998 fallout between MM and AI was this: when MM was overseas, AI cracked down on illegals working to build Putrajaya, as a stunt. A few days ago, we… Read more »


The World Bank is the second global organisation this year to urge Malaysia towards being more honest and transparent in recognising the severity of the country’s problems, such as the flattening of wage growth in the country, leading to rising household debt.

Previously, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston asserted that Malaysia’s true poverty rate could be as high as 20 per cent if the country abandoned its poverty line of RM980 per household per month.


Daim reiterated his proposal for creating income through modernising agriculture, which he said was the way forward to rejuvenate the country’s growth, cut poverty as well as reduce food costs and dependency on imported goods.

Don Anamalai

Prai is paying the price of getting City status?

People are frustrated, cost of living going up but KL stock exchange went down, to the dismay of those making money from stocks.


That is why people invest in property when stock market is not performing. They buy 2 to 3houses. Over period can rent and value goes up.


Home valuations up. A RM80k terrace house of late 80s on island now can cost up to RM700k. Resale transactions with so much profit. So what the fuss with relatively small increment of assessment fee when most islanders can retire with big fund in mainland rural homes in exchange????


In Sarawak , landed properties esp within 25 km of city is no less than 1/2 million. So Penang being the pearl of the irient have more value in their houses compared to Kuching folks

Jimmy Tay

Assessment rate will go up according to the rise of your property value.

No complaint if you get appreciation for your property value!


Penang’s Sia Boey Urban Archaeological Park:

Awang Selamat Ori

Power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Let us make sure that the future CM is a true blue Penangnite.

15 years is too long and they will wreak havoc and ensure all projects are launch without a care for public opinions.

It makes me wonder whether there are widespread corruption in the state administration.

Make this the last term for all those idiots.

In all I still hail RSN Rayer as the best Parliamentarian!

Good luck Penangnites.

Jimmy Tay

Awang Selamat,

How is your life after the closure of Utusan!
I hope you have learnt to appreciate our multi racial society and the diversity of our culture.

Good luck if you have retired. Hopefully Utusan paid you well in the severance package!


15 years too long. What about 65 years by dumno? Lucky dumno rule when China is under Bambo and asking overseas relatives to send $£€€¥¥ back. Now we have to send money


Time to revisit Altantunya murder case with this documentary:


Can this sumpah laknat be used in the mortal court of law? If not, then this is just a drama to gain sympathy from the rural folks. If every murderer and thieves perform their sumpah laknat, then we may as well discard the legal system and the prison system. Some people even lie under oath. With your compromised credibility Najib, it is wiser if you just keep quiet and let the law prove you instead.


The Sabah government has declared Dec 24 as an additional public holiday to allow those celebrating Christmas to return to their homes earlier. Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said the matter was decided in the state Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning (Dec 11).



Newspaper reported those using Sydney tram opened on last Sunday are wondering by Ang mos spend 2.9 billions and yet is slower than using buses to go to Opera house?


‘Najib ordered me to kill Altantuya’ – Azilah’s shocking allegation from death row


Well, can Azilah Hadri also do a sumpah in the mosque to swear that Najib had indeed given him the ‘shoot to kill’ instructions? Both Muslims taking oath; who is lying then? Jakim what say you?


Papers reported Sydney trams are back in business from near opera house to uni new south wales. Ang mo orso cannot control their budget. From 1.6billion it increase by 1.3 billion to 2.9 billions. So what makes us think Halcrow’ estimate on PMTP is scripture truth?
They spend about one month running up and down the busy city street and there is more than 250 near hit. Today many are glue to their smart phones while walking and driving.


I saw a documentary film on plastic. In info the waterways are filled with plastic as they do not have any waste management. Then they show fishermen left their bits and pieces of plastic nets in the water and they accidentally trap and kill sea creatures as they get entangle with the invisible strings. How many peng land forummers see such documentary films? Farm fishing I’d better as the owners control and monitor the water quality.


Not much difference in the plastic discarded: floats, tubes, etc. They may spin the documentary as the sponsor wants. In fact, fish farming (a) gives us more harmful chemicals incl. medicines (b) destroys coastal land. I have mentioned this before.

T-lang 4ever

Penang Structure Plan fully approved now ?

Coming Local plan to be based upon such structure plan?

Do land reclaimation a reality now ?


You Need A Degree to Bse A Cleaner in This Singaporean Company & The Salary is RM7,200

Realistically speaking, the salary is clearly much higher than what a Malaysian fresh graduate earns but would a degree earner be willing to work as a cleaner? The job appears to be open to Malaysians as the interviews appear to be taking place in a hotel.


I think they will take the job. It is a world-wide phenomenon. E.g. India citizens will be waiters or farm workers in Malaysia or West Asia, Malaysians will take these jobs in Taiwan or Australia, etc. They will not do such work in their own countries.

Reasons: saving face, lack of urgency (parents’ support), caste system (living in the past), expoitation (lack of essential protective wear and equipment, over-work, and poor wages), inept or corrupt govt., economic imperialism.

The PH govt. is continuing the trend of signing international “trade” treaties despite warnings. So, there is little hope.


Impressive job title of CEO – Cleaning Executive Officer.


Change in assessment rate due to Cukai Petak replacing Cukai Tanah, for strata properties?

Sistem Cukai Petak akan memberi banyak manfaat terutamanya bagi bangunan atau kawasan berstrata kerana ia akan memberi sedikit kebebasan kepada pemilik bagi pengurusan pembayaran yang mana sebelum ini bergantung kepada Badan Pengurusan Bersama (JMB).


Penang street food is again featured in Taiwanese variety show:

BTS Mutiara

Dry wan ton mee ar Chulia Street appeals to Taiwan youtubers, but Char Kway Teow ends up most popular. This program is sponsored by Penang Tourism, who should also gets Mainland China youtubers to advertise for Penang Street Food. Wei can help to get Komtar YBs to promote Penang with tagline “Shriekingly Syiok Penang”.


Peng land street food cannot compare to tai wan’s. Tai wan street food is rows and row of stalls bigger than night markets in market

Don Anamalai

Not hygienic since the wan tan hawker uses bare hand to scoop char siew and wan tan to the noodle!

Not a good publicity for Penang because of this.


hehe…not ok to spend on public infrastructure, but ok to blow it on alcohol, 4 ekor, exotic food trip/hunt/chase. ego boosting 19 inch wheel, car spa, 4wd outfit, overseas song song trip, starbuckbean, bubbling milk tea, overpriced movies in fancy theater….


hehe..give you chance to meet the officer, you still want to complaint? drive 15 km also want to complaint …people drive easily more then that to work EVERYDAY…you might as well ask the officer to meet you in your bedroom…LOL


Star reported peng land airport further development. Increase in density. Why no kbkb as peng land island will sink under increased in traffic and population?why not relocate the airport like Nippon and hong land and sing land?