Sarawak Local Government Minister to look into claims of 100% increase to quit rent

SIBU: Claims of a 100% increase in quit rent have surprised Public Health, Housing, and Local Government Deputy Minister Michael Tiang (pic), and he says he will look into it.

“Some of the landowners went to the Land and Survey Department to pay for their quit rent for the year 2023 and they had the shock of their lives because the rate that they were asked to pay was beyond an 100% increase.

“So, I asked these landowners to collect all the records and give them to me. I will do some homework to verify this information with the Land and Survey Department,” he said.

Tiang said this when speaking to the media after a dialogue session with the Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) and Sarawak Association of Marine Industry (Samin) on Saturday (Jan 14).

The revised quit rent took effect on Jan 1, 2023. He said the department had earlier announced that the increment would not be over 100%.

According to the new quit rent, the rate was an increase from 22 sen to RM1.62 per square metre for shophouses; 20 sen to RM1.46 per square metres for other commercial properties aside from shophouses and ports, mining, mineral, and trace elements use.

Meanwhile, for industrial use, the rate increase was from 9 sen to 43 sen per square metre; office and mixed development use from 5 sen to 23 sen per square metre; for recreational from 3 sen to 12 sen per square metre; oil and gas industry usage at 54 sen per square metre; and other land use from 2 sen to 8 sen per square metre.

Tiang added that it was a serious issue and unacceptable if the claims by the landowners were true.

“The landowners have no objection if the rate they paid is according to the official announcement. If the increment is more than 100%, it is quite harmful to the local economy and Sarawak economy, especially during post-Covid-19.

“I will follow up on this matter and I will ask them to submit their evidence to me and I will verify myself,” he said.