I read your editorial on the above subject with great amount of interest at least initially. What you have exhaustively detailed in your article is just one side of the story – the story of what assessment rates we the Ipoh property owners are being levied with by City Hall. Nothing is mentioned about how the money collected is spent to provide the necessary services to the paying members of the community. Yes we are levied the highest rate in the country. But are we being given the best service compared to other local authorities? If we are, then I rest my case. The answer is sadly NO. Just take one service for example – garbage collection. I will compare with Penang Island local authority as I am familiar with that because I own a property there. The rate is just above 8% and for a property worth about RM2m I pay hardly RM600 p.a. In Ipoh I pay RM1,100 p.a. for a property worth hardly RM1m. In terms of services in Penang, kitchen garbage collection is done three times a week with a dustbin provided free to avoid garbage being thrown about everywhere. Garden garbage is done once every week as opposed to once a month in Ipoh hence you have mounds of garden garbage thrown all over the road sides. Road and drain cleaning is done by assigning an individual worker to cover certain roads giving him full responsibility. What I see being done in Ipoh is that this job is being tasked to a group of ten or so workers moving from one area to another. It appears great but the workers, when they are in a group, spend more time talking, sitting, eating and smoking than working. The result of this kind of situation is that service is of poor quality at possibly higher costs. Hence you need to raise taxes at the expense of property owners.
For the information of fellow Ipoh residents, I have appealed and called twice the assessment committee over this issue but my appeals were turned down with no valid reason. It is about time the local property owners make a concerted effort to get better services if not reduce the rates.