Penang council slammed for sealing home over arrears
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Island City Council has been taken to task for sealing a low-medium cost housing unit in Taman Seri Hijau here over unpaid assessment fee arrears.
State Gerakan vice-chairman Lee Boon Ten said the council could be held liable for criminal negligence for sealing the occupied unit.
He said the council was also committing illegal imprisonment if its officers had locked the unit without checking if the occupants were in it.
“It is criminal negligence if there was someone in the unit, and that person had suffered injury or death because the doors were sealed,” he said yesterday.
Lee was co m m e n ting on reports that the council had chained and padlocked the unit after the owner failed to pay two years’ worth of assessment fees amounting to RM468.
It is learnt that the council sealed the unit on Monday, and attached a notice announcing that the property was sealed due to failure to settle assessment fees.
The council had issued a statement two days ago, stating that it had the right to seal properties of those who failed to settle their assessment fees.
The owner of the unit, 37-yearold businessman Chuah Yung Lin, said he had immediately paid up the arrears, including the assessment fee, for the remainder of the year.
“I paid RM600 and the council officers handed me a key and asked me to unlock the padlock myself instead of coming here and unlocking it.
“I am not going to unlock the padlock.
“I want the council to come and do it as the unit is under tenancy, so I do not want to be opening it,” he said.
Lee said the council’s hard approach was disappointing.
Lee Boon Ten