Pe­nang coun­cil slammed for seal­ing home over ar­rears

New Straits Times - - News -

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

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