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Friday, 11 August 2017

A salesman is furious that his apartment was padlocked by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP)

Locked premises leaves man fuming

Signed, sealed, de-livid: The notices informing Chua of the council’s locking out his premises over his unpaid arrears.
Signed, sealed, de-livid: The notices informing Chua of the council’s locking out his premises over his unpaid arrears.
 
GEORGE TOWN: A salesman is furious that his apartment was padlocked by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) because he failed to pay two years of assessment arrears amounting to RM468.86.
A council official, however, defended the action, saying that MBPP was empowered to do so under the Local Government Act 1976 if a ratepayer failed to pay a year’s assessment.
Chua Yung Lin, 37, got the keys to the padlock when he paid up the arrears as well as the RM111.86 second half assessment for this year and a RM20 penalty in Komtar on Wednesday after a neighbour had informed him that the council had sealed his unit.
But he is adamant about not unlocking the padlock himself, saying the council should do so.
“They gave me all the keys to the padlock and told me I could keep it all,” Chua told reporters outside the unit at Taman Seri Hijau in Van Praagh Road here yesterday.
He made a police report on Wednesday to inform the police that he had settled the arrears and for his safety, should he decide to unlock the place himself.
Chua, who has been renting out the unit for the past three years, said it was dangerous for MBPP to padlock the unit as there could be someone inside who would not be able to escape should there be an emergency.
“Thankfully, there was no one in the apartment as I think my tenants had gone out of town,” he added.
He claimed to have forgotten to pay the assessment because his tenants did not inform him of the bills.
Penang Gerakan vice-chairman Lee Boon Ten said MBPP had acted prematurely and could be charged with criminal negligence for sealing the gate of an occupied home.
“If someone was inside the apartment when they locked it, it would have been false imprisonment,” said Lee.
MBPP treasury revenue unit head Suhaida Kamalul Ariffin said the council usually only sealed premises after the arrears were accumulated for two years.
“This is however only carried out after we check to see if anyone is inside” she said.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/11/locked-premises-leaves-man-fuming-law-on-our-side-to-punish-assessment-arrears-defaulters-says-penan/#JwsMPfmthz6d1uf1.99

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