19 August 2016
High Court declares local council’s assessment hike illegal
The Malacca High Court has overturned the assessment hike implemented by the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ).
In declaring the decision null and void, judicial commissioner Mohd Firuz Jaffril found that the hike did not follow procedures under the Local Government Act 1976.
MPHTJ is one of four local councils in Malacca.
The suit was brought by DAP’s Ayer Keroh state assemblyperson Khoo Poay Tiong (photo, above) and wife Lee Wei Cheng whose home was also affected by the 30 percent hike.
The plaintiffs had argued that the assessment hike that came into force in July last year was illegal as MPHTJ failed to first confirm the valuation list under Section 143(1) of the Local Government Act 1976.
The section states: “On or before the 31st day of December of the year preceding the year in which any valuation list is to come into force, the local authority shall, with the approval of the state authority, confirm such valuation list with or without any amendment or revision and the valuation list so confirmed shall be deemed to be valuation list until such time as it is superseded by another valuation list.”
The High Court in its decision today concurred with the plaintiffs’ argument.
Lawyer Ng Kok Peng and Terrance Chan acted for the plaintiffs. MPHTJ has indicated that it will appeal the case.