KUCHING: The state government has abol ished quit rent on smallholder agriculture land and residential land, making Sarawak the first state in the country to implement such policy.
The abolishment takes effect immediately and will affect 360,422 titles with land rent amounting to RM8.58 million or 19 per cent of total land rent.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem announced this at his offi ce in Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.
He added that of the total, 173,752 titles are smallholder agriculture land which are less than 100 acres, with quit rent amounting to RM3.62 million or eight per cent of total land rent and 186,670 titles are residential land with land rent amounting to RM4.96 million or 11 per cent of total land rent.
“Referring to the announcement made in Feb 26, 2016, on the remission of land rent, I would like to specify that this remission applies to smallholder agriculture land which is less than 100 acres and residential land.
“With effect from today (March 15), land rent shall no longer be charged on these land. All arrears and surcharges, if any, are hereby waived,” Adenan, who is also Resource Planning and Environment Minister, told a packed press conference.
When asked about those who had already made advance payments, he said the state government would refund them.
On a related matter, he said the Cabinet would discuss matters relating to assessment rates for residential, commercial and industrial properties from time to time.
“The Cabinet will discuss the matter and also whether July 22 should be made a public holiday in Sarawak to commemorate our self-government. I will make the announcement on these two matters later on,” he said.
On Feb 20, at the Sejiwa Senanda programme in Sarikei, the chief minister announced the state government was considering to abolish the quit rent to ease the people’s livelihood, especially those in the rural areas, in the wake of the rising cost of living.
However, he reiterated that the state must first get back its right to collect stamp duty revenue from the federal government, which he said was Sarawak’s next step in its negotiation on devolution of power with Putrajaya.
Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, the ministry’s permanent secretary Datu Sudarsono Osman, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Ghani and state Land and Survey director Datu Sajeli Kipli attended the press conference.