KOTA KINABALU: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah has demanded to know whether the drastic hike of the trading license fee by the Beaufort District Council (BDC) from RM30 per year to RM1,200 is in compliance with the Sabah Trades Licensing Ordinance 1948 and was duly endorsed by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
Demanding this was Christina Liew, the PKR Sabah Chairman while commenting on the news report on the complaints by business operators in Beaufort over the outrageously-steep hike of their trading license fee, as highlighted by Tan Lee Fatt, the Sabah DAP deputy secretary, on Sunday.
She expressed puzzlement as to how the BDC could impose such an outrageously-steep hike for its trading license fee, when under the said Ordinance, the trading license fee imposed by the various district councils throughout the state should be a standard rate of RM25 only.
“We urge the Minister concerned to immediately come forward to give a good explanation on this pressing issue which, if left unchecked, could bring about adverse impact on the people of Beaufort. The Minister concerned must act fast and resolutely,” she urged in a statement.
Liew who is also the Api-Api Assemblywoman emphasized that the local authority should always be considerate of the plight and common welfare of the people, especially amidst the current economic downturn, before they proceed to introduce any changes to their existing by-laws.
“Where have the ‘1Malaysia: People First, Performance Now’ slogan gone to? Are the Beaufort District Council providing services that are so extraordinary as compared to the other local authority in Sabah that warrant such a drastic increase in their trading license fee,” she inquired.
She stressed that any changes which the local authority intended to introduce to the existing by-laws, must be with good justifications in the best interest of the ratepayers and the public.
Liew who is also the Pakatan Harapan Sabah chairman also assured that such an outrageous and depressing issue will not happen under the administration of a Pakatan Harapan-led government, if it gets to form the new state government after the 14th general elections.
“This is because unlike the present regime, we are genuinely concerned for the people’s common welfare hence, we will ensure that all the necessary checks and balance will be in place and working effectively and efficiently,” she concluded.