KUANTAN, Nov 23 — The High Court here today set December 23 to decide on the judicial review filed by the Kuantan Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry against the Pahang state government over the increase in quit rent which came into effect earlier this year.
Judge Datuk Zainal Azman Ab Aziz set the date after hearing the arguments of counsel Hon Kai Ping representing the applicant and State Government Legal Adviser Datuk Seri Shamsulbahri Ibrahim who acted for the Pahang government as the respondent.
Shamsulbahari said the quit rent in Pahang has not been raised for 26 years, and the state government had the authority to re-evaluate the tax rate.
“In addition, we also argue that there is no provision for the respondent (State Government) to discuss or consult with the applicant in setting rates or raising taxes,” he added.
On January 28, the applicant filed the judicial review to obtain a declaration that the state government gazette dated September 10, 2019, regarding the new quit rent rate should be void, invalid and have no effect due to violating the Federal Constitution and being ultra vires with Section 101 of the National Land Code.
The judicial review was filed after the state government gazetted the new quit rent rate effective January 1, to comply with the decision of the National Land Council on December 14, 2015, for several states including Pahang to review the existing rates.
However, Pahang only implemented the directive this year, by streamlining two different tax rates used previously, namely the ones in 1994 and 2007. — Bernama