MPPJ taking a step backwards by not accepting cheques

I WAS indeed surprised that the cheque I sent to the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) for payment of property assessment rates (second half of 1998) for my house was returned with a note stating that only cash, bank draft and postal money order will be accepted.

I have been paying the assessment rates by cheque since I bought my house in the early 80s. This is the first time MPPJ has turned down my cheque. I also found, to my dismay, that this is also the case for payment of quit rent to the Petaling Land Office. I have yet to make this payment. Economic slowdown is the main reason for the late payment, but I would like to attribute the delay to MPPJ's rejection of payment by cheque. I cannot understand why MPPJ has decided not to accept cheques anymore.

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam Municipal Councils continue to accept cheques as a form of payment. The main reason for MPPJ not to accept cheques could be due to some dishonoured cheques it received in the past.

But as other municipal councils are still accepting cheques, dishonoured cheques might not be a problem after all. Settlement of assessment rates by means of cash, bank draft or postal order may be an effective way to deal with property owners who issue dishonoured cheques.

But, these outdated modes of payment should not be forced on those who have not defaulted in settlement of their dues by cheques.Undoubtedly it is the prerogative of MPPJ to decide on the form of payment it desires.

But by not accepting cheques because some might be dishonoured, it is causing at lot of inconvenience to many property owners. It is indeed disheartening to note that in spite of the Government's effort to implement the Multimedia Super Corridor which will spur development and use of e-commerce, establishments like MPPJ and Petaling Land Office seem to have regressed in the administration of their councils. 2008