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KUANTAN: The Pahang government's strategic approach to bolster its tax collection and introduce a simple process for land transfers are among the highlights of Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail's first year in power in the state. An aggressive approach to collect outstanding tax saw the state government collecting RM181 million in the first four months of this year compared to RM140 million during the corresponding period last year. Wan Rosdy said since there was a high amount of uncollected quit rents and other outstanding taxes, the state government had instructed the State Lands and Mines Office (PTG) to issue the Form 6A (Notice of Demand: Arrears of Rent) to ensure landowners pay up.

“Landowners must pay to the state government and we have to be fair to everyone. As a result, we managed to collect some RM111 million (RM88 million from January until April last year) from land collections, RM26 million (RM24 million last year) from forestry revenues and water collection raked in RM855,411 (RM382,492 last year) between January and April this year. “This is something that we should be proud of as it is not easy to collect an additional RM41 million within four months... numbers don't lie. Awareness to pay up is important so that the government can use the money to carry out works to benefit other people,” he told reporters during an interview in conjunction with his one-year anniversary as the Menteri Besar. Wan Rosdy said besides increasing the state's coffers, he introduced the transfer of land titles and mortgage for “Kasih Sayang” which involves within a family and relatives.

“All applications between the husband and wife, father to children, siblings, grandparents to grandchildren, cousins, uncles, and nephews will be processed within one or two working days. Unlike the past, it was first sent to the district and land office and then submitted to the Land and Mines Office before it was forwarded to the Menteri Besar’s office. “Those who complained that they had to wait for a long time to complete the process in the past are relieved by the new measures which they describe as a simple and faster process," he said. Meanwhile, Wan Rosdy said in a strategic move to restructure and further boost the performance of state-owned enterprises (government-linked companies or GLCs), the Pahang government had established the Pahang Investment Corporation (PIC).

“This allowed the GLC's to boost their revenues and ensure strategic investments. Each investment will have to go through the risk committee which will evaluate if the investment will bring positive returns as we do not want the GLCs to end up facing problems midway through their business or suffer other setbacks," he said. Wan Rosdy said the state government would also soon launch the ‘Pahang Go’ application which will serve as a one-stop centre for digital and online services, including parking systems, e-payment applications, and utility bills. As he enters his second year in office, Wan Rosdy said his focus would be on increasing the state's tax revenues and luring more investors into Pahang. He said during a recent official visit to Singapore, the state government was informed that the investors from the neighboring country were interested to explore opportunities in the agriculture and tourism sector in Pahang.

“Due to the positive response, we are planning a meeting followed by a second visit to Singapore later this year and an agriculture exhibition will be held. Since Pahang has the resources, we will work together to ensure a win-win situation.“After focusing on the south of Malaysia, Singapore is now prepared to explore opportunities in the east coast states and In Pahang, they believe that tourism attractions like Genting Highlands, Tioman island and Cameron Highlands offers a lot of potentials,” he said. On the Barisan Nasional-led state government's relationship with the Pakatan Harapan federal government, Wan Rosdy said if there were issues, it would be discussed by both parties as the rakyat remains as the main priority.“When there are issues, we will discuss with the federal government to find solutions. For example, recently the Housing and Local Government Ministry, through its minister (Zuraida Kamaruddin) approved an additional allocation of RM4.4 million during her visit here. We informed her that Pahang has landed so she approved some projects," he said. On May 15 last year, Wan Rosdy was sworn in as the 14th Pahang Menteri Besar replacing Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob who had served as the Menteri Besar since May 25, 1999. Source - NST

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