Thursday, October 06, 2005

Councillors appointed from local community leaders?...No lah, where got?!

Parliamentary Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Local Government, S. Subramaniam was wrong to state that local councilors are appointed from community leader during questions and answers time yesterday in the Parliament. He was also wrong to comment that Kayveas has his own political agenda to say that local governments as mere rubber-stamp operating like a secret society and there should be an end to locally-appointed councils.

Firstly, the current practice of appointing local councilors is neither transparent nor people-oriented as not all councilors are appointed from community leaders. S. Subramaniam should have correct his answer that it is the local BN component parties leaders who are appointed as councilors and to some extent, some of the councilors are not even living in the respective area under the ruling of their respective local councils (a check on MPPJ shows that 13 of its councilors are not staying in PJ) which is a clear violation of the Local Government Act 1997. If local councilors are not staying in their respective areas, how can they claim themselves as “local community leaders”?

Secondly, If Kayveas has his own agenda in his comments, then that will be an agenda to give back the right of the people to elect their local councilors under a democratic country. This is a genuine people-oriented agenda as spelled out by the Prime Minister's pledge of a clean, incorruptible, efficient, trustworthy and people-oriented administration to create a just, prosperous and progressive Malaysia.

DAP has run a nation-wide to restore the third vote by giving back the right of the people to elect their local councilors as the present appointive system works against the pledge of the Prime Minister, and our views and opinions on local governments’ performance has received various positive feedback not only from the public but also from government officials as Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek revealed that 80% of dengue cases come within the jurisdiction of local authorities

Clearly the local authorities have failed to deliver and carry out their basic duty to look after the health, hygiene and safety of the people’s neighbourhoods. Perhaps money spent on such junket trips (as mentioned by Kayveas in News Straits Times, 4th October 2005) can be better spent on providing better drains to reduce the dengue threat. An elected council answerable to the people is the only solution and not the present “rubber stamp” appointed local council operated like a “secret society”.

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