STAKEHOLDERS in Selangor are getting restless as the end of term nears for councillors in the state with no successors’ list in sight.
The current councillors’ term ends Dec 31 and to-date, no names have been approved by the state government. This may result in vacant seats in all 12 councils for the first three months of 2016.
It is learned that the names of candidates have not been submitted by the state government’s component political parties.
The possible inclusion of the newly formed Parti Amanah Nasional (Amanah) is said to be the reason behind the delay with several quarters urging the state government to provide a quota for it.
This could result in a reduced number of seats for the other parties – PKR, DAP and PAS.
Mentri Besar Azmin Ali recently confirmed that they had yet to discuss the matter.
There are 288 seats available with 120 seats allocated to PKR, 92 for DAP, 67 for PAS, and nine more for the Orang Besar Daerah.
Representatives from non-governmental organisations shortlisted by the political parties constitute 25% of the total seats held by all the other parties.
While the state government mulls over the issue, the people on the ground including councillors and residents are already worried about the state of the local councils next year.
Councillors are involved in the decision-making process for new pertinent applications during the full board meetings and they are also the first contact person for residents.
Each councillor has an allocation to use for their constituents and are often depended upon to highlight complaints and grouses to the councils and assemblymen.
Their absence may mean slower response time to residents’ complaints and applications may take longer to be approved.
Many councillors who spoke to StarMetro on condition of anonymity, said the delay in announcement had also left many of them confused.
A PKR councillor said they were unsure if the term of the existing councillors would be temporarily extended or be terminated.
“We have heard so many rumours but the most common is the possibility of our tenure being extended until the new list is announced,” he said.
The councillor also said delay should not have occurred in the first place, especially since all parties were aware of the end of the tenure.
“The names should have been endorsed by the end of November.
“We all know the negotiations and discussions usually take a while, so all this should have been taken into consideration,” he added.
A former councillor from an NGO, said the problem should have been predicted as it had occurred before.
The delay, he said, could result in low morale among the existing councillors as they might not be enthused to see through their projects at the end of the year.
“I also hope the new line-up will ensure the 25% quota for NGOs and professionals are adhered to and we will not be sacrificed for political mileage,” he added.
A DAP councillor said the names should have been announced to make it easier for the councillors who were going to be dropped and they would not have to put their personal plans on hold.
He also said he would love to continue for another term at the very least, especially since he was only sworn in last year.
“It takes councillors time to learn the ropes, we need at least a year to do that.
“When we are just getting a hang of things, we might be removed,” he added.
A councillor from PAS on the other hand, said the current situation should remain status quo.
Residents who were asked on their views, expressed disappointment over the delay.
Petaling Jaya Section 12 Residents Association chairman Datuk A.Narayanan said the people were worried that it would affect them especially with intense development around their neighbourhood.
He said they depended on their councillors to help resolve issues and problems, and these vacant seats could leave them in the lurch.
“Political issue should not be allowed to affect the people.
“In the past, they extended the tenure of existing councillors until the new list was out, so we hope they can do it again,” he stressed.
Kota Kemuning resident Allan Ang hopes their councillor Tan Ah Kow will be retained instead of forcing residents to adapt to a new person.
He said most were already familiar with Tan and they had no problems with him.
“If we do not like the councillor, we will ask for a change.
“We work with him, so we would know if he is good or not, so we should give them our opinion,” he added.
Ang said they had written to Azmin asking for Tan’s tenure to be extended.