SEVERAL Petaling Jaya councillors expressed unhappiness that they were not consulted over the proposed budget for 2018.
The councillors raised the matter during the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) full board meeting, claiming they were not asked about the requirements for their zones.
“No one asked councillors what we want for our areas. When I asked the departments for details, I never got an answer,” said councillor Derek Fernandez.
However, Engineering Department director Ismail Shafie said they had emailed all councillors for feedback during the budget planning stage but many never responded.
Fernandez and several other councillors denied receiving any email from the department.
PJ mayor Datuk Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said he was told by the department that not all councillors responded.
However, he added that some assemblymen, such as R Rajiv from Bukit Gasing, had sent proposals for budget allocations in their areas.
“We have been gathering input not just from councillors but also through residents associations, NGOs and assemblymen.
“We also received a memorandum from a group called MyPJ with a list of budget wishes.
“We also based our budget proposal on the council’s departments,” said Mohd Azizi.
The councillors also requested the budget be tailored based on zones but the mayor said this would not be appropriate.
“If we go based on needs, then we can have a better budget allocation,” he said.
Mohd Azizi explained although the council may have close to RM500mil in reserves, they can only spend a maximum 30% of the unspent budget allocations.
He said the budget proposal would be approved before Oct 12 and presented to the state government.
“When we have a big budget and don’t spend it, I need to explain to the state what happened.
“The council is expecting the proposed budget to be about RM500mil next year. It will be a deficit budget,” he said.
Mohd Azizi added as at Aug 31, about 47% of this year’s budget had been spent.
“I believe some 80% of the projects planned are taking place,” said Mohd Azizi who also announced that each councillor would receive RM150,000 as area allocation in the 2018 budget. This is an increase of RM50,000 over last year’s amount.
A councillor also complained that the male toilet at the council’s surau needs repairs but he was told by the Engineering Department that there was no budget.
The mayor said he would not accept answers such as “no budget” any longer.
“If you have no budget, come to me and I will find a way to get an allocation,” said Mohd Azizi.