Spectate and observeat council meetings

Assemblymen can only be spectators at full board meetings, says Ng.

SELANGOR is sticking to its decision that assemblymen remain mere spectators when attending local council full board meetings.

State Local Government, Public Transport and New Village Development Committee chairman Ng Sze Han said this was part of efforts to ensure separation of powers at local councils.

He said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamarudin issued a letter on Nov 21 last year requesting local councils to allow assemblymen and MPs to sit in at full board meetings as spectators.

“We truly believe in the separation of powers which has been practised since 2008.

“Assemblymen can no longer hold the position of councillor at a local council,” added Ng.

With this rule in force, assemblymen were not allowed to participate in the proceedings, he said.

Ng said if elected representatives wish to raise issues, they could do so through the councillors. 

The matter was raised by >Dr Idris Ahmad (PH-Ijok) who said it was important for assemblymen to be part of the proceedings to raise public issues and concerns.

He said assemblymen, as front liners who meet the people, were answerable to constituents.

“People complain to us and not the councillors so we need to be able to speak up at council meetings,” he added.

Mazwan Johar (PH-Sungai Ramal) also agreed, saying assemblymen should be allowed to have their say at full board meetings.

“I want to give my views but I cannot. “For an example, approvals are being discussed for an industrial area near a housing area and residents come to us with their complaints.

“Residents don’t go to the councillors. They come to us because we are elected.

“Can the state government change the rules and allow us to have a say?” asked Mazwan.

Ng said the Local Government Act 1976 clearly stated that only councillors were allowed to make decisions at the local councils.

He added that he would request all councils to arrange for periodical meetings with elected representatives to raise their concerns.

Ng said this would apply to both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan representatives.

Datuk Rosni Sohar (BN-Hulu Bernam) praised the government for inviting opposition assemblymen to attend council meetings.

“Hulu Selangor District Council invited us for its meetings and we are happy,” she said.

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