THERE was a debate over the powers of state legislators and councillors.
Mohd Shaid Rosli (PH-Jeram) questioned if the state had plans to appoint all assemblymen as advisers to local councils in their respective areas.
State local government, public transport and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han said there were no plans to appoint assemblymen as advisers to their respective local councils.
“However, the state has requested all local councils to hold an engagement session or meeting with the assemblymen or MPs, including those from the Opposition, four times a year.
“This is to ensure there is two-way communication between the local council and the elected representatives. This will provide room for ideas and suggestions to be shared, ” said Ng.
Mohd Shaid had said the four-times-a-year state assembly sessions were not enough for assemblymen to raise concerns in their areas.
He added that the assemblymen’s power seemed to have “vanished” as they were not able to participate in local council meetings.
However, Ng said the statement was wrong as the real reason was to have clear separation of powers, as the assemblyman was a legislator and not an executive.
“Legislators have the power to create laws, ” he said, adding that the attendance of assemblymen at the state assembly was not good.
“We can consider increasing the state assembly sessions to give assemblymen more time to discuss their issues.”
Rajiv Rishyakaran (PH-Bukit Gasing) pointed out that assemblymen were voted in by the electorate, but many decisions were made by local councillors who were not elected representatives.
“The decisions are made by the local council and at times the assemblyman has to face the brunt of the decision when we were not even involved in the decision-making process.
“It is best we carry out the local council elections fast, ” said Rajiv.
Ng said the state was waiting for approval from the Housing and Local Government Ministry to hold local government elections.