Councillors’ role needs better definition, committee told

THERE is a need to better define the role of local councillors and draw up an evaluation method to review their performance.

This was raised during the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) hearing to review the performance of local authorities and councillors.

Some residents association (RA) and rukun tetangga (RT) representatives testified that several councillors were lacking in certain aspects while some were slow to respond to complaints.

However, state local government, public transport and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han said councillors were briefed on the do’s and don’ts and attend basic courses to learn their roles.

“Based on today’s hearing, the general consensus is that there are no clear guidelines on a councillor’s role or proper evaluation method for councillors’ performance, ” said Selcat chairman Ng Suee Lim after the hearing held at the state secretariat building in Shah Alam.

“There were also suggestions that councillors should be better compensated for their roles in view of their increased responsibilities and workload.

“Some RA/RT representatives say the existing RM2,500 monthly allowance is not enough, ” he said, while noting that monthly allowance for Selangor councillors over a decade ago was RM300 to RM500.

Suee Lim said the Selcat committee would draw up several recommendations and pass them to Sze Han for his consideration.

“We will also discuss at the next state assembly sitting how best to empower councillors and local authorities, ” said Suee Lim.

“Today’s hearing is not aimed at punishing anybody, but to evaluate the performance of councillors and local authorities and explore any issues arising.”

Also present were Selcat committee members and assemblymen Saari Sungib, Lau Weng San, Jamaliah Jamaluddin, Rizam Ismail and Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi.

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