PENANG is always ready to implement local council election if the Federal Government wants to give it a go and implement it.
State local government, housing, town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state government had undergone a long process since 2014 and failed at the last hurdle when the Federal Court’s decision did not favour the state.
“I want to clarify that at the state-level, we led the effort to reconstitute the local government election, and went through a court process to get a declaration that the election can be done in accordance to the law and Constitution.
“But, we did not succeed right at the very pinnacle of the Federal Court decision in 2014, ” he said.
He was commenting on Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin’s reply to Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar during question and answer session at Dewan Rakyat last week.
During the session, Mahfuz took a swipe at Zuraida by asking whether she had the backing of the Perikatan Nasional government administration as PAS which is part of the ruling coalition was against holding local council election.
Zuraida, however, shot back and said that when former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was against local council election, none of the Pakatan Harapan ministers at that time dared to support her.
Jagdeep said the question of no support did not arise for Penang, which had supported the implementation of local council election since the beginning.
“We, in Penang, welcome any step that can be taken by the minister to implement the local government election, ” he said.
In 2019, Zuraida was reported saying that Penang is matured and ready to carry out local council election.
She helmed the Housing and Local Government Ministry under Pakatan’s administration before its collapse in late February this year.