A mix of new and old faces

ABOUT half of the councillors in Selangor for the 2021-2022 term are new faces. The rest are reappointed individuals.

The bulk of the new faces are from PKR, with close to 70% featuring new names.

State local government, public transportation and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han’s office announced the names of the new councillors for all 12 local authorities in Selangor in a statement.

There are a total of 288 councillors. Under the Selangor government’s quota, nine spots would go to Orang Besar Daerah (OBD), 122 to PKR, 97 to DAP and 60 to Amanah.

The appointments for most of the councillors are from Jan 1 this year to Dec 31,2022. A few were appointed in October last year to fill vacant spots.

A total of 25 councillors are young faces aged 30 and below, while 106 individuals are non-government organisation appointees who were nominated by political parties.

However, only 72 councillors or 25% are women. This falls short of the Selangor government’s target to ensure at least 30% of local council members are women.

Acknowledging this, Ng said: “We hope to achieve the 30% target of female councillors in the next term.

“We believe that there are many capable women who are able to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of a councillor.

“There is a good proportion (of new and reappointed councillors), as we want to ensure that there are enough experienced councillors to guide the new ones.

“It is also a normal process to include more new blood as councillors and to

grow more local leaders, ” said Ng, who is Kinrara assemblyman.

While he did not have the statistics on how many councillors were professionals, Ng said the new batch included accountants, medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, town planners, business owners, a few PhD holders and a strata act expert.

Except for the OBD, who are palace officials representing the various districts in Selangor, he said the names for the councillors were proposed by their respective political party chiefs.

The PKR quota includes six slots marked as “pending”, whose names Ng said would be confirmed by PKR soon.

Asked how the state government decided who should be reappointed and who should be dropped to make way for someone new, Ng said: “Each political party has their evaluation process.

“In general, the candidate must have good meeting attendance (to show their commitment to their role), possess problem-solving skills and be able to serve the local community.”

Ng said the list of councillors for the 2021-2022 term had been distributed to the respective local authorities and it was up to them to decide when they would be sworn in.

At press time, Subang Jaya City Council and Selayang Municipal Council plan to have their swearing-in ceremonies today, with Ampang Jaya Municipal Council and Kuala Selangor District Council on Friday.

Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), Shah Alam City Council and Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) are scheduled to hold theirs on Jan 11.

Other local councils are arranging suitable dates for the swearing-in ceremony.

Following this, Ng said his office would arrange for a training session — possibly online — to ensure the new councillors were equipped to fulfil their roles.

Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lim Yi Wei noted that two of the DAP councillors were associated with her office and their appointments would be a good progression for their careers.

Nalina Nair Ramakrishnan, who is Lim’s special assistant and Kampung Tunku constituency’s Pusat Wanita Berdaya coordinator, will be appointed as a new MBPJ councillor.

Nalina will be assigned to Zone 19, whose existing councillor Farhan Haziq Mohamed will be moving to MPKj.

Nalina said she would be looking at issues such as parking spots for the disabled, upkeep of Taman Aman park and reserve land matters.

“Zone 19, which includes Taman Paramount and Sea Park, is a relatively small area but has many issues that are different from other parts of Petaling Jaya, ” said the law graduate who previously served as an administrative coordinator for Global Bersih.

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