THE appointment of more than 600 village heads in Johor was carried out through an interview process, and not based on filling a quota from political parties.
Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the candidates were selected based on recommendations from a panel of interviewers from the district offices.
“Unlike the previous state government which appointed the heads based on the political party quota, ours was done through interviews.
“The village heads from nine districts have been sworn in.
“Only the Muar representatives have not been sworn in, but the candidates have been identified, ” he said during an interview with StarMetro in Johor Baru.
Hasni added that the next step was to appoint community leaders and councillors in various local authorities in Johor.
The interview and appointment process of the village heads, he said, have been explained to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president.
Hasni was asked to comment on recent rumblings from local Bersatu leaders who claimed that most of the heads were from Umno and that they were not consulted.
They alleged that Bersatu got fewer numbers of village heads under the current Perikatan Nasional state government compared to the previous government.
The matter was also brought up during the weekly state executive council meeting.
State Umno treasurer Datuk Md Jais Sarday earlier said the appointment of village heads in Johor should not be politicised as it was done transparently and openly.
The process was done with application forms being issued by the state government via the district offices.
He added that among the criteria to be a village head was the candidate’s involvement in social activities for mosques, surau, schools, charities and non-governmental organisations.
Md Jais said it was vital for the candidate to be living in the same village and be respected by the villagers.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong had also commented on the dissatisfaction expressed by the Bersatu leaders.
He was reported saying that the appointments of village heads should have been discussed among the various political partners.
He also believed that Hasni would be able to address the Bersatu leaders’ complaints.
Dr Wee said MCA had submitted its list for new village heads and negotiations were ongoing.
“We cannot be appointing heads just for the sake of fulfilling the quota.
“We also cannot be appointing a head from Village A to Village B when the person does not live there, ” he said, adding that when people needed help, they would have difficulties reaching the village head.
Dr Wee said fundamental issues needed to be resolved before the appointments were made.