THE Opposition MPs in Kuala Lumpur, however, were not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.
Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Batu MP Tian Chua and Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw could not attend the meeting due to other engagements.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun rushed off right after the closed-door meeting while Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Titiwangsa MP Dr Lo’Lo’ Ghazali organised a press conference.
They expressed dissatisfaction because the minister’s answers to the issues raised were non-committal.
They said the meeting was unfruitful and called it a gesture to “just say hello.”
They said the minister gave only the standard answers of “we will look into the matter” and “it comes under the purview of specific ministries” in most cases.
According to them, only two issues received relatively concrete feedback – the steep hike in traffic fines would be studied while City Hall’s delivery system would be sped up and complainants could expect replies within three days.
However, the MPs expressed their reservations, saying that the study might not yield any results and City Hall’s response might only be an acknowledgement of the complaint.
Nevertheless, they accepted Zulhasnan’s suggestion to discuss in detail the local and policy issues they wanted to highlight at a round-table meeting scheduled from April 17 to 19 at Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur.
Among the issues raised during the meeting were the revival of local government elections, the redundancy of the FT Ministry, the appointment of City Hall advisory board members, harsh enforcement on hawkers and the use of community halls as offices and election operation centres by Barisan Nasional component parties.
The long-abandoned Plaza Rakyat project and the sale of PPR units were also brought to the minister’s attention.
The MPs in KL have another meeting with the mayor scheduled for Monday.
Tan Kok Wai (Cheras):
We questioned the policy adopted for the appointment of City Hall advisory board members as we found out that many of the appointees are members of BN component parties and those who lost in the general election.
The stern enforcement on hawkers and petty traders in the 10 constituencies won by the Opposition looks like an act of revenge, why isn’t such enforcement imposed on hawkers in Setiawangsa?
By right, City Hall should legalise all hawkers in Kuala Lumpur so long as they do not cause public nuisance.
Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju):
I hold on to my stand that the FT Ministry is a redundant ministry and is a waste of public funds. I will raise this matter in the parliament and the cabinet has to decide between City Hall and the FT Ministry.
I had earlier decided not to attend this meeting but I discussed with (Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datin Seri) Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in parliament yesterday and she persuaded me to come see what they have to say.
Teresa Kok (Seputeh):
We demand better communication between the top officers and the MPs, at least we can now get a forum to voice up our grievances.
We feel that all this while, our letters and complaints have not been attended to promptly and the minister has agreed to let us air out the issues on April 17.
Lim Lip Eng (Segambut):
Three of the 15 seats on the City Hall Advisory Board are reserved for professionals, but what exactly are the criteria to be these professionals?
I request that there be a place for a lawyer from the Bar Council on the board.
Dr Lo’Lo’ Ghazali (Titiwangsa):
City Hall Advisory Board members are the ones advising the mayor, but the ones who have been doing this are those sitting in air-conditioned offices and do not know the problems of the people. The ones that know the people’s problems - the MPs - are left out.
They have promised to have public hearings before gazetting the areas when drafting Kuala Lumpur development plans and I see this as a good move.
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