By YIP YOKE TENGteng@thestar.com.my
THE 10 Pakatan Rakyat MPs in Kuala Lumpur turned up in full force for the much-awaited meeting with mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan held yesterday at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall headquarters.
Under the banner of the secretariat they formed, they submitted a memorandum listing out four major requests to the mayor:
·To prepare an office for the MPs' secretariat in the City Hall building as well as in each of the constituencies.
·To appoint a City Hall assistant manager in each of the constituencies and whose functions will be to work together with the MPs to cut down on bureaucracy.
·To appoint all 11 MPs in KL as City Hall advisory board members so that they can act as the voice of the people in the shaping and implementation of policies carried out by City Hall.
·To use his power under Article 5 (2) of Planning (Development) (Amend-ment) Rules 1994 to cancel developments earmarked for Federal Hill as such an act will be in line with the CF3 policy detailed in the KL Structure Plan.
Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said asking for office facility was not too much to ask for.
“City Hall has 11 branches in each of the constituencies and the offices have been in operation for years. The MPs are only asking for a place there,” he said.
As for the position of assistant manager, Khalid explained that it should be part of the mayor's organisation but he or she would be assigned to assist the MP in the area in sorting out local issues.
“It is like in the case of political secretaries, they are paid by the Government but their duties are to assist specific individuals,” he said.
The closed-door meeting lasted almost three hours and Khalid, who is also the Selangor Mentri Besar, left the meeting earlier to receive Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who was visiting the former's office in Shah Alam.
Besides these main requests, the other MPs said at a press conference that they managed to raise issues concerning their respective areas.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw (Kepong)
Dr Tan urged the mayor to make clear to the public the current situation of all failed and delayed projects, including Plaza Rakyat near Puduraya bus station and the International Radio Control Circuit in Metropolitan Park Kepong.
He also urged the mayor to explain Kuala Lumpur's situation of solid waste management since the Federal Government had taken over the solid waste management of all 144 local governments in the country.
Dr Lo' Lo' Ghazali (Titiwangsa)
Dr Lo' Lo' brought up the fact that corruption had been synonymous with City Hall and urged the mayor to outline a framework, such as setting “Zero Bribery” as a target or organising individual development programmes to change the negative image.
“Facilities provided to Barisan MPs should be given to the Pakatan Rakyat MPs as well,” she said, adding that some MPs had met with resistance from City Hall when they wanted to hold community programmes.
Tian Chua (Batu)
“It is a good communication channel. We can't solve all in one meeting but we made some suggestions and I hope the communication can be continued,” Chua said.
“We hope the MPs can be involved in urban planning, too, so that we don't come just to oppose but can be involved in the development of the city,” he said.
Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju)
Wee said he reminded the mayor that he was the chief executive for Kuala Lumpur, not just a political appointee.
“The mayor has his powers and rights under the Federal Capital Act, he can't always say that he has to get directives from the Federal Government,” he said, adding that as City Hall was synonymous with corruption, transparency and open tender were necessary.
Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang)
Fong brought up a long list of issues in Bukit Bintang in a memorandum, drawing attention to the plight of single mothers who are in dire need of PPR units.
“Public transportation, the sale of PPR units, licensing, enforcement and many more are the things the mayor has to always look into so that the people do not have to suffer,” he said.
Nurul Izzah Anwar (Lembah Pantai)
“We hope all our requests and proposals, which are not just criticisms but are constructive suggestions, will be heeded so that we can help City Hall in improving its delivery system,” she said.
She added that the draft Kuala Lumpur Local Plan 2020 would be exhibited on May 15 and called for active public participation.
“We hope what is drafted in this plan would be consistent with the KL Structure Plan 2020,” she said.
Overall, the MPs commented that the meeting was non-committal and that the mayor and his team were “as usual passing the ball” but they looked forward to discussing the issues in detail at the round table conference scheduled for April 17 to 19.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng did not stay for the press conference.