New mayor has a lot to live up to

NEWLY-appointed Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail has a lot to live up to over the next two years.

Ahmad Fuad certainly has a lot of expectations to fulfil once he steps into the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Apart from facing the city’s ratepayers, Ahmad Fuad also has to deal with Kuala Lumpur’s 10 Pakatan Rakyat MPs, who have many issues that they are hoping will be fixed by the new mayor.

Some of the more pertinent points that the MPs want to see happen under Ahmad Fuad’s administration is the revival of the meet-the-people sessions which had been introduced by former mayor Ruslin Hassan but were called off by previous mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan.

MPs also want DBKL to practice an open tender system for projects above RM500,000, embark on an austerity drive and ensure that all policies and decisions by the DBKL adhere to the principle of fairness and equality for all.

One of the most senior MPs in Kuala Lumpur, Kepong MP Tan Seng Giaw said the first thing Ahmad Fuad should do was to ensure that the general administration of the DBKL was improved.

“He should bring out the local structural plan that was gazetted in 2006. It has been two years and we have not seen it yet,” Tan said.

Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said the DBKL needed to reform in order to move forward and live up to the expectations of becoming a world- class local authority.

“Information on the DBKL’s plans and projects should be made available and accessible to the public,’’ Kok Wai said.

“Ahmad Fuad needs to hold regular consultations, pre-budget meetings and briefings with the KL MPs, revamp and revitalise the administrative and organisational structure of the DBKL and improve its delivery system,’’ he added.

Batu MP Tian Chua hopes the practice of allowing MPs to have an office at the DBKL office will return and that they will get Ahmad Fuad’s cooperation as well.

“In the past, the Barisan Nasional MPs were given offices in the building so that they could resolve problems quickly. I hope the practice is reintroduced,” Tian Chua said.

He also hoped the new mayor would be a dynamic and responsive mayor who would deal with KL’s problems hands on.

“He has to carry out the aspirations of KL’s citizens, solve the problems and, finally, increase the people’s quality of life,” he said.

Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, on the other hand, hoped that Ahmad Fuad would be a people oriented mayor and ensure that the people benefit from his governance.

“He has to ensure that KL will become an accountable, competent and transparent city for its people,” Fong added.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said he felt that five matters in Kuala Lumpur had to be resolved soon in order to make KL a world-class city.

“He has to see to the traffic congestion, cleanliness, the security, squatter problems as well as to amend the parking meter system in certain areas,” he said.

Lim said the DBKL played an important role in security issues due to the installation of CCTV cameras in the city.

Meanwhile, it was high drama at the Federal Territories Ministry in Putrajaya on Friday, where Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique who was supposed to announce the appointment of Kuala Lumpur’s new mayor announced instead that the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Sidek Hassan would be doing the honours.

This revelation, which came at the 11th hour, took many by surprise, since traditionally it was the Federal Territories Minister who would make the announcement.

A source from the ministry said Sidek had asked to make the announcement because the mayor was a civil servant and Zulhasnan had graciously acceded.

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