Newly-appointed Subang Jaya municipal councillor K. Arumugam said that if the status quo of non-governmental organsations (NGO) or non-political appointees in the council is not maintained he may consider withdrawing his appointment as a councillor.
“We want the state government to realise the importance of the society’s role in the council.
“It is crucial that we serve as a check-and-balance measure,” he said.
Three councillors were appointed under the NGO quota for the new term, but he hoped the status quo would remain, which was seven under the previous term.
“The Pakatan Rakyat government should fulfil their promise of having local council elections, pending which they shouldn’t compromise on the appointment of civil society representatives as councillors,” Arumugam, himself an NGO appointee said.
The other two are Dr Loi Kheng Min (Transparency International Malaysia [TI-M] secretary-general) and Theresa Ratnam John Ratnam (residents association).
Sixteen MPSJ councillors were sworn in for the 2009/2010 term, including four new faces - Dr Loi, Chong Hoon Ming (DAP), Robert Tan Siang Chiok (DAP) and Rajiv Rishyakaran (DAP).
Twelve were reappointed for a second term - Chia Yew Ken (DAP), Chin Sou Bong (DAP), Ismail Kamal Abdul Rahman (PKR), Mohd Nasir Yusof (PAS), Norhesni Ismail (PKR), Ng Sze Han (DAP), Pooi Weng Keong (DAP), Roslan Shahir Datuk Mohd Shahir (PAS), Sapiyan Mohd Din (PAS), Tai Cheng Heng (DAP), Theresa Ratnam and Arumugam.
There are 14 men and two women councillors.
After the councillors were sworn in, MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan briefed them on the standing order and procedures at council and full board meetings, the 10 MPSJ committees, as well as functions and responsibilities of a councillor.
He also highlighted some of the MPSJ’s upcoming and ongoing programmes.
On the remaining eight councillors that had yet to be appointed (MPSJ has a total of 24), Adnan said it would be the state government’s decision.
“With the new councillors sworn in, we can get things done such as the committee meetings. A minimum of eight councillors are needed to fill the quorum for a meeting.
Asked about the performance of the previous term’s councillors, Adnan said it took some time for them to familiarise themselves with the job, as well as communicate and cooperate closely with the MPSJ and community.
“However, I believe we did see many changes. What’s more important is that we bring the MPSJ forward,” he said.
Adnan hoped that the new batch of councillors would be ready to serve to fulfil the community’s aspirations and cooperate as a team.
Loi, 52, said he would strive to improve the transparency and accountability in the local council, and curb corruption in public procurement, such as tenders.
Rajiv, 28, hopes to review
some of the MPSJ’s existing
policies, include transparency as part of the MPSJ’s policy and improve the council’s customer service.
Tan, who was previously a Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillor, said his stint at the MBPJ would help as new councillors would need time to learn their duties and go to the ground to find out the local issues.