NOW that Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman is certain to take up a new post at the Selangor state secretariat in Shah Alam, the big question is who will be his successor.
Among the names being bandied about for the Petaling Jaya mayor’s post are three district officers (DO), namely Datuk Bakhtiar Hussin (Klang), Datuk Zulkepli Ahmad (Petaling) and Datuk Mohd Amin Ahya (Hulu Langat), and two council presidents Datuk Mohamad Yacob (Ampang Jaya) and Datuk Asmawi Kasbi (Subang Jaya).
For now Bakhtiar, Zulkepli, Mohd Amin, Mohamad Yacob and Asmawi are seen as the possible candidates.
All five are said to be senior officers and have the necessary qualifications and experience to take up the post as mayor of the most developed council in Selangor.
According to a source, Bakhtiar, 54, who became the Klang DO in 2006, could be given the post as he had previously served as the state assembly secretary.
Bakhtiar holds a Masters in Business Administration from University of Hull, UK.
Another senior official who also has an edge is Zulkepli, 58, who is familiar to Petaling Jaya staff as he had served as the deputy mayor from 2006 to mid-2007 and was Hulu Selangor council president before being transferred to head Petaling.
Zulkepli is a University Malaya Bachelor of Arts and International Relations graduate.
He had served in the Public Services Commission in 1978 and has been in the civil service for 34 years.
Mohd Amin, 51, who had taken up the post of Hulu Langat DO on Sept 3 this year could be transferred again. He was the Sepang DO from March 8, 2007 until August this year.
Among the council presidents, Mohammad Yacob, 55, who had served at the state economic planning unit as the chief assistant secretary (social development) from 2001 to 2004, holds a Masters in Public Administration. He has been with MPAJ since 2006.
According to another source, another likely candidate is Asmawi who has an edge as he has years of experience in the civil service sector and is well-liked by his officers and staff.
Asmawi, a civil servant for the past three decades, served 15 years with the Federal Government and 15 years with the Selangor government. He graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science in 1978.
Prior to his current position, he was the Kuala Langat district officer since 2005.
Meanwhile, a Selangor government source said it is unlikely Roslan’s transfer, which is imminent, will take place anytime soon.
He said this was due to the pending general election.
“The transfer will take effect after the general election and Petaling Jaya will surely see a new mayor taking over from Roslan,” the source added.
Meanwhile, the Selangor Residents Association Coalition (Apac) adviser Mohamed Umar Peer Mohamed said the post of Petaling Jaya mayor offered big challenges and those who assumed the post must understand that the city’s green initiatives were an integral element.
“The new mayor must also emulate Roslan’s leadership qualities, especially in being a good listener.”
Mohamed Umar said Roslan had introduced various urbanisation programmes that caused the city to prosper and the Federal government must reward him with a promotion.
It was reported earlier that Roslan would be transferred to Selangor state secretariat as deputy state secretary 1 (Development) soon.
Society for Sustainable Development and Local Governance-PJ pro-tem president Eashvara Lingam echoed the same sentiments, saying that a promotion should be given for the good work done by the mayor.
Roslan was appointed as the second mayor of Petaling Jaya in August 2006, replacing Datuk Ahmad Termizi Puteh.
On Dec 3, Roslan will take up the new post after he returns from a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Since the announcement, speculation has been rife over who would take over as mayor from Roslan.
“No matter who gets the post, the person has a tough job to do,” said Mohamed Umar.