Council comes under fire

Buddies again: (from left) Mohd Taufik Sulong, Mohd Yusoff and Dr Lim sharing a light moment after the meeting

A PENANG municipal councillor took the opportunity in the last full council meeting of the year to lash out at some of his compatriots for lacking professionalism.

Mohamed Yusoff Mohamed Noor said three or four councillors and standing committee alternate chairmen had “ganged up” to belittle others during meetings and in public.

He claimed that some meetings were not chaired professionally and councillors seen as “enemies” were denied the opportunity to give their views.

“Some are not on talking terms with one another.

“As a senior councillor, I feel that the relationship between councillors has deteriorated.

“If this continues, the council will not be able to made good decisions that will benefit the public,” he said in his speech at the City Hall on Wednesday.

Mohamed Yusoff, who is a PAS leader, also hit out at councillors who carried out their duties unfairly, saying they were tarnishing their reputation and the council’s good name.

Meanwhile, councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui urged the council to collect assessment and rental arrears amounting to almost RM50mil as of October.

He said the sum was one-fifth of the council budget.

“The public has a right to know how the council plans to collect the money,” he said.

He said the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) had written to the council in 2010 for the information but was “pushed around” and told that such data was unavailable.

He said it was only after CAP complained to the Public Complaints Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Department that the council referred the association to its website.

“It took more than a year for the council to provide CAP with the information,” he said.

He said the council’s website should also have updated details on all major housing and commercial projects that had been submitted for approval, traffic and environmental impact reports, names and contacts of solid waste disposal contractors, ticket collection contractors and audited and current bud-gets.

At a press conference later, council corporate director Patrick Khoo said some of the details Dr Mah highlighted were already on the website.

“But it’s not a problem since we can add on,” he said.

He said the MPPP was one of the two local authority portals among the 28 that received the new ‘Strategic Achievers’ award during the Malaysia Government Portals and Websites Assessment in Putrajaya on Dec 12.

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