AS SELANGOR sees a new Mentri Besar appointed today, various local councils in the state can expect new faces at the helm as some of the council heads are retiring while others are expected to be moved in upcoming transfers.
Two council president posts are waiting to be filled while two mayors are reaching the end of their tenure.
The first one up is Shah Alam mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan, whose contract ends next month.
The 60-year-old is said to be well-liked by councillors who regard him as a capable mayor who is reputed to be strict.
Mohd Jaafar joined MBSA in April 2011 and is one of the few town planners who have been raised to the rank of mayor in the state.
He had a one-year stint in 2003 as Seremban Municipal Council president before returning to Kuala Lumpur, where he worked in the Peninsular Malaysia Town and Country Planning Department as its physical planning unit director.
Mohd Jaafar declined to comment when approached by StarMetro.
MBSA councillors whom StarMetro spoke to think there is a likelihood of Mohd Jaafar being offered a fresh contract.
However, among those in the know, there is a name being mentioned as possible replacement — current Gombak District Officer Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan.
Nor Hisham has also been linked to the Selangor Deputy State Secretary (management) position previously occupied by Datuk Tarmedi Omar, who exercised his retirement leave option last month.
When contacted, Nor Hisham admitted that he had heard rumours of the state position but declined to comment further, and would only say: “I have not received any letter so I will just wait for the official word.”
Nor Hisham, 57, has vast experience in several key fields that will prove beneficial in either of the two posts — mayor or a deputy state secretary.
The father of four served as the National Housing Department assistant director in 1995, as agriculture division assistant chief director in the Economic Planning Unit in 2001, Education Ministry assistant chief secretary from 2003 to 2005 and assistant deputy director for development in the Federal Territories Ministry from 2005 to 2007.
Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad’s contract ends on Dec 31 and she has publicly said that she is not keen to renew her contract.
A council source revealed to StarMetro that she told councillors privately that she had not exercised her option to renew the contract.
“Normally the option to renew or renegotiate the contract is undertaken in July and it is on a year-by-year basis after that, but recently she told councillors during a study trip that she did not do so,” the council source said.
Alinah, 65, was appointed in December 2012. She was previously CEO of Selangor Real Estate and Housing Board.
She was appointed mayor of Petaling Jaya on a two-year contract following the surprise transfer of Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman to the State Secretariat in October 2012.
The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) president seat has been vacant for a year since its former chief Datuk Mohammad Yacob, 57, was transferred to head Klang Municipal Council in September 2013.
When queried, sources at the state administration department said it was the Mentri Besar’s prerogative to appoint the candidate (see sidebar on the process of filling council posts).
For the past year, MPAJ administration is being overseen by council secretary Abdul Hamid Abdul Hussain, who is currently acting president.
A newly vacated council president post is at the Hulu Selangor District Council (MDHS), following the retirement of Tukiman Nail on July 2, 2014, after 35 years in government service.
Tukiman served the council for over eight years as president and was embroiled in the infamous broom stick award in 2007.
The then mentri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo presented the broom stick to Tukiman at the Selangor Excellence Awards for MDHS’ poor assessment tax collection the year before.
The council is currently being helmed by Hulu Selangor District Council secretary Azman Dahlan.
StarMetro has learned that an outsider will be taking over as MDHS president because there is a lack of senior officers eligible to be appointed to the position.
However, it is not known when the seat will be filled.
Along with these inevitable movements, there are whispers of the possible transfers of certain council chiefs.
There has been talk that Mohammad, who is a Klang boy born and raised in Telok Gadong, may be transerred out of MPK but the council has refuted any such rumour.
Talk was also rife that Subang Jaya Municipal Council president Datuk Aswami Kasbi could be replaced next month. However, sources could not confirm this.
Governing laws for council appointment
FOR local councils in Selangor, the main Act of Parliament governing the appointment of council presidents/mayors and councillors is the Local Government Act 1976.
Section 10(1) of LGA 1976 reads that a mayor or council president, along with councillors, are to be appointed by the state government.
Although there is no requirement that the mayoral/council president appointee be a civil servant from the Public Service Department (PSD), the practice has mainly been to appoint a civil servant.
Once the civil servant is seconded from the PSD to take up his or her position as mayor or council president, an officer with Selangor’s Economic Planning Unit (Upen) said, the appointee is remunerated according to the local council’s pay scale.
The civil service pay scale will resume once he or she leaves the local council, to go back to either Federal or state secretariat positions.