Penang works on bringing back local govt elections


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Jun 2009

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government will table a resolution in the August sitting of the state assembly urging the Federal Govern-ment to bring back local government elections.

State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the state had asked the Bar Council for a legal opinion on the move and expected a report this week.

He was commenting on a recent statement by state Suaram coordinator Lau Shu Shi that the state had failed to address several issues, including local government elections.

Lau said this made the state government’s mantra of competency, accountability and transparency “merely a slogan”.

In reply, Chow said: “We wish to point out that the Local Government Working Group set up by the state government had submitted its report with several recommendations which we have taken up for implementation.”

He pointed out that Lau, a member of the group, had taken part in the formulation of the recommendations.

Chow said the final report on the road map of local government elections was now available at www.penang.gov.my.

Lau said the state should quickly come up with a democratic system for the appointment of councillors and municipal council presidents.

“The system should be introduced now, before the restoration of local government elections,” she said.

“This can avoid problems like the DAP-PKR spat over the appointment of the Seberang Prai Municipal Council president recently.”

She acknowledged that the state government had been active in pushing for local government elections.

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