KUALA LUMPUR: The chapter on the Lovers Bridge controversy in a scenic coastal town may be closed but not for Ng Kian Nam (pic).
While it ended with the Selangor government forcibly tearing down two restaurants – Lovers Bridge and Ocean Seafood – last year, it has strengthened Ng’s resolve to find justice for the ordinary folk, like the owners of the two restaurants.
Lovers Bridge and Ocean Seafood had been operating for 40 and 20 years respectively until the Selangor government evicted them to make way for a state project.
In June last year, the local council tore down both restaurants after more than a year of tussle between both parties.
They lost the case, but not all is lost.
Having handled more than 180 cases, including Lovers Bridge in his capacity as MCA Youth legal bureau chief, Ng is set to use a higher platform to fight the cause further.
He is contesting for the MCA national Youth chief’s post in the Nov 3 party polls.
“It is about being with and for the people,” he said, adding that he would go all out to push for local government elections in the country.
He said Pakatan Harapan politicians had been talking about the elections, but he would gather support from the party’s youth members, as well as from non-governmental organisations and civil societies to make sure they implement it within three years from now.
“The performance of local councillors are felt directly by the people, affecting their day to day living,” he pointed out, adding that the people must have the power to decide who they wanted as their local councillors.
Local government and councillors are the third tier in the government after the state government (with assemblymen) and federal government (Members of Parliament).
While assemblymen and MPs are voted in, local councillors are appointed.
There were no longer local government elections since 1965, Ng said.
“The local government elections must be on again as soon as possible.
“The government must return the power to the people,” Ng said in an interview.
Many local councillors would put their interest and their party bosses above that of the people, who have no say on their appointment, he pointed out.
Citing the Lovers Bridge controversy, he said there were many unanswered questions over how the Selangor government project, also called Lovers’ Bridge project, was being handled.
“Enough is enough and it’s time to return the power to the people to decide who they want to be their local councillors,” he stressed.
Ng said the focus on his party election manifesto also include the setting up of a human rights lawyer group to safeguard the rights and interests of all classes of people via the separation of judicial units and powers.
“This is to avoid being oppressed by unfair government administration or deviations in law enforcement,” he said.
In the new era, Ng said he would also strive to recruit and work with young professionals from all ethnic groups, who shared the same purpose of achieving the goal of collective governance and equality for all.
His dedication and quest for justice for all saw him handling more than 180 legal aid cases for the poor and needy to date.
Ng is also appointed as legal advisers for various NGOs.
On MCA, he said a major overhaul was needed to ensure the party could regain its vitality gradually and be relevant again.
“Plans to reform and transform MCA in the past have failed to revive the party,” he said.
The 14th General Election is the worst ever outing for the 69-year-old party, winning only three seats – one parliamentary and two state – out of the 129 seats contested.
During GE13, it won 18 seats.
This coming party polls, Ng, 39, will be in a straight fight with Nicole Wong, 38, for the Youth wing’s top post.
The new Youth line-up comprised a chairman, deputy chairman, four vice-chairmen and 25 central committee members.
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