KUANTAN: Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail (pic) has called on Pakatan Harapan candidate M. Manogaran to prove his allegation that there's cronyism in the appointment of Cameron Highlands district councillors.
"This is clearly another slander for the sake of getting votes in the by-election on Jan 26.
"Our advice to him is to please prove his allegation," said Wan Rosdy in a statement posted on his official Facebook page on Wednesday (Jan 16).
Wan Rosdy said the councillors were, in fact, appointed from locals in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency.
"The state government is also very clear on this matter, by making sure that only those who live in Cameron Highlands are selected and appointed.
"The state government also prioritise racial and gender composition. That is why there are councillors who are orang asli, women, youth and representatives from non-governmental organisations," said Wan Rosdy.
Manogaran reportedly said the the recent appointment of new councillors saw many faces that were not from Cameron Highlands, and therefore likely were not people who understood the plight of locals.
He also said the parking rates in Tanah Rata and Brinchang were too steep as they were on par with those in big cities.
The Pakatan Harapan candidate also said that despite numerous complaints by Tanah Rata assemblyman Chiong Yoke Kong to the Cameron Highlands district council (MDCH) on the matter, the pleas had fallen on deaf ears.
To this, Wan Rosdy said not every parking area was affected as only tourist areas such as Tanah Rata, Brinchang and Kea Farm were charged such rates.
"Residential areas such as in Lembah Bertam, Ringlet, Habu, Tringkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja are not charged parking fees," he said.
Wan Rosdy said the rate was set at 60 sen an hour or RM80 a month but following public feedback, the district council had agreed to provide 30 sen coupons for every half an hour.
"MDCH also offers a 25% discount for those who pay for a period of more than a month.
"Indeed, in implementing the collection of parking fees, we set the period from 8am to 6pm and the fees are imposed on a daily basis including public holidays. The rationale is that since Cameron
Highlands is a tourist attraction, MDCH has to control the parking system to ensure it runs smoothly.
"With this control, the people will not park at any time or in unauthorised areas, causing traffic congestion," he said.
Wan Rosdy added that exercising control also discouraged people - especially traders - from parking their vehicles for too long as though it were their own private car park.
"So is the action taken by MDCH effective? The answer is yes. Since MDCH implemented parking fees on Oct 1, people, especially tourists, are finding it easier to get parking.
"With the imposition of this parking fee, MDCH's revenue will be returned to the public where the proceeds can be utilised for better solid waste management and to add various public amenities for residents and tourists," he said.