IPOH: A new Ipoh Datuk Bandar is set to be appointed soon after the last one was removed for going absent without leave for months as he is said to be ill.
State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Paul Yong said a candidate had been identified and the appointment process was pending.
“We will make an announcement as soon as possible. The appointment will be made according to existing laws,” he told reporters after opening the Malaysia Property Exhibition 2019 at Ipoh Parade shopping mall yesterday.
Yong said the new Datuk Bandar would replace Datuk Zamri Man (pic), 52, who has gone absent without leave for “months” and is apparently unwell.
“The situation with the mayor ... it’s a first. It’s like he has disappeared.
“He didn’t give any letter to the local government authorities (PBT) or even to me informing us that he was sick.
“He submitted his sick leave two months after going missing,” Yong said but did not give details about when that took place.
“According to the law, a mayor or council president is eligible to take up to 90 days of sick leave.
“Even the three-month period has expired and we have yet to get any letters from him to extend his leave,” he added.
It is learned that Zamri, who took over from Datuk Harun Rawi as mayor in 2015, was last seen publicly at a cycling event in August last year.
Yong said he had attempted to visit Zamri at his house but could not find him.
“I only learned about him being unwell from the PBT secretary and Ipoh City Council but there’s no other information about his condition and whereabouts.
“Till today I can’t get hold of him. We can’t let this drag on and need to take action to resolve the matter,” he said.
When contacted, a senior staff member at the city council, who declined to be named, said no one knows what ailed Zamri.
“There has only been talk that he is sick but to what extent, we are not sure.
“He was present during the appointment of city councillors and also seen in and out of his office in August last year.
“We hope a new mayor will be appointed soon as there are lots of things that have been stalled that need approval,” he added.
Attempts to call Zamri’s handphone for comments failed as the call went to voice mail.
City councillor Steven Tiw urged the people not to speculate or sensationalise Zamri’s current condition.
“I agree that Zamri should have informed the relevant authority regarding his latest status.
“However, let’s not link a person’s health problem and his capability to serve the city. Nobody wants to fall ill till they can’t serve anymore.
“I pray that Zamri can recover as soon as possible,” he said.
Tiw said he was looking forward to working with the new mayor.
“It’s time for the state to appoint a new mayor to ensure all council-related work could be back on track.
“The city council needs a mayor who can strive towards making Ipoh a clean, green and developing city,” he said.