Monday, July 06, 2009

NST on local councillors lineup

66 new councillors in line-up to be announced on Monday

V. Shankar Ganesh
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SHAH ALAM: After weeks of uncertainty on the appointment of Selangor local councillors, the state government yesterday finally approved the new line-up.

There will be 66 new faces among the 288 local councillors.

This means that almost 80 per cent of the councillors will be retained for another year.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said their appointments would take effect from July 16.

He said the new line-up would be made public on Monday and the list would also be sent to all the 12 local council presidents.

The swearing-in ceremony will then be carried out by the respective councils.

Twenty four of the new councillors are from non-governmental organisations. About 25 per cent of the 288 councillors are from NGOs.

DAP will have 23 new councillors while PKR will have 15 and Pas four new councillors.

The term for the councillors had expired on Tuesday and although it was reported that they would get a one-month extension until the new list is ready, the state executive council decided yesterday to cancel the extension.

While no reasons were given for the abrupt announcement that the new line-up was ready, it is learnt that the state had wanted to avoid allegations that some outgoing councillors were grabbing waste management contracts.

The allegations had apparently reached Khalid's ears and he wanted to put an immediate stop to it. It is believed that this prompted him to make the announcement yesterday.

Khalid, meanwhile, said some councillors were dropped after they had resigned on their own accord while others failed to perform.

Some of those dropped were also living outside their council areas.

"We felt it was better for people living in the same area to be appointed as councillors. It is also a requirement by the councils," the Menteri Besar said.

He said all the councillors approved by the state would be subjected to stringent vetting to ensure that they did not have criminal records or had been declared bankrupt or had other misconducts.

He said seven of the previous councillors were declared bankrupt and five managed to settle their financial problems.

The state had faced a flurry of criticisms last year when it was revealed that some of the appointed councillors had police records and were of dubious character.PET+BLOGSPOT is the official online blog of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive).

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