Friday, June 20, 2008

49 women among 288 councillors - The Star

Jun 20, 2008 By WANI MUTHIAH and

FORTY-NINE women have been selected to serve as councillors in the 12 local councils in Selangor.

They constitute 17% of the total 288 councillors picked by the Selangor state executive council.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim announced this at a press conference in Shah Alam yesterday.

Khalid said 25% of those chosen were professionals, officials of non-governmental organisations and representatives of the disabled community.

The three component parties – PKR, DAP and PAS – of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition state government have been allotted 75% of the councillor posts.

On the selection process, Khalid said the minimum academic qualification set for the new councillors was at least a college diploma.

Khalid, however, would not reveal the names of the selected candidates, saying that the respective local council chiefs would announce them once the candidates had signed their letters of acceptance to serve as councillors.

“No names will be revealed at this time as we want those who have been chosen from the 900-odd applications to submit their acceptance letters,” he said.

It is believed that Khalid decided on having the confirmation letters from the candidates before announcing their names because among these selected are members of the Barisan Nasional component parties who may snub the appointment.

According to Khalid, certain professionals such as architects, engineers and real estate practitioners, who were not appointed councillors, would be invited to serve as advisers and allowed to sit in during meetings of the sub-committee or even the full-board meetings.

He said these professionals would attend the meetings as observers with no right to vote on any matter.

“All the councillors would serve a three-year term. For the first year, each would be monitored according to the zones in the respective districts. On completion of the first year we would evaluate their performance,” he said.

Khalid said none of the Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives, whether MPs or state assemblymen, had been selected as local councillors.

He said this was perhaps the main departure from the practice of the previous Barisan Nasional state administration that appointed its elected representatives as local councillors.

“We do not want any conflict of interest but a focused idea of serving and improving the neighbourhoods for the people,” he said.

State local government, research and study committee chairman Ronnie Liu said the new councillors would be given a three-day training at Morib to equip them with the knowledge of the local council laws.

“Except for the Orang Besar Daerah who represent the Selangor Palace in the local councils, most of those selected are first-time councillors,” he said.

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