Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Councillors’ list finalised - The Star


THE Selangor government said the delay in finalising the list of councillors for the 12 local authorities in the state has not affected the running of the councils.

State Local Government, Survey and Research Committee chairman Ronnie Liu said none of the operations of the local councils had been affected since the Pakatan Rakyat state government was formed except for the approval for large projects.

“There have been a lot of complaints over large projects in the past with claims of corruption and abuse of power that supposedly led to some being approved even on hill slopes,” he said when met at his office.

The final say: Khalid will be making the announcement soon.

Liu was commenting on a StarMetro report, which stated that haggling for the councillor posts between PAS, DAP and PKR had caused the delay in naming of the 288 councillors for the 12 local governments.

Liu said the state government held a briefing for all council heads after the new state government was formed to ask all one-stop centres (OSC) at the councils to remain operational. Only the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) closed its OSC due to miscommunication, as the council president was unable to attend the briefing and was not aware of the state government's directive to keep it open.

The one-stop centres at the local councils processed most applications from licences to projects and renovations.

“The only difference now is that we have removed the need for four councillors to be part of the one-stop centre so the council officials will approve all submissions on their own,” Liu said.

However, this did not mean that approvals for all major projects had been halted as the state government had intervened on several occasions to approve projects that were vital or part of ongoing works, he said.

He added that the two projects that were passed recently included the construction of a factory for a media organisation.

“We want to speed things up because any kind pf problem related to approvals will eventually affect business and we are in the midst of making Selangor a state that is business-friendly,” he said.

Liu added that the list of councillors had already been finalised and handed over to Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who would make the announcement soon.

Commenting on the same issue, senior state exco member Teresa Kok said the announcement on the councillors took time as there were many factors which required consideration such as the ratio of gender and race to ensure a balanced council.

“There were too many candidates and it was hard to make the final decision.

“Nevertheless, those appointed were chosen based on the ability to lead and serve the public,” said Kok.

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