Friday, June 20, 2008

Disabled rep among 24 new city councillors in MBPJ - The Star

Jun 20, 2008 By DEBBIE CHAN and TAN KARR WEI

THE Petaling Jaya City Council will have, for the first time, representation from the disabled community on its board of councillors.

Animal Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association president Anthony Thanasayan is one of the 24 newly chosen councillors for the MBPJ.

Anthony has been fighting for the rights of the disabled community for years and his selection as a city councillor will definitely enhance the cause of the disabled in PJ.

“If it is true that I made it to the list, it's fantastic. We have always asked to be included in the decision-making process,” he said.

“We strongly believe in the motto 'Nothing about us without us'. We must be there to make the decisions,” the wheelchair-bound Anthony said.

Among the changes the plucky crusader would like to see are designated car parks for the disabled.

The list of new councillors includes some prominent names from the non-governmental organisations.

Two such persons are Suara Rakyat Malaysia executive director Cynthia Gabriel and Transparency International executive director Richard Yeoh.

Environment activist and lawyer Derek Fernandez, who has been making newspaper headlines for being vocal on various community issues, is also on the list.

The representation from community and NGOs is part of the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government’s move to include members of the public in the decision-making process and to tap their views and expertise for the benefit of the community.

The rest of the names on the list are members of the three Pakatan Rakyat coalition partners – PKR, DAP and PAS.

However, none of the coalition’s elected representatives, whether MPs or state assemblymen, had been appointed as councillors.

This is a change from the previous Barisan Nasional state government where most of the elected representatives are appointed as councillors.

Among the people named on the list is former StarMetro reporter Mak Khuin Weng.

“There are some issues I would like to look into, like condominiums and privatisation of contracts. These are the things that I've been following up as a reporter,” Mak said.

He looks forward to working with the other councillors to help resolve issues affecting PJ while striving for transparency and accountability.

As a reporter, Mak has met many PJ residents and worked with former MBPJ councillors.

“I would be able to draw from their experience. I look forward to working with the other councillors,” he said.


1. Mohd Halil Haji Harun – Petaling Jaya Utara PKR deputy chief

2. Syed Abdul Malik Syed A Hamid Al Jafree – Subang PKR deputy chief

3. Thiruvenggadam Aamuthu – Petaling Jaya Selatan PKR deputy chief

4. Halimey Abu Bakar – Kelana Jaya PKR Youth chief

5. Mahharul Ismail – Petaling Jaya Selatan PKR Secretary

6. Latheefa Koya – Petaling Jaya Selatan PKR treasurer

7. Tang Fuie Koh – Petaling Jaya Utara PKR treasurer

8. Dr Melasutra Md Dali – Urban planner

9. Michael Soon Kwai Choy – DAP

10. Mak Khuin Weng – DAP

11. Robert Tan Siang Chok – DAP

12. Tiew Way Keng – DAP

13. Francis Chang – DAP

14. Ahmad Yusof Ludis – PAS

15. Ghazali Shaari – PAS

16. Kamarudin Suhaimi – PAS

17. Muzammil Hafiz – PAS

18. Chan Chee Keong – Social activist

19. Richard Yeoh – Transparency International executive director

20. Anthony Thanasayan – Representative of the disabled community

21. Cynthia Gabriel – Suaram executive director

22. Derek Fernandez – Environment activist and lawyer

*23. Ramakrishnan Suppiah

*24. Paneer Sivam

* The last two names are yet to be confirmed.

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