Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Seven non-political councillors among 24 sworn in - The Star

Jul 2, 2008 By LIM CHIA YING

SEVEN new councillors appointed from among professionals and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were among the 24 sworn in yesterday for the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).

The others are Pakatan Rakyat nominees, with eight from the DAP, six from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), and three from PAS.

There are eight Malays (33%), 11 Chinese (45%), and five Indians (20%) in the new council.

The inclusion of NGO representatives and professionals is a fresh change from what was previously made up by only politicians.

One for the album: The new batch of 24 councillors posing for a group photo together with the MPSJ president and deputy president in front of the MPSJ building after their swearing-in ceremony yesterday.

The non-political appointees are Arumugam Kalimuthu (Tamil Foundation), Chang Kim Loong (House Buyers Association), Choong Yew Lim (Petaling Bus and Ind Association), Rabiah Omar (All Women's Action Society), Datuk Dr Subramaniam Nadarajan (Rotary Club), Tan Jo Hann (Permas), and Theresa Ratnam John Ratnam (residents association).

After the councillors were sworn in, MPSJ secretary Slamat Hamzah briefed them on the standing order and procedures at council and full board meetings

MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan then thanked the previous councillors who had served their term that ended officially on Monday.

“I ask for the cooperation, dedication, and patience of all the new councillors today to work closely together to serve the people and resolve problems they face,” Adnan said.

“It’s important for us to also have integrity, and instil the confidence in the public that we will do our best to serve. Cooperation from everyone is required to disseminate information to each other in order for us to take action fast,” he said.

The term for the councillors is a year, expiring on June 30 next year. Their renewal is subject to satisfactory performance and stirring services.

Adnan said like previously, four councillors would sit in the One-Stop Centre (OSC) meeting and that they would be placed in the various internal committees based on their background, expertise and the organisation they represent.

According to Theresa Ratnam, who stays in SS17 Subang Jaya and is active with the residents association through the Residents Committee previously, it is an honour for her to be appointed a councillor.

“I can now serve the community from a different level than when I was with the JKP. This allows me to see things from a different perspective,” she said.

“I want to ensure compliance in upholding the various legislations. Pressing issues in Subang Jaya like the perennial traffic chaos, illegal hawkers, and land use are some things I would want to look into,” she said.

Rabiah Omar, who is with the All Women's Action Society (AWAM) and a resident at Section 9 Putra Heights, said it had always been her aspiration to serve the community.

“The crime rate in Subang Jaya is a major concern for me as I'm a mother of a young daughter. For now, I wish to also work closely with the MPSJ to stop the open burning at Bukit Lanchong which I could smell again this morning,” she said.

Asked if the JKP still exists, Adnan said it would be reshuffled and rezoned from previously 29 zones to 24, each to be presided by a councillor.

He said with the NGO representatives and professionals in the council, it would be different this time.

Adnan said what was most important was that the councillors could convey the message to the people and hopefully, this would take some pressure off the MPSJ.

On whether having most of the councillors coming from Subang Jaya could create an imbalance on issues presented, Adnan said he could not comment as the appointments were made by the state government.

Seri Kembangan has just one representative and Puchong a handful.

Present at the ceremony were Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne, Seri Kembangan assemblyman and state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah and Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh.

Former councillor Datuk Lee Hwa Beng said now that the council was finally in place, it was important to give the councillors a chance to perform.

“Hopefully, they will fulfil the expectations of the public. With Theresa Ratnam and Dr Subramaniam in the line-up, the people will obviously contact them often,” Lee said.

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