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Guan Eng stands firm on council appointment issue

Posted by amkpermatangpauh on June 5, 2009

Written by Regina William
Thursday, 04 June 2009 17:19

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng reiterated the state government’s stand that the post of president for the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) and Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) would be helmed by civil servants.

Speaking after the swear-in of new MPSP president Mokhtar Mohd Jait at the MPSP headquarters here which was boycotted by six Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) councillors, Lim said the matter had also been discussed with PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on May 31.

He also brushed aside the allegations by PKR councillor Johari Kassim that he, Lim was running the state as if it was his own backyard.

Johari and five others had boycotted Mokhtar’s swear-in as they wanted the post to be given to PKR and also to protest his appointment.

Only three PKR councillors attended the ceremony.

“That is not true as this decision was made jointly by all the executive councillors and PKR has its own representatives in the state exco and ask them if I have not been accommodating.

“They should ask excos Malik (Abdul Malik Abul Kassim) and Law Choo Kiang who also endorsed Mokhtar’s appointment with Mansor (newly appointed deputy chief minister 1), who made the announcement.

“I always spoke to Wan Azizah on the matter,” he added.

Lim reiterated that both the council posts will be headed by civil servants.

Johari had stated that while the MPSP president post must go to PKR, DAP could take the MPPP president’s post.

He had also slammed Lim, accusing him of not consulting PKR when deciding on the appointment.

He threatened to resign with the rest of the PKR municipal councillors.

Mansor meanwhile said he would raise the matter with PKR’s Penang chief Datuk Zahrain Hashim.

Meanwhile, Lim’s chief of staff and Jelutong member of parliament Jeff Ooi called on the indisciplined PKR councillors to resign from MPSP within 24 hours failing which they can be subjected to an inquiry for indiscipline.

“The position of the council president is not to be misconstrued as the fiefdom of PKR or any political party.

“PKR councillors must submit to the fact that under prevailing circumstances, the appointment of council president is the prerogative and right of the state government,” he added.

Ooi said if they remained defiant and insisted they had no confidence in the new president, they would not be able to perform their duties as expected of councillors who are paid allowances from ratepayers.

“Municipal councillors are appointed based on recommendations by the respective parties as this is the interim practice before laws are being amended to accommodate local elections.

“The present state government is accountable only to the people, and this PKR cannot regard the post of council presidents as personal to holder fiefdom to any political party, be it DAP or PKR,” he said.

He said he would forward a collective memorandum from all DAP elected representatives to refer the PKR councillors for a review at the state exco.

Source : The Edge

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