26 March 2008

‘End the one-man show!’



SEVERAL members of the City Hall advisory board have accused the board of being a one-man show and that the others have no say in it.

BN representative Dr Lee Chong Meng
BN representative Dr Lee Chong Meng

Datuk Hakim Borhan, the mayor of Kuala Lumpur, is appointed by the Federal government
Datuk Hakim Borhan, the mayor of Kuala Lumpur, is appointed by the Federal government

They claimed that the mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Hakim Borhan, is the only one who decides everything.

"Attending the board's meetings can be frustrating. Sometimes no one wants to give any feedback because it is useless. They do not have the power to change the policies," said Bukit Bintang BN representative Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng recently.

Lee said the board meetings should be a platform for City Hall and BN representatives to work together in implementing programmes.

He stressed that it was time for City Hall to be more proactive as the BN had lost 10 of the 11 seats in the Federal Territories in the March 8 general election. The sole survivor is FT Minister Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique.

"The fate of city folk should not rest on one man's hand. It should be a joint decision between the mayor and the advisory board members," he said.

Lee said, currently, at board meetings, the mayor can override decisions made by the advisors.

"Because of this, some of the advisors remain silent during meetings. Some choose not to take part in discussions," he said.

At present, the board has 11 advisors who represent Umno, MCA and MIC. There are also representatives from non-governmental organisations. The role of the board is to advise the mayor on various issues affecting the daily lives of KL folk.

They meet every other month to discuss matters relating to the city's public transport system, social and community development, petty traders management, budget, environment and assessment rates.

"The opposition parties are eyeing positions in the advisory board. The BN should take note of that and make changes that will make us (board members) more relevant to the public," added Lee.

Lee also appealed to City Hall to review the advisors' allowances of RM150 for each meeting, which he said is a pittance.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng said Kuala Lumpur is unique as it is a Federal state without any assemblymen.

"Since the MPs have to also play the role of state assemblymen, they should be incorporated into the board," he said.

Khoo said since the people of KL had voted for a change, City Hall should change its operational style.

"City Hall is the servant of KL folk who had voted for a change. The local council has to change its operational method," said Khoo.

He said the board should be answerable to the people on the methods used to make policies and decisions.

The advisory board is based on the Federal Territories Act 1960. Under the Act, MPs are not allowed to be board members. Those chosen should be from the civil service who are well versed with the affairs of Kuala Lumpur. They can also be from the Finance Ministry and the Economic Planning Unit.

Khoo said the Act should be reviewed to allow MPs to be part of the board.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Correction, Federal Capital Act 1960 (Act 190).