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Mar 19, 2008

BN-appointed municipal councillors in Penang quit

Chow Kon Yeow PENANG (March 18, 2008): The Penang DAP-PKR state executive councillors' maiden meeting tomorrow is expected to endorse the reservation of five municipal councillor posts in each of the two local governments for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

The Penang Island and Seberang Perai Municipal Councils (MPPP and MPSP respectively) have a total of 43 councillors - 22 in MPPP and 21 in MPSP.

Local Government, Traffic Management and Environment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the 18 Barisan Nasional (BN)-appointed MPPP councillors tendered their resignations over the past few days.

Another three posts were left vacant after the councillors quit to contest in the 12th General Election on March 8. The district officer who occupies a seat in MPPP has yet to make his move.

Chow said at the moment he was not sure about the status of the councillors in MPSP.

theSun, however, learnt that all the MPSP councillors have also tendered their resignation in the past few days.

On when the state government planned to introduce local council elections, Chow said it may take a few years as it would involve amendments to by-laws before such elections can be conducted legally.

"For now, we will appoint the councillors. For the NGOs, we hope to appoint suitable and qualified people so that they will be able to effectively represent their own sectors," he told reporters after visiting hawkers and traders on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling today.

On the distribution of the councillor posts amongst DAP, PKR and possibly PAS, Chow said: "No decision yet. It will depend on the outcome of the exco meeting."

"My top priority is to raise the services of the two municipalities to a high level of standard. This means they must be efficient and effective.

"When that have been achieved, I will have to make them more dynamic as facilitators for economic growth and tourism development in the state," he added.

He said for now, cleanliness and enforcement are two problems and issues that need to be tackled and resolved "to enable us to move forward".

Earlier, Chow met with traders of 11 stalls in front of the Goddess of Mercy Temple on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling over licensing and electricity problems.

He said the new stalls were built several months ago from federal funding obtained by the previous Padang Kota assemblyman Teng Chang Yeow but the stalls have yet to be handed over to the MPPP.

"The MPPP will have take over the stalls before licences can be issued to the traders and electricity installed," he added. more...


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