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Local councillors need not be professionals

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 Nov 2008: The Housing and Local Government Ministry has no plans to make a ruling that only professionals can be appointed as local authority councillors.

The ministry also would not stop state governments from appointing only professionals to sit in local authority councils, Deputy Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin told the Dewan Rakyat today.

“The appointment of local authority councillors is under the purview of state governments as provided for by Section 10 of the Local Government Act 1976, so the ministry believes that state governments only appoint those with experience and qualified only.

“The Section also provides that local councillors must reside in the local authority area, have wide experience in local authority affairs and can represent the interests of their communities in the local authority area,” he said.

He was replying to Datuk Halimah Mohd Sadique (BN-Tenggara) who wanted to know whether the government plans to set criteria in the appointment of local councillors.

Hamzah said local authority councillors’ obligation was to assist the mayor or president in making decisions regarding policy implementation of the local authority and approvals relating to licence, permit and development applications.

“They also serve as representatives to the local communities in raising views and proposals with regard to the services rendered by the local authority,” he said.

He said a local councillor’s service tenure was not exceeding three years but the state government could end or renew their services based on assessment.

“The assessment can be made based on their presence at the full council meeting and related committee meetings, their participation in local authority council activities besides their ability in giving views and opinions,” he said. — Bernama


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