Monday, March 10, 2008

Why stop at Local Council Elections - we can also have election of Senators by the people of the State, election of Kampung committees,Taman committee

It is time we have Local Council Elections (or what some call "Town Council Elections", and it is possible now and we hope that our FIVE(5) Opposition controlled states take the lead and do it immediately --- and my friend, Tuan Haji Sulaiman Abdullah, the learned lawyer has discussed about how it could be done in a Forum Post, which I have quoted below...

"Under the Federal Constitution, 9th Schedule List 11 the State List includes the power of the States to make laws relating to ;

4.(a) Local administration...........;local government elections.

But note that Article 76 which deals with "Power Of Parliament to legislate for States in certain cases" provides under Clause (4), "Parliament may, for the purpose only of ensuring uniformity of law and policy, make laws with respect to.......and local government.."

Parliament, acting under Article 76(4) has passed the Local Government Act, 1976 [LGA] to revise and consolidate the laws relating to local government.

Of relevance is LGA Section 15, "Provisions relating to local government elections ceasing to have effect.

(i) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law, all provisions relating to local government elections shall cease to have force or effect."

Does this mean that the new State Govts are unable to have local council elections unless Parliament so amends the LGA? I would contend, "Not necessarily so!"

My view is that say for PJ, Shah Alam and Klang the new Selangor State Govt should invoke Section 1(4) LGA, "The State Authority may, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), by notification in the Gazette exempt any area within any local authority area from all or any of the provisions of [LGA}...."

This would mean that the State Authority could exempt PJ, Shah Alam and Klang from the provisions of Section 15 (1) LGA.

But, in the meantime,until the Selangor State Assembly finalises an enactment to revive local council elections the new Selangor State Govt should take note of the following provisions of LGA :

Section 10 "Concillors", "(1) The local authority [LA] shall consist of -

(a) the Mayor or President; and
(b) not less than 8 and not more than 24 other Councillors,
to be appointed by the State Authority.

(2) Councillors of the local authority shall be appointed from among persons the majority of whom shall be persons ordinarily resident in the local authority area who in the opinion of the State Authority have wide experience in local government affairs or who have achieved distinction in any profession, commerce or industry, or are otherwise capable of representing the interests of their communities in the local authority area.

(4) The seat of a Councillor shall become vacant.....if his appointment is revoked by the State Authority."

I would suggest that every corrupt or non-performing existing Councillor ("dead wood") be immediately served with a show-cause notice why their appointment should not be revoked. New Councillors should be appointed who fit the criteria in Section 10 (2).

So, it appears that the new State Govts can reform local councils if they so wish!"

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