Selangor reneging on pledge to keep local councils politics-free, Umno man says

Abdul Rahman recalled that former state executive councillor Ronnie Liu had during his stint in charge of local government said that local council facilities would not be used for political purposes. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Abdul Rahman recalled that former state executive councillor Ronnie Liu had during his stint in charge of local government said that local council facilities would not be used for political purposes. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan today reminded the Selangor government of a pledge it once made not to get the local councils involved in politics, following reports this week that “Free Anwar” billboards have been spotted at several locations across the state.

Abdul Rahman, who is a federal minister and an Umno supreme council member, recalled that former state executive councillor Ronnie Liu had during his stint in charge of local government said that local council facilities would not be used for political purposes.

“We have heard from the state exco, Ronnie Liu (at the time), saying that the local authorities of Selangor were not allowed to show statements or banners with political elements. He said ‘it was not the business of the PBT (local authorities)’,” Abdul Rahman said.

“I want to bring up when the former Selangor local government exco said on not using facilities for political purposes.”

Selangor Umno this week called for an investigation into Selangor’s local authorities for allowing the erection of #BebasAnwar (Free Anwar) billboards with the PKR logo at several locations in the state.

More than 20 Selangor Umno members reportedly lodged police reports, with the party’s state information chief Datuk Zein Isma Ismail reportedly saying the display challenged the verdict of the courts in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II case.

On February 10, 2015, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s conviction of Anwar for sodomising his former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister and also former Permatang Pauh MP who previously spent six years in prison between 1999 and 2004, is currently serving the five-year jail term.

Zein Isma also accused the state government of using the Selangorkini organ for political purposes.

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