GEORGE TOWN, June 27 — The Penang government is working with the Local Government and Housing Ministry to bring back local council elections, state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo said today.
The local government and housing development committee chairman said the state government has experience in trying to restore local council elections by filing it in court.
“We have experience in the legalities of trying to restore local council elections and the minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin, has announced Putrajaya’s intention to look into this so Putrajaya has asked Penang to assist in this,” he told reporters after announcing the names of those to be appointed as councillors next week.
Penang had filed a case in court for the local council election to be reinstated but lost the case when the Federal Court threw it out.
Jagdeep said officers from the local government have conducted the first round of workshop in Putrajaya to explain the legalities of reinstating the local council elections.
“We are now studying the steps that we can take as we need to look at the legalities first,” he said.
Earlier, Jagdeep announced the appointment of 48 councillors for both Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP).
The 48 councillors, consisting of 26 new faces, will start their term from July until December 31, 2019.
He said there are 15 new faces in MBPP and 11 in MPSP while the number of non-governmental organisation (NGO) appointees remained at four on the island and three on the mainland.
He said DAP and PKR have to give up spots to appoint councillors from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Amanah.
There are a total nine DAP appointees in MBPP, followed by seven PKR, two Amanah and two PPBM.
Over in MPSP, there are nine DAP appointees, eight PKR, two Amanah an two PPBM.
The NGO appointees for both MBPP and MPSP are from Penang Forum, Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Wanita Prihatin and Persatuan Belia Infiniti.
The councillors will be sworn in at MBPP and MPSP respectively on Monday and Tuesday.
Jagdeep then reassured the newly appointed councillors that the councillors’ fixed allowances will remain at RM2,500.
The RM2,500 allowance is excluding the RM1,200 allowance for attending 12 meetings and RM300 phone allowance.