PUTRAJAYA, July 3 ― The Federal Territories Ministry must exist so that its lawmakers have a platform to work together and to realise democratic principles, its minister Khalid Samad said as he clocked in for the first time today.
He added that it would not be right for its MPs to be under the authority of the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) as it should be the other way around.
“Maybe Teresa Kok was expressing her disappointment in how the ministry was run last time where elected leaders from the Opposition were not given room.
“As a result of that, her perspective is that the ministry was not functional and did not fulfil the needs of the people because the elected representatives were not involved in decision the making process,” he told reporters at Menara Seri Wilayah here.
Khalid was responding to Kok's remarks prior to being sworn in as the primary industries minister yesterday.
Kok who is also Seputeh MP had previously suggested doing away with the FT Ministry, calling it redundant due to DBKL's existence.
Khalid explained that his ministry is still relevant. The federal territories cover Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan in east Malaysia.
“I find that wilayah is a state of its own. If you don't have a ministry, I don't see how all the MPs in their personal capacity can work and function unless you put them under DBKL's authority.
“It is completely not right to put elected representatives under local authorities when it should be the other way round,” he added.
Khalid, who is also now the chairman of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan said that internal investigations will soon be carried out into the 64 plots of land from DBKL currently being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
He also said the Kuala Lumpur city draft plan may be gazetted pending review.
The Shah Alam MP had yesterday said his other priorities include the River of Life project, and today elaborated that his ministry would find better ways to clean the polluted waterways.
“Generally the public is aware of the issues pertaining to cleanliness and waste management but we will try to find a solution.
“The struggle is in the implementation of the project, with the water quality we are targeting and how we can manage what goes into our rivers from various sources,” he said.
The Shah Alam MP clocked in at 8.36am along with his deputy Datuk Shahruddin Salleh.
“I've never had to punch a card in my life until now,” joked Khalid.
Khalid holds a degree in Fuel and Energy Engineering from Leeds University.
He has held his parliamentary seat in Shah Alam for two terms, first under the ticket of Islamic party PAS and now Amanah.
His entry into politics was in 1983 when he first joined PAS.