Perak exco: No Ipoh mayor, no problem

Perak housing, local government, public transport, non-islamic affairs and new villages committee chairman Paul Yong Choo Kiong at a press conference in Tronoh June 13, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Perak housing, local government, public transport, non-islamic affairs and new villages committee chairman Paul Yong Choo Kiong at a press conference in Tronoh June 13, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

TRONOH, June 13 — State executive councillor Paul Yong Choo Kiong insisted that local authorities’ operations have not been disrupted by the prolonged vacancy in the Ipoh mayor’s post.

The housing, local government, public transport, non-Islamic affairs and new villages committee chairman said Ipoh City Council secretary Mohd Zakuan Zakaria has been temporarily given the powers of the mayor.

“There is no problem in the administration of the council and also its service to the Ipoh residents,” he told a press conference at his service centre here.

“The council secretary will perform all the duties of mayor until the appointment of the new Mayor,” he added.

Yong said the candidate for the post, who is going through the necessary evaluation, will be appointed soon.

“Every mayor and district council presidents need to go through certain process and procedures under the human resources department and public service department.

“The mayor is currently in the final stage of the process and he will be appointed soon. I can’t promise when is the appointment date, but what I can promise is that we don’t have any problem in delivering our service to the people at the moment,” he said.

Yong did not identify the candidate being evaluated or elaborate on the procedures.

Recently, former councillor Tony Khoo Boon Chuan alleged that the absence of an Ipoh mayor would affect approvals for budgeting and contract works of the council, before suggesting the state government consider introducing a deputy mayor to avoid similar problems in the future.

Separately, Ipoh City Watch president Richard Ng said issues such as illegal dumping, landscaping and garbage collection, among others, were in urgent need of attention from the Ipoh mayor.

“The Perak Pakatan Harapan government owes the rakyat and Ipoh ratepayers an explanation concerning the absence of Ipoh mayor.”

“How could the Ipoh City Council function on remote control for such a long period of time?” he asked.

Former mayor Datuk Zamri Man was removed over an extended period of unauthorised absence.