Perak MCA questions state govt for granting Ipoh councillor temporary mayoral powers

In a statement to the media, Perak MCA Bureau chief Low Guo Nan (left) said the appointment of a new Mayor should be prioritised now and not letting council secretary to carry out the duties of a Mayor. ― File picture by Marcus Pheong
In a statement to the media, Perak MCA Bureau chief Low Guo Nan (left) said the appointment of a new Mayor should be prioritised now and not letting council secretary to carry out the duties of a Mayor. ― File picture by Marcus Pheong

IPOH, June 14 ― The Perak MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau has questioned the state government's decision to give power to Ipoh City Council secretary to act as the Mayor pending the filling of the post.

Bureau chief Low Guo Nan claimed that such decision was not allowed under the Local Government Act 1976.

“Housing, Local Government, Public Transport, non-Islamic Affairs and New Villages Committee chairman Paul Yong had announced on Thursday that council secretary had been given the power to carry out the duties of a Mayor until the candidate is sworn in. Does this follow the standard operating procedure? “ he asked.

In a statement to the media, Low said the appointment of a new Mayor should be prioritised now and not letting council secretary to carry out the duties of a Mayor.

“Under the Local Government Act 1976, the Mayor must chair all meetings of the council.”

“In the event the Mayor is absent, the councillors present must choose among themselves to chair the meeting,” said Low, who was a one-term councillor.

Low noted that as the council secretary, he was not a councillor hence was not eligible to chair meetings.

“So how can he be asked to stand in as the Mayor while waiting for the candidate's appointment?” he asked, further questioning if the secretary should be given the power to approve projects.

Low said it was a failure by the Pakatan Harapan state government to get a new Mayor appointed despite the post having been vacant since February this year.

Malay Mail had quoted Yong as saying yesterday that local authorities’ operations have not been disrupted by the prolonged vacancy in the Ipoh mayor's post.

He had told the media that council secretary Mohd Zakuan Zakaria had been temporarily given the powers of the mayor.