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Thread: Local Government: Teng Chang Khim promise to push it through

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Local Government: Teng Chang Khim promise to push it through

    From legislative to executive, Teng has two aims in sight

    Moving from the legislative branch to the executive branch, newly-appointed Selangor senior exco member Teng Chang Khim said he has set his sights on two important agenda items.

    The first is to push for the approval of the Assembly Services Commission Enactment Bill 2009 (Selesa) in the state assembly which would free the legislative house from the state government.

    Second is the revival of local government elections in the state, which is also part of Selangor Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto in the last general election.

    After being sworn in this morning at Istana Alam Shah in Klang, Teng told the media that part of his reason to join the state cabinet is to remove the hurdles faced by the Selesa, which was initiated by him during his tenure as Selangor speaker.

    The bill was drafted by Teng as early as 2009 with the support of the assemblypersons, but it was blocked by the state government.

    Teng said he will use his new capacity as a state cabinet member to convince Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and other colleagues to change their views towards the bill.

    “To me, it is a very meaningful job. I started it when I was in the legislative branch and I will complete it in the executive branch,” he said, adding that he will assist the new speaker Hannah Yeoh to accomplish the reform.

    The bill, once enacted, would provide more independence and power to the state assembly, allowing the house, among others, to hire its own staff.

    Restoring local government elections, Teng said, is his most important mission.

    “Not just studying it but it is already in our manifesto, now it is the issue of executing it,” said Teng, who will be overseeing 12 local councils in the state.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2008
    Selangor unveils 5-year plan to better local govt services

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    First Published: 1:12pm, Jun 14, 2013
    Last Updated: 6:25pm, Jun 14, 2013


    by Meena Lakshana

    SHAH ALAM (June 14): The Selangor government has crafted a five-year action plan to improve the services of eight local councils in the state.

    The action plan encompasses six aspects across the areas of governance, public safety, enforcement and public facilities.

    The eight local councils are the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA), Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), Klang Municipal Council (MPK), Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj), Sepang Municipal Council (MPSp), Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ).

    Selangor state executive councillor for local government, research and studies Datuk Teng Chang Khim said today the remaining four local councils – Hulu Selangor District Council, Hulu Langat District Council, Kuala Langat District Council and Sabak Bernam District Council – will be able to implement the plan slowly as the councils lack strong finances.

    "With this plan, we have a clear vision of what happens in five years," he said at a press conference after visiting the MBSA here.

    "We want concrete things to be presented to the people," he added.

    Teng said the first aspect that these local councils need to address is to improve its auditing and payment system as well as building a positive image.

    He said business licence fees and the licences for the swiflet industry will be streamlined.

    "We will be meeting with stakeholders in the industry before making a decision," he added.

    Teng also said the local councils will have to upgrade 500 fields in residential areas, by providing stone benches, solar lights, four sets of outdoor gym facilities as well as facilities for children's games.

    "The target for the councils is to upgrade two fields in each state constituency every year," he added.

    He said local councils spent thousands of ringgit every year to upgrade fields and open spaces but the public do not get to enjoy the benefits as they are marred by vandalism and so on.

    In terms of governance, Teng said every local council will be required to telecast its full board meetings live on its website.

    The local councils have until the end of August to upgrade its software to implement such a facility, he added.

    "A lot of people have said they don't know what's happening in the local councils. The people always think the heads of local councils are not performing and discussing important issues. This is a way to address that.

    "We are doing this in the spirit of the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. This will increase the accountability and transparency of our councils," he added.

    The local councils will also have to implement policies in the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat manifesto such as offering an intra-city or municipality bus service, increasing its enforcement officers, installing more closed-circuit camera television (CCTV) systems and upgrading of wet markets.

    The local councils will be given two months to come up with a working paper for the bus services and to also hire more enforcement officers, he said.

    On the CCTVs, Teng said the state government will be installing 414 systems statewide but it was insufficient to ensure public safety.

    "We are approaching banks as well, to install cameras outside their buildings as part of their CSR," he added.

    As for local council staff, they can look forward to better welfare as the councils will be studying and implementing measures to improve their employment options over the next five years.

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  3. #3
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    Oct 2008
    Teng: I am not going to 'micromanage' local councils

    First Published: 5:46pm, Jun 14, 2013
    Last Updated: 5:46pm, Jun 14, 2013


    by Meena Lakshana

    • Filepic of Teng Chang Khim ... the Selangor exco member said he will leave it to the local council heads to do their job.

    SHAH ALAM (June 14): Selangor state executive councillor Datuk Teng Chang Khim is taking a very different approach to dealing with local councils compared to his predecessor, by aiming to focus on state-level policies that impact local government, rather than ‘micromanaging’ them.

    “I am no superman,” he said at a press conference today after visiting the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA).

    “If I were to keep track of every action conducted by all the local councils, then I’ll be doing the job of the 12 local council heads. So, I have to give full confidence to them to do their jobs,” he added.

    He said he would only interfere to resolve local government issues if a council makes a decision that contravenes the laws, is controversial or results in an implication that is grossly unjust.

    He was responding to questions from the press about the state government’s actions to help residents of Indahria Apartment, who fear the building may collapse following heavy soil erosion in the area.

    It was reported in January that cracks were spotted at the apartment’s parking lot, a month after residents received the keys to their homes in March 2009.

    Claiming that he is not aware of the issue, Teng however said the actions of local council heads in dealing with any crisis – such as this one – making poor decisions or mishandling the expectations of the people will not be beyond reproach.

    “I won’t be correcting the decisions. The heads of the local councils must deal with it,” he said.

    “But when it comes to the moment of their appraisal, then I will evaluate their performance on how best they handled the issues. If it is bad, then I will give them a negative score,” he added.

    Teng’s approach to handling local councils is opposite to his predecessor, Ronnie Liu, who was considered by state government officials as not being proactive in coming up with state-wide policies for local government.

    This meant Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had to step in to address state policy issues involving local government.

    One such incident was the guideline issued by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council banning Muslims from serving alcohol. Following Khalid’s intervention, MPSJ withdrew the guideline.

    On the Indahria Apartment issue, Shah Alam Mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan, who was also present, said he has already instructed engineering firm Ikram and two other consultants to conduct a geotechnical study, draw solutions and present the report at the Selangor Economic Council Meeting (MTES).

    Mohd Jaafar said residents have the right to sue the developer, Shanghai Realty Sdn Bhd for the poor maintenance and construction of the apartment. It was reported that the developer had previously claimed that the Sungai Damansara de-sedimentation work by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage was the reason that the cracks keep forming, but DID has denied the claim.

    Indahria Joint Management Body member Mohd Haniff Mohd Salleh had reportedly said in February the state government had decided that the developer had to repair the cracks which appeared at the apartment blocks.

    Failing this, the state government and the Shah Alam City Council would conduct the repair works, but the cost will be borne by the developer

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  4. #4
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    Oct 2008

    • Aidila Razak | 8:08AM Jun 18, 2013
    • INTERVIEW Selangor will see its first local government election by the end of next year, vows Selangor's newly-appointed state executive councillor in charge of local govenrment, Teng Chang Khim.

      This is a deadline he has set for himself and the government as part of the Selangor's five-year plan for elected local government councils, Teng (left) said.

      “I have set the deadline for the first election by the end of next year. If I am unable to do so, I’ll have to give an answer by then. That is the targeted date.

      “The bill has been drafted and in fact, it was supposed to be tabled in the House more than a year ago, but there were some questions raised and (it was) pulled back,” Teng said in an interview with Malaysiakini last Thursday.

      However, Teng, who was speaker of the Selangor state assembly in the previous term, declined to elaborate why it was held back, despite it being part of the 2008 Pakatan Rakyat election manifesto.

      “I think it (the dispute) is over. We look forward now,” he said.

      Asked if it was true that PAS had been reluctant to push ahead with the implementation of the local government election, Teng said: “Never mind, I have set the deadline.”

      “Give me a year. I don't want this to become a political issue. I want it to be an administrative issue,” he said when asked if he believes that he will be able to convince PAS this time around.

      PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad (right) in 2009 expressed reservations on local council elections, saying his party was worried that it might be attacked by the BN for “selling out the Malays” through local elections.

      This is believed to be so because most of the appointed local councillors are Malays, and introduction of local government polls could threaten this situation.

      Others in the Islamic party had also pointed to PAS-led Kelantan government, which is said to be functioning well for several terms despite not having local government elections.

      Before the local government election comes to fruition, Teng said, the state government would need to consider limiting the terms of the appointed councillors to a maximum of two terms, or two years each.

      “Right now, there is no limit, but this matter is still in discussion,” he said.

      Taking over from contractors

      Another move that is likely to step on some toes is the proposal to scale back private contractors for services rendered by the local government.

      Taking garbage collection as an example, which the Selangor government took over from contractor Alam Flora, Teng said that other services such as cleaning and maintenance would soon be done in-house.

      This is a leaf taken from Pakatan-led Penang, where the Penang Island Municipal Council has about three times more employees than the Shah Alam City Council.

      “That municipal has a lesser income, but it has more employees because they have taken over the jobs of the contractors.

      “We may have to appoint more employees to take over the job, now being handled by contractors. This is actually something that can spark controversy,” Teng said.

      While some people may argue that this would be too costly and problematic for the councils, Teng believes that it is a core duty of the local government.

      “It will not necessarily cost more because when you give (the project) to contractors, you give them profit, but when you take over, you have to spend according to your capital expenditure.

      “It may hurt the employers (in the private sector) but not the employees because these employees now are foreign workers and are depriving work opportunities for the local people,” he said.

      He added that while ideally he would prefer a 50-50 venture with the private sector, he would need to consult experts to determine the best mix, in line with the council's capacity.

      Asked about the gripes over uncollected rubbish, following the takeover from Alam Flora, Teng said that while it was true that some areas needed improvement, the complaints have been exaggerated.

      “(Complainants) are very much influenced by the BN propaganda. I received complaints that garbage along (someone's) office has not been collected for the past seven years.

      “Can you imagine? Seven years? How much garbage would there be? You can't even walk through. But when people talk about it, the whole impression is that it's very bad,” he lamented.

      No micro-management

      All the same, Teng said he would rather leave the nitty-gritty of the daily operations of local government to the mayors and municipal presidents or local councils heads, and focus on policy matters instead.

      These include other initiatives as part of the five-year plan:

      • Concentrate on core business of local governments.

      - Standardising all procedures for development orders, applications, etc, for all councils;

      • Build a positive image for local councils.

      - Build 500 playgrounds in the next five years, as a way to show that the councils are providing service.

      • Democratisation of local elections.

      - Providing live Internet streaming of local council meetings for eight out of 12 local councils, with meeting minutes posted online. (The remaining four councils are in rural areas where Internet usage rates do not justify the cost of live streaming.)

      • Special projects (related to election manifesto)

      - Bus service, with a written proposal by the local councils due in two months.

      - More enforcement officers doing patrols (in lieu of auxiliary police).

      - Incentives for private sector to instal CCTVs outside their buildings by providing discounts in other areas like advertising fees.

      “What I'm doing is to run a macro-management of the municipal duties. Micro is done by them (the local councils) and they have to answer for it,” Teng added.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    This is just a sandiwara. If they are serious, they can do it now using our proposal and across the whole state.

    Selangor to table local polls Bill next year

    The Selangor government, which is drafting a Local Government Election Bill, expects to table this in the state legislature next year.

    Senior exco member Teng Chang Khim (left), who revealed this in the state assembly today, said local elections would be conducted in one or two municipalities first, once the Bill is passed.

    The other municipalities would be covered in stages, he told R Rajiv (DAP-Bukit Gasing).

    “The local government election is different from the general election. The proposed law will not contradict the federal constitution and the Local Government Act 1976,” Teng said.

    “The mechanism will be studied when the draft of the Bill is finalised.”

    Rajivould be conducted with the cooperation by the Election Commission.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Local Government: 'Stalling of local govt polls a terrible setback'

    'Stalling of local govt polls a terrible setback'

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    First Published: 7:01am, Apr 16, 2014
    Last Updated: 9:44am, Apr 16, 2014


    by Jaqueline P'ng

    • Petaling Jaya City councillor Cynthia Gabriel called on Pakatan to show its commitment to bring back the third tier of the government, as failing to do so will affect its articulation of better governance.

    PETALING JAYA (April 16): The bombshell dropped by Datuk Teng Chang Khim yesterday about Selangor’s Local Government Election Bill, has given rise to strong reactions from advocates of local government elections.

    A councillor representing the non-governmental organisation (NGO) and a former local councillor urged Pakatan Rakyat to honour the promise it made in the 2008 general election and proceed with the proposed law.

    Petaling Jaya City councillor Cynthia Gabriel called on Pakatan to show its commitment to bring back the third tier of the government, as failing to do so will affect its articulation of better governance.

    "I'm troubled and disappointed to learn of this latest development. It is a terrible setback. Local government is an incredibly important pillar of democracy and they must bring that back," she said when contacted by

    She stressed that local elections will free municipal councils from cronyism, prevent yes-men from sitting in the board and minimise interference from both the state and federal government.

    "Local governments are close to the grassroots. They have their own mandate to operate independently. A local council election will get rid of political patronage in the board. This is the bedrock to promote accountability and transparency in governance," she added.

    Gabriel noted that the promise to bring back local elections was included in both the manifestos of DAP and PKR, the two parties that form the majority of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly.

    Asked if the disagreeing party could be concerned about not being able to win in urban areas, she said there is already an understanding to keep a balanced racial ratio in the board.

    Thus, that should not be in Pakatan's consideration when looking at this matter, she said.

    "The Local Government Act we have now is very vague and lacks clarity in spelling out the council's relations with the state and federal government. So, we need Pakatan to make a decision immediately to push forth the bill," she stressed.

    Fernandez: I don't understand why the bill can't go through

    Similarly, former Petaling Jaya City councillor Derek Fernandez said there is no reason for the bill to take a U-turn.

    “If they believe in democracy, there's no alternative but to hold local government elections. Nothing less than this. Public have the right to choose who represents them in local council," he said.

    He stressed that election at the local levels will help bring in the right people for the job – those with the right qualifications, capabilities and integrity.

    "I don't understand why this bill can't go through. The state doesn't need approval from the federal government to hold local council elections," he added

    Politicians not available for comments

    On the other hand, politicians from PAS contacted by – central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and treasurer Dr Hatta Ramli – chose to keep mum on the issue.

    Similarly, PKR members were also unreachable for comments.

    Yesterday, Teng said while the bill was ready to be tabled, there was a split in opinion from among Pakatan members themselves over making it into a law.

    He said he was still waiting for the consent of a party within Pakatan, thus he has yet to receive the green light to present it to the state assembly.

    He also urged all Pakatan members to demand their parties to give the green light if they were still interested in pursuing the matter.

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