The honeymoon is over!


I believe it is time the Rakatan Rakyat Selangor state government do something about the 'sulit culture'. The coalition government is supposed to be a transparent, accountable and responsible administration but after a year nothing much seems to have changed.

Even one councillor has allegedly threatened to ask a local council to use the OSA on those who reveal official documents concerning the people's well-being.

Meanwhile, when questionable deals are exposed, the state executive councillor responsible for local councils, Ronnie Liu, cannot be reached for comments. There is a deafening silence.

If the Pakatan Rakyat state government continues the 'sulit culture' of the previous Barisan Nasional state administration and fails to be transparent, accountable and responsible, then many of its supporters will be put off and the next general election will not be smooth going for the Pakatan Rakyat.

Many of the blunders that reflect badly on the Pakatan Rakyat can be attributed to the appointed councillors showing off, abusing their position and power, threatening the people with OSA charges, and talking nonsense. Some are plain publicity crazy, while a few have been tainted by allegation of corruption. Such people should not be reappointed.

In view of the fact that direct election to the local authorities is not legally possible now, the Pakatan Rakyat should consider a sort of indirect election, in which those selected as councillors are nominees of the community, i.e. officials of residents associations, representatives of traders and hawkers, and those recommended by the professional bodies.

To safeguard the interest of the people and to avoid conflicts of interests, businessmen, especially those who have dealing with the local authorities like contactors and suppliers of materials, should be barred from being appointed councillors. As it is, there has be a case in which one businessman councillor has been alleged to have used his position to promote his own business. Whether the claim is true or not, the fact is that he has been tainted and he has lose much respect among the people. Even his own fellow party members have doubts about him. To avoid such a situation, the Pakatan Rakyat should not appoint business people as councillors.

Finally, as a demonstration of its sincerity in upholding transparency and accountablity, the Pakatan Rakyat should make all local councillors declare their assets on taking office and on completing their term. Such a move will ensure that only people of credibility and integrity are made councillors. As it is, the people don't seem to think much of councillors now, and look upon them as being on the take, although it may not be true. Declaring assets will enhance the status of the councillors and bring about some respect to them.

The honeymoon is over, Ronnie, and you need to do something concrete and fast to protect the good name of the Pakatan Rakyat. I need to write this because I am a true friend of your.