Palace rejects Pakatan candidates shortlisted for advisory board

(The Star) – ATEMPTS by Pakatan Rakyat to finally have representation in the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s Advisory Board hit a snag when the two candidates shortlisted by the Selangor government were rejected by the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

According to a reliable source close to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the Sultan did not want political appointees to represent Selangor, but instead wanted qualified professionals with the interest of the people at heart.

The source said this was the reason why there had been a delay in the appointment of Selangor appointees on the City Hall Advisory board.

The previous two Selangor appointees’ term on the board had expired last May 31.

In a discussion: A filepic of Ramanathan (second from left) with Deputy Federal Territory Minister Datuk M. Saravanan during a site visit to a crematorium.

Apparently the two candidates who were selected are affiliated to the DAP and PKR.

“The Sultan was firm on this matter and wanted only qualified individuals to sit on the board. He had requested the Mentri Besar to submit new names,’’ said the source, adding that heeding the Sultan’s request, Khalid had since withdrawn the original candidates and have submitted a new name to the Sultan.

When contacted, the Sultan’s private sec­retary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani confirmed that the Mentri Besar’s office had submitted the name of a new candidate in accordance with the Sultan’s wishes of having only qualified professional candidates to represent Selangor.

According to the Rules and Regulations of the Advisory Board of the City of Kuala Lumpur 1989: the board must have 15 members, with the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry, the Finance Ministry, and the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department having one representative each, and the Selangor state government having two representatives.

The remaining members must be individuals with knowledge on local government issues, professionals with expertise on commerce or industry to represent the needs and interest of the local community.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that DAP is standing firm on its decision to have Loh Chee Heng, who is Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai’s political secretary to sit on the board.

Loh, who was the former Federal Territory DAP state secretary was picked for his strong grassroots support.

“Loh is an excellent candidate for the board; he has vast experience in community service with local government knowledge.

“He is a resident of Selangor and can speak several languages,’’ said Tan.

“His political background is irrelevant as the current members of the DBKL board are political appointees from Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan anyway. I think what is important here is performance and Loh has proven that he is more than capable,’’ added Tan.

He also said the matter had been delayed too long as the appointment of Selangor reps should have been done last June.

“Even though Pakatan government took over Selangor in March 2008, we allowed the Selangor reps from the previous BN government to stay on despite having the right to replace them, “ he added.

When asked to comment on the delay of appointments recently, Khalid confirmed there was a delay, but added a suitable candidate had been selected and an announcement will be made soon.

“As to the other candidate, we have to look at it very seriously because there must be a consensus in regards to representation.

“The person must be politically affiliated to the PR government and professionally respected too,’’ said Khalid.

The said candidate will be recommended to the Selangor Sultan for his endorsement at the end of the month.

DBKL advisory board members are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the recommendation of the prime minister as stipulated in the Federal Capital Act 1960.

It is no secret that Selangor has been wanting to get on the board as it would enable the Pakatan-led government of Selangor to be represented on the board the first time in 30 years.


The current advisory board members

Chairman – Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail

1) Datuk Bakaruddin Othman – Federal Territories Ministry

2 Datuk Mustapa Kamal Mohd Yusof – Seputeh Umno

3) Datuk Yahaya Mat Ghani@Abbas – Batu Umno

4) Datuk Sharifah Aminah Syed Ahmad – Lembah Pantai Umno

5) Ramanathan Chinnu – Batu MIC

6) Lim Si Pin – Batu Gerakan

7) Datuk Ir Abdul Latif Mohd Som

8) Datuk Himmat Singh – EPU of Prime Minister’s Department

9) Datuk Micheal K.C Yam – Rehda

10) Siti Fatimah Daud

11) Chin Yen Foo@Banie Chin – Seputeh MCA