PENANG, 29 June 2009: The Penang government has expelled Johari Kassim as a member of the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) for having led eight Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) councillors in boycotting the swearing-in of the new council president on 4 June.
Johari’s expulsion took effect 26 June in keeping with a decision of the state executive council that day to revoke his appointment, State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairperson Chow Kon Yeow said today.
State PKR Liaison Committee chairperson Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, when contacted, said the party felt that Johari should not have been expelled, and was writing to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to reconsider the decision.
Chow said the expulsion was in accordance with Section 10(4) of the Local Government Act 1976, which, among other things, stated that a council seat shall become vacant if the appointment was revoked by the state authorities.
“This is a decision of the state executive council, and there were several PKR representatives at that meeting, including Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mansor Othman, who is also Penang PKR Liaison Committee deputy [chairperson],” he told Bernama at his office.
Mansor Othman (File pic)He said the letter revoking the appointment of Johari would be issued today by the state secretary.
On 4 June, a group of PKR members of the MPSP boycotted the swearing-in of civil servant Mokhtar Mohd Jait as the MPSP president.
Johari reportedly said then that eight of the nine members of the council from the party did not enter the Dewan Kenanga at the MPSP building where the swearing-in of Mokhtar took place because they were unhappy with the decision of Lim for not having discussed the appointment with the PKR.
Chow said council members were not prohibited from expressing their views, but Johari’s action was regarded as inappropriate.
He said the seat vacated by Johari would be filled later, and advised all council members to give priority to matters of local government.
“Mokhtar is the most appropriate candidate for the post of president,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zahrain, elaborating on the PKR stand, said the PKR central leadership met last night and instructed the party secretary-general to write to the chief minister stating its disagreement to the action against Johari.
“I believe the letter has been sent and is on its way to Lim. We urge him to reconsider the decision of the state executive council. I ask for this matter to be regarded as a political than an administrative matter,” he said. — Bernama
See also: Politicians and local councils
Thomas Lee says
The Pakatan Rakyat state government and the coalition leadership must not be soft on discipline, and the taking of stern action, including sacking, against errant councillors must be commended.
Many of these small-time appointed councillors are causing much embarassment to the coalition by their behaviour in public.
The Pakatan Rakyat leadership must stop all such nonsense if they want to continue the political reformation momentum started since the March general election last year. The impetus gained by the people’s movement for change and progress since then must not be frustrated by the selfish ambition of some little party warlords in demanding and fighting for positions and perks.
The Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) slogan of the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government should not be seen as a popular publicity slogan without substance and content. But rather it must be the clarion war cry against all forms of corruption, cronyism and the craze for positions, power and perks among the little party warlords.
The slogan should be vocally and visibly demonstrated in the dedication of both the coalition and the state government in their socio-economic political agenda to work for a peaceful, prosperous, proactive, progressive and pro-bono Malaysia.
The political change started on 8 March last year, and the revolutionary dance must continue with the increasing fast tempo of dramatic and wide-reaching changes in the administrative mindset, culture and practices, starting from the exemplary leadership at the top and filtering down to the grassroots local council level.
Nothing and nobody should be allowed to stand in the way of the revolutionary velocity forward to achieve a clean, corrupt-free, and competent government by the people, with the people, for the people.
I salute you, Guan Eng, for what you are doing and what you have pledged to do for Penang, and will give you full support, but I will not hestitate to challenge and castrate you politically if you divert from the narrow and straight path of righteouness. Rest assured that many right-thinking and concerned citizens will mobilise to support you in your brave and bold crusade in cleaning up the massive mess in Penang, accumulated over the years by an incompetent and inefficient administration.