There shouldn’t have been a mess at all – from anywhere
The PKR party elections scheduled for November may be the cause for the ongoing confusion over the Selangor local council list, said a PKR lawmaker.
“Some people are jostling for support for the party election and the local councillor position is a powerful tool,” said the Selangor MP, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
As evidence, he added that most of the councillors who were dropped, were those in the NGO quota to meet the high demand for local councillor positions from political parties.
In Selangor, local council positions are shared among the three Pakatan Rakyat member parties and NGOs, as well as Pakatan allies Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).
PKR’s move to allegedly take more than their allocation has stirred up much dissatisfaction not only among NGO councillors but also the PSM.
Yesterday, the swearing-in ceremony for Petaling Jaya councillors was postponed at the eleventh-hour as PSM was unhappy that they were not represented.
PKR made ‘unilateral decision’
According to its chairperson Mohd Nasir Hashim, they were informed that PSM-nominated councillor V Panneerselvam was dropped, only after calling in to enquire about his status.
“There was no letter to inform us. We had to call ourselves to find out why,” he said, rapping PKR for attempting a “unilateral decision”.
He also expressed disappointment over the reasons given by PKR vice president R Sivarasa (right) about the decision to drop Paneerselvam.
“When I called he said that there were complaints lodged against Paneerselvam.
“But he is not the only one who has complaints against him, and it could have been resolved. None of these complaints were forwarded to us in the past two years,” he said.
The party has since nominated another person. The list, which was first released on Wednesday, is set to be finalised today, it is learnt.
Finger-pointing in PKR
Tensions also appear to be high with lots of finger pointing, particularly from those whose nominations were sidelined.
“I am sad and disappointed. Everyone is just trying to put in their friends and cronies, and my people who are good workers, are cut out of the list,” said PKR parliamentarian S Manickavasagam (left).
According to the Kapar MP, he had nominated two of his special officers in the place of councillors whose performance had been shoddy.
“MPs and Aduns should have a final say because we know who works. I get complaints from residents about clogged drains and all that.
“We are lawmakers not drainkeepers, but we end up doing the councillor’s work because otherwise it’s our seat that is jeopardy in the next general election,” he lamented.
He also claimed that his complaints and suggestions on the matter have fallen on deaf ears.
“I had submitted my nominations to (PKR Wanita chief) Zuraida (Kamaruddin) and (vice president) Azmin (Ali), but still my officers did not make the list,” he said.
The duo, along with Sivarasa, are panel members at the national level who scrutinised the Selangor PKR’s selection of local councillors.
National leaders blame state leaders
However, according to Petaling Jaya Selantan MP Hee Loy Sian, Manickavasagam did not follow procedure and did not submit the names through the proper channels.
“This is between him and his division. As an MP he could have nominated people through his division or directly to the state party secretariat, but he did neither,” he said.
Hee was part of the state PKR panel which vetted the names nominated by division leaders before passing it on for the endorsement of the central leadership.
Zuraida (left) on the other hand passed the buck to the state administration.
“We had already given the final list for PKR to Menteri Besar (Khalid Ibrahim). It was already finalised by Tuesday….so this is all because of the state, not the party.
“It is normal (for some people to be dropped) because we want to give a chance to new people,” he said.
State exco in charge of local government Ronnie Liu was, however, unavailable for comment.
MB’s office denies meddling
When contacted, Khalid’s political secretary Faekah Husin said the state government cannot be blamed for the delay in confirming the list of councillors.
She said that the political parties involved had raised some last minute objections after the list was announced on Tuesday, thus causing the delays.
Because this, the state government had to do some “minor changes” to the list.
“We want a thorough check by various parties before the swearing in ceremony (to avoid problems after that),” she added.