IPOH: 14 April 2008 - Christina Koh
The Housing and Local Government Ministry may absorb some of the local councillors who have resigned into a Federal committee to channel funds to new villages.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Ong Ka Chuan said he saw no reason why those Barisan Nasional councillors who quit as a matter of principle in Pakatan Rakyat-led states should “sit around and do nothing”.
However, he stressed that such councillors would only be invited as committee members in new villages at urban areas such as Kampung Simee and Pasir Pinji here.
The majority of the committee, he said, would be the new villagers themselves.
Study aid: Ong presenting a certificate and scholarship to 19-year-old Wong Wei Chet from SMK Anderson Ipoh at the Perak Ng See Chong Soo Association building in Ipoh.
Ong noted that these councillors could still help the Federal Government to coordinate the distribution of funds to new villages and even residential areas.
“We need to have a mechanism so that the councillors can also play a role,” he told reporters after distributing scholarships to students at the Perak Ng See Chong Soo Association building here yesterday.
“Although this is not the ideal situation, this is the reality we have to face,” he added.
In the March 8 polls, Pakatan Rakyat took over the states of Perak, Penang, Selangor and Kedah, and retained Kelantan.
On Friday, Ong had said all 3,285 Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) members in 219 new villages in the Pakatan Rakyat-led states would be reappointed to this Federal coordination committee.
He said this was to allow development projects to continue in these states.