Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chance to serve as local councillors in Perak - NST

State Local Government Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming inviting members of the public to apply for the post of local councillor.

IPOH: Interested in serving as a local councillor? The opportunity is now open to residents of Perak aged 21 and above regardless of race, religion or gender, said state Local Government Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming.

Starting Monday, application forms will be available at the state secretariat and at the service counters of all local councils in the state. Out of the 349 posts, 104 are reserved for the public.

"This is the first time in the country's history that the public can apply to be appointed as councillors. If we hold interviews for the posts, it will be a first too."

The criteria, as listed in the Local Government Act 1976, are that local councillors should live in the area, possess wide experience in local government affairs, have achieved distinction in their profession, commerce or industry and be capable of representing the interests of their community.

Nga said the state government is adding two more criteria -- that applicants be free from bankruptcy and not have a criminal record. ISA detainees are allowed to apply as their detention is not considered to imply a criminal background.

Applicants must also list five suggestions that they would bring up to their local council, he said.

The deadline for applications is May 22.

The state government would make its selection by the end of the month and hold the swearing-in early next month, he said.

Asked about Barisan Nasional local councillors who did not resign their posts, Nga said they should apply for the post on the same application form and state their intention to serve.

"If they don't apply, we will assume they are not interested in serving as local councillors."

He said about 300 people from various political parties and interest groups have already applied.

"To save time, they don't need to reapply with the new forms.

We have already accepted their applications."

Nga said applicants included datukship holders and MCA and Gerakan members who had earlier resigned from their posts.

Councillors in district, municipal and city councils receive a basic monthly allowance of RM600 to RM1,000 and a RM50 meeting allowance for each meeting attended.

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