Thursday, May 8, 2008

Perak reduces powers of village heads - The Star

IPOH: May 8, 2008

The Perak Government has added more guidelines in the selection of village heads to ensure those elected will not have too much power.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said yesterday the state did not want those chosen to be power-hungry individuals who were insincere in carrying out their duties.

He said it was decided that village heads would not receive more than the regular RM200 for monthly allowances and they would not be allowed to handle a large number of projects where they had the power to select their own contractors.

He said the additional guidelines would ensure that the village head post would not be one that was so enviable where people would fight to get it and feel jealous over those who won.

“The post should be looked at as a responsibility to take care of the people in their respective villages. Those in position must be sincere and willing to help others,” he told reporters after chairing the state exco meeting yesterday.

Nizar added that candidates must be registered residents of the respective village they were contesting in, to deter “outside disturbances” in the election process.

He said the MyKad of the candidates and residents voting for respective heads must bear the addresses of the villages where they were contesting.

Candidates would also be vetted to see if they had any involvement in questionable activities, ensuring leaders of “integrity whose experiences were well accepted and respected by the villagers.”

Nizar said the new rules would be disseminated to the offices of all district officers and penghulu so that elections in the state’s 817 villages could begin soon.

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