IPOH: Jul 19, 2008 By CHRISTINA KOH
Sudi Uda cut a dashing figure in his brown coat when he was sworn in as the first orang asli among Perak’s 338 local councillors.
As a Kuala Kangsar Municipal councillor, it would be a far cry from his usual routine of caring for his family and doing odd-jobs at his Kampung Landap village in Jalong Tinggi, Sungai Siput.
“I decided to apply to be a councillor because I wanted to help the community. If I rejected this opportunity, who else will speak for the orang asli?” Sudi, 38, told reporters here yesterday.
Accounts executive Kennedy Hong Chuan Lee, who became wheelchair-bound at the age of 12 after a spinal injury, hopes to speak up for the disabled community.
Ready to serve: Sudi (left) greeting Hong at the Perak State Secretariat in Ipoh yesterday while Chuah looks on
Hong, who will serve in the Teluk Intan Municipal Council, said one of his first aims would be to make the district disabled-friendly.
The youngest councillor is 27-year-old Chuah Soo Hooi, who will also serve in the Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council.
Earlier, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said that with the new appointments, the state was bidding “goodbye” to decades of discrimination and corruption in the councils.
“I’m telling you right now that any element of corruption, abuse of power, or discrimination based on race, religion, colour, creed and culture will never be tolerated in this government,” he told the councillors.
State Education, Local Govern-ment, Housing and Public Transport Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming said the 338 councillors included six PhD holders and two professors.
“There are also 13 doctors, one of whom graduated from Harvard, 11 lawyers, 18 engineers and 16 architects,” he said.