He said the Penang state government should nominate candidates from non-government agencies who are well-versed in the respective subjects, rather than appoint politicians as a reward for something they had achieved.
He said that "Half the councillors are not as capable or as dedicated in carrying out their duties" although they might be good as politicians.
He said in order to help the people enjoy a better quality of life, the state government should seriously look into appointing capable people, at least for one quarter of the total posts.
He said: "The Local Government Act stipulates that the state government can nominate people who are capable to the post. But all these while, the state h ad been nominating politicians."
I fully endorse Datuk Choong’s proposal.
DAP calls for millennium municipal councils which depoliticise appointments by ensuring representation of opposition parties as well as participation of NGOs and distinguished individuals
Ideally, the Penang State Government should restore elected Municipal government elections to foster healthy grass-roots democracy. However, until the Barisan Nasional is prepared to restore elective local government, the Penang State Government should set the lead in depoliticising appointments of Municipal Councillors.
Out of 24 Municipal Councillors on the island and mainland, only 12 should be political appointees while the other 12 should be appointed from NGOs and distinguished individuals. The 12 political Municipal appointments should be shared equally between the Barisan Nasional and Barisan Alternative, with DAP, KeADILan and PAS each allocated two Municipal seats.
The 12 non-political Municipal appointees can be chosen from non-government organisations such as the Housing Developers Association, Ratepayers’ Association, Senior Citizens Association, Consumer Association of Penang, chambers of commerce and religious bodies.
If such a more balanced Muncipal appointments system had been put in place earlier, the Penang ratepayers might have been spared the folly of the monstrosity of the RM7.95 million one-lane "gostan" Autopont at Jalan Masjid Negara, Penang which was supposed to be completed last year, but is not yet operational.
During the election campaign, I had proposed that Dr. Teng Hock Nam, as the MPPP President, and Tsu Koon, the Penang Chief Minister, should lead the other 13 Barisan Nasional state assembly candidates and five Barisan Nasional Parliamentary candidates on the island to drive 20 cars up to Autopont, reach the centre, and to all "gostan" - and let the people of Penang see whether this is a practical proposition!
The basic idea is sound, except that Tsu Koon and Hock Nam should lead the State Excos and Barisan MPs and Assemblymen to show their "gostan" capabilities to mark the official opening of the Autopont.