Coverage by: Free Malaysia Today (FMT)
PETALING JAYA: The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) has urged Petaling Jaya mayor Azhan Amir to explain the change in procedural matters during a recent Petaling Jaya City Council (MPBJ) meeting.
In a statement, C4 said it was concerned by the mayor’s response to 19 city councillors’ questions about the approval process for a plot of land on Lorong Sultan that had been slated for development.
“Not only is this a clear example of stifling dissent, but it is also perplexing how Azhan insisted that the decision to approve had been made when a majority of the members of the one-stop centre (OSC) meeting had disagreed with the decision in the first place,” the anti-graft group added.
C4 said it was also concerned by Azhan’s assertion that the councillors’ only role was to provide inputs from social and political perspectives.
It said this contradicted Section 10 of the Local Government Act 1976, which states that councillors are appointed based on their wide experience in local government affairs.
“To completely shut these 19 councillors out of the decision-making process and unilaterally decide on a course of action which they have strongly opposed seriously calls into question MBPJ’s commitment to good governance and the rule of law,” it said.
C4 urged the mayor and MBPJ to explain their reasoning for the sudden change in procedure and to ensure full transparency regarding the decision-making process.
On Tuesday, city councillor Terence Tan said the MBPJ meeting ended abruptly after 19 of the 24 city councillors staged a walkout over a disagreement on decision-making powers.
In response, Selangor menteri besar Amirudin Shari said the walkout was caused by a misunderstanding.
C4 urged Amirudin to explain why he called the entire situation a misunderstanding, accusing the menteri besar of “simplifying the entire situation”.
“The law must be applied equally to all, and failure to observe this fundamental principle risks tarnishing the image of MBPJ and the state government,” it said.