Chor says Penang’s third vote law invalid
KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — The Local Government Elections Enactment 2102 passed by the Penang legislative assembly last month to allow the people to elect their municipal councillors is not valid, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said the enactment contravened Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1076 (Act 171), which states that local government elections “shall cease to have force or effect”.
“After referring the issue to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, it has been found that the enactment is not valid because Section 15 Act 171 overlaps the Local Government Elections Act 1960 (Act 473),” he said.
He was replying to Loh Gwo-Burne (PKR-Kelana Jaya) who had proposed that local government elections be held to let the locals choose their councillors.
Chor said the Penang state government’s action to approve the enactment without consulting the National Council for Local Government (NCLG) was clearly against Article 95A(6) of the Federal Constitution.
Article 95A(6) states that local governments must consult the NCLG on any proposed legislation for consideration and approval before it can be implemented, to maintain uniformity.
Putrajaya also insisted that local government elections need not be held as it would be a waste of financial and human resources, and revenue of the local authority (LA) that was already limited.
The amended Section 15 Act 171 to cease local government elections was aimed at allowing local authorities to focus on quality delivery services to the community and areas under their jurisdiction, he said.
Chor also said that a local government election was not the yardstick for efficiency and effectiveness of the LA’s delivery system.
“Even though local government elections are no longer held, Section 10 Act 171 provides for the appointment of councillors as a legislative body, planners and LA policy implementers,” he said.
He stressed that the main criteria in the appointment of a councillor is extensive knowledge in local government affairs, professionally successful, and competent to represent the interest of a LA cluster. — Bernama