Press Statement 
by NGEH KOO HAM, DAP Perak Chairman & Assistant National Treasurer 
on 9th April 2002
 in Ipoh

Do not reward councillors for non-performance

The suggestion by Deputy Housing & Local Government Minister, Datuk M. Kayveas to pay councilors fixed salary and  to increase their number from 24 to 36 per local government to overcome the inefficiency of these councilors is most unacceptable. 

The Government should look at the following reasons which are the root cause of the councilors’ non-performance. 

1.      Councillors are  chosen as rewards for the BN component party lower ranking members. They are not chosen because of their commitment to serve the people. 

2.                  Councillors are appointed and not elected, so they have no sense of accountability to the people. 

3.                  Appointed Councillors are beholden to those who appoint them and therefore are afraid to raise objections on matters that do not benefit the people. 

4.                  Councillors though paid an allowance only are known to covet a place in the local government in order to facilitate the approval of their own projects or to secure some local government’s contracts. 

5.                  There are no councilors from opposition parties in the local government to encourage competition and to check abuses of councilors from BN component parties.

Local government civil servants are already paid fixed salaries yet we still see the local government’s inefficiency. Therfore, giving  councilors fixed salary will not solve the problem. More importantly the public should not be further burdened by paying fixed salary to councilors who have been proven for not doing their job. 

The people must also not be burdened further by increasing the number of councillors in order to enable BN to reward more of its members with Councillor posts. 

The solution for a local government to have hardworking and efficient councilors is to have local government election or in the alternative to have proportional representation of councilors from the opposition parties.