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Media statement (2) by Lau Weng San in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 13th August 2010:

No way for JKKKP to implement projects without consent from local councils

The Federal Government is so "kind-hearted" when the Federal Ministry of Housing and Local Government announces that allocations will be given to upgrade infrastructure in all new villages.

However, such allocation will only come if the projects are agreed upon by the respective village head, New Village Development Officer and MCA Divisional Chairman. In states ruled by Pakatan Rakyat, signatures of the Federal Government's village head and Development Officers are required.

The Federal Government should respect and follow the spirit of federalism when allocating funds to upgrade infrastructure in rural areas. Current practices where the Federal Government only accept recommendations from officers appointed by the Federal Government in PR-ruled states is in fact a discrimination towards officers appointed by the state government.

The PR state governments are governments with authority and dignity and officers appointed by State Government should be treated fairly by the federal government. All these while, appointment of Village Heads and New Village Development Officers are the power of the State Government and the Federal Government never interfered. However things changed after March 8th election when Federal Government unilaterally appointed their own officers in each traditional Malay village and new village.

I wish to reiterate here that all infrastructure project i.e., road resurfacing and drainage maintenance works can only be done by the local authority and any other authorities should first obtain approvals from local councils before commencing infrastructure works. Section 4(1) of the 1974 Streets, Drainage and Buildings Act said that the maintenance and widening of any road and drainage is the jurisdiction of the local government and it is an offence for anybody to start works related to roads and drainage without approvals from the local government.

It means that even though the Federal Government wants to start any project bypassing the local village head and elected representatives, they will not be able to start unless they obtain the approval from the council.

I urge the Federal Government to stop unnecessary politickings and respect the principle of separation of powers between State and Federal Governments.

* Lau Weng San, DAP Selangor Secretary & SA for Kampung Tunku



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