Local govt elections may be introduced, says Phee

The Sun
PENANG (March 11, 2008): Local government elections may be introduced by the incoming state government to fulfil one of DAP’s election promises.
DAP senior leader Phee Boon Poh, who was returned for a second term as the Sungai Puyu assemblyman, said yesterday the DAP-led government will look into into the bylaws on introducing such elections for Penang’s two municipal councils.
“We will need to study the constitution and by-laws to confirm the legality of holding council elections without federal government approval,” he said.
However, council workers and all government servants in the state should not be needlessly worried about their jobs.
“There will not be any ‘witch hunt’ and we want to reassure those in the government service that there will not be any drastic changes of government policies,” he said.
“The incoming state government wants continuity to ensure that the transition is carried out smoothly.”
On the fate of the appointed councillors, Phee said: “Their terms end in June.
“We will decide on all these and formulate a more effective public delivery system once DAP legally takes over the state government.”
When contacted, Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman said he will continue working for now.
“I will just continue working. I do not want to say anything else,” he said.
Yesterday, rumours circulated that the 21 appointed MPPP councillors may tender their resignation at the same time.
When contacted, one of the councillors Teh Leong Meng, said: “It is (the reported mass resignation) not true. Our contract is until June, so we will continue our work as councillors for now until the new state government takes over and decide on our positions.”