Kuala Lumpur should be state-governed

There are 14 units under the Ministry of Federal Territories- of which 3 are directly related to administration of state matters- DBKL, Perbadanan Labuan, Perbadanan Putrajaya. Kuala Lumpur is governed by the following statutory laws- Federal Capital Act 1960, Local Government Act 1976 and City of Kuala Lumpur Act 1971. The Federal Capital Act 1960 places the federal government in charge of the DBKL which is in turn in charge of Kuala Lumpur. DBKL inspite being a form of local government, is prevented by the Local Government Act 1976 to be governed like the state councils in Selangor and other states. S8 in the LGA 1976 provides that the FCA 1960 shall prevail should there be conflict in the law. This means, whatever happens (despite the outcome of national election results), the Federal Government still runs Kuala Lumpur.

The power of FCA 1960 is very noticeable especially in the following sections:

-S4 gives power to the King to hire and/or fire the Datuk Bandar. This is contrary to popular belief that the PM selects the Datuk Bandar but it is noted that the PM holds significant influence over the selection of candidates. The same section allows the King to sack or determine the serving period of the Datuk Bandar as well. If the Datuk Bandar is unfit to act in his capacity, subsection 7 says the Ministry of Federal Territory could take charge.

-S10 gives the Datuk Bandar veto power over the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is a panel of advisers appointed to assist the mayor in policy matters. The Advisory Board members, by law, are appointed by the King, save a couple of members who could be appointed by the Selangor Menteri Besar.

-S13(1) allows the Ministry of Federal Territories to give the Datuk Bandar instructions 'from time to time' eventhough the instructions are inconsistent to the FCA 1960. Subsection 2 further states that the mayor reports only to Ministry and no one else. S13 very clearly vests power in Pak Lah to control Kuala Lumpur.

The laws are highly dictatorial and undemocratic- it dissallows the 1.6 million people in Kuala Lumpur to be represented by the people they elected. Down on the ground the DBKL is notorious for its questionable enforcement of city law and other dubious practices which the city folk do not hold high regard for. This includes non/little -disclosure of accounts, budgets and city expenditure and revenue. The public, especially the 1.6 million KL residents, will never know the actual usage of ratepayers' funds.

The DBKL has been a political clout of the government and will always be part of the Government's political agenda unless the Acts mentioned above are repealed. The elected MPs of Kuala Lumpur should jointly fight for the change in law so that the DBKL is returned to the people's hands. For the MPs, even in their own constituencies, it is an uphill task for the MPs to ensure the DBKL carries out the garbage collection function properly; maintain pot-hole free roads and so on. That's because the Datuk Bandar, according to the law, does not answer to the people nor the person elected to represent them.

No comments:

Post a Comment