Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Performance of the Minister of Local Government and His Councillors determines the BN’s potential in urban seats in the next State Election

Secara Rawak

The state has just appointed and reappointed a total of 720 local councillors to help with the administration and the management of 24 local councils in Sarawak.

Like local Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen, councillors are also local leaders, but unlike the former two, they are not elected by the people.

As members of the legislature, local councillors as local Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen participate in the processes of making laws, albeit only at the subsidiary level.

In other words, the roles and functions of local councillors in a local council are the same as the roles and functions of the local Members of Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat, but at a lower level.

And in this regards, it is correct to equate the roles and functions of the Chairman of the Standing Committee in a local council to that of the roles and functions of a cabinet minister.

As the government that is nearest to the people, what a local council does and doesn’t do will impact on the daily lives of the local people.

The course of action it undertakes will influence the behaviour, the attitude, and the conduct the local people.

The issue of garbage and refuse collection, for example – the issue of the availability, the accessibility, and the cleanliness of the markets – the issue of vectors and their suppression and destruction – the issues of sanitation in public places – all of these, if not addressed adequately by the local council will have a negative impact on the daily lives of the people.

One of the major responsibilities of the government is to develop the country. As a government, a local council also has to undertake this responsibility. City roads and lanes have to be constructed.  Street lights and traffic lights have to be provided. Drains have to be built. Leisure areas and facilities have to be made available to the people.

Many people do not realise the important and the significant functions of a local council or a local government in their daily lives or activities.

CM Adenan understands and acknowledges this when he specifically created the position of the Minister of Local Government.

As the name suggests, the Minister of Local Government has one fundamental responsibility and that is to ensure that all municipal services delivery is efficiency and effective. He has to ensure also that all of those services reach the people.

If the BN government is going to recapture the urban seats, it has to tackle all local government related issues.

During the elections, in between the elections, and over the years, most of the issues raised by the oppositions are issues associated with local government affairs and functions.

CM Adenan is wise enough to realise that one of the ways to keep the opposition quiet is to have a local council that is able to perform accordingly and to be able to deliver the municipal services required and needed by the people.

Perhaps, this is the reason why the Minister of Local Government is given to an urban-based politician.

But can the local councillors that the minister had just appointed and reappointed help him in achieving this goal?

Are those councillors up to the task? Can they deliver as the minister expects out of them?

As councillors, they also act as local leaders. Do they have the leadership skill and capability to be the leaders?

It is suffice to say therefore that the performance of the Minister of Local Government and his councillors will determine how the BN is going to perform in the urban seats in the next state election. –

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