Selangor Journal
Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming (left) speaking to reporters during a working visit to the Pasar Bazar Rakyat in Seri Kembangan, on December 28.2023. — Picture by AHMAD ZAKKI JILAN/SELANGORKINI

Local elections not on ministry’s agenda for now, says Nga

By Danial Dzulkifly

SERDANG, Dec 28 — The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) is prioritising infrastructure development over the reinstatement of local council elections, said its minister Nga Kor Ming. 

He pointed out that the ministry’s current focus is on improving public infrastructure and other critical projects under its purview, amid calls to bring back the third vote which was abolished in 1965. 

“At this juncture, our priority is not on local elections but the seven main pillars I outlined upon assuming office at the end of last year.  

“The country is just emerging from a phase of political instability, and it’s crucial to focus on initiatives that directly enhance the lives of the rakyat,” he told reporters during a working visit to the Pasar Bazar Rakyat in Seri Kembangan, here, today.

At today’s event, Ng revealed that his ministry has managed to implement 5,196 projects throughout 2023, with a bigger allocation of RM700 million from last year’s RM489 million, representing a 43 per cent increase. 

He said the ministry has set a baseline of 5,000 projects annually for the next ten years and assured that all projects will be done based on strict due diligence and quality control to ensure they fully benefit the people. 

Nga also affirmed his commitment that there will not be “white elephant” projects in his ministry under his watch.

“Perhaps, after we complete 50,000 projects in the next ten years, maybe then we will discuss local council elections,” he said in jest.

Nga’s remarks come after newly-minted Federal Territories Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said on December 19 that she would discuss the matter with the former. 

The conversation around local elections gained traction after Kuala Lumpur DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai called for their reinstatement in the federal capital, saying the move would strengthen democracy in the federal territory.

This led to heated discussions over the issue, with the opposition saying the revival of local government elections, which was last held in 1963 before being abolished two years later, could purportedly impact the position of the Malays in the country.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who commented on the issue last Saturday, criticised the fear mongering tactics by the opposition, assuring that the Malay community’s position remains secure. 

He also urged for focus to be given on empowering the community to achieve greater success rather than fostering a siege mentality

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