By Amar Shah Mohsen
SHAH ALAM, Feb 7 — Being in the state government does not mean lawmakers can take their foot off the pedal, particularly given the tendency of the now-stronger Opposition bloc to propagate racial rhetoric and stir up tensions.
This was the message by state executive councillor for women empowerment and welfare Anfaal Saari to all public office bearers as the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (Harapan-BN) state administration approaches its sixth month in power.
The Taman Templer state assemblyman cum Amanah Women deputy chief said that although the political temperature in Selangor has subsided considerably compared to during the election period in August last year, office bearers must continue to deliver their best to justify the public’s vote for them.
“After receiving the people’s mandate, the Selangor Unity Government must prove it can deliver; deliver and deliver, providing the best service.
“This is why even if we have 34 seats in the state assembly — although it is not a two-thirds majority — government assemblymen cannot be comfortable and complacent,” she told Selangor Journal during a visit to Media Selangor’s office yesterday.
In the August 12, 2023 state election, Harapan won 32 seats while its partner BN secured two, allowing the alliance to form the Selangor government.
However, the 22 seats won by Perikatan Nasional meant Harapan-BN was unable to secure the coveted two-thirds majority of the State Legislative Assembly.
Anfaal said that apart from providing the best service, it is also crucial for the state government to ensure all policies and decisions are made in accordance with the reform agenda.
“The responsibility lies on the executive body, namely state executive councillors and civil servants, to ensure our targets are met, not just in terms of government spending, but also in terms of good governance.
“Whatever incentives we want to offer to the public, it involves agreements and legislation, and this aspect of governance is what we must always maintain. In the spirit of reform, the state government must always stay true to this element,” she said.
Anfaal added that those in the state government also have the duty to respond to the racial and religious sentiment played up by the Opposition, promoting disharmony in a multicultural Selangor.
To this end, the administration is looking at several amendments to state enactments to clamp down on irresponsible acts and preserve harmony.
Among other things, state executive councillor for Islam Dr Fahmi Ngah will be tabling an amendment bill related to religious teaching credentials and licence to deliver religious talks in mosques and suraus, to ensure better control.
“Yes, it will be tabled this coming session, and the State Executive Council has already given its nod,” she said, adding that Fahmi will share further details.
The Selangor State Legislative Assembly will meet for ten days from February 27 until March 11.
Meanwhile, commenting on the recent state government retreat in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Anfaal said Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari had stressed the importance of implementing programmes that meet the public’s demands.
“The end goal should be that the rakyat will continue supporting us and understand the Unity Government today is a competent one and able to realise all the aspirations under the First Selangor Plan,” she said.