Current Affairs

Does Alinah Amnad want to be the Mayor for the people of PJ or doesn’t she ?

By Tony Pua, MP for Petaling Jaya Utara

ceramah merdeka teratai-tony pua (14)I am taken aback by Alinah Ahmad recalcitrant retort to the decision of the Petaling Jaya Full Board meeting which voted overwhelmingly to revoke the draft Petaling Jaya Local Plan ‎and set up a Special Committee to review it’s contents.

The Mayor has refused to abide by the City Council’s decision and instead issued a statement yesterday claiming that the councillors could revoke a local plan but had no power to revoke a draft proposal process. She said “to revoke the process will unlawfully and intentionally obstruct the process of decision-making by the state.”

The argument is laughable as the City Council is and should be the originating body to propose any changes to the Local Plan for approval by the State government. Hence if the councillors have no powers to amend their own draft, other than the state government itself, who else would have such powers?

This controversy is not a new one. The Mayor has over the past few months persisted to act independently despite numerous attempts by the City Councillors ‎to seek a delay or amendment to the Draft plan. All earlier requests were largely ignored, culminating in the Special Full Board meeting petitioned by the Councillors 2 days ago.

The reasons why the Councillors wanted the draft local plan reviewed is due to the various controversial and at times incongruent amendments which may severely and permanently damage the City’s sustainability and livability. ‎These amendments include increasing the plot ratio of certain zones from 4 to 6 before any transport impact assessment is conducted; the complete removal of guidelines for development and building plans as well as certain proposed conversion of Federal Government land to commercial land.

These are very valid and serious reasons for the draft plan to be reviewed. ‎Hence it boggles the mind why the Mayor is so adamant about pushing through the hastily amended local plan despite the obvious concerns. The Mayor of the City must listen to the valid grouses of the people instead of turning a deaf ear to their voices.

Is there a reason why the plan must be immediately amended to allow developers to benefit from higher densities without strict guidelines in place? Only the Mayor herself can explain her position to city’s ratepayers.

We are however pleased that Alinah ‎will be referring the matter to the new Menteri Besar, Azmin Ali for the State Government’s decision. We are confident that as a Menteri Besar who stands with the rakyat, he will make the right decision to protect the interests of the people.

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