Purging Local Councillors: Selangor State Government’s Political Vendetta

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By Ahmad Soffian Bin Mohd Shariff

This week we have witnessed the ongoing political battle between Pakatan Harapan & Perikatan Nasional was brought to the State of Selangor Darul Ehsan. It seems that the Menteri Besar of Selangor Amiruddin Shaari, a former ally of Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin has changed sides and now taking his stand with Parti Keadilan Rakyat and its president, Anwar Ibrahim.

Amiruddin Shaari who is also the state legislative assembly member of Sungai Tua, was appointed as the Menteri Besar of Selangor, with the strong support of both Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin, right after the 14th Malaysian General Election. He was thought to be the better choice at that time because he had served as Azmin Ali’s exco member during Azmin’s tenure as the Menteri Besar of Selangor from 23rd of September 2014 until 19th June 2018.

It is quite interesting to see that after all these years, Amiruddin Shaari chose to be on Anwar Ibrahim’s side as his political career depended much on the strong support of Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin. However, with the current purging of local councillors in Selangor Darul Ehsan, it clearly shows that the Menteri Besar of Selangor is showing his allegiance to Anwar Ibrahim by purging all council members who has ties to former PKR leaders or party members that has been sacked by the PKR Diciplinary Board.

In a press statement made by Amiruddin’s political secretary, Borhan Aman Shah, it was stated that the action taken by the Selangor State Government by discontinuing the service of some local councillors was not a politically motivated move. The statement made yesterday, in a futile attempt to justify their action, was not accepted well by most Selangorians, as it was generally believed that even though some council members are part of a political party, their appointments are not based on the actions or orders of any political entities.

Section 10 of the Local Government Act 1976 clearly states that Councillors of the local authority shall be appointed from amongst persons the majority of whom shall be persons ordinarily resident in the local authority area who in the opinion of the State Authority have wide experience in local government affairs or who have achieved distinction in any profession, commerce or industry, or are otherwise capable of representing the interests of their communities in the local authority area.

The provision stated above does not mention any political will, alignment or relations, as being claimed by Borhan Aman Shah in his press release yesterday. This then proves that the action taken by the Selangor state government in the sacking of some of the local councillors is politically motivated and not without a “political vendetta” as casually stated by Borhan in his statement.

The action taken by these local government/authorities clearly has the approval by the Menteri Besar of Selangor as he then in turn, cowardly tries to cover it up with a press statement from his political secretary.

Needless to say, Amiruddin and his aide Borhan should own up for their actions and just admit the truth. Both of them need to realize that Amiruddin Shaari is not popular with the people of Selangor. Born and raised in Johor, his position has never been secured with the people, even if he proves his allegiance with Anwar Ibrahim or not.

In two years’ time, after the 15th General Election, if in some miraculous way Pakatan Harapan were able to retain their position helming the Selangor State Government (which I doubt), it is unsure if Amiruddin will be given the nod by PKR and Pakatan Harapan to become the Menteri Besar again. I believe that it is important for Amiruddin to rethink his action in supporting Anwar Ibrahim, but most importantly, he needs to be a man and own up for all his actions rather than making his political secretary lie to the people of Selangor.

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