Community, Govt, Politics

NEWS: Open council meetings

The news below follows from my February 2012 adjournment speech in the MPSP full council meeting.

Source: The Star
Tuesday March 6, 2012

A SEBERANG Prai municipal councillor has suggested that the public be allowed to sit in as observers during the council’s standing committee meetings and full council meetings.

Councillor Steven Sim Chee Keong said the public had the right to know about the council’s operations, expenditure and programmes planned for Seberang Prai.

“The public should compile relevant information from these meetings and later put forward their queries through a town hall meeting.

“In this way, the people can have better understanding of the council’s plans and direction,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Sim also said the media should be supplied with copies of the council’s Question & Answer booklets containing replies to queries submitted by councillors, noting that the information should also be available on the council’s website.

“The public address system in Dewan Kenanga at the MPSP headquarters in Bandar Perda, where full council meetings are held, also need to be fine-tuned to improve its sound clarity for all present to hear the proceedings clearly.”

Council secretary Rozali Mohamud said the public could attend the monthly full council meetings, but they needed to write to him beforehand, stating their name, MyKad number and whether they represented any organisation.

“The letter is just a formality to ensure there are enough seats for them in the hall. They can view the dates of the full council meetings through our website and write to us accordingly.

“As for the standing committee meetings, there is no provision to allow the public for now. Only those who were appointed to the committees can attend them,” he said.

However, Rozali added that Sim’s suggestion to open it to the public could be considered by making necessary amendments to the council’s Standing Order.

“Alternatively, the public have other avenues to voice out their opinions and suggestions such as via our Jendela Pelanggan programme held on every first Friday of the month, via e-mail or through our customer service counter.

“We will be holding a public dialogue on MPSP’s Budget 2012 sometime next month and the public are invited to give their comments,” he said.

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