Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good Governance and Transparency

I refer to the report by Chia Ying in today’s STAR Metro, Lee: Application Not The First.

I am absolutely surprised that an ADUN and / or Local Councillor carries so much authority in local governance. The former Subang Jaya assemblyman was quoted as saying; “There was no need for a public hearing as I had rejected it outright then, because it's a waste of public funds and time…….” He was referring to a developer’s proposal to develop a piece of land in USJ6.

My concern is the fact that an Adun / Councillor can make such a decision with no respect to laid down laws and procedures. Is a developer not entitled to a fair hearing also, if his application is submitted according to laid down guidelines?

In the same way, if an Adun / Councillor can reject outright, as boasted by the ex Adun, then he can also approve an application. Perhaps this answers the question on why there is an apparent over-development in Subang Jaya, especially in the Taipan area. Perhaps, Mr Lee could also explain why a development in USJ11 was approved without the affected residents given the opportunity of voicing their concerns in a Public Hearing. Was it also a waste of public funds, since the ADUN believes in the project?

Now I can understand why we have a local council, MPSJ in particular that seems to have little regard for public interest. Their hands are perhaps tied because we had a bunch of “napoleans” breathing down their necks. When the PM mentioned about these Little Napoleans, we had assumed it was the civil servants, but now it seems it is the BN politicians.

May the newly appointed councillors to be sworn in soon, carry out their duties with due respect to the procedures as laid down. No one; residents, developers or investors are above the law – transparency, accountability and good governance are all we ask for – is that too much to expect?