Friday, June 24, 2011

DUN (Day Three): DAP wants election for local government

Reinstate local government elections — Ling
Posted on June 24, 2011, Friday

LING Sie Kiong (DAP-Piasau) is calling on the government to reinstate local government elections reasoning that “the people must have this political freedom”.

He felt that this was the best way to ensure that the local government was transparent and sensitive to local needs when spending tax payers’ money.

Quoting a survey conducted by Merdeka Centre, he said over 70 per cent of voters supported local government elections.

“For the time being, the appointed councillors must be asked to disclose their handphone numbers and email addresses so that the people can reach them.

“Councillors must be seen to be working for the people and if they are not prepared to disclose even this
basic information, they are not fit to be appointed councillors,” he said when debating the Head of State’s opening speech yesterday.

Ling urged the state government to give priority to building housing units in Miri because the city had the highest number of squatters in the state.

“According to sources, out of the total 8,774 squatters in Sarawak, 4,052 of them are in found Miri. In Piasau, the squatter colonies are Kampung Wireless, Kampung Api-Api, Kampung Pasir, Kampung Merican and Kampung Sealine. Many of these places are flood prone,” he said.

He said the government must resettle these squatters in new areas complete with basic facilities like good drainage system, roads, and electricity and water supplies.

Besides the squatters issue, Ling said Miri recorded increasing and rampant cases of mental patients on the streets, causing public disturbances.

He also claimed that some members of the public had difficulties seeking help from the proper channels.

“It is imperative for the Welfare Department, police, council and Department of Health to work together and solve the problem involving mental patients on the streets.

“I have received complaints from constituents that the mental patients have actually been staying at ‘Old Men Street’ in Miri. The government must do something before any untoward incidents happen,” he said.

Ling also called for positive attitude towards mental health and expected the government to plan and execute policies to provide support for them (mental patients).

“Offer rehabilitation services and counselling to help them to re-enter society and to help them to obtain housing and jobs,” he added.

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