KUALA LUMPUR: A expert on local government has urged newly appointed Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad to ensure a clear separation of powers between his ministry and the Kuala Lumpur mayor, saying it was something his predecessor failed to do.
Senior lawyer Derek Fernandez also said the ministry’s existence was justified under the law, adding that without it, there would be problems in passing Kuala Lumpur’s local plans.
“The Federal Capital Act requires this. However, there must be a clear separation between the ministry’s executive powers and that of the mayor and City Hall,” he told FMT, referring to Kuala Lumpur City Hall.
Earlier, Pakatan Harapan MP Teresa Kok said the FT minister’s functions overlapped those of City Hall.
Fernandez said Khalid’s predecessor Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was seen as interfering with the mayor’s jurisdiction.
He is confident Khalid’s appointment would help realise Pakatan Harapan’s pledge to restore local elections.
“If he honours the PH manifesto, he should take measures to facilitate the election process,” he said.
Meanwhile, a pressure group on local issues is keen to meet Khalid to discuss controversies surrounding Kuala Lumpur’s development, as exposed after the May 9 general election.
“Our main priority is to have the democratisation of city hall – the election of mayor and councillors – and to have the Draft KL City Plan 2020,” Save KL Coalition (SKL) deputy chairman M Ali told FMT.