Iskandar Puteri councillors turn on mayor, ask him to explain alleged abuse of power

Iskandar Puteri city councillors showing their discontent over the Taman Nusantara Ramadan bazaar issue. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: In an unusual development, councillors from the Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBIP) are giving Mayor Adib Azhari Daud until this Hari Raya Aidilfitri to explain allegations of power abuse over a licensing issue at the Taman Nusantara Ramadan Bazaar, near Gelang Patah.

A representative of the councillors, Mohd Azam Mektar, who is also a councillor of Gelang Patah Zone 9, said Adib’s move to overturn the decision of the MBIP Licensing Committee meeting, which he (Adib) himself chaired on April 18, could be seen as an act of sabotage against MBIP councillors and the state government.

Azam went on to explain that in that April 18 Licensing Committee meeting, a decision was made to approve 100 Ramadan bazaar lots at the Jalan Nusaria 4/7 car park in Taman Nusantara, a decision which was later endorsed on April 28.

“This particular area was a replacement for the original suggested area along Jalan 2/1, which drew protests from shop traders in the vicinity who said the bazaar activity would disrupt their business,” he said after the MBIP full board meeting here today.

“However, MBIP’s Licensing Department rejected the early applications from 47 traders to participate in the bazaar because the mayor wanted to amend the organising rights,” he added.

Following this, councillors from the affected zone took the initiative to discuss the matter with the mayor, who agreed to grant only 30 licences, despite the 100 agreed earlier in the April 18 licensing committee meeting.

Azam said councillors also received public complaints of a Ramadan bazaar operating without permits and licences along Jalan 2/1, which is the site of the earlier proposed site that was later shelved due to protests from shopkeepers there.

He said the councillors are raising these allegations (abuse of power) because the mayor had failed to provide a proper explanation over the matter, which he added could be detrimental to his (mayor) credibility, and to ensure this sort of situation does not arise again.