Tuesday, April 6, 2010

State gov't now operates from Hulu Selangor

S Pathmawathy
Apr 6, 10

The rural district of Hulu Selangor has temporarily replaced Shah Alam as the capital of the state, as government affairs are being coordinated and organised from there.

Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim (left) has relocated to the District Office of Hulu Selangor in Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB) yesterday, and the state executive councillors have been traveling daily for meetings.

It is also confirmed that the state's weekly executive council meeting, which is held on Wednesdays in Shah Alam, will be held in Kuala Kubu Bharu tomorrow onwards.

A source from the Hulu Selangor Municipal Council said that Khalid, who is leading Pakatan's election team, plans to stay put until April 17, the day of the nomination.

Executive councillors Dr Xavier Jeyakumar and Elizabeth Wong were among those who have been recently spotted at the district office, a member of the staff told Malaysiakini today.

The Hulu Selangor Parliamentary seat was declared vacant after its PKR representative 71-year-old Zainal Abidin Ahmad, succumbed to brain cancer last month.

Polling day has been slotted for April 25 with eight days of campaigning.

Intense electioneering

However, political rivals Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat have already begun intense electioneering despite warnings from authorities against campaigning before nominations.

BN deputy chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin said that the ruling coalition will name their candidate on April 15.

Meanwhile, Pakatan which is apparently having a hard time to pick from a dozen of names, will be making the announcement on April 13.

Malaysiakini understands that several state government officials have been going around the constituency and directly approaching voters to understand their needs.

"Since the Menteri Besar is in charge of land matters, and there are a lot land related problems in that area, he decided to stay on. This is just for practicality," said the source, from Khalid's office.

The source had also rubbished claims that state's resources are being utilised for the campaign.

"Khalid has done the same in Kuala Selangor last month and previously in Sepang, where the menteri besar had stayed two days. This has nothing to do with the by-election but it's just a routine exercise," said the source.

However, once nominations are filed, Pakatan and Khalid, who leads the state election machinery, is expected to go all out in the race for votes.

Cover up

BN's Batang Kali state assembly representative Mohd Isa Abu Kasim, however, said that the state was just covering up the fact that they were actually campaigning.

"They are not suppose to use the state apparatus in elections but they are located right at the district office," said Mohd Isa.

He added that was not proper as the district officer is normally appointed as the returning officer for the election.

"How does this look like, the Pakatan MB sharing an office with the district officer? " he said.

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