BUKIT MERTAJAM: April 23, 2008 by Arulldass
The Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) has been given three months to draw up plans to ensure public funds are not depleted.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng urged the council to appoint independent auditors to investigate and report irregularities to the relevant authorities.
He said MPSP must find out why reserves were reduced from RM229 million in 2000 to RM25.6 million at the end of last year.
He also directed them to investigate the accumulated deficit of RM226 million over the last eight years.
"I expect a balanced budget to be drawn up by the council. I also want the council to submit another report in three months' time on planning, building and other licensing procedures after conducting a review."
Lim said this after attending the swearing-in ceremony of the new councillors at its headquarters in Bandar Perda here yesterday.
One from Pas, eight from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, nine from DAP, two representatives from non-governmental organisations and the district officers of Seberang Prai Utara, Tengah and Selatan were sworn in yesterday. Another representative from an NGO is expected to take his oath later.
Also present were deputy chief minister Dr P. Ramasamy and state Local Government, Traffic Management and Environment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow.
Lim said he also expected the council to work towards achieving a cleaner Seberang Prai so that Penang could attain the "cleanest state" status by the end of the year.
"I understand this may be a tall order but you can do it," he said, adding that the council should be more responsive to the public and ensure their needs were taken care of in a consultative manner.
He called for more public dialogues and meetings to be held regularly for the people to voice their concerns.