Kuala Lumpur: Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) president (YDP) has been transferred by Putrajaya with a 24-hour notice, sparking speculation that the move was designed to frustrate the state government.
According to Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu, Zainal Abidin A'ala's sudden transfer could be due to his Oct 30 press conference, in which he cleared Pakatan Rakyat of approving a 29-storey condominium project next to the Batu Caves temple complex.
"I am sad to lose such a hardworking YDP who has the ability to handle important issues. He has suddenly been transferred, so you cannot blame me if I feel this is unusual ...
"As the exco in charge of local government, I am unsatisfied (with the transfer)," Liu (right) told reporters in Shah Alam today.
Checks with MPS confirmed that the transfer instruction was issued this morning and that he will report for duty at the National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) tomorrow.
"This is usual for PTD (diplomatic officers and civil servants)," a corporate communication officer, who introduced himself as Mohd Zin, said when contacted.
Telephone calls to Zainal Abidin for comments went unanswered.
This is the second time in six weeks that the head of the local authority in Selangor had been suddenly transferred since Petaling Jaya City Council head Mohamad Roslan Sakiman on Oct 1.
Too cooperative with Pakatan?
The condominium project was approved in 2007 by MPS when BN ruled Selangor. Recently, MIC has protested against the project due to its proximity with the temple complex.
Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has since ordered for construction works to cease pending a review while Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has promised to scrap the project should BN take Selangor during the next general election.
When contacted, MPS councillor Lee Khai Loon believed that Zainal Abidin's sudden departure after serving just over a year, was purely political.
"The YDP has been tasked with investigating how the project was approved in the first place. He is also the person who signed the stop work order.
"He was professional and cooperative with the state government. So it looks like his transfer was due to political considerations," said Lee.
Unlike council members, the appointment of local government heads is under the purview of the civil service department in Putrajaya and not the state.
Additional reporting by Ahmad Fadli KC.--Courtesy of Malaysiakini