I would like to express my complete shock and disappointment that Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain announced the reversal of the council’s decision to relocate the Deepavali Bazaar at Sungai Way village (SS9A).
This comes after the mayor himself issued statements on Oct 1 and 8 , 2015 where he stated that the new location was better as it was more spacious and has been the site of other markets including the Ramadan bazaar and pasar malam.
In effect, MBPJ succumbed to the display of thuggery led by several PKR grassroot leaders, Kelana Jaya deputy chief, Saminathan Kitchan, the division secretary Murali Subramaniam, and several PKR councillors from other districts.
Malaysians saw on video how my visit to, and press conference at the bazaar at the proposed new location was disrupted by these thugs. I had hoped that the Selangor PKR leadership would have done the right thing to rein in these rogue PKR grassroot leaders. Instead they have now been duly rewarded for their thuggish behaviour.
The mayor further added that the reversal decision was also due to the submission of a memorandum by PKR councillors. It now appears that the unanimous decision at the full board of MBPJ on March 27, 2015 to shift the market to the better and more appropriate location can be changed with a mere memorandum.
The fact that the local residents, the village committee, the local councillor for Sungai Way, the state assemblyperson for Kg Tunku and the Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara all objected to the former bazaar location mattered little to the mayor and these PKR councillors. There were no meetings called, no discussions held, just a decree by the mayor to undo years of hard work put in by the local councillor and state assemblyperson.
This seemingly trivial decision over the location of a Deepavali bazaar sets a terrible precedent for MBPJ and the state government in the future. Now, any disgruntled group that is not happy with MBPJ or the state’s decision can resort to thuggery and crony politics with the right political party to get the decision reversed.
I would like to assure the residents at Sungai Way village that the DAP-appointed councillors, state assemblyperson and myself will continue to do our very best to serve their interest and promote their well-being. We will remain steadfast and not compromise our integrity and principles by giving in to thuggery and cronyism.
TONY PUA is DAP national publicity secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara.