iSpeak: New Councillors and their Plans for Perakeans

by A. Jeyaraj

Whenever the government changes, existing councillors are replaced and this time around I was happy that two of my long time NGO friends were appointed as councillors.

Dr Richard Ng, Councillor of Pasir Pinji

First I called my NGO friends, Dr. Richard Ng, Councillor of Pasir Pinji (when I spoke to him he was Councillor of Bandar Raya Ipoh) and Jayagopi a/l M. Subramaniam, Councillor of Buntong and told them of my survey. They had to answer four questions, namely: 

  1. What do you plan to do in your zone?
  2. What do you think is the job of a councillor?
  3. Why do you want to be a councillor?
  4. Limitations of a councillor.

Dr. Richard and Jayagopi replied immediately.

Jayagopi a/l M. Subramaniam, Councillor of Buntong

I called seven other councillors next and after some reminders I managed to get replies from three of them. It took three weeks plus to get feedback. Obviously all councillors are not equally committed.

The councillors who answered the questionnaire are Khoo Boon Chuan, Councillor of Pasir Pinji (when I spoke to him he was councillor for Kg Simee), Dato’ Haji Azizal Kama bin Abd Aziz, Councillor of Meru and Pn Puteri Holijah binti Muhammad Rali, Councillor of Hulu Kinta. 

I have summarised their responses.


  1. What do you plan to do in your zone?

Dr. Richard

  • Dr Richard is the President of Ipoh City Watch (ICW) and said that since he is a councillor now, he wished to pursue goals of ICW from within Ipoh City Council. The Vision of ICW is “To Make Ipoh the most liveable city in Malaysia”.  
  • Make Ipoh the cleanest city in Malaysia by educating the public to embrace 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) culture and practice Zero Waste. Commercial sectors and housing areas are to use green technology such as solar and LED lighting.
  • Make Ipoh one of the safest cities by urging MBI to provide more CCTV, light up dark areas, and install pollard on walkways.
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle by urging the MBI to create more walkways to make Ipoh a walkable city, allow usage of public parks for recreational activities and promote a caring society towards senior citizens.
  • Eradicate or reduce urban poverty by working with NGOs and government agencies to provide food for the hungry, temporary shelter and provide training for the necessary skills to equip them to be entrepreneurs.
  • Push for more developments and speed up processing of housing and business applications so as to provide employment.
  • Improve public transportation and make it affordable.
  • Promote Ipoh as a food valley to enhance tourism-related sectors.
  • Organise gotong royong in conjunction with other NGOs and schools.


  • As a councillor, Jayagopi wants to address the drainage problem in his zone which causes flooding during the rainy season. 
  • Grass-cutting should be done according to SOPs. 
  • The road system should be upgraded for better traffic management. 
  • Other goals include keeping the rivers clean, as well as better management of empty and unkept housing lots. 
  • Upgrading of Buntong wet market which is long overdue. 
Khoo Boon Chuan, Councillor of Pasir Pinji

Khoo Boon Chuan

  • Khoo said he firstly wants to “tackle current and recurring problems like dengue, undergrowth, clogged drains, uncut grass on road shoulders and non-maintained fields”. 
  • Organise regular gotong royong with residents.

Dato’ Haji Azizal

  • According to Dato’ Haji Azizal, Meru is the centre of development now and it must present a good image. 
  • Government offices should be well maintained, landscaping should be upgraded and the area has to be kept clean. The zone should be a showcase.

Pn Puteri Holijah

  • Puteri Holijah said that “her zone is a rural area and the green environment should be maintained”. 
  • Stall owners should wear proper attire and their stalls kept clean. 


  1. What do you think is the job of a councillor?

Dr. Richard

  • A councillor is basically an administrator who sits on the Local Council Board and ensures Ipohites are protected from public nuisance. He/She provides public services and maintains a quality life for Ipohites.
  • A councillor is a person who can alleviate the concerns of Ipohites within the zone he/she is assigned to. This includes attending to ‘Sampah/Longkang/Rumput’ (SLR) issues and other public problems such as road blockage, enforcing no smoking zones, enacting new by-laws to protect Ipohites and proposing development projects to enhance Ipoh City.


  • A councillor is a bridge between the community and the council and represents the residents in the zone. 
  • A councillor oversees the performance of public employees and serves the community. 

Khoo Boon Chuan

  • The duty of a councillor is not merely overseeing grass cutting and the clearing of clogged drains, but also to ensure proper administration of the council and the implementation of policies. 
  • To act as check and balance.
Dato’ Haji Azizal Kama bin Abd Aziz, Councillor of Meru

Dato’ Haji Azizal

  • A councillor is a bridge between ratepayers and the council. 
  • To provide better services and a conducive environment to work as a team.

Pn Puteri Holijah

  • A councillor is a bridge between ratepayers and the council. 
  • To represent the interest of residents to the council. 
  • To keep residents informed of issues that affect them. 
  • To inform residents of the right person to contact to solve their problems. 
  • To encourage residents to make their views known.


  1. Why do you want to be a councillor?

Dr. Richard

“This is an opportunity for me to understand how the Ipoh City Council system works. I can raise issues affecting Ipohites within the council which has more impact rather than making noise outside the council. 

“I can also bring up the problems faced by Ipohites to the attention of the right person through the right channels, and this will help solve many problems at a faster pace.”


“It is a political appointment. 

“I would like to give my utmost service to the community and upgrade the standard of living for the people of my zone.”

Khoo Boon Chuan

“To be the voice of the Ipoh community.”

Dato’ Haji Azizal

“As an experienced businessman I would like to improve the quality of life in Ipoh and improve the business environment.”

Pn Puteri Holijah bt Muhammad Rali, Councillor of Hulu Kinta

Pn Puteri Holijah

“I love to serve the public. People have lots of problems, but cannot meet the right person to have them addressed. 

“It is an opportunity to engage with the public.”

  1. Limitations of a councillor.

Dr. Richard

“As an appointed Councillor, our appointment is at the mercy of the State Government. We have to act within the confinement of the majority voice. We can raise concerns, but a collective decision is required. 

“A councillor needs to understand some of the limitations as a result of abiding by existing laws of different agencies which have been enacted by act of Parliament. Any changes require the amendment of such laws which is beyond the councillor’s purview. The expectation of the public is very high due to their negative perception.”


No response.

Khoo Boon Chuan

“We have limited resources and rely on assets of the council to solve various problems.”

Dato’ Haji Azizal

“I do not see any limitation.”

Pn Puteri Holijah

“There is a need to respect an individual’s rights and get their consent before proceeding with any issue. Confidentiality of a person must be kept. 

New councillors have high aspirations. In spite of paying the highest rate of assessment in the country, ratepayers are facing problems with basic services like garbage collection, grass cutting and cleaning drains. Councillors should solve this problem which seems to be unique to Ipoh. From the cleanest town we have become one of the dirtiest.” 


The full list of councillors and their assigned areas can be found on MBI’s website.

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