Mayor explains, apologizes to MP Hiew
Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim has called on Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu, Dr Hiew King Cheu not to politicize the issue of him not being included in the City Hali meeting on Tuesday. The invitation letter to Hiew was sent by an officer in the Sub Urban Department who was not aware of the directives in the National Action Council (NAC) dated 15 November2004 issued by the Prime Minister, he said. Saying that he has personally apologized and explained the unintentional mistake to Hiew, Iliyas denied there were “instructions from the higher authority’ to disallow the Member of Parliament to attend the said meeting, and the City Hall was only following the directive in the NAC. He also clarified that the meeting was actually the District Action Committee meeting and not the City Hall’s Advisory Council meeting as stated by Hiew. According to Iliyas, the NAC states that only the elected Assemblymen and Members of Parliament of the ruling Government are allowed to sit in all the District Action Committee meeting throughout the country. He said City Hall’s Director of Sub Urban, Azimi Salim, who organized the meeting has also written an apology letter to Hiew, who accepted their apologies. “He has accepted our apologies and I do not know why he decided to go to the press and politicize the matter,” said Iliyas, who added that both City Hall and Hiew, the elected MP for Kota Kinabalu, has the same role, that is serving the people. Hence, both parties should forgive and tolerate one another and not make a big issue out of a small matter that was not done intentionally, he said. According to Azmi, after explaining to Hiew the mistake on the invitation letter and pointing out the NAC directives, the latter was actually offered to stay on as an observer in the meeting but he (Hiew) said it was okay and decided to leave. On the meeting that was chaired by City Hall Director General, Datuk Dr Chua Kim Hing and attended by other elected Assemblymen and Members of Parliament from the Barisan Nasional parties, Iliyas said all those present are also representatives of the people of Kota Kinabalu. On calls for transparency, he said the City Hall, being a Government agency is committed to serve the people and has always practised transparency in all its dealings.