By SYLVIA LOOI
IPOH Gunung Rapat Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) branch chairman Ten Chong Yong has been elected the Gunung Rapat New Village chief.
Ten, who polled 345 votes, beat four other contenders - Ong Kim Loong, Chin Ka Seng, Law Choon Oor and Loh Soon Mee.
While Law and Loh polled 29 votes each, Ong and Chin polled 211 votes and 147 votes respectively.
The result was announced by Simpang Pulai assemblyman Chan Ming Kai at 3.05pm on Thursday after polling, which was held at the Dewan Fook Tat Chee in Gunung Rapat near here, closed at 1.10pm.
Chan said a total of 763 villages voted during the election, which started at 9am.
“I will submit Ten’s name to the state for consideration to be appointed as the Gunung Rapat New Village chief as per the villages decision and a report on the election,” he added.
It had been reported that the election of new village heads had been making the headlines after the Perak Pakatan government announced that the heads would be appointed and not elected.
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had asked PKR to explain the need to hold the elections, although polling was held in the states’ 817 Malay villages to select their village heads.
PKR vice-president Dr Lee Boon Chye, who was also present during the election, reiterated that the party was not over riding or going against the states decision by having the election.
“We still respect the right and power of appointment, which comes under the state,” he said, adding that the party had no intention of arm-twisting the state into accepting its candidate.
Dr Lee however said that by convention, PKR should be allowed to decide who is the village head as the assemblyman of the area was from PKR.
Judging from the overwhelming response, Dr Lee urged the state to reconsider its decision to appoint new village chiefs for its 134 new villages.
Echoing Dr Lee, Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong said the state should be fair to new villages.
“If the state can have elections for Malay villages, why deny new villagers of their rights to elect their representative?” asked the DAP assemblyman.