I had my office in Pandamaran for 10 years before finally giving up and moving out of Klang. Majlis Perbandaran Klang (MPK or Klang Town Municipal) is a very inefficient town council probably because of the BIG “C” which implies a lack of integrity and honesty amongst those working there. The town is dirty and despite the many letters to MPK about the rubbish, there is little enforcement. The PM called the heads of these little kingdoms; "little Napoleans."
It was revealed over the last few weeks that there were 3 family members serving as town councilors in the Klang Municipal. The father, Datuk Zakaria Md Deros was accused of :
· Building his four-storey Istana Idaman, a 17 room mansion, without submitting the building plan to the council.
· He had also failed to pay assessment for 12 years for the house he is staying in.
· Zakaria also illegally built a restaurant, DZ Satay House, on state reserve land. The restaurant was recently sealed off by the council.
What irks me is that despite the obvious disregard for the law, this politician, who is also Klang UMNO Division Head shows his pride and foolishness. Firstly, he thinks the crime is building a mansion in a low-cost housing…”It might have been unsuitable...” as reported in the STAR:
…breaking down several times during the 4pm press conference, he admitted he made a mistake when he designed a “house (referring to the mansion) which might have been unsuitable for the low-cost housing estate” in Kampung Idaman.
“However, it was never my intention to boast or show off by building a bigger house which has been called 'Istana Datuk Zakaria' by some,” he read from a 12-page statement at his current double-storey low-cost house in Kampung Idaman here.
“My wife and I merely wanted a more comfortable dwelling for our 11 children, seven daughter in laws and 11 grandchildren.
Many of us would also like to have our all our children living in the same house and have a wonderful castle in Disneyland, but not all of us are Town Councillors…we have to unfortunately pay for it and get local Town Municipals for approval or else even awnings get torn down!
He added that the family had also planned to create community-centred rooms in the new house, including having a tuition centre, a surau and an activity corner.
“If our sincere intention had been misinterpreted, we apologise for not having properly explained our little contribution,” Zakaria, flanked by sons Zainuri and Zul Hisham, read from his prepared statement.
“I thank those, including the media, for giving me guidance on the need to follow rules and regulations.”
Having public amenities in your private home is very noble, but unfortunately doing kind deeds doesn’t abscond you from the law. So now its the inconvenient public who have "misinterpreted your good intentions."
He explained how the family had been rooted in Kampung Idaman for more than 30 years since moving from the KTMB quarters in Port Klang. He had been a railway gatekeeper then.
“We feel really close to the people here and that is why, despite our new prosperity, we still choose to remain here because we want to continue serving people here,” Zakaria said.
“Together with other leaders, we have helped to build a mosque to replace the dilapidated surau, construct a sekolah agama rakyat and primary school.”
Very good. Zakaria is a good State Assemblyman although I would like to think that that was his job. He was merely doing his job.
Eventhough he resigned, I believe he was edged out and it was not an honorable resignation. There is no repentence or acknowledgement of wrong doing here.