Monday, May 12, 2008

No Local Government Elections?

Holding local government elections was one of the key rallying points by nearly all of the opposition candidates during the last general elections, myself included, or more specifically, myself in particular.

And to reiterate, I will do my utmost to apply all necessary pressure on both the state governments led by DAP, PKR or PAS to hold local government elections, as well as of course, pressing the Barisan Nasional federal government to allow local council elections.

Quite a few questions have been raised by MPs in parliament as to whether the Federal Government intends to hold local government elections, one of which came from Liew Chin-Tong, MP for Bukit Bendera on 7th May:
Menteri Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan [diminta] Menteri Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan menayatakan hala tuju dan jangka masa pelaksanaan pilihanraya Kerajaan Tempatan bagi membuka sebuah babak baru dalam demokrasi di Malaysia.
The answer was short but not so sweet:
Untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat, Kerajaan tidak bercadang untuk mengadakan pilihanraya Kerajaan Tempatan.
Well, it clearly demonstrates that the new Minister of Housing & Local Government, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, who took over from his brother, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, has no intention in respecting the wishes of the voters who clearly want local government elections to promote efficiency, transparency and good governance.

The Penang state government led by DAP has publicly pledged that they are committed towards local government elections to be held by or before the next general elections. There is an action team looking specifically into this issue, particularly on legal and administrative aspects of conducting local government elections in the state.

At the same time, we are awaiting the relevant policy announcements by the respective state governments in Perak and Selangor on its commitment to, and the time-frame for executing local government elections.

Let's push for concrete steps to be made towards local government elections, and let the Federal Government challenge the state government in the state of law, against the wishes of the population, should they so wish to do so.
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