Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Local Government Elections?

We have been talking about local government elections for the longest time. We pushed it hard during the last general elections. I know I did. I also know that there are many who have criticised the Pakatan Rakyat state governments as to why such elections have not been held.

There have been many reasons given for the delay, some of which I find very real and valid, others less so. I'll not deal with these reasons on this blog post. Instead, I've finally gotten a reply from the Ministry of Housing & Local Government on my following question with regards to local government elections.
[Petaling Jaya Utara] minta Menteri Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan menyatakan sama ada kerajaan akan membantah ataupun menghalang negeri-negeri yang dipimpin oleh DAP, PKR dan PAS melaksanakan pilihan raya Kerajaan Tempatan yang merupakan ruang lingkup kuasa Kerajaan Negeri. Jika ia, sila memberikan penjelasan yang terperinci.
The answer by the Ministry was essentially to say that the state has no such right as follows.
Untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat, cadangan untuk mengadakan semula pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan adalah tidak selaras dengan undang-undang dan dasar sedia ada. Antara undang-undang yang berkenaan ialah Akta Kerajaan Tempatan 1976 (Akta 171) dan Akta Pilihanraya Kerajaan Tempatan 1960 (Akta 473).

Walaubagaimanapun, sekiranya terdapat cadangan untuk mengadakan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan, maka selaras dengan peruntukan Perkara 96A Perlembagaan Persekutuan, persoalan dasar berhubung cadangan ini hendaklah terlebih dahulu dipertimbang dan diputuskan di peringkat Majlis Negara bagi Kerajaan Tempatan.
Is it? Is it not? I'm no legal expert but I do know that there's clearly uncertainty over who has control over local government elections. Regardless, it's clear from the answer above that the Federal Government will not support any attempts at local elections at the state government level.
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