Monday, March 17, 2008

Local Government Elections

It's time to get rid of political patronage.

It is a little sad, but unsurprising that within days of getting elected, I have received calls on how I can use my influence to appoint city or municipal councillors. There were of course those who were genuine about making positive changes to local city council, but quite clearly, there were those seeking political favours in exchange for support.

I spoke a little about the above in my interview with Malaysiakini here.

I can imagine the type of calls, my recent elected colleagues must be getting as well from others on the same issue. This only strengthens my resolve that the law to enable local government elections must be drafted, debated and passed by the states in which DAP plays a role before the next general elections. And I'm glad DAP is taking the lead by emphasising on the need to bring back local government elections, particularly in Penang where the DAP-led coalition government is steaming ahead.

We must overcome whatever "grey" areas which are in conflict between the state and federal laws.

Only with democratically elected local councillors, will they be directly accountable to the people, instead of to the party which "awards" these positions. And more importantly, only then will they make decisions on behalf of the city council which are in the interest of the rakyat, instead of the interest of the political masters, personal or otherwise.

Certainly, I campaigned strongly for a democratic local government during the election period and I'll certainly do my best within the Parliament and within the Party to ensure that the voters will get the fair deal they deserve from the local councils.

And in the interim, while awaiting for local council elections, we will push for openness, transparency and competition in all local council accounts as well as tenders. We want to transform local councils from one beset with the culture of secrecy (something to hide) to one which engages the electorate.

Wish me luck! ;-)


Anonymous said...

That's the reality in politics. But, kudos to you Tony for being transparent and to have local council elections. I can already smell democracy now with the taste of pure meritocracy. Excellent..:0

Anonymous said...

Before you do that, can elect me to PM post first or not? haha

Anonymous said...

Dear YB

Majority of PJ-ians voted BR in for this (local council elections). All the BR MPs/Excos must band together, with YB KI taking the lead, to win this issue over - for the rakyat. If BN-gov reject it, without good reasoning, I believe all the parliamentary seats & state seats in the next GE will be 100% BR in Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kelantan & FT. That total seats should be enough at least to get a simple majority if not 2/3?

TB Dr.TanSG (Kepong) mentioned about a signature campaign...but only for KL. What about all of Selangor from all the BR constituencies?

Why can't our beloved HE Sultan do something about this?

To avoid abuse of power, the elected council men/women should only hold for limited term.

Our political system must also change to limit the max term of any PM-elect. If BN-gov really practise what they preach, they should have been a rotation of Chinese / Indian Dep-PM since...or DPM-1 & DPM-2.

Unknown said...

I am 100% behind you for the municipal and city elections like most of European countries. This will curb abuse by the local councils.

Anonymous said...

See latest SS2 release video dedicated youtube Tony Pua
You have made a history in PJ. we support your good job.
Must watch..
voluteer youtuber editor

Lau Weng Sang

Gobind Singh

Haris Ibrahim

Fong Po Kuan

Ngeg Koo Ham visit to market

Anonymous said...

Why M'sia still don't built bullet train?, It will save time and money, most businessman prefer it. Why JPJ catching speeding bus and car?? I heard they catch Bus driver last year. In some highway they put up sign 60km/j. Built bullet train lah..h..h....., problem will be solve. Saman will be less, gov get less income and less police traffic corrupt, and less accident, and car insurer compony earn more.


Anonymous said...

tony, first of all congratulation to you! I am strongly for local government elections and I am looking forward to see you walking the talk!

NEO said...

Dear Tony,

Could you please ask your colleague Dr. Cheah and Lau Weng San to request the MBPJ to disclose half yearly accounts. Since the assessment is pay half yearly, would it be reasonable for MBPJ to disclose the half yearly accounts to public?

Public listed companies are disclosing the accounts on quarterly basis.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Our system mean that its impossible to get rid of patronage. You need it for political convenience but you can reduce it.

The way Lee Kuan Yew did it was he raised the wages and key jobs for his political allies making it more transparent but demanding the same tit-for-tat as any patronage system.

Don't be idealistic about it. You can reduce it but you can't get rid of them. Give jobs to allies but they have to be committed to DAP and its causes. They have to give money back!!!!

myop101 said...

Dear Tony,

Remember your promises and pledges. Bring back local council election. We definitely need it...:)

meanwhile, i suggest for those to be appointed as councillors, you should put them on yearly renewal contracts.

i also suggest that the suggested candidates list be made public prior to appointment so that the public can vent through and voice their concerns/objections/support.


myop101 said...

Dear tony,

on a side note, remember to set up a monthly progress meeting to find out on the progress from your colleagues on the issues raised by your voters (even on the aspect of uncollected garbage, faulty headlamps and such). Best if they can come out with a table with summary of facts, actions taken and follow-up with relevant dates.

it is a service centre afterall hence people will definitely find their way to you to seek help.

Anonymous said...


I am all for local council election. It's our third voice. Even if we are unable to do it, we should at least appoint people base on merit and capability rather than political loyalty. I think Penang should take the lead in this matter. PAS didn't do it in Kelantan and I hope DAP will not fail us.

Yeap Cheng Liang, Subang Jaya

Anonymous said...

Would you be covering these topics in your forthcoming forum on 24 March ( at 10.30 am ) ??

It'll be interesting ...lets take half day leave and lets " hear it from the guys ... "

Anonymous said...

not sure if selangor is ready for local councils election though. how about consituents hold by BNs, or some ulu place. are they co-operate to have local council election ? and how much budget for the elections ?

and how sure are you that the election will not sabotage by BN machinery as in machap and ijok by-election. I'm sure BN will happy to have local council election to redeem themselves and though the state is controlled by BR, but local council will be 2nd chance for BN all out attack.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony,

I fully support to bring back the local council elections, and I think, this is the best way to ensure consistent transparency within the local government.

A good governance in local council is vital to the development of economy and the fight against terrorism, such idea has been illustrated in the newspaper "The Economist in 2008".

Please push it as hard as you can, for the people and the country.

Anonymous said...


one of my favourite bankers is now a deputy minister at PM dept =)

Unknown said...

I personally think that the BR led govt shld make the appointments, and choose good and talented individuals to lead the local council for a start. That way, the BR govt will be in a position to make a proper assesment and detect any irregularites or make improvements. Local council election can take place after the structural reform is in place.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Tony.

Be transparent always. You wont go wrong.

Anonymous said...

Tony, I apologise, but I don't mean to be a wet blanket on this triumphant occasion.

But proceed with haste and caution.

Next elections could see the Alternatives falling like tenpins. Simple reason - The Malay ground felt threatened.

You guys must work out a plan, that within the next 3-4 years, the Malays will also taste the sweetness of economic progress regradless of Bumi status. This is you only window, and chance. If they stay the same or even go further behind, they will be angry. Very angry. And scared.

There might not be riots and the rubbish. But there will be huge voter turnouts for UMNO.

I wish you luck. And I wish Malaysia prosperity, for which will also give Singapore, my nation, more prosperity.

Anonymous said...

Local council election should be within our rights! Please fight for it.

Also, if you can, please look into raising the wages of the public servants in the opposition states but make sure its given to those who perform efficiently and fairly.

Sack the lazy ones and promote the responsible ones. We want our councils to be clean and happy.

one more thing, tony, can you look into the selangor government website and see if you can improve it? you expertise and experience should help a lot in making the site more efficient, user friendly, and informative.

Anonymous said...

Dear YB

Haha. Now AAB is pirating YB LGE in Penang, that all new cabinet ministers must declare wonder RA (AP-Queen) is not appointed. Maybe he will adopt MEA soon !

Although AAB claim new faces in the cabinet, they are still old broomsticks not used. However, the only one most commendable is of Zaid Ibrahim. He is in the wrong party. Let's hope he doesn't become like one of them.

NEO said...

Dear Tony,

After local government elections, the next should be selection of heads of state controls entities...

It may take years to clean up the rots but its now the duties and responsibilities of DAP to clean up the mass created by BN

Anonymous said...

The problem does noat arise on appointment or elected. Election only get people more busy and more costly. Appointment on the other hand is clear cut and can save a lot of problem as decision making process can be much faster. The problems only arise if we have leaders by the people by for themselve.

So if DAP isn't than why worry?

Anonymous said...

Hi YB Tony,
I'm totally agree with the local council election, BN only allow their own colonies to join the local council and allow the project to be approve for their own colonies.

We should have a local council to be more transparent in their operation and how they spend our tax money for the city development. I’m saw Thailand local council having a big sign board display all the project the local council currently engage, the amount of money they spend on the project and who the contractor for this project.

If BR can make these changes in local council operation and administration, I definitely will give 110% support to next GE, I will influence all the people around me to support BR – DAP.


Peter said...

Hi Tony,

First let me apologize on being perhaps a bit impolite in not even shaking your hands, not thanking you for that autographed election poster of yours and even had the audacity of reminding you of what Haris Ibrahim said at SS2 ceramah (transcript) - "If we can put them in, we can take them out" on that historical night. I have confidence that it is highly unlikely we will work to get you out. Plus just today, I had that autographed election poster framed and hanging in my living room for I told my children I think the 2008 General Election may be a historical event for Malaysia and a positive turning point for Malaysia if things turned out right. And I am proud to have a small role in it.

I am going to comment on a few things, but please be assured that I am not saying it to seek favors for if you can help bring positive changes to Malaysia, that is already a big favor for my children, my future generation, and the future generations of Malaysia. I need no personal favor and I am sad to see from your Facebook your status "receiving lots of invitation to be Facebook friends". Those invitations should have come before the outcome of the election, not after.

I have acted as polling and counting agent and you hopefully will get to read about what I have to say if your time permits, but I have spend much effort to ensure my vote for you did not end up as a spoilt vote. I have also been telling people I meet not to expect too much from you and DAP as you and DAP are working under constraints and may not be able to do what you want to do, and not fulfilling what DAP promised should not be a reason not to vote DAP the next round.

Anyway, I have said enough and I hope that somehow the "Barisan Harapan Rakyat" can really bring back local elections.

I don't envy you for people have asked me to get involved in politics, but I know how difficult it is to be an honest politician and wish you all the best.

Peter Blog*Star
Blog for Positive Changes
Digital Candlelight Vigil
(not my main blog, but set up out of sheer necessity)

zewt said...

this is not a time for state election... not yet... i think...

Anonymous said...

Make hay while the sun shine! One term is enough to care for two generations. When in Rome do as the Romans do. And don't forget those who have supported you. Of course new broom sweeps clean but hurry up, life is short. Get real man!

stevie said...

before the election, you guys promised to "fight" for local elections.

after the election, though, you guys said you'd ask for the publics' "opinions" re it.

if i'm right about it, what gives, tony?

Anonymous said...

We MUST strongly consider removing the city council leadership completely as they were ineffective in proving good service to the local community. As they have lived for years in “TIDAK APA” culture. City council play’s a very important role in the governing of the state. City Council is also the first line of venue to address people’s issues, if the were to be ignored as the have always been. Check and balance system is important in running a fair operation’s. Any Issues highlighted by the people should be notified by mail, as to show the sincerity of the state government is listening to people’s voice. A complaint channel should provide to the people on any City Council employees refusing or not addressing their issues respectively. CUSTOMER SERVICE is a very important. Any business provides good customer service will encourage more people join.
The reason I say this if we could satisfy as many people as we can, more participation of the people mean, will give more recognition and it will lead us longer sustainability in the business of serving people.

Anonymous said...

So, same wine different bottle?


Tan Sri Khalid MB Selangor visited the Indian community in the contraversial Hindu temple demolition area and had a question and answer session with them. He is basically satisfied with what have been done by the previous government. BUT during the get to know sessionwith them he quickly make an exit leaving the area with excuse to have other function. ONLY 3 question were asked and the new MB together with Anwar quickly left the function.
Now the Indian at this area can really see the true colour. TV3 shouls have telecast the function because all this while they have been screening only bad news about Selangor BN government. What the Hindraf fella got to say on this.

the Guy from Malaysia said...

Hi Tony,

I understand about the need to have local council election so that the council will be served by the people who elected locally.

But can you educate us what is the difference in role between the local council and state government, and what if local council and state government are both governed by two different political parties, will there be a conflict of self-party interest and policy differences hence causing a halt in implementation?

Kindly advise/ educate us with regards to what the law says in this case and what differentiate these two roles (state government and local council), and how they can/ cannot work together.


Anonymous said...

Local council elections and emphasis on transparency is definitely a good thing. But, equally important is the ability to push things ahead and get useful work done.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

I am the BR coalition must have lots of abled people.

Just a suggestion, to maximise effort and time - all BR electeds should pool their resources together to churn out a common working model running first.


1. service centre model for the rakyats
2. common KPI elements
3. common council responsibility procedures using standard templates (eg simple spreadsheet) with data such as when reported, when fixed, recurrent or one off, cost involved, root cause, action by area eg managing local councils on common issues like clogged rains, uncovered man holes, illegal parking
4. Open up channels for rakyats to report

Yell, if BR needs help - we help to install you all and we will do whatever to see you suceed !