romised Local Council Elections, Procrastinated, Breached?, Now doing a poll …wayang??

Bersih2.0 Saturday June 5th, 2010 0

Charles Hector

Save for Perak (whilst it was under the rule of Pakatan Rakyat), it saddens me to note that all the other Pakatan Rakyat States seems to have not fulfilled on their promises to have local council elections…

They proceeded to appoint local councilors – and they appointed their own party members. [Nothing really different from the UMNO-led BN, who also appointed their own political party members]. Pakatan Rakyat also appointed some civil society/NGO persons – but then BN also did have 1 or 2 NGO persons, usually from the Consumer Movement.

Why don’t they have local council elections? Well, maybe it is the same fear that the UMNO-led BN had – i.e. that the people will choose persons from the opposition parties and others – not their own party people..but, that is Democracy – and it is the people that decide.
First, the reason was that the law did not allow them to have elections (but then, there were many ‘legal experts’ who pointed out that they could)

Then, after almost 2 years, the Penang government (followed by the Selangor government?) took the ‘first step’ by writing to the Election Commission. Did they instruct the EC to conduct local council elections, or did they ask the EC for advice? And, the EC gave its opinion….or was it the EC’s decision.

PUTRAJAYA, March 24 (Bernama) — Penang and Selangor cannot hold the local government elections as the related provisions under the Local Government Elections Act 1960 have been abolished with the enforcement of the Local Government Act 1976, the Election Commission (EC) said.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf said Section 10 of the Local Government Act 1976 stipulates that membership to a local council should be made through appointment.

“It’s not that the EC does not want to carry out the elections but the current law does not allow for them,” he told reporters here today.

He said that if states in the peninsula, including Penang and Selangor, planned to conduct local government elections, they should first decide on such policies.

“If state governments want to change the policy, they can do so but it should not be done in isolation,” he said.

“They can only change the policy by taking the matter to the National Council for the Local Government which is chaired by a minister, and not to the EC,” he said.

On March 8, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng wrote to the EC asking it to conduct elections for the Penang Municipal Council and Seberang Prai Municipal Council.

On March 15, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim also wrote to the EC asking the commission to study whether it was possible to hold local government elections.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said that there was no need to hold the local elections as it had been abolished for so long. – Bernama, 24/3/2010, Local council elections cannot be held in Penang, Selangor: EC

Now, what do they do? Do they take the matter to court – and get a declaration that the State can have local council elections – and, possibly also, that the EC must conduct them? Unless, I am wrong – they did not do so…

Did they take the matter up to the National Council for the Local Government, as opined by the EC? I have not read anything to suggest that they did..

So, what did the Penang and Selangor State governments do ….well, penang started a poll on its website….a big joke

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