09 March, 2010


I refer to the statement today by our Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak rejecting the request by Penang and Selangor state government to hold local government elections. Our Prime Minister believes that such an election would cause too much “politicking”.

Previously, I have stated that all Pakatan Rakyat states must follow Penang to fulfill their pledge to hold local government elections. Further to that, I have also called the Federal government to assist the Pakatan Rakyat states to hold the local government elections, including making amendment to the relevant laws to allow states to opt for local government elections.

I fully understand the statement by our Prime Minister that such an election would cause too much “politicking” and those who are contesting would be more focused into campaigning and not providing better services to the people.

On the contrary, I believe that local government elections would create a check and balance to the administration of the local government, which are mainly administered by the civil servants under the state administration. It would also create democracy at local level and promotes transparency in the administration of local councils.

Besides that, the local people would be able to determine the performance of the local councilors and vote them out should these councilors fail to perform. Those candidates who do not perform and prefer to spend more time campaigning and “politicking” would likely be rejected by the local people. They would be made accountable to the local people.

Thus, I believe the advantages of local government elections outweigh its rejection.

Due to this, I hope that our Prime Minister would reconsider to allow local government elections at Pakatan Rakyat states.

Let the people compare the administration of local councils in states who adopted such an election with the states without such elections.