24 March, 2010


I refer to the announcement by the Election Commission (EC) today that they are unable to assist DAP and PKR to hold local government elections in their respective states in Penang and Selangor as the EC are bound by the Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171).

The Act clearly provides at Section 10 that the local councilors are to be appointed by the State Authority. Section 15 of the Act further provides that “notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law, all provisions relating to local governments elections shall cease to have force or effect”.

As in my previous press statement, I have called the government to amend the relevant laws to assist Pakatan Rakyat states to hold the local government elections. This is to prevent any ambiguity as there are certain parties who had interpreted certain provisions in the Federal Constitution or any other law that they claim allowed for local government elections.

I believe Pakatan Rakyat is fully aware of the current law in our country prior to Penang and Selangor writing to the Election Commission.

While I agree with the effort by DAP and PKR to consider the implementation of the local government elections in Penang and Selangor, I strongly condemn the harsh criticism by some Pakatan Rakyat leaders towards the decision of the Election Commission.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders must learn that decisions by the Election Commission or any other federal or state authority are bound by the laws of our country.

Thus, the criticism by Pakatan Rakyat that the EC is not independent in this issue is clearly lack of substance.

Even at this juncture, Pakatan Rakyat is unable to re-affirm their policy whether they want local government elections in ALL Pakatan Rakyat’s states or otherwise.

The recent announcement by the Kedah PAS-led state government that they are not interested in such local government elections clearly shows that Pakatan Rakyat is not sincere in implementing the local government elections in ALL Pakatan Rakyat states. The pledge to hold local government elections was made by Pakatan Rakyat and not just DAP or PKR in Penang or Selangor.

After the lapse of 2 years from last general election, Pakatan Rakyat should stop pushing the blame to the Election Commision or any other party for the failure of Pakatan Rakyat to fulfill their pledge to implement the local government elections in ALL Pakatan Rakyat’s states.