Both the Selangor and Penang PR state governments have commissioned studies on the revival of local governments, resulting in very different reports.
The Penang report holds that the power is in the hand of the federal government and the state can do nothing.
The Selangor report, commissioned to the Coalition of Good Governance (CGG) and submitted in July, listed three solutions to reintroduce local elections, two of which do not require federal consent.
While the report has been made public soon after its submission to the state government, it was widely reported in the media and few have read it. Feel free to share this pdf copy with your friend. LCE paper_final_23Dec2009
Reporters have been asking this question: Is Penanti another referendum?
My take is this: elections become a referendum only when a decision on personnel transform into a decision on issue.
In other words, it must be dominated by a single issue, and arguably one of national significance.
While real referendums can have more than one question on the ballot, a metaphorical referendum cannot. If you can interpret the outcome in many ways, you can’t call it a referendum.
However, referendum or not, by-elections are “mid-term” elections, like “mid-term examinations”. They can always serve as a barometer of the popular mood even if they dont begin as a referendum.
Just dont think we should over-use certain words.
It’s Najib who needs no more by-elections, not even for the PR-held seats which offer a chance for BN to recover lost ground. Why? He does not have confidence of his own chance.
Money politics no longer works. Threat no longer works.
But Malaysia needs two more by-elections. To be precise, two by-elections for BN-held state seats in Perak. Here are the list of the seats that you can choose for:
Civil Society Organizations Joint Statement: 28 November 2008
Time for a PR Shadow Cabinet
We, the undersigned civil society groups call upon the Pakatan Rakyat to set up a shadow cabinet as soon as possible. Positioning himself as the prime minister-in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim must present his team of ministers-in-waiting not later than his rival Najib Razak announces his line-up in March.
I have checked with my friends in the Selangor State Government. They said that the state government has never made a promise to make Sept 16 a public holiday.
I must blog this because my previous post might have given you an impression that the Pakatan Rakyat governments have made a false promise. Thanks to their clarification and my apologies here for the “misinformation”.
I was told that other PR state governments (except Penang which promised to begin it next year as it has made August 26 a state holiday) also have not made such commitments. I do remember reading the state governments signaling supports for that idea even though I can’t find the URLs now. (Do provide the URLs if you find them) Perhaps they have just indicated willingness to consider but never come to a positive decision.
Now, the question is: why can’t even Anwar persuade the four other states to follow his suggestion? Whatever the reasons, how should we now read his criticism against BN for unwillingness to declare it a public holiday? Is BN excusable for rejecting the idea all these while? After all, how can you ask a non-believer (BN) of an idea (treasuring the Malaysia project and its birthday) to do more than a believer (PR)?
It just reminds me of local elections, freedom of information legislation, ……
According to Malaysiakini, Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim has abandoned his government’s promise to enact a Freedom of Information legislation in Selangor, citing the constitutional provision that “that state laws which are not consistent with federal legislation” can be declared null and void.
The Menteri Besar seems ignorant that the Federal Constitution also lists under the state’s jurisdiction a power to regulate its own government machinery – which only fits common sense – under the Ninth Schedule.
In Australia, both the commonwealth (federation) and the states/territories have their own FOI laws.
I wonder if Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim should publish the legal opinion he has sought to enlighten the Malaysian – Selangorian in particular – public.
Koh Tsu Koon talked about winning back Penang in two elections’ time. The interview was originally in Oriental Daily and the excerpt in English can be found in the Sun today.
With all due respect the former CM for his “gentlemanly” conceding of the defeat after election, I think Koh has a poor sense of politics despite so many years in the business, at least way poorer than that of Lee Kah Chuan and Dr Tan Kee Kwong who are now serving the Penang and Selangor PR governments.
Gerakan will never win back Penang. It may not even last much longer than the next election. There is only one way to save this party but the party has not been advocating it.
Here’s why I confidently predict the doom day for this multiethnic party which many Malaysians like.
Posted in Democracy, Elections, Opposition State Governments, Party Politics
Tagged DAP, Dr Tan Kee Kwong, Gerakan, Koh Tsu Koon, Lee Kah Chuan, Local Elections, Pakatan Rakyat, PKR, PPP
Free Speech. Information Access. Empowerment.
Malaysians’ Demands on World Press Freedom Day
3 May 2008
Two years ago, in an unprecedented move, 37 civil society organisations and almost 100 individuals signed a statement calling for the abolition of the Printing Presses and Publications Act and to institute other reforms in the legal and political environments to enable the media to operate freely and independently in Malaysia.
The statement was signed in disappointment of the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s failed promise of fighting corruption and upholding political integrity and accountability when he took office in 2003.
The call for a free press fell unfortunately to deaf ears but it has only grown louder two years later as the Barisan Nasional learned painfully on March 8. To our disappointment, the setback in the 12th general elections has failed to remind PM Abdullah the nation’s thirsting desire for a free press.
He promised reform in the judiciary and reform of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) but unfortunately nothing about reform of the media law. Even more disappoitingly, the Home Ministry has recently rejected the application for the publication permit renewal by an outspoken Tamil daily Makkal Osai before approving its appeal a week later. The Ministry still withholds the renewal of a relatively independent Chinese daily, Oriental Daily.
Is it any surprise that Malaysia ranks 141 amongst 195 countries surveyed in the 2008 Global Press Freedom Rankings released by the Freedom House on April 29? Does the government not feel ashamed that our country is placed at the bottom 30% in the world on press freedom? Continue reading
I understand that some good people in or advising the Penang and Selangor state governments are working on the rescue of Makkal Osai.
Let us hope that history will be made today or tomorrow that the press will no longer fear BN’s bullying: Revoke the publication permit as much as you like, we will turn to the state governments for exemption!
May we celebrate the death of PPPA before the World Press Freedom Day (May 3)!