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.