Monday, May 28, 2018
Local Council Elections
Salleh Said Keruak
The new Housing and Local Government Minister, YB Zuraida Kamaruddin, said the Pakatan Harapan government will reintroduce local council elections within three years. This is in keeping with the opposition promise since the last 20 years that it would reintroduce local government elections if it came to power at federal level.
Most Malaysians do not realise that Malaysia used to have local government elections until 1965 when they were suspended. There is good and bad in local government elections, just like there is good and bad in everything. And one good thing is the local councillors will no longer be appointed but will be elected, which would translate to more democracy and transparency.
Many local councils do not have professionals as councillors since the first criteria for their appointment is party loyalty. With local council elections, the rakyat and not the political parties get to choose the councillors to look after their interest. This may be bad for the party but it will be good for the rakyat. The way forward is transparency and professionalism and by electing the councillors this can be assured.