Monday, November 23, 2009

True democracy for Malaysia still an illusion for people in power fear giving this democratic right back to the people

The government chooses the members of the Local Council, heads of kampungs, kampung baru, kampung orang asli and taman baru...WHY?

The reason for this is that the government do not trust the people - they are worried that the people selected by the people themselves may not be people who are 'their' people.

They are worried that the process will empower people and soon the people will be doing the things that they want...and making more demands of rights...

They are worried that too much power will vest in the people - and no more in the government..

It is a kind of feudalism (not democracy) that exists at all levels of the community save for elections for the State Legislative Assembly and Parliament (that too only the Dewan Rakyat but not the Dewan Negara)

This need to 'control'...'dominate' was the characteristic of the UMNO-led coalition governments - but today it seems to be also the characteristic of the Pakatan Rakyat government...and this is sad.

Before they were in power, the Pakatan Rakyat did promise local council elections but alas... still they are appointing their own into the Local Councils of the 4 States that they control.

  • PKR's Manifesto 2008 promised in item 9 of its vision for a constitutional state, to “reinstate with immediate effect local elections for municipal and local councils to create greater accountability at every level of government.”

  • DAP, both through its campaign on “The Third Vote: Restore Local Government Elections” and its 2008 Election Manifesto, reiterated its call to “implement local government elections to ensure accountability and efficiency”.

  • The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH), whose membership includes all three Pakatan Rakyat component parties, promised: “The need to re-introduce elections for local authorities at city, municipal, district and village levels with an electoral system which is free and fair, and [which] enables Malaysians to participate actively.”

The People’s Declaration, which all three Pakatan Rakyat component parties endorsed during the 2008 elections, also upheld the principle of local elections. - extracted from the Coalition for Good Governance Media Statement, 6/7/2009,LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS:Will Selangor Lead the Way?

Save for Perak, when it was governed by Pakatan Rakyat under the leadership of Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin there was elections for all the kampung traditional and 1 kampung baru. Why were there no elections for the Kampung Barus? Apparently, some of the component parties of  Pakatan Rakyat were not for it as there was concern that the people may choose people who are not pro-Pakatan Rakyat.

Kerajaan Perak tidak membenarkan ketua kampung baru di negeri itu memegang jawatan berkenaan secara pemilihan, sebaliknya ia hanya akan dibuat secara lantikan, kata Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

Bernama melaporkan beliau sebagai berkata, keputusan yang dibuat oleh exco kerajaan negeri ialah ketua kampung baru akan dilantik oleh kerajaan negeri dalam tempoh dua tahun akan datang, berbeza dengan kampung tradisional yang mana pemilihannya telah dibuat sebelum ini.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas kenyataan Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri kawasan Simpang Pulai, Chan Ming Kai, bahawa proses penamaan calon bagi pemilihan ketua Kampung Baru Gunung Rapat akan diadakan Ahad ini dan jika ada pertandingan, pengundian akan dijalankan pada 1 Januari.

"Saya ingin perbetulkan, tidak ada pemilihan dalam jawatan ketua kampung baru, itu ketetapan yang sudah dibuat. Pelantikan itu pula berdasarkan kriteria yang ditetapkan iaitu jika terbukti dia (calon ketua kampung) ada rekod jenayah, kami tidak akan melantiknya," kata Mohammad Nizar.

Rabu lalu, Chan dilaporkan berkata, pemilihan itu terbuka kepada semua penduduk kampung baru termasuk bekas banduan yang dianggap sudah kembali semula ke dalam masyarakat.

Chan juga dilaporkan berkata proses pemilihan ketua kampung di Gunung Rapat akan menjadi projek percubaan kepada 133 kampung baru lain yang terdapat di Perak yang mana penamaan calon dan pemilihannya akan diumumkan kemudian.

Mengenai satu perkara lain, Mohammad Nizar mengumumkan bonus satu setengah bulan atau minimum RM1,200 kepada semua kakitangan Lembaga Air Perak. - Malaysiakini, 26/12/2009,
Perak larang pemilihan ketua kampung baru
Why...why..why do you not give the people the power and the right to choose their own community and local leaders? Are we anti-democracy? Was the Perak decision with regard to Kampung Baru's a decision of the Pakatan Rakyat - for after all none of the other Pakatan Rakyat states wanted to give their people the right to chose their leaders...and what Nizar started was put to a stop...but people still wonder why the people of the other Pakatan Rakyat states never got the change to elect their own local leaders - hence breaking that lost standing practice of BN rule - i.e. we appoint local leaders..

Sure, there is a risk that a anti-Pakatan Rakyat person may be chosen? Sure there is a risk that a real strong leader of the people who will be chosen who may be a 'pain in the butt' for the ruling  Governments...

But wait - does this mean that governments want subservient lambs as leaders - who will not be critical of government...who will not fight for the people's rights but will just be a 'yes-person' to the ruling government - That is it, is it not?

It is the people's right to choose their leaders and reps, and that right must always be respected...this is democracy.

Just being for democracy in some thing (i.e. the elections of MPs and ADUNs) and not for the other levels of the community...

But wait, does democracy exists even in the political parties of Malaysia? I have heard of stories of how difficult it is to join certain political parties..where branch leaders do not want to admit certain persons into their branches..or parties because of worry that in the future this would be a person who may be a challenge to his/her branch leadership...

UMNO - well after Razaleigh Hamzah came close to defeating Mahathir for the Presidency, the new UMNO baru that was formed by Mahathir was careful in not taking in those pro-Razaleigh people. Hence, we had Semangat 46...Then, to make it very difficult for leadership challenges, there was that absurd quota requirement for nominations for Presidency and the principal leadership positions, which stayed in place for almost 20 years. Now, changes are happening...

Some parties, after there was a challenge resulted in a situation where those who supported the losing candidate losing their membership. How? The party did not accept membership dues...and hence the party removed most supporters of the losing ensure no future challenges.

Within some parties, money,  contracts, projects, appointments,... were used to scare people into ensuring that incumbents stayed in place... Tengku Razaleigh only managed to get 1 division nomination (I believe that other divisions were just too fearful of the consequences of nominating someone other than the incumbent...although if the requirement was only a individual proposer and seconder, as is the case for General Elections for MPs and ADUNs, and there was elections we may have long had a new president for UMNO). There are reforms happening today within UMNO, including the giving of the right to choose the leaders of the party to more - but still not good enough as this right is not given to all members of UMNO.

Likewise, in MCA there are greater democratization of the party happening..

What about the other political parties? Will all members be given the right to choose their leaders?

When a leader finds that he has lost the confidence/support of the membership - the right thing to do may be resign. This is democracy. MCA - think about this.

Sometimes, it may not be a loss of support on the person holding the leadership position - but a rejection of a proposal he put forward to the membership. In this case, the leader can still  stay on as  the leader as it was only a rejection of a proposal by the membership...but some do choose to resign as well. In the MCA case, it was a 'no-confidence' vote but despite the membership  decision, the President has elected to stay on because it was not a two-third decision - but a simple majority.

Yes - members of political parties also desire democracy - one person one vote - but will the leaders of political parties have the guts to really allow for democracy in political parties...

Democracy in Malaysia at many levels of society is dead, replaced by feudalistic practices of appointment. Democracy has been hindered by various creative means, i.e. the quota system, the limiting of the right of voting and choosing leaders to a small representative group of 'faithfuls', etc.

It is time for democracy - true democracy at all levels... The rejection of the BN by many in 2008 was by a people that desired real change ...REFORMASI... but alas it is yet to happen in a real way...

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