The Federal Court in Putrajaya will hear the Penang government's application for leave to restore local government elections on May 29.

State Local Government and Traffic Management committee chairperson Chow Kon Yeow said the application had been filed in March but the state was told that hearing would only commence after the general elections.

NONEHe said the court hearing sets in motion the state's plan to bring back local elections which had been denied to Penangites since 1965.

He added that he would represent the state in Putrajaya, while constitutional expert Tommy Thomas was the legal counsel in the case that was filed together with Penang resident and former Aliran president P. Ramakrishnan.

"In our petition, we said with the newly gazetted Local Government Election (Penang Island and Province Wellesley) Enactment 2012, the state should be allowed to conduct its own election for local councillors," Chow told a press conference.

"In this case, the Federal Government and Election Commission are respondents, as the latter should take all the necessary actions to ensure that local elections take place " he added.

"We want the court's declaration that the state has the absolute and exclusive jurisdiction to enact and implement laws on local elections," he said.

Born 1857, died 1965
Federal laws which are found to obstruct local elections should be declared as ultra vires the constitution, null and void, he stressed.

penang pulau pinang old heritage pre war buildings 160307 02Local elections in the George Town municipality were held since 1857 but banned in 1965 during confrontation with Indonesia with the promulgation of an Emergency regulation .

Since then, councillors for the Penang and Seberang Perai municipal councillors, the third tier of the state administration, have been political appointees.

However, there are also a few NGO representatives picked to make up the list. - Malaysiakini, 17/5/2013, Apex court sets date for hearing on local polls