As a compromise to the greatest proponents for Local Council elections, Pakatan Rakyat agreed to have a percentage of NGO/CSO reps in Local Council but that percentage has been shrinking as times goes by...
Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs) or civil society organisation(CSOs) representation is important - or rather it may be persons who are Human Rights Defenders - but the question is who chooses them? Ideally, it must be like what happened in Penang, where civil society chose its representaties and submitted the names to the State Covernment for appointment in Local Councils. It should not be State Governments selecting these persons on their own for then the chosen would not be NGO/CSO or HRD representatives, just a selection of persons the State Government (or rather the political parties in government chooses)
- Over the years, this commitment to 25% NGO allocation is on a declining scale. For example, the number of councillors in MBPJ Council has reduced from six (6) to four (4) and the two NGO seats are occupied by political party representatives. In MPSJ, there are two (2) NGO councillors and one (1) in MPKlang while in other smaller Selangor councils, there are almost none.
- A number of high performing councillors who were appointed under the NGO quota may be given the boot by end of January 2014.
- The appointment/selection is confined to horse trading between political parties, without any consultation or participation by NGOs (Star Online, http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Community/2013/12/07/Party-squabble-causes-delay-List-of-councillors-at-12-local-authorities-in-Sgor-yet-to-be-finalised.aspx).