Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Penang MPPP is wrong - Izuree should never have been 'penalized' for criticizing a PR State policy?

I have a different viewpoint, opinion or position, and if after discussion and debate, the committee comes to a decision contrary (or different) from my position - because the other position had majority support - well, officially I would agree that this was the official position. 

BUT I am still personally allowed to hold my own opinion - and lobby for it....all with the hope that the next time, the vote may differ and my position be adopted as the official position. 

Am I bound to be 'silent' and not state my position - NO - well, I have every right to campaign for my personal position, and even be critical of the current position of the committee. Our Minister Nazri is an example of a person who takes the position that death penalty should be abolished despite the present government position is the opposite - did Najib and the BN suspend him or remove him from cabinet? No 

Hence, I am disappointed with the decision of the Penang local council, the MPPP in particular, that have removed this Local Councillor from all working commitees of the Local Council, and suspended his financial allocations. They DID NOT remove him as Local Councillor.

What did he do? Well he was critical of the Council's decision (or was it the State position)  at his own political party meet. Nothing wrong with this. Anwar says he should bring it to the proper channel - well, is not the people the proper channel - for after all, are we not a democracy?

Surely, Pakatan Rakyat is not of the position that all persons elected or appointed to PR State Exco, PR State local councils and the various sub-committees should be 'Yes Men' - and people, who once the majority has decided will abandon their contrary position and views? No, we need people of principles - who will not remain 'silent' but will lobby for alternative positions especially if they truly believe it is the better position.

We know the BN has come out before stating that their own MPs should not supporting points made by the Opposition, or criticize the BN position - we expected better from the alternative, Pakatan Rakyat...democracy demands freedom of expression and opinion...

Hence, I would call for the reinstatement of this Local Councillor into the various sub-committees he was in, and certainly all his allowances and allocations. I wonder what these financial allocations are? Enlighten us about this please...

I wonder whether all these ADUNs, MPs, Senators, Local Councillors, Committee Members still do have their freedom of spech, expression and opinion - or are they expected to just 'vote as instructed' or 'vote as expected'? Can they have a different position from the leaders of the political parties...or the Menteri Besar or Chief Minister...or the Prime Minister..? I would prefer that we have thinking people, critical persons, opinionated persons ....elected, appointed in these various levels of government...

YES - the majority decision will be the decision and position of the government, local council and various committees - but those with the minority position have a right to continue pushing their position, always clarifying that this is but their personal or minority position. Even in court, judges let us all know their dissenting positions...  

WHIP - that is the procedure used to compel MPs/ADUNs to vote a particular way by the political party - this really should never be used save for very important situations - like the passing of Financial Bills. I heard that this is also now being used in Local Councils... WHY? Persons elected or appointed must ultimately vote in accordance to their principles, values and positions - if this is prevented, we may as well have 'unthinking persons' - who will just vote as instructed...who will not lobby for alternatives or question the positions of their 'leaders'...

I hope PR, BN and the other parties do come out and state clearly what is their position about all these... we deserve to know...yes, the people (the BOSS) deserves to know...

Remember, the importance of transparency and accountability in especially a democracy...

All Pakatan Rakyat ADUNs, especially those not in the State Exco, is duty bound to challenge, criticize the decisions/position of the State government - that is essentially the role of the 'Backbencher's Club' - those PR ADUNs not the MB or the State Exco. CHECK AND BALANCE ... that is done openly - not secretly behind close doors.

If an Exco member criticizes - well, then the MB or the Chief Minister has a right to remove him/her - Why? Because an Exco is persons the MB/Chief Minister chooses to carry out the business of governing the State - it is the MB/Chief Minister's 'agents' at the end of the day, and a failure of the Executive will be blamed on the MB or Chief Minister. A State Exco is not like a society exco, which is elected by the membership. 

For the State Exco position, the different quarters have the right to 'suggest' names - but at the end of the date, the buck stops with the MB or Chief Minister - he rightly choses his/her Exco - his 'agents' in carrying out the functions of the Executive.

But, to try to extend this same treatment to 'Local Councillors' is absurd - they(the Local Councillors) really should be elected. 

It is absurd that the MPPP could have even removed a fellow Local Councillor from working committees and suspend financial allocations. Is this a precedence to say that Local Councils can 'bully', remove from working committees, suspend financial allocations, etc ... so, where is the avenue of appeal? The Chief Minister? The High Court? 

We have to look into this seriously - because we may end up with a domination of the majority - and the 'expulsion' or 'side lining' of the minority... I wonder what was the vote when the MPPP made this decision - unanimous, simple majority, overwhelming majority - we deserve to know what was the vote? We really also deserve to know who voted how... In fact, we are also entitled to look at the minutes of the MPPP - to see the arguments for and against... in fact, people should be allowed to be there and see that MPPP meet LIVE... (Local Council meets are supposed to be open to the public...)

Penang PAS councillor suspended over remarks

Penang PAS leader Iszuree Ibrahim has been removed from all working committees in the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) following his criticism of the state government's squatter policy at his party's recent muktamar in Johor.
Iszuree, who is the state party's land bureau chief, said he received the letter from MPPP secretary Ang Aing Thye last night at 7pm.

The letter sighted by Malaysiakini stated that the decision to act against Iszuree was decided at a council meeting on Sept 25.

When contacted, state cabinet member in charge of local council Chow Kon Yeow said Iszuree remains a councillor and can still attend MPPP's full meetings held monthly.

He declined to elaborate on Iszuree's removal from the various working committees.

Iszuree when contacted by Malaysiakini said, "This action goes against the spirit of Pakatan Rakyat. We are supposed to be speaking about justice and freedom of speech but looks like it is not being practised here.
"BN is a cruel government and has lost seats during elections due to its actions. The same will happen to Pakatan if it acts unjustly like BN," he said.

"Now whenever people (in the state government) criticise, they get terminated. It happened to others, too," he quipped.

Disappointed with action
Iszuree, who had held the MPPP councillor post for four years said he will let the party decide  the matter and will act accordingly when the time comes.

He denied feeling disappointed at his loss but felt it was too excessive to terminate his appointments in all working committees with immediate affect.

"I have contributed ideas to improving the council and have some projects pending. Now the budget allocations to implement them have also been frozen," Iszuree said.
He had incurred the wrath of the state government when he proposed a squatter policy to address eviction cases by developers.

Iszuree had also urged the state government not to implement policies of the previous BN administration prior to 2008.

His speech at the muktamar was reported by Malaysiakini on Sept 19 with the headline 'PAS delegate says Penang pro-developer, like BN'.

However, Iszuree said he was misquoted in the report, adding he did not slam the state's housing policy but was merely proposing policies to address Penang’s squatter problems. - Malaysiakini, 27/9/2014, Penang PAS councillor suspended over remarks

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