Saturday, October 17, 2015

Deepavali Bazaar - Was it a decision made without the people in DAP-PKR-PAS's Local Council?

Are the people being consulted by the government before decisions are being made? That is the fundamental question here.

Now, the issue here is the moving of the site of the 'Deepavali Bazaar' to a different location. Now, this is a DAP-PAS-PKR governed state, and the Local Coucil are persons 'appointed'(not elected by the people yet) by the Selangor Government.

BN governing style - government decides > usually with no real consultation and/or discussion with the local community that will be affected by the decision.

What is the DAP-PAS-PKR (or Opposition government) style - same as the old BN way - or different from the BN, where the people are consulted and have a role in the decision making process?


How could this be done?
- A Notice Board/Banners indicating the proposed changes, with an email adress/address where people could write in their opinions/support/objections about the subject matter. [Maybe, even good if pamphlets could also be distributed to every household in the affected area.]

- A highlighting of the different opinions/feedback so that the public knows the different views. [No use if just the relevant local government is aware of the different points, people too need to know the different viewpoints so that they too can consider it and maybe even change their own positions]

- Local Town Hall Meetings - where people are invited to voice out their different views, and maybe even come to a common decision by maybe voting.[Could have several meetings in different community halls]
- Then, the decision is made jointly with the people... [In this Deepavali bazaar issue, interesting the people being targetted by the protesters are the Local Councillors, MPs, Aduns - we see no rep from the Local Communities even coming out in support of 'move the Bazaar' decision...and is this because people were left out of the decision making process??]

- If there is to be a REFERENDUM - better still, so that all people have the right to have a say in the matter.
If this is the process used, then it would be the people's decision - not just the decision of the Local Government (or the Local Council) - and this maybe the best until we have Local Council Elections, and maybe even democratic community elections at kampungs, tamans, etc...

**True, that people in the Opposition (here it may be BN supporters who may be causing the present problems, but if a REAL consultative and democratic process is employed involving all persons in the community - then the decision will be uncontestable since it is the decision supported by the majority in the community...

Here, we are not sure how the decision was made by the DAP-PKR-PAS government - but suspicion is that more likely than not, the decision was made by the government, and the people of the community did not democratically make the decision. [The BN way is that once you elect the leaders, then the leaders will make the decision 'for the best interest of the people' and people will just abide by such decision, if not happy, just vote the BN out hopefully DAP-PAS-PKR is doing things in a more consultative and democratic manner].

I have heard similar complaints from communities in Selangor, that many decisions are made, and development projects/activities are carried out even under the DAP-PAS-PKR government with no consultation, right to be heard, etc just like it was done whilst the State was governed by the BN. In fact they say, the kind of communication, discussion, interaction that existed before the DAP-PAS-PKR won was so much better, but after victory achieved all these 'good practices' of the past has just stopped...

Maybe the relevant MPs and ADUNs may not be faulted, as this was really a matter that was under the Local Government(Local Council), and it is they that made the decision - that now seems to be having much protest.

But then, even MPs and ADUNs, need to have looked into the operations of Local Councils when it comes to decision making that will impact on the local communities - more so, since we still do not have Local Council elections, and all these people who sit in Local Councils today in Selangor are still people appointed by the DAP-PAS-PKR government, most being party people appointed.
I believe that we need democratically elected leaders at all community levels - kampungs, kampung baru, tamans, etc ... (elections could be for 2-3 year terms), and these leaders/reps could form bodies that could be in direct contact with Local Councils/ADUNs/MPs  - creating an effective information flow mechanism, facilitating a forum of discussion and decision making on matters that affect the communities. {Who will win such elections is immaterial as they will be the peoples' choice - and that is democracy]. Now, there is nothing in LAW that is preventing such elections and democratic processes unlike when it comes  to Local Council elections.

For effective democracy, such structures are important - not like the current situation where the Local Councillor may personally 'appoint' this or that person as 'representative' for this or that area/community > and this would be  a person who really do not have the majority support of the people in the area/community. 

Democratic elections is the ONLY solution - and the risk that BN people may end up winning majority support should not be the worry of leaders and governments that truly believe in democracy...

DAP-PAS-PKR governed states has the golden opportunity of bringing true democracy to the people in the States they govern - and it disturbs me that they are dis-interested in doing this. Why? 

Wow - look at democratic rights and privileges that people in DAP-PAS-PKR States of Selangor, Penang and Kelantan are enjoying - we in the other States also want that... BUT no, people are not saying this, are they now....?? 

Traders irked at not being consulted on Deepavali bazaar move

    Updated     12
Deepavali traders who faced off with Selangor DAP representatives on Thursday fear losing their income due to the change in the bazaar location.

Forced to move from Jalan SS9A/13 in Sungai Way to the adjacent Jalan SS9A/12, the traders are also angry that they were not consulted on plans to relocate their trading area.

"My family has been trading there for 15 years. We've been licensed to trade at Jalan SS9A/13 all these while but this year, they won't let us trade there," trader K Saminathan told Malaysiakini.

Malaysian Indian Entrepreneurs and Professionals Association deputy president G Gunaraj, who accompanied Saminathan, said other traders have been there for almost two decades.

"These people are petty traders. They borrow money to do business and expect to make some profit from Deepavali," he said.

Speaking on behalf of the traders, Gunaraj said they were upset that Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) had not consulted them before relocating the market to the adjacent street, ostensibly to facilitate better traffic flow.

The move, he said, could be bad for business, as most customers are used to going to the old spot.
He added, the management of the temple where the new market is at, are also unhappy with the relocation, as the traders are now blocking the parking space to the temple.

Memo to stay

The matter has been raised with Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, who has reportedly instructed MBPJ to settle the matter at the councillor level.

Thirteen out of 24 councillors involved in the decision-making process have supported a memorandum for the traders to stay, according to a copy of the signed petition sighted by Malaysiakini.

Gunaraj said it is now up to Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain to make a decision.

In the memorandum dated Oct 7, the councillors said the traders can stay where they are if they set up smaller tents on only one side of the road, and get Rela officers to facilitate traffic.

They also agreed to let seven traders who applied for a permit to set up business at the new location on Jalan SS9A/12 to remain there to test the market there.

If the new site is successful, then the original site will close for good next year, the memorandum said.

Yesterday Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, together with Kampung Tunku state assemblyperson Lau Weng San, and Kota Alam Shah’s V Ganabathirao, visited the new site.
However, they encountered a hostile crowd who heckled them and demanded the issue be resolved.

Gunaraj expressed regret over the incident but hoped that Pua and the other DAP representatives would take the traders' plight into consideration.

"We respect Pua, and all the YBs who have assisted; we want this matter to be resolved amicably.

"Pua and the others have been championing national issues, but I hope they can assist in this issue too. These are voters, and I hope they will be considerate enough to give the traders a hearing," he said. - Malaysiakini, 17/10/2015


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