Sunday, August 27, 2023

Protection of people's right of public participation? ADUNs - Role? Awareness of right of public participation and helping public to participate?

Do we in Malaysia know and want our RIGHT OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION? 

Do we want to use it and exercise it so we can have our say on development in our area, and even laws, etc? Do we want to personally participate, OR simply want our ADUNs/MPs to participate on our behalf?

In Malaysia, the right of public participation can sometimes be 'STOLEN' from the Rakyat (the people) by political appointees, who decide on our behalf on various issues without even our knowledge, and/or even our participation in the decision making?

In Malaysia, government appoints the members of the Local Government, even Ketua Kampungs and the JKKKK or similar structures, and many a time the feedback of the people are made by these political appointees without even the peoples' knowledge. One example, when the people are against logging in the forest reserve near their kampungs, it is ODD to hear that many political appointed 'ketua kampungs' had signed letters supporting the logging. This is an example of peoples' right of public participation being 'stolen'...

In Malaysia, the right of public participation is sometimes also 'STOLEN' from the Rakyat (the people) by reason that the government and/or government department/agencies failing to PUBLICIZE enough how,when and where we can 'participate' > hence, not knowing, decisions are made WITHOUT PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. What use simply putting notices inviting public feedback on notice boards of some offices - when today, it could be publicized through placement of LARGE banners at prominent places, through the internet and other online means. Evaluate what the government have been doing - by not sufficiently informing the people of how and when they can exercise their right to give their comments/feedback.

Objections to the incinerator in Selangor

A recent media report about objections to an incinerator - well, the newly appointed PH rep says he will raise the people's objection >>> but note that the Selangor have been governed by Pakatan Harapan for some time now.

I believe that No incinerator can be build unless the Local Government(Local Council) says OK - but the problem is that we do not have Local Government elections - so, all them Local Councillors are appointed by the Pakatan Harapan government of Selangor.

Does the State Government have the power to decide and build an incinerator in the State? 

Normally, for such projects, the views of the nearby community is sought > but again the State appointed ketua kampung, or JKKK like committees MAY have given their consent on behalf of the people.

He[Pakatan Harapan’s Rawang assemblyman Chua Wei Kiat ]  said the two of them had put forward their views to KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd, the company that would be constructing the facility, in July.
Is it not FOOLISH for the complaints to be addressed to the company that has been given the contract to construct the INCINERATORS by the State government or the Local Government. Should not the protest be addressed to the State Government or the Local Government concerned???

Chua Wei Kiat was the ADUN since 2018, and was re-elected in 2023 > Did he protest the Incinerator project earlier > he is supposed to represent all the people? Did he get the views of the people - were there open talks with the people? Were there a REFERENDUM done in his constituency to determine whether people supported the building of the incinerator, or whether they had any views about it. Tell us so the people know.

Now, Opposition ADUNs or MPs may have difficulty getting needed information from the government, be it the State Government or the Local Goverment, and the Federal Government. But here, Selangor has been under the Pakatan Harapan for quite some time > and Chua is an ADUN from PKR-PH

Hence, he should have known about the planned incinerator long time ago, even before the contract was awarded to any company to construct such an incinerator..He would have known when the Local Government was considering the project, or even approving the plans > whereby at this stage, the people could have objected to the approval, the plans, etc ... A GOOD ADUN(peoples' representative) would have told the people early, told them also about their right to OBJECT and even demand and participate in public hearings at the Local Council before the project is approved...Did Chua Wei Kiat do this? I do not know, so maybe this ADUN can inform us what he did.

Now, Chua says he is going to raise objection with the new government(note same government before the recent State Elections) - what exactly is he going to do? Why don't he organize a peaceful assembly showing that many people object? Why don't he organize a petition, so people can participate directly, to the State Government and the Local Government demanding a CANCELLATION of the project or a review? 

It is common for many MPs or ADUNs to tell people that he/she will object > but will they 'effectively' object ...why don't he involve the people who can also monitor what he does exactly. Talk to the MB,talk to the Local Council, what ...we need a POWERFUL protest... [Remember, if the later come back and said they objected - we simply do not know what really happened]. So, bring the peoples' representatives when you, Mr ADUN, goes to object - so people will know..

Some years ago, after Anwar was kicked out as Deputy PM of the BN government, in a session with lawyers organised by the Bar Council, he claimed that he opposed the use of ISA during Operation Lallang and against Arqam - he said he objected to Mahathir(then PM) > but there was doubts amongst the participants as there was no proof that this even happen.

Same here, Chua Wei Kiat says he is going to object to the new government - will he really do it strongly or simply raise it. Will he inform the MEDIA when he does so - and what was the response he got? If statements are sent to media, they will report... OR will the MEDIA follow-up this claim to protest..

With regard to such controversial projects, it is best that we have a REFERENDUM to determine whether the people in nearby areas agree to the INCINERATOR or do not. And if the majority opposes, then the project will be SCRAPPED.

In many democratic nations, for any development projects, even a bridge over a small river - there will be a REFERENDUM to get the people's support before the project is proceeded with. 

SADLY, in Malaysia, our  democratic rights seems only confined to Elections >> after that the elected reps or government proceed as they like claiming that they already have the right or the approval of the people >>> Our democratic rights should never be limited to just voting once every 5 years - but is continuous including participating in decision making concerning development in our areas where we live and work.

Many existing laws provide the people the right to object/give opinions which will be considered by the Local Government or relevant government body before DECISION is made. There is not only the right to make written objections - but also the right to demand and participate in PUBLIC HEARINGS.

But the problem, the NOTICES about the right and time to make objections, etc... does not effectively reach the people - so people do not know, and the opportunity passes...Many ADUNs sadly do not make sure that people know - and so there will be PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

Previously, at sites where buildings/incinerators are planned to be built, there were these BIG notice boards that tell people of the right to object, giving deadline and where to submit the objections >>> now the government has removed such NOTICE BOARDS ...bring in back to ensure an effective public participation.

STATE laws are difficult to access - it should be MANDATORY for State governments to publish their laws and subsidiary legislation on the WEBSITES for easy public access.

Likewise, all LOCAL GOVERNMENT must publish their by-laws and subsidiary legislation for easy public access. Important to know our right to participate before decision making and even the appeal process.

Not publishing and making available freely means 'HIDING' these laws from the public - meaning also hiding also the right of public participation (the when, how, hoe to appeal if unsatisfied,etc...). Sadly, the old practices of the then BN remains, even after PH has come to power... People do not know, then they simply will not be able to exercise their right of PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - resulting also in the ability of their right being 'stolen' by political appointees who allegedly act on behalf of the people in the community.

The right of PUBLIC PARTICIPATION must be re-claimed and used > to prevent things that the people do not want happening.   

Government must recognize Right of Public Participation > and publicize whenever this right can be exercised. Let the public have their say - LISTEN to the people > not simply your own  'political appointees'.

See some earlier posts:-

JKKK - denies or 'steal' peoples' rights to be consulted and involved before development, logging, etc decisions made? Let us elect our local leaders

Follow PERAK - elections at all levels of local government NOW..

DEMOCRACY - feared by UMNO-BN and Opposition? Restore democracy at all levels to the Rakyat?

Have Malaysians lost their right of objections to Development projects?

Rawang rep to raise objections to incinerator with new state govt

Chua Wei Kiat says no projects of this type had been reported to be successful in Malaysia.

Rawang assemblyman Chua Wei Kiat said he will raise the issue of the green energy plant when the new state government convenes. (File pic)

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan’s Rawang assemblyman Chua Wei Kiat said he will raise objections from residents over the planned construction of the Sultan Idris Shah green energy plant and rubbish incinerator there.

Chua said he and Selayang MP William Leong opposed the incinerator project, which is planned to be built near Bandar Tasik Puteri, Batu Arang and Kota Puteri. It will also be close to M Residence and Bandar Seri Coalfields.

He said the two of them had put forward their views to KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd, the company that would be constructing the facility, in July.

They told the company that the location was unsuitable due to concerns about industrial pollution and the influx of garbage trucks into the area.Chua Wei Kiat.

Chua said he had also aired his objections while campaigning for re-election.

No incinerator of this sort has been successful in Malaysia to date, Chua said in a Facebook post.

“Therefore, it is unfair to place Rawang and Kuang residents at high risk of pollution.

“Batu Arang is also the former site of a coal mine which is a cause for concern for residents.

“I will raise this issue with leaders once a new state government is formed.”

Yesterday, FMT reported that the residents of Batu Arang, M Residence, Kota Puteri and Bandar Tasik Puteri wanted to meet the incoming Selangor menteri besar to forward their concerns about the effects of the incinerator on the environment.

Rawang Tolak Incinerator Network, which represents the residents, expressed concerns that the combustion of solid waste would result in the production of fly ash, bottom ash, heat energy and toxic gases.

It was also concerned that the plant would cause traffic disruptions, decrease land/house value and produce a foul odour due to the leachate. - FMT, 20/8/2023

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