Monday, January 18, 2016

Azmin Ali and PKR-DAP-PAS(Amanah?) in Selangor reduces NGO/Professionals in Local Council to less than 2% from once about 25%?

Local Council Elections - that was what PKR, DAP and PAS promised us. Then, there was problems with Federal law with regard to conducting Local Council Elections. But, many have suggested alternatives that would enable choosing people that was more democratic.

Now, there was nothing stopping the PKR-DAP-PAS Coalition government from conducting democratic elections  at the kampung, kampung baru, kampung orang asli, taman, etc - In fact, when Perak was under the Opposition, the then PAS Menteri Besar conducted these democratic elections in hundreds of kampungs and several kampung barus...

Now, if we had this elections, and these local area leaders and reps democratically elected, this body could very well advance reps from their number, or even select others who could then be appointed to be Local Councillors by the State government. 

NOW the PKR-DAP-PAS is no longer even doing anything to bring back Local Council Elections. Even, if they are successful in forming the next government after the next general elections, I have serious doubts whether we will then have Local Council Elections? 

If there is no commitment to bring back Local Council Elections - maybe the people may want to re-consider who they vote for in Selangor. Do we vote back the BN as Selangor government? Or maybe, we should vote in the other Opposition parties (PRM,PSM,KITA,...) or independents?  With regard to the Federal government, we will vote out the BN and maybe give the Opposition a chance to govern the country...but if there is an alternative Opposition candidate, maybe we should consider them...

2008 - 25% seats for NGO reps/individuals, 2017 - less than 2%

In 2008, the PKR-DAP-PAS allocated 25% of the Local Council position to NGO representatives, but in 2016, Selangor will just be appointing 5(less than 2%). 

Even when they were appointing, some 72 Local Councilors from NGOs and Professions, it was disturbing to note that we had been cheated - because the majority of these were really not independents - but PKR-DAP-PAS members who happened to be in NGOs and/or professionals. This was disclosed in 2014.

“Although, it is claimed that there are 71 councillors from NGOs, only eight are truly independent,” said Phang. He claimed that many of the NGO and professional appointees were political party members, with some holding positions.

Many had hoped that Azmin Ali will be better - but it looks that he is far worse than his predecessor. What is Anwar, Wan Azizah and Nurul Izzah doing? No objections from them - so we can only assume that they agree...and Azmin is just following the orders of the PKR leadership.

Now, in 2016-2017, of the 279 Local Councillors in Selangor, PKR will get 101, DAP - 96, PAS - 67, and Amanah will get 10. NGO(Non-Government Organisations) and Civil Society Organisations(CSO) will get  only 5 (less than 2%). The problem with political party appointees, is that they tend to vote as instructed by their 'bosses' - hence we do not get independent local councillors (same system as used in Parliament). The NGO and CSO resps or personalities would have provided some amount of 'check and balance' needed...

So, we are back to the Barisan Nasional(BN) way of doing things - the people are betrayed. Did this happen because this PKR Menteri Besar is essentially a former UMNO person? So back to the UMNO-BN way of doing things? Is there more accountability in the way these Local Councils are operating? Are the accounts (how much money earned and how spend) disclosed to the people on these Local Council websites? Are the minutes of the Local Council meetings available on their websites? Accountability and transparency - do we see it under this Opposition government led by a PKR Menteri Besar? 

Talking about local council, should the Opposition parties(in the case of Selangor, the BN) given any seats? Why not? Well, unlike the State Legislative Assembly, the Local Council are just people from the government parties - save for 5 NGO reps? This is most risky - because literally there will be no 'check and balance' in all the Local governments in Selangor.

In most democracies, people get to exercise their democratic right to chose their local government. 

In Malaysia, we only get to democratically choose MPs  and State Legislative Assemblypersons(ADUNs) - and not the Local Government. The people should also be democratically electing the Senators - but even Selangor, under Opposition, the State chooses and appoints these Senators...

BETRAYED - that is how the people feel. Yes, sentiments are still for a CHANGE - to replace the UMNO-led BN, who has ruled since 1957, with an alternative.. But, are we getting the alternative we deserve, or are we just replacing one BN government for another different BN-type government.

ALTERNATIVE - maybe, it may be time for us to look for another alternative. The PKR-DAP-PAS Coalition seem to be just becoming another 'BN-style' government? Amanah or now the Pakatan Harapan is also no different... ??

I have yet to consider Penang, who has a DAP Menteri Besar - I hope that things are better there... I will hopefully look at Penang later.

Azmin Ali is also not doing anything about amending the Selangor Constitution, so that the Menteri Besar will simply be the ADUN, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or gender, who has the support of the majority of the ADUNs elected. This will be in line with the Federal Constitution. The failure to even try to amend the Constitution, when the PKR-DAP-PAS has the sufficient numbers is shocking.

What will the Malaysian people do - what will the people of Selangor this upcoming elections? Yes, the people will have to decide...the power is with them to vote for a vote to show whether they approve what has been done? ...


Selangor finalises local councillors list, says Azmi

Bernama     Published     Updated   

The list of Selangor local authority (PBT) local councillors has been finalised and will be announced next week, says Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali.

He, however, declined to comment on the seat distributions allocated to every political party, including Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), to represent PBT in the state.

“All parties, including Amanah, have gone through the discussion process and agree with the distribution... thanks too to DAP and PAS who see (their) participation as councillors, not as a political reward but as a responsibility.

“Every PBT will announce the list of names of its respective councillors next week followed by oath-taking ceremonies on the appointments," he told reporters after attending a Selangor Economic Action Council meeting in Shah Alam today.

It is understood that the state government had appointed 10 councillors from Amanah representatives in Selangor local authorities while DAP received 96 and PAS, 67.

PKR, it is learnt, received 101 seats and five seats were allocated to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for the 2016-2017 term from Jan 15.

Prior to this, state local government, new village development and legalising of factories committee chairperson Ean Yong Hian Wah was reported to have said that the state government had allocated eight seats to Amanah’s epresentatives after it was jointly consented to by PKR, PAS, and DAP.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Azmin denied disputes existed between state executive councillors from DAP and PAS in Selangor and regarded the state administration as running well with the cooperation of the two parties.

“What has transpired was sensationalised by the media... all the parties have shown maturity and do not play politics,” he said.

In media reports recently, Selangor PAS regarded DAP as a threat to the party following its aspiration to seize seats won by PAS in the state in the coming general election.

Following this, Selangor PAS commissioner Iskandar Abdul Samad urged leaders and members of the party to defend all seats won at the previous general election to curb the DAP's effort.

- Bernama - Malaysiakini, 14/1/2016

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Fewer NGO reps in MBPJ

THE Selangor government’s pledge to allocate at least 25% of councillors from non-governmental organisation (NGO) and professionals is not reflected in the present line-up of Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillors.

The understanding has been that each political party would appoint two representatives from NGOs or professional bodies.

Some 11 councillors will be sworn in under the PKR quota today. However, only one councillor, Cynthia Gabriel, will be representing the NGO quota instead of two.

Gabriel is from the Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4).

Gabriel said she was pleasantly surprised to have received her reappointment letter as a councillor.

However, she is upset that she is the only one.

“The understanding was each political party would appoint two NGO or professional body representative as councillors. This year it looks like I am the only one PKR appointed,” she said.

Cynthia added that the number of non-party councillors has been on the decline since 2008.

She also urged new Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali to reveal the criteria for appointing councillors.

“We had six councillors from the NGO and professional sector in MBPJ in 2008,” she said.

Cynthia also said local council elections should be implemented to ensure there will be fair representation.

“There are many ways in which an election can be held to ensure fair representation. Now, we do not know the selection process used by the state to appoint councillors,” she said.

Two other DAP NGO seats were filled in February last year.
Rocket rep: Councillor Sia is one of DAP’s two NGO representatives in MBPJ.
Rocket rep: Councillor Sia is one of DAP’s two NGO representatives in MBPJ.
Councillor Sia Siew Chin, from the Beautiful Gates Foundation — an organisation that represents the disabled and Ang Ming Ern who comes from the professional sector and is a trainer.

In total, there are only three councillors representing the NGOs and professional bodies in MBPJ to date.

In 2008, six councillors filled the NGO and professional sector quota in MBPJ.

Coalition for Good Governance spokesman Maria Chin Abdullah said even without local council elections, there should be more seats for the NGO and professional sector.

“I hope the state government will not give excuses such as ethnic tension to not hold local council elections,” said Chin.
Be fair: Chin hopes the state government will not give excuses to not hold local council elections.
Be fair: Chin hopes the state government will not give excuses to not hold local council elections.

Former Petaling Jaya councillor T. Anthony from the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association wants the state to appoint prominent NGOs and professionals as councillors.

He said women’s rights, children, environment and the elderly are not represented.

“Petaling Jaya has the highest number of senior citizens in the state, yet there are no councillors to represent this group,” he pointed out.

Based on his past experience as a councillor between 2008 and 2013, Anthony said only NGO and professional representatives would passionately raise issues in the public interest.

“The rest would always speak from their party viewpoint,” said Anthony, who also rapped the state government for citing different rules to become councillors.

“There were reports that councillors cannot be reappointed after two terms. In that case why has Cynthia Gabriel been appointed for seven years in a row?” he questioned.

Concerned: Anthony highlights the fact that women’s rights, children, environment and the elderly are not represented. 
Former Petaling Jaya councillor Richard Yeoh also called for more women representatives in local councils. 

On the matter of a new mayor for Petaling Jaya, Azmin said the new candidate had already been identified and was already in the process of being seconded to MBPJ.

“It has to go through the Public Service Department, and back to the state, so hopefully we can get the endorsement after Chinese New Year,” Azmin said.

Sources state that the most likely person for the position is still current Selayang Municipal Council president Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain. - Star, 17/2/2015

Friday, 17 January 2014

Selangor government asked to speed up appointment of councillors

A COALITION of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is decrying the delay in the appointment of councillors, saying it has affected the operations of local government.

The Coalition of Good Governance (CGG) has criticised the Selangor government for dragging its feet in the appointment of the councillors.

It said the delay does not augur well for transparency and accountability and denies people the right to representation.

The coalition claims to represent 30 NGOs.

Community Communication Centre Malaysia (Komas) director Jerald Joseph, who held a press conference on the matter recently, said the state government did not have an effective mechanism on the appointment of councillors.

“Pakatan Rakyat has been in power since 2008 but each time, there is a self-induced tardiness in ensuring a smooth appointment of new councillors.

“All local councils are forced to call off sub-committee meetings as there are no councillors to make decisions,” he said.

Other NGOs at the press conference were Friends of Kota Damansara chairman Jeffery Phang, Friends of Kelana Jaya Park secretary Ir. Esham Salam, LLG Cultural Development Centre executive member Wong Swee Nee, Komas executive director Arul Prakash and Suara Rakyat Malaysia executive director Yap Swee Nee.

Jerald added that CGG wanted the Selangor government to speed up the appointment of councillors.

His sentiments were echoed by Phang, who also questioned the state government’s stand on having NGO representation.

“We are outraged that there are only eight NGO representatives in the 12 local councils in Selangor.

“NGOs feel cheated as they were promised a quarter or 72 council seats after Pakatan’s victory in the 2008 general election”.

“Although, it is claimed that there are 71 councillors from NGOs, only eight are truly independent,” said Phang.

He claimed that many of the NGO and professional appointees were political party members, with some holding positions.

He urged the state to only appoint 72 credible NGO representatives.

“It would be good to have the names of all nominees made public together with their curriculum vitae to ensure greater accountability,” he said.

Phang, who is also the immediate past president of Komas, had recommended a set of criteria for the appointment of councillors.

They are:

• Appointment of councillors must be a participatory process;

• The representation must reflect the diversity of interests in society;

• They should comprise local residents – former headmasters, supervisors with problem-solving skills or professionals;

• All appointees should be competent, and have integrity; and

• Councillors should prepare annual reports related to their portfolios. - Star, 17/1/2014

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