Thursday, March 29, 2018

Citizens Call for Restoration of Local Council Election - A Joint Statement?

Most important is for people to come together to monitor what is happening in Malaysia, States, Districts, towns and kampungs ...and express themselves and make demands. It is always important to lobby just governments - but even more important is to struggle to get the support of as many Malaysians as possible...and thereafter SHOW this support of the people. 

Our current government seems to be VERY SCARED of people - hence laws preventing people from gathering and discussing, not not just physically but also in social media. 
During the campaigning for the March 8 2008 General Elections, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Islam Malaysia (PAS), now forming the Pakatan Rayat coalition, had individually and collectively promised local council elections in various campaign documents.  Local Council Elections - Penang leads by asking EC to conduct elections..
Why should Federal and State Government be afraid of people choosing their own Local Council through democratic elections? Do they not believe in DEMOCRACY - Now, in Temerloh, many traffic lights are not functioning, roads including roads to Tamans,Shopping Area not maintained - potholes, fading, unseen or confusing white lines, unswept roads, unpainted or rusting, absence of road name signboards etc - all being duty of Local Councils...but the Local Council may be little bothered about the people of Temerloh - because they are APPOINTED by State/Federal Governments - if they were elected, things in every towns and districts will be so much better - because we will VOTE them out if they fail...

Media Release - 28/3/2018
Citizens Call for Restoration of Local Council Election
As the 14th General Election is looming, a group of citizens called upon the federal government and state governments to restore local council election and return the third vote to the people.
They argued that the local council is most relevant to the daily life of ordinary people, it is crucial for a community to elect qualified and competent representatives who can serve the people. Unfortunately the right to elect people’s local representatives was usurped by the federal authority in 1960s.
“The current appointment system of local councillors lacks  accountability because they do not need to face discontent from community, there is no check and balance by the residents if any  councilor does not perform. It is very unfair for the tax payers who supposedly determine the direction of local planning and development.” Says Lee Soo Wei, who represented the Youth Section of KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to move the motion.
Local council elections had been practiced in Malaysia even before the independence, such as the Penang Municipal Council Election in 1951 and Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council Election in 1952. local council election was suspended in 1965 when Indonesia launched Konfrontasi against Malaya. It has never been revived after that.
About 40 citizens made the call in the policy reform discussion session organized by the Civil Society Caucus for Policy Reform that was held at KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on 23 March 2018.
The group deliberated 35 proposed motions and passed 26 of them. Among the motions passed are restoration of local council election; enactment of  anti-torture act to curb death in custody; review the National Cultural Policy to prioritise culture and arts of all ethnic groups; review the national energy policy to maximise utility and deepen decarbonisation, and propose Women to be paid fair and just wages.
Free education for all has become a heatedly debate topic in the discussion. Sharan Raj from Demanding Free Education Movement (GMPP) contended that education is basic human right, the government has a duty to provide free tertiary education including acquire the private universities under the 15 government-linked companies.
However, Chong Kok Boon argued that free tertiary education is not sustainable. He suggested the government to consolidate the resources for higher education, combine and reduce number of higher education institutions (HEIs) and convert all HEIs to non-profit charity organizations entitled to subsidies per student.
The list of motions passed in the policy reform discussion is as follows :
1.    Review the National Cultural Policy 1971, prioritise culture and arts of all ethnic groups, instead of focusing on cultures of native people in the region.
2.    Review the National Cultural Policy 1971, remove the element of religion, because cultures of ethnic groups change over time, but religion never change
3.    Review the National Cultural Policy 1971, set up a cultural and art council that represented by multiethnic practitioners of cultural activities and artists. The purpose is to determine the administration and management on matters relating to culture and arts in Malaysia
4.    Education is a human rights and not commodity for sale. Therefore, the government is responsible in ensuring education is given by free from pre-school to the first bachelor degree. The government should ensure access to education by providing school bus transportation for free in rural area.
5.    Revise National Energy Policy to maximising utility, deep decarbonisation and minimise the socio-economical gaps across the country
6.    Amend the 30(3)(a) article of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, change the interrogation time “from day to day” to “from day to day but limit to 6 hours.
7.    Enact Anti-Torture Act to curb violence by all enforcement agency officers including MACC, Police, immigration and prison officers. Any officers commits such offence is liable on conviction to imprisonment from 15 years to life imprisonment, or / and a fine from ten thousands to one hundred thousand
8.    Ratification of United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
9.    Compulsory human rights education for all Public servants
10. Amend the constitution and related existing laws to institute recall mechanism for elected representatives
11. Abolish electoral deposit system that violates everyone's right to run for political office, the government should replace it with a petition system where MP candidate should collect 600 signatures and ADUN candidate should collect 300 signatures to qualify his / her candidacy
12. Implement a land rights policy to ensure all marginalised communities or individuals are entitled to lands, such as indigenous people, urban settlers, farmers and the poor
13. Set up transitional justice commission to provide remedy for victims and punish perpetrators of all past wrongdoings under the previous regimes
14. Demand the federal government and state governments to restore local council election, return the third vote to the people
15. Reinstate the 15% upper limit of voter disparity among parliamentary seats
16. Implement Propositional Electoral System, base on total number of votes obtained by political parties to determine number of parliamentary seats.
17. Enact Animal Protection Act to respect and protect animal life in Malaysia
18. Amend land code to recognize the right to native customary land of indigenous people
19. Ratify International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
20. Enact a Social Inclusion Act to develop and implement an integrated action plan to address the issue of serious marginalisation in Malaysian society.
21. the Federal Government reprioritise the budget allocation among ministries, and dedicate at least 3.5% (world average) to 6.2% (OECD average) GDP to health
22. Respect women workers’ rights and their contribution to the economy by reviewing the labour laws to ensure they are compatible with International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions
23. Women must be paid fair and just wages and earn benefits without discrimination
24. Women returning to work after a lapse of some period should be allowed to return to their previous positions or any other employment without discrimination of pay, leave and other benefits
25. Protect the rights of women workers in the informal sector especially domestic workers and ratify ILO Convention 189
26. Affordable or free child care services must be provided for workers with children near or at the workplace

Civil Society Caucus fpr Policy Reform is jointly endorsed by Agora Society, MEONET, Youth Section of KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy, OHMSI, Youth Section of Melaka Chinese Assembly Hall, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM),Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET), Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS), Persatuan Aktivis Sahabat Alam (KUASA), Johor Yellow Flame (JYF),Sosialis Alternatif, Gerakan Menuntut Pendidikan Percuma

1.    重新检讨1971年全国文化政策,马来西亚各族群的文化和艺术应受到重视,而不仅仅只注重土著文化。
2.    重新检讨1971年全国文化政策,将宗教元素排除在外,因为文化会随着族群发生变迁,宗教则保持不变。
3.    重新检讨1971年全国文化政策,成立一个由各族群文化人与艺术家所组成的文化与艺术理事会。此理事会的目的是对政府的文化与艺术的行政管理做决定。
4.    教育是基本人权而非可贩卖的商品。因此,政府有责任为人民提供免费教育。从幼儿园至大学学位,政府必须保障人民的教育机会,包括在乡区提供免费交通。
5.    修订国家能源政策以最大限度地提高效用,深度减碳和将全国的社会经济差距降至最低。
6.    修改反贪委员会法令第30(3)(a)条文,将审讯时间从‘每天’改为‘每天但限于6小时’。
7.    制订反酷刑法,以遏制包括反贪委员会、警察、移民厅和监狱官员在内的所有执法人员的暴力行为。任何人犯下这类罪行,一经定罪,将被处以十五年徒刑至无期徒刑,或一万至十万的罚款,或两者兼施。
8.    批准联合国禁止酷刑和其他残忍、不人道或有辱人格的待遇或处罚公约(UNCAT)。
9.    为所有公务员提供人权教育。
10.. 修改宪法与相关法律,以制订弹劾民意代表的机制。
11.. 废除选举按柜金制度,因为这违反每个人参与选举的权利,政府应该以签名制取而代之。任何国会议席候选人需收集选区内600个人签名,而州议席候选人需收集300个签名,以满足他们竞选的条件。
12.. 实施土地权利政策以确保所有边缘化社区或个体都有权利获得土地,如原住民、城市拓荒者者、农民和贫困者。”
13.. 设立转型正义委员会,处理前任政权犯下的过去错误,补偿受害者和惩罚迫害者
14.. 要求联邦政府和州政府恢复地方议会选举,归还人民的第三票。
15.. 恢复各国会选区之间选民人数的15%差距上限
16.. 实行比例代表选举制度,根据各政党获得的总票数来决定所获的国会议席数量。
17.. 制订动物保护法令以尊重和保护马来西亚的动物生命
18.. 修改土地法典,承认原住民的土地习俗权利。
19.. 批准保护所有移徒工人及其家属成员权利国际公约。
20.. 制订社会包容法,制定和实施综合行动计划以解决马来西亚社会严重的边缘化问题
21.. 促联邦政府重新安排各部门预算拨款的优先顺序,并将卫生预算从国内生产总值的3.5巴仙(世界平均水平)提高至6.2巴仙(经济合作与发展组织平均水平)。
22.. 尊重女性劳工权益和她们对经济的贡献,修改劳工法令以确保符合国际劳工公约
23.. 女性应不受到歧视地获得公平薪资及福利
24.. 在一段时间过后重返工作岗位的妇女应当被允许返回原来的职位或任何其他工作,并在工资、休假和其他福利上不应受到歧视
25.. 保护非正规部门女工特别是家庭工人的权利,并批准劳工组织第189条公约。
26. 必须为工人提供可负担或或免费的托儿服务,该服务需在工作场所或附近地方。

(公民社会政策改革连线由群议社、大马选举监督网络、隆雪华堂青年团、赵明福民主基金会、马六甲中华大会堂青年团、人民之声、OHMSI、大马人反对死刑与酷刑运动、雪兰莪妇女之友协会、 环境之友行动者协会、柔南黄色行动小组、社会主义替代和争取免费教育运动组成)

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