These were the promises bandied about at all ceremahs leading to GE12. We bloggers wrote about these and candidates made promises.
However I will be there tomorrow and I will remind some of our PR MPs and Aduns to stand by their promises.
Here is some background re Local Government Elections and why it must happen:
Conference on the Roadmap to Local Government Elections
A conference on the Roadmap to Local Government Elections was jointly organized by the Malacca Bar Committee in cooperation with the Civil Society Initiative for Parliamentary Reform (CSI-Parliament) and the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) on July 26th, 2008 at King’s Hotel. The aim of this conference was to serve as a platform to propel practical but exciting development options to hold elections in local government and to encourage further collaboration between the federal administration and local authorities in regards to civil society advocacy. The outcome of this conference will form the basis for wider public consultation and it is the fervent wish of the organisers that it would ignite institutional reform towards a democratic system of locally elected representatives.
Session 1 of the conference was entitled “Why Local Democracy”. The first speaker was Mr. Derek Fernandez, a town planning lawyer and a member of the Petaling Jaya City Council. Mr. Derek gave a presentation on the topic of “An Assessment of the Status Quo Under the Current Laws.” He commented that the will of Pakatan Rakyat state governments in having local government elections was eroding. This should not have happened as the most crucial factor of Pakatan Rakyat’s win in urban areas in the last election was due to its’ component parties’ promise of restoring local government elections. He further elaborated that the need to restore local government elections arises from the many issues concerning poor management and abuse of power in local authorities as highlighted by our local newspapers.
People were angry by political interferences in the decision-making of the local councils and they want changes to be made. He also went through the statutory provisions governing local government with the participants, amongst others, section 9 of the Local Government Act 1976 (power of state authority to issue directions) and section 10(2) of the Local Government Act 1976 (criteria for councillors of the local authority to be appointed).
The appointment of local councillors under the present scheme or system is a political appointment and certainly there is no transparency. Mr. Derek was of the view that section 1 (4) of the Local Government Act 1976, Article 95B(1)(a) and Article 113(4) of the Federal Constitution actually provided a way out for the state governments to abolish the present appointment scheme and call for the elections for local government. He also opined that certain emergency legislations which suspended the local government elections may be invalid. Article 150(5) of the Federal Constitution was also interpreted by Mr. Derek as requiring emergency laws to contain the express provision on emergency matters and if there is none then such emergency legislations should be invalid.
on why Local Government Elections must happen.