Legal action has been initiated on behalf of the democratic process to return to the people their right to choose their local leaders, writes P Ramakrishnan.
Ratepayers who contribute such a huge sum to the coffers of the council have a right to hold councillors accountable for their performance, says P Ramakrishnan.
Former Aliran president P Ramakrishnan is joining the Penang state government in a suit against the federal government and the Election Commission to compel them to restore local council elections in Penang, writes Lim Guan Eng.
If the Local Government Act stands in the way of local government elections, then it must go. It is not because we are lawless but because we value democracy, writes Tan Pek Leng.
Before local government can be revived, there should be some kind of campaign finance reform and a regulatory framework on campaigning, says our correspondent.
The test of democracy is not how law-abiding we are but how just are the laws we live by. We cannot forget that the Local Government Act was “man-made” in Parliament in 1976 and can therefore be equally “unmade”, says Tan Pek Leng.
Local government elections encourage the people to be critical and politically well informed and involved. Ultimately, the people have the right to choose and decide on matters that concern them, despite the politicking, says CY.
Until legal reforms are introduced to allow local government elections, we should focus on appointing good people to local government authorities, writes Ch’ng Teng Liang.