Aliran congratulates the new Penang
State Government for taking off on the right footing. It speaks for
their courage, their integrity, their ethics and their commitment to
good governance. They are truly living up to their election promises
to inject into politics transparency and accountability.
Aliran welcomes the Chief Minister’s
pledge, “We want to run a state administration free from cronyism,
corruption and systematic inefficiency.” We are encouraged by these
words. We hope that they will go beyond rhetoric and set an example
that is worthy of our trust and confidence in the new governance that
is promised for Penang.
Aliran is particularly impressed with
the announcement that the Chief Minister, “along with all his exco
members, state assembly speaker, deputy speaker and the respective
heads of the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) and Seberang Prai
Municipal Council (MPSP) would be making a public declaration of
their personal assets”.
For the last three decades Aliran had
been calling for all elected and appointed officials to declare their
assets so that we could watch out for any ill-gotten fortunes. The
Barisan Nasional had brushed aside all these demands and went about
running the States and the Councils the way they chose to – without
being accountable and transparent to the public.
We are heartened that the State
Government “would also attempt to restore local government
elections before the end of its term”. This is another issue that
Aliran and the other NGOs have been advocating for many, many years.
Again, the BN ignored the sentiments of the vast majority of
Malaysians and refused to restore local government elections.
The appointment of two Deputy Chief
Ministers, which is unprecedented in the 50 years of Malaysian
history, is another plus for the State Government. Not that Aliran is
overtly concerned with ethnic representation but it drives home the
fact that no community has been marginalised by this government. The
Penang State Government truly represents the multi-faceted character
and composition of our nation. This is a remarkable attempt to make
everyone feel that he or she is very much part and parcel of this
country which we call our dear home.
We hope and pray that these noble
endeavours of the newly elected government will not be derailed for
whatever reason. We hope and pray that no one from this government
will jump party and frustrate the voters of Penang who have so
decisively and courageously voted for change.
Aliran wishes the new State Government
of Penang all the best.
Aliran pledges to the public that
Aliran will be as critical of this government as it has always been
of the BN when things are not done right.
Aliran Executive Committee
12 March 2008