Chow Kon Yeow (image from here) posted mostly news report on his personal blog HERE.

But I think he should start responding to some bad reviews about him and his job, too. To be fair to him, I am sure he has his side of the story, but an honest, straightfoward one is needed.  We don’t want standard responses like what the BN politicians gave us.

It’s a pity because Chow seem like a nice and simple MP (member of Parliament), all the years I dealt with him.  I’ve never seen him angry, that’s for sure. Which is why, it seems like I am reading about another person these days when news reports mention him. As he is a blogger, too, he can do a lot of stuff with his blog than allowing the mainstream newspaper to ‘paint’ him in a ‘negative’ light.

For a start, he could tackle such controversial issues as THE LIST. The latest Penang councilors appointment issue should at least be noted in his blog, so people who are seeking answers will find his honest reply there. But alas, the list and the reactions to it, were “black-out” from his blog. Sigh…or did I miss it?

I know Chow gave a standard reply to the press on the appointment of those councillors, but his respond was rather disappointing.

“In the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) we appointed four representatives from NGOs, short of one and you (reporters) are pushing this issue so much,” he told reporters when questioned on the issue after the swearing-in of 24 MPPP municipal councillors.

Three NGO representatives, short of two, were appointed to the the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP).

“This type of pressure is not giving us any support in our decision to open up the municipal councillors’ post to those other than party members,” he said.

“For the past 50 years, the councillors were only for Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates and there were no complaints and now, we have introduced a newer and better system and there are so many complaints,” he added.

Upon hearing this, and reading Anil Netto’s “Powerful corporate interest penetrate Penang local council“, a Penang blogger said this: Did Chow Kon Yeow screw up at the local councilors appointment? 

Err…YB Chow Kon Yeow…are you high on drugs or were you just daft or plain stupid?

Weren’t you the one to promise 10 councillors post to the NGOs but now there are only 7? And by NGOs, shouldn’t you be thinking about a variety of NGOs and not just the business ones? Also, why the secrecy in the selection process?

So, is it so wrong for the public to demand for explanations when you did not fulfill your promises? Is it wrong for the public to demand for ‘transparency and accountability’, the very things the Pakatan Rakyat has always been harping on?

The people voted for Pakatan Rakyat for a reason and that is to see good and major changes. Not some half-hearted attempt!

The blogger was so upset after reading Chow’s comments in the press: Chow lashes out at reporters (SUN), that he or she considered it ‘inedible worms’. The news report also prompted social activist Ong Boon Keong to write a fiery piece, which I received via email title “Nice to Government Orang (NGO)”.

Oh dear.

While Exco in charge of Local Government Chow Kon Yeow proved himself to be an avid paper reader his response to the press somehow seems inconsistent with the DAP state chairman whom I know: he joined a press freedom delegation to see the state government when the buy up of Nanyang was a burning issue some years ago. Then he stood for a free press not beholden to any power.

Now: He is reportedly expressing his unhappiness about the media not giving him enough support-not considering that a free media is one free to provide commentaries from professional standards and not one beholden to any power/interests especially the ruling power. Thus the fame of 4th Estate bestowed upon free media. Commendations can only be given freely -not demanded.

He also erred when he said that the media did not make noise about appointed crony Councilors by BN-the media is full of it throughout the years due to complaints by the civil society-and also due to the 3rd Vote Campaign ran by Chow himself-among many DAP leaders. How can he forget so quickly? 

Back to the Councilors issue: Chow need to explain himself about what he termed as `ngos’. In  a loose sense business groups are `ngos’ -but this is not the usual understanding of the public.

Business groups are too close to the governments/parties that they are not quite `ngos’ -most of them are actually wearing party hats -or doing business with government. To be serious about giving independent voices to the people the State Government need to appoint more reps from the real civil society members ie those not linked by political or business interests to the government/parties.

By this criteria there are only about 1-2 NGO members among the Councilors. Why???? The problem with a developer Ahmad Ismail sitting in MPPP as Councilor during Gerakan’s rule is notorious enough-that is the single cause for so many controversial and destructive developments being approved in Penang.

Now the `improvement’ brought by DAP seems to be in the number of questionable business groups/business related groups in the Council!!!! Please answer the queries from the real civil society/NGOs -about the abundance of these Nice to Government `Orangs'(NGOs)!

Well, Chow, what do you have to say this?

 

33 responses »

  1. no end in sight says:

    truly no end in sight

    petty, trivial, vindictive

    read their site and they have nothing to offer but full of complaints – nothing but complaints. churning out complaints 24/7.

    how about guan eng offering these “GODS” some position in government

    it is as though members of NGO are the most honourable people in penang!

  2. Ally says:

    Those NGOs behave like they own those elected representative!

    Talk of their arrogance! Jeez!

  3. anonymous says:

    Susan Shariibuu,

    Too bad you are not here to see this. Its not just Chow. Its the whole lot.

    They are good opposition. But now as gov’t, they are sensitive to the slightest amount of criticism, much like bloggers.

    They are so used to doing the bashing and not being bashed.

    Same shit different smell. Why you act so surprised?

    ps. PAS fellas generally do not fall in this category. The PKR and DAP fellas are the main culprits.

    – Not a cybertrooper, but an industry insider

  4. anonymous says:

    I SUPPORT CHOW KOON YEOW!!!!!
    AGREE WITH ALY AND NO END IN SIGHT!!

    Some NGOs only know how to complain, like this one here you support. Thy thinks th3y so clever.Why don’t they become the govt and see how good they can run the country then we complaint about them how bad they run tte country.

  5. Kah Seng says:

    Another angle you should consider is this: A low quality local press is getting to the normally-cool Chow. Chow is probably truly feeling unloved, as his job is consuming a lot of political chips and he is not getting enough credit to push on and retain his balance.

    It looks to me like Ong and Anil are asking some fair and principled, although unpalatable, questions. These bloggers don’t bug Chow face to face. Just too little appreciation coming from them, for what Chow and supporters view as improvements over bad BN.

    Meanwhile, Gerakan and MCA operatives conveniently latch on to these same criticism, since they really can’t raise other questions — being too lost in self pity, still too shocked, and having been too unprincipled themselves in the past.

    Then we have the press, and the incredibly biased editors still toeing BN lines … While there are many good reporters among them — many also don’t refer to their own previous notes, their colleague’s notes, about the finer points Chow has already made, and they probably parroted the darnest questions repetitively to Chow, by simply taking their cues by habit from Gerakan and MCA operatives.

    I think Chow is stressed. He can use a good press secretary, and he should simply repeat some of the good points he has made previously, so the un-studied reporters can have something to write about.

  6. limpeh says:

    ppl only have the impression that those NGOs( watever they do) think they owned the states…wtf…like they said, they never promised, its just a target to elect 10 NGOs rep….so wth?

    i really think everybody should give them some times to learn to govern, hell ppl, u gave BN more than 50 years to screw u up…u wan them to fix u in 2 months? get real!

  7. whispering9 says:

    I, too, support Chow Koon Yeow’s statement to the press that day. In fact, I admired his frankness. At least, he is doing something that is right after so many decades under “U Must Not Object” Gerakan-BN.

  8. kittykat46 says:

    Business groups can and should have representation on councils.
    Businesses are among the key stakeholders in local government, and a major contribution to MPPP revenue.

    No taxation without representation, remember ?

    But he shouldn’t include them under NGOs.
    Call them civil society representatives.

    Personally , I thought the NGO representation in MPPP increased tremendously over the previous Zero number under Barisan.

  9. Apollos says:

    The main grouse is that he promised 10 but gave only 7. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. It’s a good lesson for him.

  10. ivan says:

    the ngos should work hard now and make less noise.nothing wrong with chow.if they think they are so good, join a political party.they are lucky to be appointed to the local government. lets see how they perform and whether they can contribute

  11. KShan says:

    Going by these NGOs attitude of wanting to control how the state is run, perhaps it’s a good lesson to all PR state gov not to promise anything at all untill announcement of certain decision is made.

  12. jughead says:

    Please judge a person by the RESULTS he produce. Recently Kevin Rudd has a Kevin Fest. He gather 1000 best mind of Australia for a 2020 summit. guess what? – Turning Austraila into a republic. Same old story as a referumdum was carried out some time ago. They turn down becacuse who is the most ideal person. If he is most popular to become the head of state, what happen to the PM if he is less popular than the President but has more power. 1000 famous persons to decide the fate of the country and by pass the parliament.

    Point driven, are NGO become opposition? Since the councillors are elected, he have to prove that they can Do the job! Can NGO also deliver? Singapore LKY ALWAYS bring a group of bright people. But when they are on the job, they flunk. They may be good in theory but not in practice.

  13. petestop says:

    We really need to bring back local council election.

    Such appointment systems are bound to be criticised.

    When the Rakyat elect shit, they have to take the shit.
    Just hope and pray that there are some gems among the shit.

    NGOs have to prove their worth in an election, otherwise, you’re OUT!

  14. no end in sight says:

    oh….

    my comments censored!

    its okay.

  15. KK Lim says:

    I have the feeling that some “NGO kings” are trying to crucify YB Chow just because the State Govt has not fulfilled its promise of appointing the required number of NGO’s into the municipal councils and also his inexperience in handling the press in his (first ?)press conference regarding the matter.

    Come on, let’s be fair to him. YB Chow has been “on the other side” like you guys for most part of his life. Now he is on the “governing side”. Know the difference ? When you are on the other side, your “profession” is to scout for every blunder, shortcoming, mistake and all the negative things you can find on the governing side and make a hell out of these for whatever it serves your purpose or the purpose of your organisation. But being on this side of the fence, YB Chow has now to make decisions, and to do this, he has always to think of overall interests – his party, his parrtner parties, ALL the interest groups in the state, and so on. The final decisions can’t and will never satisfy everybody. For example, just on the queation of civil society alone, just imagine. How many NGO’s are there in Penang ? What interest groups do they represent ? Which one is more important than the other to merit being appointed ?

    Of course, he could have done better when facing the press to explain the rationale for certain decisions made. But then, he has been an Exco only for slightly more than a month and you NGo’s are already hounding him like a greyhound. Try to understand, he is still on the learning curve as a member of the governing party. So he has to learn the art of explaining, of persuasion, of “selling” governnment policies – something not very easy for someone who like you had always been on the offensive, ready to criticise, to find fault, sometimes “just to score a point.”

    I hope I am not being cynical but just to remind you NGO people to be more understanding of the realities of managing a government in transition – which is what we are all in now. Give suggestions (constructive ones), to help them make wiser decisions if you are really interested in wanting better governance for Penang.

    Bamboo them only if they commit “mortal sins” like selling out public/state interest for personal/party interest. Small blunders – there will always be during this transitional or transforming phase. Are you people going to spend your energy and time looking for these blunders and blogging on them ? I think you should look for other better things to do or go look for other more important issues to fight.

  16. no end in sight says:

    eh….sorry susan (must be some technical fault) as my earlier comment didn’t appear. i thought i talk too much.

    please visit http://www.penangwatch.net/ – 19 people has so far voted in their POLL “What is the 1st priority of the new Penang Government?”

    need i say anymore?

  17. ong says:

    Some interesting observations on some commentators here(sorry Susan for taking up your space):
    1.
    no end in sight Says:

    truly no end in sight

    petty, trivial, vindictive

    read their site and they have nothing to offer but full of complaints – nothing but complaints. churning out complaints 24/7.

    You are not ORIGINAL : BN has been saying this about Opposition parties all these years. Are you trying to say that such unoriginal comments from you can produce original results on the parties you target now?

    how about guan eng offering these “GODS” some position in government

    it is as though members of NGO are the most honourable people in penang!

    Learn to take criticisms by dealing with the content of the criticisms and desist from second guess about the critics or hentam their `honourable position’ in society. But I know politicians rank 2nd to lawyers in public’s distrust -according to a public survey. NGOs ranks much further down the list.

    Ally Says:

    Those NGOs behave like they own those elected representative!

    Talk of their arrogance! Jeez!

    Government in a democracy is `government of the people’-including you! You do `own’ the government. In real fact all people participated in electing these reps-including those who didn’t vote for them -just because you involved in the elections thus legitimising their election and your `ownership’ over those elected. You don’t have to be very arrogant to feel and think ownership of those elected reps.

    anonymous Says:

    Too bad you are not here to see this. Its not just Chow. Its the whole lot.

    They are good opposition. But now as gov’t, they are sensitive to the slightest amount of criticism, much like bloggers.

    They are so used to doing the bashing and not being bashed.

    Then they deserved more bashings so they get used to it.

    anonymous Says:

    I SUPPORT CHOW KOON YEOW!!!!!
    AGREE WITH ALY AND NO END IN SIGHT!!

    Some NGOs only know how to complain, like this one here you support. Thy thinks th3y so clever.Why don’t they become the govt and see how good they can run the country then we complaint about them how bad they run tte country.

    The best way to support a government is to learn to complain whenever a government’s action affect you -the citizen, adversely or worse, unfairly. By closing your mouth on it you are not fair to the government you say you support-because they won’t be able to make corrections in time, and also not fair to yourself- because you are suffering from those bad actions. So when there is a complaint deal with it -don’t try to run away by throwing another question to the complainants.

    Kah Seng Says:

    Another angle you should consider is this: A low quality local press is getting to the normally-cool Chow. Chow is probably truly feeling unloved, as his job is consuming a lot of political chips and he is not getting enough credit to push on and retain his balance.

    It looks to me like Ong and Anil are asking some fair and principled, although unpalatable, questions. These bloggers don’t bug Chow face to face. Just too little appreciation coming from them, for what Chow and supporters view as improvements over bad BN.

    Meanwhile, Gerakan and MCA operatives conveniently latch on to these same criticism, since they really can’t raise other questions — being too lost in self pity, still too shocked, and having been too unprincipled themselves in the past.

    Then we have the press, and the incredibly biased editors still toeing BN lines … While there are many good reporters among them — many also don’t refer to their own previous notes, their colleague’s notes, about the finer points Chow has already made, and they probably parroted the darnest questions repetitively to Chow, by simply taking their cues by habit from Gerakan and MCA operatives.

    I think Chow is stressed. He can use a good press secretary, and he should simply repeat some of the good points he has made previously, so the un-studied reporters can have something to write about.

    Actually Chow’s government has the power to publish a paper to publish his side of the story. He also has a blog, and DAP Penang also has a web site, to do the same-as pointed out by Susan. We are still waiting for his replies to the questions raised by NGOs-which are now even repeated by NGOs appointed as Councilors by Chow’s government. We need not 2nd guess about Chow, as though he is nearing the end of his capacity. Let the man speak for himself. Public policy debates should be dealt with on public grounds -not so much personal or party considerations that some people are 2nd-guessing. Hammering the bias BN media is beside the point here-no one can stop Chow and his government from speaking in his/their own media.

    limpeh Says:

    ppl only have the impression that those NGOs( watever they do) think they owned the states…wtf…like they said, they never promised, its just a target to elect 10 NGOs rep….so wth?

    i really think everybody should give them some times to learn to govern, hell ppl, u gave BN more than 50 years to screw u up…u wan them to fix u in 2 months? get real!

    Well, if politicians can turn promise into `target’ or `ideal'(reported elsewhere) then the people don’t have to criticise Pak Lah anymore-you have given him a trick or `lifeline’ ! The new government should be given more time to learn the robes -fair enough. The people should remind them to remember their promise-equally fair. No one is less real! But keeping quiet about lack of delivery could delay the delivery.

    whispering9 Says:

    I, too, support Chow Koon Yeow’s statement to the press that day. In fact, I admired his frankness. At least, he is doing something that is right after so many decades under “U Must Not Object” Gerakan-BN.

    That Chow did something right is undisputed. That he did not managed to deliver as per his own promise is equally undisputed. He should just provide a better explanation about why he could not deliver on this occasion.

    kittykat46 Says:

    Business groups can and should have representation on councils.
    Businesses are among the key stakeholders in local government, and a major contribution to MPPP revenue.

    No taxation without representation, remember ?

    But he shouldn’t include them under NGOs.
    Call them civil society representatives.

    Personally , I thought the NGO representation in MPPP increased tremendously over the previous Zero number under Barisan.

    It is agreeable to have business reps in Councils-but they are not the only people who pay rates! All residents do -whether thru assessments of properties or just by parking fee! The question: why are not others proportionally represented? Or do you advocate representations in proportion to assessments paid???? You are right to think that from 0 to 2 for NGO Councilors is a `tremendous’ increase-how about the organised business reps-from 0 to 5, on top of individual business reps under BN? The issue here is `balance’.

    Apollos Says:

    The main grouse is that he promised 10 but gave only 7. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. It’s a good lesson for him.

    At least there is a fair minded citizen/netizen who knows how to count, bravo!

    ivan Says:

    the ngos should work hard now and make less noise.nothing wrong with chow.if they think they are so good, join a political party.they are lucky to be appointed to the local government. lets see how they perform and whether they can contribute

    Let’s talk about now -with the current state government there and we are citizens under their `care’. Let’s do an honest evaluation. Don’t copy BN’s sometime excuse to not deliver /perform by `scolding’ Opposition that Opposition allegedly cannot do better when they are in power.

    KShan Says:

    Going by these NGOs attitude of wanting to control how the state is run, perhaps it’s a good lesson to all PR state gov not to promise anything at all untill announcement of certain decision is made.

    Dare to promise -dare to deliver. If no delivery -dare to explain or apologise. Don’t promise because you are scared you cannot deliver is a coward’s choice. If there was a good and frank enough explanation for anything short people will be reasonable enough to accept. But…

    jughead Says:

    Point driven, are NGO become opposition? Since the councillors are elected, he have to prove that they can Do the job! Can NGO also deliver? Singapore LKY ALWAYS bring a group of bright people. But when they are on the job, they flunk. They may be good in theory but not in practice.

    First point you got wrong : Councilors are NOT elected currently in Malaysia. They are appointed.

    2nd point: we are talking about Penang-why compare with Singapore? Singapore’s `bright people’ who `flunk’ are not NGOs. Actually NGOs ask for Councilors to be elected by all citizens in any particular municipal area. Election with free and fair system is a tested way to produce more accountable and transparent governments including in local levels. Do you disagree with this proposal from NGOs? Do you think it is important to you? Well, the DAP, PKR in Pakatan Rakyat think so. Just that they haven’t got around to deliver on their good idea.

  18. ong says:

    Ong,

    Question is PR has promised local council election but did they committed a time frame? After 50 years of BN rule and changing of laws, and as all malaysians know, they are at the learning curve to govern the state. Many things are in the mess and you want them to stress out by spending time to fight out whether carry out local elections is legal? People start to pounce on them so fast. If there is a change of councillors during this transition stage, let there be good councillors who can really do the job.

    How to represent everyone in the community. For example I was doing a public tranport project. It is a nightmare if you say, everyone who pays tax has a right . Everyone wants something – free parking, bicycle lanes, does not want the road as it cause pollution or road next to his backyard, some want a wider road due to traffic jams, the roads are not safe – too much crime, the road has to be green with landscape, passing throught heritage site etc – and in the end nothing been done and we are all very happy as there are no winners but all losers.

  19. whispering9 says:

    Four years before the next GE is a relatively short period of timeline. Besides, the Federal Government can call for snap election at PR most vunerable times. IMHO, NGOs should be more understanding and let them get on to doing some works and some goods. We can’t have everything we wished upon a falling star under 4 years. NGOs can still achieve their set objectives outside the council committee, infact, I would appreciate the impartiality of an outsider. If some of NGOs want representation, sorry guys hunting season is closed for…send in your applications for next season… if we give them a decent chance to govern without undue pressure.

  20. ong says:

    To the `ong’ and whispering9 above,
    Agreed with you that selecting/appointing Councilors to represent everyone in a community is damn difficult if not impossible. That’s why we need popular elections to sort out the best Councilors. Whether you agree or not DAP had campaigned for it for many years before they win power recently. Judging from their vehement condemnation on the appointment system one would expect electing the local Councilors would be among their first priority-along with open tender. Actually election is something like an `open tender’ of public positions too. Somehow one need no time for `learning’ but the other is said to need a `steep learning curve’. Let’s look at it as a matter of priority by the new state government.

    To whispering9,
    Please do not mistaken that we are asking for the position of Councilors from the state govt. Nothing can be further from the truth. We support people who are elected into those positions-NGOs or not. Why is democracy so hard to sell to you folks here?

  21. KK Lim says:

    Like most of you, I had followed many of the PR parties’ election rallies and I still remember many of the PR candidates did call for an elected local authorit. But I believe at that point of time, they did not have any inkling that they would be voted in as a ruling party. (I think it was not even in their wildest dream until towards the tail-end of the campaign period). So all of a sudden, on becoming the ruling party, they are confronted with the reality that it is not and never an easy business to run a government, more so to actualise promises (made to win votes), More so when you have not made preparations (to govern).

    On the PR parties’ election promise of an elected municipal council (or for that matter, using Petronas money to subsidize the second Penang bridge), those who know better will understand that the realisation of these promises is dependent on the willingness of the central BN government to cooperate with the PR state govts. But then, at the time when the promises were made, nobody (inc some of you ‘social activists)had not expected a scenario like the present, where the state and federal governments are from two opposing camps (did you ?).

    So when you keep on hammering the present state government (and YB Chow KY) of not working towards having an elected municipal council, l feel you have not been fair and reasonable. Even if the PR state government wants to have it tomorrow, they can’t. I can understand if you are some ignorant public nobody, but since a number of you seemed to me like veteran social activists, you should have already known how difficult it would be for the state government to get the Federal Government to amend existing legislation pertaining to the matter, especially when it was not in the BN’s manifesto to do that. Everyone know the PR state governments are now in a political quandary. So do you expect the BN Federal Govt to do the PR state governments a favour, esp a DAP-led State Govt ? If they cannot even tolerate LKC from taking up a state appointment, you can imagine how arduous a task it will be for the State Govt to deliver an elective municipal council to the satisfaction of some of you (or all Penang people ?), within a timeline at that !

    So for those of you who are really so anxious about having an elected local authority as a top prioirity, you should direct all your energy towards getting the Federal Government – the Minister of Housing & Local Government to be specific to expedite the realisation of this dream. Lobby, cajole, pressure, campaign (do whatever you can) the Federal Govt to cooperate with the state governments to realise an early elective local authorities. That I think is what you should be doing. Otherwise, I think you are just barking up the wrong tree.

  22. veonszu says:

    “So please don’t question our sincerity and our commitment towards integrity,” YB Chow Kuan Yew said.

    Strong words indeed coming from YB Chow, the DAP state chairman who is well-known for his “coolness”. The mounting pressure in managing the local government issues must have taken toe on him, so much so that he lost control of his usual self by getting emotional and lashing out at reporters.

    However, we wish to remind each and every member of the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat’s populist government that we, the people of Penang, are perfectly entitled to demand our new government to full-fill its promises to reform the local government as speedy and extensive as possible.

    After all, the new government was swept into power with high hope of implementing sweeping reform from day one. Therefore, the frustration and unhappiness of the media as well as the civil society over the said “controversial line up” is understandable.

    Yet this is only the beginning. When the hype of the new government dies down in not so distant in the future, the new government can expect bigger pressure and higher heat.

    As the saying goes: If you can’t stand the heat, please stay out of the kitchen!

    http://veonszu.wordpress.com

  23. ong says:

    To KKLim,
    Please be informed that amending the Federal Constitution is not the only way to realise local govt elections. There are respectable legal opinions that says the Local Govt Act 1976 allow states to exempt certain areas from the operation of the Act. 2 lawyers had gone on record to say so: Derek Fernandez and Malik Imtiar. So please don’t forget that local government election is a commitment just like open tender -if open tender can be implemented straight away -why not also local government elections?

    Other than that civil society/NGOs had also asked for the selection of the Councilors to be made in open transparent manner-which it was not. There is no law against selecting Councilors transparently. But most of the Councilors were selected from among party supporters. Actually there isn’t any law or Constitution to say that they must do that -this is just a corrupt BN practice of giving away Councilors positions to reward their suppoters. Why must the new state government learn this bad practice from the BN so FAST????? If it takes time for the new state government to practice democracy and good governance at local government levels -why it took them no time to pick up/continue BN’s rotten policies almost like ducks taking to water????

  24. no end in sight says:

    replies hollow and shallow. wallowing in the mud. many replies replied for the sake of replying and of saving face. there will be no answers even if debate extends till cows come home.

    conclusion : vote this govt out come the next election and install NGOs to rule Penang.

  25. no end in sight says:

    Betel Nut Chronicles: Azalina – The Wicked Stepmother

    if only there are many more true blue penangnites like the good GP who took much effort to write a letter to YB Mr Law Heng Kiang

  26. KK Lim says:

    I wish Ong can read my comments carefully before shooting off his rebuttal. I did not say amending the constitution takes time. I said “amending existing legislation pertaining to the matter” which may inc. the Local Government Act 1976, or even maybe the Election Act since other related questions may arise such as : who to conduct the election, the preparation of electrol rolls; how are the wards/kawasan to be created – how big or how many people in each ward ; on what basis/criteria a ward can be created ; who can vote and who cannot vote – by housedolds or by individuals and so on. What I ‘m saying is that all these being a new thing, will have to take time to actualise. In my own estimation, if they can do all these within two years, you should be very lucky, assuming the Federal Govt is going to be very cooperative. My question then is why are you people so impatient ? Why are you hammering the state government as if they had already reneged on their pledge to have an elective local authority ? Have they said they are not going to carry out municipal election as promised ? So do you understand the meaning of being “fair and reasonable” ?

    On the manner of selecting councillors in the interim, of course everyone can argue about the transparency of the method. You want an open tender type of appointment ? Selection according to the higest bidder ? Or to the biggest NGOs with the most number of members? Or to the NGO’s with the most vocal members? Or to the ones that represent those who paid the most tax/rates ? Tell me which is the best and the most transparent way. As I said, what they have done is already an improvement over the previous government. Granted what they have done may not be the most ideal but because they are still so new (no experience in this matter) and since filling the vacancies is an urgent matter, so be more understanding – that’s my message. Don’t have to condemn them as if what they have done thus far is such a dereliction of democratic principles to the extent that Penang municipal governance will be going kaput (if they don’t follow your way). Period.

  27. no end in sight says:

    thank you KK Lim.

    perhaps the state may “study” municipal elections in thailand.

  28. Aril Mikhail says:

    Well said, KK Lim. Ong? Cat cut your tongue?

  29. ong says:

    Halo folks above,
    Since when do you guys become
    * so defensive about a state government as though it is above criticisms? I hope you can still see some benefit from criticisms even though when it is against your `favourite’ state government.
    * so comical to say that Councils’ elections can be elected according to households, according to the `loudness’ of NGOs etc? Come on -elections are held even in Malaysian schools for the class monitor, club presidents, PTA Exco etc. You really go out of the way to complicate something pretty simple and done in most democratic countries-with Malaysia as one of the few countries in the world which do not practice local democracy!
    *so `spoiling’ the state govt: if it takes time for the new state government to run Council elections why it takes no time for them to run BN’s `jobs for the boys’ system?

    Or you are simply not so democratic in your mind. Don’t even drag the state govt into this new partisanship clouded thinking!

  30. Ally says:

    I wonder why Ong thinks his voice should be louder carry more weight than the rest of the electorate who elected the same man in! Looks like he is trying to be the government – an unelected one at that.

    BN did so much nonsense for the last 50 years and Ong wants the world from the PR government in 50 edays! Give it a rest!

  31. tan, tanjong bungah says:

    Hi everoyone,

    It seems that there are provisions for the PR State Govts. to proceed to request the SPR to conduct local council elections.

    One of the PR States should use existing laws to conduct council elections. If the SPR and/or Federal Govt. put obstacles to this attempt by the State Govt. the people will understand and appreciate that the PR is trying to deliver on one of their pledges in their manifesto. If this happens challenge them in court and whichever way the decision falls, the people will be able to conclude on the judgment of the courts! But don’t just depend on the test case – the PR should also employ a two-prong approach by putting forth amendments in the State Assemblies and/or Parliament to the statutes that hinder the implementation of elected local govts.

    By doing all these, the people would know that the PR is sincere and ‘eager’ to pursue local govt. elections!

  32. kc au yong says:

    maybe chow has his reason to act not as “cool” as usual…he may be stress? under internal party pressure ? or….i’m sure there must be something bothering him…otherwise he won’t re act in such a way….

  33. Anonymous says:

    first we must remember those NGO’s are nominated by some people
    or placed them there

    If you really want to know real NGO’s there is none in bolih land, so sorry
    for 50 years all are in nearly in place , but arrogance has overrun their egos
    it is time NGO has to be changed too.

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