DAP will give unwavering bipartisan support for Local Government Elections

Media Statement by Teresa Kok, Member of Parliament for Seputeh on 14 July 2020

Zuraida Kamaruddin is urged to conduct a study and present a paper on local government elections to the cabinet, and not to expect her verbal statements to the media, be deemed sufficient action by her, on this subject.

I am surprised to read the statement of the Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin that none of her former Pakatan Harapan colleagues had stood up for her, when the then PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad shot down her push for local government elections. 

I was not appointed to  the Cabinet when the alleged incident happened. I was only sworn-in by way of the second batch. However, throughout my entire term as a cabinet minister, I have never come across any cabinet paper or presentation on local government elections, presented by her, under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, instead I had only read her verbal statements on this subject, in the media for a few times.

Local government elections is a much cherished issue to many elected representatives in the urban areas.  This issue has been discussed a number of times in Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan secretariat’s, manifesto drafting committee. And “local democracy” has always been in the manifestos of Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan, in the previous general elections. 

Zuraida Kamaruddin has held the post of Minister of Housing and Local Government since the Pakatan Harapan won elections in 2018, she had ample time to plan and prepare a comprehensive policy on local government elections in Malaysia. 

If she is serious in  pushing for local government elections, she should start  holding a series of dialogues with various stakeholders and NGOs nationwide, and she should then present a study and a concise proposal to the Cabinet, rather than expecting her cabinet colleagues (or former cabinet colleagues) to support her verbal media statements .

The DAP has been championing local government elections and local democracy for decades. Although the DAP is not in the Perikatan Nasional government, the DAP is prepared to engage Zuraida to formulate policy on local government elections and she can then present a cabinet paper on this. The DAP assures her that we will give her our unwavering support in this initiative. 

As Tun Dr Mahathir is not the PM of the PN government now, I hope Zuraida can speed up her proposed policy on local government elections and need not drag it till mid-2021, to present the cabinet paper on this subject. 

Teresa Kok, 
Member of Parliament for Seputeh, 
Former Minister of Primary Industries.   

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