Current Affairs, National

Nothing wrong in electing Malaysians to lead Malaysians

By Ralvin Manikam


“What is wrong with Malaysians electing another Malaysian to lead Malaysians?” asked PAS MP for Sepang Hanipa Maidin (pic)

There is nothing wrong with Malaysians electing other Malaysians to lead in the local government.

This was one of the key points which was raised by leaders within PAS in a forum organised by Roketkini titled “Benarkah Pilihanraya Kerajaan Tempatan Akan Hakis Hak Melayu?” (Would local government elections erode Malay rights?)

The forum comes in the wake of fractures within Pakatan Rakyat over the issue of local council elections, which has been a flashpoint between PAS and DAP, to the point PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said that another May 13 would recur.

Hadi had said that local council elections would benefit urbanites, in that more Chinese would be elected as councilors, leading to dissatisfaction amongst the Malays, leading to May 13.

However, opposition leaders, including some in PAS disagree with Abdul Hadi on the May 13 rhetoric.

“What is wrong with Malaysians electing another Malaysian to lead Malaysians?” asked Sepang MP Hanipah Maidin.

Hanipah, saying that he refused the carry the burden for his party President and explain his statement, said Pakatan must proceed with local council elections if it were serious about democracy.

“My experience in Sepang shows me how important it is to restore the elections,” he said.

Despite the power given to Pakatan to elect its own town council leaders, he said, cronyism and favoritism were cultures that are seeping into their local councils.


“What if there is conflict between UMNO and the state?” asked Mejar Zaidi at the forum

“The weaknesses (of an appointed local government) is that the Barisan Nasional culture was creeping into Pakatan Rakyat.”

“Certain people want council leaders from their own circle (puak),” saying that this is inevitable without the restoration of local democracy.

However noble the leader, he said, the tendency to sway from good practices would be apparent if they had to option to do so.

Quoting Abraham Lincoln, he said, “If you want to test a leader, give him (or her) power.”

He also asked to do away with the mentality that UMNO may win in Selangor with elections.

“In democracy we have to be blind, if we only want our party to win, then that is not democracy.”

He said that the goal was not to see Pakatan win, but for the democracy to triumph.

The panel that included DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim and Penang Island Municipal councillor Syerleena Rashid, agreed that the move to call for local council elections was not to take away the rights of Malays, but to force those elected to work for their constituents.

In the already turbulent Pakatan, why bring up local council elections?

WIRA7814Lim Kit Siang said that the local council elections was not a new thing, and that PAS reaction towards it was surprising.

The Pakatan common policy framework calls for local democracy and this was signed by leaders from PAS, PKR and DAP. The Selangor Pakatan Rakyat manifesto also outlines “melaksanakan dasar menurunkan kuasa secara berperingkat menerusi perlaksanaan pilihanraya kerajaan tempatan” (to carry out policies to reduce power in stages through local government elections).

“It is clear; it is not out of the blue; Hudud is a different issue, which we had agreed to disagree, and it was not in Pakatan’s common policy framework,” he said.

He told the forum yesterday that back in 2010, the Selangor’s Menteri Besar had written to the Elections Commission to hold local government elections in the state. This represented the stand of exco’s from PKR, DAP, and PAS.

The DAP, on the other hand, had called for its restoration since the 60’s, even when the government had postponed its implementation in view of the Indonesian Confrontation and the May 13 riots.


The Pakatan Rakyat common policy framework provides for local govenment elections, and is signed by DAP, PKR and PAS.

“But now it has become an issue between DAP and PAS, although, I don’t understand why,” lamented Lim, saying that in the 70’s, PAS leaders in Parliament had supported it.

Lim, said that though he was not a PAS member, followed closely political developments in PAS, and that he was not aware of their stand against local democracy.

“As far as I know, I’m not aware that PAS had taken a stand in its Muktamar to oppose the restoration of local democracy; I prepare to be corrected,” he said.

He said that there might be some differences between DAP and PAS about how it is administered, but that can be discussed.

The top leadership of PAS, PKR and DAP will meet this Sunday after a long hiatus. There are expected to resolve many issues including local council elections, and Kelantan’s plans to table Hudud in its state assembly meeting. PAS Deputy President Mohamad Sabu has assured that Hadi would attend the meeting unless Hadi falls ill.

-The Rocket

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