After 48 years since Kuala Lumpur was made a Federal Territory, it is time for the people of this capital city to be given the right to elect their own representatives who would then administer a ‘territorial government’ similar to governments in other states.
For citizens, especially youths who face the increasingly harsh realities of city life due to housing issues, low wages, and high cost of living, they should be empowered to elect their own government and chart the path of Kuala Lumpur’s future. Local issues such as the post-Covid-19 outbreak economic recovery, and town planning can also be handled in greater depth by elected representatives who are accountable to their constituents.
Instead, what we have now is a capital city that is still governed by a Minister who was not even elected by the people of Kuala Lumpur in the first plac.
In comparison to other states, Kuala Lumpur deserves to have its own ‘territorial government’ led by elected representatives elected by the citizens of the capital itself. In terms of financial resources, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) receives the highest allocation compared to other states. For 2022, DBKL is allocated RM2.70 billion in comparison to states like Selangor (RM2.34 billion), Johor (RM1.95 billion) and Perlis (RM306.83 million) to name a few.
In terms of population, the population of Kuala Lumpur which stands at 1.74 million people in 2021 far exceeds most other states such as Perlis (255 thousand), Melaka (938 thousand), Negeri Sembilan (1.13 million) and Terengganu (1.27 million).
Empowering democracy in the capital of Malaysia will further encourage the public’s participation in Kuala Lumpur’s administration and build a more resilient community that is able to face any challenges that we might encounter in the future.
Therefore, efforts to introduce elections at the territorial and local council levels in Kuala Lumpur should be initiated. Engagement sessions with relevant stakeholders should also be conducted to identify the best method of implementation.
Raja Ahmad Iskandar Fareez
Publicity Secretary of DAPSY Federal Territory