LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS DETRIMENTAL TO RACE RELATIONS?

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong SUARAM Adviser 10 Dec 2018

On August 7 this year, while writing to deflate the view by the PH government that there was no money to run local government elections, I already anticipated Dr Mahathir’s statement yesterday that local government elections would be detrimental to race relations. His reasoning was that since most of the ethnic Chinese were residing in the urban areas, while a majority of the Malays were in rural areas, if local council elections were held, this would see urbanites governed by one race, while another race would be managing the rural areas.

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DELAYING LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS IS UNACCEPTABLE

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 6 August 2018

Ever since local elections were suspended in 1965 during the Confrontation crisis with the assurance that they would be restored as soon as peace was declared, the Alliance and then the BN failed for 53 years to do so. Now the PH government are dragging their feet over bringing back elected local government. It was clear that the Alliance and later the BN opted for the convenience of appointing their own political party cronies as councillors rather than risk the uncertainties of democratic elections. Since 2008, the PH government has been following suit in the states they control, namely, Selangor and Penang. This temptation for any ruling coalition is certainly strong for the local tiers of government have been seen as the launch pad for political party appointees as well as their NGO allies all these years.

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