Update @ 5.24pm
That is the headline that caught my attention today when I was reading local news. New Straits Times reports:
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP is now pointing fingers at Pas’ resistance and PKR’s reluctance for Pakatan Rakyat’s failure to implement local government elections, as promised in their 2008 election manifesto.
The issue cropped up recently when PR skirted around the issue of local elections in its common policy framework unveiled at the coalition’s first convention on Dec 19.
Pas, it was understood, was not keen on the idea of local government elections as the party was comfortable with the current style in Kelantan. There were also fears that non-Malays would dominate local governments.
PKR, on the other hand, despite throwing its support behind DAP’s initiative and pledging to “immediately reinstate local elections” in its 2008 election manifesto, has remained silent on the matter.
“PKR capitalised on this promise to voters in the 2008 election but now has no guts to stand up to Pas. It is behaving like lalang,” said a source from DAP.
DAP’s election committee chairman Tan Kok Wai, however, disagreed that Pas was a stumbling block to implement local government elections.
“The 1976 Local Government Act has to be amended or totally removed first. And we can only do that when we come to power (Federal Government).
“Pas may have a different opinion on the mechanism and manner of how the local elections should be conducted, but ultimately all the three parties have pledged to hold local elections,” he said when contacted yesterday.
DAP Ipoh Barat member of parliament M. Kulasegaran stressed that PR was working towards fulfilling its election promise of holding elections for local governments.
“The DAP wants nothing less than local elections. My party’s stand is very clear on this. And, in principle, Pas has agreed to strengthen the local councils,” he said when contacted, adding however that “it takes time for that to prevail”.
He said DAP had been advocating local government elections all this while and it would make them look like “fools” if they were to abandon the idea now.
“We hope that Pas can see the brighter side of the democratic process of the lower rung of politics. Not only is it pivotal but it is also about giving back to the ordinary people a say in how local institutions should be run and managed,” he added.
Kulasegaran disagreed that DAP had failed to convince its PR partners, especially Pas, to agree to local elections.
“In principle, Pas has agreed but, of course, there is the issue of mechanism.”
He proposed that the states under PR be given the choice to decide on implementing local government elections.
In his winding-up speech during the Dec 19 Pakatan Rakyat convention, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh said direct elections of local councillors were important and pledged to change the minds of PR partners opposed to it.
“Policy documents are not made of stone and as we go along, we’ll be able to convince, in particular Pas, that local elections are still necessary. It’s a matter of time.”
Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, in a press statement on Tuesday, reiterated DAP’s commitment to restoring the people’s power at the local government level.
He said that DAP did not agree to any PR manifesto of scrapping local government elections but instead had agreed to a request to replace the term “local government elections” with “strengthening local government democracy”.
The DAP’s 2008 general election manifesto pledged “implementing local government elections”, while PKR’s manifesto pledged a much stronger version of “reinstating with immediate effect local elections”.
This news sounds “refreshing”. People have been convinced over the past few months since last General Election that Pakatan will fulfill their manifestos in due time, but some still “in-progress”. Among those that are still pending (that touches the basic principals of each three party) are registration of Pakatan in ROC and also Local Council Polls.
Let us have a look what we can see from this news report.
From my point of view, the key point in this news report is:
The DAP’s 2008 general election manifesto pledged “implementing local government elections”, while PKR’s manifesto pledged a much stronger version of “reinstating with immediate effect local elections”
It is certainly something troublesome to reconcile two different manifestos which having different different set kind of goals. Of course, when one is having “higher and wider” perspective, the methodology will different in order to achieve the goals set from the others. In this case, DAP’s manifesto of “implementing local government elections” is described as “softer” than what PKR’s pledged to do. In other words, if PKR is said to have stronger version.. why do DAP just not condoning to PKR’s version? Afterall, they are in one coalition. What is it actually made the execution being delayed?
The next point in the report that caught my attention is the manner of such delay. It was said that the convention held few weeks ago showed how strong bonding is forged among Pakatan coalition parties. Even TGNA was reportedly saying DAP already understood what is meant by Negara Islam initiated by PAS, which also similarly reported in Harakah by report entitled “Di Dada Karpal Singh Ada “Bulan“” (There’s a “Moon” on Karpal Singh’s Chest). If the bonding is forged very strongly, and each other understand what is needed to be done, I wonder what makes it so hard for PAS, DAP and PKR to realise this “item” in the manifesto? It has been months ago since last GE.
Another point that caught my attention is the words of DAP’s election committee chairman Tan Kok Wai. It sounds as if, they cannot do because of one act (The 1976 Local Government Act), but in the same time saying “Pas may have a different opinion on the mechanism and manner of how the local elections should be conducted, but ultimately all the three parties have pledged to hold local elections,”. Is it because of the act, or the method/ mechanism? If it is just because of the act, I don’t think DAP would not need to blame their partners in such delay. Right?
On the other matter, which still revolves on Pakatan, I wonder when Pakatan will be duly registered? It has been months since GE12, and Pakatan has strongly aiming for Putrajaya months ago, yet they are not legally registered. What makes the delay? If really it is in the hand of ROC (like what is reported said by Tuan Haji Hadi and by Lim Guang Eng), then it should be sorted out. Unless of course, if something do not jive, the registration would be delayed. So, is it because something is not quite right in the forms that makes the Pakatan’s registration will be delayed (like what have been reported in the Star)?
Whatever it is, it has been months, yet the geniuses in Pakatan cannot handle easy registration (taking into consideration it was said many times Pakatan members are united). Get it done, please. Or else, I would agree with Tunku Aisha’s comment :
“that pakatan is just a marriage of convenience.pas has no confidence in pakatan though they act like a united force,that is why hadi is not in favour of the pakatan being officially registered.even anwar has no confidence otherwise he had made the three parties to speed up the registration of pakatan”
Ah… what a colourful year we have in 2009… from politics to local news, from happiness to sadness… I have to say much that got attention is the mumbo jumbo of our political scene. The “Rojakness” of our political scene along with the politicians and their supporters seems never calming down. I just do not know when each on of them will really start performing their duties for the people.
Or is it they are just doing their core job as described on them? Just politics, because they are politicians???
OnDaStreet also wishes to take this opportunity to wish a happy new year and may we have a better year with good developments more than what we have this year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!!!
Question on the streets: Will things get better next year? I hope so.. 🙂