GEORGE TOWN: It is the Election Commission’s (EC) responsibility to conduct local government elections, says Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He reiterated this in response to a recent statement by the commission’s chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, who had said Penang and Selangor could hold local elections should they want to, but without the EC’s involvement.
“If we do this, we will be going against the law because the Elections Act is still being enforced. This falls under federal law and we must comply and uphold this.
“We must practise what we preach, so we must comply. Let’s not break the law.We don’t want to jeopardise the legality of the councillors or decisions of local councils,” Lim told a press conference at the state administrative complex in Komtar, yesterday.
When told about alternative ways in which councillors could be elected, at non-governmental organisation or Rukun Tetangga levels and then appointed to Penang City Council or Seberang Perai Municipal Council posts, he said: “Let’s not take these things lightly. We want to hold proper elections.”
He said the state had sought constitutional lawyers’ help and advice, and was making an application seeking a declaration for the EC to conduct local elections.
“We do not want the legality of decisions made by councils and councillors questioned. These are some of the realities we have to face.
“If we were the federal government, we could amend the law, but we are governed by the federal law, and so we have engaged lawyers for this purpose.
“(Former prime minister) Tunku Abdul Rahman had said once peace is restored, local government elections (which ceased to be practised in the 1960s) will be restored and it is our hope this will come to pass.”
The Penang government has instructed the state legal adviser to issue a gazette notification exempting local authorities there from Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1976 as a precursor to seeking a court declaration to compel the EC to conduct local elections.
“This is something that will take time but it is in the process of being done,” said Lim.
Citing a previous letter to the EC, he said the commission replied it was impossible to hold local elections in adherence to the same provision, resulting in the Local Government Elections Act to be of no force and effect.
“Clearly, the Local Government Elections Act authorises the EC to conduct elections for local authorities in Malaysia.
“It is, therefore, perplexing that the EC chairman continues to refuse to conduct local government elections in Penang as it is the only legal authority empowered to carry out the elections.
“The state has no choice but to seek a court declaration compelling the EC to obey and abide by the state’s directives.”
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Wheres all that attitude when hurling meaningless ill aimed insults that waste the taxpayer’s money in Parliament? If the EC is doing something illegal by UN standards, it is up to people like YB CM Lim Guan Eng to take up the issue and file lawsuits, not accede as if nothing can be done. We are living in a global village now, not a Penangite Tempurung. Are you sure you’re the right man for the job of Chief Minister? Who voted you in as Chief Minister? Oh right, Guan Eng’s dad ‘golden parachuted’ Guan Eng there.
In a one man one vote system (1.5 million Penangites vote at 66.6% minimum quorum, like the USA’s presidential vote) which DAP has no capacity to conceptualise (like the cave man before fire), Lim Guan Eng would very likely not even be on the EXCO in Penang. Try quorums and direct democracy, probably 75% of DAP’s ‘Supremos’ including Guan Eng and dad Kit Siang would be kicked out immediately being based on nepotism and oligarchy (also limitless terms) than anything else.
Complain to the ‘UN Commission for Election Practices’ or what not, don’t tell us it’s entirely up to the EC – the EC is still run entirely by vested interest politicians placed there by the BN coalition. This lack of PR coalition or even non-political party affiliated representation in the EC has not even been mentioned by Guan Eng to the UN in the context of stating the EC’s actions as purely biased and thus getting UN to require the EC to place Opposition and neutral non-party panellists in the EC. The UN can well get NATO to breathe down Libya and Tunisia and now Syria’s necks about election problems, so Malaysia should be no different. More like a crypto-lapdog waiting for 750K funds, why aren’t you doing this yet Guan Eng, new leadership is needed if you go ‘. . . ho hum EC decides everything . . . ‘ and go back to sleep . . . you call yourself an opposition leader or even minority race leader?