In the News

‘Chinese bogeyman caused PAS local vote paranoia’


Published on 5:25PM Mar 13, 2015 by Malaysiakini


PAS central committee member Hanipa Maidin today postulated the party’s “unwarranted fear” of local elections was due to Umno’s influence.
He said this was because Umno had made PAS’s top leadership grow ever fearful of a lack of support from the Malay community if there were local elections.

“Umno has made it seem as though the Chinese will engulf all the top leadership positions if local elections were held.

“So with all of this unwarranted fear, some PAS leaders feel that all that is being recommended is DAP’s agenda and not Pakatan’s,” Hanipa (right), who is also Sepang MP, said.

He was speaking as a panelist at a conference on local authority themed ‘Revisiting the Athi Nahappan Report Of Our Times’ in Kuala Lumpur.

Citing the president of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan as the product of successful local elections, Hanipa said the reason Erdogan had won was because people trusted him during his years as a grassroots leader.

“(He) performed when (he) was a mayor, so the mayoral elections is part and parcel of developing talent. I don’t know why they (PAS) don’t see this.

“We have problems with our own party elections and I think the problem is with the top leadership. They cannot relate to the present moment. I will voice it out in my party,” he said but added that it may not be the right time to do so.

Pushing the boundaries

The conference which was organised by the think-tank Research for Social Advancement, Relevant Facts and Sparkling Analysis (Refsa) and aims to re-examine the late Senator Athi Nahappan’s royal commission report on the workings of local authorities in Peninsular Malaysia which was tabled in Parliament in 1968.

This senator’s report was an in-depth study of local authorities which included recommendations on the design, organisation, governance structure and finances of local authorities as well as input on the people’s call to restore local elections.

Fellow panelist and Teja state assemblyman Chang Lih Kang (left) said not only are local elections relevant, they were, in fact, vital if the country is to make progress.

“I would like to suggest to the Penang and Selangor governments to implement a system where candidates who are elected in a state-called local election are also appointed as local councilors.

“As reform parties, we should push the boundaries. We are not asking Lim  Guan Eng (the Penang chief minister) or Azmin Ali (the Selangor menteri besar) to participate in opposition rallies but pushing for democracy is part and parcel of the people’s expectation on us,” he said.

Among the other speakers at the event were Kluang MP and Refsa chairman Liew Chin Tong, Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishayakaran, President of the Seberang Jaya Municipal Council Maimunah Shariff and Fellow of Penang Institute, Wong Chin Huat.

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