IPOH City Watch (ICW) has called upon the new Pakatan Harapan state government to review its decision not to appoint representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as local councillors.
The NGO’s president Dr Richard Ng said the government should show more appreciation to NGOs as they often help the government resolve social issues.
“There is no denying that there are politicians behind some NGOs, but there are also many other NGOs that have proven that they can do the job,” he said in a statement.
“They are capable and members of NGOs should be considered for appointment as a local councillor.
“Members of NGOs have experience in serving people and can also serve as a check and balance,” he added.
New State Local Government Committee chairman Paul Yong Choo Kiong said during a press conference last week that the state government will do away with appointing NGO representatives as local councillors.
Yong had said the decision was based on some NGOs being linked to political parties.
Ng said the government will need the assistance and expertise that some of the NGOs can provide.
“The NGOs can be the third force to assist the new government in achieving its manifesto.
“Most of us in NGOs have the expertise and know-how but are not given the chance to work alongside the government,” he said.
“NGOs also need to be empowered and recognised, not brushed aside,” he added.
He also said a lot of NGOs run social activities because they want to see the issues resolved effectively rather than wait for the government to do so.
“A lot of members are also volunteers and are passionate about looking after the welfare of the people, especially those that are impoverished, disabled or underprivileged,” he said, adding that there were about 6,000 registered NGOs in Perak.
“They also spend their own time and money to run their activities and sometimes, get sponsorship from corporate companies or individuals,” he added.