GEORGE TOWN: An election to choose 10 nominees to be appointed councillors to represent marginalised groups in the Penang and Seberang Prai municipal councils will be held on Nov 14.
It is being organised by Penang Forum, a coalition of non-government organisations (NGOs), communities and individuals, which said it will submit the names to the state government for appointment to the councils next year.
The voting for five nominees for each council will be carried out during the Penang Forum 3 event at the Penang Chinese Girls School Alumni Hall in Jalan Bagan Jermal here.
Former state executive councillor Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon said civil society has an important role in policy and decision making.
“Through this electoral process, many marginalised people will be represented and their issues articulated. The more people who come to vote, the greater the impact will be,” he said.
Political scientist Prof Dr Francis Loh said the voting of local councillors is being held to remind the public of the importance of holding elections.
“Anyone can vote but first, they’ll have to register for the forum.
“People will be allowed to look at the list of nominees on the Penang Forum website so they’ll know who to vote for,” he said, adding that the list would be available after Oct 29.
State Local Government and Traffic Management committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said he was “aware of what’s being proposed” but would only comment after receiving an official report.
“They know that ultimately, it’s up to the state to decide,” he said.
Penang Suaram coordinator Ong Jing Cheng said the last local government elections was held in 1963 and it was suspended in 1965 by the Federal Government.
Those interested to submit nominations for the posts can download application forms from www.penangforum.net or from the Aliran office at 103, Medan Penaga, 11600 Jelutong. The closing date is Oct 29.
To register for the forum, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Aliran office at 04-6585251 during office hours from Tuesday to Saturday. Registration fee is RM10 and RM5 for students. The closing date is Nov 11.