Raja Kamarul: Local government elections being studied


KUALA LUMPUR:The Housing and Local Government Ministry is in the midst of preparing a Cabinet paper on the revival of local government elections.

Its deputy minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad said that the  Ministry hoped to present the paper by the end of the year.

Raja Kamarul said that currently, the Ministry has had three workshops on the feasibility and implementation of local council elections.

He said the Government needs to also amend laws before the local government elections can be implemented.

"These laws include the Local Government Elections Act 1960 (revised in 1991) which needs to be reactivated and amended. Amendments are also needed for Section 10 and Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1976," said Raja Kamarul

He said other laws that are needed include Acts related to the purview of the Election Commission and regulations for local government elections.

"We hope to table the paper to Cabinet by the end of the year and until then, local government elections cannot be implemented until it gets Cabinet approval," he said in reply to Datuk Seri Azalina Othman (BN-Pengerang) who asked about developments on the re-implementation of local government elections and if it will be done in the near future.

Azalina said in her supplementary question that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said the government will not reinstate local government elections, adding that having polls for local council may cause race-related conflicts.

Raja Kamarul responded by saying that the government is looking and studying all possible challenges surrounding the local government elections and their potential impact.

He added that comparative studies are being done with Commonwealth countries, such as India and Australia, as well as non-Commonwealth countries such as the United States.

"We are also engaging other stakeholders including the state government, the Attorney General's Chambers, Election Commission and others," he added.


   

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