KUALA LUMPUR: The Perikatan Nasional government is not in favour of holding local council elections, says Zuraida Kamaruddin.
The Housing and Local Government Minister revelation comes barely less than a month after she had told lawmakers in Dewan Rakyat that a comprehensive study was still underway to determine if local council elections could be held in the near future.
“Your suggestion is very good and it is some of the small steps that local councils will be doing to promote democracy, seeing that the Perikatan government will not be holding local government elections.
"And I feel that it’s right as it’s too drastic a move for society to accept, and local councils to hold local elections, ” she said when responding to a suggestion by Datuk Seri Hassan Arifin (BN-Rompin) in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Aug 6).
Hassan suggested that local councils should have their own assembly hall to conduct full council meetings and invite various organisations as observers during the meetings.
Earlier, Zuraida said 16 local councils have implemented live streaming of council meetings.
On July 14, Zuraida told lawmakers in Dewan Rakyat that findings on local council elections will be brought to the Cabinet and Parliament for approval by mid-2021.
Besides amending laws for the purpose, she said that it would cost about RM308mil to hold elections for all 154 local authorities in the country.
Zuraida's announcement on future local councils drew flak from several Perikatan lawmakers.
Among them was Tan Sri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong) who chided Zuraida for pushing ahead with a Pakatan Harapan manifesto with regard to local council elections.