Youth Solidarity Malaysia (SAMM) congratulated the Selangor and Penang PR Governments for moving another step to strengthen democracy in their administration radar.
On 18 September, the Penang Pakatan Rakyat Government, through the State Government Exco meeting, approved in principle the provisions for Assemblymen from the Opposition in Penang (read: Barisan Nasional) and the subsequent approval from the Exco Meeting will be tabled in the Penang State Budget 2014.
Meanwhile, on 10 October, the Selangor PR Government announced special allowances and privileges for the Selangor State Legislative Assembly Opposition Leader.
For Samm, this are valiant efforts in strengthening and educating the meaning of true democracy in Malaysia, in fact, understanding in the long history of oppression in translating the BN-style democracy system, actions such as this is hard to be accepted by various quarters in PR itself.
But if we are talking about a mature democracy, this is the best time to show that PR is different from the oppression politics of BN. We see all this while how PR representatives, especially Parliamentarians, are denied the right to serve the people without even a single cent of allocation being channelled through PR representatives who were voted by the people.
Now, it is a tremendous blow for BN Assemblymen in Penang. Do they want to receive provisions given to them despite Do they want to receive their allocation to them despite their opposition?
If they accept it, then they acknowledge the practice of the BN Government in other states and even the Federal level BN government as wrong to not channel allocations through representatives of the people who were elected by the people. But if they reject it, they will continue to be remembered for their narrow partisan politics and they can no longer complain in front of their voters that they do not have allocations.
Through the Penang State Government, PR proved that political clash is a different matter, but in matters of democratic state governance, the people’s choice should be respected and Penang PR has acknowledged that.
The Office of the Leader of the Opposition in the House (be it the House of Representatives or the state legislative assembly) is very important. But since the independence of Malaysia, it has not been honoured like other countries of mature democracy acknowledge the post.
The Selangor PR Government made a tremendous stride when they allocated RM8,260 per month with plenty other privileges to the Opposition Leader in the State Legislative Assembly.
With this, this position which is upheld through the democratic pr In this position he also transported through the democratic process of the people’s voice can be used to jointly develop the state. Opposition leaders can have complete office efficiency with enough research officers and Opposition leaders can have a complete office efficiency with enough research officer and able to debate and make constructive criticism to state that ultimately benefit the people.
The question now is would the Opposition Leader from BN in Selangor receive the allowances and privileges or will he reject with narrow political party thinking.
If he accepts it, he would admit the wrong practice of the Central and State Governments under BN in denying the role of Opposition Leaders elected by the people.
This is how the politics of the nation should be practiced with policy competition and competition in improvements which will ultimately strengthen democracy and benefit the people.
SAMM has greats hopes to see the Prime Minister, who is also the Finance Minister, to make the word ‘transformation’ as his daily chant when tabling the Budget 2014 this Friday which can truly welcome the moves taken by the Penang and Selangor PR Governments.
This move is also positive and everyone should move to strengthen democracy by acknowledging the role of PR members of parliament by taking into account the channeling of provisions through those elected by the people and uphold the role of the Malaysian Parliament by acknowledging privileges for Malaysian Opposition Leaders.
Without that, the ‘transformation’ chant will continue being a rhetoric laughed by those from the country and abroad.
Badrul Hisham Shaharin
Youth Solidarity Malaysia