Sunday, March 07, 2010

Local elections: Selangor to follow Penang

The Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government will support the Penang government's move towards reinstating local government elections, said Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today.

selangor pakatan convention khalid ibrahim speech“We will write a letter to the Election Commission (EC) alongside the Penang government (which did so yesterday) to find out what kind of support the commission will give us for such elections,” he said. told a press conference after the officiating the Selangor Pakatan convention this morning in Shah Alam.

He said, however, that in-depth research must be conducted to clarify the legal issues surrounding the holding of local government elections, which have not been held since they were scrapped in 1964.

“We found that (there are) some legal aspects that are still unclear. We want to avoid spending millions on the elections only to have them declared null and void. The people will then feel cheated,” he said.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said yesterday that the state executive council had written to EC chief Abdul Aziz Yusof seeking his advice on the holding of elections for its Seberang Perai and Penang island municipal councils.

A Kedah Gerakan Youth leader yesterday challenged the other Pakatan states to follow in Penang's DAP-led government's steps, failing to do so signifying the opposition coalition was not in agreement over the matter.

Putrajaya, here we come

Khalid had earlier raised eyebrows among younger Pakatan activists - and perhaps made older ones smile in reminiscence - when his entrance into the Dewan Jubli Perak hall of the state secretariat building in Shah Alam was made to the tune of the early 1980s' Eye of the Tiger from the blockbuster movie 'Rocky'.

And just as Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa character proved that it's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that decide the outcome of competitions, Khalid said the young Pakatan's achievements in Selangor prove it is more than able to challenge the older BN and its vast state apparatus and machinery for the federal government in Putrajaya.

"If we can convince the people of Selangor, then I am confident that we can go all the way to Putrajaya," said Khalid.

This sense of mission, he said, was one that can be found in all the three component parties, and is a uniting factor in their quest for reforms.

"The BN claim that we (three parties) are like oil and water, unable to mix together. But the people have chosen (us). We are united because we are a group of reformists," he said.

Khalid also pointed out how Pakatan, unlike the incumbent BN government, would not squander the nation's wealth. Indeed, he said, the days of trips to Paris “to buy cheaper Louis Vuitton bags" are over.

"Selangor is a wealthy state. Our water alone is worth RM10 billion.

"But we have to make sure that we manage it well and do not sell it to the wrong people, unlike (former MB) Khir Toyo who got 10,000 hectares of land and gave it all to his friends, leaving nothing for the people," he said.

Economic growth of 6 percent in 2010

DAP national secretary Teresa Kok in her speech, meanwhile, spoke of the Selangor government's ability enable to drive greater economic growth.

NONE"Until September 2009, the state of Selangor attracted RM6.76 billion in industrial investments, more than RM4 billion above the target set. This makes us only second to Sarawak, and this figure does not include investments in the service industry.

"Prime Minister Najib Razak forecasted a national GDP growth of 4.5 percent this year. Selangor is expected to grow by 6 percent...and contribute to one third of the national GDP," she said.

Following Kok, PAS' Selangor commissioner Hasan Ali spoke of the visible results of Pakatan's commitment to serve the people.

"According to theories of innovation and assimilation, the first two years is the time for users to know and understand.

"We have used these two years for action, to show the people that we have a delivery system that works.

NONE"Selangor is the only state government which has tabled a long term plan, and we use this plan to remain accountable to the people," said Hasan.

At the conclusion of the speeches concluded with 'Heal the World' by Michael Jackson, while Pakatan workers brought in a tree into the hall to symbolise the 'growth' of the Pakatan coalition.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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