Councils: Rewarding party faithful


It looks like the status quota – or even an entrenchment – in the system of rewarding party faithful with appointments to the two Penang municipal councils.

The DAP general election manifesto in 2008 (click image to enlarge): Have they lived up to their campaign pledges in relation to the protection of green spaces and the environment, electoral reforms and local democracy, PICC and transparency, and affordable health care (as opposed to 'health tourism')?

The total quota for “NGOs” in both MPPP and MPSP is reportedly being reduced from 10 councillors in 2008 to seven for 2011. Bear in mind, the state’s definition of ‘NGOs’ includes groups with vested business interests. As for the representation of public interest (civil society) groups, the word that comes to mind is tokenism.

Pending the restoration of local council elections, public interest groups had asked for five reps in each council. Under the banner of Penang Forum, they had conducted open elections to choose their nominees in a bid to broaden their selection process and make it more transparent.

But in the end, the supporters and party members of the Pakatan parties are expected to seize the lion’s share of the seats – not much different from the BN practice. Which makes you wonder if Pakatan is really interested in enhancing public participation in the first place given that legally it is unable to hold proper council elections at the moment. Does it still want to still cling on to the system of patronage? That said, we have to acknowledge they have taken some effort to seek expert legal advice and a court ruling on the legality of holding local elections.

Only seven local council posts for NGOs
Susan Loone

The Penang government announced today that NGOs would only be given seven municipal council seats and that these may include representatives from the business community.

In 2008, some of the 10 slots set aside for NGOs were taken up by business representatives, causing disappointment among the NGOs.

State exco for local government, traffic management and environment Chow Kon Yeow, who made the announcement at a press conference today, said four of the NGO seats would be in the Penang municipal council (MPPP) and three in the Seberang Perai council (MPSP).

The state would have a challenging task picking the councillors, he said, because political parties such as PAS and PKR have also submitted their lists.

The Penang DAP alone has submitted 50 nominees, said Chow, adding that the first round of interviews would be conducted this weekend.

“Besides myself as the party’s selection committee head, Lim Hock Seng and Jagdeep Singh Deo, as well as three non-party members who are former municipal councillors, will interview the candidates,” he said.

“They include lawyer Lim Kah Cheng and academicians Francis Loh and Goh Ban Lee,” he added after chairing a public forum on local government issues.

Last month, a mock election organised by local civil society groups voted 10 people to fill the NGO quota for the 2011-12 term, five each for the Penang and Seberang Perai councils. The names have been submitted to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

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Heard through some sources that DAP is even proposing the posts of MPPP and MPSP heads to be given to the party “faithfuls”. I guess that won’t happen this time but certainly will after the next GE if DAP gets elected again.


Jumping to conclusion is like posting half truth and true lies. Dont guess otherwise it is also half truth and true lies and with half truth and true lies you have deemed yourself as not fit to talk. Just as UMNO BN with their half true and true lies have become one of the most corrupt & deceitful party that rely on lies, half truth and corruptibility and subversion of the rule of law and judiciary to ensure that their cronies will get the benefits.

Ong Eu Soon

That will hardly happen! DAP believe in no one! There is no faithful one in the party! Even if it does has one that one is not competent enough to hold any post. That is why the heads of both MPPP and MPSP are not from DAP.
There is rumor that DAP is going to drop one of it’s best councilor simply because that guy is too shine and belong to the wrong camp. Why not made that lawyer guy the head of MPPP or MPSP?…


DAP believe in no one!

Wrong !

DAP always believes in ONE PERSON – Lim Kit Siang

Whatever came out of LKS’ mouth is Gospel to DAP cadres, and must be done.


Eu Soon In fact there was a major crisis in Penang DAP on the appointment of the head of MPPP. It was only after the KBP issue that The Cheap Minister decided on non-DAP person as the MPPP chief. If not for the timing, the head of MPPP would have been a DAP crony. I understand that there are also much pressure from DAP on this issue again this year. But I also heard that DAP leadership is cautious since the GE could be around the corner as this could end up blowing up on their faces. So, the plan,… Read more »


DAP, don’t talk **** here. Why only 7 for both MPPP & MPSP from 10. Bonus time for your supporters? Bull****, Rakyat are screwed again. Maybe if they rule again in the next GE, representation from NGO will drop to 5 or 3. God knows. Ah Chow, don’t be so arrogant. Padang Kota is not your deposit. Let’s see if you can retain the seat again.



I sense a certain arrogance in DAP and the Cheap Minister. He almost feels that DAP will be reelected and the CM post is for him for taking (unless he Pakatan wins Putrajaya and he gets a plum post at Federal level).

I think we Penangites need to send a message, a strong one to DAP. Let’s kick them out like we did to Gerakan last GE.


There is no alternative to DAP in Penang. UMNO BN is just too corrupt and incompetent. To UMNO BN, Gerakan and MCA are both weakling and impotent. MIC do not even have any backbone at all. PPP, Makkal Sakthi are just too lame and imbecille. What more can we say of BN or translated into English it is National Fraud.



Is DAP is whiter than white ? Is PKR is clean ? Is PAS’ Taliban idealogy acceptable to you ?

The Cheap Minister has damaged Penang’s economy and its competitiveness fatally. Singapore used to fear Penang’s ability to attract FDI and compete for the same investors. Now Chairman Lim has made Penang so weak that Singaporeans are laughing at us.


When you have been given an inch you wanted a foot. Just like the KBPala, who have been offered a 600,000 house then they want 3 million. My foot to them. Ask from UMNO BN and you will know what you get, not just a foot from them but the boot as well.



Say what you want but the Indians of Penang will never ever vote for DAP after KBP. I can tell you that the Cheap Minister’s … remarks on this issue will never die down. When I speak with my friends, the issue is still very emotional matter. In fact the Indian votes for DAP nation wide is good as gone, except for some cronies who had benefitted from DAP rule.


But sorry what did you expect ?

That the NGOs be rewarded with Council seats for their ‘sacrifices’?

If NGOs are keen to be in politics, join or form a political party. Otherwise stay out and continue functioning as a non aligned NGO.

After all a NGO= non government organisation.


Well Anil the idea was noble but naive and misplaced. You trusted the Cheap Minister but he screwed you all. I guess there is a big lesson for all to learn.


The idea was to broaden the public representation and participation in local councils

Just how naive you want to be, Anil Netto?

Public representation != NGO.

Never was. Never will be.


Anil I used to buy Aliran’s magazine and respected the NGO. However, I am sad to note that the leadership of Rama seems to determined to be a chief apologist for Pakatan. Instead of demanding Pakatan to deliver their electoral promises, Rama seems to be busy demonising BN at every opportunity, large or small. A perfect example is this issue. We expect Rama and Aliran to be in the fore front in demanding LGE to deliver his promises. Instead Rama seems to be am unpaid volunteer in the Cheap Minister’s PR department. The only one in Aliran these days to… Read more »

Andrew I

I used to buy Aliran as well. Until today, this phrase has stuck with me: What comes from the heart, reaches the heart.


Anil I had told you earlier that all the efforts of Penang Forum is a mere “syiok sendiri” exercise that will bring zero change. I had told you that the Cheap Minister had no intention of returing power to people by having even a token of local council elections. All he wants is to play the game that once Dr M played, ie, hand … positions and perks to cronies and loyal party cadres in return to political loyalty. You folks had been taken for a long drive by the regime of Chairman Lim. I hope this has been a… Read more »


Its not a shiok exercise. It is a wake up call to tell the EC and UMNO BN people what the people of Penang wanted. Yes, we have been taken for a ride for 53 years by UMNO and …(its administration’s) alleged hand of corruptibily and subversion of democracy…

we have now seen the true colour of Najib and UMNO together with their coalition (partners).


Don’t try to evade the point. It was not Najib who promised local council elections but the Cheap Minister. Hell, DAP had been demanding local council elections for
years and even published it as their electoral promise.

We are just holding them to it.


I am not evading the point. Yes it was PR LGE & Khalid that promised council election which was rejected by that … PM who is more interested for his croies to fill it.. And the EC was so afraid to do it.


Yang The problem with you DAP Cybertroopers is that you guys think the rest of Malaysia is also equally guilable and idiotic to gleefully swallow the load of bull… that your Pakatan leaders tell you when they keep failing to deliver or perform. This issue of local council election was discussed for decades by some of the most prominent and knowlegeable lawyers in country. DAP too has many many lawyers. There were various differing opinions on this issue with some experts like Dr Goh saying that these elections were not allowed under the current legal framework. Yet that did not… Read more »


Dear K,
So are you going to put on a rally to Putrajaya and ask Najib & co’s return local election to the people?


So what’s your stand on the Cheap Minister’s conning of Penangites on local council elections ? Agree or disagree ? We are here to debate the issue and not talking irrelevant issues. It is not Najib who promised local council elections but Chairman Lim. I voted for DAP on the basis of their electoral promises and it is only fair that we demand their deliver these promises.

So what you are saying here ? It is OK for Pakatan to renegade on their promises ?


It was Najib and UMNO who rejected local Council election after it was proposed by LGE & PR. Dont try to spin, spinner


Well, since you are so confident, just give solid proof that LGE government sabotage the local election movement. Oh well, since federal and EC doesn’t support the local election, why not you suggest a solid legitimate plan over this “BN federal say so not local election issue”. …


You still need “SOLID PROOF“?

You got eyes or not?

Ong Eu Soon

What is the point of appointing NGOs activists as councilor when all those elected in the mock election, none of them are from any NGO.


You still support that fraudulent election, Anil Netto?


I don’t know how else Pakatan Rakyat is able to win over fence sitters but thus far, the big picture of successfully administering Penang, Selangor and Perak (till hijacked) and turning in a SURPLUS budget resonate clearly with me. I’m not a card carrying member of any entity BUT that to me is proof of the eating (budget surplus) unlike Federal Govt that has run up external debt of some RM$263 billion and counting. Mind you, that is money that you and I and the next generation who have to pay off. So damn you lot who still think UMNO/BN’s… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

If the state government budget a surplus and end of the day achieve it then you should be proud of the administration. Every year LGe budgeted a deficit what is the point to shout about surplus? This is not an honest way to plan a budget!


You forgot a Chinese idiom – look at the apricot to stop the thirst – and that is exactly Lim Guan Eng is trying to do.

Shout about “surplus” while digging a bigger and bigger financial grave for the Penang people.

Andrew I

Resonates with me as well.

You can’t expect a 53 year overhaul in 2 and a half. I think we shouldn’t be expecting absolutes, just like those who come to this blog expecting no censorship. In mature democracies, discrimination exists in some form or another on every level.

I like the changes that are visible: the Komtar revival, the building refurbishing in Beach Street.

No political party has a monopoly on good governance.


Casper Are you a resident of Planet Pluto ? When did PR “successfully” administrated Penang and Selangor ? And how it is that turning in a surplus budget is a mark of good governance for a government? Managing a public service is very different from a private company. Also obvious you had looked carefully at the details of Penang’s accounting books. At this rate, the state is in a real danger of bankruptcy. External debt requires generations to pay off ? I think you better stick to subjects you really know of instead of making a fool of yourself with… Read more »


There are indeed too many Plutonians and Martians residing in Malaysia.

The Plutonians repeatedly chant that “Pakatan Rakyat is God sent” while the Martians counters with “Barisan Nasional helped the nation”.

In the meantime, REAL MALAYSIANS suffer.


Goh Ban Lee is an … academic aligned to DAP. Chow Kon Yeow is part of the Oligarchic DAP faction currently (allegedly) controlled by PAP and the PKR’s Azmin equivalent in DAP’s political structure. Please vote all the family blocs and cliques out of DAP, but retain any other 2nd liner DAP people not in the clique.


PR is mimicking BN in governing state. They will be another BN if they cling to power in the central government.

I see third force is needed after next GE.

As I See

There’s transparency. Chow said there’re so many nominations from political parties, NGOs and Business Groups and that’s the ‘headache’. Not like BN where everything is connected and secretive.


Blooming hell! Gerakan K in the wrong side of the fence….lean X’mas for this cherry picking…. Born looser….


You got to understand that this would be the training ground for any ADUN. Can judge their capability to see if they are fit to become future ADUNs or MP.
Hence I feel it is more than rewarding cos there is really nothing in terms of money or rewards being a councillor


Anil Netto, I have told you that the so-called “election” was a scam!

Did you listen?

Instead, you actively promoting that “fraud election” as though it is genuine.

And you dare to call yourself a “journalist”?