Give NGOs 15% of seats, Pakatan told

A NGO leader says the time has come for the opposition bloc to form a power-sharing alliance with these groups.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Pakatan Rakyat has been urged to consider allocating seats for NGOs to contest in the coming general election.

In making the call, Malaysian Indian Progressive Association (MIPAS) president A Rajaretnam said that Pakatan should earmark 15% of seats both at the federal and state levels.

Speaking to FMT, he explained that NGOs were important to form a government and therefore Pakatan must join forces with them.

Rajaretnam also pointed out that NGOs had played a crucial role in helping the opposition secure its biggest ever victory in the last general election.

“However, after the election, Pakatan overlooked the NGOs,” he said.

Three-cornered fights

He said that in the next general-election, there would probably be three-cornered fights due to the emergence of a third force.

He explained that the third force came about after Pakatan-friendly NGOs grew fed-up with the opposition bloc.

“The NGOs were upset when several Pakatan MPs became BN-friendly, the Pakatan state governments’ refusal to give space and voice to NGO’s and certain Pakatan leaders becoming too arrogant after winning in the election.

“For example, after Pakatan won Selangor, they promised to allocate 40 seats in 10 local councils for NGOs. However, a report shows that half of the so-called NGO seats are occupied by party members.

“We strongly believe Pakatan can form a better government compared to BN, but they must return to the grassroots,” he added.