‘Let people elect who should run KL’

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah says local elections must be brought back so that the people can pick leaders to run the city.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Bring back the local elections as the residents of the capital city have the right to decide who they should pick to run the city.

Lembah Pantai MP and PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar said that although local government elections were stopped in 1965, KLites had a right to choose who they wanted to run their city.

“At the time, there were valid reasons as to why this was done. However, the time has come – after 47 years- for the people to be given back their right to vote (in local elections).”

“Why do I say this? We only have to look at the 2012 DBKL’s budget worth RM2.3 billion and ask, ‘Is this amount going to be used in the best way possible?’” she said in a press statement.

KL’s annual budget, she said, was on par with two combined opposition state government budgets.

In comparison, Nurul said that the Penang and Selangor state governments had an annual budget of RM1.6 billion and RM740 million respectively.

With this in mind, she asked if DBKL told KL residents how it was spending this money.

“Is there a response system in place that would ensure DBKL’s responsibility in making sure that KL rate-payers’ money is used in the most effective and efficient way?”

“Without a local election system in place, all these questions will go unanswered,” she said.

EC reluctant

Nurul also claimed that the time had come for KLites to choose a City Hall and a Datuk Bandar (Mayor) that were answerable to the people.

Since 2008, Pakatan Rakyat state governments have been trying to get the federal government and the Election Commission (EC) to bring back local council elections.