KUALA LUMPUR: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (pic) says any decision on holding local government elections must be agreed to by all parties within the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
He said although local government elections was something that the DAP had fought for, the party cannot override the four-party coalition especially when it involved government policies.
“It (local council elections) is a priority for us but PH is a coalition of four parties, we must get all four parties to agree.
“We feel that there is a need for a better democracy as people should be given the right to vote, but right now we will implement other promises in our manifesto first, when that is done, we can bring up other stuff, let’s do it step by step,” he told reporters when met at the Parliament’s lobby here on Monday.
He was asked to comment on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement that the government did not plan to hold local elections due to concerns of possible communal strife between rural and urban areas.
In May this year, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the government intended to hold local government elections in three years time.
According to Zuraida, such elections could only be done after the nation’s finances and economy stabilises.
Meanwhile, in Putrajaya, Zuraida in a statement said her ministry would continue studies on holding local government elections.
She said her ministry noted the prime minister’s fears about holding local government elections now due to the sensitivities involved.
She added that the studies would entail looking into foreign models to be adapted to the local situation so that when they were held, it would lead to further democratisation and improvement in the delivery system. – Bernama