KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 ― Despite Umno’s previous rejection, MCA Youth chief Nicole Wong said she will work towards reintroducing local council elections here.
In her speech at the opening of the 55th MCA Youth annual general meeting (AGM), Wong said her plan was to improve youth participation in politics.
“Apart from that, I, as the Federal Territory state liaison committee chairperson of MCA, I plan to promote local government elections, as well as for the Kuala Lumpur mayor and the local council elections.
“Not only can it provide opportunity to youths to get involved in politics, but they will also be executive councillors, formulate better local council budgets and better care of homes,” she said.
Wong added that the goal is to reintroduce the so-called “third vote” nationwide.
“Let this political opinion become an important concept in our 15th general election,” she added.
In July, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan reportedly opposed local council polls, claiming that the interest of the majority race might be compromised,
The former Negri Sembilan mentri besar said that though local council elections might appear democratic, it is not the only answer to problems faced by local councils presently.
Pushing for local government election was one of the promises from Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto.
The Housing and Local Government Ministry had, on July 8, said it is preparing a paper on the proposal to restore local government elections to be presented for the Cabinet’s approval by the end of 2019.
Deputy Minister Senator Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah told the Lower House that his ministry was running three workshops on the feasibility and implementation of the so-called “third vote”.
Local council elections existed here between 1951 and 1965, but were suspended in 1965 because of the Indonesian Confrontation.
Then-prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had promised the Dewan Rakyat that local government elections would be restored once the Confrontation was over, but this did not happen despite the end of Confrontation just one year after the third vote was suspended.