Paper on local government elections ready by mid-2021, says Zuraida

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin at Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says a paper for the implementation of local government elections will be ready by mid-2021, and that it may cost RM2 million for each local council to carry out such polls.

She said her ministry had been working on a model since June 2018, adding that it would be forwarded to the Cabinet for discussion.

Once approved, she said, the paper would be forwarded to the Dewan Rakyat.

Among the issues for consideration are the legal and financial implications of the model.

“We are also looking at ways to implement it,” she said during ministerial question time at the Dewan Rakyat today.

She was responding to Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) who asked about the status of the move for local government elections.

Zuraida, who headed the same ministry under Pakatan Harapan, said her officers were also looking at the views of the people and seeking to create awareness so that they would understand the reasons for the elections if they are held.

She said they might look at pilot studies in Penang and Selangor and explore models implemented in other countries before coming to a decision.

Wong had also asked about the legal issues involved in implementing local council elections.

To this, Zuraida said amendments might be needed for local council laws.

“We may also need to create laws that are suitable for Malaysia,” she said.

She added that local elections could be a way to empower local councils to make decisions and increase revenue.

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