Give back the third vote

2 days ago, I attended a wedding dinner of a friend. During the dinner, I has a  discussion with a young member about the role of an MP.

I have always of the opinion that MPs, or members of Parliaments, should not be bogged down by local issues such as blocked drains or street lights. Their role should be more on formulating, promulgating and debating national policies. They should bring the voice of the people to the Parliament and to the attention of the leaders.

Why then, are MPs, especially those from BN component parties, concentrating on local drains and roads? I have ventured to answer this in a write up in Malaysiakini after March 8. I wrote:

The ruling parties have become rotten, especially the leading component Umno. It has become so entrenched in money politics that any projects formulated is not in the interest of the people but rather for the leaders themselves. The component parties like MCA and Gerakan have really no say in policy formulation. They thus concentrate on the job of providing excellent local services, which is not what an educated electorate wants. Drains and local issues should by right be solved by local councils, not by legislators such as assemblymen and members of Parliament.

Malaysia has a 3 tiered government, namely Federal, State and local government. By right, local issues should be taken care of by local councillors.

We used to have elected local councillors, and many countries in the West have elected local councils.. Elected local councils would be much more effective in solving local issues. This is because an elected councillor would owe their position to the electorates, and would be directly answerable to the people.

Whereas in the case of an appointed local councillors, they have become a products of political patronage. They owe their allegiance not to the people, but to the leaders of the parties that appoint them to the positions.

In Kuala Lumpur, after March 8, I have suggested to the Gerakan State leadership that they should push for the return of 2nd vote to the people, as KL folks have only one vote and that is the vote for parliamentary constituencies. I have suggested that we pushed for an elected Mayor.

But even outside KL, we should give the third vote back to the people, to have a more efficient form of government.

Many controversial issues could be better solved with an elected local councils. Funding, of course , needs to be worked out. But certain amount of taxes should be channeled back to local councils, such as in the case of Germany, where a certain proportion of income tax is allocated to the local councils for the local development and running of the local councils.

It would lead to more efficient forms of local government and more efficient forms of fund dispersing, as well as cutting down on political cronysim and patronage.

If there is any council not performing well, then it is just a matter of voting them out and voting in another batch of councillors..

That would be true to the spirits of democracy and the spirit of people are the real bosses.


27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Richard Loh
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 15:10:30

    Very true indeed and very sad at the same time for I am very sorry to say that bn lead government had destroy everything that the rakyat need most in order to remain in power with continuous flow of money for themselves and even this which is term corruption has been renamed as money politic to avoid external interference.


  2. A true Malaysian
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 16:15:56

    That is why ‘jaga longkang’ MP like Chew Mei Fan couldn’t win in previous 308 GE in a highly educated constituency of PJ Utara. At last, he lost of Tony Pua of DAP.

    Functions of local councils also need to be streamlined to achieve quality living environment of locality under each of their jurisdiction. This streamlining is important as certain functions are duplicated with that of Federal government agencies especially in traffic management which I think, caused traffic jams in Klang Valley.

    A detailed study need to be commissioned to so streamline the functions of local councils. I would also suggest local councilors should not be a member of any political parties.


  3. klm
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 16:44:54

    Very true indeed. Since MCA, Gerakan and MIC cannot make big decision, they have to jaga longkang.

    Not a bad job if it get you a Datukship.


  4. Meng
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 20:05:50

    “”we pushed for an elected Mayor.””

    Agreed strongly to go all out for this election esp in KL and all cities otherwise we have stupid mayors been nominated… holding hand is a offence, sitting with your wife in a park is also an offence.
    Can we blame them for being longkang MPs. I have once posted on the qualification of the Singaporean MPs, you mentioned it is all about management ppl. But without the basic requirement in education in the specialized field do you think they can have an indepth analysis and make correction appreciation on the needs of the ppl?..

    We have a bunch of clowns as ministers whose educational qualification are being questioned.

    I was in singapore during christmas and met a few Singaporean and the conversation no matter what we talk about, some how or rather comes back to the question on our ministers qualificatiom and experience???.. indirectly laughing at their performance, qualification, integrity, honesty etc?

    Visit Vivo city or any other places and see how good they are in planning.

    Even the Singaporean Malays condemn our policies.


  5. A true Malaysian
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 21:14:41

    Come to think of it, is Wilayah Persekutuan (WP) a state in the Federation of Malaysia? WP has its own state song and flag.

    One of the stripe in Jalur Gemilang represents WP, right? Rakyat of WP should be accorded the same rights as other states to choose their own state government.

    Then, who is the CEO (ie MB, CM) of WP? Can we elect our own MB or CM? KL City Mayor in fact is a de-facto MB or CM of WP. We want our own elected City Mayor then.


  6. desmond
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 23:05:53

    Am in full agreement with your observations and suggestions Dr. But it will be a tough fight to achieve, so long as we are straddled with the current government. It is against their core existence and interest to have what you believe in and suggested. The thing is not to give up and to work tirelessly to achieve this aim and dream.


  7. romerz
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 02:25:35

    Dr Hsu,

    We live in a democracy (only in name) when every effort by the ruling elite is to turn this country into an autocratic country as can be seen by the past 20 something years.

    Please read Kua Kia Soong’s book on the true events that transpired on 13 May which our good friend is so fond of bringing up when asked to challenge the status quo!

    Despite his intellect, he has balls the size of peanuts!!!

    If you can achieve this local elections for local councilors, I will stand as a candidate NOT aligned to any party but simply for the sake of Penang and on no other platform than ‘common sense’!


  8. Dr Hsu
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 09:30:23

    romerz, I have read that book.

    I have written 3 posts on that book when it was first launched in 2007, and when the government was considering to ban it.

    Please go to these links:
    1. Freedom to write

    2. Selling like hot cakes thanks to the seizure

    3. May 13 book will not be banned


  9. CYC
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 10:49:17

    sometime we curse the rotten system but we forget to blame the same person who had voted them into the system. shame on those above 50 years old ( i m generalising the age gap) who are so cowardly intimated by May 13 and continue to vote BN into power. If there is any change made towards better governance in the recent GE12, it belongs to the young generation who dare to be different.

    W we can have democratically elected mayor but things won’t change over night as the whole organization has inherited the type of lazy and incompetent culture which is deep rooted. It will take at least 10 years to overhaul provided the elected mayor has strong conviction with the support of the majority.

    Those local councils in selangor simply can’t adapt to the PR’s style of governance and work pace. They are complaining they are loaded with too much work and tight schedule. They also had yet to shake off the old mechanism of lobbying for certain thing done through politician. The good thing is NGO councilors are firm and clean. But approval process is slow and may impede economic development. Thats my little observation.


  10. A true Malaysian
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 11:02:41


    That is why I am of the opinion that local councilors should not be a member of any political parties. Playing politics will mess up their roles to manage their respective locality into a quality living environment.

    Local councilors should play their roles like a manager of a condominium.

    Romerz, you have brilliant ideas, you should meet people like Lim Guan Eng, Liew Chin Tong (Justin knows him well), Sim Tze Sin to put your ideas acrossed. Don’t waste time debating with Koh Tsu Koon.

    Penang will be well known as ‘Pearl of the Orient’ once again under these righteous MPs.


  11. Taikohtai
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 11:55:42


    Happy New Year.

    What you said is so true. But I think Malaysia needs to work not only towards the independance of the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary but also, to exclude business from governance.
    The only reason why Malaysian MPs are interested in Longkangs is because of $$$ involved.
    But I doubt even PR can follow a system like Australia whereby all business dealings are no no and share holdings by politicians have to be declared to Parliament.
    One step at a time I suppose.


  12. klm
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 12:17:26

    Voters must deliver the Message to BN in KT.


  13. Dr Hsu
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 12:35:35


    i wish to let you and others know that I have quit as the education bureau head.

    There are many reasons but one of them is that i would like to keep my independent voice and view and not be influenced by bureau members and party leaders in voicing out my concern on issues, including education issues.

    I have to be myself to be more effective to influence rather than a moutpiece. I would also not want to be part of the ‘executive’ to become part of the root causes that we mentioned in comment section a few posts ago .

    I will remain as a CC member, since this is the mandate from grassroots, the ordinary people of the party, to voice out on issues which they often see differently from UMNO and BN leadership ….And not forgetting my own view that Gerakan should not be part and parcel of the root causes that give rise to the bad governance and policies in the country. I still hold true to our ideology of a fair and equal society; and to be independent of any position will enable me to speak my mind without worrying about the official position of the party and bureau.

    In hindsight, I should have rejected the offer to head the bureau. I have erred and I am sorry for that.

    You have helped a lot in giving me a lot of input , for which even a thousand ‘thank you’ cannot express my gratitude, but I feel that I can function even better in voicing out our concern without the portfolio, giving the conditions inside the party.


  14. Dr Hsu
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 12:43:12

    Taikohtai, happy new year to u and your family. And I agree with your view.


  15. A true Malaysian
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 12:49:37

    Cheers Dr. Hsu, good for you to be an independent voice of your fellow comrades in Gerakan. At least you guys are not ‘walking corpses’ as what many people perceived.

    Hope to see the rest of CC members can prove to us that they are not ‘walking corpses’, but definitely not your party chief. No more hope on this guy.


  16. Justin Choo
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 13:11:50

    Dr Hsu,

    The first step of a “thousand li”!!


  17. Justin Choo
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 13:12:31

    “li” I mean the Chinese “mile”


  18. klm
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 13:12:45

    Understood. Being bureau chief means toeing the line.

    It strike me as funny as I used to tell friends that a job in Microsoft is a soul snatching job. This is due to the competition paranoid work culture. There is really only one task in Microsoft – kill the enemy.

    I guess being bureau chief in Gerakan is the same. Except one does not know who is the real enemy.

    My apology for anyone from Microsoft.
    (I have friends in Microsoft and I have seen them change on the job)


  19. Dr Hsu
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 13:43:57

    klm, you are great in your views and comments.

    You are someone who has vast experience in life, wise, analytical and often comes out with innovative ideas and insightful views.

    You should start a blog yourself to let us learn from your wonderful mind… How about that?


  20. klm
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 15:24:00

    Dr Hsu,. Sorry If I hit on a sore point in my comment previously.

    There is a follow on story to the Microsoft comment. I mentioned that a young French guy in the office, when talking about his girlfriend. She was just about to take up a job in Microsoft in Seattle. I predicted that his girl friend would change after a few months in Microsoft. 4-5 months down the road, he lost his girlfriend (no not to another man). She just changed to be more arrogant and harder person.

    Well starting a blog takes responsibility. Remember the Walt Disney Cartoon Bambi. It said “if you have nothing good to say, don’t say nothing at all”.

    I think about it. Maybe I write about all the little life stories I picked up. Only, I dont the context to fit them in.



  21. Dr Hsu
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 15:50:47

    klm, cheers, and thanks for the story on microsoft….Perhaps it has to adopt this culture in order to stay in front of everyone else… even the anti trust laws does not make any dent on them…

    If the trend continues, maybe there will come one time that there will only be one software company whose software will incorporate everything else and thus killing off all others…..


  22. klm
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 16:57:50

    Dr Hsu, in response, I make two points (that is if you are interested in my ramblings). There is some thing in the madness (at least I think so).

    1. The anti trust action did make some changes and some good come out of it. I believed that after Bill Gates was grilled by the US congress, he changed somewhat. Anyway, the Bill and Melinda Foundation was formed after this. This is one of the richest charity in the world run corporate style. Result focused and on killing diseases causing germs. The fortunes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet combined is formidable, even in this crisis.

    2. On your point of a software company doing what you say. Yes, it is already here. It is called Google. Google is the opposite of Microsoft – everything is free. It is the biggest threat to the long term survival of Microsoft. Google with other Web 2.0 services – youtube, flickr, twitter etc.

    The next big thing in geek talk is cloud computing – that is you run all your application off the Internet. You don’t use Microsoft office or other Microsoft software on your desktop computer. You just connect to Google and run it off their computers and Google provide the software – sometime for free. Google is starting to do this.
    You can prepare and store documents in google now.

    It will be hard for Microsoft to cari makan.

    This is the long time realisation of the concept of information coming off the hole in the wall as a utility. (I remember having discussions on this concept in the 80’s)

    The world is moving faster than you think.


  23. Dr Hsu
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 23:25:14

    Ya, the world is indeed moving faster than we blink.

    I always read the In tech segment but some times still find myself behind time in all these

    SOme time back, there were rumours that microsoft is buying google. or is it talks about merger between the 2 giants?

    If the deal goes through, all defauly search engine on window based computer would be google and others like yahoo would be killed off.

    I like the idea of cloud computing, but ultimately it would lead to some form of monoploy, and when that happens, there would be nothing to stop google from charging a high fees for storage and access.



  24. Dr Hsu
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 23:31:35

    It was also good that the microsoft didnot buy over yahoo, or rather the deal did not went through, otherwise, microsoft would be able to build it up and kill off google…or maybe the other way round…. I dont know, anything can actually happen.


  25. romerz
    Jan 07, 2009 @ 00:32:08

    A true Malaysian,

    I have already met both Liew Chin Tong and Jeff Ooi. In the case of YB Liew, I have already communicated my desire to work for him for free if and when he feels he can use me.

    For starters, he has already registered me with SPR so that I can register voters. We are currently waiting for confirmation from SPR.

    By the way, I think you can gather with the tone of my postings that I have given up on KTK. In fact, my last few SMS to him were hard hitting and he didn’t reply. Since I have his private no. I’ll keep on sending him SMS whenever I think he is letting the overall good of the country down.


  26. irika
    Jan 07, 2009 @ 21:01:54

    KL people cannot even get the 2nd vote, want to talk on 3rd vote??
    Another white elephant project Labu LCCT airport??


  27. A true Malaysian
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 11:23:59


    I salute you. Don’t give face to them. KTK, OTK have lost their dignities. KTK don’t even to reply you? I can’t believe this.

    Right thinking Malaysians will not vote for them and their parties anymore, that is for sure.


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