Happy Anniversary Malaysians: 50 Years Ago Local Elections Were Banned

The Snuffing Out of Local Democracy in Malaysia
… Most Malaysians today are probably unaware that vibrant local level democracy existed in the 1950s and 1960s. We had 373 local authorities that had well over 3,000 elected representatives out of a total of some 4,223 local councillors. This number excluded those of the Kuala Lumpur municipality, which came under a separate jurisdiction because it was the federal capital.
The three most prominent municipalities were George Town, Ipoh and Malacca. Elsewhere, there were 37 town councils, 37 town boards, 289 local councils and 7 district councils. Penang and Malacca were the two states which had local councils state-wide and only Penang had fully elective councils throughout its territory on both the island and the mainland…

Push for local elections – thesundaily.my, December 30, 2013
…Eventually the right to elect leaders of local authorities was taken away when the Local Government Act 1976 was passed by the Parliament thus abolishing local government elections. It provides only for appointed councillors and mayors or presidents. The peoples’ right to choose their leaders at the local authority level was taken away. Most Malaysians alive today have never cast the third vote…

Parliament cannot abolish local government elections, Federal Court hears – thestar.com.my, April 9, 2014
…The Pakatan Rakyat-led Penang government has been attempting to restore local government elections which were abolished 48 years ago, on March 1, 1965.

Local government in Malaysia

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