Arising from an initiative that emerged from Penang Forum 2 earlier this year, various groups are organising a string of events to mark Local Democracy Week in Penang.
… and here’s some extra info!
A. The reasons for Local Democracy Week
- Through its various programmes (see below) and the publicity it can generate, Local Democracy Week can help to make us more aware of how local government works, increasing awareness of the roles and functions of the various arms and agencies of state and municipal government – who is responsible for what?
- encourage people to be constructively active in the discussion, planning and implementation of policies and services in Penang and in our local communities
- encourage us to be excited, be involved and play our part in shaping the future of Penang
- encourage and support all groups to be involved, especially those who remain marginalised, to get everyone’s ideas and experiences about how we can/should effect positive change for our shared future.
All this will have huge benefits in terms of making Penang a better place.
B. The benefits of Local Democracy Week
Local democracy means getting people involved in the decisions that affect them. But at the moment, awareness about how local government works, what local democracy might mean, and what we can do to improve all this is very small, in Penang as elsewhere in Malaysia.
By taking proactive steps to increase awareness about local democracy, Penang will not just increase public awareness about the importance and structures of local government and decision-making, but will help set up significant benefits. These will include:
- The strengthening of local communities, including better social cohesion and mutual understanding
- An increase in relevance of services and an increase in efficiency of service delivery
- A reduction in corruption and cronyism
- A more positive relationship between government and ‘the people’
- A more supportive atmosphere for the principles of CAT to be realised
- The strengthening of creativity in Penang communities