Local govt election not advisable if it damages unity - Historian

18 Dec 2023 02:31pm
Kok Seong
Kok Seong

SHAH ALAM - A historian suggests that a comprehensive study should be conducted to identify the need to reinstate local authority elections.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (KITA-UKM) Ethnic Studies Institute Senior Fellow Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong said it was to avoid adverse effects in the future.

He said that the proposal to reinstate the relevant elections after the last time they were done in 1963 was not wrong, but it should be studied whether it would lead to a more mature democracy or otherwise.

"It cannot be denied that there may be advantages and disadvantages for certain ethnicities.

"If there are benefits and it can bring about greater unity, then it is justified.

"Likewise, if the opposite happens (divisiveness), it should not be practiced.

"At first glance, for me, there is no benefit in implementing it again because there must be reasons why it was stopped before," he said when contacted by Sinar yesterday.

However, Teo suggested that discussions should still be held, and if there were many shortcomings that could harm harmony among the races, then they should be rejected.

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"The harmony in the country is not in a very good state right now, so if there is no benefit, it should be rejected.

"Don't reject it outright; have an open discussion first.

"As a start, the discussion could be led by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or certain government agencies to determine to what extent the proposal would benefit the country," he said.

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