Wishlist for Barisan Rakyat UPDATE

I was overjoyed to read [via Malaysiakini, subscription required from tomorrow the day after tomorrow!] of several commitments already made by both the newly minted Penang MB Lim Guan Eng and Selangor MB front-runner Khalid Ibrahim.

Incidentally, did anyone else notice the NST’s oversensationalised front page yesterday – Khalid fails to get Sultan’s consent to form Selangor government? Got me all excited…it was simply that the Sultan of Selangor sensibly wanted to meet with PAS and DAP reps first. At least The Star took a more sedate and accurate approach today – Selangor Sultan wants state to have a strong coalition govt.

Guan Eng has committed to three of the points raised in my ‘Wishlist for Barisan Rakyat‘, and then some! It’s not surprising given that most of what I included touched on well known issues and are related to issues that civil society has been kicking a fuss over for some time. Nevertheless, Guan Eng deserves credit for reaffirming his commitment so quickly by:

1. Stating the he wants to do away with the NEP in favour of non-racial or religious policies.

2. Stating that he wants to restore local government elections and in the meantime appoint professionals and NGO representatives in the municipal councils.

3. Ordering top government servants to publicly declare their assets
Over and above these, he has also committed to:

4. Enacting a Freedom of Information Act (an important step towards greater government transparency and accountability)

5. Pursuing investor friendly policies

6. Seriously addressing the people’s other concerns (e.g. concerning the unwanted development of Penang Hill and the cancelling of the Sungai Nyior tol, amongst others).

Khalid too has already publicly stated his commitment towards pursuing local council elections and a Freedom of Information Act. I expect Khalid will make known more of his intentions once the Sultan of Selangor confirms his choice for the MB of Selangor.

These are excellent starts for both Penang and Selangor. I look forward to reading similarly heartening statements from the Barisan Rakyat MBs of Kedah, Perak and Kelantan…and if Malaysians are lucky, perhaps from BN-controlled states too.

Wow…still need to pinch myself…this truly is Malaysia’s chance to shine…dreams really can come true people! However we must remain steadfast and vigilant.

P.S. I’m sure many of you have been taking advantage of the opportunity to read Malaysiakini for free during this past week. From tomorrow onwards the English section goes back to being subscription based, although the letter remain free to view. If you haven’t already purchased a subscription, I’d urge you to do so. RM 150 really isn’t that much for a year, is it?

Especially if you cancel your subscription to that Mainstream Media Newspaper…mostly they’re good for wrapping up your nasi lemak but that’s about it… 😉

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