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Local Government Counts: Facilitating and Enhancing Local Government’s Performance in Community and Service Delivery
Loo-SeeBeh(University of Malaya)Siew-NooiPhang(Sunway University)
Malaysia is a Federation and has three tiers of Governments
Federal – Sovereign NationalParliamentary democracy; headed by a constitutional monarchExecutive Branch headed by the Prime MinisterState – Quasi-sovereign13 states; nine states each has a hereditary ruler and the remaining 4 each has a GovernorExecutive branch headed by Chief MinisterLocal – Infra-sovereign4 major types: city hall, city council, municipal & district councilsHeaded by an appointed Chief/President/Chairmanwith 24Councillors
Government Structure in Malaysia
Ministry of Housing &Local Government
Prime Minister’sDepartment
Department ofLocal Government
State Government
National Council forLocal GovernmentMembers1 Chairman10 Federal Reps11 State Reps1 Sabah Rep1 Sarawak Rep
State DevelopmentAgencies
Municipal Council
District Council
City Hall
City Council
Levels of Government
State Level
Local/District Level
Power & Control;
National Council Members for Local Government
Summary of Federal Functions
Summary of State & Shared Functions
Supplementary List:Additional Shared Functions for Sabah & Sarawak
In Peninsular Malaysia, all Local Authorities operate under uniform laws enacted by Parliament under clause (4) Article 76 Federal Constitution:Local Government Act, 1976 (Act 171)Street, Drainage and Building Act, 1974 (Act 133)Town and Country Planning Act, 1976 (Act 172)However the City Hall of Kuala Lumpur also uses:Federal Capital Act, 1960 (Revised 1977) (Act 190)City of Kuala Lumpur (Planning) Act, 1982 (instead of Act 172)
Local Government Laws in Malaysia
In Sabah all Local Authorities operate under:Local Authority Ordinance, 1961Town and Country Planning, 1969 (Cap 141)In Sarawak, 3 Ordinances:Local Authority Ordinance, 1996 (Cap 20)Kuching Municipal Ordinance, 1988 (modification of Cap 116/1948)City of Kuching North Ordinance, 1988
Under the Federal Constitution, local government is a subject of the State Government.A Local Authority is subordinated to the State Government and is subjected to its supervisionUnder the Local Government Act 1976, the State Authority:In consultation with the Minister (charged with Local Government), has powers to declare and determine the status of a Local Authority and to delineate the Local Authority boundaries
Relationship between Local & State Government
Appoints the Councillors, the Mayor or President and the SecretaryApproves the annual and supplementary budget and any proposals to raise loans and local taxesCan issue directions of a general nature on the policy to be followed in relation to matters affecting the interests of the Local Authority areas
Number of Local Authoritiesin Malaysia, 2011
Governments are experiencing increasing expectations for political, social and economic transformation from within and outside.All governments which are to remain functionally and politically relevant need to improve the capacity of their institutions and service delivery.
Administrative Reforms – Community and Service Delivery
The legitimacy of a government requires it to meet the demands of the citizenry.To bolster its ability to “deliver” governments need to stress on continuous reforms to better their image and status quo.
Administrative Reforms,cont.
“Can be defined as some of the ways through which individuals and institutions (public and private) plan and manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process that may either lead to conflict or to mutually beneficial cooperative actions. It includes formal institution and informal arrangements as well as the social capital of citizens.”
Governance at City level
Better quality of life for allA betterment of the human condition overallLeverages on sustainable and knowledge based developmentMaking cities more efficient, equitable, safer and sustainable
Goal Destination of GoodGovernance & Performance
Relevance as an efficient service providerDemands fromcommunity:PerceptionGapRevenue administrationCapacity building & Carrying capacityCommunity participation & LA 21Good governance
Issues & Challenges Confronting Local Government’s Performance
Lack of awareness, information and lines of communicationLimited extent of citizens involvement in the local communityGovernment responsiveness to its citizens – difficulty in managing change
Key Barriers to Community Participation
Administrative rigidity – internalisation of top-down approachEmergence of re-centralisation – inability to re-orientate to the needs for greater decentralisation and empowerment
Uniqueness of Malaysia’s local government situation; e.g. absence of local elections;Skewed financial allocation;Delegation of burdensome services with “add on” services, further weakening local government;Re-centralisationand “formal harmony and informal discord”;
Local Government and the Need for Change and Obstacles to Change
Historically federal-state-local relations had been eventful;Community awareness and participation – the global citizen;Local Government Act (Act 171) – implementation was an effort at reforming LG, but rendered LG weaker. Review of Act 171 in consonance with re-positioning LG in line with the nation’s transformationprogramme.
Local Government and the Need for Change and Obstacles to Change, cont.
Thank you for your time!Q & [email protected]





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