Penang’s LOCAL DEMOCRACY FESTIVAL 2014
Local democracy is all about ensuring the vibrancy and strength of democracy at the local, community level. It is about inclusion: making sure all voices within our communities are heard and have the opportunity and capacity to be part of discussions and decisions, especially those which affect them.
Where there are strong and active communities, we will have a stronger and more resilient society, and a stronger, more inclusive, participatory, ‘people-friendly’, responsive, transparent and accountable government.
Penang has taken a strong lead in promoting local democracy. In addition to the gazetting of state enactments with regard to local elections and freedom of information, and a number of other ‘inclusive’ initiatives at state and municipal level, local democracy has been the specific focus of a week (in 2010), a month (in 2011) and more recently a festival (2012 & 2013). The programme of these initiatives has included a Youth Parliament, community-based trainings on a variety of topics, creative activism workshops, activities to reclaim our local oral history of democratic struggle, activities targeted to include the more marginalized groups in our communities, as well as music, performances and other activities to encourage greater awareness of what local democracy means and to encourage participation in local issues amongst Penangites.
This year once again Suaram Penang office has again taken the lead in coordinating the Local Democracy Festival, with the support of the Penang State government through the office of YB Chow Kon Yeow, whose portfolio includes Local Government. The programme this year includes:
- Penang Youth Parliament 2014
- Community Empowerment: Badan Bertindak Penebatan Banjir
- Expressing the Migrant and Refugee Journey: An Arts and Music Extravaganza
- Two Forums on Understanding Budgeting at State Level
- Democratic Heritage Tour: Reclaiming our democratic history
- Publication of a booklet on the Hartal: Reclaiming our democratic history
- Human Rights Day Celebration with launch of Penang Local Democracy Report 2014
Local Democracy Festival Partners:
Penang Youth Development Cooperative (PYDC);
Badan Bertindak Penebatan Banjir KADUN Machang Bubok;
Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign
YB Lee Khai Loon service center
For more information: Ong Jing Cheng 012-7583779