Lauching of the First Penang Local Democracy Report 2014 in conjunction of International Human Rights Day 2014

Lauching of the First Penang Local Democracy Report 2014

in conjunction of International Human Rights Day 2014

December 10 | 8pm 

Hin Bus Depot Art Center

 launch of local democracy report

December 10th is Human Rights Day. Today we will celebrate the progress we are making in terms of local democracy. Come to an evening of celebration and activities, and witness the Launch of the first Penang Local Democracy Report, a review of where Penang is up to in terms of local democracy and the challenges that lie ahead of us.


Democratic Heritage Tour 2014

lawatan warisan demokrasi

7 December 2014, Town Hall, Esplanade

9am – 2pm

Many of us are unaware of our democratic heritage. There are many examples in the buildings and environment of Penang that bear testament to this heritage: the struggle of people for democratic development. Each year, Anwar Fazal is our tour guide on a Democratic Heritage Tour bus, a fabulous journey to key places which tell the story of Penang’s history of struggle for democracy. Not to be missed.

Penang state budget forum and booklet

Penang state budget forum and booklet

30 Nov 2014, 2pm-4pm, Room Tanjong 1, Dewan Sri Pinang

Speakers: YB Chow Kon Yeow (Penang state exco), Aloyah Bakar (CEO of PWDC), YB Steven Sim (MP of Bukit Mertajam), Choo Chon Kai (PSM central committee member)

This forum will brief and analyse 2015 Penang state government budget and participatory budgeting. A booklet will be given to introduce and analyse some basic information about Penang state government budget.

budget forum

Budgets are crucial in giving substance to policy goals. The understanding and the process of budgeting are crucial if we believe in the principles of local democracy: allowing both local elected representatives and Penang’s residents to participate both in decisions and monitoring of budget allocations. It is very encouraging to see how the Penang State government, together with MPPP and MPSP, has supported a Gender Responsive Budget process, which includes participation from within more marginalised communities. To help move all this forward, we will produce a booklet on how to read the state budget. The content included the introduction of budget (where did the income come from and where the money go), the budget cycle and suggestion for budget. We will also organise a forum(s) on discuss the Penang Government budget 2015. More forums could be through consultations at community level through the ADUNs in each constituency.



Poster A4 edited-01

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:

  1. Penang Youth Parliament 2014
  2. Community Empowerment: Badan Bertindak Penebatan Banjir
  3. Expressing the Migrant and Refugee Journey: An Arts and Music Extravaganza
  4. Two Forums  on Understanding Budgeting at State Level
  5. Democratic Heritage Tour: Reclaiming our democratic history 
  6. Publication of a booklet on the Hartal: Reclaiming our democratic history
  7. 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