The Athi Nahappan Report revisited Part 2: Local elections are part of a larger reform agenda

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Last month, Penang Monthly ran the first part of the series on the Athi Nahappan Report, arguing for its central importance to substantive democracy in Malaysia. This second and final part discusses basic issues such as the literacy of councillors and fair pay.

The most cited recommendation of the Athi Nahappan Royal Commission of Enquiry must be the restoration of local government elections. Today, half a century later, with mounting demand for such a restoration, the Royal Commission’s Report has become an important document of reference. The intellectual weight of it is undisputable and has, over the years, been winning commendation from all sides. Rare is a Malaysian government report that cites Plato, Aristotle, Leonardo Da Vinci, Hegel, Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mills. It explored key historical situations like the French Revolution alongside the Soviet Constitution.


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