Giving the people a say – it’s their money after all


Launching the participatory budgeting project at Kampung Tok Suboh.

Folks in Machang Bubok find themselves empowered with the novel – and perhaps even revolutionary – idea of deciding what to do with public funds.

Sometime in December last year, at a forum on the state and national budget organised by Lee Khai Loon, the state assemblyman for Machang Bubok, I threw out a challenge which Lee and I eventually picked up ourselves: At which point can the people intervene in the government budget cycle?

We are definitely not in a state of normalcy

There are many things to fix in our democracy. We are definitely not normal. We cannot even achieve the most basic thing in modern democracy, i.e. choosing our government. Today we have a federal government that has only 48% popular support.

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