Decentralisation offers solutions – and snags

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Can decentralising the management of public goods, i.e. education, policing and healthcare, enable Malaysia to move towards a healthier, more harmonious society?

De·cen·tral·i·sa·tion: the dispersion or distribution of functions and powers; specifically: the delegation of power from a central authority to regional and local authorities1.

With the term “decentralisation” broadly defined, we can start looking at what the decentralising of public goods – i.e. education, policing and healthcare – can mean for Malaysia. This was an issue that was thoroughly explored during the “Federalism in Malaysia: Design and Practice” conference organised by the Penang Institute in September. Whether decentralising public goods will be for the better or worse, one thing is certain – true federalism ensures the appropriate distribution of power.


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