This was bound to happen, and it has happened faster than many would have thought possible. The newest information technology is now poised to transform local government beyond recognition—and along with it, our understanding of democracy.
Penang has always been a close-knit community. The close physical proximity of the different urban centres with George Town serving as the hub means that both physical travel and communication flow are relatively easy. In this context, political engagement is typically higher in Penang, and is demonstrated by the fact that the state is the cradle of some of the most active NGOs in Malaysia such as the Malay for National Consciousness Movement (Aliran Kesedaran Negara or Aliran), the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP), the Penang Forum, Voice of the Malaysian People (Suara Rakyat Malaysia or Suaram) and the Women's Centre for Change (WCC).
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