Returning power to the people

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In a two-part special report, Francis Hutchinson and Ivy Kwek examine the nature of Malaysia’s federalism and how the relationship between state and federal governments can be enhanced for social and economic benefits.

MALAYSIA'S FEDERALISM - A GOOD THING GOING TO WASTE
By Francis Hutchinson

At a time when rising economic giants such as China and India are discovering the benefits of federal devolution, Malaysia – born a federation but bred as a centralist state – is unwilling to revisit its own political constitution and make better use of it.

In August, a small, but significant event happened in Perlis. The state government handed over control of its water supply infrastructure to a company – Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) – owned by the Federal Ministry of Finance.


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