DEVELOPMENT AND GOOD GOVERNANCE
About a hundred concerned Penang residents attended Penang Forum 4 with the theme 'Development and good governance' on 18 December 2011 at the Caring Society Complex.
The Penang Forum is an informal network of some 40 Penang-based NGOs and concerned individuals who came together in April 2008 to chart a possible way forward for Penang. After the 2008 event, a Penang Forum Declaration was submitted to the state government calling for a new partnership with the Penang people based on the principles of popular participation, transparency, accountability, sustainability and social justice.
Since then, two other Penang Forum events have been held. Penang Forum 2 was held in March 2010 and passed two resolutions urging the Penang state government to revive local government elections as well as to disclose the Penang State Local Plans.
Penang Forum 3 was held in November 2010 when an election was conducted to promote local democracy and to determine the civil society nominees to serve as MPPP and MPSP councillors for the year 2011.
It is now time for us to hold Penang Forum 4 which will take a closer look at familiar problems, some of which have intensified over the last three years. We will be looking at the impact of property-centric development at the local level in particular the problems of high-density development, congestion, transport, environment and land reclamation.
These planning and sustainable development issues will be put in the context of the yet-to-be-enforced Local Plan. More than that, we will attempt to analyse all these issues from a broader perspective and come up with possible solutions.
Hence, we invite all Penangites to participate, share their views and make suggestions to realise a vision for a sustainable and environmentally friendly Penang. Those interested should register with Ravi at 012-5800030 or email email@example.com stating name, organisational affiliation (if any), contact number and email address. (Registration fee is RM15, students and persons with disabilities, RM10. Lunch and two tea breaks will be provided, only if you register by 16 December.)
The following groups are represented on the Penang Forum Steering Committee, which meets periodically: Aliran, Badan Warisan Malaysia, Cepat, Consumers Association of Penang, Friends of Penang Botanic Garden, Good Governance and Gender Equality Society (3Gs), LLG Cultural Development Centre, Malaysian Nature Society, Penang Heritage Trust, Persatuan Orang-orang Cacat Anggota Malaysia, Sembang-Sembang, Suaram Penang, Taman Sri Nibong Residents Association, Tanjung Bungah Residents Association and Women’s Centre for Change.
Representatives of more Penang-based NGOs are expected to be present at the event proper on 18 December.