Over four months, KUASA identified the election pledges of Selangor and Perak, verified them with the respective state governments, and in the last month since March 31 gathered feedback from the government, opposition and relevant stakeholders in each state to produce a report card.
This is a pilot project and has no precedence in Malaysia. The results are intended to assist the state governments, shape the discussions in the state legislative assemblies, give stakeholders a chance to inform the government of their feelings and feed the public more policy and process driven means to assess the performances of their state administration.
KUASA does not allocate marks for any of the pledges. It only aggregates the scores from the government (50%), state opposition (20%) and three stakeholders [30% or (10% for each stakeholder)] Since the Perak government and Selangor opposition have yet to submit their appraises, the scores have been adjusted in ratio.
Key project observations have been:
Perak government has not presented its self-appraisal, which is not reflective of a more transparent and engaging administration. These were their pledges, and choosing not to assess their own performance is a dereliction of duty. Kuasa contacted the mentri besar’s office, his political secretary’s office and state research lead. They promised a response on May 5, 2014, which is why this media release is two days delayed from the 1 year anniversary of PRU13.
Selangor has given itself a general strong self-appraisal. There are various points of disparity between their assessment and that of stakeholders. It is unfortunate the state opposition have not submitted their assessment of state.
A large number of important stakeholders have opted to not respond despite their clear interest in these policies. For example the Consumer Association of Subang and Shah Alam (CASSA) did not respond to issues specific to their constituents like public transportation, Women Aid Organisation (WAO) chose not to respond on female issues, WWF opted out of environmental issues and Perkasa refused to respond on Malay lands in Selangor.
Some stakeholders like Dr Colin Nicholas of the Centre for Orang Asli Centre, Anthony Thanasayan of PET Positive, Eco-Knights and Perak Consumer Association have been very supportive in assisting us in the project.
Selangor has a 75% and above rating for 22 out of 54 pledges, which is slightly less than 50%.
Selangor performed worst in development, where by its own admission some activities have not gained enough traction after a year.
The Perak score is across the board low, but if the state government participated, it could have offset the expected critical view from its state opposition.
The survey is valuable because;
- States can know what stakeholders perceive of their administration in regards to their pledge delivery, and assist them in directly with those stakeholders.
- States can use the data to plan their own undertaking in delivering their pledge over the next four years.
- Stakeholders, especially those who did not participate, can then set their objectives in dealing with the state government, as they can sense where the gaps are in getting their agenda forward when it comes to Selangor and Perak. They can also volunteer future information to KUASA for future improvements.
- The public can debate the pledges and subsequent deliveries of them rather than just the personalities and developing stories in the state. They can volunteer information on whether the declarations are credible or not.
Pledges with question marks
Selangor promised free transport in five towns in the state. There is no evidence this is happening despite the state favourably evaluating itself over it.
Perak intended to turn Pangkor into a duty free zone. The federal government rejected proposal last year and then Mentri Besar Dato’Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir said 11 months ago they will appeal the decision. There has been no word on the matter.
Selangor said it was a perfect 10 on its plans to turn riverside areas into public parks, while Eco-Knights, an environmental group has rated it at 3/10. Either the group is unaware of these parks, or the state has these parks or moves are underway to realise them and information about them not readily available.