The Laporan Rakyat is an initiative by the Centre for Public Policy Studies and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, where Malaysians were asked to rate the performance and comment on their state assemblyperson (ADUN) and Member of Parliament (MP). The Laporan Rakyat was piloted in the Hulu Langat parliamentary constituency, and within it, three state assembly seats – Kajang, Semenyih and Dusun Tua. The objective of this project was to encourage critical thinking as well as to promote more active and meaningful participation of the public at all levels of the democratic process.
The Laporan Rakyat contains seven sections – the first section included a basic description of respondents, such as age and voter registration status; the second and third sections contained questions aimed at gauging respondents’ opinions and level of information about their ADUN and MP; the fourth section comprised of a list of 14 human rights issues and respondents were asked if they have heard any of these issues raised by their ADUN/MP. In section 5, respondents were asked to identify five main issues that they felt needed to be solved in their community. In section 6, respondents were asked to assess the performance of their ADUN/MP, ranging from the frequency of the ADUN/MP’s engagement with their constituents to fulfilment of their (ADUN and MP) pledges. The final section is a replication of sections 4, 5 and 6, meant to be torn out by the respondents, and used as a tool to engage with their ADUN and MP.
This interim report is based on a random sample of 197 respondents who are residents of Hulu Langat. The ages of the respondents ranged from 18 to 80 years old; 29 per cent of the respondents were female, while 69 per cent were male. Of the 197 respondents, 112 identified themselves as Malay, 39 as Chinese, 25 as Indian, two as Indian Muslim, one as Kadazan and two as Orang Asli. Seventy-nine respondents were from Dusun Tua, 71 from Kajang, and the remaining 47 from Semenyih.
It should be pointed out at the outset that a large proportion of respondents did not provide answers, or answered “don’t know” or “don’t care”. This could be due to a number of factors – a lack of knowledge or interest in politics, low visibility or lack of engagement of the ADUN and MP in the said community, or respondents being overwhelmed by the questions. It is also noted that whilst the sample size and the answers may not be optimum (197 cards), the findings of the Laporan Rakyat is a good indicator of the perception of the electorate towards their MP and ADUNs and could be used as a starting point to enhance engagement between the electorate and their elected representatives. The findings of the Laporan Rakyat are as follows: –
- A high number of respondents did not know who their MP and ADUN were, or the location of their service centres. For example, 38 per cent of the respondents could not accurately name their ADUN, while 62 per cent could not accurately name their MP. Regarding the location of the service centres of their elected representatives, 72 per cent did not know the location of their ADUN’s service centre, while 95 per cent of respondents were not familiar with the location of their MP’s service centre;
- As regards the 14 human rights issues and whether respondents have heard their ADUN and MP talk about these issues in their community, 21 per cent of respondents did not complete this section, while seven per cent answered “yes” to all issues; six per cent answered “no” to all issues, and 14 per cent answered “don’t know” or “don’t care” to every issue;
- The top five main issues respondents felt needed to be solved or improved in their community were infrastructure/public facilities, crime, the environment, education and public transportation;
- When asked to rate their elected representatives such as the frequency they meet their ADUN/MP, how easy it is to meet their ADUN/MP, and whether their ADUN/MP know about and solve issues within their community, for the MP of Hulu Langat, 11 per cent of respondents answered that they meet their MP very frequently, while one per cent indicated that they have not met their MP at all. Answers varied for the three ADUNs – in summary, 14 per cent of respondents were happy with the performance of the ADUN of Dusun Tua; six per cent of respondents were happy with the ADUN of Kajang and 13 per cent of respondents were happy with the performance of the ADUN of Semenyih.
A joint initiative by
UndiMsia! is a civic education programme aimed at strengthening the ownership, participation and representation of youth on their right to vote and civic responsibility. Through this programme, Malaysian youth are engaged in developing their critical thinking by using effective forms of activism to solve their community issues. Projects under UndiMsia! are designed based on four pillars: information, process, action and platform for a robust civil society.