From left to right: Edmund Bon, Tan Sri Ramon, Yeen Seen and Adam at the launch today.

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 18 – The Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) and UndiMalaysia today launched Laporan Rakyat, a “report card” to assess the performance of state assemblymen and members of Parliament.

It is a survey aimed at encouraging critical thinking and promoting active and meaningful participation of the rakyat at all levels of the democratic process.

It requires people to rate the performance of their assemblymen and MPs. The people are also encouraged to comment on key issues in the community.

Lawyer Edmund Bon said the pilot project, starting tomorrow, will be in the Hulu Langat constituency, a “swing seat in (the) 2008 (general election) that reflects the geographical, racial and religious composition of Malaysia”.

He said the survey will also be available online.

“(This project) is to make politicians more accountable and create an atmosphere of critical thinking among our electorates before they make their decision to vote. (This) encourages engagement with politicians,” Bon said.

“The idea came about when we realised there’s a serious gap between the expectations of the wakil rakyat and the expectations of the rakyat,” said Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) senior vice-president Ng Yeen Seen.

Ng said the report will serve as a reflection to the elected representatives, and response to the effort has been positive among a few assemblymen.

“We are non-political. We are for the people,” Tan Sri Dr R.V. Navaratnam said, adding that this project creates awareness and underlines the relevance and importance of each voter.

“We cannot take democracy for granted. We cannot take free fair elections for granted,” he said.

“Please help us to help our people.”

Laporan Rakyat will be made available on the UndiMalaysia and CPPS websites. The findings will be released by March 2012.

The article is reproduced from The Malaysian Insider and written by Lisa J Ariffin.

Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) is a non-profit based in Kuala Lumpur with the mission of promoting active democratic participation and human rights awareness.