KOTA KINABALU - Local government elections are not viable as Malaysians still largely vote based on racial backgrounds, said Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Such polls could thus result in greater racial polarisation in the country, he warned.
DAP has called for local government elections to be reintroduced but the proposal has received criticism from its Pakatan Rakyat partner, PAS, not least from its party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who said the move could eventually lead to a repeat of the May 13 riots.
After local government elections were abolished on March 1, 1965, appointments to local councils have been made by the ruling party of the state.
Abdul Hadi's remarks followed an earlier war of words between PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali and DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke.
Mustafa had labelled DAP "arrogant" for claiming that PAS' hudud plan was against Pakatan's common principles, but violating those principles themselves to implement the local council elections.