A PLF Publication: Service and Governance Quality of Malaysian Local Authorities

What is the relationship between service quality and trust at local government level? If your local council delivers high quality service to you, would it increase your trust in the local authorities? Well, the Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow Resident Fellow at Perdana Leadership Foundation, Professor Dr. Hazman Shah Abdullah, sought to answer those questions and conducted extensive surveys of two local city councils: Kota Bharu and Johor Bahru. His findings are encapsulated in our latest publication, “Service and Governance Quality of Malaysian Local Authorities: A Survey of Two City Councils”. The book examines the issue of local authority governance from the perspectives of Producer-Customer and Government-Citizen, and includes issues of participation, rule of law, transparency, accountability, integrity and trust.

“The local government has been, since independence, plagued by a multitude of problems arising from its financial, personnel and administrative shortcomings. The almost four decades-old Dato Athinahappan Report (1970) catalogued the crises and administrative difficulties of local authorities in West Malaysia during the post-independence period. Although the local authorities in Malaysia have grown in number and stature since the report and the subsequent restructuring in 1974, they are the weakest link in the national governance system. There are now 144 local authorities (LA) in the country. LAs play two key roles at the local level that impact the lives of the local citizen. The first role relates to the provision of basic services aimed at upkeeping the local community including businesses within the administrative area. The second role is to regulate the use of land and business activity within the administrative boundary.” (p.10)

The book is available for borrowing or purchase at the Perdana Library. Please e-mail adnan@perdana.org.my or suriyana@perdana.org.my to find out more.