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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Civil Society Forum in Penang

About two dozen of Civil Society groups will meet in a Forum to discuss and propose plans of actions on how to work with the new PR (Pakatan Rakyat) Penang State Government to implement people centered developent, to promote democratic, participatory and transparent governance.

Date: Sunday 13 April 2008 (may this be an auspicious day for Penang)
Time: 9am to 4.30pm
Venue: Place: Disted College (Jalan Macalister/Jalan Cantonment)
Registration: Phone 04-658 5251 from Tuesday to Saturday, office hours
by email: aliran [at} streamyx {dot] com
Fee: RM5 per participant payable on day of forum. Included is lunch and refreshments

All are welcomed, but you are requeste to register first. I think Aliran is responsible for that, and you should check with them. In the meantime, I will see if I can get details as to how to register. Program at the bottom of the post. Here we will briefly discuss on what the Forum hopes to achieve.

The Forum hopes to eventually come up with concrete proposals on various issues to present to the Penang State Government. Issues to be considered include the environment, transport, urban issues, governance, women, workers, disabled, youth and students, arts, heritage and culture issues. Wow - that is a mouthful. They will try to focus on "what we can do about it" rather than "what is wrong".

On Sunday, 13 April 2008, civil society groups and concerned individuals in
Penang are coming together to debate and propose plans of action on how they
can work with the new Penang state government to implement people-centred
development and to promote more democratic, participatory and transparent
governance. The Penang Forum is a step towards the production of concrete
proposals to the state government on a range of issues which concern us. It
will look at issues including environment, transport and urban issues,
governance, women, workers, disabled, youth and students, and arts,culture
and heritage. The emphasis of the Penang Forum is not so much about 'what is
wrong with Penang' as 'what can we do about it'.

The objective is to start a process that would enable concerned individuals
and civil society groups to establish their own agendas and plans of action
for consideration by the state government and its agencies. They will also
be looking to develop follow-up action (for example: the formation of
specialised working groups to further develop proposals on particular
topics) and to establish a regular official scheduled forum of exchange with
the state government so that their plans and proposals can be systematically
fed in and discussed. At the end of the day, it is hoped that those at the
forum will be able to adopt a Declaration for submission to the state

Programme for the Great Penang Forum

8.15 - 9.00am: Registration

FIRST SESSION: Moderated by Loh Cheng Kooi, Women's Centre for Change
9.00 - 9.15 Opening Remarks : Ahmad Chik, Penang Heritage Trust
9.15 - 9.45 Topic 1: Environmental Issues

Speaker: Yueh-Kwong Leong, Malaysian Nature Society

Open Discussion

9.45 - 10.15 Topic 2: Traffic and Urban Issues

Speaker: S.P.Choong, CEPAT

Open Discussion

10.15-10.45 Topic 3: Culture, Arts, and Heritage

Speaker: Tan Sooi Beng, Ombak-Ombak

Open Discussion

10.45 - 11.00 Tea Break

SECOND SESSION: Moderated by Kanda Kumar, Malaysian Nature Society

11.00- 11.30 Topic 4: Women's Issues

Speaker: Prema Devaraj, Women's Centre for Change

Open Discussion

11.30 - 12.00 Topic 5: Labour Issues

Speaker: Kris Khaira, Pusat Khidmat Pekerja Tanjung

Open Discussion

12.00 - 12.30 Topic 6: Disabled People's Rights

Speaker: Lim Kah Cheng, Sustainable Independent Living Access (SILA)

Open Discussion

12.30- 1.00 Topic 7: Youth and Students

Speaker: Lau Shu Shi, Suaram

Open Discussion

1.00 - 2.00 Lunch

THIRD SESSION: Moderated by Anil Netto, Aliran

2.00 - 2.30 Topic 8: Local Government and Peoples' Participation

Speaker: Francis Loh Kok Wah, Aliran

Open Discussion

2.30 - 3.00 Topic 9: Other issues

Everyone welcome to contribute

FOURTH SESSION: Moderated by Ahmad Chik

3.00 - 4.00 Open Discussion and Adoption of Draft Declaration

4.00 Formation of Working Groups

followed by tea

The presenters in the first three sessions will introduce the topic and
highlight key areas in 10 minutes. There will be an open discussion on the
topic for another 15-20 minutes.

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