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Centralised federalism in Malaysia: Urgent need to decentralise

Aliran has made a submission to the Committee for Institutional Reform pointing out the urgent need for greater decentralisation to achieve democracy and good governance. There were pointed out the following areas where decentralisation can start: delivery and treatment of water; garbage collection and sewerage; cleaning of roads, drains, rivers and seas; disaster management including rescue in times of floods, fire prevention, natural disasters, and so on; public land transport (licensing and approving routes of stage buses, regulating school, tourist & factory buses, taxis). ferry and river boat transport; maternity clinics and providing primary health services; social welfare services; and later primary and secondary school too.

Source: Aliran

French rail union vows to extend rail strike into summer

The head of France's main rail union on Friday (June 15) announced it would extend months of rolling strikes into July even though the reforms it is protesting have been adopted by parliament. The CGT Cheminots union and others have been striking every few days since early April over President Emmanuel Macron's controversial rail reforms, causing disruption for France's 4.5 million daily train commuters.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Trojan Horse for Privatisation and Development

The NSW Labor Opposition is opposing a Berejiklian government “attempt to use the multi-billion dollar Sydney Metro project as a Trojan Horse for yet more privatization of public transport and massive development across the city. The government has proposed converting the existing T3 Bankstown Line to the driverless Metro system and have mooted extensive development in suburbs along the line. Shadow Transport Minister Jodi McKay said the Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill is a vehicle to allow the government to hand over large tracts of land along the Metro corridor to developers. The legislation, which passed today in the Legislative Assembly, will make the Sydney Metro a statutory authority and take responsibility for the delivery of the project away from Transport for NSW.”

Source: Jo Haylen MP

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Unmasking the Hidden Power of Cities. Using their authorities, energy and promise to secure the common good.

The Partnership for Working Families, which recently co-authored a new report on the unique power of cities to make progressive change, has launched “We Make This City,” a 10-city national campaign “for community-controlled, publicly owned institutions, structures, and services. We are fighting to ensure all people have access to the systems and structures needed to live full and healthy lives. This includes transportation systems that connect us to work, schools and services, the ability to afford housing in the communities we love, access to clean water and energy and organized power for workers who make all this possible. Public infrastructure connects us all and should serve the needs of the people, not the pockets of corporations. (…) As we struggle to meet our people’s basic needs, corporate interests tell us that they are actually the solution to our problem. Private entities are taking over our roads, our water and our schools — the building blocks of our cities — to create more profit for themselves. It isn’t working for us. The rich are getting richer and our people are suffering.”

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How infrastructure is shaping the world

Counter Balance has explored in recent years the new wave of large-scale infrastructure projects being financed all over the world, seeking to understand the main drivers behind the new “global infrastructure agenda”, “what are the risks it entails?” and how to challenge it. As part of this work on infrastructure financing, specific attention has been paid to “mega-corridors” promoted by financial institutions and numerous governments. This report, based on a research undertaken by Nick Hildyard from the Corner House, is a first step in analysing the drivers behind these “mega-corridors” and informing a wider public of the challenges related to them.

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