This paper highlights the efforts by the Seremban Municipal Council in encouraging participation among local community at their administrative area. Public participation is the most vital component in a good governance model for local governments in achieving effective and efficient administration. It is very important for the local government to ensure the local community participates in the activities carried out by the council. Through interviews with public administrators of local authorities and secondary data gathered from the Seremban Municipal Council as well as the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the findings showed that there are challenges in public participation at the local government level. This is due to the public’s perceptions towards the local authority’s activities. In managing this challenge, awareness campaigns on local government activities should be conducted regularly. The findings from this study are significant in ensuring two-way communication and rapport between the communities and the local authority. This way, value added benefits can be shared between the stakeholders on a win-win situation.
This study contributes in the public participation literature by revealing that the public has an idea and perception that they should not interfere in the administration of the council. The wrong understanding should be managed by the council to ensure that public participation can successfully be implemented.
Good governance, Local community, Local agenda 21, Public hearing, Public participation, Perception, Local government, Malaysia.
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This research project is funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia through the Research Acculturation Grant Scheme (Ref: RAGS/1/2014/SS04/UITM//1).
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
The researchers would also like to thank Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Malaysia for the facilities in preparing the research and also to the staffs at the Seremban Municipal Council and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government for their cooperation