Yesterday YB Hannah Yeoh and I did a press conference at my office at 11.30 am.
Last Friday, my office (finally) received a reply from the Education Ministry that it has given a written approval on 5th December 2016 to transfer a piece of land to the Health Ministry to enable it to build a government clinic in Subang Jaya. This clinic matter has been going nowhere since 2008.
When I took office in 2013, Hannah asked me to help her to push for this at the national level. In 2013 and 2014 I asked Parliament twice on the issue. Both the Parliamentary replies I got led us to absolutely nowhere. We were told that the matter is at the Selangor state level but yet we could not find any records whatsoever of any correspondences regarding the same. In the meantime we wrote to both ministries to seek further clarification.
Frustrated but unwilling to give up, in late November 2015, I devised a new strategy and instructed my office to send the same query letter to the Education Ministry every 2 weeks. The strategy was to harrass them with letters until they respond. The first officer received 6 of our love letters. He finally moved the query up and passed the matter to another more senior officer. We then sent another 10 love letters to the 2nd officer. After a total of 16 letters, someone in the ministry decided to do something and got the minister to finally sign the letter.
Moral of the story; persistence and changing strategy can produce results. The fact that it took 16 letters from an MP to produce results is however a very sad reflection of the state of the civil service. Anyhow, we are thankful that we are at least moving at last on the issue. However, while the approval letter is a major milestone achievement, the clinic is still subject to budget allocation and actual construction that may take 2 to 3 years. To achieve this I will now shift my focus to push the Health Ministry instead. Hopefully it will not take another 16 letters to get them moving to construction.