Community Projects

Yet Another Success: Ride For Autism

Good morning. Community events continue in Subang Parliament despite the haze. This morning at 7 am, I cycled for 3 km in Subang Jaya for the Ride for Autism event. This is a charity event to raise fund and awareness for autism. Then I went to Puchong Perdana at 8 am and joined a Karnival Hari Malaysia event. I gave a speech and joined about 100 ladies in an aerobics exercise. Later tonight, I will be heading back to Subang Jaya for a Lantern Festival event.

Updates On Community Funding

This is a posting on all the community projects funded by my office in Parliament Subang for 2019.

We were allocated for community spending the amount of RM3.5 million for 2019. This is a staggering amount considering that in my first term from 2013 to 2018, I had a mere RM250,000 a year from the Selangor government for Kelana Jaya.

The breakdown of the RM3.5 million is as follows:
1. Community grants to associations: RM600,000 (300 associations x RM2,000 each)
2. Welfare cases and emergency (fire, accidents): RM300,000 (of which RM180,000 was distributed to 1,800 underprivileged children from 51 schools)
3. Project Kecils (to be spent on community structures and buildings) : RM600,000
4. Project Mesra Rakyat (to be spent only on federal buildings) : RM2,000,000 (all of which was spent on repairing 51 schools in Subang)

Total: RM3,500,000

This posting relates to items 3 (Project Kecil) and 4 (Projek Mesra Rakyat). All community money comes from the Prime Minister department, which is why Opposition MPs got nothing. This was also the same situation during UMNO/BN rule (but they used to get even more allocations at RM6 million).

To manage these projects, my office created a small committee to evaluate and financially plan the projects. Projects, save for the repairs of all schools in my area, largely depended on consultations with the ADUNs, councillors and community leaders. For the school projects, credit goes to the PIBGs and Headmasters of the respective schools themselves for identifying what repairs are most needed.

Leading the projects committee is my chief volunteer, Mr. Leong, supported by my overworked officers Paul Mae, Dhinaa, Kevin and the many volunteers and interns that served the P104 office in 2019.

We would also like to thank the government officers who helped us to expedite the projects, namely Puan Ain and Encik Azrul. We gave them a lot of projects to handle!

All in, we did 30 Projek Kecils and allocated the repairs for all 51 schools in Subang. So a grand total of 81 projects for 2019.

We will be planning next year’s budget in December, where we will continue to repair the older schools. We will also focus on a theme of safety and security, so we will upgrade the bomba, police and hopefully the Rukun Tetanggas (subject to PM office approval). Budget permitting, we will also consider making sure all schools in Subang have working proper fire safety equipments.

‘Kampung In The City’

Hello friends, Paul Mae reporting for duty! In July, we received news from Councillor Jen (JKP Zon 3) that Pangsapuri Sri Tanjung (a low-cost flat in our area) needed funding for their project ‘Kampung in the City’. How do we empower lower-income households? Through education, of course! Projects like these help build the community and we are elated to be a part of this. In less than 2 months, a new staircase is ready – allowing safer working conditions and easier access.

Special thanks to all our councillors for their efforts in making Subang a better place!

A Normal Day at the Office

Hi. It has been a cold, wet and dreary 36 hours. I am still a little bit unwell.

Yesterday, I was in the office for our Monday Night Chat video shoot and also attending to a troubled constituent’s problem. The interns were sent to visit Sister Stella in Desa Mentari. We are trying to get a “free spectacles for poor children” program after Chinese New Year. The interns have been tasked to design and roll out the program.

This morning, we are busy working on our newsletter, a collaborative effort of the officers and intern Seng Kiat. We should be releasing the newsletter later today. It is also intern Eugene’s last day. He will be going back to Australia to continue his studies next week.

Early Morning Thoughts

Good morning. I got to my office super early today at 8 am. Sometimes, I like to just have some alone time to think and reflect. My office starts at 10 am and my officers and interns will usually trickle in around 9.45 am. We start later than the usual 9 am because every Monday and Thursday, the officers stay until 10 pm; Monday is community service night and Thursday is for INVOKE Malaysia phone bank activity.

This morning, I have been thinking about corporate tax issues. At breakfast my super brainy wife and I were discussing the super charged US and Western stock markets (due to Trump’s recent massive corporate tax cut). I don’t believe that US corporations that are now paying almost zero tax by using tax havens, will be incentivised enough to stop the practice. As such, I am extremely skeptical that the recent corporate tax cut will generate social good (i.e. increasing the working class wages) via trickle down economics. I am also skeptical that it will result in US corporations closing down of their cheap factories in developing countries and create new jobs in US. These tax cuts will most likely result in the shareholders and CEOs buying more private planes, luxury homes and yachts.

From pondering this big issue, my mind wandered to something smaller. I was thinking about my poorer constituents in Desa Mentari. I had really enjoyed the late dinner event in Block 3 Desa Mentari last Saturday and wondered why is it that the poorer communities tend to be relatively more generous than the richer neighbourhoods.

This led me to re-read some litreature in my mini library on poor economics. Can we do something relatively cheap (since my office has no meaningful community budget) to give impact to urban poor children? On page 91 of Think Like A Freak, the writers told a story of researchers finding a link between poor eyesights and poor academic performance. This is something that I will assign my interns to look into this week.

Wishing all a productive week ahead.