Constituency Matters

A Hazy and Busy Day

A busy day again. Mr. Cha and Peter from Puchong Lions Club dropped by for a chat. We gave them a grant of RM2,000 (all associations in my constituency, gets the same) and agreed to try to do community events together next year.

After that, I had a good chat with Pinnacle, an events management company. The company wants to organise a Deepavali market as part of its CSR program. They are trying to revamp how Deepavali markets are organised, without corruption. Most of these markets are currently controlled by unscrupulous people in positions of power. I have put Dhinaa in charge to fully assist them for this good cause.

Then I had a sad impromptu meeting with a Subang Jaya family, whose son score a perfect 4.0 CGPA in his STPM, and got a place in Universiti Malaya but for a computer science course. Computer science was his 9th choice. His first choice was to study medicine. The parents and son have given up their appeals and resigned to accepting the 9th choice offer. They came to my office to process their PTPTN loan, and only upon my query, told me the sad story.

At lunch, Mr. Ee Ching Wah and his wife, Judy hosted my office for an annual thanksgiving Nyonya lunch at the Nyonya Roof Private Kitchen. In attendance was Pastor David and his wife, Irene. The food was homely and excellent!

We also said goodbye to our interns, Vincent, Chun Tung, Illi. I will put a separate post on this later. Tonight, I will hosting dinner in my house for the Danish Ambassador Jesper and his wife Ane. My old Tanzanian friend will be dropping by too.

Ready To Serve On Wednesday Nights

My volunteers informed me that we had a very busy service night at the office. In addition to that we sent two representatives, Kevin and Mr. Ho to attend the annual general meeting of the PKR Kelana Jaya branch.

Tonight, eight of my professional volunteers (entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants, engineers) attended to my constituents from 8 pm to 10 pm. Volunteers Leong, James, Phang, Gabriel, Wy How, Melody, Allie and Michele Lim joined my officer Paul Mae and intern Ili, and handled many complaints, legal entanglements, citizenship matters and traffic zoning cases.

Mr.Leong informed me that we even had a very first case involving a monkey, kept illegally as a pet by a constituent. Our head volunteer lawyer Mr.Phang explained the legal position to the constituent and urged him to do the right thing.

Service nights are unpredictable; some nights are quiet (last week, we only had 4 cases) and some are super busy. Tonight was the latter. I was not around for both service night nor the PKR Cabang event. Instead, I took my wife out to dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

A Not So Busy Day

Good morning. I have a not so busy day ahead. I have a lunch meeting with academic Lee Hwok Aun. Hwok Aun is currently a senior fellow at ISEAS, Singapore. He was formerly at Universiti Malaya where he did groundbreaking studies on work and racism. His research helped Rafizi Ramli and office to craft an en equal employment policy.

After that I will be joining Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to meet senior visiting diplomats from Germany. The meeting will take place in Parliament. Then I will head to my office for service night. Today will be the last day of intern Kevin; he is going to ANU, Australia to do his masters. Kevin was a key help in the asset declaration exercise last month.

Here is a quick roundup of my other events this weekend with pictures; namely a fundraiser event for a local church (where I met up with my former intern, Irin!) and the back to school charity program organised by Subang Jaya Buddhist Association.

 

I Declare!

Due to a lot of comments and questions coming in, I have updated this posting.

My net asset is estimated at RM2.3 million. Most of my assets are held in fixed deposits and investments.

I do not own any house/property. I have always been happy renting. For more than a decade, I was a tenant at the hip and old 1960s Taman Tunku apartments, paying RM1,500 a month. It was a super fantastic two bedroom apartment with sprawling grounds and nice restaurants below. My fellow tenant neighbours were mostly arty and intellectual types.

When I got married, I moved into my wife’s house. She works and has her own money. I paid for the renovations, but the house is 100% owned by her.

When I became a politician, I also made a conscious decision to keep everything liquid on a “just in case” basis. Being a politician and government critic is a relatively dangerous career. Having a house and a mortgage didn’t seem right and I didn’t see the need to speculate on a second home and become a landlord.

I do not have any debt except RM10,400 for my Honda CRV, owing to Parliament. I bought my Honda CRV under a Parliament pay deduction scheme. I am not a car person and see not much value in owning fancy cars. I much prefer books and art. I have two expensive Rolex watches, both were wedding gifts, one from my father and the other from my father in law. The irony is I hate wearing watches but will keep them for my children.

Appended are all 5 pages of my asset declaration.

Question to the Health Minister

Good morning. It is a rainy morning and at around 7 am, the sky had a strange heavy yellow tint.

After 4 years plus, I have finally been given the number two slot today in Parliament for Question Time. My question to the Health Minister on the high cost of intensive care in private hospital is based on a real life experience of a Subang Jaya family. My question is expected to be answered around 10.10 to 10.30 am this morning.

The family visited my office more than a month ago asking for help to transfer a family member from a private hospital to a public hospital. The victim was in intensive care for 2 months and they ran out of money. The bill came to a staggering RM450,000. We did manage to transfer the victim to a public hospital but unfortunately he passed away 2 weeks later.

The basic policy issue is such; the government must do a comprehensive big data study on the average number of days spent in intensive care units for specific critical illnesses. This study must also encompass baseline costs of such treatment, so to prevent the private sector from overcharging. Such a study can then help to provide a good estimate of costs to families requiring such care, so that they can make informed big financial decisions.

The current situation where consumers are not given proper estimates and information and at the same time, are driven by high emotions to save their loved ones, can be abused and lead to financial ruin of the entire family.

Today, I would recommend the minister to undertake such a study, then follow up with some form of new regulations after consulting with private hospitals on what constitutes reasonable fees. The sad truth is our government hospital’s intensive care beds are extremely limited. The waiting list for such transfers are very long and may take up to a month or more.

In the final analysis this matter is about money; either the private sector lowers its fees or the government will need to build more intensive care facilities.

In that context, please note that MO1 (the kleptocrat in charge), has happily allocated himself for 2018 a whopping development budget of RM12.2 billion to spend, compared to the entire health ministry development budget of RM1.8 billion.

So when the government tells you there is no budget for better schools, hospitals to treat cancer, better policing to fight crime, they are not telling you the full picture. There is money. Just poorly allocated to the kleptocrat.