A busy weekend so far. This morning at 8 am in Kinrara, I was at an Indian army veterans event with YB Gobind Singh Deo. Yesterday, I had four events in Subang Jaya and my officer represented me for another event too. I want to thank all the organisers; Cilantro, Summit USJ, Good Shepard, USJ 5 Watch. I also attended a new temple and got some blessings from the sifu. Attached are some pictures of my weekend events.
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I attended a long briefing by the New Zealand Clerk for the Defence Select Committee, Mr Siebert. He talked about the rules, management and shared experiences running select committees. The talk started at 9.30 am and ended at 3.30 pm. At lunch, I met up with PKR think tank advisors to discuss the state of the education policies.
Earlier this morning at 8 am, I had a meeting with the Parliament Research Officer to discuss Climate Change. I have been appointed to chair the AIPA Caucus Working Group on Climate Change, which will be held in KL in June. In fact my appointment was yesterday at another meeting in Parliament at 9.30 am.
Parliament is not in session, but my work on Parliamentary reforms have somewhat consumed a sizeable part of my time. Yesterday, I had two meetings in Parliament, one on AIPA and the other was a lunch meeting organised by YB Nik Nazmi where we met the principals of the Tent organisation, a refugees advocacy group. Tent is funded primarily by an entrepreneur who made his money in the yoghurt business, Hamidi Ulukaya.
I also squeezed in a bit of time for a meeting with a writer from Reuters. And then last night, I attended a community event, a Bomba appreciation night at Summit USJ.
Today is also the last working day for our officer Tina Lai. She served our office diligently and professionally for two years and will be joining the law firm RDL in a couple of months. I will be throwing a farewell party for her tonight at my home. Some 30 of my officers, interns and volunteers (present and past) will be turning up.
Selamat berpuasa to all my Muslim constituents. Just a quick posting on my last weekend programs. Saturday was a day of sports; I joined a badminton event in Kinrara (I haven’t played for 6 months, very rusty) and then the Cycle Against Crime in Subang Jaya, where my German friend Robert, joined me for a 5km cycle. After that I had a Santai Ramadhan program in the low cost flats of ss13 Subang Jaya. I haven’t had an event in these flats for two years! So it was very good to reconnect with the residents. I have instructed my officers to follow up and update the welfare situation there this week.
Otherwise I had the Saturday afternoon free and the whole of Sunday with my family. On Saturday afternoon, my family went for Star Wars day in Jaya One and I bought Darth Vader Baju Melayu buttons! Sunday was shopping at Decathlon, then Amcorp Mall for books and toys. Ate great nasi padang and then took the kids swimming. At night took my wife for a dinner date and then a massage for my sore shoulders from badminton and cycling.
Good morning. First year of the Pakatan Harapan government has concluded. Time for a bit of thanks giving and reflection.
I want to thank my constituents who gave me the opportunity to serve the rakyat for another term. A big shout out to my hardcore team led by Mr. Leong who worked tirelessly on the campaign. I want to thank in particular, Rafizi Ramli and the INVOKE team who made an immense and incredible contribution in GE14. It is important that today, we pay tribute and recognise all the unsung heroes, many have been conveniently forgotten in this past year. Take heart that nobody can take away your contribution to this historic victory. My message to all is to keep believing and keep pushing for institutional reforms.
Now a simplified report card.
Mixed results from one year of the PH cabinet. I will rate 5 out of 10. Some ministers did good work and some not good at all. Overall political atmosphere was not good, racial and religious tensions on the rise. Losing three successive by-elections, u-turns, party hopping, fake degrees, bad statements from ministers also somewhat demoralised the faithful. Things can only get better from here on. On the brighter side, incidences of corruption were down and some form of asset declaration was done.
Policy directions were unclear. Since the PM said the manifesto is not set in stone, no clear reform agenda has emerged to replace it. Frustratingly, legislative reforms in Parliament did not happen but thankfully, six Parliamentary select committees were formed. We need another 11 select committees to be formed in the coming year. GST gone but prices of goods did not really drop and the economy was lacklustre. Lynas unresolved but overall the human rights situation was much better, but these freedoms need to be legislated upon. Crony capitalism was also in retreat despite reappearance of old hands.
So basically, mixed results from the cabinet. More importantly, the cabinet must now find the political will to do many more institutional reforms in this coming year.
As for my office, I have been keeping very busy in the last year with Parliamentary reforms (including visits to foreign Parliaments to learn, adopt and adapt reforms). My workload in the Public Accounts Committee investigating government corruption and wastage, was very heavy; we probably had about 30 hearings to date. I also continued my human rights work with APHR (in particular on Cambodia) but to a much lesser degree. I joined AIPA and am currently helping out on the issue of Climate Change. I have also been doing a lot more diplomatic engagements this past year. My engagements with the business community and international media continued at a steady pace.
On the community front, with an enlarged community budget of RM3.5 million, we have embarked on a project to repair all 51 public schools in Subang Jaya and Kinrara at the cost of RM2.5 million. We have also been handling more citizenship and welfare cases than ever. My personal community appearances were down, as I spent a lot more time overseas.
This coming year, I will continue to focus primarily on Parliamentary reforms, to give true meaning to the separation of powers. It is my belief that if we don’t repair the structure of the separation of powers, we will never see true institutional reforms for the New Malaysia.
A bittersweet 1st Birthday to the New Malaysia!