It is 11 pm Bangkok time. We arrived late due to some flight issues
and got in to the hotel at 7 pm. I unpacked and went to the dinner
hosted by the Thai Deputy Speaker. I caught up with the Vietnamese and
Burmese MPs that came to my house for dinner and durian in July. I also
caught up with the Cambodians and Singaporeans too. Did not manage to
see my friends from Brunei, Thailand or Indonesia.
After dinner (I ate very little, my stomach still somewhat unwell), YB Syed Ibrahim,
Senator Bob and I, invited Hon. Pritam Singh (Singaporean Opposition
Leader) to join us to go to tailors at MBK. We took a grab, got to MBK
and found the tailor recommended by Syed’s wife. We had suits and shirts
made. Cheaper than KL by 30%. Then we took the MRT, called BTS here,
back to the hotel.
Tomorrow, the conference will begin proper at 9 am, officiated by former Thai PM, Chuan Leekpai.
20th of August – Another long day in Parliament. I met my interns in Parliament at 9.10 am, shot Monday Night Chat and then attended a PAC hearing on DBKL. The current mayor, Dato Nor Hashim was formerly MPSJ mayor. I greeted him as a dear friend, but still gave him and his DBKL officers some heated questions. The hearing will now be adjourned sine die, to enable an audit to be conducted and thereafter report back to us.
At around 12 noon, I met Sandra, a student doing her IB extended essay on
palm oil. She is currently studying in UWC Maastricht, and she knows my
former intern Nadira. I answered her questions and then dashed off for a
super quick lunch before another meeting with visitors Natalie and
Daphne. Natalie, a Malaysian who lives in London is writing a report on
the financial and tax status of charities in Malaysia.
After that it was back to another PAC hearing on Finas. In attendance
with other officials was the actor Hans Issac, who is now chairman of
Finas. His appearance got the ladies in the PAC, a bit flustered. This
last PAC meeting for the day ended at 5 pm.
Michelle Ng attended the MPSJ Engineering Department meeting at 3pm on
the cause of flood. She updated me at 5.15 pm.
The meeting had the following findings.
The causes of the flood are:-
1. Extraordinary heavy rainfall. Rainfall is considered heavy between
30mm-40mm. The fateful Saturday recorded 160mm of rainfall.
Development over the last decade has increased ‘run off surfaces’. There
remains only about 10% of land in Subang Jaya that can absorb water;
i.e grass, trees. All other surfaces are either hardened or concretised.
3. The combination of the above two matters, means the drain capacity was insufficient to cope with the flash flood.
According to YB Michelle, the MPSJ Engineering Department has in place
proposals to improve drain capacity. They have even prepared tender
documents. The issue now is money, or the lack of it. MPSJ will be
appealing for additional funding from state and federal governments.
19th of August – Good afternoon. I am in Parliament today for a whole day of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meetings. Tomorrow, I will be back again for more PAC meetings. Then on Wednesday, back to Parliament again but for an ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) meeting.
Parliament is currently not sitting for Parliamentary debates,
subsidiary Parliamentary works such as PAC and ASEAN matters, mean that I
will be spending a substantial part of my work hours in Parliament.
we had Derek Fernandez to testify before the PAC. I have known Derek
for years and he helped my office to stop the Sports City project in
Kelana Jaya, 3 years ago.
The PAC is investigating the settlement of many suspicious development
and land transactions by DBKL under the Pakatan Harapan government. This
investigation started some two months ago, with the testimony of YB
Khalid Samad, the minister for FT and will likely take another 4 to 6
months to complete.
18th of August – Yesterday, I had a mix of work events and also some family time. The day started with an early 7.30 am breakfast with my mum (she lives in Singapore and is visiting for a few days), brother, sister and nephew and nieces.
Then I attended a community cooking program in USJ
6, where they cooked laksa Johor. I took questions and provided answers
from the residents on the flash flood and recent political problems.
Then I went to USJ1 Angsana to give a short encouragement speech to
children preparing for UPSR exams. This is a motivational and tuition
camp for underprivileged children. Then I went to a basketball
competition (under 18, 3 on 3) in USJ Laman Sukan, organised by youths
from the local Leo Club.
At 12 noon to 4.30, I was at Brickfields Asia College to judge the law
reform policy competition organised by KPUM. Team Aphrodite won; an all
women team comprising of friends from LSE, UITM and UIA. The competition
was very tight, the four finalists were separated by 1 to 2 points
On the downside, I was stuck for an hour in a car park
when my car battery went flat. I had to call my mechanic Alan to bring a
Thereafter, I joined my mother for an important
family gathering dinner, followed by durians. My officer represented me
instead for the Subang Jaya Di Zang Wang Pu Sa dinner.
office said goodbye to our intern Cyrene yesterday. We took her to Good
Taste Restaurant in Puchong for her farewell lunch. She will be
continuing her degree in Economics and managment, and we have invited
her to return for a second round of internship.
supercool hair and retro style, Cyrene is bright, hardworking, and
resourceful. We enjoyed her presence in the office, giving the office a
good vibe. She also provided courteous and professional services to my
constituents. She took part in policy matters and even Parliament
officials have noticed her. She is very well liked by my officers and
her fellow interns. In short, she did well at all fronts.
We wish her all the best and look forward for her 2nd tour of duty with the P104 family.