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meeting with expert civil engineers regarding subang flash flood

16th of August – We have just completed our meeting with expert civil engineers, Mr Hoo and Mr Naicker. To summarise; the engineers need access to the following data from MPSJ:

1. Definitive locations where the floods happened.
2. Flood levels of these locations. The flood levels need to be measured relative to fixed points.
3. Drainage layout drawings of these locations.
4. Historical information on the frequency of these flashflood locations.

We are also in constant touch with YB Michelle, who is on the ground. We have also contacted several MPSJ councillors. YB Michelle will be coordinating the MPSJ activities and an MPSJ briefing has been set for Tuesday next week. My volunteer engineers will be providing advisory and second opinion to MPSJ actions in the coming days.

As for victims of the flood, you can visit my office for information. Alternatively you can meet my volunteer lawyers who will be in my office at 8 pm, next Wednesday night (21st August) to answer your legal queries.

Major Flash flood in subang

15th of August – A major flash flood which lasted less than an hour, has caused havoc and massive jam in USJ and Subang. I have been told that parts of Shah Alam have reported similar problems. Reports of affected Subang areas are Persiaran Kewajipan, Persiaran Subang Mewah, PJS 9/8, USJ 2/4q, PJS 7/15, Jalan SS14, Persiaran Setia, and Persiaran Tujuan.

There are also pictures and videos of cars damaged and floated away. I am in touch with YB Michelle, she too was caught in a massive jam but is fine otherwise. The police are also in contact, so far no reported injuries (and hopefully none).

Tomorrow, my office will join YB Michelle’s office to enquire with MPSJ and other government authorities on the cause of the flood, and what mitigation steps can be taken. All victims of the flood can contact my office tomorrow for further assistance and enquiries.

updates from taipei – part 4

7th of August – Good morning from Taipei. This is our last day here and we will be taking the 3 pm flight back to KL. This morning, we had a breakfast meeting with HE Ambassador Ger. I met Ambassador Ger last month in Kuala Lumpur. This was a very good follow up meeting and our team asked many public policy questions. We have much to learn from Taiwan on matters regarding the environment, agriculture, SME and trade.

YB Hassan asked about the Taiwanese approach to chemical spills, so that he can bring back some fresh ideas for Pasir Gudang. YB Jugah asked about agricultural and land reform policies. Ambassador Ger was very interested to learn more about Sarawak culture. I asked about trade economics, SME and price controls.

We will be leaving early before the conference ends, as we will not be a signatory to the joint communique. Our role here is to observe and network with MPs of Pacific islands on climate change. On that front, I am happy to report that I have developed a good relationship with MPs from the Solomon Islands. I also met and struck up a freindship with Mr Klaikong (Future Forward Party) from Thailand. Thailand, like Malaysia is also here as observers.

Yesterday, at the official dinner I sat next to the head of delegation from Mongolia, Mr. Sukhbat. He explained to me that he owned 500 horses and was the Grand National Wrestling Champion of Mongolia. Another Mongolian MP, a direct descendant of Ghenghis Khan gave us a mini concert of traditional songs. I am not particularly fond of conferences (I don’t like the long hours flying), but occasionally these special encounters are simply priceless.

We also managed to catch up with Sharon Ho, officer from the Malaysian office here in Taipei. Sharon provided invaluable support to us during our 3 days here. Lastly, we are grateful to the Taiwanese for their tremendous hospitality. A big thank you to Juliet Chu for being a great local guide.

Updates from taipei – part 3

6th of August – Good morning from Taipei. The sun gets up very early here, around 5.45 am. I have been awake since then and working on the conference notes.

I have a few sideline meetings lined up, one with the Solomon Islands MPs who are interested in anti-corruption reforms. I will be making a recommendation on unexplained wealth legislation. While at home, this policy has fallen on deaf ears, I hope my islander friends will consider my recommendations more seriously. I also have another sideline meeting with Taiwan officials, to discuss price control mechanisms of domestic goods. In Taiwan, they do not focus on price control mechanisms, but have an anti-stockpiling approach. This Taiwan approach is public policy genius at work!

Overall, I will be discussing climate change SDG 13 to the Pacific islander MPs. All of these islands are extremely vulnerable to coastal erosion, rising waters and negative impact to their fish stock (mainstays of their economies are tourism and fishing).

Japan is going to bring up the subject of Indo-Pacific security. However my simple 2 day assessment with other delegates, seems to indicate that they don’t think much about the big “geo-political” issues. Their primary concerns are very much localised to climate action.

As such, I think the geo-political matter will not be the hot topic. Instead climate change will take precedence and dominate in the conference here. This is good for me, since I have been focusing on climate change for the last 4 months. This conference will give me first hand climate impact knowledge from MPs from these Pacific islands.

Back at home, I understand that my Subang constituents are facing the issue of the KESAS u-turn closure on 10th August. I was contacted by YB Michelle on Sunday, when I landed in Taipei, and I helped her with contacts to the deputy minister (Anuar Tahir) and minister of works (Baru Bian). I have also instructed my professional volunteers James and Ho (civil engineer, local housing expert) to assist her on technical issues.

So last night, James gave a briefing to YB Michelle and MPSJ councillors at JKP Zon 4 hall. I have been informed that the issue of the temporary closure of the KESAS u-turn has been postponed for the time being by the minister. Postponement is good, but we still need a longer term solution.

As for the multiple Poh Toh events in Kinrara, Mr. Leong, my chief volunteer and whom my officers and interns fondly call the 2nd boss, has been dilligently attending on my behalf. Some people say he looks a bit like me! Mr.Ho and Mr. Gabriel are also on standby to represent me in my absence.

Updates from Taipei – part 2

5th of August – End of Day 2 in Taipei. The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) organised in early morning, a visit to Tzu Chi Foundation recycling centre. We observed their recycling efforts and also discussed climate change. The volunteers at the foundation were very engaging. I was most impressed by their dedication to make the world greener.

After that, we had lunch with Madam Francis Lee from MoFA, and Dr Shawn Chang from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In this very formal work meeting, I discussed geo-political issues at length with Madam Lee. I also spoke about climate change with Shawn and his EPA team.

At 3pm, the forum formally started with organisational and administrative notes and the finalising of the conference timetable. I met and had good short talks with delegates from Thailand, Solomon Islands, Mongolia, Japan and Taiwan.

After that we had a formal welcome dinner hosted by the Taiwan Speaker. This dinner was very fun, with live music and dancing. After the formal but fun dinner, our host took us to Shilin night market where I met up my former volunteer, Apsara. Apsara is pursuing her Mandarin course in Taipei. I will write about the Shilin street market food experience in a separate posting.