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Tag: community (page 1 of 8)

Deepavali in Desa Mentari 2017

Good morning. I attended a Deepavali function in Desa Mentari last night organised by Uthayam, a local urban poor NGO. This NGO is a bit unique because all its members are regular folks that live in the Desa Mentari flats. There is no external influence, no VIPs and completely apolitical. It was set up with a very specific purpose, which is to provide welfare help to their poorest neighbours. Last night’s Deepavali event had some 200 attendees.

The Chairman Mr.Sugumaran is a frozen truck driver and devotes a big chunk of his spare time to this NGO. He and his deputy Mr. Paneer, are regular visitors to my office, dropping by almost once a month with a variety of constituency problems. My office finds the Uthayam people to be reliable and earnest.

The event last night was nearly hijacked by local PAS leaders who promised Uthayam to foot the entire bill of the function, provided that Nik Nazmi (the PKR ADUN) and I am, are not invited to the event. Poor as they are, they turned the offer down. It appears that the election campaign on the ground has started in Seri Setia.

Welfare Month 2017 – Cheque Collection

Wassup guys! Tina here, reporting from the office while our Boss is away taking a one-day break (Parliament is so tiring man).

Today marks the start of cheque collection for this year’s Bulan Kebajikan — it is hectic as usual. Unfortunately, all three of our interns are not around (Kevin is sick; Cassandra got summoned to her father’s hometown; and one of the Seans is on study leave).

Lucky for us, two of our former interns are back to the rescue! Megan (who will be joining the office as staff in December) and Ivan, came to visit and is now helping the office with the giving out of cheques.

On a side note, we received a letter from KRT (Kawasan Rukun Tetangga) PJS 10 thanking our office for helping them rebuilt their cabin that was burnt down in December 2016.

The End of a Long Week

I got home at 1.30 am (past midnight) from the INVOKE Malaysia event on Tuesday night. My loyal, hardworking and underpaid staff and interns stayed till the very end. Rafizi Ramli did most of the briefing, I played a minor role. Am attaching pictures of the event.

The Alternative Budget 2018 is now being translated by an external source. We have been working on this document for 45 days. With the work now outside of our control, we can rest a few days. So I have decided to take a short holiday with my wife and kids tomorrow. The kids have been restless during this one week of school break and I have been neglecting them of late.

We will be doing a cuti-cuti Malaysia short trip. First stop will be Gua Tempurung, then Kellie’s Castle and some local Gopeng makan. After lunch we will go to Ipoh and explore why the Lonely Planet has named Ipoh as a top 10 destination in Asia! Ipoh food is expected to be glorious. Yesterday, at the imoney talk, Prof. Jomo told me that Ipoh is now a great arts destination with artists resettling there due to cheaper property and lower cost of living.

We will be staying at Sekeping Kong Heng and tomorrow night I will meet up with some local PKR leaders to answer questions on economic policies (I can’t really stop working). On Friday, we will continue to explore Ipoh and eat more stuff before heading back to KL after lunch.

My staff will see me on Saturday and Sunday as we prepare the final layout of the Alternative Budget. My staff will also read and research the first 4 legislative bills that will be tabled in Parliament starting next Monday. This weekend is going to be pure legislative work. We have deferred all community events so that we can focus on the upcoming Parliamentary debates. I will try to debate as many bills that I can handle in this sitting. In the last July/August sitting, I debated 7 bills. I want to try to top that record. I am also expected to debate extensively on the budget itself. I must emphasise that this budget session is the most important event of the year for MPs.

On the Deepavali visits today, I want to thank YB Manivanan Gowin and Guna/Uma for being wonderful hosts. I also managed to drop by Desa Mentari to visit the scene of the fires. I spoke to En. Zaini and En.Norizan, the local community leaders who explained the complex issue of racial politics in dense urban poverty zones. I also asked YB Manivanan for his valued opinion on the matter of fireworks in the context of Deepavali. This issue clearly needs sensitivity to cultural needs as well as public safety.

The local leaders lamented that despite being banned, fireworks are openly being sold on the streets. These traders have obviously taken care of the enforcement authorities, who then turn a blind eye. The ban is not only failing but actually promotes corruption and abuses of power. YB Manivanan proposed a different solution; legalise but control the sale and usage of fireworks. He proposed the banning of all extreme fireworks, thus allowing the sale of milder fireworks for cultural purposes. In addition, he argued a designated and supervised open space should be allocated for 5 nights, rather than the current free for all dangerous discharge of fireworks in common properties of flats.

I want to explore more options on the issue. I will ask one of my new interns to look into this and see if we can discover any successful policies applied in other countries. We may do a Policy Monday on this topic in the near future.

A Computer for a Community

P104—the office that keeps on giving! We of course try our best to determine the neediest causes (hence our hundreds of interviews throughout Welfare Month) that fall within our capacity and constituency.

Tania here, with my last community posting (I joyfully report that our constituents are now back under Abigail’s capable hands and compassionate heart!). While we often take computer access for granted, the Residents’ Association of Blocks 7 & 8, Kampung Lindungan have been in need of one for general office use.

Thanks to a kind donor, we’ve managed to source a second-hand laptop for them. All the best to the RA of Blocks 7 & 8 in better serving their fellow residents in these low-cost flats!

Wheelchairs for Two, Please

Good morning, Tania here with a quick community report. You may remember our appeal to gift a wheelchair to Mr. Sathiyasilan early this month. Thanks to some generous support, we collected a surplus and have recently exhausted it with two more recipients from the hardcore poor in our constituency:

While on our Family Portraits project in the Taman Desaria low-cost flats, we met 82-year-old Mr. Jeyaraman and his 78-year-old wife. Mr. Jeyaraman has had both his legs amputated, so apart from a wheelchair, he is quite immobile.Ms. Thamilchevi came to our office to apply for our Welfare Month programme. She lives in Desa Mentari, is widowed and unemployed. Having just had a backbone operation, she has been borrowing a wheelchair from a friend. In lieu of the usual RM200-or-so welfare aid from our office, we’ve provided her with a wheelchair.