The second half of the convention started off with rousing speeches from some senior leaders. Mat Sabu and Lim Guan Eng gave very good speeches, promising a multiracial country free from corruption. Kak Wan and Dr. Mahathir will give the closing speeches. Anticipation is high for one or two major announcements at the closing stages.
Dato' Seri Wan Azizah
Good morning. A round up of my weekend. The P104 office had our first experimental urban poor forum focusing on (a) how to save money, (b) reduce electric bills and (c) fire safety. The event was a half day event held at block 5 Desa Mentari on Saturday.
We had in total 55 registered adults and a small army of kids. My officers had bought 80 coin/saving boxes from Mr. DIY (cheaper than Daiso). I am particularly proud that my officers are very careful with money and appear to be more cheapskate than me! These coin boxes were given free to encourage kids to save money, and these went pretty fast. For the next forum, we will need to double up on the coin boxes.
We had 3 expert speakers, Trish from Malaysian Care, En. Azlan from Firefighter and Anthony Tan from Cetdem. The Firefighter company also donated 3 fire extinguishers which we distributed by way of a lucky draw. The planning took about 3 weeks to organise and execute. We had several people asking if we can do the same program for their blocks too. The office will have a post mortem study on Tuesday and see what aspects of the forum can be improved. One thing is clear, there is a real need for financial planning advice. This idea originated after I had a chat with Dr Suparno in Jakarta about the need for the poor to do financial planning.
After the event, I attended the wedding of Dato Saifuddin Nasution’s son. Dato Saif is PKR’s secretary general and the man responsible for pushing me to do economic and public policy for the party. I was seated with Dato Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and we had a long chat on recent political developments.
The event is rather grand with a lot of politicians and VIPs. As I walked in, I met the DPM Zahid Hamidi who was leaving. For a short half hour, political differences were set aside to makan and wish the couple well. I also met my old political boss, Zaid Ibrahim whom I greeted jokingly as “the most lonely but most wanted man in Selangor”. When I first joined PKR, Dato Saif assigned me to assist Zaid, who was then protem chairman of Pakatan Rakyat. Zaid was in jovial mood, presumably because Jamal has been arrested.
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.
Here is my budget speech delivered at 2.40 pm just now. As fate has it, I have been given the honour to speak after Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on behalf of PKR on the budget.
I was allocated 20 minutes and divided my speech into 3 segments.
The first segment dealt with the fiscal numbers on GST and Income Tax, and also the Prime Minister’s super bloated expenditure budget.
The second segment dealt with the idea that we must have a bi-partisan approach to economic growth policies. I believe that both sides want to see our country succeed, but the other side must first commit to eradicating wastage and corruption.
Lastly, I gave an impromptu appeal to the other side to abandon support for MO1, the kleptocrat. My appeal got the full attention of the Speaker and nods and cautious smiles from several BN Borneo MPs!
Hi everyone. A very quick update on the Pakatan Harapan Alternative Budget 2018. YB Ong Kian Ming sent his last input this morning and Sean is now incorporating the same into the advanced draft. We are now 100% ready to circulate the draft to Pakatan Harapan politicians for their feedback.
Tomorrow, I am going to take the day off and catch up on sleep!
This morning my team visited Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Leader of the Opposition at her house. YB Dato Johari Abdul, Chief Whip of PKR Parliamentarians, was also there, together with Kak Wan’s three researchers, Pak Malik, Arief and Hadi. I briefed her on the budget and the policies and she gave her views and suggested changes. Contrary to some chauvinistic views, Kak Wan is decisive and has firm views on many economic issues.
During the 3 hour meeting, we paused for food and during the break, she told us a story about Anwar Ibrahim.
A few years ago, before Anwar was jailed, the Bukit Segambut area (where the family lives) had a lot of teenagers, both boys and girls, lepaking/hanging out till late at night near the mosque.
One late night, on the way home from a function, Kak Wan and Anwar drove past the kids. Anwar stopped the car, got down and started talking to them. He found out they were children of illegal Indonesian migrants. These kids grew up with no schooling and are employed by their own parents, doing odd jobs, helping in the family trade. They were polite, not unruly but sadly aimless in life. Kak Wan says that boss was upset for days, seeing youth in such predicament.
She added that Anwar has always been like this, even in high school, he would carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. In the early days of their marriage and after having children, this need to help others continued uninterrupted and family time was sacrificed. Sometimes we forget who Anwar is. We forget about his natural compassionate character. It is these little stories that keeps my fight for a better Malaysia going.