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Tag: Public policy (page 1 of 4)

Policy Chat over Curry Noodles

Good morrning. No Parliament today, so I am in my office to catch up with the rest of the officers and interns. I will give a lecture and take them to lunch. Since this budget session started I have not been to the office, except once two weeks ago. I will be getting an update on our Bulan Kebajikan and also research by interns.

I also dropped by to consume my favourite neighbourhood curry noodle at Teik Kee. I had a long chat with a few of my constituents over breakfast. The topics of gripe are GST, 1MDB, and durians that nobody can afford to eat any more. In this posting I am gonna talk about durians.

Musang King prices have dropped recently to around RM50/kilo but consumer sentiment has turned off completely when it hit RM125/kilo. The overall negative consumer sentiment has yet to recover since. In addition to being too expensive there is also an overwhelming feeling that we are getting second grade durians and that the best are exported to Singapore, HK and China. This kind of consumer resentment coupled by yoyo pricing is causing unhappiness to both producers and consumers.

What can we do as a policy to ensure fair durian prices and to stop the yoyo pricing? If we leave it to “free market” no Malaysians will be able to afford to eat durians. To make any policy work, we need to first gather accurate big data. In fact a lot of data; from total production volume, locality of old and new farms, seasonal pricing, to domestic and international consumption patterns. We also need to understand and keep up with changes in the industry. For instance, the widespread use of instant freezing technology can impact the supply of durians, hence its pricing too.

What we then need to do is to match supply and local demand, and by adjusting export tarriff of durians, the government can discourage or encourage the exports of durian. This will ensure that Malaysians can at least afford to taste our national fruit. By deploying this simple mechanism and testing it over a period of one to two years, we can then create a predictive model for optimal results that benefit both producers and consumers.

Working Paper: Investigating Mental Health and Poverty

We expose our interns to both public policy research and community outreach. Some thrive in one or the other, but here, Leann combined her experience during our office’s Welfare Month (Bulan Kebajikan) programme with thorough research to produce her paper on mental health and poverty.

Read “Doubly Disadvantaged: Investigating Mental Health and Poverty” here. Leann did such a good job that, after some minor touch-ups from me (Tania), we are publishing it not as a typical intern paper, but as one of our office’s working papers.

Executive Summary:

1. This policy paper posits that poor mental health and poverty are synonymous; in order to combat deepening inequality within our society, it is necessary for the government to execute more inclusive welfare programmes, which will require a more precise definition of mental illness.

2. We lay out the state of Malaysia’s current mental health and its correlation to poverty, thus highlighting the importance of measures to improve mental health to more effectively combat inequality between race and class. This is the only way to achieve more sustainable development throughout the country.

3. Problems in Malaysia on mental health and poverty include a lack of awareness and a stigma towards mental illness among the general public, as well as a lack of accessible and affordable mental healthcare specialists and practitioners.

4. We suggest policy solutions to combat the cycle of poverty and mental health, focusing on, but not limited to:
4.1 Public education reform for schoolchildren, including placing one qualified counsellor in each school;
4.2 Workplace policies and programmes to encourage mental healthcare among existing employees, and to reintegrate employees back into the workforce upon recovery;
4.3 Improving the public healthcare system through targeted subsidies for health insurance among the most vulnerable, and a revision of the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) coverage to include mental health issues;
4.4 Legislative reforms, in particular, revising suicide under the Penal Code to consider people with depression, and an anti-discrimination law to prevent workplace discrimination against mild mental illnesses;
4.5 More emphasis on academic and policy research on mental health in Malaysia, given the current lack of data; and
4.6 Allocating a specific budget under the Ministry of Health for mental health.

5. Investing in public mental healthcare will yield economic (and social) benefits that far outweigh the costs, as the wellbeing of every Malaysian, regardless of social stratum, is necessary for the flourishing of the nation as a whole.

Policies as Instructed

Good afternoon; Tania here with a post that finally corresponds to my job title as “research officer.” (One of the perks of this job is definitely having a large variety of tasks that don’t involve research.)

Wong Chen, Nadirah, and I have been working hard since last year researching political, economic, and social policies, as instructed by Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. We took close to four months to finish an 80-age document policy reforms. We then forwarded these policies to Pakatan Harapan chief secretary Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah for him to present to the leadership.

In this article, Wong Chen gives his comments to the Malay Mail.

Monday Night Chat with Wong Chen: Episode 30

As quick as 30 days of June have flown by,
so we’ve shot 30 Monday Night Chats, oh my!
(I’m sorry it’s 30 minutes late—I did try!)

Whether you’ve joined us ever since we first filmed on 26 Sept last year, or tuned in midway through, thank you for watching! Stay till the end of this one to glimpse the future of oil: Bloomberg flies in the face of conventional oil-company wisdom on global oil consumption. What then does the future hold for Malaysia, given our oil dependency?

First, our four fantastic interns (get more serious this week and) present their research topics: One challenges discrimination in all its ugly forms; another pair considers the (soft) power of Malaysian food & culture; while the fourth fights for our Orang Asli.

Boss-man then continues the show: Wong Chen gives his views on Jho Low’s alleged pink-diamond gift to MO1’s wife, the Government’s GST flip-flop, and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Bank Negara’s (Dr. Mahathir’s?) forex scandal.

With all that gloomy news though, our office seizes every reason to celebrate, so we start with a little 30th-episode party!

Watch:
– Interns’ research: Leann on discrimination; Megan & Ivan on Malaysia’s soft power; Paul Mae on Orang Asli [0:38] – Q&A: Pink diamond necklace allegedly given by Jho Low to MO1’s wife; Gov’t U-turn on GST for some 60 food items; RCI on forex losses during Dr. Mahathir’s time [4:55] – Policy Monday: Oil & gas [8:37] (- And please don’t mind the text error at [5:16].)

 

Press Statement: Pakatan Harapan Needs to Focus on the Politics of Policies

Good afternoon! Earlier today, Wong Chen released a press statement emphasising the importance for Pakatan Harapan to focus on national policies. Below is the statement in both English and Bahasa Malaysia.

PAKATAN HARAPAN NEEDS TO FOCUS ON THE POLITICS OF POLICIES

Press Statement | 07 Jun 2017

Malaysians are suffering economically because the functional democracy practiced by Barisan Nasional, is devoid of proper checks and balances. For decades, our democracy and once vibrant economy have been eroded by unchecked abuses of power. Mega scandals such as the BMF Carrian and the recent 1MDB, have entrenched a culture of impunity and made us all poorer. In short, the system of governance has failed and is in need of major reforms.

As the 14th General Election draws closer, I call upon all Pakatan Harapan leaders to minimise the focus on the politics of personalities and instead redouble efforts on the politics of policies. Pakatan Harapan must continue to improve and make good policies in Selangor and Penang. Malaysian voters are not merely seeking to replace the Prime Minister or the cabinet, but are in fact desperate for policy solutions that can deliver social justice and economic prosperity to all.

In this regard, I applaud the efforts of YB Rafizi Ramli and the INVOKE Centre for Policy Initiatives (I-CPI) in driving politicians to adopt and disclose their policy positions. YB Rafizi’s recently launched book “Panduan Bina Semula Negara” provides an easy to read policy document. In support of his efforts, my office too published a set of policy proposals in May 2017 titled Policies for Politics: Fixing Malaysia’s Broken System. The paper discusses a plethora of political policy reforms including but not limited to, party finance reform, free press, asset declaration, two terms limit for the Prime Minister post, appointment of senior judges by Parliamentary hearing and the independence of the MACC.

You can access the entire document via the following link: http://www.wongchen.com/…/Policies-for-Politics-Fixing-Mala….

Other policy papers are available here: http://www.wongchen.com/reports/

There are also currently 28 episodes of public policy videos available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX-9cDZn3gm8EuSrggMOzVA

PAKATAN HARAPAN PERLU FOKUS PADA POLITIK BERTERASKAN POLISI KEBANGSAAN

Kenyataan Media | 07 Jun 2017

Rakyat Malaysia pada hari ini dianiaya dan menderita daripada sudut ekonomi gara-gara amalan demokrasi diamalkan Barisan Nasional yang menafikan sistem semak dan imbang. Untuk berpuluh-puluh tahun, sistem demokrasi dan ekonomi negara telah tercemar dengan penyalahgunaan kuasa yang melampau.

Beberapa skandal besar seperti BMF Carrian dan terbaru 1MDB telah membawa satu budaya yang buruk dan menjadikan rakyat sebagai mangsa penderitaan dan kemiskinan. Secara ringkas, sistem tatakelola negara telah gagal dan wujudnya keperluan reformasi berskala besar.

Memandangkan Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 (PRU14) semakin hampir, saya menyeru kepada semua rakan dan pimpinan Pakatan Harapan untuk meminimumkan fokus pada politik personaliti dan memberi tumpuan berganda pada politik berteraskan polisi.

Pakatan Harapan seharusnya berterusan menambah baik situasi dan membina polisi di negeri Selangor dan Pulau Pinang. Rata-rata pengundi Malaysia bukanlah tertumpu pada isu penggantian Perdana Menteri atau kabinet baharu tetapi secara hakikatnya mereka mendesak perlunya sebuah polisi penyelesaian yang mampu memberikan kesaksamaan sosial dan pengagihan kekayaan kepada segenap lapisan masyarakat.

Memperlihatkan situasi ini, saya berterima kasih dan menghargai usaha saudara Rafizi Ramli dan INVOKE Centre for Policy Initiative (I-CPI) dalam membawa ahli-ahli politik untuk membina dan memuktamadkan polisi yang dibawa. YB Rafizi telah meluncurkan buku ‘Panduan Bina Semula Negara’ yang mengandungi dokumen-dokumen polisi yang mudah difahami.

Untuk menyokong usaha beliau, saya dan rakan-rakan sepejabat telah melancarkan satu kertas kerja polisi bertajuk ‘Policies for Politics: Fixing Malaysia’s Broken System’. Dokumen ini membincangkan pelbagai polisi reformasi yang perlu dilaksanakan antaranya adalah reformasi pembiayaan parti politik, kebebasan media, pengisytiharaan harta, mengehadkan tempoh mandat Perdana Menteri kepada dua tempoh sahaja, perlantikan hakim-hakim utama melalui proses lisan Parlimen dan juga kebebasan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).

Anda semua boleh mengakses kertas kerja tersebut di pautan: http://www.wongchen.com/…/Policies-for-Politics-Fixing-Mala….

Kertas-kertas kerja berkaitan polisi yang lain boleh diakses di sini: http://www.wongchen.com/reports/

Terdapat 28 buah episod (buat masa ini) mengenai video berkaitan polisi awam yang boleh didapati di sini: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX-9cDZn3gm8EuSrggMOzVA
YB Wong Chen
Ahli Parlimen Kelana Jaya
Parti KEADILAN Rakyat