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Tag: Wong Chen (page 2 of 11)

Goodbye “Baby Driver”!

Today we said goodbye to our intern Cassandra Chung. Due to the budget debates, Cassandra came over to Parliament to say goodbye to me. We had a long chat about her future and I gave her a long lecture on 3 global issues. I also advised her to do 3 things in her future professional life: (a) be on time; (b) take responsibility for any errors; and (c) to continuously improve.

Cassandra served in my office for one month and performed well in both research and community work. She has a bubbly, go-getting character. She is also a team player, getting along with the officers and fellow interns. The one thing I will always remember about Cassandra is her driving me to INVOKE Malaysia for an event. Cassandra blames this hair raising experience on my car’s “too sensitive” brakes!

I also understand that Wyhow bought a load of satay Kajang and Texas Chicken for her final day dinner in the office.

We will all miss having her super smile in the office.

Cassandra, do drop by and visit us when you have time. Once you join the P104 family, you can never, ever, really leave.

Government Budget 2018: Brief Analysis

Here are some numbers from the budget documents.

This budget is going to be RM21 billion bigger than last year, at RM282 billion. And yet Najib (MO1) announces he will magically reduce the deficit from 3% in 2017 to 2.8% for 2018.

So how is he going to do this?

The answer is simple, tax more.

On closer study of the government revenue book, MO1 is going to collect an additional RM20 billion in taxes from the people and companies to pay for his fatter 2018 budget.

Yup, in particular for folks who are unhappy with GST, the MO1 is gonna tax you even more with GST collection. He predicts that for 2018, GST will increase by another RM2.3 billion to hit an all time high of RM44 billion. In other words, MO1 is telling all households to get ready to fork out another RM330 each of GST next year. Hidup MO1!

Lanterns, Gazebos and Hannah Yeoh ft. 1MDB

Good morning. Last night I attended the lantern festival at ss15 Subang Jaya. YB Hannah Yeoh officiated a new gazebo/wakaf there, which was professionally done.

The contractor, Azura has been most impressive in her work. Upon the recommendation from Hannah’s office, we tried her for two small community projects. She did both jobs very well. Community leaders were also very impressed by the friendliness and quality of work. Score one for women entrepreneurs!

I also attended YB Charles Santiago’s 1MDB talk in Klang. I was asked last minute to takeover Tony Pua’s slot. I talked about my first 1MDB press statement on 1st May 2013, just before GE13. A trip down memory lane when the UK Financial Times interviewed me on the Goldman Sachs bond issue for 1MDB.

Little did anyone know then in 2013, the size of the 1MDB scandal. Back then I was concerned about the obscenely generous fees to Goldman. Since then we have learnt everything from pink diamonds, high end mansions and apartments, mega yatch, private jet…billions stolen! DPM sacked, AG removed. We can’t even mention the word 1MDB in Parliament.

I want to thank YB Charles for arm twisting me to talk about 1MDB last night. It jolted back many memories. Malaysians must never forget what MO1 has done to wreck our democracy, crashed the ringgit and stagnate our economy.

My first ever 1MDB interview is here:

https://www.ft.com/con…/ed31cbde-b222-11e2-8540-00144feabdc0

Any Last Words? – Arthos

If you had told me to consider a job in politics two years ago, I’d have answered with a withering laugh and a resolute no. And yet here I am, having just completed my ‘tour of duty’ with my Member of Parliament and already reminiscing the wild, unpredictable, and occasional ‘I-don’t-actually-know-what-I’m-doing’ moments signature to the office.

It’s been a heck of a ride.

Not going to lie though, there are times I won’t exactly miss. As an officer to a politician, bearing the brunt of the uglier side of humanity was a daily occurrence. It’s one thing to read about the constant mess the country’s going through, it’s quite another to witness, and often times experience, the selfishness of cold, corrupted cowards.

Of course, I’m not just referring to those working exclusively in politics. Idiocy is indiscriminate of profession; I found that out the hard way.

But despite the two-year beating my idealism has taken, it remains surprisingly intact; in fact it’s taken a different form now, a more pragmatic, rational one, I think. And while unsavoury individuals have had a hand in tempering that idealism, the ones who have truly shaped it are those standing at the other end of the spectrum—the inspiring, selfless angels whose friendships I’m not entirely certain I deserve.

There’s an army of you superheroes I owe my thanks: YB Hannah Yeoh and her entire office, my spirited bunch of P104 intern-children, the regular INVOKE Malaysia Kelana Jaya phone bank volunteers, the various community leaders of Seri Setia and Subang Jaya, and the handful of statespersons and their supporting staff who are actual servant leaders.

However, my deepest gratitude goes to P104.

The value of the lessons I’ve gained from my time at the office is immeasurable. I’ve learned that the battles worth fighting for are often the toughest. I’ve learned that hypocrisy may lie behind apathy and inaction. I’ve learned that it’s important to always do the right thing even if—and especially if—another resents it.

But above all, I’ve learned that in striving for a better tomorrow, whether for the country, state or community, never forget the reason you choose to fight. The office embodied this lesson when part of our reason became each other.

And it shows. Regardless of whatever setback the office was thrown headlong into, we never stopped looking out for one another in ways unique to each P104-ian. Wong Chen insisting we go on an office trip to see fireflies. Abigail brewing us hot chai tea after a grueling day at work. Tania buying us gifts out of the blue for no particular reason.

Those are just the small gestures. I haven’t even gotten to the significant ones, or those from our office volunteers yet.

That said, I’m not implying that we’re the perfect posse; far from it. We’re a ragtag bunch of misfits who stumbled and fumbled into politics almost entirely by accident. I personally question on a regular basis the sanity of my choice to delay my pupillage and join a team who has chosen to shoulder a seemingly insurmountable challenge. But in the midst of the unbridled laughter and angry tears, the teasing lilts and the exasperated sighs, we became each other’s constant reminder that there is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for.

So thank you. To each and every one of you. You have given me unconditional support; it is only fair that I pledge mine in return.

Stay whelmed, and may the Force be with you all.

Nadirah Sharif
Former Research Officer and “chief of staff” to the Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya

Any Last Words? – Aramis

Good afternoon! Tania here with a final/farewell post as research officer to Wong Chen, before I fly off to study in Oxford for two years.

What I’ve learnt from serving alongside the P104 office family can’t be fully expressed in a Facebook post, but these wise words of an Oxford alumna do help:

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour [help, relief] of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” —J.R.R. Tolkien

You don’t need to work for an MP to know that corruption and injustice stain our country, but one year of policy research, parliamentary proceedings, and community service constantly and clearly puts it in your face.

It’s not in any of our capacities to fix all that’s broken in Malaysia’s systems, but we can do what’s in us for the good of our country.

I’m thankful to have worked with those who do just that: Wong Chen raises the standard of policymaking in Malaysia, and mentors his staff and interns to do the same. YB Hannah Yeoh’s office downstairs (that’s us staff together!) exemplifies teamwork between MP, ADUN, and local council. Our volunteers make time on Mondays for service night or on Thursdays for phone-banking with INVOKE Malaysia.

(You too can join P104’s humble service: email tinalai.wongchen@gmail.com if you’re interested in being a polling & counting agent [PACA] in GE14, or research@wongchen.com if you’d like to intern.)

Whether you’re an honest politician keeping yourself free from love of money, or an honest employee doing your job as best as you can do, thanks for serving Malaysia in your own way. My job here might be over but our fight for our country continues!