2016 Second Parliamentary Session: Week 3
21st March 2016
Good morning from Parliament. Today the ministers will start their replies to our Parliamentary debate. My debate was mostly on Finance, so am expected to get my replies after 2 pm today.
Now, a quick roundup of my weekend activities. My weekend was all on Seri Setia side. YB Hannah held the fort on the Subang Jaya side.
On Saturday, IJM corp officially handed over the refurbished Desa Mentari, Desa Ria and Kampung Lindungan playgrounds to the PJ Mayor. Last December, IJM mobilised about 500 of its staff to my urban poor areas and rebuilt the 3 playgrounds.
After that I attended PKR’s party central committee meeting. On Saturday night, I went to the Hopo Chinese association annual dinner. The dinner was long but entertaining with some 20 performances. More importantly, I managed to gather very insightful economic and business views from businessmen.
On Sunday, I joined a gotong royong in Kampung Lindungan, a PKNS low cost area. I was really impressed by the sense of “kampung” community there. It is a traditionally strong hold of UMNO and it’s still very sensitive to talk about openly about Najib, 1MDB and GST. But the people were welcoming and the residents’ chairman was happy to inform me that my staff were very professional and friendly.
After that I went to a Women’s Day event in Desa Mentari and visited a poor Indian lady whose husband had just passed away. My office will assist her in filing up forms and chase up with the Seri Setia ADUN for Selangor government contribution towards funeral expenses. Lastly, I dropped by a wedding in the locality for 5 minutes, congratulated the father of the bride before going to an appointment with a PHD student doing research on industrialisation policy. The rest of the weekend, I played with the kids and read them books and made up silly stories.
22nd March 2016
Good morning from Parliament. I arrived at 9 am but traffic was really bad this morning. It usually takes 20 minutes to Parliament but today was a 40 minute crawl.
Yesterday, the Deputy Finance Minister and I had a few exchanges of friendly words during his reply to my King’s speech 2 weeks ago.
He read my four suggestions on how to improve government fiscal policy, and to everyone’s surprise he then said that he wholly agree with my ideas. I stood in reply to thank him and suggested that he becomes the Finance Minister to replace Najib. Knowing that Dato Johari is a corporate man, I said no company has a CEO who is also a CFO. How can Najib be PM and also Finance Minister? Malaysia boleh!
24th March 2016
Its 8 pm and I am still in Parliament. The sitting is extended to an indefinite time to allow all 7 Ministers in the PM Department to finish their answers to our debate. We are expected to wrap up around 10 pm.
I have to say that this Parliamentary sitting so far has been a non event. There is a general mood of worry and haplessness. The reporters are also feeling the same. A friend recently sent a message lamenting that all of Malaysia is unwell, having an acute case of “corruptionitist”.
This morning, I got to Parliament at 8 am but was feeling really tired of how things are done in Parliament.
Yesterday, during an urgent motion, we debated on a reported case of widespread abuse in a child care centre in Kuantan. The story was reported by a local newspaper and YB Fuziah (PKR Kuantan) pushed for an urgent debate after she was refused entry to the centre. She had wanted to do a surprise visit but was turned away at the gates.
During the debate, the Deputy Minister Dato Hajjah Azizah Mohd Dun (UMNO) insisted that everything is OK. Dr. Noor Azmi, Bagan Serai (UMNO) the biggest supporter of GST in Parliament, stood to even suggest that the report and photos may not be real.
The welfare of 162 children are at stake and instead of acknowledging that there is a problem and promise to do something urgently, the Deputy Minister, Hajjah Azizah Mohd Dun (remember her name well) chose to whitewash the matter. If she thinks the newspaper reports are fake, why not sue the newspaper? No answer. But she just went on defending the child care centre.
To me that was the lowest point of this sitting so far. Lower than the gag order attempt on RM2.6 billion.