Parliamentary Debates: MDEC and 1Malaysia 1Harga
I debated on the budget of the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia. It's a policy stage debate so I focused on MDEC setting up an office in Silicon Valley, USA. The purpose is to sell and promote Malaysian startups to Silicon Valley. It will cost the country RM4 million a year.
I argued that this is a prestige but ultimately wasteful project. If Silicon Valley wants to invest in a Malaysian startup, they will fly to KL. No need to have an office there. YB Gooi, PKR MP of Alor Setar thinks this is a junket MDEC spending.
The Minister replied that the RM4 million is to be used for several other activities in Silicon Valley and that they estimate that having a presence in Silicon Valley will generate RM100 million returns. I asked the Minister to give me a proper breakdown and since the office started in July 2013, how many deals have they generated from their expected RM100 million of deals.
The Minister said he will give me a breakdown of spending and just ignored the question about the deals completely.
I just finished another debate, this time on the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism. I focused on the 1Malaysia 1Harga project. This project aims to ensure that subsidised goods sold in Sabah and Sarawak have the same prices as subsidised goods in Peninsular Malaysia.
However for 2015, the govt has decided to slash the spending by a massive 60% from RM85 million (2014) to RM33 million (2015). Having a plus-minus 10% change in the budget is understandable, but when you slash something by 60%, there is just something very, very wrong.
I have asked my good friend YB Darrel, MP Penampang to follow up on this matter.