Office of YB Wong Chen
Revisiting Memory Lane
Good morning and happy International Women’s Day to all. This is day 6 of my self quarantine from a secondary contact and all remains well, touch wood. No flu, no fever, no sore throat. It hasn’t been easy being in quarantine, but I am determined to complete the full 14 recommended days of self quarantine. It is the very least I can do for my family, neighbours and the larger community.
As you can imagine, I have had a lot of free time to read. I have started re-reading two of my favourite books that I read in the 1990s; Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley and Slowness by Milan Kundera. I read them when I was an idealistic young man. I must say the books have stood the test of time, or could it be that I have not advanced much in thinking since my twenties? For the last decade or so, I have practically stopped reading fiction and instead read mostly pseudo-academic books on economics, politics, history, philosophy and current affairs. I find myself hungry for data, knowledge and being clever, less so to be more ponderous and introspective. Being in quarantine can really disrupt routine and I find myself, subconsciously squirreling down some memory lanes and taking a breather to look at the bigger picture.
Let’s talk about my office. Please note that despite my absence, my office is actually open. My officers and intern are there to continue to serve my constituents. Last Monday, I instructed my officers, to start re-organising my office in face of the new political reality. We have stopped all community grants and projects, since the federal government funding has halted pending further instructions. We have also segregated our operating financial accounts at the cut off date of 1st March 2020. I am now making preparations to advance my personal money to pay my officers and interns, and keep operations going.
Lastly, while we all brace for this second wave of covid 19 cases in Malaysia, I want to appeal to all to be extra careful in the coming weeks and start to build community trust. If you are unwell or have had contact with a covid 19 victim, it is in everyone’s best interests that you volunteer to be isolated and monitored. We can contain covid 19, but we need to act early and act together.