The 10th Kelana Jaya Newsletter is Up!
We are very happy to announce that our 10th Kelana Jaya Newsletter is ready, covering the six months period of 1st July 2017 to 31st December 2017. You can download the entire newsletter at the following links:
English Version: http://www.wongchen.com/…/P104-January-2018-Contituency-New…
Malay Version: http://www.wongchen.com/…/P104-Surat-Berita-Konstituen-Janu…
The newsletter foreword is reproduced below:
My Dear Kelana Jayans,
This will be our last newsletter for the 13th Malaysian Parliamentary Session. It has been a great honour for me to serve you as your Member of Parliament (MP) and I shall always treasure the experience. There is no certainty that I will be nominated by my party to defend the Kelana Jaya seat for GE14. However, if given the opportunity, I am confident of delivering the same with your support.
PARLIAMENTARY UPDATES Let me recap to you what has happened in Parliament in the last six months. We had two parliamentary sittings; the first from the 24th of July to the 10th of August 2017, and then the second all-important budget sitting which was from the 23rd of October to the 30th of November 2017. I’m very happy to report that I attended every single day of both sittings and delivered in total 18 key policy speeches on a range of legislations and also the budget. During both parliamentary sittings, my officers and interns carried out extensive research and helped to craft my speeches.
We also scored our biggest legislative victory in my first term as an MP. In July, while researching on the Employee’s Insurance System (EIS) Bill 2017, I discovered that the government had intended to overcharge employees and the working poor by almost RM 1.1 billion. Our media exposé put the government on the defensive, resulting in the last minute withdrawal of the bill. During informal meetings at the MP Lounge, some senior BN ministers graciously conceded to me that my EIS numbers were accurate. This resulted in major amendments to the EIS bill which was re-tabled and passed in November 2017.
I understand that many MPs feel that Parliament is a rubber stamp and therefore debates are mere formalities. Our office believes otherwise. With perseverance and hard work, we can still make a difference despite overwhelming odds in Parliament.
PAKATAN HARAPAN ALTERNATIVE BUDGET 2018 AND POLICY DEBATES For the recent budget season, my office led the drafting of the Pakatan Harapan Alternative Budget 2018. This is the fourth year that my office has led the Opposition budget team. The project to draft the budget was a bit more substantial this year as we had to include economic policies that will be incorporated into the coming GE14 Pakatan Harapan manifesto. It took us about two months to complete the 75-page document, and I am proud to say this is our most comprehensive budget to-date. On the actual budget debate itself, I took part as one of the early PKR speaker after Datuk Seri Wan Azizah (Leader of the Opposition). Subsequently, I took part in policy debates against the following ministries: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities. I also took part as the sole debater, for the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2017 and a few other minor legislations relating to the budget.
QUARREL WITH THE SELANGOR GOVERNMENT This has also been a year where our office has had some challenges which we overcame by embracing full transparency. As you may know, we got into a bit of a quarrel with the Selangor government over the freezing of our community spending. We have done absolutely nothing wrong, and to emphasise our case, we took the unprecedented step to fully disclose all documents and correspondences regarding the matter in July 2017. We called a press conference, made every document available online, and released a video to state our case. By adopting full transparency, we were fully vindicated after the Selangor government reinstated our community spending. Whilst vindicated, this matter is not over. I intend to push for more reforms in the Selangor government audit and reporting process after GE14 so that no MPs will have to suffer the injustice that we endured.
ASSET DECLARATION EXERCISE WITH INVOKE Continuing our full embrace of transparency and accountability, our office helped and led the INVOKE’s asset declaration exercise in November 2017. I have declared my assets fully and so has 26 other MPs, state assemblypersons (ADUN) and senior politicians. I would like to urge all my constituents to fully support these politicians that have taken this historic step of walking the talk on anti-corruption efforts. It is not acceptable that politicians, especially those in executive positions, to talk about fighting corruption and yet refuse to declare their assets. Our office will continue to collaborate closely with INVOKE as we prepare to face the coming GE14.
COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY On the community front, we are very pleased to report that from June to December 2017, we have attended 87 community events in Subang Jaya and Seri Setia. A very big thank you and congratulations to all the committee and organisers of these events. At the same time, we organised four major community projects in the last six months: two Family Portraits Project on 5th August and 26th August 2017 respectively, a Medical Camp on 20th August 2017, and the Financial Planning and Fire Safety Forum on 9th December 2017. In addition, we carried out our Bulan Kebajikan (welfare month) where the officers and interns dealt with more than 543 applicants, of which we approved payments to 304 applicants.
POLICY RESEARCH AND INTERNS FOR 2017 On policy research we are very pleased to report that we have published ten policy papers in 2017, one alternative budget and two newsletters. As for our internship program, we have trained and mentored a new record of 24 interns in the last twelve months.
OFFICE EXPENDITURE – A BALANCED BUDGET On the financial front, we attached all our financial documents to this report. Our total expenditure for 2017 was RM169,882.53 with an average operating expenditure of RM15,444.00 per month. On community spending, we allocated RM80,995.60 towards welfare grants, RM84,650.00 towards associations and bodies, and RM67,000.00 for small projects.
OFFICERS – GOODBYES AND HELLO In August, we said goodbye to two of my officers Nadirah and Tania Loke. Nadirah won a Chevening scholarship and has started a one year program on public policy at University College London. Tania Loke won the very prestigious Rhodes scholarship and has started a two years program on public policy in Oxford University. We also welcome our new officer Tina Lai who now serves alongside our diva, Abigail. Tina was our former intern, a law graduate, a feminist and a hip hop dancer. So now the office is being harmoniously run by a singer and a dancer!
As always, my officers, volunteers, interns and I will strive to serve you and defend your rights as Malaysian citizens. We will do so with full efforts until the 13th Malaysian Parliamentary Session comes to an end.