Good afternoon, Nadirah here! Our biannual newsletter is finally ready. Apologies for the delay, there was a slight mishap with the accounts; this is what happens when you let law students do math.
Dear Kelana Jayans,
Happy 2017 to all. This is my eighth newsletter to the people of Kelana Jaya. My team and I will continue to produce a newsletter every six months to update you of our works and services. This edition is the 2016 year-end issue and we append herewith our financial accounts for the year.
I am happy to report that from July to December 2016, I attended every Parliamentary sitting and delivered several legislative speeches and interjections. Most notable are my debate speeches on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Bill and the amendments to the Finance Bill. However, the highlight of the last six months was the crafting of the Alternative Budget for Pakatan Harapan. This is the second year that my office has led the creation of the budget document. We worked on this document forabout 3 months and had a very good working relationship with our partners from DAP and Amanah.
National Economic Issues
My fellow Kelana Jayans, the state of the Malaysian economy in Q3 and Q4 2016 was just terrible. The Ringgit plunged again as the 1MDB scandal unfolded in the Singapore courts. There is no denying that the investor and consumer confidence levels have continued to erode over the last six months. On paper, we recorded a modest GDP growth but in reality, the picture on the ground is very different and very negative. Most businesses suffered an average of 15% to 20% drop in revenue. Some 75,000 people lost jobs; car sales and house sales retreated to crisis level scenarios. The federal government continues to struggle on financial governance and introduced deep cuts in public health and education.
The light at the end of the economic tunnel appears to be the announced infrastructure investments from China. However with Drumpf’s election, the prospect of a severe US-China trade war may have negative consequences on these prospects. If China falls into a crisis this year, we can expect these infrastructure investments to be shelved. What then will help us out of our economic quagmire?
There are three things that need to be done immediately. Firstly, is the resignation of the Finance Minister to decouple the illogical dual role played by the Prime Minister. This must then be followed by the prosecution of key 1MDB players to restore investors’ confidence. Lastly, a massive crackdown on corrupt practices must be carried out to free up billions of government money that can be better utilised to re-active and pump our economy out of a crisis.
Unfolding Political Issues
The biggest issue to dominate the political scene in the last six months has been Hadi Awang’s so called hudud bill. Fortunately, the bill was meekly withdrawn by Hadi Awang after a revolt from BN component members from Sabah and Sarawak. Pakatan Harapan had opposed the bill but did not have the numbers until BN Sabah and Sarawak stepped in at the very last hour to compel UMNO to stop Hadi’s 355 Bill. This revolt has somewhat dampened the UMNO and PAS romance. However, we are aware that Najib and Hadi are determined to push ahead together some sort of partnership.
On another note, Pakatan Harapan has agreed to work on an electoral pact with Bersatu. The ongoing multi-party and multi-level negotiations are set to continue into 2017. The political permutations are complex and endless. The danger for all is that politicians in seeking new political alignments may lose sight of the fact that the voters are in fact very tired of politics. All being said, 2017 is also expected to be election year.
On a personal front, my office has been very supportive of the efforts of INVOKE Malaysia and urge all to join and support them. INVOKE is a non-partisan political volunteerism movement. Please do visit their site at www.invokemalaysia.org and get involved. I want to thank all 30 Kelana Jaya INVOKE volunteers who did phonebank calls and canvassing activities.
For the entire year of 2016, we attended 123 constituency events and functions, averaging 2.3 events per weekend. In order to better engage our consitutuents on policy matters, my office started our Monday Night Chat live stream programme. We completed ten episodes, all uploaded on youtube.com under channel name wongchentv. Catch us every Monday night on www.facebook.com/wongchenpkr/.
For 2016, our community allocation of RM250,000 was distributed transparently with 38% for hardcore poor, 25% for projek kecil, and 37% for associations. Transparency and accountability mean a lot to us as such, please find attached our complete accounts for 2016.
I want to thank both my ADUNs, YB Hannah Yeoh and YB Nik Nazmi, all the councillors, and JKP members for their dedicated services to the people of Kelana Jaya. I want to also thank my three staff, seven volunteers, and fourteen interns for all their hard work and dedication.
Lastly, I am aware of the many challenges ahead for 2017. My officers and I will take these challenges in good stride and deal with them with clear minds and brave hearts.We will continue to fight for your rights and put all our efforts to make Malaysia a better and fairer place for all.
Yours sincerely, Wong Chen