Fiscal Transparency & Accountability.
As the head of the Opposition Alternative Budget team for 5 years, he has served in the Public Accounts Committee and is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Special Select Committee for Finance and the Economy. Recently, Wong Chen represented the Opposition in the first ever pre-budget committee engagement with the government. He is a fiscal wonk, as well as a corporate and business professional. His approach is data driven, professional and results oriented. His main areas of focus are fiscal related; from developmental economics to international trade. He strongly believes that unless good governance is introduced and strictly enforced, all policy strategies and solutions will fail or be captured by corruption and abuses of power.
Fair Wages & Workers Rights.
Wong Chen is an enthusiast of Keynesian economics and the Social Market Economy model of the Nordic countries. Reflecting these principles and ideas, he believes that the key to eradicating economic desperation and all other related social ills is the implementation of fair wage. In Malaysia, workers rights have been suppressed in the last four decades. Malaysian workers tolerated authoritarianism in return for fast economic growth. However, in the last two decades, that economic growth has slowed significantly whereas corruption has increased exponentially. Fair wage for all is simply good economics; if implemented well this policy will spur domestic consumption, reduce brain drain, retain capital and give the next generation an equal chance to succeed in Malaysia.
Wong Chen is a core advocate for the re-introduction of the Parliamentary Services Act. Bringing this back will enhance the doctrine of separation of powers and also reduce the unfettered powers of the executive. In addition, he is very involved in strengthening policy making via the creation and empowering of new select committees. For too long, select committees have been dormant and suppressed. On this front, in December 2021, he succeeded in persuading the minister of finance to give each select committee sufficient budget to operate.
Implementing Progressive Policies.
Wong Chen is a strong advocate of Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) and works closely with women NGOs as well as the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). In December 2021, he succeeded in persuading the minister of finance to allocate RM15 million for GRB. His office is a gender safe work environment and he is against all forms of discrimination. He also works with UNHCR Malaysia to devise an insurance system to ensure better access to healthcare for refugees in Malaysia.
Diplomacy, ASEAN, Human Rights
& Climate Change.
The Southeast Asian region has long been plagued by authoritarian leaderships. Together with like minded ASEAN politicians including Mr Sam Rainsy and Khun Kasit Piromya; Wong Chen co-founded SEAC, an informal group advocating an alternative vision for ASEAN. SEAC is committed to the universal values of democracy, respect for human rights and the pursuit of social justice. He engages diplomats on a regular basis and was the first ever Chairman of the Special Select Committee of International Relations and Trade.
Wong Chen also regularly represents Parlimen Malaysia in the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). He is an active member of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR). On matters related to climate change, he represents Asia-Pacific in the Working Group of Science and Technology for the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).