Saturday, August 30, 2008

My interview with Malaysia Today

I did the FACE TO FACE interview with Malaysia Today very recently. You can read about it here. I met RPK yesterday. We had a chat about the ban on his website. The government failed to realise that Malaysians today want Malaysia Today.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The reason why I was there...

This morning I have been busy answering and replying calls and sms from people in relation to the incident reported in NST , Sinar Harian , Malay Mail and The Star today. Some facts were inaccurate and some were omitted. Please find below the sequence of events which took place at MPSJ Full Board Meeting yesterday:-
  • I arrived at the meeting room and asked Urusetia MPSJ for my seat. I informed them I needed to use my laptop. Together with Urusetia MPSJ, we went over to MPSJ seats but discovered that there were no available plugpoints. Urusetia MPSJ then said that I could sit at the end of the table (where councillors would sit) for an available plugpoint.
  • Half way through the meeting, one PKR councillor Keshminder Singh then questioned the YDP as to why I was allowed to sit at the table with the rest of them. Some other councillors immediately reacted to his statement but he insisted that as an observer I should not be allowed to be there.
  • YDP then read out the law that says full board meetings are open to public.
  • Important to note that that all throughout the meeting I did not speak at all (as an observer) and only spoke to clarify as to why I was at the table (for plug point).
  • I then asked the YDP whether he wanted me to move away from the table (I was willing and ready to do that) and YDP replied by saying said there was no need to move.
  • At the end of the meeting, NGO Councillor Tony Chang spoke up and said that majority of councillors have no objection for me to be seated at the table but Keshminder protested.

This incident took place in full view of the pressmen and MPSJ staff. There are many witnesses around, I do not mind the enquiry as to why I was there but the manner this took place was not very pleasant. You can ask the rest of the councillors to comment since they all witnessed it. We are promoting transparency and there is no law/circular specifying that I could not sit at the table (if there was one, I did not receive it). I have no intention of pushing my way through as the ADUN, I was merely there to listen to policies being made which could affect my constituents.

Important to note :

(1) My presence at the table was with the permission of Urusetia MPSJ.

(2) I was not occupying any councillor's seat, I was at the end of the table seated on an extra chair. No councillor was deprived of a seat.

(3) I was there purely for plug point reason.

I hope this clarifies. I have more pressing issues to address in my constituency and this will not deter me from attending future full board meetings as I care for my constituency and will make all efforts to be present.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Town hall meetings

I am in full support of our YAB Menteri Besar's move to have regular town hall meetings. My team and I have been preparing for several town hall meetings (Program Mesra Rakyat) in my constituency, the first one of which will be in September 2008. What is a town hall meeting? According to Wikipedia : A town hall meeting is an informal public meeting derived from the traditional town meetings of New England. Similarly to those meetings, everybody in a community is invited to attend, voice their opinions, and hear the responses from public figures and elected officials, although attendees rarely vote on an issue. In today's heterogeneous communities with large populations, more often, town hall meetings are held so that people can influence elected officials in their decision making or to give them a chance to feel that their voices are being heard. Look out for more details here on my blog!

Meeting the Minister of Rural and Regional Development

I made an appointment to see the Minister of Rural and Regional Development Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib at Parliament yesterday. I went to see him in relation to the public hall (dewan orang ramai) in Angsana USJ 1. I explained the situation to him and requested for him to ensure that the hall is returned to the residents. The Land Office has written a letter to UMNO Cawangan USJ 1 in July 2008 requesting them to surrender the keys of the hall but the residents have yet to receive the keys. He said that he would look into the matter. I await good news.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Status of Draft Local Plan

I checked on the status of the Draft Local Plan today. MPSJ has informed me that the State Planning Committee has appointed the Hearing Committee last week. The State Planning Committee is still sorting out the objections report. The objections report will then be tabled before the Hearing Committee in September. I know many residents have filed their objections to the Draft Local Plan and I am following-up on this matter closely. More updates will be posted when I receive them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Merdeka gift - DSAI's victory!

I just got back from Permatang Pauh. Travelled there together with my husband and the state assemblyman for Bukit Gasing, Edward Lee. We drove around Permatang Pauh trying to find our way to Seberang Jaya to speak at a ceramah there.
Edward Lee driving and my husband, Ram smiling
Permatang Pauh flooded with campaign banners and flags
Heavy presence of the police force everywhere

Having a bad headache now after spending some time in the rain last night campaigning for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ("DSAI"). It was wonderful seeing leaders from Pakatan Rakyat coming together from different states speaking up for DSAI. I had to do my part! Again, people were seen standing in the rain listening attentively at ceramahs. In my speech, I said that the hope of the people of Subang Jaya was in the hands of the Permatang Pauh voters. I am glad they didn't disappoint us.
What sweet victory! Congratulations to DSAI. This is the best Merdeka gift for all of us. My husband is now flying the Malaysian flag at home :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Flats in SS19

Last week I did a site visit to the flats in SS19 together with MPSJ Councillor Theresa Ratnam Thong, representatives from Sime Darby and MPSJ. Some residents took us around the area and highlighted the problems they have to us.
The complaints are largely due to poor maintenance and rubbish collection. These flats have been here for more than 20 years and many equipments, pipes and cables are all old and rusty. Sime Darby has also informed us that the maintenance account for these flats is in a state of deficit due to non-payment by some residents for a long time. This is a common catch-22 situation for many flats, apartments and condominiums whereby residents do not want to pay because of unsatisfactory services and as a result the maintenance account goes into a deficit and inevitably makes any future services impossible to be carried out.
I will be having further meetings with Sime Darby and MPSJ to work on this situation. Representatives from Alam Flora were also present during the site visit and we will be meeting Alam Flora very soon to discuss all the problems related to rubbish collection in my constituency. Please drop comments here with specific details for eg. the road address, the time and date and vehicle no. (if you remember them) and the complaint for me to raise this up. Be specific and please ensure this concerns areas in my constituency only.

Helping the single mothers

I have a heart for single parents. When I was first approached by the spokesperson for these single mothers of my constituency, I was told that they have been given free health check in Kuala Lumpur but was having difficulty coordinating transport to ferry them there. I thought of how the local council could assist these less fortunate ones and I gave a call to Dato' YDP of MPSJ. He arranged for the MPSJ bus to take these single mothers to do their free health check.
I was there to meet the single mothers and to send them off. Very recently I met a young lady from USJ, she's only a year older than me and she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Both her parents are no longer around, she's very much an orphan and is still single. Kanser Network (KanWork) is assisting her. She sat in front of me and asked me what would life be like for her after chemotherapy. I have lost loved ones to cancer and I can understand her concerns. Diseases discriminate no one. We must never forget to help or take along the less fortunate ones as we move society forward.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The painful lesson from my dad

Last weekend I was invited to launch the 30th Kinderland Anniversary Charity Concert and Carnival.
Kinderland centres from all over Klang Valley and even Ipoh were present. I usually try my best to attend events concerning children. They refresh me and remind me of the cause I'm fighting for. Children are the hope of our nation. We must leave behind an inheritance that they can be proud of. In my speech to the parents, I told them not to underestimate the lessons they teach their kids when they're young. I shared with the parents a painful lesson I learned from my dad when I was seven. When I was in Standard One, my classmate used to give me and my sister some of her daily allowance (about fifty cents everyday). Those days, fifty cents could buy me lots of junk food in school. When her mom found out, she reported this to my teacher (who was my neighbour) who then reported this to my dad. When my dad heard this, me and my sister were called to face his wrath! I still remember what he said to me when he made us kneel before him in our living hall. He took out a ruler and he said "this is to teach you never to take anything that does not belong to you". That was the first and only time my father ever hit my hand (Note:I have to make this clear, I am not encouraging parents to hit their children). That experience is still so vivid to me. He disciplined me and I knew my dad did that because he didn't want his children to steal from others though we were not well to do. That was the lesson I learned when I was seven and today at the age of 29, I still carry that lesson with me and that ladies and gentlemen is how my fight against corruption has its root from - never to take anything that does not belong to me and that means taxpayers' money! You can teach your children how to fight corruption, teach them good values while they're young so that when they grow up, they will not depart from them.

Subang Jaya Merdeka Fun Walk 2008

Hundreds of residents came out on Sunday morning to participate in the Subang Jaya Merdeka Fun Walk 2008 organised by the JKP Zone 1. Children, teens, adults and senior citizens came out in full force, ready to have some fun and to win some of the fantastic sponsored prizes. Bicycles, handphones, printers, MP3 players, electronic goods, hampers and even TV sets were given out during the lucky draw session.

Being a young state assemblyman, I was made to participate in the warm up session, to become the flag bearer and also to cycle on a mountain bike! The fun walk does not have winners, the objectives of the walk are to have fun together and to know our neighbours as we walk. I had a good time chatting with residents as we walked.

Health screening was also conducted for residents. There was a hip hop performance and a funny quiz session. Policemen were also honored for their contribution to the people of Subang Jaya. A job well done to the organising committee!

I walked away feeling satisfied seeing residents of different races and generations working together. That's what Merdeka is all about - when Malaysians love for the common good and put aside differences to live together.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Come join us tomorrow!

Subang Jaya Merdeka Fun Walk 2008
Date: Sunday August 17, 2008
Time: 7.15am - Registration 8.15am - Flagoff
Venue: Subang Jaya Medical Centre New Car Park Area
Organised by: JKP Zone 1
(Open to the Public/Free on the Spot Registration)

More than 100 Lucky Draw Prizes to be won.

Special booths for Free Limited Medical Diagnostics by SJMC, MPSJ Dengue Displays and Polis Anti Crime Displays.

To be officiated by Hannah Yeoh, Adun Subang Jaya and Dato' Adnan Ikshan, YDP MPSJ.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What's beautiful in a woman...

Very recently, I was asked by the State Exco to be one of the 3 speakers at the Luncheon Talk in Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam for the Karnival Wanita Anggun. Sharing the stage with me was the Member of Parliament for Kuantan Fuziah Salleh and Dr. Irene Fernandez (an epitome of strength and courage).
With State Exco Rodziah, Dr Irene, MP for Kuantan Fuziah, Puan Sri Salbiah (wife of Menteri Besar Selangor) and State assemblyman for Rawang Gan Pei Nei.

We had to address the topic of "Wanita Sejati Anggun Peribadi". I spoke of what's beautiful in a woman and the importance of mothers and wives in our society today. Many people look to public figures as women of great strength but I personally think the housewives at home play a huge role in nation building. Without them, a house would not be a home. I learned about patience, respect and submission from my mom. Submission is not a sign of weakness, it is strength. My mom still calls me very frequently checking if I want lunch or dinner. I would have to multitask a thousand times more if not for my mom.

I also encouraged the young women not to bow down to pressure, not to succumb to the notion that "slim is beautiful". I shared my experience of my teenage days to them. I was once fairly huge in size (putting on 10kgs in one month) and went into depression after being constantly teased and laughed at by my friends. I gained so much weight, one friend thought I was pregnant. I shunned meeting people. I only ate tasteless canned vegetables in my effort to lose weight.
My belief in God took me out of that hopeless state of mind I was in. Today, though I'm still careful with the food I eat, I encouraged the ladies to work on building character rather than physical beauty. Young girls, if you're reading this - I want you to learn from my mistake, do not torture yourself by starving just to be thin. Good health is priceless. Learn to accept yourself, know that you're loved by your Creator and then with that knowledge, confidence will come. As the state assemblyman, I want to be active in educating and encouraging our young people not to bow down to peer pressure and end up in destructive habits and lifestyle. Be yourself. You can't change the way people view you but you can change the way you see yourself. My heart goes out to women who think they're not beautiful, those who live feeling rejected by husbands, peers and the public. If you need a support group, please email me.

By the way, I'm not cute (as portrayed by the media). I rather be known as one who has a good heart and a beautiful mind.

What my constituents taught me...

Last weekend, I was invited to the Jiran Wanita Hi-Tea organised by the Kawasan Rukun Tetangga USJ 2 & 6. It was a Merdeka celebration and more than 200 ladies joined the event.
The highlight of the event was the dance. The line dancing group from USJ 11 is a huge group and they danced for hours. Women of different generations gather weekly to dance and have fun together. Prior to this, I've only heard of line dancing from my mom and aunties.
In my speech, I told them that I could not sing or dance. I took singing lessons once and my instructor gave up on me, diagnosing me as being "tone deaf". Despite my honest confession, these residents refused to take my 'No' as an answer and insisted that I danced along with them. Even my husband was dragged into dancing along!
This event connected me with the ladies. My constituents taught me how to dance and how to just run, skip and have fun. I learned much from them that day. Thank you ladies!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Subang Jaya residents ate for charity

10 August 2008 - 2 years have passed since Erica Hubbert (aged 9+) left us. Today more than 1000 Subang Jaya residents celebrated her life and death by eating durian for RM10 only and it goes straight to the Children's Wish Society of Malaysia ("CWS") (a national movement initiated after Erica's death to fulfill the wishes of terminally ill children).

The crowd waiting for the event to start

When I was first approached by Allan Hubbert (Erica's dad) and SJ Echo for support towards this project, I decided to offer a challenge. For every RM1 raised, I would pledge RM1 in return (to a maximum of RM10,000). This is taken from the yearly state allocation for my constituency. Let me explain to you why I decided to do so. Annually, I was told that 10,000 children are diagnosed with terminal diseases nationwide. According to one psychologist, losing a child to an illness is among the worst and most feared experiences of one's life. Every young child can sense fear and anxiety in their family members when he/she is terminally ill. CWS wants to step in during this time to bring a smile back to our little ones. It is easier to make a child cry than to make him/her smile.

I too experienced the loss of my little nephew in 2006. My grandparents also lost their child (my favourite uncle) some 18 years ago. They never recovered from that tragic loss. It is not an easy thing to do witnessing the burial of a child.

As the state assemblyman, I do not want to only improve the infrastructure and delivery system of the local government but I also want to improve the lifestyle and welfare of the residents in Subang Jaya. Here, I want to commend Allan and Teoh from SJ Echo for stepping forward in leading this effort to raise funds for CWS. Life or death lies in the Almighty's hands. The beginning and end of one's life is determined by God alone but we, fellow neighbours can add colours to the stories and characters in between. Allan and Teoh have done just that! They coloured the lives of these little ones who have left us too soon. I am glad that today, Subang Jaya residents are also playing their part in doing the same.

I reminded the crowd, "Let us not forget that today is not about durian. I repeat - today is not about durian. Today is about Subang Jaya residents stepping forward to enrich a child's life before they end the brief chapter of his/her life story".

I encouraged the crowd to give out of their riches, to give over and above RM10 if they could afford it. CWS raised more than RM30,000 today! For those who would like to assist CWS - you can email them at cwsmalaysia@gmail.com or call 019 2103623 or 012 3288557. A big thank you to all corporate sponsors, volunteers and residents who made this a success. I want to see Subang Jaya residents lead the nation forward in making Malaysia a better place. We can do it if we put our differences aside and work for a common good.

Erica Hubbert was a little girl in our neighbourhood. Today, 2 years later, she has left behind a legacy and inspired a national movement to ensure other children who will be walking down the same path, walk on it SMILING. I never got a chance to meet Erica but I have been touched and inspired by her life.

You must view the video below.
(Photos and video courtesy of CWS)

video

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

54th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference

The Selangor State Legislative Assembly has sent a few of us to the 54th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
This is my first time at such a conference. The Conference ends on this Saturday. My fellow assemblymen who have been selected to attend this come from both the Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional side. I commend our Speaker Teng Chang Khim for his constant effort in equipping us to be more proficient in governance. We are non-discriminatory. This is true in Subang Jaya. UMNO and MCA members have been to my office seeking help as residents. As an elected representative, I have not sent anyone away just because they are of a different party. I am here to serve all without fear or favour. I will only disagree with you if your cause is one of self gain, discriminatory and damaging to the residents at large.
Standing here with fellow assemblymen Ng Suee Lim (Sekinchan), Dr Mohd. Nasir (Kota Damansara), Anthony Loke (Member of Parliament for Rasah) and Speaker Teng Chang Khim (Sungai Pinang) during refreshment time.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Modern Market in SS15

I have been receiving complaints from the traders at the Modern Market in SS15, Subang Jaya. I arranged for a meeting with them in the morning together with MPSJ officers. They have a long list of complaints about the market, their business, the parking problem, the facilities and the list goes on.
A lot of money have been spent on this market but the traders are complaining that there are insufficient customers. They do not like the private car park system at the market. Each trader took turn to tell me about his/her difficulty conducting business there.
MPSJ has taken note of their complaints and will be improving the basic facilities for these traders. I will also request for MPSJ and the councillors to review the car park system there. Dealing with complaints sometimes it's not an easy task. For some complaints received by us, there would be subsequent complaints by others disputing the former. Finding the best solution requires wisdom and discretion. I want to be wiser with each task I face. I am still learning.

Proposal to changes at Persiaran Tujuan has been deferred

At the last infrastructure meeting at MPSJ, I was informed that the traffic proposal submitted to make certain changes at Persiaran Tujuan has been deferred. This traffic proposal submitted is very similar to the one stated here by a resident. I have heard objections from residents of SS18 and SS19 on this proposal. Councillors have requested for an independent traffic study to be done prior to any changes being made. This study would look into causes of the traffic jam, effect of changes made and etc. This is to ensure that the best solution is employed to tackle the traffic problem. Meanwhile, we still need to rely on traffic police at Persiaran Tujuan during peak hours for now. I will follow up closely with MPSJ and ensure that the study is completed as soon as possible.