Saturday, May 30, 2009

Debate on Local Government Elections

The general public was never given the chance or freedom to have a say about their local town council.

One way to resolve the problem is by giving a chance to the local public to have their say about the way the local council is set up.

My office will be organizing a debate on the restoration of local council election on:

Date : 7th June 2009 (Sunday)
Time : 2:30pm
Venue : Sri Sedaya School, SS13 Subang Jaya

Free admission to all.

Participating debaters will include:
-YB Tony Pua Kiam Wee (MP for Petaling Jaya Utara)
-YB Gobind Singh Deo (MP for Puchong) and
-YB Sivarasa Rasiah (MP for Subang).
VS
-Iqbal Hafiedz Ahmed Bazari (Best debater in the Inter Asian Universities Debate)
-Suresh Gnasegarah (Semifinalist in All Asians Debating Championship 2002, overall best speaker)
-Faisal Moideen (Semifinalist in All Asians Debating Championship 2002)

The objectives in organizing this debate are:
- Exploring methods of local govt elections
- Pros and cons of local govt elections

Those who are interested to find out more about local council election are welcome to attend.

Have you ever felt that the service of the local town council is not up to par or below standard? Or having made numerous complaints through various media and yet nothing seem to be done about the problem for many years? Overcharged for simple fixes such as damaged drain by the local council?

The cause of the problem can be traced to the way the local council is set up. The control of power has been the same for many, many years. When this happens, the local council tends to take the needs of the residents lightly as there are no external parties to threaten them and they end up slacking in their duties and thus not serving effectively.

The general public was never given the chance or freedom to have a say about their local town council.

One way to resolve the problem is by giving a chance to the local public to have their say about the way the local council is set up. This can be done by having a vote or election just like how the public normally votes for their government but the people will be voting for their local council instead. The practice of having a local election is not new as it has already been established in other countries such as Australia.

In this way the local council committee will be forced to improve services or risk being rejected by unsatisfied citizens and replaced with a more promising local council board that can better take care of their needs. The local council also will be more transparent to the public and the people’s state of living will be vastly improved.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Transforming our Millennium Park!

Our aim to transform and restore the Millennium Park in SS13 Subang Jaya from the concrete white elephant that it once was to a green lung is moving into the next phase with the planting of trees this coming June! In conjunction with World Environment Day, we will be planting about 200 trees together with MPSJ and JKP Zone 1. I invite all residents to come join us on that day with your family and lend a hand in planting some trees:
Date : 6 June 2009 (Saturday)
Time : 9:30am to 11:30am
Place : Millennium Park at SS 13, Subang Jaya
Items to bring along : Gloves, spades and cangkuls

The very controversial RM3,000,000 Millennium Park built many years ago has been in a sorry state for some time. You can read some of the old articles here and here. As pledged earlier, this place will now be green again. Demolition work has completed and we hope to see this former white elephant restored to a green lung. Residents, come and play your part in reclaiming this park!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Town Hall for USJ 12 and 13

Three days before the town hall meeting for USJ 12 and 13, we were invited to a gathering/meeting by the Rukun Tetangga for USJ 13. During that meeting, we got to know the team and we managed to discuss the issues pertaining to USJ 13.

At the town hall on last Wednesday night, a good crowd of about 300 residents came out to listen to updates on issues concerning them. One of the main issues I spoke to the residents about was the traffic changes on Persiaran Tujuan. The trial run of the traffic improvement has yielded extremely positive feedback from the residents of USJ 12 and 13. The loudest applause was reserved for the new traffic system.

Tony Pua was also present to brief the residents on the water restructuring scheme in Selangor.

A little girl came up to me right after my speech requesting me to pen a few words on her booklet entitled Hak Asasi (produced by Suara Rakyat Malaysia "Suaram") which was given out free to the residents as part of our educational program. We also distributed educational leaflets on dengue and our very own Selangorkini, a newsletter produced by the state government.

At the end of the session, there was a brief Q&A time and residents were treated to a light supper before they went home. We also conducted voters registration exercise for those who have yet to register as voters. Look out for the next town hall coming to your neighbourhood!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Put an end to nonsensical arrests

Lawmakers present at the press conference - MP for Serdang Teo Nie Ching, ADUN for Teratai Jenice Lee, ADUN for Subang Jaya Hannah Yeoh, ADUN for Rawang Gan Pei Nei and ADUN for Kampung Tunku Lau Weng San together with other NGOs

Just barely two days ago, several of us lawmakers & representatives from NGOs were speaking to reporters at a press conference condemning the arrests of lawmakers and civilians at a peaceful candlelight vigil. Hours ago, Jenice Lee (ADUN for Teratai) has once again been arrested by the police at a candlelight vigil. I hope the same enthusiasm to arrest peaceful civilians can be applied by the police in addressing the alarming crime rate in our communities. Close to 150 arrests have been made over the last 2 weeks; beginning with the arrest of Wong Chin Huat, escalating during the Perak state assembly sitting on May 7, and continuing with further clampdowns even in parts of KL and Selangor. It seems like any public show of dissent against the constitutional crisis in Perak justifies a reason for arrest. If you can be arrested for wearing black, holding a candle or lighting a birthday cake, then democracy has truly come to an end in Malaysia.

The Home Ministry is blatantly abusing the powers of the police force. Many of us want to know why precious police resources (hundreds of police personnel, patrol cars, even helicopters) are being deployed to break up peaceful candlelight vigils instead of being used to patrol and monitor our streets and our homes? Subang Jaya has very recently been subjected to attacks by groups of Mat Rempits. Is the Home Minister serious in solving this problem? Well, it doesn't seem like it. Our Home Minister, Hishammudin Hussein is busy solving the UMNO problem in Terengganu. Yes, UMNO problems come first. That's the priority of our Home Minister. He's also busy reviewing the UMNO constitution, as he's heading the UMNO Constitution Amendment Technical Committee. This is what our Home Minister is up to these days - UMNO party work. The police force needs urgent revamp, the judiciary requires urgent rehabilitation, but all of these seem to be sidelined for the sake of transforming UMNO first.

USJ 6 residents against nine-storey building

Photo courtesy of SJ Echo

[Article from The Star, Metro on May 20 2009]

RESIDENTS in USJ 6 in Subang Jaya have reiterated their objection to a proposed nine-storey office development on a piece of land belonging to TM Facilities, and are appealing to the authorities to rescind the approval.

The proposed development is within Telekom Malaysia’s tele­com­munication exchange premises in Persiaran Perpaduan, USJ 6.

“We filed a request at the Appeals Board on Monday seeking the necessary information and documents from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ),” said pro tem committee spokesman Philip Soong.

“We have been requesting for these information since the public hearing at the MPSJ on the project last June, but have yet to receive them.”

The residents are requesting for the development proposal report (including the Traffic Impact Assessment study), proposed layout plan and detailed information with supporting documents on the conversion of the land.

Their hearing at the Appeals Board is scheduled for May 28.
Soong said the residents were objecting to the project because the area in question lacked sufficient infrastructure support and its proximity would affect residents in USJ 6 and the surrounding area.

“Motorists who frequent Taipan (opposite USJ 6) also park their vehicles illegally in our residential area.

“The plot of land was originally designated for public amenities, and we are questioning how that land has since been alienated for commercial pur­poses,” he said.

It was reported that the project on a 0.35ha plot of land is a joint venture between TM Facilities and developer Pujangga Budiman Sdn Bhd, which would build the commercial development with two levels of basement car park.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said she had raised the issue with the state assembly in March 2009, and subsequently wrote to the state planning committee and Selangor Mentri Besar’s office when she did not receive a reply at the state assembly.

She questioned how the land status was changed from its original public utilities status to commercial within a two-year period.

“The MPSJ had received an application for a sub-division of the said land, but rejected it twice during the November 2005 and February 2006 full board meetings after concluding that the land was a Telekom reserve.

“Two years later, an application was submitted for the proposed project, along with the land title that stated that it is located on commercial land.

“However, when I checked with the land office, the status of the land is still earmarked as a Telekom reserve,” said Yeoh.

“The residents don’t recall ever being informed of a public hearing on the conversion of land status, and we want to see the notices from the landowners if ever such a public hearing was held.”

“I urge the state planning committee to revoke the proposed project under Section 25 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1976, and for the MPSJ to furnish the information and documents that the residents have asked for.

“I will also bring up the issue at the next Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) meeting to explain the issue in detail to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and the 10 state executive councillors who sit in on MTES.”

Soong said the residents hoped that Khalid and the state government would take action soon as the issue affected some 5,000 residents in USJ 6.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Senseless arrests

My friends Teo Nie Ching (Member of Parliament for Serdang) and Jenice Lee (State Assemblyman for Teratai) have once again been arrested by the police while they gathered at a candlelight vigil at Teresa Kok's office in Seputeh. These constant arrests are a reflection of the insecurities of the Federal government considering the peaceful nature of such candlelight vigils. Freedom of expression and assembly without posing any threat or disturbance to public order should be allowed. These are women elected representatives who have been fighting tirelessly against crime in their constituencies and here they are - arrested for being dressed in black and holding a candle!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Satu lagi projek Barisan Nasional?

I have just been informed by several community leaders in Subang Jaya that MCA Kelana Jaya Division led by Mdm Ong Chong Swen is organising a consultation session with resident reps in her office on information pertaining to the LRT route provided by the Ministry of Transport. Since last year, we have been calling on the LRT concessionaire (Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd) and the Ministry of Transport to provide MPSJ with the proposed LRT route. To date, my office and MPSJ has yet to receive any news from them. This is despite official letters and even a public briefing for the residents which was organized by residents with my office. We have been kept waiting for months to hear of anything from Prasarana and the Ministry of Transport.

A proper consultation session should be organised by the Ministry of Transport or the LRT concessionaire involving MPSJ, the Member of Parliament, State Assemblymen, MPSJ councillors and all affected residents. The LRT project is not funded by Barisan Nasional or MCA, it is funded by the federal government using taxpayers' money. What is the role of MCA Kelana Jaya in this consultation session? So many questions remain unanswered. The Minister of Transport has to be more forthcoming. Inviting selected resident reps to attend a consultation session on the LRT route in a MCA service centre is highly inappropriate. The people of Subang Jaya is being denied key information for the sake of political mileage with MCA tagging onto the LRT project and trying to use this to score political points. I reiterate the case here again: the people's elected reps should not be denied information and access to the due process for a government project that has implications affecting everyone. The LRT is not a "Projek Barisan Nasional" or a "Projek MCA".

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Town Hall for USJ 12 and USJ 13 residents

This Wednesday, my team and I will be organising a town hall meeting for the residents of USJ 12 and USJ 13. Here are the details:-
  • Date : Wednesday, 20 May 2009
  • Time : 9:00pm sharp
  • Venue : Park located at USJ 13/1 and USJ 13/1D

YB Tony Pua (Member of Parliament for PJ Utara) will also be present to speak on the water restructuring effort by the Selangor state government. See you there!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Launch of SS15 Neighbourhood Watch

Last weekend, my office led by Edward Ling and the pro-tem committee of the SS15 Neighbourhood Watch organised a meet-the-residents session in SS15. This initiative started when a group of concerned residents turned up at my office to discuss about the rising crime rate and the gated or guarded scheme. SS15 has a large business community, colleges, schools and residential homes. As such, a gated or guarded scheme will be difficult to implement. However, this group of residents is determined to bring about change in their neighbourhood. They met up with the police and decided to do patrolling on their streets. Very quickly, a pro-tem committee is established.

At the meet-the-residents session, the pro-tem committee was introduced to the residents. There was a huge turnout by the residents. MPSJ councillor Mdm Theresa Ratnam Thong, committee members of JKP Zone 1, Mr Robert Chan of SJ Alert, Dr Roslan of MPSJ and YB Loh Gwo Burne were all present to address the residents. MPSJ councillor Ken Chia of JKP Zone 2 was also present to extend his support.

Mothers also received a surprise from my office in conjunction with Mother's Day celebration. I also allocated money from the state allocation for purchase of 4 bicycles, walkie-talkies, safety vests, t-shirts and torch lights to assist the residents in their patrolling efforts.

I have said before that gated or guarded scheme is not a long term solution. The Home Ministry needs to improve its police force. In the interim, residents are encouraged to participate in fighting crime together for the safety of their neighbourhood.

I urge more young people to come out and assist the pro-tem committee in making their streets safe again. Congratulations to the team for working hard and thumbs up for the multiracial composition, initiative and giving of their time and energy to serve others voluntarily! For those who wish to assist the pro-tem committee, please contact En Borhan Rahmat at brborhan@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Site visit to Wangsa Baiduri

I was at Wangsa Baiduri together with MPSJ councillor Mdm Theresa Ratnam Thong and representatives from Residents' Association for a site visit on the infrastructural problems there. The issue to be determined now is whether the Developer has surrendered the common areas to MPSJ. A further meeting will be called by MPSJ to resolve this issue once and for all.

Read more about it here as reported in The Star today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The beauty of a multiracial Malaysia

I ran for office because I believe in speaking up for all Malaysians and not for a particular race. I honestly believe that race based politics must be put to an end. In everything I do, I remind myself that I am an elected representative for all. In Subang Jaya, I am blessed to be able to work closely with so many different groups of residents. Below are some pictures from last weekend:

Hosting a luncheon for single mothers in conjunction with Mother's Day




Visited Sri Subramaniar temple in Bandar Sunway in conjunction with Chitra Pournami




Visited the Subang Jaya Buddhist Association in conjunction with Wesak Day




Nation-building will not be achieved with the mere brandishing of a new slogan nor will it ever be realized by leaders who are race-based. A nation of one people can only materialize if everyone truly lives as such.

From May 13 to 1Malaysia – The Future of Malaysian Nation Building

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the May 13th incident, the office of ADUN Kg Tunku, YB Lau Weng San will hold a public forum entitled “From May 13 to 1Malaysia – The Future of Malaysian Nation Building” on 13th May 2009 (Wednesday), 8.00pm in Civic Hall, MBPJ, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Bearing in mind the nation’s difficult past, the objective of this forum is to enable a group of Malaysians from different backgrounds and of different eras to explore together a Malaysian future that will become our common destiny.

Invited speakers include:
1. Y. Bhg Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad (Former Political Secretary to Tun Abdul Razak)
2. YB Lim Kit Siang (DAP MP for Ipoh Timur)
3. YB Nizar Jamaluddin (PAS MP for Bukit Gantang & Chief Minister of Perak)
4. YB Khalid Abd. Samad (PAS MP for Shah Alam)
5. K. Ragunath (Chairman of Malaysian Bar Council)
6. Chan Nyan Hoi (Retired Judge of Court Of Appeal)
7. Associate Professor Dr. Azmi bin Sharom (Lecturer of UM Faculty of Law)
8. Tricia Yeoh Su-Wern (Research Officer of Selangor Menteri Besar’s Office)

Each panelist will be given 10 minutes to lay out her/his ideal Malaysian future, and the audience will have the opportunity to voice their own versions of “1Malaysia”. The forum will end with each panelist given 10 minutes to wind up her/his speech.

Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome to attend this forum.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Self-installed kings

May 7th - a black day for Malaysia. I struggle to find the words to describe this day. After witnessing the despicable manner of how BN and its agents rummaged and destroyed the sanctity of the Perak state assembly proceedings, I can't help but conclude that the recent premiership transition is a transition from bad to evil.

The events of May 7th saw the speaker's chair being destroyed during the forceful removal of Sivakumar from his seat. This is not simply a physical destruction of a chair, this is the destruction of the role of the Speaker, of any Speaker in a legislative assembly of a BN administration. BN has shown that it has absolutely no regards for the rights of a duly elected Speaker of the House. BN violated the rules of the House by ordering plainclothes "officials" to remove the Speaker. This is nothing more than BN instituting "official" thugs to control the proceedings. If BN can physically drag a Speaker out of his seat just to install their own man, imagine what they will be willing to do and have done all these years to ensure that they get it their way in other matters in running the state and nation.

BN has installed themselves as kings. BN has committed treason to the nation. They have reduced the role of the monarchy to one of a mere rubber-stamp. UMNO has indeed established a new royalty: UMNO Putra, UMNO Puteri and now UMNO Raja with a slew of palace butlers in the likes of MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP and the rest of BN to fan the palm leaves for these self-installed kings. They have turned Malaysia upside-down. Power that must come from the people is now repositioned to rest with BN. So many lawmakers, activists, journalists and even students were arrested. I wish the same enthusiasm could be applied in addressing crime in Malaysia. Where are these plainclothes "officials" to catch Mat Rempits, snatch thieves and robbers?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Off The Edge

This month, Nurul Izzah (MP Lembah Pantai), Gan Pei Nei (ADUN Rawang), Jenice Lee (ADUN Teratai), Elizabeth Wong (ADUN Bukit Lanjan) and me (ADUN Subang Jaya) are all covered in the special May issue of Off The Edge magazine. Get a copy to find out more about our experiences, hopes and struggles in politics.

Monday, May 4, 2009

To honor our parents...

Click here for more details on how you can participate in this contest. Share with us the sacrifices your parents have made for you.