Friday, March 23, 2012

Towards a first class state assembly

The Speech of ADUN DAP of Kampung Tunku Lau Weng San when discussing the Royal Address Motion upholding My Majesty the Sultan of Selangor on 21st March 2012 in Shah Alam:

Towards a first class state assembly

Kampung Tunku would like to take part in the debate on Royal Address Motion upholding Love of His Royal Highness The Sultan of Selangor and I would like to honor the highest to the Sultan of Selangor for His Majesty said has touched many areas of the Selangor State Government administration should be given a serious attention by the Executive.

Out of 20 pages of Selangor Sultan speech yesterday, at least 20 percent of the content touched on the role of the State Assembly as the best medium to solve the matters and issues affecting the people of Selangor.

Even the Majesty also remind all the Honourable Members to discuss the issues involving residents of Selangor with intellectual and not emotionally. The Tuanku advice is very sound and timely and it must be accompanied by empowerment of the Selangor State Assembly as a credible legislative institution.

I together with Kajang State Assemblyman are elected to represent the Selangor State Assembly to attend Westminster Seminar -61 relating to Practice and Procedure of Parliament from 5th to 9th March 2012. We both have been exposed to the various reforms, and it is being held in Westminster.

Among the issues discussed on how the UK parliament works, the existing UK legislative process and reforms that were implemented, the role played by Members Assembly, private bills of Members, Leader of Opposition, Leader of the House, WIP part and working relationship between them, free from any influenced from the Executive, Select Committee, administration and financial management of Assembly, the responsibility of prime minister via Prime minister Question Time, the role of speaker, the role played by Rights and Privileges Committee and its mode of operation. Other than that, UK Parliament has also set up E-Petition at its official website to enable people to raise the issues that they would like to convey to the Members of Parliament.

The discussion on these matters has opened up our minds about the vital role of the House. It also reminds us of the importance of the House to be one which is modern, professional, systematic, efficient and free because the existence of these qualities would enable the House to play its role effectively and become the best medium for its members to exercise their functions as elected representatives.

A requirement that has to be followed before Selangor State Assembly could completely change into first class House is the existence of a system service under the Speaker of Assembly which is independent from Executives and free from any political influences

During the seminar, I was amazed by the statement given by Mr. Robert Rogers, Secretary for House of Commons of UK Parliament, that he was proud the whole Parliament services does not fall under the Executive body and they are not part of the civil services

This statement reminds me of an important facts where the true liberty of State Assembly is not considered to have been accomplished unless it has a service team which is free from any influences by public services. This is because each function that has to be performed, in the context of UK Parliament, it has to be carried out by a professional and independent team under the direction of the Speaker to take the view and needs of each member of State Assembly. UK Parliament free from any form of influences which allows it to monitor and review the overall administration without any restrictions and excessive bureaucracy.

Such a free Assembly should be supported by the independent service and this is the essence of RUU Selangor State Assembly or short form “Selesa”. To welcome the advice of the Majesty, the Selangor State Assembly should be the best medium to resolve the issues and the people, therefore Kampung Tunku recommend the Enactment Selesa should be created in the near future.

Last year, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, The Honourable Dato’ Wan Junaidi also supports to restore Parliamentary Service Act 1963 which was repealed in 1992. The Act provides a services system which is free from any influences from Executive body, the Public Service department has to determine the rights and powers of the Assembly in the course of daily work and financial management of the House.

Thus, for those who remember that this law as something new, then the Parliamentary Services Act 1963 showed the contrary. If the Selangor State Assembly’s proposal to enact Selesa Enactment was supported by Parliament Malaysia, therefore Kampung Tunku did not see any reason not to enact Selesa.

Economic Development and efficiency of local authorities and government departments

His Majesty’s speech also touched on the issue of economic development whereby the GDP for the Selangor State in the year of 2011 was 5.9% and this figure is expected to drop to 5.3%, being in line with the economic circumstances of the world and Malaysia, which are moderate

The Selangor State continues to contribute towards the development of Malaysia’s economy, in which the Selangor State contributed 22% with a total investment record of RM8.74 billion in 2011, together with 263 projects being implemented and as much as 263 job opportunities being created in the process.

These figures are indeed a major leap as compared with the year of 2010 in which the total investment in the Selangor State was only recorded at RM6.53 billion. That notwithstanding, there are still many shortcomings which the government agencies, in particular the Land and District Office and Local Councils, need to work on.

His Majesty the Sultan of the Selangor also urged that we should practice transparency and also to simplify the procedure as well as to speed up the process involved.

Kampung Tunku agrees absolutely with this advice and all parties involved should work together in reducing red tape and bureaucracy so as to attract more investors to invest in the State of Selangor.

For the aforementioned purposes, Kampung Tunku would like to discuss a little about the performance of OSC at LOCAL COUNCILSs of Klang Valley. Kampung Tunku is of the opinion that there are still a few problems which need to be overcome to improve the performance of OSC. This problem is none other than the problem with OSC’s effectiveness in assisting the development of the economy.

Kampung Tunku realised that applicants have filed complaints saying that their applications have been rejected because they have failed to adhere to the conditions required by local councils. This problem surfaced because it is always the case that the documents and plans submitted do not meet the local councils’ requirements. Surprisingly, is the fact that such technical requirements are not clearly stated in local councils’ checklist.

This is because such technical requirements consist of fine technical aspects, leading to the eventual rejection of those applications when in fact such technical requirements could have been made clear to the relevant negotiators or applicants from the very beginning.

For example, Kampung Tunku discovered that one application for Planning Approval handled by MPSJ was rejected by its Building Control Department on the following grounds:
1. To provide for tap/water pipe for every toilet.
2. To submit the plan for the project notice board complete with motto, approved file number and the Majlis’ motto.
3. To check the size of the plan used. Not suitable.
4. Please use water color to make the plan tidier.
5. The design for the Surau is inappropriate. Please discuss.

As the saying goes “The evils lie in the details”; as can be seen, the grounds relied upon to reject the application were ambiguous and subjective, so much so that even things such as the materials used to produce the plan are also under scrutiny. Apart from that, requirements such as the design of the surau is very difficult to define and overtly subjective.

Besides the departments within the local councils, the performance and response of other departments such as JPS and the Fire Department et cetera should also be improved although chances are these departments are not under the jurisdiction of the State Government.

Although the EXCO member has stated previously that those approvals from external departments would be exempted if the representatives of these departments have been absent from 3 OSC meetings consecutively, there is a totally different story at the grassroots level. I am worried that this direction has yet to be communicated to the officers of local councils and thus they are still asking the applicants to obtain approvals from those external departments first before they would give their full approval for their projects.

This also happened because the officers of local councils still insist on strict compliance with all the technical requirements to prevent any unwanted event from happening.

This problem is also aggravated due to the role of OSC, which has yet to function as a truly "One-Stop Centre”. This is because applicants still have to engage runners to submit documents to other departments even though the initial concept of the OSC is to process all the documents at one fixed place and time to save time and to reduce red tape.

Foreign Investment needs to focus more on green & advanced technology which can generate higher income.

Kampung Tunku also interested with Selangor government's explanation regarding Selangor Automobile Belt. Indeed, automobile industry is an industry which can elevate Selangor position as a more advanced state, equal with other advanced countries.

Government must pay serious attention and encourage high return investment. For example, green industries such as solar powered industry, recycling industry, water and air purification, water wastage treatment, biodiesel industry, environment recovery industry, solid waste management, energy storage, alternative energy sources such as solar energy and so on.

Recently, biodiesel was launched in Selangor and the Klang Valley. This product has become an alternative fuel to conventional fossil fuels. Therefore, the state government of Selangor should attract more investment to carry out research on second-generation biodiesel production which does not need to rely on palm oil.

An important condition for high-quality investors to invest in the Selangor is the existence of high quality talents (talent pools) available to provide support services to these industries such as engineering specialists, logistics, service and research

Without these talents and manpower, it is very difficult for Selangor and Malaysia to attract high quality investment because industries with high added value, which listed above, are dependent on highly skilled experts.

Kampung Tunku was very happy with media reports recently that Phison of Taiwan, a company founded by a Selangor man from Sekinchan, Mr Pua Khien Seng in 2000, will invest RM3 million in Malaysia. What is not so encouraging is this company's investment destination is in Penang and the northern peninsula and not in Selangor, even though the founder is from Selangor.

This news proves a fact that Selangor also must compete with other states in attracting high quality investment to the country. Selangor Government can not underestimate the other competitors and have to check what the weaknesses which are still there that high tech investors are willing to invest millions in other states.

If the above shortcomings can be overcomed, then Kampung Tunku is very confident that there is chance to attract high quality investors to invest in Selangor. In fact, Selangor can multiply this figure.

Reshuffle of State government revenue system to reduce the administration cost.

In the previous Assembly meeting, Kampung Tunku had raised the issue of profit margin which previously raised by YAB Menteri Besar, where the YAB Menteri Besar had stated that the margin need to be lowered from 30% to around 7% in order to reduce the State government administration cost.

Kampung Tunku would like to ask the State government what are the steps taken to achieve this target?

Does the Selangor State government set a list of price gap for infrastructure project and acquisition to avoid excessive price was paid to the supplier or contractor?

Does the government also reshuffle the "cut off" system which was first used by the government departments in year 2004, considering the fact that practice of "cut off" system does have the exceptions, namely when the number of tenders received and can be counted after the "freak" price issued less than ten.

It must be noted that the tenderers who offer a lower price than the "cut off" price can also be considered if they have an excellent track record, which has the experience to perform the same work ahead of the schedule. Acquiring a certain factors that can be guaranteed them to do the work with lower price and quality work and time is at the satisfactory level.

Grant "Selangorku" – set up the school bus subsidy for poor students in traditional village

Selangor State government has approved a grant "Selangorku" of RM 300 million which consist of 17 sectors that required serious attention from the government.

The Grant which is so large in size will be administrated by the Menteri Besar Corporation or Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI) proved the solid financial strength of subsidiaries under the Selangor State government. One good thing is that the allocation of this RM 300 million will be revealed to the public without the need of going through the normal bureaucracy process

Kampung Tunku welcomed the Selangor State government policy and Kampung Tunku urged the government to give special attention to the development of rural area. Through the grant of "Selangorku", about RM 10 million will be allocated for urban life expectancy programme and targeted to rural area residents.

Not long ago, a poor Selangor people who lived in rural area facing the transportation problem when the public bus company CityLiner ceased the bus services in few village area.

One of the affected area is Teluk Gong whereby the children to the families of poor fisherman and farmer are unable to attend school due to the cessation of CityLiner bus services. I understand that the students need bus services to go and back from their school, where most of them were located at Pandamaran Jaya area.

By looking at the problem faced by the people at Teluk Gong area and at the same time, Selangor State government also launched the grant of "Selangorku" which allocated RM 10 million to improve the living standard of rural area folks, hence Kampung Tunku suggest to the government to implement a school bus scheme similar to subsidized bus scheme for plantation workers’ children.

The important thing is, the welfare of poor students from rural area should not neglected just because the federal government’s failure to manage properly the public transport system. It is necessary to implement this kind of school bus scheme at different rural areas scattered around Selangor because Kampung Tunku believed the same problem also occurred in other rural areas.

Environmental Protection – Defending Bukit Gasing from being intruded

His Majesty’s Speech also touched on the issue of environmental protection. Kampung Tunku would like to raise a significant environmental issue, the issue of hillside development which is under the administration of City Hall (DBKL)

The residents of Bukit Gasing, Petaling Jaya has organized a protest against the decision not long ago to City Hall to approve a development project in Bukit Gasing which is located in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

Residents protested although some part of Bukit Gasing which is located next to Selangor state has been gazetted as green areas, the next development will also affect the ecology and stability of the soil around the hill.

Regards to ADUN Bukit Gasing, YB Edward Lee is the man who helped a lot the residents of Bukit Gasing to reject the development project approved by City Hall DBKL, but until now it is still a dead end.

What the people of Bukit Gasing regret is the attitude of KL Mayor, who is under the control of BN government, who does not want to compromise and continue to grant approvals to the project regardless of hugh objections from the residents. That is the attitude of so-called which promise to advance the people but in fact they are more advance their own interests.

As citizen of Petaling Jaya, Kampung Tunku request intervention from the Selangor government to assist Bukit Gasing people to solve the problem.

Crisis of water industry restructuring in Selangor

In the last assembly, many parties have the speculation that Selangor will face water crisis in 2014. This statement is also supported by Ministry of Energy, Water and Green Technology last year. Then during the last session, this statement was reported with the argument that all water treatment in Selangor were operating at the maximum level to produce 4,326 million litre of water a day to accommodate 4,197 million litre of water a day, where the margin of the water storage of 129 million litre of water a day is told not sufficient to face any water crisis.

It was a last year story. What else happened recently? Lately, Syabas again repeat its obsolete story that in this year 2012, Selangor would face water crisis. After that, few weeks ago, Syabas announced that the water supply will be cut off for 36 hours to carry out maintainance works on water treatment.

Eventually, Syabas indirectly admitted that the cause of low water margin is due to Syabas water treatment capacity is not properly maintained.

Even so, during the period of disconnection of water supply, many places in Klang Valley still have the sufficient water supply. Does it mean the water crisis touted by certain parties merely a fiction to frighten Selangor people?

However, Kampung Tunku feel relieved because Selangor government under Chief Minister met with the water management experts and legal experts from United Kingdoms to find a way out to solve the water crisis in Selangor.

For the Selangor people’s interest, I would like to request Chief Minister to explain to this Honourable House the findings of experts from UK so that the issues can be solved quickly.

Government Land Ownership Scheme for Private Residential Buildings with premium RM1000

Selangor government made a history by offering Government Land Ownership scheme for private Residential buildings to the people only RM1000 premium. This is one of the administrative reforms that we feel proud of.

This policy is a good policy and Kampung Tunku would like to ask government to see whether this policy may be extended to owners for industrial and commercial land in the new village areas as an additional effort to whiten the illegal factories.

Kampung Tunku recently visited to Kampung Baru Sungai Buluh. There are complaints from the landowner of the factory that they have financial constraints to extend the lease on their land. This happends beacause they have to pay higher premiums before they are allowed to extend their lease. At the same time, they have failed to get the bank loan to pay for the premium because the remaining leases period of less than 20 years.

This problem could be solved if the Government Land Ownership Scheme for Private Residential Buildings can also be used for industrial land where the government may charge a nominal premium of RM100,000 to enable them to extend the lease period and apply a loan from bank to pay the balance in installments.

Defamation against KSSB

Yesterday, we learned that the outcome of the sand during Barisan National is low because the state government at that time did not see the sand industry is an important source of wealth for the state.

This statement seems to say that Barisan Nasional government can not managed the source of wealth in Selangor until the industry may only contribute the royalty of not more than RM4 million every year to Selangor government. Now with clean and trustworthy of Pakatan Rakyat government, royalties paid out from the sand industry has now reached RM16 million a year. It should be noted that the profits of the sand industry has yet to reach the optimum level. It means this royalty still have potential for further improvements.

Selangor government under Pakatan Rakyat has established Kumpulan Semesta Sendirian Berhad (KSSB) to control the sand production from Selangor in a prudent and environmental friendly manner.

KSSB not only contributes royalties to the Selangor government. As a subsidiary of the Selangor Government, KSSB have to pay the dividends of profit to the Selangor government. KSSB also have to contribute to Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor (MES) programme and grant Selangorku. In short, the return of KSSB is the benefit for Selangor government and the benefit of Selangor government is the luck for the people.

Kampung Tunku was agreed with a suggestion from the Honourable Seri Muda yesterday that members of the State Assembly from Barisan National to be appointed for the Board of KSSB to enable them to understand how KSSB operates and avid to make any wild accussations towards KSSB. It is about time for the parties who had the political motive to stop any baseless accusation to KSSB. If they have proof, step forward to make allegations with evidence.

Honourable Member from Kuang also accused Selangor government did not buid any roads for the past four years. Kamoung Tunku conclude that the argument is not true and deflect the House because the answer is written in a question that I raised in year 2011 showed that the government spent RM630 milion to carry out the projects such as build a new roads, upgrading the old road, improving the hills slopes, repair bridges, widening the roads and other infrastructure works since year 2008 to 2010.

Once again, Kampung Tunku would like to draw Kuang attention to The Majesty speech in order all of us to discuss intelectually based on facts.

Yesterday, there was an uproar in the House because ADUN from Seri Muda exposed a scandal involving to our opposition leader and I quote a newspaper report which read as follows:

Winding up session for Selangor budget in year 2012 uproar due to the exposure to the Chief Minister on various abuse of power by Barisan Nasional Selangor involved the loss of million ringgit which also involved the opposition leader, Datuk Satim Diman

Besides Satim, Abdul Khalid also disclosed the acquisiston of land by former Chief Minister Selangor, the wife of Minister of Agriculture and Agro industry and local political leaders in order to own few lots of land in elite area.

In the winding up session, Khalid revealed the opposition leader; Satim Diman made a series of transaction related to the sale of land in Science Park 2 during BN administration

The particular land is state owned land that was given to the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS) for the science education.

According to Khalid (Chief Minister), the provision of land however sold by Satim in a cheap price to Nikmat Inai Sdn Bhd, where Satim is one of the shareholder and member of the Board of Directors.

Pending payment of purchase to PKPS, under his political power, the land was sold to Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) at a double price

Satim Diman has successfully become a middle person to take the profit on the Bumiputera policy, said Khalid
This is how Barisan Nasional wasted money and natural resources of Selangor government. Compare to this scandal and cash reserves which increasing since year 2008, there is a certain significant difference. It is not wrong if anyone sayd Malaysia will bankrupt if BN is given a mandate to administer any of government in Malaysia.

Enough for people to suffer under the Barisan Nasional government, various scandals, corruption, cronyism, and mismanagement has always occurred under Barisan Nasional era. Until the 13th general election, Kampung Tunku believed Selangor people will not fooled by BN and with the grace of God, the arrival of 13th general election, BN’s life will cease at the same time.

Lau Weng San
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