Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Speech to thank Royal Motion by DAP Kampung Tunku Assemblyman Lau Weng San on 2nd July 2013 at Selangor State Assembly in Shah Alam

1. Salam Ubah! Thank you to the Honourable Speaker for providing an opportunity to Kampung Tunku to participate together in supporting the motion to thank HRH Selangor Sultan’s speech on last Friday.

2. First and foremost, Kampung Tunku would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all State Assemblymen and women for their win in the recently concluded General Election.

3. I would also like to wish thank you to Selangorians for unanimous and full trust to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) that PR manage to retain legitimate power as Selangor government with more seatings than GE12. This is with sum of 44 out of 56 seats that allows a 2/3 majority to PR in this very honorable Assembly hall.

4. This success will never occur without diligence and steadiness from the legal and administration for the past 5 years. This wouldn’t occur without professional contribution from the front-liner public officials / EXCOs.

5. If it was the past, they were insulted, underestimated and in fact their proposals will not be considered. Thus during PR’s years, all of aforementioned was rectified and they have shone their professionalism. Congratulations again I wish to the Public Officials / EXCOs in Selangor.

Land Management and Efficiency of the Land Office issues

6. One of the many ways to pay gratitude to the voters for such victory to PR is by putting more effort for the coming 5 years.

7. In the past, the people would have forgiven PR for the mistakes made as we were new. Now, we do not have any reason to repeat the same mistake. As an elected representative, we bear heavy responsibilities to ensure the Government’s mechanisms function to its optimum. Henceforth, let’s reduce the rhetorical politics and comment if there were still a lack of in the government.

8. The first issue that I would like to raise is land management. Kampung Tunku has raised this issue when I debated the drafted Supplies Law 2013, last year. At that moment, I went straight to the shortcoming of staffs in the Land Office especially the Petaling Land Office.

9. Kampung Tunku also went precisely to the issue of the lack of Settlement Officer (SO) in the Land Office. In short, this role that dates over 100 years carrying important responsibilities such as;

i. transpose the latest information to Land Administrators,
ii. summarise future plannings which involve land within a county or district,
iii. preparing Land Office’s bank data that needs to be updated,
iv. executing the legal enforcement role according to the provisions of Country Land Code, Acts and, Rules and Regulations that are related.
v. executing the enforcement’s responsibility to monitor every form of intrusion on Government’s land and reserve lands.
vi. oversees transition of stone materials according to rules and regulations in that State government will not lose revenue.

10. Unfortunately, after Kampung Tunku raised this issue in the previous State Assembly proceedings, we have yet to see any suitable measures taken by the administration to overcome such matter. If the state government does not begin to train more Settlement Officer to Land Office, I foresee land problems of such will be raised by my fellow YBs in this honorable Hall and remain.

11. We must not forget that the Land Office also manages plenty of development programmes for the State of Selangor at district level. Starting with Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor (MES) programme to management and execution of infrastructure projects under the “Selangorku” grant. Each of these was implemented with the same number of staffs that has yet to risen eversince PR won this State.

12. This problem is obviously seen in the implementation of the infrastructure projects where Land Office will have to rely to Local Council’s technocrats to implement a project, as they are lack of staff who have engineering skills.

13. Henceforth, Kampung Tunku recommends that the government should not be silent on this matter. On contrary, the government has to do something to ensure the Land Office to have more staffs who is qualified with the role assigned and the revenue collected by them.

14. Kampung Tunku also suggests that some of the districts which are too big to be separated into two districts to facilitate the administration at ease. The best example is Petaling District.

15. Petaling District is one of the most advanced in Selangor. With the immensity of 484 km square and amount of residence of 1.8 million people, Petaling District has higher residence density i.e. about 3680 people/km square.

16. Petaling District’s income per capita is also one of the highest because of the industrial and commercial activity that is active. In addition, the strategic location. In terms of development, the planning approval application in Petaling District has increased from 300 to 400% compare to a decade back.

17. Thus, efficiency in the government agencies’ delivery system in Petaling District is very important. Now, Petaling District has 3 town councils i.e. Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam and Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya.

18. The federal government agency in Petaling District was divided into 2 as well. For example, the Education Office of Petaling District that was being divided into two parts. They are Education Office of Petaling Utama and Petaling Perdana District. Even so, Petaling District is only supported by one Land Office and district i.e. Land Office Petaling District. (PTDP)

19. PTDP has 217 staffs. It has only 204 in 2013. In the 2012 budget, about RM 11.4 million was allocated to PTDP to accommodate management’s expenditure. In comparison with other land offices, there is not much difference between Petaling Land Office and other districts’ land offices. In view of the increasing number of residence, a complex and better transportation system network, and increasing tax collection, I am of the opinion that Selangor government has to allocate more staffs and more allocation to Petaling District to increase it delivery system in this District.

Good Local Council Administration, Asset Declaration of State Executive Council members (MMKN)

20. Kampung Tunku is attracted to DYMM Tuanku Selangor Sultan’s speech which pressed on the importance of good governance policy in every role implementation and decision making process.

21. Henceforth, Kampung Tunku on the same principle urge Selangor government to ensure all Local Councils [PBT] in Selangor to increase its delivery system.

22. One of the matters which Kampung Tunku would like to speak about is the complaint system on phonelines handled by each Local Council. In Selangor, although many Local Councils have their complaint portal on their own lines, I felt the facility is not as efficient as we expected at times.

23. Kampung Tunku often receives complaints from the people that their complaints were not being attended to after they have made the report through the complaint portal on the Local Council’s hotline after such a long time. There are some who even complained that the respond provided by that system isn’t clear. For example, a complaint which has yet to be resolved. However, on the record, it indicated otherwise.

24. Thus, I suggest that the government will run an overall audit towards the complaint system on every Local Council’s hotline in that the number generated is true and genuine. Kampung Tunku also suggests that these systems will be integrated and includes new features such as allowing geo-tagging function by the users.

25. Kampung Tunku also understood that there is one more complaint hotline system which is managed by the Selangor government that is known as “Sistem Talian Aduan Rakyat Selangor” (STARS). Kampung Tunku doesn’t understand why is there a need to have such complaint hotline system such as this whereas it has existed in every Local Councils.

26. Selangor government has once ordered all of the MMKN members to declare their assets by 2009. Although it is one of the Selangorians’ pride at that time as it has never been done before, the implementation method has yet to be updated.

27. Thus, Kampung Tunku urge that the government will take these matters an annual matter and cultivate a transparency culture in the government administration. The declaration scope has to include Grade 48 and above public officers which includes the State Assemblymen. Every numbers has to be audited by a third party and published through internet by public view.

28. Only this method that Selangor citizens be proud that once again the State government leaders are truly clean.

Local Authority’s Trade, Commerce and Industry licence fees rate.

29. In 2007, the Selangor State Government under Barisan Nasional (BN) has drafted new by-laws to fix the trade, commerce and industry licence fees rate in every Local Authority. One of the huge differences between the current and the past is the calculation of the fees will be taken into account base on the immensity of trade place and not base on types of trade.

30. PR Selangor Government then decided to halt the implementation till 2012. The Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya part would like to implement it but was backfired from some of the small entrepreneur. Kampung Tunku is shocked to receiving complaints from businessmen and later ran a simple research on this by-law and my observation are stated as below.

31. Firstly, the fees that are required to be paid for an industry premise depends on whether the size per square foot of the industrial exceeds 500m2 (more or less 5382 square foot) or not. In other words, there were only 2 different fees as aforementioned previously.

32. Meaning, one whose business operate on site as wide as 6000 square foot by paying fees as much as someone whose business operate on site as wide as 10,000 square foot.

33. Secondly, the business premise fees for normal shops are actually being calculated base on the type of business and not by size of the site with the exception of;
i. petrol station;
ii. grocery stores, mini market, emporium, supermarket; and
iii. hypermarket only.

34. For petrol station, the calculation was made base on the oil’s volume which can be stored in the station. The higher the volume that can be stored, the more expensive the fees are.

35. Nonetheless, the grocery store, mini market, emporium and supermarket’s fees in comparison to hypermarket raised many doubts. For example, in the new by-law, the calculation of grocery store, mini market, emporium and supermarket’s fees was made base on the site’s size as below;
i. Lesser than 500m2 – RM160
ii. Between 501m2 to 1,000m2 – RM360
iii. Between 1,001m2 to 2,000m2 – RM600
iv. More than 2,000m2 – RM1,000

36. For hypermarket, the fees calculation was also made based on the similar classification, that is;
i. Below 500m2 – RM1,000
ii. Between 501m2 to 1,000m2 – RM1,500
iii. Between 1,001m2 to 2,000m2 – RM600
iv. More than 2,000m2 – RM1,000

37. As a layman, mini markets and grocery shops are always small shops which operate by the size of 20’ x 70’ (about 130m2). Supermarket has always been a premise that operates on site which is about more than 2 or 3 times the size of a grocery shop. At times, the supermarket and emporium operate on premise that is more than 500m2 and may be leveled. Hypermarket operates on site which is alike the size of factory.

38. So, the question is; which existing grocery shop that have the immensity of more than 2,000m2? Where about if any hypermarket that exists, has the immensity less than 500m2?

39. Thirdly, one of the obvious deficiency in the 2007 by-laws is when businessmen and women who operate various types of business in their shop (to increase their income) has to pay business license fees for each type of business that is operating in the shop to the point where the fees increased more than 3 folds of its former rate. The calculation of the fees was not made according to site’s size.

40. Kampung Tunku urges that the government to determine a 1-rate fee as a whole, uniformed and just for all types of business in the whole of Selangor. This is where such mater has to be sped as Local Councils will issue reminders to renew business license for 2014 as early as this December 2013.

Courts decision on Taman Desa Karunmas case.

41. State government must learn from the Court’s decision on Taman Desa Karunmas case in Balakong and research the possibilities to take legal suit towards developer who doesn’t build according to specifications as stated in the Planning Permission although the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation [CFO] has been issued.

42. In October 2011, Majlis Perbandaran Kajang (MPKJ) charged Taman Desa Karunmas’ developer at Kuala Lumpur High Court for failing to build wall fence in 2001 in which such failure has caused landslide in Jalan Desa Karunmas 7 years later.

43. MPKJ has issued claim notice to the developer in 2010 and negotiated with the developer. Nonetheless, the developer was stubborn and refuses to build the aforementioned wall fence by reason that they do not have such obligation to do so when the Local Council has issued CFO to the home purchasers.

44. The development in Taman Desa Karunmas in Balakong actually takes place at about a distance of 1.5 metre away from one of the nearby slope. Due to a landslide which occurred in 2002, MPKJ has to incur RM244,394 as a slope stabilization cost.

45. Judge Datuk John Louis O’hara issued a mandatory injunction to the developer to stabilize the slope immediately and build a wall fence as required in the planning permission. The Court also ordered the developer to compensate the slope stabilization inclusive interest as much as 5% to MPKJ with legal costs amounted to RM30,000.

46. Kampung Tunku worries the same would have occurred to other Local Councils. Henceforth, Kampung Tunku proposes that the government would direct each Local Councils to conduct a recheck on whether has the same incident occurred prior.

Infrastructure problem at old town locations.

47. His Majesty Selangor Sultan in his speech did touch on sufficient allocation needs for infrastructure purpose.

48. For this purpose, Kampung Tunku, urge the government to give serious attention towards drainage and gutters problems in a few old towns in the city. This is so because most drainage in historical places that is more than 50 years old needs to be upgraded.

49. State government has to establish “Road gang” at a few Local Councils to overcome problems of potholes. Kampung Tunku is of the opinion that if the State government or local government could also establish an enforcement team that specifically handles drainage and gutter problems. Perhaps, we could name it “Parit Gang”.

50. At this moment, if Local Council receives complaints of spoiled drainage and gutters, they will have to check if it could be included in their prior work for this year. If this year’s allocation has finished, hence the Local Council will include this project into the coming years. Unofficially, this will delay the Local Council’s action and they always be seen as inefficient in solving the people’s problem.

51. Nevertheless, the government has to materialize an allocation specifically for each Local Councils to change the opened drainage system to a closed one. The open drainage system is a very basic one and has been used by most Local Councils for such a long period. Even so, this system has caused clogged drainage problems and some parts of cleanliness of the town sourced from such opened drainage system.

Local Council’s solid waste management and cleanliness problems.

52. Since 2011, the Selangor government has to take over the public cleanliness and solid waste collection from Alam Flora. Recently, the appointed contractor’s overall performance has become better, but the elected representatives and councilors still receive complaint of complacent contractor.

53. Hence, the time has come for Selangor government to implement an overall study about this sector. The research will have to include;
i. Direction of the waste management in Malaysia and steps to overcome challenges that might entail in coming future.
ii. Reasonable payment per unit to the contractor. It has to be assessed from time to time to ensure the payment is not too low until the contractor is not able to implement their responsibility. It has to be compared with other Local Councils that are equal in that it will not be any different from one another.
iii. Whether the tax rate that is available is enough to cover the cost of solid waste disposal in urban areas or not? If not, what is the minimum price per unit to ensure such service be operated without any interference.
iv. Whether it is cost effective or not if the Local Councils take over part or the whole service through their own in-house group?

54. Kampung Tunku also urges the government to take drastic steps to ensure the cleaning and solid waste collection work is done by the contractor appointed by the Local Council, and not the sub-contractor.

55. For trash collection works, Kampung Tunku suggests that the Local Council must not appoint contractor who do not own any rubbish collection lorries. Contractors who rent rubbish collection lorries for sure couldn’t carry out their duties properly in comparison to those who have their own rubbish collection lorries.

56. Kampung Tunku understood the government’s policy in that the procurement projects must not be dominated by the few certain contractors. Thus, Kampung Tunku suggest, if possible, the Local Council should nationalize the responsibility of solid waste collection by their very own in-house team whilst the cleanliness works could still be privatized to private contractors.

Affordable Housing Plan Problems in the city.

57. Often the times, Kampung Tunku receives complaints from youngsters that it was difficult for them to own their dream home in the city especially at established location in Petaling Jaya. The fact remains plenty of them have to purchase property by the suburbs or rural area.

58. This phenomenon surely will cause the residence at old location become aged and lifeless. Locations that are lack of youngsters are always seen as a declining community.

59. The government has begun the first step a few years ago by launching the Urban Renewal program where some of the old housing areas will be rebuilt in order that younger people are given the opportunity to own their house with a reasonable price.

60. Unfortunately, the city renewal carried out slowly within the 5 years period. Kampung Tunku hopes that with the currently available model such as Bukit Botak, Datum Jelatek and the rest, the State government will boost affordable housing programs in urban areas.

61. To overcome this problem, the government through its subsidiaries like PKNS could achieve this goal through reverse-privatising. In the past, PKNS as landowner only operate as a sleeping partner in a Joint-Venture project, but now PKNS has to be more proactive and cooperate with the private sectors that have a lot of land bank but lack of funds.

62. With this, Kampung Tunku is convinced that PKNS could build more affordable homes at a faster rate to cater to youngsters need in housing matters.

Foreign Investments, Green and High Technology.

63. His majesty’s speech also touched on the importance of investment in the High Technology and Green industry. 64. Henceforth, the Government has to prepare more incentives to attract more investments in these two fields. Kampung Tunku has raised this matter in the previous State Assembly sitting but the respond from the government at that time was mediocre. Their responds were;
“Kerajaan negeri tidak menggariskan strategi khas bagi industri teknologi hijau tetapi kerajaan negeri akan memenuhi setiap insentif yang telah digariskan oleh Lembaga Kemajuan Perindustrian Malaysa (MIDA) sebagai salah satu strategi dalam memperkembangkan lagi sektor perindustrian berasaskan teknologi hijau di negeri ini. Insentif-insentif yang telah disediakan adalah merangkumi insentif pengurusan persekitaran seperti insentif bagi aktiviti kitar semula bahan industri, insentif bagi aktiviti perlupusan sisa toksik industri, insentif bagi pemuliharaan tenaga, insentif bagi aktiviti menggunakan sumber tenaga yang boleh diperbaharui dan insentif dari segi duti import dan pengecualian cukai jualan bagi sistem solar.”
65. In a very competitive business world, Kampung Tunku doubted the aforementioned incentives as insufficient to attract serious investors to invest.

66. As a starting point, the Green technology-based automobile industry such as manufacturing hybrid car, fuel cell car, NGV, Solar energy based industry, the bio-fuel industry such as biodiesel and information technology should be categorized as high-tech industry and should be given special attention from the perspective of government’s policy.

67. Not only investment in these industries is required to be given special attention, in fact ancillary industries that have direct relation with the previously mentioned industry have to be given equally serious attention by the government.

68. A lot of policies that can be implemented by the government to attract them such as the factory leasing concept, fast track approval in the licence and permit application, plus the government has to know their needs and provide tailor-suit help and support to the investors so that they will choose Selangor and not any other place like Singapore or Iskandar.

Recognition towards Mothers who work.

69. As an increment to the women’s policy that is available already, Kampung Tunku urge the government to frame a policy which encourage breast feeding policy for mothers who work to build a healthy family and society.

70. Although breast feeding gives benefit but public’s preconception on it thickens and on general, many employers do not encourage breast feeding at work. Often, problem faced by working mothers is the lack of facility to allow pumping and storage of breast milk. Most of the times, they had to do it at toilets that are not clean and limited space.

71. Perhaps, this problem is small and insignificant but Kampung Tunku is of the opinion that healthy society begins with strong and healthy young generation. It is my recommendation that the government immediately frames a policy which gives special attention in this aspect to provide quit rent and assessment fee rebates to any employers who provide such basic facilities as aforementioned.

72. Moreover, the Local Councils have to provide a suitable public room to the mothers for the purpose of pumping and breastfeed. This matter can be one of the pre-requisites in providing planning approval.

Illegal shops and factories.

73. In 2006, the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) Licence Department has issued temporary license to entrepreneurs under the Without Planning Approval Industry Bleaching Program in Selangor that was approved by MMKN.

74. There were 7 locations that are involved in this program where the locations have been gazetted as bleaching location for the purpose of redevelopment in Petaling Jaya. One of them is Kampung Baru Sungai Way.

75. MBPJ received order from MMKN that this program has been extended to 31 December 2012.

76. MBPJ could not process application from entrepreneurs to renew their business license because this program has been due in 31 December 2012. MBPJ also did not receive any clear instruction from MMKN on whether the application to renew business license could resume or not.

77. MBPJ has to delay the license renewal from the bleaching locations till they receive instruction from MMKN. Kampung Tunku urges the government to speed up in making decision on this matter.

House reform

78. My speech will be incomplete if I do not touch on the reform agenda of this August House.

79. We will witness this time that the Opposition Leader will be appointed to chair the Public Accounts Committee. It is my wish to congratulate him for the appointment and I also congratulate the Speaker for making an effort to follow the footsteps of Westminster tradition in terms of Parliamentary Democracy.

80. I also agree with suggestion from Bukit Antarabangsa that the notice to serve oral and written questions should be shortened. A notice of 21 days is just too long.

81. In UK Parliament, members of the house can serve their questions between three to five days. In Australia, members can also table Questions of Notice whereby questions which need detail written reply will be given by the Ministers at later days electronically.

82. I also wish to urge the House to be more active than before in carrying out its role to check and balance the Executive. And this function will not be carried out in full if a strong and mature select committee system is not in place. In future, I hope to see that all bills tabled by the Executive shall be scrutinized and examined by the Legislative via a Select Committee to be appointed by the House.

83. I also urge all government officers shall supply all their replies on our written and oral questions with delay when the House is sitting. Currently most of us will receive our replies in weeks of months after the sitting. The House should view this as a breach ofpriviledge and any officers or EXCO members who fail to comply to this shall be brought forward to the House Rights and Priviledge Committee for investigation.

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