Thursday, November 21, 2013

Debate speech of Policy Level of Selangor State Government Budget Year 2014 on 20 November 2013 in Selangor State Assembly, Shah Alam

Continuing Excellence through Strict Monitoring by Selangor State Legislative Assembly

1. First of all, Kampung Tunku would like to express gratitude to the Speaker for allowing Kampung Tunku to take part in this debate on our budget for 2014.

2. The current Selangor State Assembly session is highly focused by public and media until exists some irresponsible parties who are trying to create tension between BBC with Executive on a number of matters relating to budget 2014.

3. The highlight of this irresponsible action is the existence of an anonymous letter released to the media last week which stated Kampung Tunku have signed a letter that criticized the Executive on Budget 2014.

4. Unfortunately, Kampung Tunku was unable to give any comment during that moment when such event occurred as the contents of Budget 2014 was still under embargo. Therefore, Kampung Tunku would like to stress on that the BBC did not send the said letter. Other than that, the BBC has submitted a memorandum containing the desires of all Backbencher (BBC) members and also has received positive response from the executive.

5. Two meetings were held thereafter. Although not all BBC proposals were adopted in Budget 2014, but several key recommendations have been included and given attention. Selangor DAP will continue to give strong support to the Selangor State Government. However, the BBC is not a rubber stamp and must work on their duties and responsibilities to monitor the executive.

6. Title of Kampung Tunku speech debate which is "Continuing Excellence through strict monitoring by Selangor State Assembly", means excellence can start with the executive to present a strong budget, but excellence can only be executed by the House if this August House has strengthened and monitored every expense incurred by the Executive strictly

Allocation of RM430 million from the government reserve for development purpose

7. Kampung Tunku agreed with the proposal of Executive to use the first RM430 million from Selangor government reserves to fund for six development initiatives. It is quite true that government reserve cannot be spent arbitrary because this money needs to be ensured that could be used during emergency. BBC proposed that government reserve must be utilized for something that can be enjoyed by people.

8. By deducting RM430 million from the total reserves of RM2713 million, Selangor government still has RM2283 million and it is far enough to cover the operations of Selangor government more than a year.

Selangor economic outlook

8. Unlike the speech of Minister for expecting that global economy to gain momentum in the second half of 2013 and the entire 2014, Kampung Tunku is with the view that the global economy was still in precarious situation based on several unfavorable statistics when compared to the expectations created by financial bodies such as the International monetary Fund (IMC) and the World Bank.

9. Therefore, policies and strategies of Government Budget 2014 should focus more on welfare of middle and lower class.

10. One of the efforts to stimulate the economy is to stimulate business activities at grassroots level such as hawkers, nasi lemak sellers, small businesses and others. To achieve this, the state government should emphasis to all food stalls, food courts, public markets are owned and maintained by local authorities. Not only the infrastructure and facilities in these areas should be upgraded, but the government should also think of way to attract more customers to these places.

11. Selangor's economy is highly dependent on the manufacturing and services sector in which the manufacturing sector is the second largest sector contributing to GDP Selangor. The manufacturing sector should be given a new injection of life so that they can contribute more to the development of Selangor economy. 12. Therefore, the investment profile of Selangor state must change. Investment pattern of labor-intensive is no longer suitable. Otherwise, the manufacturing sector has added value and should emphasis to involve the use of high technology and expertise.

13. Executive must take note that Johor and Sarawak State have lead Selangor state in the first eight months of this year, the change of Selangor investment profile is needed to ensure that Selangor State continues to be the first choice for investors.

14. High value-added manufacturing sector here involves three technologies where Kampung Tunku thought that it is very suitable for development in Selangor. The three of these technologies are:
a. Automobile industry based on green technologies such as hybrid car manufacturing, fuel cell cars, NGV and etc.;
b. Industries of solar energy, biodiesel and
c. Information technology industry.

15. The executive has the ambition to make Bukit Beruntung as an automobile city which consists of several car makers and SME-SMI entry related to the automobile industry in that area. Therefore, to improve the investment profile of Selangor through the automobile sector, the Executive should have a long-term plan to attract more high-tech investment to Bukit Beruntung.

16. Selangor also has received investment from the Q-cells company. At the same time, alternate fuel such as biodiesel fuel was first marketed in Malaysia to reduce carbon footprint. Therefore, Selangor has great potential to develop this sector, in particular biodiesel made from used cooking oil.

17. Selangor for sure quite familiar with the information technology industry as Cyberjaya is situated in the state. Unfortunately, the development of this industry seems to be stalled since more than ten years ago. Kampung Tunku believed that the Executive should not squander this opportunity.

18. Selangor government should not be too dependent on the efforts and assistance from Federal Government solely to attract investments to Selangor because the same incentives are given by Federal Government to any good investors to invest in any of the states in Malaysia.

19. If Selangor wants to highlight its image as an investment destination, then the executive should work hard on existing efforts. Those three sectors were mentioned because Selangor already has a solid foundation in these three areas. What is needed from the Selangor Government is a comprehensive policy to help investors to invest in these three industries.

Independent Action Committee vs. Budget Oversight Committee

20. Kampung Tunku welcomed some improvements in the performance management of state financial. Policy to set the accounts to be presented to Chief Minister every four months should be carried on.

21. Kampung Tunku also welcomed the Executive's proposal to set up a committee called the Independent Task Force Committee to carry out its functions as described in the Minister's speech.

22. However, the Executive should not forget that all the provisions of the Selangor Government must get the consent from the Selangor State Assembly. Therefore, it is very important that this monitoring work is not only done by professionals who are the member of the Independent Task Force but also by the Selangor State Assembly.

23. Kampung Tunku wants to push the state government to immediately set up a Government Budget Monitoring committee that will oversee all administrative aspects related to the use of the Budget.

24. The main reason for this recommendation is because of a number of government departments to optimize the allocation of 2013 which was budgeted in 2012. Although we will enter into the final months of 2013, but the use of the provision in 2013 from several government departments have yet to exceed 80%.

25. The fact is that officials will do what is known as the "Christmas Shopping". If not, the allocation for this department in 2014 will be reduced and ultimately the citizen will bear the consequences. To prevent this from recurring every year, the Monitoring Government Budgets committee should be established in the future as soon as possible.

26. The same phenomenon also occurs in the Local Authority (PBT) and I would like to express the suggestion in this Honourable Dewan, that the Budget Monitoring Committee will also be established in each local authority and involve individuals who were not among the members of the Council to join together to monitor the use of local authority budget every year.

Problem of Flood and JPS Performance

27. The executive allocate RM21 million to Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) of Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (JPS) for flood management for the year 2014. This provision has actually declined from RM27 million in 2013.

28. Kampung Tunku did not understand this reduction as indeed DID needs more provisions to deal with the growing problems of flood lately though people still questioning the efficiency of DID. Ultimately, citizen soon will feel the effect of the provision deduction.

29. Therefore, I request that the government should provide supplementary Budget in the future and give more provisions to DID with conditions that DID must prove their ability to deal with flooding problems.

Public security and police assistance

30. Kampung Tunku had managed to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in South Africa and managed to visit some of the commercial areas in Capetown to understand how traders there protect the security of their business areas. Dealers in Cape Town work together to establish a business association and by association, they hired security officers to patrol their area along with police.

31. From the experience of dealers in Cape Town, Kampung Tunku would like to propose to set up police assistance under the local authority as what has been proposed before this can be changed, especially local authorities in Selangor face some difficulties to set up police forces on the aid for political reasons.

32. My suggestion is that the Executive and local authority can encourage the traders to establish business associations respectively. Through this business association, dealers can apply for permission from the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) to set up a separate police force and thus help carry out the work of patrols in the area of business. 33. I hope that the Executive should consider this proposal.

Tuition Program for Selangor Citizen and Scholarship of Chief Minister

34. Tuition Program for Selangor Citizen or PTRS is a good program and should offer more subjects and not just the four existing subjects. At the same time, provisions for abstract programs should be reduced because their effectiveness cannot be measured accurately in time.

35. Kampung Tunku would like to remind the Executive that there are a number of commitments in education as enshrined in what Pakatan Rakyat (PR) manifesto not included in this year's Budget. These include provisions for SMJK and Chinese Conforming schools which are facing fund constraints and the establishment of Chief Minister’s scholarships. Kampung Tunku hopes that both of these can be addressed by the Executive and to be included in any of the Supplementary Budget in 2014.

Communy Buses and public transport in the Klang Valley in future

36. The Executive announced that the Selangor Public Transport Council has been established and has completed the first study regarding the use of public transport to work among the staff of the Secretary of Selangor Government.

37. Sadly, there is no information about the Selangor Public Transport Council. The only given answer is that the establishment is subjected to the DRIVER and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to get feedback directly from the relevant authorities of the transport companies such as infrastructure, Rapid KL, resident associations, NGOs, local authorities representatives (PBT), representatives of the state government, and policy advisors.

38. Also understand that the Council will collect the problems faced by the population, determine where the problem in terms of traffic congestion, and ultimately concluded that appropriate recommendations to solve these problems to be extended to the SPAD. The Council is established appropriate because it is below the level of "on the ground", as opposed to SPAD will make policy on the level of the Federal Government.

39. Questions like this arise and Kampung Tunku would like to request government to answer the questions as below:-.
a. Who are the members of Selangor Public Transport Council?
b. How many meeting has been conducted by this Council?
c. What is the rationale for this Council conducted a survey in the SUK and not other places?
d. What will be the plan and the action plan of the Council in the future?

Tourism products

40. The Executive through the Tourism Selangor can consider the idea of "Hop-On-Hop-Off" bus for the tourists with the cooperation of several local authorities.

41. Moreover the Executive only allocate RM5.2 million for the development of the tourism sector in Selangor. This provision is not much then it should be used in the right place and be able to generate the highest return on government

42. The "Hop-On-Hop-Off" bus service can develop tourist destinations in Selangor with the contribution of a fixed number of tourists. However, this study should be carried out and a project can be started in places that have a lot of historical places such as Klang.

43. Kampung Baru or New Villages and Kampung Bagan in Selangor are getting associated with the tourism industry every day. New village with a history of more than 60 years, while some places in Kampung Bagan has history of over 100 years. The executive has held a series of photo exhibition about life in the new villages a few years ago.

44. In fact, these materials exhibit a very important historical documents and valuable for public viewing, especially our future generations. That means, it is part of the modern history of Selangor State.

45. In addition, artifacts such as rubber tappers knife, tin trays, old bicycles, kerosene lamp, old torchlights and so on can be collected and placed in a museum. If the museum can be established, it will be a new village museum / first village in Malaysia and potentially become a tourism product.

Administrative Improvements Committee, the State agency and government-linked companies (GLCs) vs. State Select Committee on Agency, Statutory Bodies and State Government Subsidiary (JP-ABAS)

46. Does the committee will overlap with the role played by JP-ABAS? Does that mean the government owned small companies no longer be monitored by JP-ABAS as they are ‘answerable’ to this committee now?

Amendments to Selangor State Law in 1959

47. With two-thirds majority in this August House, then it is time to amend some of the matters in Selangor State Law of 1959, which amended the state government in the past to serve the interests of the Barisan Nasional (BN).

48. This effort is important to restore the original spirit of Selangor State law back to its original state in 1959. Some of the chapters should be paid attention are the "Chapter 3 - Executive" and "Chapter 5 - Legislature". In addition, the House should also improve provisions in other chapters in Selangor State Law in order to make it more complete and comprehensive.

The reformation of DUN

49. Debate Speech of Kampung Tunku usually not complete without touching on the Selangor State Assembly. Kampung Tunku had taken part in a workshop with the parliamentary openness during the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference held in South Africa.

50. This workshop had presented 44 recommendations for improvement that can be implemented by the Selangor State Legislative Assembly so that this August House can become a world-class Legislative Assembly.

51. Apart from the live broadcast of State Assembly through the internet, state assembly website should be changed to make it more concise, interactive and informative. The new constituency website must contain all information about members of the Selangor State Assembly, permanent regulations, statements, statutes and relevant documents in which it should be easy to find, easy to use and download.

52. Selangor State Legislative Assembly Services Enactment (SELESA) should be approved as soon as possible so that the management of the Selangor State Assembly conducted in a free and professional without being influenced by the civil service.

53. To sum up, this is in line with the title of my speech "Pursuing Excellence through strict monitoring by the Selangor State Assembly." I hope that these recommendations are taken into consideration. As a result, Kampung Tunku would like to seek for support.

Thank you.

Lau Weng San

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