Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar Utama

Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar UtamaA PKR ceramah was held in Bandar Utama at the BU3/6 field. The speakers were, in order:

  1. Sivarasa Rasiah
  2. Elizabeth Wong
  3. Irene Fernandez
  4. Tian Chua

Attendance was far greater than the Gerakan ceramah from the previous night, at least three times the size (500+ people). Attendees were mostly young and middle aged people. Donations from the crowd was very generous, PKR managed to raise funds amounting to RM10,154.

I arrived late at 8.45pm and Sivarasa was just about to start fielding questions from the audience. Please note that unless otherwise stated, all answers written in this article are not quoted verbatim as I was unable to get an audio/video recording of the proceedings.

Sivarasa Rasiah Q&A

Q: When is the New Economic Policy (NEP) going to end?

Anwar Ibrahim (defacto leader of PKR) has for the past two years stated that the NEP cannot continue in its present form. It is PKR’s view that the NEP has to be revamped and its benefits given regardless of race. Instead the benefits should be based on merit. These statements have not been challenged by the majority of the Malays because they know that the NEP has been abused, and the abuse is wrong.

Q: What are your views on the cancellation of indelible ink?

The Elections Commission has misled the public on this matter since it was proposed last year. First they wanted to consult the Fatwa Council to get approval, which was given after a couple of months. Then they discussed what kind of ink, and how many bottles they should buy. They delayed as much as they could, and now the cancellation of it allows the EC to retain the same power to cheat and deny us a win, as in previous elections.

Q: Najib has mentioned that the oil subsidy is not sustainable, how does that stack against reducing corruption?

An increase in subsidy can be used to control inflation by controlling the price of essential goods. If you want to see wastage due to corruption, look at the purchase of the Scorpene submarines, and Sukhoi jets- RM 1 billion was wasted there alone. By reducing wastage such as that, we can increase the subsidy.

Q: What is the check and balance that ensures that candidates will follow the manifesto and remain clean

I don’t believe that presigned resignation letters work. The real solution is to amend/repeal the Official Secrets Act, the Printing and Publications Act and the Police Act to allow transparency, and to empower the citizens to take action. These amendments will restore democratic rights to the citizens.

Q: How will you deal with candidates who are ‘bought’ and switch parties?

(Siva cited a case in 1990 of two PAS members who switched parties. It was not clear but the impression given was that there was no by-election)

If this happens PKR will have a by-election in the seats held by those candidates.

Q: Will the serial number be on the ballot?

No more. In previous elections what happened was that the serial number of the ballot paper was written next to the name of the voter, so the government can track your votes. But you need not fear that anymore.

Sivarasa Rasiah @ Bandar Utama
Sivarasa Rasiah fielding questions from the crowd

Elizabeth Wong’s Speech (summary of talking points, quotes in italics)

  • Gave examples of Exco members’ wastage, such as an ‘educational trip’ to Egypt, quote, “To learn what? To learn belly dancing!”
  • The clearing of 1200 hectares of forest by PKNS, also due to the Exco members – when Khir Toyo (head of PKNS) was asked, he claimed to not know
  • “What are the features of a developed state? It is not tolls, high assessment fees, factory housing or traffic jams”
  • A developed state or country does not have to wait for residents to come up to them and present their problems on what’s wrong in their neighbourhood, it would have monitoring in place for maintenance work like that
  • There is a Master Plan for Petaling Jaya, but this has not been followed
  • The solution to the damage done by the Exco members is to have proper town planning and a neutral, elected local council so they are held accountable for their actions
Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar Utama
  • The funding allocated for development is for the citizens, not pocket money to be spent freely for personal use
  • Problems such as the traffic jam caused by the Chinese school nearby can be solved by reopening the Damansara school down the road, not to close this school or widen the road
  • “Why after 50 years, have the citizens become beggars, having to beg to fix problems such as potholes and traffic lights?”
  • Spoke about having a policy about lease of land for places of worship
  • Need exposure of spending of State money
  • Unlike BN, the Opposition brings up problems publicly, no talking behind closed doors or secret deals

Elizabeth’s Five Immediate Actions (once elected)

  1. Initiate a Private Member Bill on freedom of information, so the people know reasons such as why assessment rates have gone up
  2. Ensure no more demolition of places of worship
  3. Regazette the Sungai Buloh Forest Reserve
  4. Work on reducing the crime rate, most police are in administration and Special Branch, we need to have more active police officers and do away with the Special Branch
  5. Have local council elections
Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar Utama

Elizabeth Wong Q&A

Self-Q: On Khir Toyo’s recent statement that there will be no allocation for Opposition members in the State Assembly

On 10th of March the Opposition will initiate a lawsuit against Khir Toyo for his statements. We will ensure that we get the allocation due to us and are held accountable for our spending. For example, look at Permatang Pauh, where 2-3 times more money is being put to work for the community compared to its neighbours.

Q: Will you create a service centre in Bandar Utama?

I hope to establish three service centres, because there are many areas in Bukit Lanjan that need attention, such as Desa Jaya, Desa Pandan and Kayu Ara.

Q: What is your plan for health service?

There has been too much privatisation of hospitals that has led to high insurance fees and medical fees. (rest of answer unclear, believe the plan is to cut back/stop privatisation)

Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar Utama
 Elizabeth Wong speaking to an appreciative crowd
Irene Fernandez @ Bandar Utama
Irene Fernandez
Tian Chua @ Bandar Utama
Tian Chua

Written by ak57

March 7, 2008 at 7:41 am

%d bloggers like this: