Tuesday, 13 September 2016

My Selangor Budget 2017 Wishlist

My Selangor Budget 2017 Wishlist
Rajiv Rishyakaran
State Assemblyman for Bukit Gasing

As our Selangor Government prepares for the upcoming Budget 2017, I would like to take this opportunity to propose 8 items, that I hope could be part of the coming budget.

  1. Speed up the pipe replacement program launched this year

I wholeheartedly welcome the pipe replacement program launched by our MB this year. As of the beginning of this year, 84 pipe burst hotspots have been identified by Syabas. 12 of these hotspots are undergoing pipe replacement now, and the balance 72 are scheduled to be done over the next 3 years.

Selangor suffers from a very high pipe burst incident rate, a whopping 5000-6000 cases a year. Asbestos-Cement (AC) pipes are only 6000km out of the 28000km of pipes in Selangor, but they account for approximately half of all burst pipes. Every burst pipe case will cause water disruption and hardship, sometimes for a smaller group and other times for a larger group of residents, depending on the size of the pipe affected.

I would like to suggest we increase our budget to speed up the pipe replacement program. Instead of doing 11 hotspots in 2017, I would like to propose that Selangor complete the 72 identified hotspots in 2017. Pipe replacement, by rule of thumb, cost RM900,000 to RM1,000,000, and this would make the replacement of the 72 hotspots cost approximately RM350-400mil.

This would not only require additional cash from the government’s reserves, but will also require Air Selangor to quickly increase its capacity to carry out that many projects in a year. I also propose that this increase in capacity be planned to reach target of RM500mil a year (500km/year) worth of pipe replacement works, as we have a huge back log to catch up.

I trust that this use of our hard earned reserves would be dearly appreciated by residents, especially in areas most affected by burst pipes and water disruptions.


  1. Encourage rain water harvesting

Selangor residents consume a rather high amount of water daily, as compared with international norms. Selangor citizens consume approximately 250 litres per person per day, which is much higher compared to our neighbouring countries such as Thailand with only about 160 to 170 litres per day per person, Singapore (130-150 litres per day per person) and Indonesia (140-160 litres per day per person).

Selangor has launched a “save water” campaign recently, but more needs to be done to create awareness of how we can reduce our consumption of treated water. One of the ways is to help Selangor houses to use less water is to get houses to install rain water harvesting systems.

I propose a decent, maybe 50% subsidy on installation cost for the first 10000 homes to subscribe to this. This can be focused on districts that are most prone to water shortages. A smaller subsidy can be offered to the next 100,000 homes. This is to encourage widespread adoption.

In addition to saving water, if rain water harvesting is widely installed, it can contribute towards reducing the load on our drainage systems during heavy downpours.


  1. RM150mil to improve public transport usage

I applaud the ambition of our MB is calling for a 60% public transport usage target in Selangor. No Metropolis the size of the Klang Valley anywhere is the world has done well without excellent public transport.

While some aspects of providing public transport are under the purview of the Federal government, I urge the state to consider investing a substantial sum, approximately RM150mil to develop supporting infrastructure to enable us to use public transport more effectively.

Areas that we can and should invest in are like developing

    1. Park and Ride facilities, especially for all MRT, LRT and KTM stations in the suburbs. This would enable those living further away from the stations to easily ride the train into the city.

    1. Pedestrian Connectivity – all properties within a 500m distance from any station should have a proper pedestrian walkway, to encourage walking to and from the station.

  1. Good Bus Stops – Bus stops that provide shelter, and information of the bus routes plying the area. To do this properly, we would need the cooperation of SPAD.

    1. All Local Councils in the Klang Valley should emulate MBPJ in drawing up a public transport masterplan, a plan that will map out feeder bus routes to connect all our townships to MRT, LRT or KTM stations. This would be an enabler for people to have greater access to public transport.


  1. SMART Selangor

In line with the new theme for Selangor – SMART Selangor, I would like to suggest that in 2017, the Selangor State Government makes all services and applications that are now done over the counter available over the internet and smart phone applications.

This covers applications and services in various departments and local councils. While we already have some of the major services online, it is timely that we strive to make ALL services online, to make life easier for our residents. This does not mean abolishing the counter services, those should remain to serve residents who prefer face to face transactions.


  1. Senior Citizen Activity Center

We have an aging society in Selangor, particularly in Petaling Jaya. For those who are retired, I propose we create a few activity centers, that would operate in the day time to meet the needs of seniors in our society.

It would be a sort of club house, where there would be a reading some, karaoke, game room, a senior friendly gym, meeting rooms, etc. I propose a few rounds of public consultation to work out the finer details, should the Selangor Government take this up.


  1. RM5mil for each constituency for medium size projects

I share the similar views with our MB, that Selangor should continue to focus on development. For 2016, Selangor hit a record for appropriating 50% of its budget for development purposes, which is a rather high ratio compared to other states and our Federal Government.

For 2017, I envisage that we would be remaining on this same part. I would like to propose that part of the development budget be determined locally, to address the specific needs of local communities in Selangor.

Selangor is a vast state, with nearly 6 million residents living in many townships. Each township would have its specific needs, such as upgrading its market, building a community hall, building or upgrading sports facilities. I would like to propose RM5million per constituency

It would be an added bonus if we could implement a voting system to allow residents within        a community to choose which project they would like. I understand there may be some constraints in implementing this in the short term, but it should be our aim to work towards participatory budgeting.


  1. Government should take over the maintenance of low cost and low medium cost flats in Selangor.

In Malaysia, each strata property is managed by either a Joint Management Body (JMB) or Management Corporation (MC). These bodies are elected throught AGMs by all parcel owners.

While higher end condominiums and apartments typically work well under this structure, there are many low cost and low medium cost flats in Selangor that do not have the required JMB or MC. This is not surprising as many of the owners’ shy away from attending AGMs that form these bodies.

This has caused many low cost and low medium cost flats to be poorly maintained, leading to poor living conditions for our residents. I would like to propose, with the intention of uplifting the building quality of these flats, a Selangor government subsidiary to be appointed to run these apartments, even at a loss.

There is no doubt that for the interim take over period, monthly maintenance fees may not be sufficient to cover the cost of maintaining the flats. Thus, the government should subsidize part of the running cost as our social obligation.

This propose moved will not be unique. In Singapore, the HDB flats are maintained by town councils. This has proven to be effective in ensuring that upkeep work is not reliant on monthly dues, but on government budget, specification and oversight.  Maintenance fees must still be collected, and I propose capping the fees at RM45/month for low cost flats and RM65/month for low medium cost flats. This figures are only a preliminary suggestion, and there should be further deliberation and discussion.

We should also work towards minimizing losses in this operations. 2 suggestions that I have are to ensure >80% dues paid by enforcement. There are enough provisions in law to enable government to prosecute those refusing to pay their monthly dues. Special provisions thru the Welfare Department should be available for residents who truly cannot afford to pay.

The 2nd suggestion is to step up enforcement in these flats. Enforcement officers, after sufficient publicity, must be making their rounds to catch vandals. Vandalism is not only wrong and disruptive, it is costly to the body maintaining the flats, and must be eradicated.


  1. Update all Local Plans

Selangor will be releasing the Selangor Structure Plan 2035 soon. This is the overall masterplan document for town planning in Selangor. In the draft, there were many standards prescribed, which I welcome. Standards such a green space provision, social amenities, utilities and so on should not only be applicable for new townships, but also for existing mature townships.

Towards this objective, and to realize the full value of the Selangor Structure Plan 2035, I would like to request that we allocate sufficient funding in our 2017 budget, to enable all the local plans (detailed masterplans at the local council level) to be updated to cater to the prescribed standards as best as possible.

Local plans should be updated to ensure social amenities such as schools, fire stations, funeral parlours, green spaces are sufficient for the projected population of each township. As highlighted in the draft structure plan, many of our townships suffer a lack of these amenities, either due to previous town planning shortcomings, or an increase in standards in recent years.

Updating all the local plans in Selangor is the very minimum to ensure the work of producing the State Structure Plan was not in vain, and to work towards improving the quality of life in our townships.


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

DUN Bukit Gasing Community Activity Grant (CAG)






PROGRAM GUIDELINES AND PROPOSAL

Pejabat DUN Bukit Gasing encourages the cooperation between the office and Bukit Gasing residents and organizations who are interested in community programs that serve the broader community. We have adopted the following program guidelines and application materials in order to ensure a fair and equitable process for allocating CAG funds.
           
The CAG funds programs which fosters and encourages the growth of harmonious community relationships within Bukit Gasing.  Groups, clubs, and organizations are likewise eligible for CAG funding, but should review guidelines carefully in order to determine their eligibility. Please note that we do not fund programs which do not benefit the residents of BukitGasing.

The maximum CAG allocation per project for 2015 is RM 15,000.00. Of which no more than 10% should be used to pay for non-programme costs.  In addition, please note that groups can only receive (1) grant per year.

Please note that all submissions should be done by email (bukitgasing.grants@gmail.com) or by post to:

Bukit Gasing Community Activity Grants
Pejabat ADUNBukit Gasing
84A (FirstFloor) Jalan Othman 1/14
46000Petaling Jaya


GENERAL SUBMISSION PROCESS

1)   Read and review the Guidelines to determine your eligibility for the grant.
2)   Complete the proposal clearly and in detail.
3)   Submit the following documents to bukitgasing.grants@gmail.com:
  • a)   Completed GAC proposal;
  • b)   Photostat copy of ICs of Programme Directors or Organizers;
  • c)   Any additional supporting documents.
Shortlisted applicants will be requested to come for an interview before the final selection is made.

In order to maximize your group’s potential for CAG funding, we encourage you to review all of the proposal guidelines, address the strengths and weaknesses of your programme, and prepare a clear proposal.

Finally, please note other sources of funding if any. We wish to reiterate that there is no guarantee that your project will be chosen as the recipient of the grant.
----

CAG STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

The following shall be the guiding principles for allocating CAG funds designated for community programs.

1)  The program, activity,or service should focus on better inter-and intra-community relationships and cooperation, community health and wellness, and empowerment.

2)  The programme design should be consistent with the community’s interests and needs and Bukit Gasing residents should be actively involved in the programme.

3) The programme is funded using the Selangor State annual allocation for DUN of Bukit Gasing. As such, the Selangor State crest should appear in all promotional materials of the program. All recipient programme materials should also bear the words “Supported by Pejabat ADUN Bukit Gasing”.

4)  Programme organizers should exhibit previous experience related to the proposed activity.

5)  Groups should demonstrate the ability to complete the proposed programme through the adequate use of resources, commitment to community partnerships, and sound programme organization, among others.

6)  The programme should be carried out within the DUN Bukit Gasing constituency and should directly benefit the residents of Bukit Gasing.

7)  The programme must adhere to all relevant legal codes and statutes of the State of Selangor and of Malaysia.


ELIGIBILITYFOR CAG FUNDING

Eligibility for CAG funding is determined by the following guidelines:

  • Applicants for the grant should be residents of Bukit Gasing or clubs, societies, or organizations. The programme applied for should be able to demonstrate a direct benefit to residents of Bukit Gasing.
  • The CAG will not fund the following:
  • Programmes directly subscribed to by the residents through their respective Resident’s Associations, such as Neighbourhood Watch Programmes and Gated and Guarded Schemes. This is due to the fact that we directly contribute to the RAs and RTs annually as well as through direct solicitations initiated by the RAs and the RTs.
  • Publicity and/or Marketing programmes
  • Scholarships
  • Travel Expenses
  • School Field Trips
  • Medical and/or Hospital Bills
  • Purchase of School Supplies or Books for private use
  • Political Campaigns
  • As outlined in the CAG statement of principles programmes must be community - initiated, organized, and directed, and must directly benefit the residents of Bukit Gasing.
  • Organizations with existing resources or other sources of funds may apply for certain elements of the programme.
  • Both continuing and new programmes are eligible to apply for CAG funding. Continuing programmes are strongly encouraged to incorporate evaluations and community input in determining programme goals and objectives each year.
  • The CAG shall exercise discretion in funding “start-up” costs for new programmes, taking into consideration the feasibility of the program and its alignment with CAG goals and principles.

Please note that submitting a proposal to the CAG does not guarantee full or partial funding. All approved funding are contingent upon compliance with the Terms of Agreement between the successful applicant and Pejabat DUN Bukit Gasing. In addition, prior CAG funding does not guarantee continued funding, either in part or in whole.

MAXIMUM ALLOCATION
The maximum CAG allocation per project is RM15,000. However, there is no guarantee that we will be able to fund the total cost of the project.


CAG FUNDING RESTRICTIONS

CAG funds are provided through the annual Selangor State allocation forADUNs, which have specific restrictions on their use. Programmes funded by the CAG are required tocomply with all rules and regulations of Malaysia and of the State of Selangor,including the following:

  • CAG funds cannot be used for honoraria or salaries
  • CAG funds cannot be used to pay for standard operating costs (i.e. rent) of a community partner.
  • CAG funds cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages
  • CAG cannot be used for activities with political undertones. As such, no political party logos are allowed to be used in conjunction with the programme
  • CAG funds cannot be used for private parties, family reunions, and the like

**Failure to comply with these policies will result in the withholding of programme funds.
**We also reserve the right to audit recipient programmes as we see fit.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

KIDEX has hit the nail on its own coffin by refusing to publicly disclose its highway concession agreement

For the record, I stand behind and echo the statement below. 

Media Statements by Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara and DAP National Publicity Secretary in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 26 January 2015
 
KIDEX has hit the nail on its own coffin by refusing to publicly disclose its highway concession agreement
 
Yesterday, The Malay Mail Online reported that Kidex Sdn Bhd has agreed to reveal details of its highway concession agreement only to the Selangor government and not the general public.
 
 “We are prepared to publicly disclose the concession agreement, but only to the Selangor mentri besar and state legal advisors,” Kidex Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Dr Shaharizuan Shafiei.
 
This is in response to state Menteri Besar Azmin Ali’s recent demand that the developer of the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) publicly disclose its concession deal if it wants Selangor to even consider reviewing the project.
 
The failure of Kidex to comply with the clear and strict conditions by the Selangor state government would automatically mean that the highway project will not even be considered for approval, much less be given the approval to proceed.
 
In the Menteri Besar’s first official visit to Petaling Jaya on the 31 October 2014, he had outlined clearly the terms by which Kidex and any other new highways have to comply before being given consideration by the state government.
 
The Menteri Besar had said that the Selangor state government is not against the construction of highways, any highway to be built must prove itself beneficial to the rakyat.  As such, certain conditions must be met including:
a)    The concessionaire must provide a traffic impact and other relevant studies demonstrating substantial benefit for commuters in terms of reducing traffic congestion and travel time.
 
b)    There must be full transparency on the rate of return of the highway including the toll rates to be charged. This is to ensure that there will be no astronomical profits for the concessionaire and unfair burden on the users.
 
c)     In line with the transparency and accountability practice of the state government, Azmin Ali also demanded that the concession agreement must be fully disclosed to the public.
 
Hence Kidex’s “agreement” to reveal its concession agreement only to the Menteri Besar and his legal advisors clear‎ly fell short of what is required of the concessionaire to meet the transparency and accountability standards of the state government.
 
As such, should Kidex fail to comply to these conditions which has been formally informed to both the Malaysian Highway Authority as well as the concessionaire by the stipulated February 14th deadline, then Kidex has hammered its own nail on its coffin.
 
At the same time, we call upon the Federal Government to reject the Kidex request to extend the deadline again since it is unable to fulfil the conditions stipulated by the state and hence automatically failed to fulfil the conditions precedents of the highway concession agreement.
 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

We believe that the corridor for the proposed alignment of KIDEX will better be used as a public transport line.


Joint Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, Rajiv Rishyakaran, Ng Sze Han and Lau Weng San, State Assemblypersons of Damansara Utama, Bukit Gasing, Kinrara and Kampung Tunku.

We believe that the corridor for the proposed alignment of KIDEX (Kinrara-Damansara Expressway) will better be used as a public transport line.

KIDEX is a 14.9km elevated highway project, worth RM2.2 billion, which aims at connecting the north and south of Klang Valley. While we welcome more highways to be built as Klang Valley develops, we believe that the current proposed alignment is a good corridor for public transport line instead of a highway.

Current alignment if made into a public transport line - Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rapid Transit (LRT) or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), is able to provide greater connectivity to the current public transport network, with possible interchanges with MRT Line 1, LRT Kelana Jaya Line, LRT Ampang Line and KTM Commuter (see attachment). 

Taking up the airspace for the construction of the KIDEX highway will deny the people of Petaling Jaya and Puchong a future public transport link at this particular corridor. This is a spatial opportunity cost lost.

KIDEX is an elevated highway that cut through densely populated and matured residential areas in Petaling Jaya and Puchong and its construction requires acquisition of about 300 plots of land. Putrajaya must prove to the people of Petaling Jaya and Puchong, who are the biggest stakeholders of the project, that the highway project will indeed benefit them more than a public transport project.

Therefore, we urge the federal government to do comparative studies between a highway and public transport line at this particular corridor. KIDEX should also study other alternative alignments. If a highway with the proposed alignment is found to be best option for Klang Valley traffic, then we hope that KIDEX can provide more convincing traffic impact assessment with facts and figures to justify that. At the moment, we have yet to receive traffic impact assessment from KIDEX despite making several requests.

We acknowledge the need for more highways for traffic dispersal as Petaling Jaya and the Klang Valley grows and develops. However, this should not be done on an ad-hoc manner, as with KIDEX planning, but through holistic planning for the Klang Valley road infrastructure, for example Klang Valley traffic master plan.

Only with a holistic traffic master plan that we know which location is best for what transport mode at Klang Valley and only with that the city can development in a more sustainable manner, realizing the full potential of the land value.


RM1000 leasehold renewal program remains for residential properties

Media statement by Rajiv Rishyakaran, State Assemblyman for Bukit Gasing on Friday, 25th July 2014

RM1000 leasehold renewal program remains for residential properties

The allegations by MCA that the move by the Land Office to charge between RM300,000 and RM500,000 to renew leasehold properties could leave the elderly homeless is completely misleading1.

There is no question of the elderly being made homeless as all residential properties are eligible for the RM1000 renewal scheme. There are many concerned inquiries if it now cost RM500k to renew an expiring lease following recent news articles2. I wish to clarify that for residential properties, the RM1000 renewal scheme still exist and is still applicable.

However, from the start of this scheme, it was only for residential purposes, and not for commercial or industrial land3. The name of the scheme, Private Residential Ownership Scheme also strongly implies that.

There are many residential properties in PJ Old Town that have converted into commercial premises over the last few decades. These are the premises that have been rejected from the RM1000 renewal scheme. These properties would have to renew their lease as commercial lands.

The Selangor Land Rules 2003 is the law that spells out the formula for calculating the price of the leasehold renewal for commecial and industrial lands, of which it has not changed in recent times.





We call upon Datuk Paul Low to walk the talk of transparency and push for the disclosure of KIDEX concession agreement.

Joint Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, Rajiv Rishyakaran, Ng Sze Han and Lau Weng San, State Assemblypersons of Damansara Utama, Bukit Gasing, Kinrara and Kampung Tunku on Sunday, 6 April 2014

We call upon the minister in the prime minister office, Datuk Paul Low to walk the talk of transparency and push for the disclosure of Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX) concession agreement.

KIDEX is a 14.9km elevated highway project that is worth RM2.42 billion. The contract was awarded to Emrail Sdn Bhd and Zabima Engineering Sdn Bhd, which are linked to UMNO lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun and the wife of former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi.

KIDEX Sdn Bhd, which was a company formed by Emrail Sdn Bhd and Zabima Engineering Sdn Bhd[1], has announced that KIDEX highway construction is to begin as early as beginning of next year. [2]

While it is debatable whether the contract is a ‘political reward’, there’s one thing we know – we have yet to see the concession agreement. How long will the concession be? How much is the toll rate? On what basis will the toll rate is to be computed?

We do welcome more highways that connect north and south of Klang Valley. Currently, there are 5 highways that serve the Klang Valley with an east-west alignment, which are SPRINT, Federal Highway, NPE, KESAS and the Bukit Jalil Highway; but only one highway with a north-south alignment, which is Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP). The aim of KIDEX is to help to alleviate traffic congestion on the LDP, which is good.

Nevertheless, will it become another LDP that rob people for obscene profit for the concessionaire in the name of infrastructure? The total capital cost of construction of the LDP highway is estimated at RM1.3 billion while the projected profit after tax over the 30-year concession period will be RM18.9 billion, which is 14 times the capital investment. [3] Giving the Barisan Nasional government the benefits of doubt, we do not know whether KIDEX is another highway robbery until we see the concession agreement.

Since assuming his role as the ‘transparency minister’ in the Prime Minister office, Datuk Paul Low has been singing the tune of transparency and accountability. He stressed the necessity of access of information and questioned the rationale of putting the highway concession under Official Secrets Act (OSA).[4] He also denied the label as a lame duck ‘transparency minister’.[5]

Therefore, we believe that Datuk Paul Low should push for disclosure of concession agreements of all the highways to be built in his tenure. And we suggest that he start with KIDEX concession agreement. This is definitely a golden opportunity for him to prove that he is after all not a lame duck ‘transparency minister’.

  
[1] http://www.kidexskyway.com/about/
[2] http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2014/03/14/Construction-of-Kidex-highway-to-begin-next-year/
[3] http://www.thesundaily.my/node/160006
[4] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/paul-low-says-toughest-challenge-to-declassify-secret-documents
[5] http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/paul-low-says-is-powerless-will-bank-on-pms-stature-to-fight-graft