Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My YSEALI Experience

It's been more than a month since I am back from the US and Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). I had been wanting to write down my experience but was a bit too pre-occupied with other things since touching down especially catching up with works. Anyway, here it is, better late than never. :) 

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It's 25th April mid-night, I looked at my empty suitcase and thought, "o crap, I am flying tomorrow night to the US and I have not prepared anything!" After all, I have just finished a crazily packed day. Our office has been busy since the beginning of the month - we completed SS2 Wall Art project in the first week, ran anti-rape campaign together with All Women Action Malaysia (AWAM) in the second week, organised Youth Leadership Camp (LEAP) in the third week and just launched Change Your World's anti-human trafficking campaign on 25th April. I needed to cramp everything so that I could spare some time to go the US without short-changing our annual goals. 

Frankly, at this stage, being an introvert, all I wanted was to retract to my personal corner (you'll understand that if you are an introvert too, haha), definitely not to attend leadership program with many new people to meet and connections to make, not to mention the hassle to pack in the middle of the night! Argh. I started to regret and thought to myself, "Why on earth did I apply to this YSEALI?". 

But I was reminded of the reasons I applied to this program - to learn new knowledge, to gain new information, to challenge my current perspectives and to seek new ways of doing things. A person will only move backward if he/she starts living in his/her own world and repeating everything he/she has done before. So I cleared my mind, got myself a coffee, opened my eyes wide, and yes, started packing. And off I went to the U.S on Sunday 26th April 2015!

5 Things I Learnt in the US and YSEALI


Friday, June 19, 2015

Whacking a prince, 800 years after Magna Carta

I rarely share article written by others on my blog. But I think this article from Malaysiakini written by Lu Wei Hong offers clarity in this disturbed and distracted world of Malaysian politics. You may not agree with the writer but I believe it worth deep thoughts from us, especially those who wish to pursue a full parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. UMNO or Nazri supporter or not, the eventuality is to pick between upholding a system governed by votes or by bloodline. We cannot have the best of both worlds. 

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The Malaysian political arena is now embroiled in a whacking match between Culture and Tourism Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz and Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim over Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s absence at the 'Nothing to Hide' forum.


In defence of “kurang ajar”, Nazri parried himself, as an elected representative for five consecutive terms, with the member of the Johor royalty, who hooked up a 2,000-strong “Daulat Tuanku” rally in front of the Bukit Serene Palace.

As the heated exchange continued, there was a significant, historical event taking place 10,500km away in Britain, the former coloniser of Malaya, on June 15.

A fleet of boats, led by the royal barge Gloriana, was carrying a replica of the Magna Carta on the Thames River and heading for Runnymede, where the charter was signed between King John and a group of rebel barons in 1215.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Can’t see, can’t hear’ policy on refugees must stop

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblyperson of Damansara Utama on Wednesday 13 May 2015 in Petaling Jaya.

The number of refugees in Malaysia will continue to increase and the government can no longer practice “can’t see, can’t hear” policy on refugee.

It was reported that more than a thousand of Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees have just arrived at Malaysian shore. According to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report entitled “Irregular Maritime Movement”, about 25,000 people are estimated to have departed from the Bay of Bengal in the first quarter of 2015 in the hope to reach Malaysia by sea[1]. Therefore, we believe that this is just the beginning of more refugees to arrive in days to come.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Protect the Kids not Paedophiles


Below is my full statement responding to the intention of Shafie Apdal and MARA of giving Nur Fitri the Paedophiles an easy second chance. 




Media Statement of Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman of Damansara Utama on Wednesday 6 May 2015 in Petaling Jaya. 

No Unconditional Second Chance for Nur Fitri the Paedophile

We are disgusted by the statement made by the Minister of Rural and Regional Development Mohd Shafie Apdal on the government intention to appeal to the court of London to lessen the Nur Fitri's sentence in London. Shafie Apdal must explain to the public why the government should spend tax payers money (our government resources in London) to lessen the punishment for a paedophile? Such government action will send a terribly wrong signal to Malaysian that paedophile is alright.  Nur Fitri is a disgrace to our country and the fact that Shafie Apdal intend to appeal for him is even more disgraceful. 

Our children's right to protection is far more important than the freedom of paedophile. If we want to protect the most vulnerable, we must be stern to the convict. Where is Datuk Rohani Abdul Rohani on this issue? She should speak up against her colleague for the right of the children to be protected. 

In addition, we strongly disagree with MARA and the student group which are calling to give Nur Fitri a second chance by allowing him to study in the local institutions in Malaysia upon his return. In fact, MARA should now review its scholarship selection policy on why was he given scholarship? Tax payers monies wasted on a paedophile! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

No Excuse to Rape Campaign

Rape is a very serious issue in Malaysia. And it probably will affect the victims and their families for a life time. When I discussed how we can help to raise the awareness with Karen, my assistant who's doing our women work, we had an initial idea of doing forums. But after much thought, we decided that we should release a video to reach out to more. We are thankful that AWAM (All Women’s Action Society) came onboard to be our partner in this campaign. 

Many time rape is perceived as a women's problem, but it is actually about men. So the target audience for this video is the men. I hope that you can help us to increase awareness about rape, watch and share this video to your friends. 


Below is my our picture during the video launch and my statement on rape. 



Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on Tuesday 20 April 2015

No Excuse to Rape Campaign (Rogol adalah rogol. Tiada Alasan)

Pusat Khidmat ADUN Damansara Utama and AWAM (All Women’s Action Society) have teamed up to run a digital campaign that aims to break the general victim blaming culture in Malaysia and to raise awareness about statutory rape, substance-related rape and marital rape.

On average, there are 3,000 rape cases reported every year in Malaysia and only 2 out of every 10 cases are reported. In another words, every 35 minutes there is one girl or woman being raped somewhere in Malaysia.

Rape can only be reduced when we as a society have greater awareness about the severity of the issue and start addressing the taboos, myths and mindsets that exacerbate rape culture. One fact that should be understood clearly is that the act of rape is never the fault of the victims but the rapists.  Many people think that rape is about women but it is more about men. Hence this digital campaign main target audience is the men.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Skim Teksi Percuma



Skim Teksi Percuma (STP) is a social assistance program initiated by Pusat Khidmat ADUN Damansara Utama, Pusat Khidmat ADUN Bukit Gasing and Pusat Khidmat ADUN Kampung Tunku with the support of MyTeksi to provide free taxi rides for low-income families, the underprivileged and the disabled to the government hospitals in the Klang Valley area. In addition, beneficiaries can also use the free taxi services to manage matters related to citizenship and welfare in any Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN) and the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) in the Klang Valley area.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Rogol Adalah Rogol Tiada Alasan


Secara purata, 3,000 kes rogol dilaporkan setiap tahun di Malaysia dan hanya dua daripada setiap 10 kes yang dilaporkan. Dalam erti kata lain, setiap 35 minit, akan ada seorang gadis atau wanita dirogol di suatu tempat di Malaysia.  Hormatilah wanita, tonton dan sebarkan video ini. 



Rogol Adalah Rogol. Tiada Alasan! 











Thursday, April 16, 2015

REPORT ON STATE ASSEMBLY SESSION (30 MARCH - 9 APRIL 2015)

The state assembly was in session from 30 March to 9 April 2015. In this session, my policy speech focused on my concern over government involvements in business. Below are the details of my speech on this issue and the reply by the state government. In addition, I tabled five select committee reports (see below).  



Note: Select Committees are legislative committees which roles are to check on the government at different aspects of governance. I am in two of the 10 select committees in Selangor State Assembly - GLC and Raw Water Management. We have weekly select committee meetings and table reports every state assembly session. The government will have to respond to each recommendation on the reports the next state assembly session. Such legislative scrutiny is the result of legislative reforms in Selangor State Assembly and aims to improve the accountability and transparency of the government. As backbenchers, we are not to be the rubber-stamp of our own government. Our role is to continue to check and monitor the government, speak out when it is not doing right and ensure continuous improvement in governance. 

THE MAIN CONTENT OF MY POLICY SPEECH at STATE ASSEMBLY SESSION on 1 April 2015

Menteri Besar Incoporation (MBI) of Selangor has recently announced its intention to develop a total of 5,000 acres different parcels of state land to townships through joint venture with private developers. The total gross development value of these developments is estimated at RM 60 billion. I have reservation for such a plan and raised my concern in the recent state assembly session.  

I am not a proponent of government entering into business. I believe that profit-maximizing companies in the free market will generate greater economic impact than government-linked companies (GLCs), i.e creating more jobs and generating higher economic output.

Nevertheless, it is not uncommon to see different types of GLCs at both federal and state level in Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia is among the countries in the world with the highest GLCs presence, ranking fifth after China, United Arab Emirates, Russia and Indonesia.

Researches have found that GLCs usually generate less return compared to private companies in the same competitive industry. According to a McKinsey study, the average return on assets (ROA) at GLCs in China was less than half that of the private sector. The Economist also published similar results in an article “Fixing China Inc” dated 30 August 2014. It further elaborates the inherent problems for GLCs in China, which are also widely seen in Malaysia and Selangor, namely the social obligations of GLCs, bureaucracy, rent-seeking behavior due to lack of transparency and the lack of comparable industrial benchmarks.

In Selangor context, according to the report tabled by Selangor GLC Select Committee in the state assembly session November 2015, Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) and Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad (PNSB), which are state GLCs in property development, perform much worse than property developers with private management. PKNS and PNSB recorded ROA of 0.12 and 0.0027 compared to Sunway 7.31, YTL Land 1.21, Mah Sing Group 6.97 and UEM Sunrise 6.92. The same goes to return on equity (ROE) with PKNS and PNSB recorded 0.21 and 0.069 while Sunway 16.39, YTL Land 2.61, Mah Sing Group 17.67 and UEM Sunrise 11.59.

The Myth of Joint Venture

We have often heard that joint venture with private companies will increase the return for GLCs. It is not necessarily so. According to the answer to my written questions in state assembly session November 2015, there are a total of 38 projects completed by PNSB through joint venture. However, PNSB still suffer return that is much lower than industry average.

We have also always heard that joint venture will help to transfer skills to GLCs. It is also not necessarily so. I would like to point out one example here - Selaman Sdn Bhd. According to auditor-general (AG) report 2013 Series 2, Selaman was formed in 1977 and have been using joint venture to develop its lands. Unfortunately, up until 2013 when the audit was done, the company was reported to be unable to do the development itself. From 1999-2013, Selaman managed to complete 14 projects, out of which only there projects were developed solely by the company itself. For the 3 projects, one at Sg Bakau, Kundang, Gombak was canceled, another one at Sg Merab, Dengkil, Sepal is still having land problem, and the only completed one was Karya Residensi 1 and it was also delayed for 52 weeks. This example shows that joint venture doesn't guarantee skill transfers.

As a matter of fact, we see that most of the time GLCs become sleeping partners in the joint ventures and sometimes being ‘manipulated’ or ‘play-out’ by the business partners.

In Selangor, we have no less bitter experience in GLC joint ventures. One of the most recent one is PJ Sentral case, of which PKNS entered into joint venture with Nusa Gapurna and was later forced out of it due to unfavorable clauses signed in the shareholder agreements, resulting in a lost of more than RM20 million in cash and 8 acres of prime land in Petaling Jaya. We also do not forget how “smart partnership” with Djiya for the 1,172 acres of Canal City land has turned into a “not so smart” deal for the government.

What is the business of the government?

All in all, what we really need to ponder is why does the government involve in business and what business should the government be involved in?

I believe that the government should only enter into business for one of the three reasons: i. to correct negative externalities of free market economy to achieve social and economic justice, for example, building low-cost flats as a result of income inequality ii. to manage the important natural resources, for example Petronas for Malaysia’s oil or water in Selangor iii. to stimulate the growth of certain strategic industries.

Therefore, I do not agree with MBI entering into joint venture with private developers to develop townships. Instead, I believe the state government through MBI should look into the strategic direction of certain parcel of lands, bringing in strategic international or local investors and tender out different parcels of lands according to that strategic direction. When joint venture is needed for strategic reason, such joint venture should be conducted in an open and transparent manner.

I believe it is more important for the government to attract investment, technology advancement and most importantly human talents to a particular area than to be involved in building the concretes.  I believe the business of the government is to create the macroenvironment that is conducive for businesses to grow and flourish, not getting into the business ourselves.

As a government, we should mind our own business.

REPLY FROM THE GOVERNMENT ON GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS AND MBI JOINT-VENTURE PLAN (in Malay): 



GLC Select Committee Report on Selaman Sdn Bhd 




Raw Water Management Select Committee Report on Sungai Selangor Supply





Raw Water Management Select Committee Report on HORAS 600





Raw Water Management Select Committee Report on Water Disruptions due to Semenyih River Manganese Contamination




Raw Water Management Select Committee Report on Ammonia Contamination at Batu 11 Cheras and Bukit Tampoi in 2014