Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This is not the time to politicize water disruptions.

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman of Damansara Utama on Tuesday 27 September 2016 in Petaling Jaya.

This is not the time to politicize water disruptions.

I was appalled watching video clips of Noh Omar’s press conference this evening about Selangor water disruptions. I have expected more substantial suggestions from a minister, but apparently he was more interested to score political point over Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.

First of all, I would like to remind Noh Omar that monitoring river quality is the responsibility of both Jabatan Alam Sekitar (JAS), which is a federal agency, and Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (LUAS), which is a state agency. Both the federal and state government should take collective responsiblities in controlling river pollution. In any case, the focus right now should be to work together to quickly identify the source of the pollution to ensure there is no reoccurence. After that, both governments need to ensure that the main culprit is charged at court and get the heaviest punishment possible as provided by the relevant laws. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Noh Omar should eat humble pie and ditch his developers-moneylenders plan.

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman of Damansara Utama on Saturday 17 September 2016 in Petaling Jaya.

Noh Omar should now eat humble pie and ditch his developers-moneylenders plan.

On 8 September, we were shocked by the announcement made by Tan Sri Noh Omar on his ministry’s plan to allow property developers to give out loans to homebuyers at interest rate as high as 12 to 18%[i].  Since the announcement, except for the former Menteri Besar of Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, [ii] his idea doesn’t seem to get support from the people. Not only did he draw flak from the opposition parties, he also doesn’t seem to have received support from his UMNO colleagues and many others.

The second finance minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said that Noh Omar’s plan is unsustainable and illogical[iii] while CIMB chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak in his instagram has described this plan as “dangerous”. The National House Buyers Association of Malaysia (HBA) Secretary General Chang Kim Loong also weighed in to say that the proposal is “ridiculous”[iv]. Even the deputy prime minister Zahid Hamidi and Treasury Sectretary-General Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah were very reserved in their responses to this proposal.

Yesterday, rating agency Fitch Ratings has also stated that the scheme, if implemented, will add to the risks associated with rising household debt and many households could struggle to service the loan at such high interest rates.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Putrajaya should abort the plan that enables property developers to become the loan sharks to home buyers.

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on Friday 9 September 2016 in Petaling Jaya.

Putrajaya should abort the proposed plan that enables property developers to become the loan sharks to home buyers.

I read with great concern the announcement by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry that there will be an initiative from Putrajaya that allows property developers to give out loans to home buyers at interest rate as high as 12 to 18%[i]. More worryingly, under such scheme the developers have the autonomy to decide who to give the loan to and not only restricted to the first home buyers. The minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said that such initiative is a win-win situation for both the developers and home buyers. I beg to differ. I believe that this will only create “win” to the developers but leave the home buyers unnecessarily and heavily in debt.

Firstly, the proposed new scheme will cause artificial property price hike that does not reflect the real economic growth, similar to the effects brought by Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS), which was abolished in 2014. The newly mooted scheme enables the developers to loan to the buyers who can’t afford to buy in conventional way. The third (or more) house buyers, who can only obtain 70% loan or less from the banks, will now be able to get additional loans from the developers. The influx of easy loan from the property developers will enable them to sell their properties at artificially high price. Easy loan couples with artificial high price will in turn encourage speculative behavior, pushing the property price even higher and making housing even more unaffordable.

Khazanah in its report “Making Housing Affordable” reported that together with multi-generational loan of 45 years, DIBS inflated property prices by as much as 30%[ii]. The House Price Index (HPI) of the National Property Information Center (NAPIC) has shown clearly that while Malaysian all-house price grew steadily at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1% between 2000 to 2009, the CAGR of HPI during DIBS implementation (2009 to 2014) was as high as 10.1%. Comparatively, the economy grew at only half the growth rate of housing price in this period of property boom. As a cooling measure, the government abolished DIBS in 2014. However, why now Putrajaya introduces another scheme that will fuel another round of unhealthy artificial price hike?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Youth Mainstreaming: Economic Perspective

From my Official Facebook Post (13 Aug 2016): 

Last weekend DAPSY (DAP Socialist Youth) had a successful political education summit. 

DAPSY National Executive Committee

I wasn't able to join them due to commitment at constituency. However, I made a short trip to attend the meeting of DAPSY National Committee and to join my comrades (Rajiv, Nurman, Bryan and Yoke Kong) to speak in one of the forums: Youth Mainstreaming: The technical perspective & Economic Case. 

Panel of the Forum 

Here is a short note of what I shared:

1. Malaysia is in a period which we should take advantage of "demographic dividend" - people coming to workforce is more than those who retire. In normal (or even not too bad circumstances), the economy will expand due to demographic change. But are we taking full advantage of this window of opportunity? Or will we let this generation pass without making a signifcant breakthrough? 

Showing the Demography Chart 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Firearms Incidents: Border Security Agency

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on Thurday 28 July 2016 in Petaling Jaya.

The rampant cases of firearm incidents have shown that the newly set-up Border Security Agency under Home Ministry must buck-up to ensure safety and security of all Malaysians. 

Malaysia is no longer safe. We have heard of many shooting incidents since the beginning of the year, many of which happened in broad daylight. Within this month (July 2016) alone, Malaysians have been shocked by at least six firearm incidents[1]. Many were heartless incidents that send shivers down the spine of everyone who lives and works in Malaysia. In the beginning of the month, 32-year old property agent, Wong Siu Ling was shot dead by two gunmen with five shots in Taman OUG, KL. Her daughter, who was sitting at the passenger seat, was seriously injured by the gunshots targeted at her mother. She is only 8 years old! Then in mid-July, drug addict, Chung Chun Wah shot dead his own mother, brother and two-year-old nephew and his mother’s partner with an unlicensed gun in a chicken factory in Penang. Yesterday, we heard yet another case – a moneylender was shot dead at a traffic light junction in Setapak.

Monday, July 4, 2016

"Jangan Salahkan Mangsa" Anti-Rape Campaign

KUALA LUMPUR, 28th June 2016 – Yeo Bee Yin, of Pusat Khidmat ADUN Damansara Utama, in conjunction with All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), kicked off their second collaboration centered on anti-rape awareness today. The launch of the new website, antirogol.com, aims to educate and provide survivors and the general public with basic information and resources on rape and sexual violence such as what constitutes rape, information on the laws pertaining to rape in Malaysia and possible steps that survivors could take if rape takes place and other avenues where survivors can seek help.  

On average, 3000 rape cases are reported every year in Malaysia. Over 60% of these cases involved children below eighteen years old. This breaks down to a woman or a child being raped every three hours. More disturbing and important to note is that only two out of ten rape cases are estimated to be reported, which means that the overall number of cases occurring per year would be much higher.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Free Malaysia Today Special Report: Real change means working on the impossible

KUALA LUMPUR: Anyone meeting Damansara Utama assemblywoman Yeo Bee Yin for the first time, would be struck by the strong sense of work ethic that the 33-year-old politician exudes.
This may be in part due to the pragmatism traditionally associated with the engineering profession, which she trained in extensively prior to her entry into politics.
“I am not a natural politician. I was an engineer; I was never really into politics. So the only thought I had when I was asked to join the political scene was that I wanted to make a change in this country,” Yeo said in an interview with FMT last Friday.
A quick look at the Wikipedia page of DAP’s social media strategist, shows she has a First Class Honours degree in Chemical Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Petronas, and a Masters in Philosophy in Advanced Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University under a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which she completed with a commendation.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Malaysia must recover from Dutch Disease before it kills us.

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on Friday 11 March 2016 in Petaling Jaya.

I read with great concern Petronas’ press statement dated 29 February 2016, where it announced that the profit-after-tax recorded by the national oil company in 2015 is RM21 billion[i], which was 56% lower than the year 2014. The drop in profit for Petronas was not unexpected as we have seen crude oil prices falling by 75% in the past 18 months; from USD 110 per barrel to its lowest record since 2003 at USD 27 per barrel, and before it rises again and hovers at USD 35 per barrel.

What concerns me is the fact that with such poor earnings, Petronas may need to tap into its reserve to meet its 2016 RM 16 billion dividend commitment to Putrajaya[ii]. It should be noted that even at the height of 2008's economic crisis and its aftermath, Petronas' dividend paid to Putrajaya was still lower than what it earned, with dividend payout at 39.3% in 2008, 57.1% in 2009 and 74.4% in 2010.