Media Statements

306 posts

Severe cuts to the Monitoring and Enforcement Budget of the Department of Environment (DOE) needs to be reversed

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 27th of October, 2016

Severe cuts to the Monitoring and Enforcement Budget of the Department of Environment (DOE) needs to be reversed

One of the regular complaints that I receive from residents in my constituency is the issue of noise and emissions of smells by factories which sometimes operate late into the night. When these complaints were highlighted to the Department of Environment (DOE), which oversees the monitoring of these factories, the usual response I receive is that they don’t have enough enforcement officers and a sufficient budget to carry out their monitoring and enforcement duties. More recently, the serious pollution of Sungai Semantan and Sungai Semenyih which resulted in water disruptions affected more than half a million households, was traced back to illegal discharge and dumping of pollutants into the river by irresponsible parties.

At a time when more resources should be dedicated to monitoring and enforcement, I was shocked to learn that the budget for these activities have been cut from RM105 million in 2016 to RM76.5 million in 2017, a reduction of RM28.5 million or a 27% cut (See Figure 1 below)

Figure 1: Cut in the budget for Monitoring and Enforcement Activities, 2016 to 2017

This large cut in the budget for monitoring and enforcement activities will inevitably jeopardise the ability of the DOE to effectively monitor the illegal dumping of pollutants into our rivers by factories and other irresponsible parties.

At a time when our rivers are increasingly vulnerable to pollution, the monitoring and enforcement budget should be INCREASED by 30% rather than cut by almost 30%. These cuts are unacceptable and I call upon the Finance Minister to reverse these cuts and increase the allocation for monitoring and enforcement activities under the Department of Environment.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

Judicial Review filed on behalf of 3 voters in Batang Kali / Kuala Kubu Baru challenging the illegal transfer of voters and redrawing of boundary lines by the Election Commission

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 24th of October 2016

Judicial Review filed on behalf of 3 voters in Batang Kali / Kuala Kubu Baru challenging the illegal transfer of voters and redrawing of boundary lines by the Election Commission

On Friday, 21st of October 2016, lawyers representing 3 voters in the N6 Batang Kali and N7 Kuala Kubu state seats in Selangor filed a judicial review at the Higher Court of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur seeking to quash the outcome of the ‘belah bahagi’ exercise undertaken by the Election Commission on the 29th of April, 2016 and published in the Federal Government Gazette P.U. (B) 197.

This ‘belah bahagi’ exercise was undertaken by the Election Commission under Section 7(2) of the Elections Act 1958. But the EC does not have the right to shift voters from one constituency to another, be it at the state or federal level. Nor does the EC have the right to redraw the boundaries of a constituency, be it at the state or federal level unless it is in the context of a delimitation exercise.

In the delimitation exercise which was announced by the Election Commission on the 15th of September 2016, the boundaries of the P94 Hulu Selangor state seat, which includes the boundaries of the state seats of Batang Kali and Kuala Kubu Baru, were not affected. This means that voters who were shifted from Batang Kali to KKB and vice versa under the ‘belah bahagi’ exercise cannot have their objections heard during the public investigation and hearing portion of the delimitation exercise.

As such this judicial review is the only option left to the voters of Batang Kali and KKB to object to the illegal redrawing of boundaries and transfer of voters by the EC on the 29th of April.

It is clear that when we compare the electoral boundaries of the KKB seat in the 13th General Election and the electoral boundaries of the same state seat after the ‘belah bahagi’ exercise on the 29th of April 2016, that the boundaries have been changed (See Figure 1 below)

Figure 1: Comparing the electoral boundaries of the Kuala Kubu Baru state seat in the 13th General Elections (blue border) and the electoral boundaries of the KKB state seat after the ‘belah bahagi’ exercise (white border)

As a result of this illegal boundary change, over 5000 voters were moved from the Batang Kali state seat to the Kuala Kubu Baru state seat. The judicial review filed seeks to overturn this EC decision.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

Reference: Judicial Review Statement – Batang Kali & Kuala Kubu Baru

Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s recent statements show why we cannot expect the BN to implement a fair political financing system

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 24th of October 2016

Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s recent statements show why we cannot expect the BN to implement a fair political financing system

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, is no stranger to making controversial statements in order to propel himself up the ranks of the UMNO leadership. But even I was shocked at his latest tweets where he proposed to blacklist companies with government contracts who support Bersih because he accuses Bersih of having an agenda to illegally topple the government.

Firstly, it is shocking to see a Minister accuse Bersih of having an agenda to illegally topple the government. None of the initial 8 demands of Bersih which includes calls for institutional and electoral reform calls for the government to be toppled via illegal means. These 8 demands were simplified to 5 main points for the upcoming Bersih 5 rally – clean elections, clean government, the right to dissent, protect parliamentary democracy, save the economy – and none of them calls for the government to be toppled via illegal means.

In fact, I tweeted a challenge to Abdul Rahman Dahlan (@mpkotabelud) asking him to point to any one statement by a Bersih leader which called for the illegal toppling of the government through the upcoming Bersih 5 rally on the 19th of November, 2016 and he did not respond.

Secondly, I question the right of the Minister to blacklist companies who support Bersih and ban them from getting government contracts. On what legal grounds is the Minister basing his actions on? Will the Minister target companies who support opposition parties next?

Thirdly, the actions of the Minister clearly show that the BN has no credibility when it comes to implementing a political financing act that is fair and impartial. If the Minister wants to target companies for supporting Bersih based on spurious and baseless grounds, what is to prevent the BN from selectively discriminating against companies and individuals who support the opposition if this information has to be revealed under a Political Financing Act?

The bullying and fear mongering tactics of Abdul Rahman Dahlan must be soundly rejected by all Malaysians.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang