Upon a change in government, the challenges which a new government faces becomes more and more difficult with each term.
In 2008, the new Selangor Government under Pakatan Rakyat was focused on institutional reforms and plugging leakages. The Head of the Opposition was appointed as the PAC Chairman, the office of the State Assemblyman and Councillors were separated, Select Committees were established to enhance check and balance, open tenders were non-negotiable, State Assembly proceedings were streamed online for accountability – the list goes on.
In 2013, when these bones were in place, we now have good structure for the meat to cling on to. This is where we began seeing the wealth returning to the State. Allocation for State Assemblymen increased slowly and the State was well placed to roll out programmes that will benefit the people such as – the monthly aid for single mothers (then known as KISS), free water and senior citizen’s welfare schemes.
In 2018, whilst we continued to enhance and add to the State Government programmes (recording 44 to date – covering all stages of life, from cradle to grave), Selangor’s resilience would be tested when Covid-19 hit. Despite, at one point, where we did not receive from the then Federal Government the vaccines sufficient for Selangor’s population – Selangor delivered by purchasing vaccines of our own, and not only that – we pioneered Malaysia’s first contact tracing app and conducted Covid-19 screening for its citizens, all for FREE.
The fact that Selangor rose from the ashes is clear from recent data – one, Selangor (11.9%) outperformed the country’s GDP growth at 8.9%; two, Selangor remains the highest contributor to Malaysia’s GDP at 25.5%; and three, Selangor’s reserve increased from RM2.1bn in 2018 to RM3.4bn.
But what of Selangor – moving forward? There are new challenges on the horizon. Selangor must address the impending climate crisis and focus on creating high income jobs. Given the foundations built over the last three terms and with objectives now aligned with the Federal Government, we are well positioned to address challenges from a position of strength.
We need a State Climate Action Plan focused on adaptation and mitigation. We have to make haste, as the effects of climate change is on us – NAHRIM has projected that Selangor will face a long drought in 2025.
To attract Current and Future Unicorn Companies to set up in Selangor – we must focus on improving government services via digitalisation and by making processes more business friendly. The scene has been set with the emergence of Carsome and entry of Space X and Tesla into the state.
To deliver these, my hope is that Selangorians will vote wisely in the upcoming state elections. In these three weeks, there will be a lot of noise. I have faith, however, that when Selangorians go to the polls on the 12th of August, they will continue to vote for a stable, forward thinking and people-centric government.