Thank You and Moving Forward

By Wong Chen

First and foremost, I want to thank the Subang voters for giving me the opportunity to serve you for another term in Parliament Malaysia. On 19th December 2022, I will be taking my oath of office and thus start my third term as your Member of Parliament.

The recent election was a gruelling two weeks of campaigning. This election was more so gruelling than my previous two, as this year both my ADUNs were not standing for office. As such the weight of the entire campaign in Subang was fully on the shoulders of my team and I. It was all worth it in the end and I have much to be thankful to my core team and army of volunteers. In particular, I want to thank Mr Leong and Alethea for providing exemplary leadership in my campaign.

I am deeply humbled by your overwhelming support of 138,269 votes. I also had the second biggest majority in Malaysia of 115,074 votes.

However, there is also a matter of concern, namely lower voter turnout. Subang has 230,940 registered voters; of which 177,983 successfully cast their votes recently. In percentage terms, the voter’s successful participation rate this year was 77%. This is lower by 10% compared to the turnout rate of 87% in 2018.

This is a worrying nationwide trend, caused by voters overall disenchantment with politics and democracy. This is a phenomenon that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Another interesting bit of data is that for the first time, Gerakan campaigning under Perikatan Nasional actually overtook MCA (under Barisan Nasional) in terms of voters’ support. Gerakan’s candidate Alex Ang, won 21,185 votes compared to MCA’s Dr. Kow who had 16,539 votes. While these votes are far behind when compared to the 138,269 votes that I received; it does signal a shift of fortunes for my opponents, namely that, Gerakan has overtaken MCA in Subang.

Since we are on the subject of my opponents, I want to take this opportunity to thank Alex Ang and Dr. Kow for a clean and fair campaign with zero untoward incidence recorded in Parliament Subang during the entire GE15.

Let us now project, forecast and ponder over three selected subject matters for the next five years. Will we see the USJ1 Clinic built? What will be my Parliamentary mission for the coming term? Will the unity government complete its full term of five years?

I am very confident that the USJ1 Clinic will finally see the start of construction in 2023-2024. The first thing to note is that the newly appointed Health Minister is from Pakatan Harapan, and as such should be favourable to start the long neglected project. This is in addition to the fact that the former Health Minister had approved the project in October 2022. The only slight worry is timing due to the fact that the 2023 budget will need to be tabled around February or March 2023; hence the fiscal allocation for the clinic may only come in the year 2024.

What will I focus on for the next five years? I would be continuing my work on Parliamentary reforms that started in the previous term. Select committee expansion, a fiscal responsibility office, the Parliament Services Act and budgetary increases for Parliament to enable more checks and balance to executive powers; these will be my priority areas of focus.

If my mission to comprehensively reform Parliament succeeds within the next 5 years, then we don’t even have to worry on the third question of whether the unity government can last an entire full term.

I truly believe that Malaysia’s democratic future will ultimately lie in the curbing of excessive executive powers by way of strengthening Parliamentary democracy. In this start of a new era of “realpolitik” which has forced upon us a unity government; that urgency for Parliamentary reforms is now in fact, greater than ever.