For new Lanang MP, changing one woman’s life biggest accomplishment of 2013

When asked about the one thing that she wanted to achieve this year but did not, Lau cited the yet-to-be-implemented crackdown on online gambling in Sibu. — Picture courtesy of Alice Lau
When asked about the one thing that she wanted to achieve this year but did not, Lau cited the yet-to-be-implemented crackdown on online gambling in Sibu. — Picture courtesy of Alice Lau

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — Lawmakers are often expected to affect the lives of millions of Malaysians, but DAP’s Lanang MP Alice Lau considers improving the welfare of a single elderly woman her biggest accomplishment of 2013.

The first-term lawmaker said she was finally able to help place an elderly woman, who had been homeless for four years, in an old folk’s home.

“I brought this issue to the Women’s Ministry in Dewan Rakyat, and after that, she’s now in an old folk’s home,” Lau told The Malay Mail Online in a phone interview.

“She doesn’t have to worry and there’s no need to trouble other people,” said the DAP Wanita assistant organising secretary, adding that the woman’s three sons had not contacted them, despite advertisements being placed in newspapers.

The Sarawak federal lawmaker said that the woman in her 70s had to stay at a friend’s house for four years, as old folks’ homes had refused to take her in because she still has children.

When asked about the one thing that she wanted to achieve last year but did not, Lau cited the yet-to-be-implemented crackdown on online gambling in Sibu despite the fact that she had raised the issue in Parliament on several occasions.

“In Sibu, it’s actually quite serious. That’s why the crime rate has been increasing here, like snatch theft. Everywhere, there’s online gambling. Even students gamble,” said Lau.

“We asked the Home Ministry and the police to take action, to close the shops with the computers where people go and gamble. There are a lot of shops in my area — more than 100 in a small town,” she added.

The opposition lawmaker said that Sibu police chief ACP Shafie Ismail was replaced by ACP Mohd Kamal Kordi recently, but lamented the new district police chief’s apparent ineffectiveness.

“So far, the replacement doesn’t help at all. We heard that the district police chief has only just heard of Sibu; he’s from Johor,” said Lau.

For this year, the new lawmaker who won the SUPP stronghold of Lanang in Election 2013 said she aims to improve the country’s welfare policies in light of recent increases in the cost of living.

“I think the welfare aid is not enough. Everything has gone up. They have to increase the welfare aid,” she said.

“For single mothers, they only give RM100 per child per month. Maximum is RM450, no matter how many children you have. For old folks, they only get RM300 a month.

“Previously in the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto, we proposed RM550 a month for a poor family in need,” added the 32-year-old first-term MP.

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