(603) 5510 4566
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Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling,Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng
Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
Timothy Loh, Samantha Sim, Ivan Looi, Tony Kee,
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
February 24 — 26, 2012
Wong says citizens must take proactive action.
MogFriday Saturday Sundayafeoongh
Malaysian meteorological department
Paradigm shift neededto achieve fair elections
Apartment residents, whose water supply is disconnected due totheir errant developer, have hit out at Syari-kat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas)or being inhumane.“Your action is heartless. You want to waitor the cheques to clear rst (beore recon-necting the water supply)?” asked MohdAzam Meor, rom Pandan Utama Housing Project (Phase II), at a meeting with Syabason Monday night.Some 70 amilies have had dry taps sinceFeb 14 aer supply was disconnected whenit was discovered that the developer o the two-year-old apartment had been steal-ing rom a water main.Te water was piped into an illegal watertank beore being supplied to residents atthe ve-storey walk-up apartment in JalanCempaka 1, Pandan Utama.Mohd Azam, 55, was among residents who pleaded or water to be reconnected im-mediately to ease the plight o children, pregnant women and senior citizens whohave to carry pails o water up ights o stairs.But Syabas corporate communica-tions and public afairs manager Mohd Su-an Sahran, who met residents, deendedthe company's actions, saying the utilitycompany had to prevent water the romreoccurring.“You must understand that we have tostop the illegal connection o water,” he toldresidents during a tense 90-minute meeting which saw consumers venting their rustra-tions on him and his team.Mohd Suan said the developer wouldhave to satisy a ra o requirements set bySyabas and the National Water ServicesCommission (Span) beore reconnectioncould take place.Te company must rst install a bulk me-ter at the apartment beore Syabas will turnthe water on again rom the illegal connec-tion.“We want to know how much water is be-ing consumed,” Mohd Suan told the crowd.However, his explanation ailed to quellthe anger o residents who wanted watersupply restored immediately.“Reconnect the water. onight, i possi-ble,” said resident Mohd Rahman Junid, 66.Another resident, Iskandar Abu Hatan,44, laid the blame squarely on Syabas or putting nancial matters above ratepayers’concerns.He said the water concessionaire shouldreconnect the water supply without delay i it had the residents’ welare in mind.Syabas, he said, could install the bulk wa-ter meter and start charging the residents ortheir usage immediately.“We will pay whatever amount that comesup. We need the water or ushing toilets,or bathing and doing our laundry,” the o-ce administrator said.Apart rom the requirement that the de- veloper install the bulk meter, Syabas also wants the company to settle RM185,000 orstealing water.Te company had issued a post-datedcheque on Feb 15 during a meeting with Syabasrepresentatives or RM40,000 and hammeredout a deal to pay the rest in our instalments.However, yesterday (Tursday), Syabasslapped the developer with an additional de-mand o a bank guarantee or RM1.9 mil-lion beore water is reconnected.Te amount is to ensure that the companycompletes the stalled water supply inra-structure, which includes building a new water tank, water pump and also laying amain pipe to a nearby reservoir.Te concessionaire wants the developerto agree in writing that the inrastructure becompleted within a year. When contacted by Selangor imes,Mohd Suan said water supply could be re-stored by 1pm tomorrow (Feb 25) provideda bulk meter is installed today (Friday).Meanwhile Cempaka state lawmaker Is-kandar Samad, who has been involved intalks to get water supply restored, said Sya-bas was only complicating matters by impos-ing new conditions on the developer.“I’m shocked that Syabas is asking or abank guarantee o RM1.9 million. Syabas iscomplicating matters. What are they trying to do?” asked the state housing executivecouncillor.Iskandar earlier pointed out that the state would blacklist the company i it ailedto act immediately.At the same time, he said Syabas shouldnot delay reconnecting the supply on hu-manitarian grounds.“Presently, residents have to carry pails o water up ve oors, and there’s a possibilityaccidents can happen i the situation persistsany longer,” he said.
Residents lash out at Syabas
Lee Choon Fai
A collectivechange in mindset about allowing politicians to have ree rein isneeded beore Malaysia can everget ree and air elections, says anelection rights pressure group.“indak Malaysia ounder Wong Piang Yow said on Wednes-day that politicians are also alsohuman, driven primarily by greedand ear.“I we let the politicians takecare o our lives, they will take careo it, 'good and proper',” he quippedat the launch o indak Malaysia'seducation programme or voters as well as election polling, counting and booth agents (Pacaga) at Sun- way University. Wong pointed out that politi-cians, let unchecked, could be-come corrupt, citing the saying “power corrupts, absolute powercorrupts absolutely”.But he admitted that changing the public mindset is an uphill taskas many have grown too comort-able with the status quo, especially youngsters who treat the politicalsituation in Malaysia with apathy.“he majority o the populationlike to remain the way they are,change is painul, but we will stilldo whatever we can to help,” hesaid.He lamented the indierencetowards the political situation,claiming that laws have been dis-torted so much that the countrycould ace bankruptcy soon.“We cannot violate the laws o economics and reuse to pay the price or it,” said Wong.He likened the people's en-trenchment in the system to themovie he Matrix where peoplelive in virtual reality, orming arat-race-like situation where noth-ing is achieved.he sel-unded non-govern-mental organisation, which com- prises volunteers, hopes to pro-mote ree and air elections, en-courage a two-party system, em- power Malaysians to assert their political rights, encourage proac-tive action and reduce corruptionthrough their educational pro-grammes.he programmes include basictheoretical lectures that educate people on election laws. For exam- ple, the public will learn the 31 ways that their ballot papers can bedisputed and voided in the Elec-tions Act.Participants will also be taught practical ways to ensure that their vote is not wasted, like requesting a random piece o ballot to ensurethe voter's anonymity.“Basically we want everyone tohave a chance to win the election,a ree and air election,” said Wong.he next Pacaba programme will be held at the Petaling JayaMunicipal Council headquartersat 9am on Sunday (Feb 26). hereare also similar programmes inother states like Penang, Malacca, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.Although not part o the Bersih2.0 coalition, indak Malaysia has worked with them to come up with proposals or amendments to theFederal Constitution and the Elec-tions Act to ensure ree and airelections.indak Malaysia has also beenattending the Parliamentary SelectCommittee on electoral reorms,and is currently working on a pro- posal to address gerrymandering and disproportionate distributiono voters in Selangor.He cited the discrepancy be-tween Putrajaya and Kapar, wherethere is a vast dierence between voter numbers, with Kapar having 112,224 and Putrajaya having only6,608. he average number o vot-ers per constituency in Malaysia is49,199.his would mean that a membero Parliament elected in Kapar would be equal to 17 MPs electedin Putrajaya, eectively diluting the worth o a person's vote in Ka- par.“By design, you only need 1.85million out o 10.9 million votes,or 15 percent o votes, to secure a51 percent simple majority in Par-liament,” said Wong.He also said the Election Com-mission (EC) is ar rom independ-ent as it is illed with retired civilservants, raising ears o conlict o interest.He compared the situation tohaving a reeree preside a matchinvolving a team which he sup- ports.But he said the EC itsel is notto blame or the current situationas it is only ollowing the law thathas been amended many times tosuit the ruling government's needs.For the EC to be independent, thelaw must irst change.