Tales from The sTreeTs

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Short memory, elephant’s memory
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Bangi girl in Big apple
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community

February 11 — 13, 2011/ issue 11

PUT TO GOOD USE: Klang Municipal Council officers Zulkifly Abu (left) and Shahruel Fahmi show off umbrellas and shopping bags made from recycled Ah Long banners.

• Story on page 7

New home for Hindu temple
By Selangor Times team

shah alam: It will be a new dawn marking the closure of one of the most controversial issues to have struck the nation in recent years as construction of the new Hindu temple in Section 23 starts on Sunday. The Maha Mariamman temple, serving the religious needs of at least 2,000 people in the vicinity, will be moved from Section 19 to the new location. Few can forget the cow-head protest in 2009 at the gates of State Secretariat building here as the racially-charged event gave the nation unwanted publicity. News organisations across the globe immediately picked up the story, describing it as religious intolerance at its peak. Despite the problems then, the State government managed to find another spot in Section 23 nearer to the main road, and according to some, an even better location than the previous site in Taman Ixora. Located on a 22,500 sq ft area, the bricklaying ceremony on Sunday morning will put an end to one of the most testing times for the

Selangor government under Pakatan Rakyat. Undoubtedly one of the most relieved persons was temple chairman R . Selvakumaran, who had been waging a threedecade battle to find a new spot for the temple. “I am just glad it’s over, after all the issues that arose over the last few years. We had sleepless nights then on how and where we were going to relocate but it’s finally over now.” He expressed hope the local community would put everything that happened behind them and help to transform the temple into a place that meets the Hindu community needs. “What has happened now is something we could not have accomplished a few years ago. Previously we were bogged down with red tape and it was very difficult to meet the people in charge. But it’s the opposite now with the relevant  people coming down to meet us to find out what we need.” He said the PR government was very sup-

portive of the temple and this had prompted many people from across the political divide to get together for a common cause. Selvakumaran singled out Selangor executive councillors Dr Xavier Jayakumar and Rodziah Ismail, and Shah Alam Member of Parliament Khalid Samad as the most supportive by constantly keeping in touch with the temple committee. He added that even the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) and Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) officers constantly checked on their needs. “This is something you could not get before and I am happy that attitudes have changed.” The former estate temple in Section 19 was forced to relocate after housing estates were built around it, leaving it awkward in a Muslim surrounding. The previous State Government then proposed relocating it to an industrial site in

Section 22, despite objections by many people as it was deemed unsuitable. However, the new administration noted the objections and scrapped the idea. A new site was then chosen in Taman Ixora, Section 23. The issue then became politicised, culminating in the cow-head protest. A subsequent town hall meeting chaired by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was also disrupted by a rowdy crowd and the State was forced to shelve the relocation. Malaysia Hindu Sangam president R.S. Mohan Shan said although the incidents two years ago had caused serious damage to the country’s image, it was time to move forward and make the new temple a useful place for the Hindu community. “It should not just be a place of worship but we must turn it into a community centre.” He said nothing untoward should happen now as the current site had taken into account all aspects involving all races and religions. “We are glad rational minds have prevailed and that the Pakatan government has given a good piece of land for the temple.”

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Morning

February 11 — 13, 2011

Selangor WeaTHer
Friday Saturday Sunday

afternoon

One-stop centre for Indonesian labour
By Gan Pei Ling

night

Source: Malaysian meteorological department

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New primary school for Cheras Ensure transparency for open
By Chong Loo Wah

SHAH ALAM: Selangor hopes to resolve its labour shortage in the industrial sector through an agreement s i g n e d to day wi th In d on e s i an authorities. The agreement is between the Selangor State Investment Centre (SSIC) and Indonesia’s Konsortium Bahtera Malindo to source for Indonesian labour through a one-stop centre. “Factory owners who need Indonesian workers can go straight to SSIC’s one stop centre,” said Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in a press statement released in conjunction with the signing. Khalid is on a three-day visit to Jakarta to witness the signing. Khalid said that Konsortium Bahtera

Malindo, which consists of three companies, is approved by the Indonesian government and is experienced in sourcing Indonesian workers for Malaysia. Apart from resolving labour issues, Khalid also hopes to attract more investors to Selangor by stabilising the supply of labour. The state has been losing foreign investments due to the shortage, said Teresa Kok, who is the executive councillor in charge of trade affairs. “There are 60,000 factory worker positions waiting to be filled,” said Kok to Selangor Times. The proposal to set up a one-stop centre for investors to secure Indonesian labour was put forth by SSIC last year. Besides being a facilitator between investors and the workers, SSIC is also

going to set up a database of the workers in order to take better care of their welfare. This collaboration with the Indonesian consortium aims to raise the wages and quality of life of Indonesian factory workers in Selangor, apart from reducing the inflow of illegal workers. It would also help to train more Indonesians to become skilled workers, a “win-win” solution for both Selangor and Indonesia. SSIC chief executive officer Datuk Jabar Ahmad Kembali will sign the memorandum with Konsortium Bahtera Malindo today. Khalid and several state executive councillors are also in Jakarta to meet with investors and explore business opportunities between the state and Indonesia.

tender system, say MPs
By Alvin Yap

SHAH ALAM: Parents in Cheras have another cause for celebration this Chinese New Year as the state has approved land for a third Chinese vernacular school in Bandar Damai Perdana. The approval for SJK (C) Connaught 3 was given as the other schools – SJK (C) Connaught and Connaught 2 – are already overcrowded. The decision was made at Wednesday’s state executive council meeting and the Menteri Besar is expected to announce the decision at the state’s Chinese New Year carnival in Kajang tomorrow night. The 2.27ha plot which was earmarked as a school reserve comes ready with four buildings including a canteen. The developer surrendered the land back to the state in 2009 and the buildings are currently in good condition. The SJK (C) Connaught school board had applied to the state for the land through Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee a year ago. The school’s director, Ng Choon Hua, said the two existing schools had a student population of 2,500 and was bursting at the seams. However, parents continued to ask for Ng’s help to enroll their children in the schools every year. Now that they have secured the land from the state government, the school will be applying for a permit from the Education Ministry. Ng added that they would appeal for donations from the Chinese community if the Education Ministry could not supply sufficient funds to operate the new school. 

SHAH ALAM: Parliamentarians want the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to ensure its open tender system for waste management is free from possible abuse. This comes as allegations have surfaced that “certain council members” with links to the bidders may attempt to abuse the system when MPSJ starts awarding tenders directly. Dr Siti Mariah Mahmood yesterday said she was among Members of Parliament who have received text messages containing allegations.   “I stress that it’s an allegation, but we must have the assurance by the MPSJ president that the open tender system is vetted and approved by both a fullboard meeting and the state exco. “The mechanism and procedure to shortlist the bidders must also be approved by the State Executive Council,” said the Kota Raja MP at a press conference. Dr Siti also suggested a “lottery system” be employed to ensure contracts were awarded fairly. “Conduct a draw by lottery to randomly choose the shortlisted bidders,” she said. She, however, declined to disclose the identities of the people who had

From left: Dr Siti, Khalid and Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne at the press conference yesterday.

sent the messages or those who are alleged to have colluded with the contract bidders. MPSJ will replace Alam Flora in choosing and awarding contracts for solid waste manag ement in its municipality next month, when the current contract ends. Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said that observers are asking how MPSJ will award a contract if five or ten companies have the same pricing “They are saying that in such a case, council officials will be approached by

companies to approve their bids, or the former could ask for bribes to do so,” said Khalid. There were about 7,000 bids from 1,120 companies, with 170 companies shortlisted, in this unprecedented move by MPSJ to open the lucrative solid waste management service. The industry is worth some RM50RM60 million, in both the Petaling Jaya City Council and MPSJ respectively. The MPs said they will meet Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to discuss ways to strengthen the vetting process.

phone (603) 5523 2288 fax (603) 5523 1188 email editor@selangortimes.com

EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR COMMUNITY EDITOR WRITERS

Amenities missing from public halls
SHAH ALAM: Amenities worth RM384,776 have been reported missing from public halls in Selangor due to lack of accountability by village committees appointed by the previous administration. “These Village Development And Safety committees ( JKKK) failed to protect public property in the halls,” said state executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar in a press statement. The thefts happened after the March 2008 general election, and Jayakumar claimed that JKKK paid no heed when items went missing because they became indifferent due to the change in government. The items stolen included computers, public address systems and furniture. Xavier added that event wall mounted speakers, fans and air conditioners had gone missing. He said the losses were reported to the state executive council by the State Economic Planning Unit (Upen) which obtained input from seven district and land offices throughout Selangor (excluding Petaling, Sepang and Sabak Bernam).  He said the state would lodge police reports.

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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ February 11 – 13, 2011 ⁄ 3

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February 11 — 13, 2011

EvEnts
Selangor Chinese New Year Carnival
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will officiate at the Selangor Chinese New Year Carnival tomorrow. The carnival will be held at Jalan Sulaiman, Kajang, from 3pm-11pm. There will be cultural and dance shows, cultural booths, a Chinese cultural exhibition and traditional children games.

Selangor pushes for auxiliary police
By Basil Foo

Free Eye Check
National Institute of Ophthalmic Sciences is offering free comprehensive vision screening at their NIOS Optometry Clinic. It is part of their service to serve the community in “Working Towards Eradicating Visual Impairment”. For an appointment, the public can call NIOS Optometry Clinic at 03-7718 1550. They will be operating from Mondays to Fridays from 9am-5pm and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Venue: National Institute of Ophthalmic Sciences, 1st floor NIOS Office, NIO Building, Lorong Utara B, Petaling Jaya.

Blood Donation Campaign
YMCA Kuala Lumpur Youth will hold a blood donation campaign at National Blood Bank on Feb 25. Venue: YMCA KL, Lee Kong Chian Hall, 95, Jalan Padang Belia, Off Jln Sambanthan, Brickfields.

SHAH ALAM: Selangor is still waiting for the Home Ministry to respond to its proposal on setting up auxiliary police units in the state to curb rising crime. “Our offer is to contribute resources in a joint venture to protect the security of the people as that is a priority of the state government,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The Menteri Besar said he had written to home minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday to express concern over rising crime, and to reiterate the state’s intention to

address the problem. Khalid said this was the second time Selangor had written to the federal government with the state’s proposal. The first letter was sent to both the deputy prime minister and the home minister in July 2010, but there has been no response. Under the proposal, the enforcement officers from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ ) would form the pilot batch of auxiliary police approved by the Home Ministry to act with limited police powers to prevent crimes. MBPJ had already budgeted RM4.2 million for the programme but had to

shelve it when the home ministry refused to give the green light. Khalid said recent cases such as where two security guards were slashed in Damansara Perdana and a pregnant woman who was allegedly slap and robbed by policemen, were alarming. He added the situation demonstrated a clear need for additional security. “The Selangor government’s intention is to provide security forces to assist the daily routine of police, not take over the enforcement duties of the police force,” he said. He said an increase in manpower for patrol and crime prevention will help safe guard security for communities.

Scottish Dance
Join YMCA KL now and take up Scottish dancing! Classes every Tuesday. For more information, please contact the Sports Coordinator, Sharon at 60322741439, or visit the website at www.ymcakl.com.

Raleigh KL’s February Monthly Meet!
Raleigh KL is having its monthly meet at Sg Pisang tomorrow. The meet is aimed at helping the environment by collecting trash. After the hard work, participants will get to relax at the waterfall and do some trekking. Participants are to pay RM5 for members and RM 8 for non-members. For more details, contact Shu Woan at monthlymeet@raleighinternational.org.my.

Shadow Kill screening
A screening of Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Shadow Kill will be held tomorrow at 3pm. Shadow Kill presents the story in 1940’s southern India, where a hangman named Kaliyapan struggles with the guilt and implications of the executions he obediently carries out. Starring Nizhalkuttu, the film is in Malayalam. An Indo-French Co-Production. Admission is by donation. Venue: Indicine, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre.

Santiago (centre) speaking to reporters.

By Gan Pei Ling

Al-Andalus Ensemble
Much of the musical roots forgotten by Europe is being brought back in the sensitive and evocative music of Al-Andalus Ensemble who bring to the stage a festival setting of flamenco guitar and oud, and a line-up of modern Andalusian dance as well as trumpet, vocals, piano, bass and drums. This concert is being held on Feb 14 at 8.30 pm. Admission is priced at RM138, RM98, RM68, RM38. Dress code is smart casual. Venue: Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.

Deftones Live In KL
Get ready to rock your Valentine’s Day with the quintet from Sacremento, US. Deftones will be performing live songs from their earlier albums such as Adrenaline to Around The Fur, White Pony and the latest Diamond Eyes. The concert will begin at 8.30pm. Tickets are priced at RM98, RM188, RM 258 and are available online from AirAsiaRedTix at www.airasiaredtix.com and TicketPro at www.ticketpro.com.my Venue: KL Live Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail.

Torch Song Massacre ~ Battle of the Sexes
Are all women moody? Are all men jerks? In the battle for gender supremacy, many weapons of crass destruction have been employed by both men and women - and everyone in between - to get a leg up on the other. Get over your post-Valentine blues with The Annexe Gallery’s mad and heartbreakingly hilarious Torch Song Massacre, where everyone will die listening to those oh so tragic love songs from Feb 17-22 from 8pm to 10pm. Entry is by donation. Venue: The Annexe Gallery, Central Market Annexe.

PUTRAJAYA: In what water activists described as an “anticlimax” yesterday, the Court of Appeal postponed its decision on the declassification of a water concession agreement to Feb 25. The Court of Appeal was supposed to decide yesterday whether to uphold a landmark High Court judgment to make public the concession agreement of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) and its audit. “We didn’t really had time to deliberate on the case due to our workload this week … we would like more time to deliver a more mature decision,” said judge Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari. The two other judges on the panel are Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin and Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus. “This is anti-climatic, but it’s a good sign that they want to spend more time to deliberate on the matter,” said Charles Santiago, coordinator of the Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP). Concerned with rising water tariffs, the coalition had filed a suit in 2007 to request the declassification of the concession agreement signed between Syabas, the Federal and Selangor government as well as Syabas’s audit report. CAWP, which includes the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, won the case when the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled in their favour in a landmark judgment on June 28 last year. The Energy, Water and Communication Ministry had consistently refused to declassify the agreement and Syabas’ audit report because they were confidential and considered official secret. However, in a 19-page judgment, judicial commissioner Hadhariah Syed Ismail said the documents “contain no information detrimental to the national security or public interest”. In addition, as the concession agreement and Syabas’ audit are of public interest, Hadhariah had ruled that the documents should be made public in the spirit of transparency and ac-

Decision on water agreement put off
countability. The Federal government had appealed against the High Court’s judgment and requested a stay of execution to declassify the documents. Santiago, who is among the 14 plaintiffs, remains confident that the Appeals Court will uphold the High Court’s judgment. He said Hadhariah’s judgment was well-reasoned and upheld the public’s right to information. Among the 14 plaintiffs were two children – Darryl Chong, now 13, and Dhiwan Sathiveloo. Chong’s father, Peter Chong, was also at the Appeals Court yesterday. He said the children were included as plaintiffs as the case affected their right to clean and affordable water in future. Syabas supplies water to Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur. The company is allowed to raise water tariffs periodically based on the concession agreement. The company had requested a raise in tariffs by 15% in 2006 as it claimed in its audit report it had managed to reduce nonrevenue water by five percent. Non-revenue water is water lost through leakages, faulty meters and theft. CAWP was represented by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and the Federal government by Datin Azizah Nawawi.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ FEBRuaRy 11 – 13, 2011 ⁄ 5

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Residents appeal for new Tamil school
By Alvin Yap

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February 11 — 13, 2011

PETALING JAYA: Parents and teachers of SJK Tamil Seaport which is marked for relocation to K a m p un g L i n d un g a n w a n t authorities to expedite the move without further delay. The school, which is to be relocated to PJS6 from its current site in Kelana Jaya, was to have been built in 2008. The 0.44 hectare site has been allocated by the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) and is supposed to be built by the federal Public Works Department (PWD). “We need the school to be built fast to cater to students who are waiting to enroll,” said R Purushothaman. The school’s Parent Teacher Association chairperson is also appealing to the PWD and Education Ministry to increase the number of classrooms for the new school from 18 to 24 to cater to greater demand in enrollment. He pointed out that there was a large Indian community in the surrounding areas of Kampung Lindungan, Desa Mentari and Taman Dato Hormat. About 600 students are expected to enroll in the new school compared to the 112 at its present location. Purushothaman added that the current school was also no longer conducive because it buildings were run down and it did not have a field.

A family of three school-going children would have to spend RM300 a month for transport.”
Bordering a monsoon drain, monitor lizards and snakes are often seen in the compound. Parents feel the school’s new location in PJS6 was would better serve the Indian community in Petaling Jaya. “There aren’t many Tamil language secondary schools nearby,” said housewife and mother of two, Rajeswari Maruthamuthu, 46. Some students now travel to the Sekolah Wawasan Tamil primary school in USJ 15, or to the Vivekananda secondary school in Jalan Templer. Sri Setia assemblyperson Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the new school will also help reduce transportation costs that some parents have to pay. “A family of three school-going children would have to spend RM300 a month for transport,” he said. SJK Tamil Seaport, as a Tamil vernacular school, is not fullyfunded by the federal government, and relies on donations and funding from community members. The state government recently donated RM39,000 for the purchase of desktop computers.

Sri Setia assemblyperson Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (right) and Purushothaman.

Higher allowance for religious teachers
SHAH ALAM: The state government has approved a increase allowance of RM300 monthly for Quran and Fardhu Ain teachers (KAFA) serving in Religious Primary schools (SRA) and Religious Primary Integrated Schools (SRAI). With the increment, KAFA teachers in SRA and SRAI will receive a total of RM1,300 in allowances. The increment came into effect on Jan 1. “The monthly allowances will cost the state government more than RM14 million a year,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim after the state executive council made approved the increase at its weekly meeting on Wednesday. “The state government hopes that the increment will be an incentive to the teachers,” said Khalid. The increment affects some 3,935 KAFA teachers in 208 SRA and 11 SRAI institutes of learning in Selangor.  Currently, KAFA teacher in SRA and SRAI receive a monthly allowance of RM1,000.

Tracking the pulse of Penang

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Penang Economic Monthly is a monthly magazine dedicated to socio-economic issues in Penang, offering reliable socio-economic data as well as informative articles on the arts,the industry, culture and social issues that are relevant to today’s generation of Malaysians. Available nationwide at bookshops and newsstands. www.penangeconomicmonthly.com

February 11 — 13, 2011

news

7

Ah Long banners put to good use
By Basil Foo

A crow trap made from recyled items.

A public dustbin made from scrap metal.

KLANG: Banners advertising loan shark only RM600 to produce services are made into umbrellas, just one of and when used at Port the many novel things the Klang Municipal Klang and Tanjung Council (MPK) is doing to promote recycling using confiscated items. Harapan last December, “Plastic is not biodegradable, and when it managed to catch 100 dumped into landfills they tend to cause crows per trap daily.” underground fires,” said MPK secretary Mohd Ikhsan Mukri. Recycling the plastic banners has proven an efficient and environmentally-friendly way to dispose of the confiscated items. Mohd Ikhsan said the council’s enforcement department, which seizes the banners, has also created Express your municipality or utilities complaints... items like letter holders and let our reporters get a response. shopping bags from the material. email to editor@selangortimes.com   The recycled items can be found in the council building’s lobby where and when used at Port Klang and Tanjung they were put on display and pitched for use Harapan last December, it managed to catch internally among staff. 100 crows per trap daily,” he added.   “After a trial run and taking into account   The council plans to use the traps at their durability and effectiveness, we are seaside locations where there are a lot of trees considering mass production and to market and seafood restaurants. the products to the public,” he said.   Scraps of metal have also been used to   The council has also come up with other create rubbish bins to replace the large innovations using confiscated material. One garbage containers and plastic bins currently is a device to trap crows, produced by the in use. council’s Wild Animal Control Division and   “These metal bins were welded by our Department of Health. staff and cost RM15 each; cheaper than   These have been created using scraps of plastic bins which cost RM250 each and are wood and metal from illegal roadside stalls vulnerable to vandalism,” said MPK that have been demolished. Environmental Department head Wan   “Using rec ycled materials in the Mohd. Sofian. production of these traps helped us reduce   So far 250 units of the metal bins have costs,” said MPK health director Zulkifli been produced and stationed at various spots Abbas. like Plaza MPK and Tanjung Harapan since   The traps have proven more effective at October last year. controlling the crow population in Klang,   “These creations using recyclable items compared to the previous method of hiring have been innovations by our own staff private companies to do the culling. requiring no cost of engaging outside   “Previously the council spent RM45,000 consultation,” said Mohd Ikhsan. yearly on crow shooting programs which   “Hopefully our implementation of these resulted in 7,000 crows killed last year,” said items could be used to improve the cleanliness Zulkifli. and livability for the residents of Klang,” he   “The trap costs only RM600 to produce added.

The trap costs

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8

‘Hostel’ raising a stink
february 11 — 13, 2011

NEWS

By Alvin Yap

SUNGAI BULOH: A massive stink from raw sewage is making life unbearable for residents in Kampung Matang Pagar. The owner of an illegal hostel has resorted to digging up excrement from the clogged and overflowing septic tank on his premises and dumping it into the drains in the surrounding area in a village near Sungai Buloh. “I was washing my clothes around 11am when I saw men pouring buckets of ‘brown sludge’ down the drain that flows outside my restaurant,” said  restaurant owner  Cheah Yoon Mei, 45. “When I got a whiff of the  strong smell, I knew they were dumping excrement into the drains. I told them to stop,” said a visibly upset Cheah.  A strong unpleasant smell wafts into the open-air restaurant when the wind blows across from the surrounding drains. Cheah, who is from Kepong, said she was  lucky  to have stopped the workers from dumping the buckets they had used to dump the excrement. “They were about to dump the buckets in an abandoned lot next to my kitchen,” said  Cheah. The  smell also affects another restaurant owned by Wong Thiam Yow. “I called the owner of the illegal hostel and he said his workers were dumping the excrement in the jungle,” said Wong, who  saw them dumping the excrement about 50 metres away from the illegal hostel. Wong, whose restaurant is next door to the illegal hostel, led Selangor Times reporters to an abandoned lot further up the road. Heaps of excrement were piled up, causing passers-by to pinch their noses when they walked past the “dumping” ground. A van converted into a schoolbus passed by, and schoolchildren inside the vehicle were seen pinching their noses in disgust. Residents said they have put up with the stink for a year now, as the illegal hostel’s septic tanks often overflowed. The  hostel, originally a twostorey building, has an illegal extension, making it a three-storey structure. Wong said the septic tanks for the two-storey illegal hostel couldn’t handle raw sewerage from 60 people. K K Tham, assistant to state ex-

Top: The dumping ground for excrement which has angered residents. Right: Restaurant owner Cheah Yoon Mei. Far right: The septic tank at the illegal hostel.

Egypt unrest: Selangor offers courses to students
Ibrahim announced on Wednesday. “The courses are free, the students will only need to pay the registration fee,” said Khalid after chairing the state executive council meeting this week. This is to ensure that the students can spend their waiting time here more beneficially, he added. The state estimated that 1,200 students from Selangor were studying in universities and tertiary institutions in Egypt. “Priority will be given to the 600 state scholars sponsored by Lembaga Zakat Selangor,” Khalid said. Dr Halimah Ali, who is the executive councillor in charge of education, will ensure the courses are ready for enrollment soonest possible. The courses are expected to be held at Universiti Industri Selangor campuses in Shah Alam and Bestari Jaya.

ecutive councillor Teresa Kok, said he complained to Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) on the same day. Tham said he called the council’s Health Department but was told that they did not have an enforcement unit to address the complaints. “This is bad service from MPS. They should stop making excuses and serve the people,” said Tham. Selangor Times contacted MPS officials who said the council was not responsible in this instance as the illegal hostel was discharging waste matter into the drains. The officials said Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) should act against the illegal hostel. At press time, IWK could not return Selangor Times’ calls for comments.

SHAH ALAm: Selangor students who were withdrawn from Eg ypt can sign up for courses provided by the state while waiting to return to the country which is in turmoil. Six to 12-month courses on English, Arabic, computer and business will be offered to the students, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid

Fire victims receive aid
By Basil Foo

february 11 — 13, 2011

NEWS

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klang: Ten families whose homes off Jalan Shapadu were destroyed by fire received financial aid and temporary housing on Monday. “Each household was given assistance of RM500 from my own allocations,” said State Legislative Assembly Speaker and Sungai Pinang assemblyman Datuk Teng Chang Khim. “Additional funds will be provided by the district office after certifications,” said Teng, who presented the financial aid to residents at Dewan Sungai Pinang public hall. The hall was turned into a relief centre for residents to stay in after the blaze destroyed their homes on Sunday night. Teng and Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam had gone to the scene after the fire to survey the damage and provide assistance to the victims. For the residents who are unable to find housing, temporary residence will be arranged in Pandamaran at homes provided by the Klang Municipal Council (MPK). “I was told MPK charges RM500 in rental … We will check if there are any vacancies,” he added. Police were also present at the public hall to help residents lodge

Know Your Councillor: K. Arumugam

reports and to re-apply for their personal documents lost in the fire. The source of the fire has not been officially determined but is suspected to have started from a house which experienced a short circuit in the electrical wiring. At the public hall, victims of the fire told Selangor Times of their experience. “We didn’t manage to save much except our lives and the clothes on our,” said Kamalarani Letchumanan, 35. The fire started two houses away from her home and spread quickly, leaving her little time to grab only a few valuables like her handphone and identity card. “I didn’t manage to save my 6-year old daughter’s birth certificate. We also lost all our our other possessions like the TV set and jewellery,” she said, estimating her losses to be around RM18,000. Having moved from Seremban a month ago due to her husband’s work as a lorry driver, she has no family or friends nearby and is dependent on the state government for help. Jumali Kasman, 60, who also received the RM500 assistance, estimates his losses to be around RM30,000. “I suffered a loss of RM10,000

Young victims making themselves at home at the relief centre. Inset: Teng presenting aid to a victim

due to the destruction of my belongings but if I take into account my home which is made of wood and metal, that would be an additional RM20,000,” he said. University student Tee Chin Yee,

21, was on his way back from visiting his relatives during the Lunar New Year festivities when he received a call that his house was on fire. “After my friend called, I rushed back home to see firemen surround-

ing the area and many onlookers around,” he said. The damage to Tee’s house included his water tank and roof which was estimated to cost RM2,500.

By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin

subang jaya: Getting a crematorium approved and built here is a top priority of three-term Subang Jaya councillor K. Arumugam (pix). “Currently there is no crematorium here and some people have resorted to using makeshift open wooden pyres to cremate bodies. I feel it is high time the municipality provided a proper place for cremations,” said Arumugam. An engineer turned lawyer, Arumugam, 52, was appointed as councillor in 2008. He is in charge of the Zone 9 area of Puchong, which is under the Subang Jaya municipality. He said ratepayers in this municipality are urbanised and educated people with high awareness of their rights, and also high expectations of their councillor. He said residents here are not hesitant to come forward and ex-

press their grievances. “I have to be pro-active in dealing with them,” he said. Arrumugam said the main problem in Subang Jaya is balancing development in the area with traffic flow. Rapid high-rise development in certain parts of the municipality have caused traffic congestion. The difficulty is in ensuring that the roads available can accommodate increased traffic from these developments so as not to cause bottlenecks on the roads. He also notes that many roads in Subang Jaya are in bad condition and need to be resurfaced. Arumugam said the municipality needs to apportion its RM200 million allocation more effectively to be able to include road resurfacing in the budget. Arumugam sits in a committee with other Subang Jaya councillors whose task is to increase revenue for the municipality by getting advertisements for billboards around

Citizen unveils eco model for ladies
Subang Jaya. While being a councillor is a satisfying challenge, there’s only one aspect about the job that Arumugan wishes could change. “I feel  disappointed  that as a councillor I don’t get to play a big role where the municipal budget is concerned. I would like to have more say in how the budget is used, but I guess that will come with time,” said Arumugam. Apart from that, he views council work as a service to the state and nation. When not busy with his legal or council work, Arumugam likes to spend time with his wife and two children, and by reading and writing. shah alam: Citizen Watches of Japan recently released its latest range of ecofriendly watches targeted at the female market. The beautifully crafted timepieces, which are very stylish and fashionable, fit nicely into the watchmaker’s DNA of producing watches that are a fusion of technology and beauty. The Citizen Eco-Drive Ladies watches reinforce the brand’s reputation as a pioneer in innovation and functionality. Tadahiro Suzuki, director of Citizen Watches (Malaysia), said: “Citizen developed ECO DRIVE as a technology that utilizes any source of light as the power source for a watch. It has made precise timekeeping clean and environment-friendly; because it is constantly storing electrical energy from any source of light (artificial or natural). “There is hence no need to dispose of or replace used watch batteries as the energy stored is enough to power the watch even in total darkness for approximately six months or longer. This means battery disposals are never needed and no harmful substances would be produced unlike conventional battery operated watches. “As an added benefit to the environment, the power storage system contains no mercury that can cause harm to the environment,” said Suzuki in a statement. The two new models are targeted at women aged 20 years and above and have some unique features, including stainless steel metal casing and scratch-resistant sapphire glass and high grade Ox-hide leather.

news 10

february 11 — 13, 2011

Stinking problem in Connaught
By Lee Choon Fai and Basil Foo

kuala lumpur: Residents of Taman Connaught have been putting up with the unbearable stench and sight of trash that has been piling up in their streets since mid January. “It has been there for weeks, the smell is getting bad. I have heard from other people about it and I don’t dare to go to the back alley,” said hawker Chong Yook Ha.
 Chong sells mixed rice at a nearby restaurant. The trash dump, located in the back alley between the Shell petrol station and the row of shop houses on Jalan Menara Gading 1, is now about a metre high and 15 metres wide.
 The pile of trash is also beginning to block the two-lane wide back alley from vehicle access, with regular sedans barely passing through.
 Crows now linger at the place in search for food, flies infest the place, and rats are now commonly found, dead or alive, near the dump. The stench got worse during the continuous drizzle from Jan 30-31. 
“ We dutifully pay our taxes and

The trash that is causing a stink in Taman Connaught.

House buyers mull legal action
By Alvin Yap

the Government does not even clean up well!” Chong protested.
 Chong revealed that garbage collectors rarely come to clean up the trash. Residents sometimes have to hire private truck drivers to get rid of the trash that is piling up.


She said Taman Connaught has always had a garbage problem with the streets frequently littered with trash. Volunteers from nearby churches collect garbage in the area and dispose of them once in a while.


 “It stinks of decomposition; I would hold my breath every time I pass through the back alley. That sourish stench makes me want to vomit,” said Michael Akira Sapoetra.
 Sapoetra, an Indonesian student

at the UCSI University, lives in a nearby condominium but has to pass by the alley way on the way to class. When contacted, Alam Flora and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) declined to comment.

ampang jaya: Frustrated house buyers who are unable to move into their new homes at Pandan Bistari have asked developer Intel Best Sdn Bhd for the keys, only to have their pleas fallen on deaf ears. Liew Chee Kong, chairman of a group of buyers, said the committee had sent a registered letter to the developer, asking for the handover of the houses immediately and without delay. “We told the developer that we wanted to move into our houses without delay as the houses are ready,” said Liew on Tuesday, adding that the letter was sent three weeks ago. Liew said they told Intel Best to hand over the keys during the Chinese New Year holidays. However, there has been no response yet. The group is considering legal action against the developer. Liew said they will also ask Housing and Local Government Minister  Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung to set up a meeting between the buyers and Intel Best. The group was formed by a few buyers who have been left in the lurch for some five to six years due to the late delivery. “Some of us signed the sales and purchase agreement in 2003 or 2004, which means that the delivery was to have been in 2005 or 2006.” While Intel Best said the current round of delay was due to rock blasting operations in the vicinity of the housing scheme, Liew said the excuse was unacceptable as the rock blasting work is not near the houses. The Pandan Bistari housing scheme is situated on top of Bukit Permai which locals in the area call “Little Genting”. It was initially developed by Talam Corporation Bhd before

it was “transferred” to Intel Best. According to Liew, Phase 2B of Pandan Bistari is ready for delivery, as it “it is 90 per cent ready, if not fully completed”. Liew added that he had met the House Buyers Association in January to forward the group’s complaints. Liew and other buyers are sore that the developers have not compensated them for the delay in handing over the houses. “We are feeling the pinch of having to service our loans and yet not being able to move into our new homes,” said Liew, adding that he had taken a bank loan of RM240,000 to pay for his unit which cost RM270,000. Similarly, Loh Yun Chuan, who signed the sales and purchase agreement in 2004, also took a RM240,000 loan to buy a unit in Phase 2B. Another buyer, Mohd Hafizol Omar, said the developers gave him the option of transferring his purchase from the abandoned Phase 2A project to a unit in Phase 2B. Teratai assemblywoman Jenice Lee, who met the buyers at the housing project on Jan 16, brought up the matter at the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council last month. MPAJ, she said, had informed her that the developer could not get a Certificate of Fitness for the housing project due to a dispute with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas). Lee explained that Syabas was waiting for an “undisclosed sum of payment” from the developer in the form of a “bank guarantee” to provide water services to Pandan Bistari. Lee also said that the developer was late in submitting its documents to MPAJ for the Certificate of Fitness. Attempts to reach the developer have been unsuccessful.

Sri Andalas assemblyman Dr Xavier Jayakumar presenting a hamper to a Destiny Starting Point representative.

New club for Indian youths
klang: Indian youths at Taman Sentosa and its surrounding neighbourhood will have a new haunt after a new club was launched here on Sunday. The new branch of Tamil Bell Club, which will also have a youth wing, will focus on organising charity and community events, said newly-elected secretary Punitha Thevi. “We will be visiting old folks’ homes and orphanages and carrying out medical campaigns like blood donation and health checks for the community,” said the 30-year-old former newscaster. At its launch at Sri Raja Rajeswary temple, the club gave out five hampers to Klang juvenile home Destiny Starting Point. A n o th e r c o mm i t t e e member, Syamala Devi Sadayappan, said the club would also organise tuition, Indian dance and Tamil language classes for the community. “ We need to keep the Tamil culture alive. Everyone, including non-Hindus, is welcome to learn about the culture at the club,” said the 25-year-old. Syamala is also a member of the temple committee. The St John Ambulance social worker has been giving free tuition at the temple. You need to pay RM10 to register as a member.

Teohlogy
patrick teoh

I

t is never too late to wish all of you Gong Xi Fa Cai. Which means “wishing you prosperity” in case you’ve been wondering what those four words actually mean. I daresay that millions of Malaysians mouth those words annually without actually knowing what they mean. Right or not? Admit it lah. Hahahaha…Okay if you’re like me then you must have had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed your time off from work. Spent quality time with the family and friends. Invited other Malaysians to your open house. Eaten until you were ready to burst. And sworn that next year you would apply for leave earlier and not join the grid-locked traffic on the NorthSouth Highway. And now that the festivities are over and you’re back to the grind do you feel a little tired? Tired from all the feasting, drinking and red-coloured attire that make you look like a walking ang pow which is actually the Hokkien name for those little red packets with money inside that you hand out to your children and with gritted teeth to your visitors who bring large broods. I never understood why or how the Hokkien version became the standard in Malaysia do you? In Cantonese it is Lai See (which means Good Luck). In Mandarin it

Short memory, elephant’s memory
is Hoong Bao (which means Red Packet). Anyway, back to the subject of tiredness and fatigue. I don’t know about you lah but I am very tired lah. I am so tired of the elections overload, frog festivals and politicalspeak statements from both sides of the divide. You know what I mean? So tiring lah. This fler died, that fler went over to the other side (sorry, I thought it was funny). By-elections!!! I don’t like this party already so now I go join the other one and se e how. Byelections!!! You help me, I help you! By-elections!!! Aiyoh!!! If like this how to carry on man? Want to exercise citizens’ right to vote also nowadays beginning to seem quite futile and pointless lah. Well, actually not quite true also. If we really want to be totally positive about things in Bolehland we can look at it this way. Through by-elections we can get back some of what rightfully belongs to us as tax-paying loyal Malaysians. Like proper schools, g ood drainage systems in the kampongs, politicians who don’t live in mansions or lead lavish lifestyles way beyond what they say we pay them. (Remember those great excuses like, “My wife is a ver y successful entrepreneur in her own right so we’re rich.”; “My son earned all his billions because he is so smart ma. You dinch know meh?” ) Ya man. During by-elections you can ask for almost anything for your kampong and be quite sure of getting a promise of getting it. Get it? 5 million there so your house won’t be flooded next time it drizzles. 3 million over here so your little girl doesn’t have to sit on the floor while memorising “Ini Ali. Dia duduk di kampong. Ini Ah Chong. Dia duduk di Bandar. Ini Nathan. Dia duduk di ladang” stereo-typical stuff masquerading as educational lessons. But do we really get back what is rightfully ours? Or do we just get what we deserve? Politicians make a lot of big promises. The bigger the constituenc y, the big g er the promises. But once the voting is done do they keep their promises? A few do. Most don’t. And I think they do this because they know our weaknesses. Our weakness for big promises accompanied by blaring trumpets and kompang drums. Our weakness for handouts of what is rightfully ours anyway. And our biggest weakness of all, our short collective memory. We tend to forget rather easily about things that pissed us off, affected our families and our lives once the bunting goes up and the big shots hit town. With their big toothy grins and their entourage of wives, photographers and goodie-bags. We all forget even faster when and if they choose to sit down and have a cup of kopi-o with us (which we probably pay for!). We forget even faster when we are chosen by the YB for a photo opportunity and the picture appears in the newspapers the next day. We forget about the leaky roof in the community hall which has been pissing on us for years. We forget about the broken furniture our kids sit on in their rundown school classroom. We forget about the dirty water from our pipes. We forget about the electricity promised us during the last visit 3/4/5/6 years ago. We just forget

February 11 — 13, 2011

Views 11

History taking a turn in North Africa
and Iran (2009). What’s so special about the Arabian wave of democratisation? Its most significant meaning is that the targets of regime change are not anti-America/anti-Western regimes as in Eastern Europe or Eurasia, but quite the opposite, the so-called moderate Muslim despots backed by Washington and the West, giving a sense of deja vu from Iran in 1979. If democracy has been labelled conveniently as Western by both the West and their rivals – be it the Chinese, the Russians, the Islamists or the South American leftists, democracy and Western interests may now be in obvious contradiction in the Arab world. A genuinely democratic regime may now be vigorously disagreeing with the West on various issues. Many in the West are worried about Egypt falling into the hand of the Islamists, much like Iran to the Mullahs and Gaza to Hamas. I tend to think that there may possibly be a blow to the Islamists as another unexpected turn by history. Contrary to what meets the eyes, ideologies are often attractive to their followers not because of their intrinsic values, but because of their instrumental use in particular historical context, especially national or partisan interests. Why were there so many leftist regimes in the decolonised Third World after the World War II? Wasn’t it because communism and

lah. “See or not? I got take photo with the YB leh! Good lah, the fler. He even shook my hand you know. And he even told me himself, ‘You help me, I will help you.’ ” Help you? Help you with what? To do what? Is he doing you a favour? Doesn’t ‘he’ work for YOU? “Errrr…don’t know lah. Forget already.” Hey! This theory about the Malaysian citizen having short memory might just be soooo true. I mean the politicians have memories like elephants. They forget nothing. 28 digit Swiss bank account numbers, an opponent’s past indiscretion, that the other YB drives a bigger car. But once they are back to being ordinary (well as ordinary as possible after one has been in the game lah that is) Malaysians they forget too. While writing this I was informed that Dr M in the book, “Doctor M: Operation Malaysia – Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad’ claimed that Ops Lalang was not his doing at all! It was all the fault of the Malaysian Police. Well, there you go. Gong Xi Fa Cai.

S

omeone once said history is a bad driver that does not signal when it takes a turn. Nothing can be truer than what happened in Tunisia, the best performing northern African economy. Tunisia’s 23-year reigning dictator was forced into exile by a popular uprising days after a young graduate burned himself to protest against unemployment. People’s power is now sweeping across Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and Algeria. The late political scientist, Samuel Huntington, characterised the rise of democracies in waves. The First Wave democratised Western Europe and Northern America in the 19th century. The second wave decolonised many countries in Asia and Africa after the World War II but many of the new states turned to authoritarianism soon. The third wave started in 1973 when Portugal ended its military junta and had its peak in 1989-1992 when the communist states in Eastern Europe and Eurasia collapsed. It’s an open verdict as to whether the third wave has ended before a fourth wave can be considered to have started. In the past decade, a few other countries have arguably been democratised or redemocratised, from Serbia (2000), Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004), Lebanon (2005) and Kirgizstan (2005), to a few failed attempts of democratization in Moldova (2005), Burma (2007)

MAN IN BlACK
wong chin huat

socialism were avowedly most antiimperialistic? Compared to the leftist thoughts, had the capitalist and liberal ideologies been much use to the Third World nations – especially their masses – in advancing their national interests? Take specific examples, how did KMT lose mainland China and the Saigon elites lose South Vietnam to their less-well-equipped communist enemies? Wasn’t it because the KMT and South Vietnamese elites were perceived as corrupt and su b s er vi ent to th e We stern imperialists? At the end of the day, the legitimacy of a regime lies on its ability to advance its national and popular interests. Many authoritarian regimes – including Malaysia’s - are genuinely popular because they are seen as nationalistic. In contrast, democracy has a bad name amongst many in China, Russia, the Muslim world and many other countries which have suffered national or imperial decline fundamentally because they believe liberal democracy is either a Western Trojan horse to continue its control or too undisciplined for international rivalry.

The rise of Islamism in the Arab world was to a large extent a response to the failure of the secular nationalist regimes in the Arab-Israel conflicts. Like socialism for many colonised people in the 1940s to 1980s, Islamism is an attractive alternative vehicle for national/civilisational revival for many Arabs and Muslims since, more so after Sept 11.
The success of democratisation thus requires indigenous effort and control, which pit Tunisia and Egypt as strong contrasts to Iraq and Afghanistan with Western-backed governments. No one can accuse the demonstrators in Tunis and Cairo of being western puppets, a label stamped on the democratic dissidents in China, Russia, Vietnam, Burma, Pakistan and of course Malaysia. If democracy can be proven as more effective in advancing the national interests of Arab countries, then Islam fundamentalism may lose some of its momentum. After all, the rise of Islamism in the Arab world was to a large extent a response to the failure of the secular nationalist regimes in the ArabIsrael conflicts. Like socialism for many colonised people in the 1940s to 1980s, Islamism is an attractive alternative vehicle for national/civilisational revival for many Arabs and Muslims since, more so after Sept 11. A democratised Egypt will, however, force both the Arabs and the West to re-examine their values and interests. Forty four years after the Six-Day War, the Egyptian national interest is now heavily tied to peaceful coexistence with Israel and an alliance with the West. Such an alignment is unlikely to be reversed without a civil war as the pro-Western military establishment is widely respected as a national institution, separated from the hated Mubarak regime. Washington will also have to accept that a democratic Egypt will be eventually more cohesive and less tolerant of Israel’s continued assault on the Arabs’ pride and solidarity. And if Israel can come to terms with the new reality, the peace for Middle East may be closer in sight. Won’t these developments be good for the wider world? I wish the Egyptians a smooth and speedy surfing on the wave of democratisation and hope to soon feel its ripples here in Malaysia.

12 February 11 — 13, 2011

InsIght
Kechara volunteers (from left) Tam, Yu Ling and Sharul Nizam helping to package the food at Kechara soup kitchen.

Kechara soup kitchen entry at Jalan Barat

By Gan Pei Ling and Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin

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Kazimir (left) and Thilaga Sulathireh preparing the food at FNB KL’s house in Petaling Jaya.

Ong has worked as a cleaner at many hote and also as a domestic helper but enjoys her cu rent job the best. eing poor, jobless and homeless may be “My superior Justin is very gentle and treat anomalous in a relatively wealthy society me well,” she said, describing him as the “bes like ours. Hardly surprising since people boss” she had come across so far. Compared to Ong, 58-year-old Patrick is le treat them with nonchalance. But there is a hufortunate. The former security guard lost his jo man side to their plight. Charlene Ong is one of the many faceless un- five years ago and was later thrown out by h fortunate souls. She lost her job several years ago family due to his gambling habit. He failed to secure a new permanent job an when the hotel she worked for went bankrupt. “Thousands of us became jobless,” the 66-year- has been surviving on odd jobs since then. During good days he would have enoug old recalled. As she could not find a new stable job, Ong money to buy food but when jobs are scarc started collecting recyclable items off the streets. especially during holidays, he has to beg fo However, the income was insufficient and she money on the streets. Soup kitchens become a vital source fo would later become homeless. “I had to collect tin cans under the hot sun,” Patrick to get food at such times. In fact, Selangor Times met Patrick at Kot said Ong, who used to receive food from KeRaya when he was getting food from the Pertiw chara Soup Kitchen. The Buddhist charity organisation hired her Soup Kitchen a few days before Chinese New as a full-time cleaner last September, providing Year. He immediately asked our reporters if w her with food and allowance. Ong was then able to rent a room with the could help him get a job. “Can you help me? I’m willing to do any job allowance and RM300 aid she received monthly from the social welfare department. Although pleaded the man. Patrick has been caught a few times durin the room is small, she now has a roof over her raids conducted jointly by th head. local council, social welfar Born in Malacca, Ong’s famdepartment and narcotics de ily sent her to an orphanage in partment. Segamat, Johor, when she was a “I’m not 60 yet so I’m no year old. She only managed to qualified to enter an old folk trace her biological siblings 10 home. They release people lik years ago. me back onto the streets an “I lived with my elder sister’s warn us not to sleep on th family for nine months in Segastreets anymore but where ca mat but I couldn’t get used to we go?” he lamented. kampung life so I came back to Soup kitchens also play the city,” she said. crucial role in alleviating th Ong first came to Kuala financial burden of the urba Lumpur when she was 16. poor. “Some of my nieces and Yusnidah Mohd Jawah, 38 nephews are living in KL but has been struggling to feed he I’m not sure exactly where,” said eight children since comin Ong, who speaks fluent English to Kuala Lumpur around despite having only completed Charlene Ong: Lost her job year ago. primary education. several years ago.

The Pertiwi soup kitchen next to Tune Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Soup kitchenS got their name in the 18th century when soup and bread, among the cheapest yet nourishing and filling foods, were provided to feed the poor and hungry in europe. Fast forward to the 21st century, soup kitchens around the world no longer serve only soup and bread and have adapted to local diets. they remain an important relief for the urban poor worldwide. they serve diverse communities, including the unemployed, working poor, homeless, the elderly, as well as people with health problems or disability. however, soup kitchens and other food assistance programs have faced opposition throughout history. critics are mostly concerned that soup kitchens would encourage pauperism by destroying the poor’s self-reliance. in addition, critics have pointed out that while soup kitchens do provide short-term relief to the poor and hungry, they do not address the root causes of hunger such as poverty and low wages. Despite that, soup kitchens will remain a crucial food source for the poor unless governments and societies can successfully eliminate poverty, reduce waste and ensure fairer distribution of wealth across society.

The start of soup kitchens

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Tales from The sTreeTs
Her family used to live in Kelantan. Her husband used to sell cars but has been unable to work due to old age. “We moved here because we thought there are more job opportunities here,” said Yusnidah. However, things did not go as planned and her family of 10 has been living in a hotel room for almost a year. The former homemaker has been selling kuih to pay the hotel’s RM50 daily rent. Her two eldest children, one 17 and another 15, are also doing odd jobs to help sustain the family. All her eight children have stopped going to school since they came to the capital city. “One of my sons found the soup kitchens when he was wandering around town. The food helps us to get by,” she said. Yusnidah has appealed to a political party’s women wing to get a municipality flat for her family. Once they have got a permanent home, she hopes to put her children back to school. Besides younger folks like Yusnidah and her children, the food from soup kitchens also helps to make life easier for the elderly poor. “You will not go hungry in KL if you know where to look for the free food,” said Jashi Johari, 50, who has been leading a difficult

Vegan curry, soup and other dishes prepared by Kazimir and Thilaga Sulathireh for the poor.

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Spreading hope and love through food
FEEDINg the hungry should be a good cause but not everyone thinks that way. Soup kitchen organisers are quite used to being chastised for giving free food to the urban poor. Kechara Soup Kitchen project director Justin Cheah, 35, said critics were usually concerned that the poor or homeless would become reliant on free food instead of trying to improve their situation. “They don’t understand. The food is actually a way for us to show the people we genuinely care about them and want to help,” he told Selangor Times. Cheah said many homeless people were sceptical when Kechara volunteers first approached them to give them free food. It requires time to build up trust with homeless people and the Buddhist charity’s ultimate aim is to get them off the streets by looking for suitable jobs or homes for them. He said Kechara has been able to convince some drug users to get rehabilitated, as well as secure jobs for the homeless. Currently based in Jalan Barat, Kuala Lumpur, the soup kitchen started in 2006 and provides vegetarian and halal lunches from 11am to 1pm every weekday. The people who come to get food are required to register with Kechara and are given an identification card. “We want to get them know them better, and also to find out if they really need the food,” said Cheah, adding that some refugees frequent their soup kitchen too. On weekends, Kechara volunteers would roam the city streets including around Chow Kit, Bukit Bintang and Sentul to distribute food to the homeless. Cheah estimates there are around 800 homeless people in the city but he also noted that there are some who stay in abandoned premises which they might have missed. As people become homeless for different reasons, Kechara also has volunteer counsellors to help the homeless address their issues. Similar to Kechara, volunteers from the Pertiwi Soup Kitchen also found the homeless and urban poor to be distrustful when first approached. “They asked us who we were and why were we giving them food,” said Munirah Hamid, 60, who was inspired by her friend to set up the soup kitchen last March. Volunteers used to roam the streets around the city to give out food but after the people became familiar with Pertiwi, they knew when and where to find the soup kitchen. Now the soup kitchen distributes 250 packets of food at two fixed locations – next to Tune Hotel at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Kota Raya – four nights a week. A long queue, with women and children given priority at the front of the line, can be found at both sites on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights. Munirah said they bought the food packets from a caterer as they do not have time to cook and package it. “We’re all doing this after work,” said the businesswoman. While Kechara and Pertiwi function as charitable organisations, another soup kitchen, run by Food Not Bombs Kuala Lumpur (FNB KL), combines charity with political statement. The group’s central idea is that

life since birth. Among his haunts are the Klang bus stand near Central Market, Masjid India, Bukit Nenas and the churches. Selangor Times met him near St John’s Cathedral where Food Not Bombs gives out food every Sunday. Born to a poor family in Johor, Jashi started working since he was seven to support his family. He used to come to Kuala Lumpur during school holidays to find better-paying jobs. He now lives with his friends in the city and does odd jobs. Sometimes he would work as a cook at restaurants, at other times he would get offers to help people move.

“I can make good roti canai and chapatti,” quipped the man who has also worked in Singapore. Jashi’s wife died last March from breast cancer. He has three children who are living in Johor Baru and Singapore but he does not like to depend on them. In addition, Jashi would share his money with those who have less than he does, particularly people with disability, whenever he could afford. “I know what it’s like to be poor, I’ve lived through worse times, so whenever I’ve extra, I just share with them,” he said.

8, er ng a

governments should not be spending so much money on arms when people on the streets are going hungry. Hence, the name “food not bombs”. FNB is a global movement started in the United States which now has chapters all over the world. The Kuala Lumpur chapter was started 10 years ago. FNB KL is now a loose collective of mostly young, politically-curious people. FNB KL cooks and serves food to 20-30 people on Sundays near the St John’s Cathedral at Jalan Bukit Nanas. They collect leftover vegetables from Subang Jaya SS15 market vendors and rice donated by others to make the food in their house based in Petaling Jaya. “We don’t need to buy much stuff,” said Kazimir Lee Iskander, 25, who has been volunteering for five Sundays in a row. FNB KL also grows their own vegetables at their house’s garden. They provide plates, cutlery and cups for the people and encourage them to wash their own dishes after the meal. Individuals interested to donate or volunteer with the above soup

Justin Cheah: Kechara Soup Kitchen project director.

kitchens can check out the websites or contact the emails listed below for more information: Kechara Soup Kitchen – www. kechara.com/soup-kitchen/ or justin.cheah@kechara.com.They are also currently looking for volunteer doctors to provide medical aid to the homeless and urban poor at their centre at Jalan Barat. Pertiwi Soup Kitchen – pertiwisoupkitchen@gmail.com Food Not Bombs – fnbkl.blogspot.com

Handcuffed in a jam
february 11 — 13, 2011

VIEWS 14

U

nder what circumstances can Polis Diraja Malaysia use handcuffs on civilians? @sooncm, via Twitter

Chapter IV of the Criminal Procedure Code covers arrest, escape and re-taking. An arrest takes place when the police officer actually touches or confines the body of the person to be arrested [Section 15(1)]. If a person resists arrest, the police officer “may use all means necessary to effect the arrest” [Section 15(2)]. An arrest is completed when there is a submission to the custody of the police by word or action. In cases where a suspected person is not arrested immediately, care must be taken that the suspected person remains at liberty. No restraint of any kind may lawfully be exercised over him as long as he is not placed under arrest. Handcuffs are necessarily used to prevent the suspect from escaping. Examples of these can be seen when you watch crime-busting American TV shows like CSI, Criminal Minds or Law & Order. Whenever there is a chase scene and when the cops finally apprehend the suspect, the first thing they do is to smack handcuffs on the suspect. If there is no resistance, or danger of fleeing, the police officer may not use the handcuffs on civilians. Whilst all the above is true in cold hard theory, reality is different. What is deemed as resistance or danger of fleeing can be very subjective. Perhaps the suspect’s ankle twitched? Or he scratched his thigh? Or didn’t respond fast enough to a question? Resistance! Potential to run! Handcuffs!

Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurusdescribed queries are answered!

This of course is not to paint a bad picture of our hardworking police officers. This is true of police officers all over the world. But hey, put yourselves in their shoes. If you’re a lawyer, when you stand up in court, don’t you imagine yourself as someone from Boston Legal, LA Law or The Practice? If you’re a doctor doing your rounds, surely you occasionally pretend you’re one of those cool doctors from Chicago Hope, ER, Scrubs, or Grey’s Anatomy? So, if you were a police officer apprehending a suspect, you’d sometimes want to indulge in a bit of Miami Vice or NYPD Blue-style get-down- stay-down, eat-the-road-punk, hands-where-Ic a n- s e e - ‘em , which would inevitably lead to slappin’ on those shiny metal cuffs and hearing the oh-so-satisfying click. Or, er, maybe that’s just us. D e a r L o rd Bobo, why is Jalan Tun Razak always so jammed? @ fahmi_fadzil, via Twitter

Jalan Tun Razak jams caused by impatient Malaysian drivers.

The jams of Jalan Tun Razak are one of the many great mysteries of Malaysia. It ranks alongside the half-built JohorSingapore bridge and the Crystal Mosque in Terengganu. Occult researchers who have spent many years studying the phenomenon attribute it to the coming of Balroghaugh, Lord Bobo’s arch-enemy, from Planet Zaboo. Cutting edge astrologers are unanimous that the jams are due to Uranus (no, not yours) wanting to steal one of Jupiter’s rings in the house of the Bronzed Illama. Despite either of the above explanations being equally plausible, LoyarBurok traffic analysts strongly believe the manifestations of jams on Jalan Tun Razak are due to more mundane factors such as – • impatient drivers cutting lanes and jamming themselves into the smallest of crevices (no, not those ones); • moronic drivers in the wrong lane who wait until the last 3cm before they deem it the most opportune time to switch lanes; • the poor quality of roads and senseless road management; • police who think their job is standing around hand on hips with the occasional wave and blow (no, not that type); and, • too many personal vehicles on the road and too much development in Kuala Lumpur without proper urban planning. LoyarBurok would advise you to avoid Jalan Tun Razak whenever able, or better yet, avoid Kuala Lumpur altogether. But then again, that would just move the jams elsewhere, wouldn’t it? Heck, what’s the big problem anyway? Traffic jams are a part of Malaysian life. Lord Bobo knows that many productive things (no, not those sorta things) get done in traffic jams. Just talking about the LoyarBurok blawg, many comments come via mobile devices during traffic jams.

Heck, entire articles get thought-up, written, submitted, and published during traffic jams! Also, just like the stereotypical Brit who loves talking about the weather, Malaysians love talking about jams. “Wah, traffic today damn bad ah.” / “Okaylah, not too bad what.” / “Eh, which road you took lah, how come can get here so fast?” Imagine if traffic jams suddenly cleared up. What would Malaysians use as a conversation ice-breaker? Worse – everyone would get to their destinations early! What would happen to “Malaysian timing”? It would be chaos. The spacetime continuum would be jeopardised! So, get to you know your traffic jams. Embrace them. Love them. They are an essential part of the fabric of Malaysian society. Although Lord Bobo already knows your question before you even knew you had a question, as a practical display of your true desire to have your query answered, His Supreme Eminenceness has graciously allowed you to communicate your questions by – • emailing asklordbobo@loyarburok.com, stating your full name, and a pseudonym if you wish the question to be published anonymously (and a good reason for anonymity). • tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. The first 100 questions published will receive LoyarBurok’s ONLY merchandise you ever need (worth a lot for humankind) courtesy of Selangor Times. Now, what the hell are you waiting for? Hear This and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!

MPK launches innovation book
KLANG: ‘Klang Municipal Council: Innovation, Creativity and Talent’, a book which compiles the works of its members, was launched recently at Hamzah Hall. “The book is a team effort which is reflected as a documented idea of innovation, creativity and talent of the council members,” said Mohd Ikhsan Mukri, the secretary of Klang Municipal Council (MPK). The book was published by MPK to encourage the innovative and creative efforts of its members while highlighting their hidden talents. “This book was arranged in such a way as to inspire and encourage MPK staff who since the 90s has shown promissing talent not only in district level or state level but also at national level,” added Ikhsan. According to Ikhsan, the innovation gallery located at the lobby of the MPK headquarters was created as a team effort between the revenue department and the entire MPK family. “We are developing the small Innovation and Creative Group to be something bigger and this allows for us to solve any problems that crops up,”he elaborated. After the launch, a ceremony to hand out certificates to participants of the mentor and mentee programme was held. Also held was presentation of trophies and cash incentives to sports persons who brought glory to MPK.

Ikhsan holds up the book during the book launch recently.

Fiction

Eric and Julian
Fiction by Hadi Mohd Nor

February 11 — 13, 2011

15

“Close your eyes.” she said. I did what I was told and closed my eyes. The breeze was blowing through my hair and the sound of the waves was so relaxing. I swear, I wanted to doze off right then and there. she dragged me impatiently through the beach. I held her back a bit so that I wouldn’t trip. But I like walking on the sand. “Now open them!” she said. I did. In front of me was her beautiful face, smiling to me like an angel welcoming me to heaven. We’re in Perhentian Island after all, and it does feel like heaven. And she was an angel. “look!” she said, pointing enthusiastically at a wooden house. It looked empty. “Wow… Is that what you wanted to show me?” I said, unimpressed. “Yes! You know what that is?” she asked, again, enthusiastically. “It’s a house made out of wood. Probably belongs to one of the locals.” I replied. “It’s empty! let’s go check it out! Maybe there’s buried treasure inside.” she said, walking towards it. I didn’t agree to anything and suddenly I was her sidekick in this unofficial treasure-hunting team. All I wanted to do was to head back to the hotel, drink coffee and read a book. I just bought a vampire book that people always talked about. It’s a very popular book. I didn’t even agree to come here. I had proposed going to Paris. I saved up the money and bought all the clothes for Paris but, no, she wanted to come here. Terengganu. she said she missed this place. After all, this is where we met. “What do you think is inside?” I asked, secretly uninterested. “I think this is where they keep all the jewellery that you refused to buy for me,” she said, sarcastically. “Very funny,” I replied her sarcasm.

Unisel rebrands to stay relevant
By Basil Foo

The wooden house was more of a cabin (or maybe it was a cabin, I don’t know. What’s the difference, anyway?). The cabin was abandoned and very small, maybe three feet square. The inside of it was filled with dust and debris. It was just like an empty room with no furniture whatsoever. Its windows are merely carefully cut holes on the walls. It was nothing interesting. “This is so interesting!” she said. “What?” I asked. “This cabin is probably like 50 years old and maybe a family lived here last time.” she said. she walked to the window (the carefully cut hole on the wall) and popped her head out and breathed in. The house was very cool as behind it is the Perhentian jungle. By cool, I mean temperature-wise. There’s nothing hip about literally having monkeys as neighbours. I lit a cigarette. “Hey!” she exclaimed. “Relax, baby, we’re on vacation. Cut me some slack.” I said. “The doctor said you should quit.” “The doctor, the TV, my brother, everyone said I should quit. I’m on vacation! Cut me some slack.” “Fine. Can I have one?” she asked. I gave her one. she put it between her lips and I lit it up for her. It reminded me of romantic scenes from 1950’s Hollywood films. suddenly, I heard some rustling in the bush behind the cabin. “What was that?” she said. I went out through the house’s only door and walked to the back. There, I saw a monitor lizard crawling, almost slithering, slowly. It was so gorgeous and majestic. I have had this thing for reptiles ever since I was a kid. I crept slowly behind it. I put out my cigarette and crept slowly towards the animal with arms wide open. My heart was throbbing. I felt the adren-

aline rush. Then, I accidentally cracked a twig. The lizard heard me and it ran as fast as lightning into the jungle. I chased it with all my strength. I was like a lion chasing a gazelle. My eyes were focused on the lizard. I didn’t want to lose sight of it. of course, after a few seconds of running, I grew tired and weary and lost sight of it. I was panting and blamed the cigarettes for this loss. I blamed a lot of things in my life for this defeat. I forgot which direction I came from so I walked randomly. I followed the sound of the ocean. It led me to the beach, of course. I was too tired so I sat under a coconut tree. I cursed the cigarettes for my loss of stamina. Damn cigarettes. “What were you planning to do with it if you caught it?” a voice asked from behind. I turned around and saw her walking calmly towards me. she stood in front of me folding her arms. “I don’t know really.” “Do you know what tree you’re sitting under?” she asked. “Coconut?” “This is our tree.” she said, smiling. I turned around and saw our names carved on the trunk. “eric and Julian”. It was a bit faded but I was surprised it survived. I stood up. suddenly, the past came rushing into my head and I remembered everything we did on this island. I smiled at her. “You found it.” she said. I wrapped my arm around her. “Yeah. I did, didn’t I?” We stared at the tree and reminisced on the past. I’m very lucky to have met her. After 42 years of marriage, two daughters and a son, we still feel like we werea pair of young lovebirds. I guess we will forever be a pair of young lovebirds. We walked on the beach holding hands just like we did yesterday. Just like we did years ago.

Joint task force on illegal traders
By Alvin Yap

SELAYANG: Police here have offered to conduct joint enforcement operations against illegal traders with the selayang Municipal Council (MPs) and the Immigration Department. Gombak police officers said they and Immigration officers would operate a 24-hour mobile base near the selayang Utama wet market to act against the traders, many of whom were illegal immigrants.   “The Gombak district police proposed a onemonth trial for joint operations with the Immigration department,” MPs councillor lim Ching How told Selangor Times in a phone interview on Tuesday. lim said Gombak police district officers met MPs councillors, representatives from the selayang Hawkers and Traders Association, and selayang parliamentarian William leong in a meeting on Jan 28 to discuss problems of illegal foreign traders undercutting locals traders at the wet market. lim said during the meeting, Gombak police officials said they wanted to work with the Immigration department because they had no jurisdiction to detain the illegal traders for immigration-related offences. Police have had to release illegal immigrants after detaining them because of this. The date of the proposed joint operation will be announced later. lim has also proposed that MPs focus its monitoring and enforcement work at night since they would have the advantage of police presence. on Jan 19, SelangorTimes reported that immigrant traders were operating illegally at selayang Utama market. local traders complained that the illegal traders were taking business away from them by selling produce at a cheaper price. lim, at that time, suggested joint operations with DBKl, the police and Immigration Department to stop the illegal traders from setting up stalls in the market.

Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor
Selangor agricultural Development corporation

KENYATAAN TENDER TERBUKA
Tawaran adalah dipelawa kepada syarikat-syarikat tempatan yang berdaftar dengan Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor (PKPS) DAN Kementerian Kewangan di dalam kod bidang berkaitan, serta berminat untuk menyertai tawaran tender seperti tajuk kerja yang berikut : BIL.` NO. SIRI TENDER 1 PKPS/UP/TDR-1/11 TAJUK KERJA TAWARAN TENDER BAGI KERJA-KERJA MEMBEKAL DAN MENGHANTAR BAJA UNTUK KEPERLUAN LADANG KELAPA SAWIT MILIK PKPS : 1. LDG.PKPS JELUTONG JATI, SABAK BERNAM, SELANGOR 2. LDG.PKPS SG. PANJANG, SABAK BERNAM, SELANGOR 3. LDG.PKPS KERLING, HULU SELANGOR, SELANGOR 4. LDG.PKPS TG. DUABELAS, KUALA LANGAT, SELANGOR 5. LDG.PKPS EDITAS, GUA MUSANG, KELANTAN 6. LDG.PKPS IRAT, LAHAD DATU, SABAH 7 LDG.PKPS JAGOHARMONI, LAHAD DATU, SABAH TARIKH, MASA & TEMPAT TAKLIMAT 16 FEBRUARI 2011 (RABU) jam 9 pagi bertempat di Bilik Mesyuarat Mawar, Tingkat 11, Wisma PKPS, Shah Alam, Selangor

PEMBEKALAN DAN PENGHANTARAN BAJA KE LADANG SAWIT PKPS

SHAH ALAM: To remain relevant in current times, Universiti Industri selangor (Unisel) will drop the word ‘Industri’ from its name in a rebranding exercise next Monday. “This university was previously established during the time when industry was developing rapidly in selangor, so the name then was appropriate,” said president and vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Rosti saruwono (right). The idea for a rebranding was mooted with members of the board and university staff last year at a meeting intended to be a reflection of the university over the past decade. He said their image now has to be more inclusive of other courses like social science and preschool education which are increasing in demand. “Although enrolment for the past 10 years has been increasing, so has our competition. This is so our image won’t be limited to industries like manufacturing and electronics,” he said. A new course in nursing has been introduced

but Rosti maintains that while there are not many new courses, the existing ones will be refocused. Through a change in vision, which is to nurture high moral and ethical values, he hopes graduates will learn industry qualities that are not usually taught in universities, such as timeliness and office ethics. “As such, each degree course will have an academic advisor and an industry advisor, in order to better equip graduates,” he said. “Curruriculums will also be updated with societal values and communication modules,” he added. He gave an example of the new vision by allowing event management students to run events of their own from start to finish for a better learning experience. Meanwhile, the appointment of university chancellor would be announced by the state government on a future date. “There are already candidates for the position and the announcement should be by this month, but it might not be on the day of the rebranding launch,” he said.

NOTA & PERINGATAN : i. Borang Tender dijual pada harga RM 100.00 setiap satu. ii. Setiap syarikat hanya layak membeli SATU (1) dokumen tender sahaja. iii. Borang Tender akan dijual mulai 16 FEBRUARI 2011 (RABU) pada waktu pejabat di Unit Perolehan PKPS, Tingkat 10, Wisma PKPS, Persiaran Perbandaran, Seksyen 14, 40675 Shah Alam, Selangor. iv. Penender diwajibkan menghadiri sesi taklimat seperti yang telah dijadualkan. v. Borang Tender yang lengkap hendaklah DIMETERI dan dimasukkan ke dalam Peti Tender di Tingkat 10, Wisma PKPS, Persiaran Perbandaran, Seksyen 14, 40675 Shah Alam, Selangor menggunakan sampul surat yang disediakan. vi. TARIKH TUTUP PERMOHONAN : 8 MAC 2011 (SELASA), JAM 12 TENGAHARI vii. Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila hubungi Unit Perolehan PKPS di talian : 03-55192621 / 2 / 3

Features 16
February 11 — 13, 2011

Nadirah with her work on projection – photos by Vignes Balasingam (Republik Studio)

Bangi girl makes it big in Big Apple
By Rahmah Ghazali

A photo from Nadirah’s liminar series.

local studio called the Republik in Wangsa Walk, Kuala Lumpur, had never seen an overwhelming turnout eager to see a Malaysian who has brought the country to the world stage of photography. That was until Nadirah Zakariya appeared. In a small, dark room of the studio sat a young and emerging artist from a small town called Bangi who was anxious to present her artwork to the Malaysian public in person for the first time since she moved to New York four years ago. Nadirah, a 26-year-old who specialises in self-portraits, has gained a reputation by working with awardwinning musician Bjork and prominent photographers such as Bruce Stevenson and Yelena Yemchuck. One would never have thought that Bangi could produce one shining star who has started to carve out

A

The crowd in the studio during the presentation.

her name in the history of Lomography – an analogue type of photography –  at a very young age. “I used to do my own experiment without having to bother anyone…it is also a form of self-expression,” Nadirah, who was on a short trip to Malaysia recently, told a packed studio. But what started out as a hobby has brought her photography skills to greater heights – where most of her artwork has been featured in art galleries in New York, California and London. The New York’s Fashion Institute Technology (FIT) photography graduate slowly began to work behind the camera by featuring other people but still considered her work as self-portraits. Elaborating, she said there were two types of photographers – mirror and window – and she categorised herself as the former. “Mirror photographers photograph subjects that reflect who they are, while window photographers capture what they see, like documentary photographers. As for me, I cannot deny that I am a mirror photographer,” she said, adding this was despite someone else is in the photograph. “When it comes to editing and selection process, I would usually choose images that I can relate to…even though there’s a shot of someone else, I still think there is a part of me in the photographs,” she said Refusing to put herself in a box, Nadirah tends to explore a variety of photography styles, which finally brings her to the concept of ‘liminality’ – a perfect term to define her. “Liminality means the state of transition between two worlds. So my work is between reality and a dream state. “And the people or things that linger in between the state are called liminars, which brings to my current body of work,” she said. According to her, the concept is “really compelling” as it portrays her journey of upbringing that detached herself from the outside world. “I tend to feel that I am neither here nor there, as it is hard for me to feel completely at home when I am somewhere,” she said, adding that this was due to her

Features 17
February 11 — 13, 2011

Questionable spending for new warships
THE government recently reiterated that it has allocated RM6 billion to build six new patrol vessels under the Tenth Malaysia Plan. When the plan was deferred two years ago the Malay Mail quoted Prime Minister Najib as saying that the new orders were required because 2,000 companies depended on the additional work under the vendor development programme. However, only 632 vendor companies have been identified by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to benefit from the current plan. He added that at least RM2 billion of the allocation will be channelled to them. It has not been disclosed who these companies are and, again, there has not been any indication that an open tender process was utilised for this project. The addition of six new warships also raises questions as to why the government is allocating billions of taxpayers’ money to stockpile new weapons of war. It has already acquired two new submarines and the six new offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) are part of a 1995 arrang ement to have 27 new OPVs built by 2015. The government needs to explain why it is acquiring these new OPVs which will cost taxpayers RM1 billion each. This is relatively more expensive than South Korea’s much larger and newer frigates which were recently contracted to Hyundai Heavy Industries at US$300 million each. In their context it would be easier to understand such expenditure considering that South Korea, an advanced country, aims to be a blue water navy by 2020 and is confronted with North Korean aggression involving one of the largest armies in the world. In light of the recent increase in food and commodity price levels in the country as a result of ‘subsidy rationalisation’, the question that needs to be asked is if this counts as prudent spending. Charles Santiago Member of Parliament, Klang

upbringing abroad. “When I was younger, we lived in Texas for a while. When we moved back to Malaysia I was considered too Americanised and I wasn’t able to fit in,” she said. Now that she has moved to New York, things have not quite changed either. “When I am over there, I am obviously a Malaysian, but a foreigner. So it is not home either. There’s always a feeling that you belong, but you don’t. “It is a big part of me and I try to convey that through my work,” said Nadirah. Explaining further on her work, she said small children have been her favourite subjects to capture for her on-going project, as “they are not conscious of themselves”. “I am not interested in shooting models in bland white background…but kids, they are most fun to work with because they are not conscious of how they look. They are also disciplined when I tell them what to do and each shot takes me about two to three minutes each because they have short attention span. “But I enjoy shooting them because I would get the purest expression and I guess it is the same when you capture older people. They are pure and innocent.” As technology grows rapidly, many professional photographers are familiar with the use of digital singlelense reflex camera or DSLR compared to analogue cameras that use films. While many would argue about the difference of quality of the end products, Nadirah disagrees with the notion that a medium plays a major role in appreciating the value of the artwork. “I personally feel the value of the artwork is in the art itself and not necessarily the medium. “For me, I choose my medium based on the project but I must admit I shoot more with films than digital,” she said. However, she stressed that she has nothing against digital. “Sometimes, my choice of camera depends on my knowledge of the camera and my comfort level of using them…digital and analogue offer different qualities, not more or less than the other,” she explained. Many would perceive that New York , the city where dreams are made of, opens up opportunities  and appreciation for artwork due to its wide exposure. Taking a different stand, Nadirah says Malaysia too, offers art and inspiration to anyone as long as they have passion to seek it. “There is art everywhere…in New York, it doesn’t have the jungle, it doesn’t have the islands and the people would think that the grass is greener on the other side. “But rest assured, people would kill to be here (in Malaysia). They would say, ‘I wish I was there, it is so cold and uninspiring here’,” said the fourth child in the family. She says that it is the surroundings that contribute a lot to inspiration of an artist, no matter where they may be. “It is you, yourself and your interest as long as you have the passion. You can do whatever you, wherever you want,” she said, adding that art doesn’t necessarily need to be created in some popular places.

Citing an example, she pointed out one of her photos was shot in Malaysia before she moved to New York – and is still her favourite. “If you have seen a photo of me in a pool, I shot that here, before I went to New York. Until today, that is still one of my favourite images. “You don’t need to go all the way over there to be able to create images or to be inspired… be inspired by people around you, by music, by politics or everyday life,” she said with a smile. Even though Nadirah has graduated after four years of study, she still would like to pursue her dream to become a professional photographer in the Big Apple. “Even since I was in university, I was still interning and working as a personal photographer. But now that I have graduated, I would have more time to do freelance work and I try to do a show at an art gallery in New York next month,” she said. However, she did not rule out the possibility of moving back to Malaysia if there is a market for her artwork. “I haven’t really worked in Malaysia yet, but maybe if they are interested in my work, I wouldn’t want to say no to it. But now I am going to do as much as I can in New York while I am there and see where that leads,” said Nadirah. She expresses hope she will come back to Malaysia on a longer trip in the near future. “I love it here. Let’s pray that I have enough money so I can come back more often,” said Nadirah. Nadirah’s artwork can be seen a www.nadirah.net
EXHIBITIONS
2010 Featured Artist December, SALT Gallery, New York 2010 Emerging Market, CultureFix, New York 2010 BFA Thesis Show, SALT Gallery, New York 2009 Roots and Vines Art Benefit, 409 Grand St., New York 2009 Forest/Forrest, Bushwick Open Studios Week, Petri Space, Brooklyn, NY 2008 Digital Malaya Collective, KLue UrbanScapes 2008, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2008 Lomo LC-A+ Amiga Self Portrait Artist, www. lomography.com 2008 Unveiled Allure, Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC 2007 Alterations Done: 8 Female Artists, Gallery 220, Chelsea, NYC 2007 JPG Magazine: Fashion Photography Exhibition, Space Gallery, SF, CA 2005 INTIMACY, Campbell Works, London

Courtesy visit from Iran ambassador

PUBLICATIONS

2010 Nylon Guys June/July 2010 Nylon Guys April/May 2009 Absolute Return + Alpha 2009 HUE Magazine 2008 JPG Magazine, Issue 14 2008 Lomography Online Magazine Interview : Self Portrait Artist Extraordinaire 2007 JPG Magazine, Issue 12, Theme: Fashion 2007 JPG Magazine, Issue 11, Theme: Dreamscapes 2006 Photoshop User Magazine, Project Photoshop Lightroom 2006 Soura Magazine, Soura of the Month (Dubai Publication) 2006 Soura Magazine, Women in Lomography Interview (Dubai Publication)

Khalid and officials from the Iran embassy last month.

SHAH ALAM: Iranian ambassador to Malaysia Dr Mohamad Mehdi Zahedi paid a courtesy visit to Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Jan 28. The visit saw the Menteri Besar and Dr Mohamad Mehdi participating in a meeting at the former’s office which lasted for about an hour. The meeting involved exchanging their views on current issues in the local and international stages, particularly involving the latest developments in Selangor and Iran. During the meeting, Dr Mohamad Mehdi also expressed admiration for the rapid development in Selangor and hoped to establish closer working ties with the state government.

REVIEW 18
february 11 — 13, 2011

Surprise at the Teapot Deli

By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin

T

fectly moist, not dry as how you might find this common dish in eapot Deli on the second other restaurants. The side serving floor of SACC Mall, Shah of the potatoes and cauliflower was Alam, is a cosy, quaint little done perfectly. delicatessen serving mainly western In the midst of my sister enjoying cuisine with a bit of Malaysian fare her Roast Chicken, my brother’s thrown in. beef lasagna arrived and it, too, was First timers might be appalled at deemed heavenly. The cheese on it the limited menu and might com- was perfectly gooey, the pasta sheets pare the Deli to other places which was al dente and the beef sauce was carry a wider variety of food. How- flavourful. Like all main dishes at ever, one shouldn’t write off the Deli the Deli, it too came with side servbased on this shortcoming. ings of vegetables – boiled carrots What the Deli does offer in terms and cauliflower. of epicurean delight more than My Chicken Kiev came last, but makes up for its brevity of choices. that was expected for I was foreThere’s a soup of the day to kick warned that my order would take 20 off the meal, served with garlic minutes to prepare. Stuffed with bread (RM5). The soup changes cheese and herbs, breaded then daily, and on the day that we went fried, the chicken breast was cooked there they were serving broccoli just right. As one who normally soup. Not feeling up to this, we avoids chicken breast for I find the passed on the soup and instead or- meat too dry, I actually enjoyed eatdered cheese on toast (RM6 for six ing it in this dish. The side of fries pieces) for our starter. and vegetables make for a complete  For our main meal, we ordered meal. Chicken Kiev (RM15), Roast ChicThe most interesting dish on the ken (RM15) and Beef Lasag- limited menu would have been the na(RM15). roast beef with Yorkshire pudding The Roast Chicken arrived first. (RM27), but we didn’t get to order Presentation-wise – a whole chicken it that day as the cafe only serves this leg covered in brown gravy, with a English specialty on Fridays, Saturside of cubed potatoes and boiled days and Sundays. cauliflower – the dish  didn’t  look Other items on the menu include very appetising. a variety of pies (fish, chicken, beef, But as it turns out, you really country), fried rice with chicken, can’t judge a book by its cover. The roti jala, Penang mee rebus, and nasi Roast Chicken was tender and per- tomato (available on Friday and Saturday). A wonderful meal wouldn’t be complete without dessert, and the Deli has a nice selection of sweet treats to end your meal. We ordered butter cake (RM4.50), baked cheese cake (RM6) and créme caramel (RM3.50). The deserts were also delectable. You can tell that the Deli didn’t scrimp on Chicken Kiev was the last to arrived but was cooked just right. the ingredients

Cosy and quaint Teapot Deli in the heart of Shah Alam.

Cole, Robson coming to KL
SHAH ALAM: Manchester United legends Bryan Robson and Andrew Cole will be in Kuala Lumpur as part of their three-city Asian tour to help raise funds for the Manchester United Foundation. They will be at a gala dinner on April 8 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where a number of unique Manchester United items will be auctioned to benefit the football club’s charity projects. Manchester United Foundation Chief Executive John Shiels said in a press statement, “We are thrilled to have both Bryan and Andrew join the Asian fundraising tour in support of United for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). As a club, one of our greatest responsibilities is towards improving the lives of the next generation.” Shiels added that they hoped to raise £1 million for UNICEF projects to improve children’s health.

for you can taste the creaminess of the butter in the butter cake and the cheesecake was made of two different cheeses – a denser cheese mixture for the body of the cake and a lighter, creamier mix for the topping. As for the créme caramel, it simply melted in the mouth and the taste of caramel was strong and rich. A full-course meal from appetizers to desert including beverages for three persons came to RM83, an affordable indulgence. A few things one should know before going to the Teapot Deli: Plan on a long lunch as the meals take some time to prepare. And the food does not arrive according to a course progression. Your starter might arrive after your main meal, as it happened for us, and if you do not state clearly that you want your dessert at the end of the meal, don’t be surprised if you receive your desert first! Another thing you should know

The Roast Chicken was tender and moist.

is the dishes at the Deli really fail in terms of presentation. Your food will not look tantalising. However, don’t let this weakness put you off your food for the Deli does serve

really delicious food. The next time you are craving for some delicious western fare, you now know a place where you can get your fix.

The gala dinner in Kuala Lumpur will also be supported by Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM). Robson and Cole will also attend other fundraising galas in the region which will be held in Bangkok on April 6 and Hong Kong on April 9. Luxury watch maker, Hublot, which is a partner of Manchester United, will also donate one of its timepieces to each event. United fans will get the opportunity to meet these two legends of Old Trafford. Robson, or “Captain Marvel”, was the longest serving captain in the club’s history and is current manager of the Thai national team. Andrew Cole was a member of the United treble winning team in 1999 and the second-highest goalscorer in Premiership history. United for UNICEF was formed in 1999 as a cooperation between Manchester United and UNICEF to raise funds for UNICEF programmes.

Robson (left) and Cole is coming to KL on April 8.

Travel 19
February 11 — 13, 2011

An oil palm plantation inside Bagan Tengkorak.

The sun, the sea and a long stretch of evergreen trees make up the coastal road along Tanjung Karang. LIN ZHENYUAN makes a side trip to Bagan Tengkorak.

The sign that shows the way to Bagan Tengkorak.

Fishing boats anchored along the muddy river banks.

lot of people know about ing. There are very few cars travelling Kuala Selangor. Some wri- the solitary, straight and narrow ters and blog g ers have road. The kampung homes reveal “flogged” that place half to death little signs of life. over its seafood restaurants. The question in any stranger’s Not that many people know mind is “where are all the people?” about Tanjung Karang. They know The Malays dominate this green it exists somewhere in Selangor but sanctuary. There are pockets of Chithe distance and the sun are too nese staying near the jetty where much of a deterrence for a quick fishing is their livelihood. visit. Places like Kampung Sungai A handful of people know about Sireh Batu Sebelas, Kampung TenBagan Tengkorak. Loosely trans- gah, Kampung Sungai Burong , lated, it means “Jetty of Skulls”. Kampung Parit Empat and KamIt is not an accurate description pung Dato Ahmad Razali have of the place and there’s hardly any higher concentrations of inhabithistorical record of its origins. Tan- ants. jung Karang, where Bagan TengAll those populated areas are Fisherfolk korak is located, is actually a fishing within a 10km radius. Tanjung Kamending nets and rice growing district. rang town itself is where the action for the next If Bagan Tengkorak is the “Jetty is as far as the villagers are conday’s trip to the sea. of Skulls”, then Tanjung Karang is cerned. the “Cape of Corals”. On paper, But the Chinese mainly populate both places sound quite exotic. But you have a strange roof. Nearby, opif you like to view wide swathes of fascination for leech- posite the singleland with grass, trees, bushes and es, frogs and creepy- store y houses, vines then Bagan Tengkorak is the crawlies, chances are small fishes and place to be. you won’t be looking shrimps were left to dry in the hot Tanjung Karang is about seven for exotic species of sun. kilometres north of Kuala Selangor butterflies here. Only storks can be seen picking town. The “Jetty of Skulls” is hidden Four kilometres edible slugs from the mud beds. The from public view because it is a dealong a tight road fishing hours have long passed. But tour from the main road. lead a visitor straight strangers do not come here for the Before you reach Bagan Tengi n t o K a m p u n g view. There are better ones elsekorak, you will have to pass through Bagan Tengkorak where. Pasir Penambang which is the sec- Processing small fish out in the hot sun. and ends at a tiny Hidden in this inner sanctum of ond most popular place after Kuala Chinese fishing set- Bagan Tengkorak is a restaurant the commercial zones. The kampung tlement which springs up like an with no name. Its menu is limited. Selangor. Weekends at Pasir Penambang folk prefer the peace and serenity of oasis in the desert. There is no soup or Oh Chien (oysare crowded with outsiders, mainly the countryside. The houses are small and are ter omelette) on order. It’s unusual Commercial activities in Bagan about 20ft away from a ramshackle but true. from Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur. The visitors come to Pasir Tengkorak include a poultry meat jetty where the low tide reveals What it does have is its signature Penambang either for seafood meals processing factory, food processing smooth muddy slabs and tired- dish, the claypot catfish cooked in or to get fresh supplies of prawns plant, marine prawn farming and looking fishing boats. thick bean paste sauce. Its appearfood and beverage business. and other fish. Chinese women were mending a ance is a bit disagreeable but it tastes Little else is found here. Unless fish net under the shade of a large like heaven on earth. From Kuala Selangor onwards, there are numerous fishing   The big prawns were villages. Some of these are fresher than the morning more popular than others, flowers in a botanical garfor example, the D’Muara den. There’s a sharp, tangy Marine Park where the taste to three of the four Dorani Bayu Resort is lodishes we ordered. cated.  Besides the vegetables, Bagan Tengkorak is we also ordered a plate of probably one of the least la-la. The la-la shells were visited places along the uncommonly large and route. It is hardly develthick. These are not noroped and property has low mally seen in other seacommercial value. food outlets. This dish too La-la that would please any Big prawns that will make any normal Basically, there is noth- seafood diner. earned a five-star rating. diner salivate.

A

Straight into the jetty of skulls

 The restaurant’s solitary cook is a middle-aged man who easily puts to shame many of the top chefs in the city. His extraordinary skills have attracted a small number of diehard supporters who flock here during weekends. Some outsiders say this unpretentious restaurant is the jewel in Bagan Tengkorak’s crown. One meal at this eatery will convince you of its reputation. The bill will also bring a big smile to your face. Next door to this restaurant is a building for breeding mantis prawns and la-la clams. There were numerous aquariums with oxygenated running water keeping thousands of these delicious sea critters healthy and succulent. From the size of the aquariums, these popular crustaceans will eventually find their way into city restaurants. Bagan Tengkorak is such a sleepy hollow that even the flies take a siesta in the afternoon. And unless your grandfather or a distant relative are staying in the vicinity, outsiders will be in no hurry to pay homage to this riverine settlement. But I will remember the restaurant with no name.

Understanding the past
Compiled by Peter Long

Features 20
February 11 — 13, 2011

T

alk to any chess trainer worth his salt and the topic of the importance of studying classical games will come up. Yet with computers and the Internet, programs like Fritz and Rybka, and database tools like ChessBase, information is readily at your fingertips and that has resulted in many seemingly becoming an instant expert today! So why go through 100-year-old games when with a few clicks of the mouse the latest wrinkle played by the leading players of today can be seen and with the help of a chess engine deciphered? Well, most would agree that a player’s progress is largely mirrored with how the history of the game of chess developed with the growth and change in strategic ideas of leading players through successive generations and this was best put forward by former World Champion Ma x Euwe in his book The Development of Chess Style. In my work as chess trainer at Polgar Chess Asia, once past the beginner stage, I see either young players entirely being absorbed by tactics to the detriment of everything else or the ver y opposite i.e. completely deficient, and the medicine that needs to be offered to both is a good dose of the classics! As Grandmaster Adrian

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Long is FIDE Master who is a two-time National Junior Champion and National Champion in 1986. Long is also Malaysia’s only FIDE trainer and the Polgar Chess University Director for Asia. He can contacted at peterlong@ aol.asia

Mikhalchishin, who is Chairman of the FIDE Trainers’ Commission would say, it is by studying the classics that we can clearly see the ideas when first introduced and then understand how they have been developed. The following game which is played by Paul Morphy (18371884) who many consider to be the first unofficial World Champion, is offered to challenge the reader to use as benchmark for his or her own play in looking to achieve the first basic level of skill – combination for strategic ends – before attempting more. Morphy, Paul - Harrwitz, Daniel Paris, Match (4) 1858 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Bg5! f6 8.Bh4 Nh6 9.Nc3 Qd7 10.0-0 Be7 11.Rad1 0-0 12.Qc4+ Rf7 13.Nd4! Ng4 14.h3 Ne5 15.Qe2! g5? 16.Bg3 Rg7 17.Nf5 R g6 18.f4 g xf4 19.Rxf4 Kh8 (Diagram)

(Diagram) Rxc5 31.Rxh7+ Kxh7 32.Qh5+ Kg8 33.Nxe7+ Kg7 34.Nf5+ Kg8 35.Nxd6 1-0 Morphy’s superiority to his contemporaries lies not in his combinative abilities but in how he, understanding and then applying with absolute mastery the principles of development, the centre, and open lines, was able to build his game irrevocably till so very often we are treated to a finish of beauty that we can never forget simply because they arose from the logic and demands of the position.

20.Rh4! Bf8 2 1 . Bxe 5 ! f xe 5 22.Rf1 Qe6 23.Nb5! Qg8 24.Rf2 a6 2 5 . Nx c 7 R c 8 2 6 . Nd 5 B x d 5 27.exd5 Rc7 28.c4 Be7 29.Rh5 Qe8 30.c5!

Full calendar for MCF
The Malaysian Chess Federation has offered a calendar for 2011, and while some dates are tentative as subject to that “monkey on our back” known as sponsorship, local enthusiasts will find this a reliable guide to what to expect this year. Dates 12 – 16 Mar 12 – 15 Mar 16 – 20 Mar 16 – 20 Mar May 29 May – 7 Jun Jun Aug Aug Sept Sept Nov 14 – 18 Dec Dec National Events National Chess Convention National Age-Group Championship National Closed Championship National Women Championship National Men & Women Masters MSSM Chess Malaysia Inter-State Chess Championship Merdeka Team Chess Championship The Malaysian Open National Rapid Age-Group 2nd National Rapid Age-Group National Chess Camps 4th National Junior Chess Championship Selangor Open Penang Open KL Open National Scholastics Age-Group Championship Pra-Sukma Catur International Events Asian Cities Team Championship Asian Continental Championships Asian Junior U 20 Championships ASEAN + Age-Group Championships Sport Accord Mind Games South East Asia (SEA) Games Asian Schools Championship Asian Youth Championship Florencia Campomsnes Memorial Commonwealth Open Championship World Junior U 20 Championship World Schools Individual Championships World Youth Championships World Youth U-16 Chess Olympiad Venue Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Penang Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Perak Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Selangor Penang Kuala Lumpur Venue Jakarta, Indonesia Tehran, Iran Colombo, Sri Lanka Tarakan, Indonesia Beijing, China Indonesia AI Ain, UAE Subic, Philippines Indonesia Cape Town, S. Africa New Delht, India Krakow, Poland Rio de Janerio, Brazil Ankara, Turkey

Dates 21 – 29 Apr 1 – 10 May 1 – 11 Jun 1 – 11 Jun 2 – 11 Sept 11 Nov

Jun Oct Sept Sept

Good start for Malaysia
MAlAYSIA got off to a good start this year with victory in the annual Malaysia-Singapore Match, now in its 21st edition. It was played between Dec 31, 2010 and Jan 1, 2011. During the Kuala lumpur edition last year, Singapore had triumphed again by the narrowest of margins possible – one point. But with a very much weakened team going down to the lion’s den over the New Year weekend, it did not seem likely Malaysia would break a 10year drought. All the more when the last few years has seen Singapore, through a combination of offering systematic training at all levels and age groups together with player imports, overtake Malaysia in the international rankings (currently Singapore is ranked 60th while Malaysia is 67th). But Malaysia managed to overcome a seven-point deficit after the first day to triumph 77.5-74.5, thanks to a crushing win in the third round which put us three points in the. This was subsequently defended in the fourth and final round.

Notices

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ February 11 – 13, 2010 ⁄ 21

Gallery 22
February 11 — 13, 2011

NEW YEAR WISH: Council presidents and city hall mayors with Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and state Exco Ronnie Liu at a Chinese New Year gathering in Shah Alam recently. From left (behind): Tukiman Nail (Hulu Selangor Municipal Council), Mohd Jaid Ehsan (Selayang Municipal Council), Datuk Mohd Roslan Sakiman (MBPJ), Abdul Razak Jaafar (Kuala Langat District Council), Zailani Kadir (Sabak Bernam District Council), Datuk Mazalan Md Nor (MBSA), Haris Kasim (Kuala Selangor District Council), Mohd Sayuthi Bakar (Sepang Municipal Council). From left: (in front): Mohd Azhar Mohamed Ali (Selangor local government deputy director), Datuk Mohammad Yacob (Ampang Jaya Municipal Council), Khalid, Liu, Datuk Hasan Nawawi Abdul Rahman (Kajang Municipal Council), Abdullah Marjunid (Subang Jaya Municipal Council deputy president), Datuk Mislan Tugiu (Klang Municipal Council).

Selangor Exco Teresa Kok, Datuk Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar chatting before the Sri Muda assemblyperson Mat Shuhaimi Shafie’s court case at the Shah Alam High Court on Monday.

Selangor state exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar hands over a cheque for RM300,000 on behalf of the Selangor state government to Sri Maha Mariamman Rimba Jaya temple officials in Shah Alam on Monday. The Padang Jawa temple was demolished several days before Deepavali celebrations in 2007.

Selangor Exco Ronnie Liu at a voter registration exercise in Bukit Tinggi, Klang, with Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo-Burne, on Jan 29.

A disabled man displays his caligraphy skills at the Thean Hou Temple during Chinese New Year last week.

culture 23
FEBRUARY 11 — 13, 2011

❚ COMPILED BY ZEDECK SIEW

iNtERviEw

Frinjan for the masses

Editor’s Pick
Festival; Justice For Sisters; Map KL @ Publika; 12 February Admission by donation 03-6207 9732; www.mapkl.org

O

f all the regular art festivals that happen in the Klang Valley, none so actively tries to reach the general public as Pekan Frinjan. This day-long “town” of stalls (selling apparel and books), music (from punk bands to singersongwriters), and miscellaneous performance (street theatre, poetry readings), held monthly, got its start as a state tourism initiative to enliven downtown Shah Alam. Designed to provide fringe subcultures an avenue for expression, it’s become one of the most vibrant, visible and inclusive events in Selangor’s cultural life. Pekan Frinjan enters its 17th instalment this weekend. We talk to co-organiser the Frinjan collective’s Zulhabri Supian (he’s also a writer, book publisher, and tour guide) about the state of culture in urban Malaysia, why we’re losing out to Indonesia, and what audiences can expect at the coming Pekan Frinjan.

“SiS, let’S reclaim our rightS!”
Creative festivals seem to be all the rage these days. Dutamas’s Map KL, in particular, has been guilty of excess; apart from this Justice For Sisters event, the venue is organising something called LiFest (a festival “celebrating Art, Photography, Music, Culture and Fashion”) beginning the following weekend (Feb 19 - 27). Not complaining, of course; it’s just that all the buzz just makes it tough to keep up. Anyway, “Sis, let’s reclaim our rights!” is another event by Justice For Sisters, a confederation of creative types advocating for the Mak Nyah community, who typically face abuse, persecution and discrimination in Malaysia. This full-day festival promises lots: “from post-punk gigs to post-avant garde arts to poetry readings.” Featuring, among many others, music from Meichern, Ferns, and Think! Tadpole! Think!; poetry by Priya K and Tshiung Han See, and performance art by the Buka Kolektif.

PERFORMANCE

How did Pekan Frinjan begin? We understand that you work in collaboration with the Selangor state government. It was actually an idea that Tourism Exco YB Elizabeth Wong suggested to Frinjan collective founder Amri Ruhayat – to brighten up Dataran Shah Alam with arts and culture events and bazaars for young people. Tourism Selangor has helped us a lot in organising Pekan Frinjan, since its first edition on 1 March 2009. Since then we’ve grown, both as an event and a collective. I co-organise it with Alina Abdullah, and we have a number of people who help out on a volunteer basis. Pekan Frinjan showcases nonmainstream music, literature and performance. Why do you think that space for these sorts of cultural experiences is limited? The appreciation – by both the authorities and the public in Malaysia– of arts and culture is still low; we don’t take these things seriously. This is in stark contrast with our neighbours Indonesia, in which arts and culture is widespread, and considered as a way of life. To me, there needs to be more genre- or location-specific arts communities – everywhere, including in the Klang Valley – before public or private institutions will take notice and create the space for such things. Malaysian culture is quite infantile, generally. What needs to change? The Malaysian education system has to be rebalanced, with real emphasis on culture – the way we have with sports. Again, look at Indonesia: almost every secondary school there holds a year-end art festival – that unearths a lot of new talent and promotes fresh ideas. This doesn’t happen in Malaysia. Pekan Frinjan tends to happen in public spaces with a lot of foot

traffic: Dataran Shah Alam, i-City. Who do you want to reach? Why? The general public is our main target. They are the majority, and they are little exposed to culture beyond the kind you’d see at things like Jom Heboh. It’s our hope that this small effort will have an impact on Malaysians’ exposure to art – probably not anytime soon, but gradually. We intentionally have Pekan Frinjan in public venues where you can relax, because young people are more comfortable with this concept. We want to r e ta ke p u b l i c space with fresh, but leisurely activities. Is the public receptive to the (sometimes we i r d ) s t u f f that they see in Frinjan? In g enera l , the response we get is very good. This is because most of the audience doesn’t usually get the chance to se e work like this. On the part of the “art- going public”, their expectations are quite high –

that’s a challenge to us to not stagnate and continue to improve the way we put together performances. What will we see at Pekan Frinjan 17? Any highlights? Bijou Bazaar, a crafts and guerrilla fashion market based in KL, will be joining us for the first time. We’ll be having performances by rising musicians and poets like Dum Dum Tak and Petak. There’s also going to be the launch of an indie book, by a youth collective, entitled Kuala Lumpur, Aku Okay.

torch Song maSSacre - Battle of the SexeS!
Music Concert; The Annexe Gallery @ Central Market; Feb 17 - 20; RM45; 03-2070 1137; www.annexegallery.com The outrageously fun, all-inclusive, free-loving Torch Song Massacre music machine, “where we kill everyone with those oh so tragic love songs”, returns! Featuring some of KL’s best talents: ROZZ, Elvira Arul, Liyana Fizi, Reza Salleh and Aaron Khaled. With special guest appearances by Salamiah Hassan, Junji Delfino, Ida Mariana and Nabila Nasir.

ARtS
feng Shui - a Solo exhiBition By munkao
Munkao engages in fun takedowns of the commercial art world, most memorably in the triplebill (along with fellow pranksters Chi Too and Dill Malik and curator Simon Soon) pomp-fest The Best Art Show In The Universe. With that sort of rep, you can be sure that the artist isn’t taking the theme of his new show, Feng Shui, completely seriously. The curatorial write-up sounds like a shopping catalogue: “Whether you’re hanging the artwork in your home or office, the artworks [of Feng Shui] hold the promise of enhancing your working or living environment, bestowing health, wealth, joy and peace.” Satire, ho!

FilM
leSSonS in love
Film Screenings; Amnesty International Malaysia; The Annexe Gallery @ Central Market; 13 February 2011; free admission; 03-2070 1137; www. annexegallery.com This day-long programme of movie screenings is themed around the bonds that human beings have with each other – an appropriate topic for an event hosted by human rights NGO Amnesty International. Featuring Rex Bloomstein’s Zarganar: This Prison Where I Live, a documentary about Burma’s leading comedian, sentenced to 59 years of prison by the junta. The British filmmaker will be on-hand for discussion about his flick. Also featuring the premier of Demand Dignity.

Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.

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