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Residents want underground MRT stations
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February 25 — 27, 2011/ issue 13
Rimba Jaya settlers to get compensation
By Alvin Yap
sHaH alam: An election promise to pay compensation to former Kampung Rimba Jaya settlers whose homes were demolished in 2007 will be fulfilled by the state government. “The state executive council had decided that 283 former residents who took the developer to court still qualify for the RM7,000 subsidy given to ex-squatters to buy low cost flats,” said Iskandar Samad to Selangor Times. The state executive councillor said under the previous administration, any squatter who took their case to court would be denied the Hamzah Basir: Not satisfied subsidy. with the RM7,000 offered by the Some 200 families attempted to state. defend their homes by obtaining an injunction to prevent Shah Alam wish to buy low cost flats would be City Council (MBSA) from carry- allowed to receive cash equivalent ing out demolition works. to the amount of subsidy in order to The court had ruled against them help them to start a new life. and they lost their right to compenDuring a press conference with sation. S ha h A l a m M P B u t I s k a n d a r, Khalid Samad earli283 former er this month, the whose portfolio includes housing, said residents settlers pointed out the present adminis- that took the that compensation tration feels the for- developer to was long overdue. mer residents should Khalid had pronot be further pun- court still qualify mised to raise the ished after being for- for the RM7,000 issue with both the cibly evicted and their subsidy given state and in Parliadwelling s demol- to ex-squatters ment because comished. to buy low cost pensation was im“I will be negotiatportant to the famiflats.” ing with the developlies, er together with the Batu Tiga asHe pointed out that some had semblyperson Rodziah Ismail to get failed to secure housing loans, and the developer to agree to contribute needed the RM7,000 to defray the to the subsidy to be paid,” said Is- cost in purchasing a low-cost house. kandar. But not all the settlers are satisThe State through its Housing fied with the amount being offered. Board will also assist settlers to W h e n m e t o n We d n e s identify low cost flats to purchase, if day, Hamzah Basir, who was among all the flats at the development 15 settlers, said they were not satisfied originally designated for them had with the RM7,000 offer. “I am hoping been sold. the state will pay us more,” said the Former residents who do not 55-year-old carpenter.
Rimba Jaya settlers still qualify for subsidy to buy flats.
The settlers claimed that Rodziah, who is state lawmaker for the area, had said that she would attempt to get RM15,000 for each family. However when contacted by Selangor Times, Rodziah said the state decided on a “cut-off ” amount of RM7,000 as the settlers had differ-
ent requests. She said she was aware that some were unhappy over the amount but the state could not satisfy everybody. Rodziah will be meeting the former settlers sometime in the next two weeks to explain the state’s decision.
February 25 — 27, 2011
Friday Saturday Sunday
By Basil Foo
OA get their bungalows at last
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
Abandoned project to be revived next month
By Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Bungalows promised to 21 Orang Asli families in Bukit Cerakah were finally handed over to them yesterday after a four-year delay. “There is no point talking about the delays, we are thankful for the homes today,” said Mela Aib, who was among the recipients. Selangor Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Lee Kim Sin, who attended the ceremony, said the bungalows should have been built and delivered to the families in March 2007. “This is our second visit to this 110.5 hectare project, in which 16.2 hectares
SUBANG JAYA: House buyers of serviced apartment Newgate 21 are pleased to hear that their white knight has secured court clearance to resume construction on the abandoned project. “We’re grateful to the people who have helped revive the project,” said Pritpal Singh, chairperson of the house buyers’ committee for the 10-year abandoned project in USJ 21. He told Selangor Times that developer Sumbangan Lagenda is expected to resume construction in mid-March. They will hold a press conference on Sunday to announce the good news. First abandoned by Solarglow in 2000 and later by Pinggiran Setia in 2006, Sumbangan Lagenda is the third developer for the four blocks of 24-storey apartments and a three-storey retail podium. Pritpal said over 1,300 house buyers have been affected by the abandoned project. Many are still servicing bank loans for their units. They expressed hope Sumbangan Lagenda will not let them down like Pinggiran Setia. Kinrara assemblyperson Teresa Kok praised the house buyers’ committee’s perseverance in looking for new developers to revive the project. “This is a long awaited moment. I also hope the developer will upgrade the apartment’s design because it’s already more than 10 years old,” the executive councillor said. Out of the 1,000 plus units in Newgate 21, almost 90% are sold. Creditor RHB Bank had appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Advisory Services to resolve the abandoned development in Dec 2008. Subsequently, Sumbangan Lagenda won the open tender facilitated by PwC to revive the project. In Dec 2010, 99.7% of the purchasers also voted and agreed to allow Sumbangan Lagenda to rehabilitate the project. Under the rehabilitation scheme, house buyers can choose to keep or surrender their units back to the developer. Those who choose to keep their units have to pay an additional 25% of their units’ original purchase price to cover the escalated costs of construction. The developer is required to complete the project in 30 months after it resumes construction.
Lee: Public amenities missing.
were allocated as housing development for the Orang Asli,” said Lee, who is also the Kajang assemblyperson. He said when the committee first visited two years ago, the development had not been completed despite a privatisation agreement between the state and the developers signed in 1999. According to the Mela Aib: One of the recipients. agreement, all developments should have been “Our visit today is to ensure the handed over to the Orang promised developments will be fulAsli by May 2007 but only filled without further delay,” he said. 30 terrace houses were A total of 30 medium and 23 low completed during PAC’s cost flats, along with two shop lots have first visit. yet to be built. The homes are part of Lee added that public amenities the compensation prom- including a surau, kindergarten and ised to the community. recreational facilities were also missing. In addition to the bunLee said PAC will advise the current galows, they were promised state administration against similar low cost flats, terrace homes privatisation projects which are unand shops lots which profitable. should have also been comHe said the previous state adminispleted four years ago tration had signed off on 40 such The other families who projects from 2006 but so far only were promised homes were eight have been completed. left in the lurch and some The projects were supposed to genresorted to building make- erate RM270 million for the state but shift homes in the nearby to date the state had only got RM29 agricultural park. million from them.
16 CCTVs to curb crime in Klang
KLANG: Closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) have been installed in the town and suburbs here in a bid to curb crime and maintain public order. A total of 16 installed CCTVs, sponsored by the Housing and Local Government Ministry, were handed over to the police and the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) yesterday. The CCTVs were placed in areas such as Jalan Tengku Kelana and Bukit Tinggi. “We hope this will make the public more considerate. Before you litter or park illegally think again because you might be caught on camera,” said MPK president Datuk Mislan Tugiu. Tw o M P K enforcement officers will be stationed at the local council’s control centre while a 24-hour helpline will be set up to take complaints and queries from the public concerning traffic and crime. Mislan believes the CCTVs will help curb illegal parking and vandalism as well as assist the authorities in c a t c h i n g s na t c h thieves, illegal traders and litterbugs. MPK could also assist the police with their operations during traffic congestion and road accidents. When asked if the CCTVs violate the public’s privacy, Mislan said they are installed in public locations so it should not be an issue. “The cameras are not installed in private places like washrooms or bedrooms…Many developed cities like London and Shanghai have CCTVs in public places to help reduce crime and monitor traffic conditions as well,” he said. Mislan added that the Selangor government has also approved 60 more CCTVs for the local council. Starting today, Klang residents can call the municipal council’s toll-free helpline at 1800-88-23826 or 03-3371 4404 to ask about traffic conditions or lodge public complaints. Under the Housing and Local Government Ministry’s programme, close to 500 CCTV cameras, costing RM59.8 million, are being installed nationwide to curb crime and monitor traffic. Besides MPK, six other local councils in Selangor have also received the cameras under the ministry’s programme. Contractor GTC Global is responsible for the CCTV cameras’ installation, maintenance and providing training for the police and local councils’ officers to operate the CCTVs from the control centres. The 16 cameras are installed in the locations listed below: Jalan Raya Barat Teluk Pulai Jalan Tengku Kelana Jalan Pos Baru Jalan Raja Hassan Lorong Gopeng Klang Parade Bandar Baru Klang Taman Eng Ann Jalan Datuk Yusof Shahbudin Jalan Sg Jati Taman Sentosa Bayu Perdana Bukit Tinggi
phone (603) 5523 2288 fax (603) 5523 1188 email email@example.com
CHIEF EDITOR COMMUNITY EDITOR WRITERS
Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, Basil Foo, Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin, Alvin Yap COPY EDITORS James Ang, Deborah Loh
Jimmy C. S. Lim Victor Chong Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi
PHOTOGRAPHER ADVERTISING ADVISORS
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ February 25 – 27, 2011 ⁄ 3
February 25 — 27, 2011
Yasujiro Ozu’s “Floating Weeds” will be screened tomorrow, Feb 26, at 3pm. In 1959, Ozu remade his 1934 silent classic, “A Story of Floating Weeds”, in colour with celebrated cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (“Rashomon”, “Ugetsu”). Setting his later version at a seaside location, Ozu otherwise preserves the details of his elegantly simple plot where an aging actor returns to a small town with his troupe after 12 years. “Floating Weeds” reveals Ozu’s distinct style at its best. Entrance is by donation. Venue: Indicine, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, KL
By Gan Pei Ling
On Monday at 8.30 pm, the Petronas Performing Arts Group (PPAG) presents Imbauan 3, a continuation of the successful Imbauan 1 and 2 showcases. Featuring songs from classic Malay movies in new arrangements and with orchestrations by Ahmad Muriz Che Rose. Admission is priced at RM60, RM50, RM30 and RM15. Dress code is smart casual. Venue : Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, Level 2, Tower 2, Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC, K. Lumpur.
Shingo Tokihiro Costume Exhibition
Until March 13, catch famed Japanese costume designer, Shingo Tokihiro’s creations in Kuala Lumpur at a joint exhibition by KLPAC and The Japan Foundation. Tokihiro has been honing his craft for the past 23 years designing for stage performances in Japan as well as abroad. Tokihiro is particularly fond of Shakespeare and has designed for many Noh-styled productions of classics including Macbeth, Othello, King Lear and Tempest. Open from 10am to 10 pm. Admission is free. Venue: Pentas 2 Foyer, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, KL
In conjunction with World Kidney Day, a public forum on “Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Diseases” will be held on March 5 from 11.30am to 2pm at the Kayangan Hall, Level 1, DEMC Specialist Hospital, Section 14, Shah Alam. It will be delivered by consultant physician and nephrologist Dr Rashidi Saidin. Another forum, “Eat Your Way to Health”, will be conducted by dietician Chew Lih Teng. Free admission but seats are limited. To register, call Mukhairudin at 017-960 6164 or 035515 1888 ext 882.
SEPANG: The state will allocate RM10,000 a year to each Orang Asli village for development from this year. In addition, all Village Security and Development Committees ( JKKK) chiefs will each receive RM300 a month. “They can use it to build an office or organise community programmes,” state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong, who heads the state’s Orang Asli taskforce, said on Sunday. She said similar funds are allocated to traditional Malay kampongs and Chinese new villages. “This is nothing new,” said Wong, adding that close to 70 Orang Asli villages in Selangor would benefit from the allocation. Wong also said the state has mapped out the boundaries of Orang Asli customary lands in 10 villages using the Global Positioning System. In an effort to recognise Orang Asli land rig hts, the state has been embarking on a project to map out their customary lands since mid-2010. Wong urged young Orang Asli to volunteer for the project. The state will provide the training. Wong was attending a thanksgiving ceremony organised by the Temuan in Bukit Tampoi, Dengkil. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim also attended the ceremony, which was held to thank the state and the lawyers involved in the landmark Sagong Tasi case. In 1995, 38 acres of the Temuan customary lands in Bukit Tampoi were taken without appropriate compensation for the construction of a highway to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. As a result, seven Temuan from Bukit Tampoi sued the federal and state governments, as well as the Malaysian Highway Authority and con-
RM10k for each OA village a year
Khalid Ibrahim (third from left), Sagong Tasi, Wong and Bukit Tampoi village chief Changkeh Dabak cutting a three-layered glutinous rice cake at the thanksgiving ceremony.
struction firm United Engineers in 1996. They won the case at the Shah Alam High Court in 2002 but the four defendants appealed. The state decided to withdraw its appeal in April 2009. In May 2010, the Federal Court ordered the Malaysian Highway Authority and United Engineers to pay the 26 families RM6.5 million for their lost lands. It was a bittersweet victory for the Orang Asli after 15 years. Sagong Tasi, 81, is the only living plaintiff out of the original seven. The lawyers who aided the Orang Aslis
for free were Datuk Dr Cyrus Das, Jerald Gomez, Rashid Ismail, Sharmila Sekaran, Leena Ghosh, Steven Thiru, Ragunath Kesavan, David Mathew, Valerie Chong and Dr K Chandra. Lawyer Cecil Rajendra, from Penang, who was also present at the thanksgiving, brought the case to the attention of the Malaysian Bar’s human rights committee back in 1995. More than 300 Orang Asli, including those from neighbouring villages in Sepang and Kuala Langat, also attended the thanksgiving.
Prince Court Medical Centre (PCMC) also marks World Kidney Day with the launch of a nocturnal haemodialysis program. Experts will give educational talks on how to care for your kidneys and heart. Members of the public including kidneys patients and caregivers are welcome to attend the public forum on March 6 at PCMC auditorium from 9.30am to 2pm. Call 1-800-88 –PCMC (7262) for customer relations (ext 1721), or Asil (ext 1108), or e-mail your RSVP to asil. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bumi housing quota not threatened
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
Course on Buddhism
Learn more about the historical development of Buddhist scriptures at a three-hour course on Saturday from 3pm to 6pm at the Nalanda Centre, 3357 Jalan 18/31, Taman Sri Serdang, Seri Kembangan. For details, call 03-8938-1500/1501 or e-mailinstitute@ nalanda.org.my
SHAH ALAM: Contrary to a report on TV3’s Buletin Utama report on Feb 21, the state government has no intention of ending the Bumiputera housing quota. “That report is also inaccurate in saying that the Bumiputera housing quota is 30 per cent, when in actual fact, the quota varies from 30 to 70 per cent according to district,” said state executive councillor for housing Iskandar Samad. Iskandar said the state has had a series of discussions with the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Associaion of MaBy Alvin Yap
laysia (REDHA), which brought up the request for automatic release of unsold Bumiputera lots. However the state has yet to make any decision in regards to the automatic release asked for by REDHA. “The state has only formed a company, Selangor Housing and Real Estate Company, to help the developers market properties under the Bumiputera quota,” said Iskandar. Iskandar added that this was done in the hope of lessening developers’ burden while ensuring that real estate ownership among the Bumiputera is guaranteed.
Healing breath meditation
Kevala Centre will hold a free public session on Healing Breath Meditation on Sunday from 6pm to 7pm. Learn this simple yet powerful meditation technique, where you will be guided with simple steps to calm your mind and emotions. It will be conducted by Dr Dhilip Kumar. Admission is free but pre-registration is required. For registration, call 03-5636 7986 or visit www.drdhilip. com.
Malaysia Sudoku Society is conducting a free “Sudoku Clinic” for senior citizens at their clubhouse in Bangunan SECITA, 4A Jalan SS5D/6, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, on Monday from 9am to 10.30am. It will be led by Lim Teck Guan (author of Art of Sudoku series guide books). For details, call Lim 019-311 8174 or Lee 012-234 1492.
KLANG: The state may require pet owners to apply for cat licences as too many stray felines are now roaming the streets. “We are looking into the possibility for cats to be licensed, like dogs,” said Selangor executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar. This was because local councils and the veterinar y department have received complaints of stray cats raiding trash-bins and even entering kitchens looking for food, said Dr Xavier at a pet owners’ forum at the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) on Saturday. The state is also standardising the application process and fees for pet licences across all local councils, he
Pet cats to be licensed?
added. He urged pet owners to be more responsible by spaying and neutering their pets. Owners should also not abandon their pets. “I’ve seen people abandoning their dogs, by letting them out of the car and then driving off,” he added. Pets left to roam free might pose a danger to residents because of rabies and other diseases. Dr Xavier said some pet owners were also ignoring council bylaws that prohibited the keeping of dogs or cats in strata property. “If your pets are caught, please don’t try to appeal against us taking action. We can’t make exceptions,” said the Sri Andalas assemblyperson. Dr Xavier also announced that the state has plans to use a four-hectare plot of land to set up a centralised dog and cat pound. He did not disclose the location. The pound will also be a “one-stop” educational centre for youngsters on how to be responsible pet owners. On moves to implement electronic tagging of pets, Dr Xavier said the Selayang Municipal Council had voluntarily pioneered this initiative. Pet owners can either get their pets tagged by the veterinary department or have it done by private veterinarians. Those who do so will receive a rebate on pet licence fees, said Dr Xavier.
No dream home for residents
By William Tan
february 25 — 27, 2011
petaling jaya: The problems seem to be piling up for residents of Pangsapuri Impian Baiduri in Seksyen 51A. Non-functioning elevators, unhygienic surroundings and robberies are just some of the issues they face regularly. The most tragic case in the history of the place was when a elevator fell down from the sixth floor of Apartment Block A last year, injuring a couple and two secondary schoolchildren. “Problems like this are frequent in this area and have been going on for the last six years,” said resident Moi Yeuk Mene, 68. Moi showed Selangor Times around the area and pointed to the lack of window grilles on the first floor windows. He attributed a spate of burglaries to the missing grilles. To add to their woes, thieves have now turned to stealing poorly fastened air conditioner compressors and cables. Thieves would also occasionally steal motorcycles in the area, a problem that has resulted in residents taking their bikes back to their apartments, out of fear. The list literally went on, with Moi pointing out an entire street littered with rubbish before complaining about the non-function-
ing street lights and missing manhole covers. According to Moi, the problems were due to the developer and irresponsible residents. An example of the irresponsibility of residents was where all the disposal bins at a nearby trash collection area were moved out so that someone could park his taxi at the spot. According to Radiah Ishak, 54, who sells pastries at the flats, some residents in the higher floors would also throw things out of the windows into an adjacent empty plot of land. The things thrown out included umbrellas and bags of wastes, she said. Taman Medan assemblyperson Haniza Mohd Talha, who visited the site last Saturday, said everyone had to work together to solve the problems. “It must work both ways, you can’t really expect the developer or management to do anything if the residents do not pay their maintenance fees” she said. She added that the developer had been generous and dished out RM450,000 to fix the elevators and compensated some of the victims. To help alleviate the problems, Haniza suggested the establishment of a new committee comprising residents in the area to help bridge the gap between the developer and residents.
Moi Yeuk Mene showing an entire street lined with rubbish at Pangsapuri Impian Baiduri. Inset: Taman Medan assemblyperson Haniza Mohd Talha.
Know Your Councillor: Mohamed Yusoff
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
Kajang: Kajang councillor Mohamed Yusoff Bachek (pix) hopes his area will be more modern and pedestrian-friendly one day. The self-employed father of three, who grew up in Singapore, cannot help but compare the amenities available there with amenities in Kajang. “I would like to see more walkways and bike paths constructed to make Kajang more friendly for bipedal occupants,” said Yusoff, who is now in his third term of service with the council. “The Kajang Municipal Council, which has among the lowest assess-
ment rates, has difficulties in making ends meet and so any new development really has to be budgeted wisely,” added Yusoff. In the hope of increasing council revenue, Yusoff said they are streamlining the parking system in Kajang which previously only benefitted the company subcontracted to handle parking. Yusoff sees his job as a way to help people. He said he grew up being taught to help others, like elderly folk, with their marketing or other daily activities. Yusoff holds a Masters in Business Administration, and enjoys bowling and swimming.
Increased Bumi role in sand mining
SHaH alaM: Malay entrepreneurs have increased their presence in the sand mining industry in Selangor and have been awarded the bulk of concessions by the state. Dr Yaakob Sapari said 75 per cent of all river sand mining contracts and almost 44 per cent of contracts for sand mining on state land have been offered to Bumiputeras. The state executive councillor said 30 out of the 41 contracts for river sand mining have been issued to Malays while six were awarded to Chinese, three to Indians and two to Orang Asli. Yaakob, whose portfolio includes entrepreneur development, pointed out that Bumiputeras also received 43.75 per cent of concessions to mine sand on state land while Chinese received 50 per cent, “All contractors were chosen through an open tender process by Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB),” said Yaakob.
Selangor plans third year celebration
By Basil Foo
SHaH alaM: The state will celebrate the third anniversary of its administration with several activities to increase awareness of its policies. “The celebrations are designed to be informational so that people will be more aware of our policies and welfare programmes,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
The Menteri Besar said the celebrations will be held over two days and open to the public at Stadium Melawati on March 5-6. The programme includes exhibitions by the state government and private agencies, youth activities like futsal, and lectures by famous figures including state leaders. The Orange Book, or “Buku Jingga” which lists out Pakatan Rakyat’s policies and what the
coalition will do if it takes federal power, will also be launched at the event. On March 26, the state will launch a blueprint called “Selangor for the People” and the book “Liku-liku Reformasi”. A state-wide tour will also be held by the Menteri Besar, executive councillors, and senior government officers who will visit people at the grassroots level to address their problems.
February 25 — 27, 2011 Wan (left) showing the extent of the collapsed drain.
Illegal parking by lorries have completely blocked off a lane
Address complaints, MPSJ
By Basil Foo
PUCHONG: Despite their repeated complaints, business owners in Taman Perindustrian Kinrara Section 1 claim that they are still plagued by illegal parking and clogged drains. “Everyday after 4pm, there are many lorries which park indiscriminately in the lanes behind our shop lots, totally obstructing our comings and goings,” said Frankie Choo. The owner of UniCare workshop who has been working here since 2006, said that the problem has been on-
going for a few years. He was reluctant to point fingers but said that lorry drivers should only be parking on one side of the lane to allow traffic to pass. Gerakan Pemuda Bureau head Wan Sun Keong also highlighted the clogged drains at the row of shop lots along Jalan TPK 1/7, where stagnant and foul-smelling water has become a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. “One of the causes of the stagnant water is a collapsed drain by the side of the main road which has worsened
since six months ago,” said Wan. Wan said business owners in the area have filed numerous written and phone complaints with the local council but have received no response. “However there seems to be some action taken today, coinciding with our visit,” he said, referring to a nearby tractor during his visit to the site on Feb 22. He said he hopes the 12 metre-long collapsed drain would be shored up and reinforced soon to avoid the damage spreading from the road
shoulder to the main road surface. “If the main road is affected by the collapse, this could cause uneasiness among motorists travelling along TPK 1/7,” he said. He also hopes local council officers could step up enforcement against illegal parking by the lorries for the convenience of traffic flow to local business in the area. When contacted, MPSJ public relation officer Azfarizal Abdul Rashid said the council would investigate the allegations before issuing any statements.
KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR
Tender adalah dipelawa kepada Perunding-Perunding yang berdaftar dengan Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia (KKM) dan Lembaga Jurutera Malaysia, berkelayakan dan berpengalaman untuk memasuki tender bagi kerja-kerja berikut:BUTIR-BUTIR TENDER Perkhidmatan Juruperunding Bagi Merekabentuk dan Menyelia KerjaKerja Menaiktaraf dan Membaik Pulih Loji Rawatan Air Selangor Fasa 1 SYARAT PENDAFTARAN Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia dan Lembaga Jurutera Malaysia HARGA DOKUMEN RM300.00 (Tidak akan dikembalikan) TEMPAT DAN TARIKH DOKUMEN DIJUAL Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, Bahagian Pentadbiran Tingkat 16, Bangunan SSAAS, 40503 Shah Alam, Selangor Jumaat 25 Februari 2011 hingga Khamis 10 Mac 2011 TARIKH DAN TEMPAT LAWATAN TAPAK Khamis 08 Mac 2011 Jam 10.00 pagi Berkumpul di Loji Rawatan Air Sungai Selangor Fasa 1, Bukit Badong. Lawatan Tapak adalah DIGALAKKAN TARIKH TENDER DITUTUP Isnin, 21 Mac 2011 sebelum jam 12.00 tengahari Tender yang lewat diterima tidak akan dilayan.
Support for new entrepreneurs
By Yasleh Rita Ayu
Dokumen Meja Tender boleh disemak di Seksyen Makro & Penswastaan, Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri, Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, Tingkat 16, Bangunan SSAAS, 40503 Shah Alam, Selangor pada waktu pejabat bermula 25 Februari 2011. Bayaran Dokumen Tender hendaklah dibuat dalam bentuk Draf Bank atau Kiriman Wang di atas nama Bendahari Negeri Selangor. Bayaran tidak akan dikembalikan dan pembayaran secara tunai atau cek tidak akan diterima. Perunding dikehendaki membawa sijil Pendaftaran Asal Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia (KKM) dan Lembaga Jurutera Malaysia serta satu salinan bagi kedua-dua Sijil tersebut semasa membeli dokumen tender. Perunding hendaklah mempunyai pengalaman minima sepuluh (10) tahun di dalam kerja-kerja mereka bentuk dan menyelia pembinaan muka sauk pembekalan air termasuk stesen mengepam air, loji rawatan air serta sesalur induk bagi skim bekalan air tidak kurang dari 500JLH dan pernah dalam tempoh sepuluh (10) tahun lepas menjalankan kerja-kerja mereka bentuk dan menyelia pembinaan bagi menaiktaraf dan membaik pulih skim bekalan air sedia ada serta berpengalaman dalam tempoh lima (5) tahun lepas menjalankan kerja-kerja mereka bentuk dan menyelia pembinaan bagi projek infrastuktur dengan kos tidak kurang dari RM50 juta Dokumen Tender yang telah lengkap diisi hendaklah dimasukkan ke dalam sampul surat yang dimetrikan dan ditulis atas kiri sampul jenis tender dan dimasukkan ke dalam Peti Tender di alamat:PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR Seksyen Makro & Penswastaan, Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Tingkat 16, Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, 40503 Shah Alam, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN
SHAH ALAM: The state has pledged to support the creativity of budding entrepreneurs and to cut red tape to help them succeed. Dr Yaakop Saapari (pic) said he maintained an open door policy and entrepreneurs were welcome to meet him if they needed help. The state executive councillor for entrepreneur development added that his office was also willing to liaise with other government departments to facilitate new business ventures. Speaking at the closing of the state’s Entrepreneur and Business Opportunities Seminar at De Palma Hotel here, last Saturday, Yaakop added that the state had also prepared avenues for
new businesses to obtain funding. The seminar’s objectives includes motivating and exposing participants to basic entrepreneurial skills with an emphasis on creative entrepreneurship. Yaakob also took questions from the floor and responded to the concerns of the participants. Most wanted to know what the state could do for them and requested for procedures to be eased so that they would not be bogged down with paperwork. The one-day seminar is also part of the state’s initiatives to promote and support new entrepreneurs. Over 300 participants attended the programme, the first for this year, which will also be held throughout the state.
In paragraph 2 of page 6 of our Feb 18-20 Issue 12, “Security barriers stay for now”, we erroneously reported Johan Tung of APAC as saying “we will vote them out”. He did not say the words. Any error and inconvenience caused is regretted.
Traders claim discrimination
Cha: Wheelchair bound.
February 25 — 27, 2011
New guidelines for Bumi quota houses
SHAH ALAM: Guidelines to cut red tape for the sale of unsold Bumiputeras quota houses to nonBumiputeras have been approved to aid developers sell the units. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Wednesday said the developers no longer need to seek the approval of the state executive council. Instead a new housing committee or board will speed up all applications from developers. The approval to sell the homes will depend on the timing and percentage of the project’s completion. “Once 50 per cent of the housing project is completed and the houses have not been sold completely to Bumiputeras, the developer can release 20 per cent of those houses,” he said. Developers can release 30 per cent of unsold houses reserved for Bumiputeras for housing projects which are 75 per cent and 100 per cent complete. “Developers can release all unsold houses after six months of receiving certificates of fitness.” Bumiputera units which are unsold currently affect the cash flow of developers and the state is attempting to address the issue by carrying out these new measures. The Bumiputera quota currently ranges between 30 per cent and 80 per cent of housing projects and depends on demographics. The new committee will be under the purview of state executive councillor Iskandar Samad, who said it will be easier now for developers to get the necessary approvals. Approvals are expected to be granted between seven and 14 days under the new system.
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Five petty traders at the Taman Megah market are cr ying foul over the City Council’s (MBPJ) move to relocate them as they are disabled and suffering from ailments. The five, including one who is disabled and an asthmatic, said the sudden decision by MBPJ is unfair because of their disabilities and illness. The MBPJ directive will see Cha Sher Nee moving to the inside next row, swapping lots with a vegetable seller who complained of congestion. “I have the right to stay at my present location. The stall was designed for people like me in mind because of my disability,” said wheelchair bound Cha at a press conference on Tuesday, She was referring to the proximity of her stall to an access ramp for the disabled. The lot she is asked to move to has a narrower walkway, and as such would impede the movement of her wheelchair, she said. MBPJ, she said, allocated the lot to her as she was the only disabled trader who had approached the city council for a place. “This is a chance for me to be self-reliant as a trader, I don’t want to rely on people to move in and out,” she said, adding that her present location was “perfect” for her to conduct her frozen food sales. An access ramp leads directly from the parking bays and the main road to her stall which does not have a permanent “table” that blocks the front. Councillor Tiew Way Keng, at a press conference yesterday, said the swap was proposed in order to manage the traffic flow in the market as traders and patrons had complained that traffic was congested in the second row. The crowding has also resulted in some patrons having their pockets picked. The hawkers from the first and second row, she said, had agreed to the swap but added that “third parties” were interfering. “We’re concerned about business. 40 per cent of the patrons have gone to SS2 or Kg Cempaka wet market to shop,” she added. Tiew said Cha would have a closer and direct route to the disabled toilet if she moved to the second row. One of the stalls in the second row, Tiew said, will be renovated to facilitate her, adding that both MBPJ and the stall owner would pay
Tiew showing traders a survey on Taman Megah market traffic flow. Pua is second from right.
for the renovation. “There’s no discrimination in our proposal for the lot swap,” she said. During a press conference at the market on Tuesday, Cha alleged that she was harassed by other traders in the market who pressured her to follow MBPJ’s decision. She claimed that the vegetable sellers had berated her for not following the directive. Cha told her predicament to MBPJ councillor Anthony Sivabalan who promised to bring the matter up in MBPJ council meetings. “I will take this matter and discuss the issue in council meetings. I will get the mayor (Datuk Roslan Sakiman) to intercede in this matter,” said Anthony, who is also chairman for disabled advocacy NGO, Petpositive. “I conduct accessibility tests in
By Chong Loo Wah
public areas and I can say that her movement will be impeded,” he said, explaining that it will be difficult for the disabled to move inside the market as the path is narrower. Similarly, Daisy Rani, who sells flowers has been asked to move further into the market. Daisy, a mother of two schoolgoing children, said MBPJ enforcement officers had approached her on Jan 28 asking her to surrender her business licence which was still valid. She was then given a new licence that stated her business premise as further inside the market. Daisy said she does not want to move, adding that she may not be able to attract customers if she was located further inside the market. “I have my two children to support and my husband is only a contract worker,” Rani said to Selangor-
Times at the same press conference. “Furthermore, I’m asthmatic and need fresh air,” she added. Francis Siva, president of the Independent Living and Training Centre, said MBPJ should reconsider the move, adding that people with disabilities and ailments were “disadvantaged” in accessibility and while at work. “My organisation will bring this up to Selangor Exco Teresa Kok and Petaling Jaya (Utara) member of Parliament Tony Pua,” he said. When contacted by Selangor Times, MBPJ public relations officer Zainun Zakaria, said that the city council did not issue any directives for the traders to swap lots. She said the traders, who received the stalls through a “lottery” or drawing of lots will stay at their present location.
BALAKONG: Factory owners in Kampung Baru Balakong are appealing to the Kajang Municipal Council to take over the maintenance of roads and drains in their industrial area. “We’ve to spend around RM3 million to RM4 million to maintain the roads annually,” said Alan Hoh, vice-president and executive secretary of the Kampung Baru Balakong Land and Factory Owners Association. Hoh said it was unfair that factory owners had to pay around RM2 million in assessment and maintain the roads and drains themselves. Set up in 1996, the association had established a maintenance fund during its early years. Factory owners have been forking out their own money to pave the roads and maintain the infrastructure. However, the Kampung Baru Balakong industrial area has expanded from 145.7ha to 210.4ha over the years and houses around 140
Owners want local council to take over maintenance
factories now. Previously under the Hulu Langat District Council, the area is now under the Kajang Municipal Council’s jurisdiction. The association president, YP Kong, said more than 80 factories have been legalised during the past few years and all remaining operators are also applying to legalise their operations. The Kampung Baru Balakong industrial area is one of the models for other industrial areas to legalise their factories. The association acknowledged the support the current state administration and local council had provided for factory operators to legalise their factories. But they hope the state will understand that it has became increasingly taxing for them to maintain the infrastructure in their area. “We hope the state will provide some funds to alleviate our burden, or speed up the process for the local council to take over the maintenance from the association,” said Kong. Meanwhile, state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah said the state was considering rewarding the association as the Kampung Baru Balakong industrial area has been the most successful in legalising their factories. The Seri Kembangan assemblyperson also told Selangor Times he is unsure if the area’s maintenance had been passed over to the local council but he would follow up on the matter.
EC: Pressure Putrajaya
P Krishnanmoorthy who cited India’s own EC as having the power to block parties from carrying out development work in constituencies to influence elections. “That is different from EC Malaysia which can’t stop the federal government from spending millions on building roads, paving them or building school halls,” he said earlier. Similarly, on the issue of free and fair media access during election campaigns, Wan Omar said he had approached the Putrajaya on impartial reporting. “They told me that it’s a government television channel,” Wan Omar said. On automatic voter registration, Wan Omar said the Federal Constitution did not allow the EC to go ahead with the move. “According to Section 119 (4) (b), a person has to apply to be a voter,” he said. He said even if Parliament approved such a move to automatically tie the National Registration Department database to EC voting rolls, constituencies would be affected by “voter imbalance”. Some constituencies would have far too many voters while others may not, he said. There were a large number of Malaysians, he said, who did not update their addresses on their identity cards and as such, would not know where to vote. “Is that a problem? If they have to go back to their hometowns, let them,” interjected Batu Member of Parliament Tian Chua. War Omar was adamant that automatic registration was not feasible, saying that Malaysians did not want their personal details made public to polling agents, for example. However, he said Malaysian who cared and were committed to “elections, politics and change” would register themselves as voters. Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is a lawyer, disagreed with Wan Omar’s statement that the EC was powerless to address electoral conduct. “We’ll make a study, conduct a legislative study to show EC that they have more control over these issues than they think,” said Ambiga. She also suggested that Malaysia invite the international community to observe campaigns and elections. “It inspires confidence in the electoral system, and there’s no harm in it,” she said. Earlier, steering committee member Wong Chin Huat said the government must move to address the perception that the electoral system was weighted to benefit the ruling party. “If we see the unrests, riots and protests in the Middle East now, the common perception has been the issue of rigged elections,” said Wong, adding that the government should move to dispel any image of vote rigging. Furthermore, he said elections were the only way to hold governments accountable. “If you want to start a family, think about the cost of living, and then think of your government, and whether to keep them in power or if you want to vote them out,” he said.
february 25 — 27, 2011
By Alvin Yap
petaling jaya: The Election Commission (EC) has told concerned citizens to put pressure on the Federal Government if they want the commission to have the power to carry out reforms of electoral conduct. EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (pix) said reform proposals have been submitted to the government. He did not disclose the proposals. “We have yet to receive any answer from Putrajaya. This (wait) happens in many countries. Incumbents will be extra cautious in making reforms,” he said at a forum organised by polls watchdog Coalition for Free and Elections (Bersih 2.0). He said the EC was “the management” and hence did not have the power to make laws pertaining to elections and electoral conduct, in particular. “Making laws is not under our purview, we are meant to conduct and manage elections, unlike in other countries. It is up to the gov-
ernment in power,” Wan Omar told some 150 participants at Petaling City Council’s meeting hall on Monday night. Taking an example of campaign spending during elections, Wan Omar said the EC did not have the power to enforce caps on spending. He was answering a question by
Community bus for Puchong
By Basil Foo
River pollution getting worse
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
shah alam: Is this a river or landfill, and who is responsible? This was the question asked by Koh Chan Bee of Section 25 Shah Alam, who took pictures of the Klang River on Feb 15 and Feb 16. “It gets like this every time there is a downpour and the river doesn’t seem like one any more,” said the security and building manager, who works in Sri Muda. Koh said he had brought the matter to the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) but nothing was done. “MBSA officials told me they had no jurisdiction over the river,” said
Koh. But Koh said it was time for the relevant authority to take the matter seriously. “We are always told to keep our river clean and yet, it’s sad that no action has been taken to check and investigate the culprits who keep disposing of garbage into the river.” Koh expressed hope his pictures will raise awareness of the problem. But when contacted, the Selangor Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) said they had no authority to monitor garbage disposal along the stretch of Klang River. “It is impossible for us to determine who is responsible,” the department’s deputy director for develop-
ment, Nor Hisham Mohd Ghazali, said. Hisham pointed out that the problem was longstanding and they had put in a lot of effort to clean up the river. “We have traps to collect the garbage and remove it from the river,” Hisham said. The DID has been been running public awareness campaigns to keep rivers in the country clean. The Love Our Rivers Campaign was first launched by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia in 1993 to educate the public on the importance of rivers and the environment while highlighting the critical state of pollution.
kuala lumpur:: About 20,000 households in Bandar Puchong Jaya and Bandar Puteri Puchong can now enjoy free shuttle bus rides to offices and retail outlets in their vicinity. IOI Properties has launched a shuttle bus service around these two residential and commercial centres in Puchong. “This will reduce the number of cars on the road, thereby reducing air pollution and enhancing quality of life,” said IOI Properties executive director David Tan at the launching ceremony recently. He said the bright yellow shuttle bus adorned with bumble bees on the sides can be used for free by those who have the IOI Privilege Card. Only residents and homeowners within townships developed by IOI Properties are eligible to apply for the card. The bus will follow a route which covers retail destinations like IOI Mall, IOI Boulevard, Puteri Mart, and the Giant Hypermarket in Bandar Puteri Puchong. Currently serving about 5000 Privilege Cardholders, operation times for the shuttle bus are from 9.30am to 6.30pm daily, except on Mondays. As the townships consist of mostly gated and guarded communities, the shuttle bus will use the guardhouses of the various housing phases as stops. Tan said that after two weeks of service, the most frequent enquiry from commuters was on the timing
of the buses. To address this, cardholders are eligible for a daily two-hour free Wifi service which they can use to track the bus’ location. IOI plans to spend RM15,000 monthly on the service and as this is relatively new, the developer is collecting feedback from residents at 03-80769898 or www.facebook. com/ioiproperties. To apply for the card, residents can enquire at the IOI Sales Galleria at the Puchong Financial Corporate Centre located at the intersection of the Damansara-Puchong highway and Lebuh Puteri. While the card could previously be used by an entire household, the shuttle bus service requires commuters to apply for individual cards. Also present at the launch were state executive councillor Teresa Kok, MCA Youth executive councillor Dr Kow Cheong Wei and residents. “The Petaling Jaya City Council has [also been running] a community bus service for a year and I hope the Subang Jaya Municipal Council could follow suit,” said Kok. She expressed hope other township developers would provide a similar service. Bandar Puteri 6 Residents Association committee member David Phan said it was a good idea as it reduced traffic problems for residents in the area. “As public transport here is inefficient, I routinely drive to the business centers and hypermarkets. Now I can use the card to get on the bus and save some petrol,” he added.
Rights activists honoured
By Basil Foo
february 25 — 27, 2011
kuala lumpur: A cartoonist, journalist, author, blogger, four students and a Facebook page were honoured by the Centre of Independent Journalism (CIJ) at CIJ’s Freedom of Expression Re port 2010 launch recently. “The report, released in book form, is the fourth annual report we have done,” said CIJ executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah. She said the report monitors the media on freedom of expression issues and noted a trend that suppression has become increasingly dispersed with more individuals targeted. Among the individuals were author Kim Quek and cartoonist Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque, whose books The March to Putrajaya and 1Funny Malaysia were banned and seized from bookstores. Zulkifli, also known by his pen name Zunar, said the launch by CIJ was an eye-opening experience as the interactive discussions brought up differing views. “I got a lot of information from this as everybody had his or her own views, not only from one line of thinking,” he said. “For example, people were either for or against Pakatanbanning Utusan from their press conferences, in terms of it being a suppression of press freedom,” he added. Also acknowledged were Woon King Chai, Hilman Idham, Azlin Shafina and Ismail Aminuddin from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia who got charged under the Universities and University Colleges Act for being present at the Hulu Selangor by-election last year. National Union of Journalists president and Utusan Malaysia journalist Hata Wahari was also recently taken to task by his employers for being critical of his newspaper.
(From left) Irwan, Woon, Gopalan, Kim Quek, Zulkifli, Hilman, Azlin, Ismail and Hata cutting a cake in the style of the recent Mega Tower cake parties.
Blogger Irwan Abdul Rahman, who mans a satirical blog called Nose4news under the pseudonym Hassan Skodeng, was charged in court for a satirical piece on the national electricity company. A representative from the “1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower” Facebook page was also present and appreciated CIJ’s effort. “This was a good initiative to bring together those who have had their freedom of expression restrained,” said Gopalan Narayanan. “It is much different seeing them face to face than reading about them or looking at their pictures online.” On freedom of expression, Gopalan said people should be able to say what they want in any form as long as it does not encourage vio-
lence or infringe on other people’s rights. On the report, Masjaliza said CIJ has spent more time on the methodology of gathering information and has been more consistent with analysing the media. “We have also invested more resources into the project which explains this being our largest effort to date,” she said. “We wanted to tell the audience that suppression of freedom of expression affects everyone, and with increasing Internet monitoring, even more people could be targeted,” she added. Masjaliza said CIJ would be holding an exhibition in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day on May 3 in Penang.
Music with a message
SHaH alam: Radio Demokratika, a compilation album of songs about democracy, elections as well as love, hits the stores today. “We could think of no better way to demonstrate the fundamental rights guaranteed to us under the Constitution than to make an album about it,” said lawyer and album coordinator Farez Mohd Ali Jinnah. The album, inspired by the Bar Council’s MyConstitution campaign, features well-known indie musicians such as Azmyl Yunor and bands like Carburetor Dung and Panda Head Curry. It is available for sale at all Rock Corner and Victoria Music Centre from today. “A song is an expression of free speech…We hope Radio Demokratika sparks in you the freedom to ask questions you never thought possible and empower your lives,” states the blurb in the album. In an effort to popularise the Federal Constitution, the MyConstitution campaign has been organising workshops and forums, and has published booklets and videos since 2009. Radio Demokratika is their latest effort to educate Malaysians about their constitutional rights, using music to reach to people not keen on attending forums. The album will also be available for sale at its soft launch at Pekan Frinjan 18, at Laman Menara Jam, Dataran Shah Alam at 5pm on March 5. Some bands from the album who will perform at the soft launch are An Honest Mistake, The Maharajah Commission, Thin Izzy and Lord Bobo’s Minions. Some of the bands comprise professional law-
“Probe illegal use of state logo”
SHaH alam: Selangor is urging police to hasten investigations on Selangor Terkini, a newsletter which has been using the state’s emblem illegally. “Using the state’s logo without approval is a serious offence,” said Faekah Husin, political secretary to the Menteri Besar, on Tuesday. She said the state lodged a police report at the Shah Alam police headquarters on Jan 17 but has not received any update from the police on the status of investigations to date. Faekah said a few editions of Selangor Terkini have been published since late last year but the frequency of its publication is unclear. Selangor Terkini has a similar masthead design as the state’s official newsletter Selangor Kini, and publishes in Bahasa Malaysia. However, Faekah considered Selangor Terkini’s content to be “defamatory” against the Selangor government. She said the state suspects that the newsletter is being published to deliberately mislead the public. Its website www.selangorterkini. com carries links to other websites Selangor Umno, the state Opposition. In addition, Faekah said Selangor Terkini was distributed together with calendars of Selangor Umno information chief Abdul Shukor Idrus, last Sunday. “We hope the police will investigate this fairly and professionally,” she said. Besides the police, Faekah also urged the Home Ministry, which regulates publications under the Printing Presses and Publications Act, to investigate Selangor Terkini. Abdul Shukor has denied that Umno is behind the publication of Selangor Terkini. He has admitted to distributing it but said he was unaware of who had brought copies to his service centre.
yers who are also musicians. “There is a lot of original music [in the album] by lawyers…this should show that lawyers’ talents do not only lie in law. We just practise law because it pays better than making music!” quipped lawyer Fahri Azzat from Lord Bobo’s Minions in jest. The album’s official launch is scheduled to be in Penang on April 2.
february 25 — 27, 2011
Dazzling Setia Alam do
Left: The crowd getting red packets or ang pau from the God of Prosperity.
Top: Mother and daughter admiring a miniature of Setia Alam City.
By Alice Mun
SHAH ALAM: Thousands flocked to Setia Alam City’s annual Chinese New Year open house at Setia Alam Welcome Centre last Saturday. The Triple Prosperity celebration organised by Setia Alam City was a success despite a heavy downpour prior to the event. “SP Setia has been holding celebrations for festive seasons such as Christmas, Deepavali,
Hari Raya and Chinese New Year every year since 2004,” said Setia Alam City divisional general manager Tan Hon Lim. “The objective of the open house this year is to celebrate Chinese New Year with the residents of Setia Alam.” Tan also said that the response was very good this year as the event is bigger than last year’s open house. “We invited our residents from 6,000 homes in the township as well as members of
the public to join in the celebration this year,” added Tan. It was a fun-filled night for all as the crowd was entertained with stunning performances of Chinese drums, a lion dance show, traditional dances, live bands, the King of Masks show and fireworks display. Guests of all ages also enjoyed the delicious buffet dinner that was provided including 18 types of desserts or “tong sui”, fried chicken, laksa, “mee sua’” baked sweet potato, dragon
beard candy, roasted chestnuts, sugar-coated fruits and bubble tea. Engineer Liang Wah Cheong, who has been living in Setia Alam for over two years, attended the celebration with his family and in-laws. He said the open house was a great event for everybody, especially families to have a good time together. The God of Prosperity also made an appearance to distribute red packets or “ang pau” to the crowd.
Chap Goh Meh celebration draws huge crowd
By Alvin Yap
Touch of Shanghai at Setia Eco Park
By Yasleh Rita Ayu
petALing jAyA: A Chap Goh Meh celebration last Friday night at Taman Jaya drew a huge crowd, with celebrants coming from as far as Cheras, Klang and Sepang. “This is the first time Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is organising such an event. We had targeted around 1,500 people coming tonight,” said councillor Tiong Boon Keong, who was pleased that some 3,500 people turned up for the inaugural event. Organised by six councillors Tiong, Tiew Way Keng, Terence Tan, A Jeyaseelan, Mak Khuin Weng and Tony Cheong - the event was not dampened by an earlier rainstorm that uprooted trees and knocked down traffic lights and signboards. Event managers distributed 4,000 free mandarin oranges to the crowd who threw them into the
lake after writing their names and contact details on it, in the hope of finding prospective life partners. Annie Tan, 20, a student at University Malaya did not go back to Pandamaran for Chap Goh Meh but decided to follow her friends to Taman Jaya. “It’s customary for me, as I always follow my cousin or my friends in Klang to throw oranges into the sea or river,” she said. Chap Goh Meh, which is also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, falls on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. The custom on Chap Goh Meh is to throw oranges into lakes and also to release paper lanterns to soar into the night sky after lighting them. Also present were members of Parliament Loh Gwo Burne (Kelana Jaya), Hee Loy Sian (Petaling Jaya Selatan) and R Sivarasa (Subang), as well as assemblypersons Lau Weng San (Kg Tunku) and Edward Lee (Bukit Gasing).
These two young lasses trying their luck with their oranges.
SHAH ALAM: Shanghai was transported to Malaysia last Saturday at Setia Eco Park’s Chinese New Year celebrations. Shanghai Night, as the event was called, lived up to its billing. With an evening full of entertainment like lion dances, live bands, dance performances and cheong sam fashion show, it was an evening to remember. One of the visitors , Hamidah Harun, said that she was informed of the event by a relative and decided to take her family for a nice evening outing. The evening literally started with a bang as firecrackers were lit to the accompaniment of lion dances leading into the indoor area where a live band played Chinese New Year songs. Besides the performances there were two calligraphy artists helping visitors by translating their names and writing it for them in Chinese calligraphy. In another corner sat four fortune tellers ready to read palms and tell fortunes. The psychics from SK Chew Astrology, Palmistry, Cards Reading, and Three Life Horoscope Centre were popular with visitors, with long lines already forming in early evening.
Lee HwoK aun
his March in Parliament, the government will table legislation to institute a national minimum wage system. In doing so, the BN government reverses over half a decade of its opposition, wily sloganeering and dithering on the matter. But this is more than a policy decision and political calculation. To move from talking to doing minimum wage is an acknowledgement of the plight of the working poor and the perils of perpetuating dependency on cheap labour. Minimum wage is a measure – among many, of course – that can go some distance toward making Malaysia a more just society and a more dynamic economy. The magnitude of this intervention and its implications, and the contending interests of workers, employers, and society, demand a robust parliamentary pow-wow. On Feb 14, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam delivered a closing address to a weeklong Minimum Wage Lab, of which I attended a few sessions. He noted that the new law would establish a National Minimum Wage Council and mandate it to deliberate over a range of issues, most importantly, the minimum wage level, coverage, and time frames for review. Other critical issues, especially regarding the independence and
Minimum wage and living standards
authority of the wage-setting body – whether it is a council or commission – remain to be substantively debated. We ought to be more concerned to do it well than fast. It concerns me that Subramaniam is already referring to high-income countries, where the vast majority (95 per cent in some cases) earn above the minimum wage, as benchmarks of progress. This says nothing about whether the minimum wage reflects a decent living standard. Like the poverty line, the lower we set the threshold, the fewer will fall under it – and the shinier we appear. Moreover, minimum wage, unlike poverty, is legally enforceable. If all employers comply, then 100 percent of workers earn above the minimum wage – but this still does not tell us anything about worker welfare. Let us not fall into the trap of self-ser ving and misleading statistics. We need to think hard about how we determine the wage floor, and how many floors Malaysia will have. The minister indicated that the government is leaning toward having one minimum wage level for the
February 25 — 27, 2011
Sabah usually emerges as a case in point: cost of living is high, but productivity is low. Hence, to apply the same minimum wage to all states risks jeopardising those with higher proportions of firms that cannot afford to pay.”
country, perhaps with differentials for Sabah and Sarawak. In other words, all of Peninsular Malaysia will adhere to the same minimum wage rate. Selangorians and KLites should take a keener interest here; in the effort to compromise at a minimum wage satisfactory to all, the level may be too low to sustain the relatively higher cost of living or to compel firms to shift towards higher skill, higher wage production. The reasons behind a single minimum wage, instead of variations across region or state, are empirical and practical. Cost of living, or the amount workers need to spend to sustain a living, does not always correspond with productivity, which reflects the capacity of firms to pay their workers. Sabah usually emerges as a case in point: cost of living is high, but productivity is low. Hence, to apply the same minimum wage to all states risks jeopardising those with higher proportions of firms that cannot afford to pay. Conditions in Sabah and Sarawak are undoubtedly different and warrant separate consideration, as we have been doing for decades in setting three poverty lines, one each for the East Malaysian states and one for the Peninsula. But we should not apply that three-way breakdown just because that’s the way it’s been done. Of course, the more geographic or economic categories we account for, the more difficult, costly and time-consuming it gets to gather and analyse data. The practical constraints are significant. To analyse wages and propose minimum wages for all 13 states could certainly overcomplicate mat-
Lee Lian Kong
uestion: Is the Middle Eastern revolution ever going to land in Kuala Lumpur? Answer : Not anytime soon. It started two months ago when WikiLeaks revealed or rather, confirmed, the rife corruption of the Tunisian president, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, his wife and her family. And then, the Phd-holding 26-year-old vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. And then, 35 job protestors were shot dead by the police. This epidemic of indignation has now spread to Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Iran. All over the Middle East, people power is forcing out past-expiry date regimes of dictators, oppression and vote tampering. At the core of this wave of revolution in the Middle East are the young people. As in Bulgaria’s “Palace Revolution” and the American civil rights movement, this revolution is run by students, graduates, the young and the jobless. The common belief is that young people lack the depth and maturity to participate in politics. They are too hot-headed to make rational decisions. The situation here is quite the contrary. In fact, the 87-year-old icon and doyen of Egyptian journalism, Mohamed Heikal, is saying “‘I was sure my country would explode. But the young are wiser than us”. Nobody had predicted this to happen and as such, there was barely any preparation. But for two weeks, these protestors had taken over Tahrir Square. They endured tear gas and stones, ate, slept and prayed on the filthy pave-
For there to be sacrifice, there has to be courage. For there to be courage, there needs to be a support system of friends and family to stand behind you and fight for you, while you defiantly sit in a bar reserved only for non-Jews or white people. Sad to say, I think Malaysia lacks this human connection.”
ments. They are still standing there resilient. They even proposed a new kind of politics, by drawing up a list of 25 political personalities to negotiate for a new political leadership and a new constitution. Oh and did I mention the fact that they have also managed to get rid of their tyrant (ex-) President Hosni Mubarak? Same goes for Tunisia. Malaysia has young people as well. In fact, we have 5.4 million people between the ages of 18-25 years old. We have many public spaces too, Tahrir Squares of our own. Dataran Merdeka is one option. The car park of Parliament would make do as well. Facebook and Twitter are big here too, with us being the fifth highest number of Facebook users in the world. Our regime is also overdue, with the Barisan Nasional being in power for 53 years straight now. So what then do our youths think of having our very own Jasmine (or in our context, Bunga Raya) Revolution? Mariam Ali, a Master’s student in medical physics from Universiti Malaya, says: “It is not our budaya (culture). Plus, it isn’t necessary also.” Malaysia, according to her, is peaceful and should remain this way, instead of resorting to street protests. We may have our own set of problems, economic hardship and corruption, “but it isn’t as bad as in Egypt”. I would think that the general consensus among Malaysian youths agrees with Mariam. Street protests are an unfathomable concept, unimaginable in Jalan Sultan Ismail, which is why we rarely see youths participating in the minor demonstrations we sometimes have. Many believe it is a violent and unnecessary hindrance. Another student, David Teh, a Communications major, believes that should there be a need for a change of government, “it must be done through the ballot box”. Revolutions like the current ones in the Middle East come with sacrifice, not just participation. As Malcolm Gladwell succinctly puts it: “Activism that challenges the status quo—that attacks deeply rooted problems—is not for the faint of heart”. For there to be sacrifice, there has to be courage. For there to be courage, there needs to be a support system of friends and family to stand behind you and fight for you, while you defiantly sit in a bar reserved only for non-Jews or white people. Sad to say, I think
ters and overstretch resources, but surely we can commit ourselves to determine and periodically revise two or three levels within Peninsular Malaysia. Beyond the question of varying minimum wage levels, we should also take an interest from a more proactive standpoint, and ask what ways a relatively advanced state like Selangor can take the lead in promoting decent jobs, not just minimal standards. Could we emulate the international “living wage” movement, which enforces wage requirements in government procurement, contracting and licensing? Since these are controlled and can be leveraged by the government, the living wage floor can be set above minimum wage. I don’t see why not. It’s simple, legitimate and progressive. We would merely enhance some rules of engagement – in society’s interest – for companies that make money by supplying to government, or by acquiring a licence to operate. There’s a lot of work to be done, and a lot more that can be done, to alleviate working poverty and promote decent pay.
Malaysia lacks this human connection. The community spirit or the doctrine of “love thy neighbour” is nearly non-existent. Just look at the way drivers react to each other on the Federal Highway on peak hours. Add in religious and racial extremism and the community spirit is absolutely non-existent. Also, for there to be activism, it is not only about getting youths to care. It is also about empowering them to believe they have the ability to do something, to bring change, to improve. With apathy as a disease among Malaysian youths and the fear of suspension and expulsion from schools, the fire of activism is still dim. Finally, revolutions need a centralised leadership structure and clear lines of authority, like Asmaa Mahfou, the 26-year-old woman who put out a YouTube video (at great personal risk) calling for people to join her on Jan 25, the first day of the movement in Egypt. This is not so the revolution is guided by one single defining personality. Because revolutions are high-risk and need to be persistent, leadership is needed to ensure precision, strategy and discipline. A haphazard protest is a failed protest. So that’s the deal. Sorry to disappoint but the revolution won’t be passing by Malaysia anytime soon. Instead of asking whether revolution will be coming any time soon, we should ask whether it can ever happen in Malaysia. Will the youths unite and rise up to be their feisty and energetic selves to one day return people power to Malaysia? With all my heart and soul, I hope the answer to that is “Malaysia (Youths) Boleh”.
12 February 25 — 27, 2011
By Gan Pei Ling
esidents from Kota Damansara to Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) will submit a joint memorandum appealing for the Mass rapid Transit (MrT) stations in their areas to go underground. “We welcome the MrT, but we want the stations to be underground to minimise traffic disruption, noise pollution and other negative impacts,” said Bandar Utama residents’ association chief lim See Meng. lim said residents are concerned that stations, which would be built near already congested roads, would further contribute to traffic congestion. For example, the TTDI station is expected to be right next to the lebuhraya DamansaraPuchong (lDP). and the stations around Kota Damansara and Sunway Damansara would be near Persiaran Surian. “If the stations are next to these roads, you know how Malaysians are, they would definitely take up one lane to wait and pick up people, making the roads more congested,” said lim. Besides traffic congestion during and after construction of the stations, residents staying close to the proposed stations are also concerned about noise and dust pollution. “If the station is 20m from your house, it’s going to be noisy (during and after construction). How can you rest properly?” said Hatim abdullah, president of the TTDI residents’ association. He added that noise and dust pollution can be minimised if the stations were underground. “We’re not against development, we support the project…But we also need to be considerate of the residents who would be affected by it,” said Hatim in a phone interview. He acknowledged that underground stations would cost more but felt that there would be more opportunities for future expansion if the stations were underground. “The areas around here are already developed,
Residents want undeRgRound MRt stations
so land will be limited above ground for future extensions of the line,” Hatim added. He believed the government would not have to evict residents and businesses if the stations were underground. recently, notices have been put on trees and lamp posts in areas of TTDI likely to be acquired for the MrT line The move has incurred the wrath of residents, who said the notices should have been delivered to them directly since they would be affected by the project. However, Datuk Sri ram Sarma from the TTDI residents’ association MrT study group said it remains unclear at this point if any houses in their area would need to make way for the station. “We were told by the authorities that nothing is confirmed at the moment,” he told Selangor Times. The land Public Transport Commission (SPaD), which is supervising the MrT project, has been holding dialogues with residents to brief them about the project and to get their feedback. The scheme for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang
Travelling by MRT to be cheaper than cars
Several questions have been raised by concerned residents and other parties since more information on the Mass rapid Transit (MrT) project’s first line was released on Feb 14. The land Public Transport Commission (SPaD), which is supervising the MrT project on behalf of the federal government, addresses some of the most commonly asked questions, especially on the Sungai BulohKajang line that is expected to begin construction in July. 1. What steps will the government be taking to reduce noise and dust pollution as well as other inconveniences caused by the construction of the MRT stations? There will be temporary inconveniences during the construction phase but we will ensure that all measures be taken to minimise it. For example, during the construction period, traffic management measures will be put in place to mitigate inconveniences to the public. Measures like noise dampers and barriers can also be adopted to reduce noise from the trains running on the tracks. as in all major construction projects, there are strict Department of environment requirements contractors must comply with during construction, failing which a stopwork order may be issued. 2. Only 13 out of the 35 proposed stations along the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line have park and ride facilities. Will feeder bus services be provided for the rest to connect commuters to the stations? as public transport will be made the preferred mode of mobility for the public in the Klang valley, the government is working on a support system as well as improving the existing feeder bus service system to move people from their homes or offices to the stations and vice versa. residents within a 3km radius of the station will have the option of travelling by feeder bus to the stations. alternatively, they can drive 3km to 6km to the closest park and ride stations along the alignment. 3. How much will it cost to take the MRT? Will it be around the same rates as the light rail transit (LRT)? The government is committed to making public transport the preferred transport choice for the rakyat and as such the ticket structure will be made affordable so that the rakyat will not be burdened. The cost will definitely be cheaper than owning and driving a car. 4. Some parties have complained that the MRT is being rushed through. Can you explain the steps or studies that have been undertaken and considerations that have to be taken into account before the MRT proposed alignment was drawn up so that the public can better understand the process? The MrT was discussed as far back as 1998 when it was proposed under the Japan InterThe Commission would like to emphasise that the three-month long public display is to provide information and details on the Klang valley MrT Sungai Buloh-Kajang line to the rakyat. Details such as proposed station design and locations, features and detailed alignment are being showcased. We encourage and welcome constructive feedback from the rakyat during this period. all feedback will be thoroughly evaluated and presented to the government before the final decision on the proposed alignment and location of the stations are adopted for implementation to make travelling on the Klang valley rail network (including KTM Komuter and lrT) seamless and convenient for the rakyat. 6. Much of the discussion has been centred on the first line (Sungai Buloh-Kajang). What about the second and third line, is there any information available about these two other lines? There will certainly be future lines. However, the identification of future lines can only be done with proper studies This will be carried out with the Urban rail Development Plan by SPaD and is expected to be completed next month. SPaD’s goal is to ensure that the people have access to reliable, efficient, integrated and safe public transport. Ultimately with fewer cars on the road, traffic will be smoother.
line, the first of three signatures before submitMrT lines, is currently ting a joint memorandum to on display in seven locaSPaD at the end of March. tions for public feedback “It’s better to have the from Feb 14 to May 14. MrT underground, like in With a total of 35 stalondon and Singapore,” tions along the estimated said lim, adding that the 51km line, open tender MrT alone would not solve for its construction work all traffic woes in the Klang is expected to be called valley. He said other public in april. Construction is transport services like buses scheduled to begin in July would have to be improved and end in 2016. to increase the low level land acquisition for of public transport usage the project is supposed among people. to take place this May “People will conand June. Occupants in tinue buying cars, it will 473 lots of land will have Hatim: Underground stations take time for them to switch to make way for the MrT, cost more. to public transport…The according to an environgovernment must make sure mental impact assessment report released on that there is an efficient feeder bus service to Feb 14. ferry the passengers from their homes to the The report also highlighted that noise and stations,” he added. dust would affect communities within 30m Of the 35 proposed stations, only 13 would of the railway track and recommended noise have park and ride facilities. In other words, barriers be constructed to reduce noise level. passengers would have to find other means, Thirty to 50 resi- such as feeder buses, to access the remaining PROJEK MASSTransit Lembah Kelang Jajaran SungaiKELANG JAJARAN SUNGAIand 22 stations. KAJANG BULOH Projek Mass Rapid RAPID TRANSIT LEMBAH Buloh – Kajang dents’ associations joint management bodThe federal government is supposed to ies from Kota Daman- unveil its 20-year urban transportation plan for Bawah Tanah sara to TTDI are col-Jumlah KlangStruktur this September. The estimated the valley Ternaik P MPS Elevated lecting signatures from Total rM36.6 billion MrT isUnderground plan, and is part of this SUNGAI BULOH people to support their depicted as the backbone of a “new sustainable Panjang (km) KG. BARU memorandum for an 51transport system” for the Klang valley. 41.5 9.5 Length (km) SUNGAI BULOH underground MrT line. “The MrT is a long-term project…We hope They aim to gather a the government will take into account our sugRRI P Stesen (no.) 27 few hundred thousand 35gestions and feedback,” said8lim. KOTA Station (no.)
national Cooperation agency study on how to improve travel within the Klang valley. There were other proposals as well. Urban rail lines were proposed in the Kuala lumpur Draft City Plan in 2008. and most recently, the MrT was proposed in the Greater Kuala lumpur / Klang valley National Key economic area Transport laboratory in July 2010. 5. There is a suggestion to relocate the Taman Tun Dr Ismail station (residential area) to Damansara Uptown (commercial area), as well as proposals by some residents to change the proposed elevated stations in their areas to underground stations. How likely is the government going to adopt their suggestions and how much costlier are underground stations?
PROJEK MASS RAPID TRANSIT LEMBAH KELANG JAJARAN SUNGAI BULOH - KAJANG
ABOUT KLANG VALLEY MASS RAPID TRANSIT
The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit will be the backbone of the new sustainable transport system in the Klang Valley, which will be home to an estimated 10 million people by 2020. Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit will have a network of lines integrated with LRT, Monorail, KTMB Komuter and intra-city and inter-city bus routes to form an effective public transportation system. Initiated by the Government of Malaysia under the Greater Kuala Lumpur / Kelang Valley National Key Economic Area in the Economic Transformation Programme, The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit’s objective is to alleviate traffic congestion by increasing the number of people using the public transport from 400,000 trips per day to 2.5 million trips per day in 2020. The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit will enable easier connectivity between populated residential districts, business centres, commercial centres and key employment areas in the suburb and urban corridors of the Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
SOCIO – ECONOMIC BENEFITS
1) Faster and convenient travel 2) Enhancement in urban sustainability and a greener environment with lesser traffic pollution 3) Emergence of transit oriented developments and urban renewal centers such as KLIFD, Cochrane and RRIM (Sungai Buloh) redevelopment 4) Increase in real estate value for properties along the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transport 5) Positive social-economic multiplier effects in employment, capital appreciation, businesses, F&B, tourism and services 6) Increase in Gross National Income
and is currently inadequately served by rail-based public transport. Upon expected completion by 2016, the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Sungai Buloh – Kajang Line will provide efficient train service to 1.2 million people with an estimated daily ridership of 440,000. Apart from the Sungai Buloh – Kajang Line, other lines will be built based on the Land Public Transport Masterplan and Urban Rail Development Plan being drawn up by the Land Public Transport Commission. This will ensure the development of a holistic and integrated public transport system in the Klang Valley.
BUKIT BUKIT BINTANG BINTANG BARAT TIMUR PASAR SENI MERDEKA PASAR RAKYAT COCHRANE MALURI
TAMAN INDUSTRI SG. BULOH
THE DATARAN CURVE SEMANTAN ONE UTAMA SUNWAY PUSAT BANDARAYA PJU 5 DAMANSARA TTDI SEKSYEN 17
Medan Kereta The Land (no) 13 P Park & RidePublic Transport Commission encourages the public to (no)
KL SENTRAL SEKSYEN 16
TAMAN BUKIT RIA TAMAN BUKIT MEWAH
TAMAN CUEPACS BANDAR TUN HUSSEIN ONN
TAMAN KOPERASI TAMAN MESRA
SAUJANA IMPIAN BANDAR KAJANG
call their helpline at 1800 82 6868 or email email@example.com. my to provide feedback on the MRT. The public can also visit www. kvmrt.com.my for more official information on the MRT and www. transitmy.org to check out online discussions on the issue. The EIA of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line can be assessed at the Department of Environment’s website www.doe.gov.my. The public can view the plan for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line from now till May 14 at the seven Majlis MPS MBSA MBPJ DBKL MPKj locations listed below: Dewan Bandaraya Majlis Bandaraya Panjang (km) Kuala Lumpur Shah Alam 0.8 5.5 7.7 23.1 13.7 Length (km) Menara DBKL Tingkat 1, Wisma MBSA Jalan Raja Laut Persiaran Perbandaran 50350 40000 Shah Alam 9 Stesen (no.)Kuala Lumpur 1 4 4 17 Station (no.) Tel: +603-2617 9000 Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel: +603 5510 5133 Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya Bangsar LRT Station Jalan Yong Shook Lin Concourse 46675 Petaling Jaya Jalan Bangsar Stesen Pertukaran dengan sistem rel sedia ada di lokasi berikut: Selangor Darul Ehsan 59000 Kuala Lumpur Interchange Stations with existing rails line at the following locations: 1. KTM Tel: +603 7956 3544 - Sg. Buloh Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan 2. KJ Line - Pasar Seni Majlis Perbandaran Awam Darat AG Line – Maluri Kajang 3. Tingkat 13, Menara Dayabumi Menara 4. MPKj Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin KTM - Kajang Jalan Cempaka Putih 50050 Kuala Lumpur Off Jalan Semenyih Tel: +603-2278 1222 43000 Kajang Tel: Majlis Perbandaran Nota: +603-8737 7899 Nama-nama stesen yang tertera untuk sementara sahaja dan tertakluk kepada Selayang kelulusan SPAD dan agensi kerajaan yang berkaitan. Menara MPS, Persiaran 3 Notes: Bandar Baru Selayang Proposed station names are temporary only subjected to approval by SPAD and 68100 Batu Caves related government agencies. Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel: +603 6120 1125 / 1463
HOW THE MASS SYSTEM WORKS
KLANG VALLEY MASS RAPID TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT STRUCTURE
1) The Klang Valley’s Mass Rapid Transit network including all the stations will be owned by the Government of Malaysia through Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad 2) Prasarana, which is 100% owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated, is currently the owner of the Klang Valley’s light rail transit and monorail networks. RapidKL, which is the current operator of the LRT Ampang Line, KLJ Line, KL Monorail and majority of its bus routes, will also be operating the future mass rapid transit system 3) The newly established Land Public Transport Commission will be the Supervisory Agency of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit
THE SUNGAI BULOH – KAJANG LINE
In December 2010, the Government announced that the Sungai Buloh – Kajang Line will be the first of the MRT networks to take off. The Sungai Buloh – Kajang Line will run from Sungai Buloh to Kajang through the Kuala Lumpur City Center. This route which runs from north-west to south-east of Kuala Lumpur is densely populated
In a nutshell, the Mass Rapid Transit system is able to offer the highest throughput capacity as the most efficient transport system in terms of space occupancy. To illustrate this point, as many as 300 persons travelling to work in the city centre can fit in one (1) train-car of the Mass Rapid Transit system, while the same amount of people would require 177 automobiles or 3 buses.
February 25 — 27, 2011
ear Lord Bobo, what do lawyers think about the purported impending increase in legal fees, some say by 300-400%? WKC via email. You would assume that most lawyers are overjoyed at the “news” (it was actually a comment made by the Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan) that their professional fees would increase by 300%-400%, but really only the most naive lawyers believed it. These stupid ones immediately put down their whisky-glasses and went out to buy that Porsche. The rest of them are split between incredulity, puzzlement, disappointment, and anger. Incredulity; because they are wondering how this conclusion was made. There has been no such discussion or initiative proposed amongst the general members of the Bar. Puzzlement; as to basis of such an increase. Some are questioning its legitimacy. And how does our dear Bar Council president intend to implement this increase, seeing as he has absolutely no power to do so? Disappointment; that there had to be such an announcement in the first place. For matters other than conveyancing, the fees are actually negotiable. The Bar Council does not have any authority to dictate the amount of fees charged. Anger; because they believe it will result in backlash against lawyers who are already being attacked, most notably by the present Chief Justice (this backlash has already in fact manifested in comments in several newspapers). On balance then, the reaction of lawyers has been more negative than positive. On reasoned reflection, this is because of the factors above. But the immediate, and real, reason for the negativity is because all lawyers know that the president was talking out of his rear end. Sadly, what has not been addressed is the ludicrous position that the costs awarded in the subordinate and High Court levels have remained stagnant since 1980. This is important to the public, because the court-awarded costs are what successful litigants get from the losing party. For example, if X sues Y for an unpaid loan of RM40,000 and wins after a full trial, the Sessions Court would award costs to X of approximately RM3,950. However, the professional fees for such a claim would usually be higher by at least RM1,000. Since the 1980s, the disparity between professional fees and court-awarded costs has widened because professional fees are tenuously linked to inflation. Hence, a litigant under this system therefore is usually on the “losing” end even if they win, because they still have to pay the difference between the professional fees and the court-awarded costs (assuming they manage to recover it). And let’s be honest, if you want to win you probably have to get better lawyers, which costs more. Why the Chief Justices have not pushed for the court-awarded costs to be increased and insist on maintaining the same scale that applied 30 years ago is beyond even Lord Bobo! Lord Bobo, are laws meant to be broken? @AdrianNCF, via Twitter Some anonymous person once said: “Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.” His Supreme Eminenceness, however, is highly suspicious of quotes from this “Anonymous” bloke. He seems to spout off quite a bit on a lot of topics, and Lord Bobo is of the view that single-wordnames should be the exclusive domain of Brazilian footballers. Most of the time, people tend to attempt
Of lawyers and law-breakers
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!
Back in the 1960s, America practised complete segregation of the races, from toilets to stadium seats to diners to schools. There was a law in force that when boarding a bus, only Caucasians were allowed to be seated in certain rows, and African Americans were required to surrender their seats.”
to shortcut, swerve, sidestep and stretch the law as far as possible. Tolerated lawbreaking is almost always a response to a political failure; the inability of our political institutions to adapt to social change or reach a rational compromise that reflects the interests of the nation and all concerned parties. Socrates, a Greek philosopher surmised the law as such; when you live in a certain territory, under a certain government, under a certain set of rules; and when you benefit from other people obeying said rules, you are obliged to obey that set of rules as well. Citizens owe their government or their fellow citizens or/and both obedience to the law. One follows law absolutely, assuming that all laws are good. St Thomas Aquinas said: “Bad laws are not
laws at all.” M.B.E Smith, a modern philosopher, denies that there is any obligation to obey the laws. If a law is good law, it prevents us from doing immoral or wrong acts. Adding a law into the mix does not make the particular prohibited act more ‘bad’. It is already bad. Law only adds punitive measures or punishments to it. Dr Martin Luther King stated that laws imposed on the minority that the majority does not follow are unjust law. Bad laws deserve no respect, and at times, civil disobedience, as what happened with Ms Rosa Parks. Back in the 1960s, America practised complete segregation of the races, from toilets to stadium seats to diners to schools. There was a law in force that when boarding a bus, only Caucasians were allowed to be seated in certain rows, and African Americans were required to surrender their seats. Ms Rosa Parks, one day on Dec 1, 1955 had had enough. She refused to surrender her seat. She was charged, went on trial, inspired a 381-day Montgomery bus boycott, and, finally, the Supreme Court’s ruling in November 1956 that segregation on transportation is unconstitutional. In Brown v Board of Education, regarding Linda Brown, the issue was a little African American girl’s right to attend a full Caucasian school only seven blocks from her house. The school for African American children was a mile away, which forced her to walk much further.
The education system was separate for the Caucasians and African Americans, where it is completely separate but yet theoretically “equal” infrastructure. It was argued that the infrastructure for the African American children was often sub-par, and infringed the rights of all African American children to education. The Supreme Court required the desegregation of schools across America. It was a landmark case which showed that where a law isn’t necessarily moral or right, it should not be followed. However, H.L.Hart, the law positivist, admits that although morality and law oft find themselves in the same bed, they are not necessarily linked. Morality is what gives the law legitimacy, and the justification to enforce punitive measures/punishments. If a piece of law or legislation has bad morals behind it, should it be followed? Both morality and law deal with controlling human behaviour, and the order of civil society, but the exchanges or human interactions are intricate and complex. So, are laws meant to be broken? No, of course not. But then, laws are meant to be properly conceptualised, discussed, drafted, and implemented. Which they are not. So the question really should be “is it okay to break bad laws?” – which goes into the realm of morality, and the subjectivity of what is “good” – and if Lord Bobo were to reveal the truths about these weighty matters to humankind, there would be an almighty brain-splattering taking place. Let’s not. If you need to decide on something, remember: “Don’t do anything Lord Bobo wouldn’t do.” – and if you’re thinking of something specific, just Ask Lord Bobo.
Dr King: Laws imposed on the minority that the majority does not follow are unjust laws.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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!
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ February 25 – 27, 2010 ⁄ 15
Aid for victims of fire rescue ops
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Teng (fourth from left) handing monetary aid to Gan Chye Seng (fourth from right) and Tee Kok Yew (third from right) at his service centre as village heads look on.
By Basil Foo
KLANG: Two families whose homes were affected by a fire rescue operation off Jalan shapadu received monetary aid on Monday. “Their homes were not directly affected by the fire but by firefighters spraying water into their homes to stop the fire from spreading,” said sungai Pinang assemblyman Teng Chang Khim. They suffered damage to their furniture, personal belongings and also the electrical wiring which short-circuited. Representatives of the families received
RM500 each from Teng at his service centre together with with three other families who were affected by a storm in Kampung sungai Pinang. The storm str uck t wo days a g o which left four families in need of help, one of which decided to repair their own home. The other three families sought their village committee for help clear the debris before looking to Teng for financial aid. “i hope politicians don’t play up this issue of helping disaster victims as we are just helping them out of sympathy,” said Teng.
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This is in reference to recent news in local newspapers that certain councillors are seeking a raise in allowances again. Under prevailing economic circumstances, there should not be any increase in allowances for local councillors. Currently councillors are not elected by the local community but appointed by the authorities. They should set better examples and non-performing councillors should have their allowances frozen or cut. Councillors who feel that their earnings are not enough, should then resign and give way to those who are willing to serve the local community with minimum or without any allowances or perks. i am aware that there are many who are willing to become councillors without any pay. it is vital for councillors not to become “treasure hunters” who are more interested in increased allowances and perks. increase in allowances should not be across the board. however, it can be given to councillors with excellent performance, who are dedicated, sincere and hardworking and those who have proven themselves in their service to the local neighbourhood and the zones they are assigned to. A councillor’s position is not a commercial job and is instead an honorary appointment. increasing the allowances of councillors to RM3,000 is uncalled for. i hope the selangor Government’s state Economic Planning Unit will not consider this appeal. Eashvara Lingam Administrator Local Agenda - Petaling Jaya
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February 25 — 27, 2011
Saundra Locke and Melinya Sarah.
By Basil Foo
PETALING JAYA: Laila’s Café and Lounge in Kelana Jaya has become a popular venue for budding talents to showcase cover songs and original compositions. And every month, it turns the stage over to all-female gigs, with a “Girls and Guitars” night. The latest Girls and Guitars night held on Jan 19, was in its eighth running featuring female singers and female-fronted bands. It kicked off with Melinya Sarah, 18, and Saundra Locke, 17 who were the first act for the night. They led off with some Taylor Swift tunes. “Our [choice of songs] tonight are made up of songs that we relate to and are within our singing capacity,” said Locke, who sang for the duo. “I always liked singing but am doing it not as a career; more for fun. It was my brother who first encouraged me to sing,” she added. Sarah, who played guitar and sang, said it was her third time performing in public. She had played at Frontera in Jaya One last year. She thanked her parents for encouraging her to perform and said they helped her choose songs which could be learned quickly because she and Locke only decided to perform a week before the show. The three female members of the band Musicbox took the stage next and ended their set with a song by
A night out with the girls
Alicia Keys. “We choose If I Ain’t Got You because that was the first song which made us well known,” said guitarist Kelly, a psychology undergraduate from Sabah. The girls, all 22-years-old, took over performing duties while the guy members of their six-piece band sat out for the night. Pianist Shearon from Sarawak, who took lessons in the instrument and completed Grade 8, said she decided to join the band and perform live regularly so that her talent didn’t go to waste. “We were formed a year ago after being introduced to each other at a performance in early 2010,” said singer Eila who studies education in Johor. “Our friends and family have been very supportive. Most of our university friends have supported us on Facebook,” she said. They can be found on the social networking site as “We The Music Box”. Citing Oasis and its lead guitarist Noel Gallagher as her musical influ-
Shearon, Kelly, and Eila from the band Musicbox.
Wendy: Performed at the Sunburst music festival roadshow.
Rui: Has been performing for the last five years.
ences, singer songwriter Wendy decided early on that she wanted to perform music. “I first heard them when I was 12 and they made me want to own a guitar, start a band, and write my own music,” she said after her gig that night. Joining several bands in school
Picnic: The four-piece band met at a college in Penang.
and college as a drummer, Wendy performed at the Sunburst music festival road show with an all-girl band called 5 feet 1. “My parents showed their support by promoting my band to their friends,” said the 26-year-old risk analyst. She can be found on Facebook with the pseudonym Wendy Wednesday and is in the midst of recording her solo CD. Picnic took the stage next with Min on vocals, Ris on guitar and Wong Siu on bass. Drummer Nizam was left out for the night due to it being an acoustic set. “After growing up in the States and performing with several bands, I came back [to Malaysia] in 2004,” said Ris. The four-piece band met in college in Penang with Ris joining the group three years ago and together they have been performing for a year. “Right now all of us have our own careers, so doing music for us is fun,” said the product consultant. “Some people spend money racing bikes or buying golf sets, I spend mine on guitars,” he added. When asked about being the only
girl in the band, Min said that gender difference didn’t affect her performance or song writing abilities. “I guess when the movement started out; it was all about angry stuff and girl power, but at this point there is nothing to be angry about,” she said. “So when I write songs it has more to do with life and the people I talk to,” she added. The final performance for the night was singer and guitarist Rui who has been performing for the last five years. “I first learned guitar in Malacca and was influenced by what I saw on the television and radio to come out with my own songs,” said the 23-year old. Now working as a sales associate, she performs at various functions and is currently recording her solo album. “My family and friends have supported my music by attending performances, advising changes in my songs, and they also bought a guitar case for my birthday,” she said. The night ended with special encore performances by Imran, the drummer for local punk rock band One Buck Short.
February 25 — 27, 2011
By Alicia Mun
PETALING JAYA: The hot weather last Sunday at Arena Petaling Jaya skate park definitely did not stop Team Underdogs of Malaysia from educating ESPN’s MyEG Xtra Time presenter Sarah Lian on what inline hockey is all about. Lian was learning the ropes of inline hockey at a training session with the team as part of the second season of ESPN’s MyEG Xtra Time, Malaysia’s first weekly sports entertainment programme. The aim of the show was for Team Underdogs to display their skills to promote and educate viewers about inline hockey in Malaysia. Team captain Craig Matthew Lee said Team Underdogs have been playing inline hockey since 1995 but the growth of the sport has been hampered by lack of proper facilities like a permanent venue for the players to train. “In 2005, we were training in an open tennis court in Taman Megah but we still managed to compete in international tournaments such as the Asia Pacific Cup in Singapore in 2006, Inline Hockey Tournament in Philippines in April 2010 and the Bauer Mission Cup in Singapore in September 2010,” Lee said. He said they had also organised the Malaysia Inline Hockey Tournament (MIHT) with the help of their sponsors for two consecutive years since 2009. The third MIHT will be held at Arena PJ from June 24 – 25 with Malaysian teams competing against teams from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore. Bukit Gasing Member of Parliament Edward Lee, who is advisor to the inline hockey sports club, said: “The MIHT ’11 is an excellent way to promote inline hockey in Selangor as international teams will be competing. I hope much The MIHT ’11 more will be done by the state for is an excellent the sport.” way to promote Inline hockey, also known as roller hockey, is similar to ice inline hockey hockey except the sport is played in Selangor as with inline skates instead. international Other elements that differentiteams will be ate ice hockey from inline hockey competing. I hope are the playing surface and design much more will be of the puck. Unlike ice hockey, inline hockey done by the state is generally a less physical sport as for the sport.” the game focuses more on skill and speed rather than force and only four skaters plus a goaltender strength. Inline hockey is naturally faster during a game that usually consists and higher-scoring because skaters of three periods of either 12 or 15 have more room to maneuver and minutes each. Skaters use hockey sticks to fewer obstacles to restrict their shoot a disk-shaped puck into their movements. Each inline hockey team fields opponents’ goal to score points.
Taking on inline hockey
Bukit Gasing MP Edward Lee (standing second from right) with Team Underdogs of Malaysia.
18 February 25 — 27, 2011
Backpacks, pouches and other trinkets aplenty at this street market.
Binoculars and other magnifying devices for a clearer vision.
here’s always something happening in Pudu, specifically in Jalan Pasar or Pasar Road, right next to the big wet market. Here, it is all about business. The regulars who come here in shorts and Hawaiian shirts usually know what they want before even arriving in this busy part of Pudu adjacent to the huge market which is reputed to be the biggest in Kuala Lumpur. In the morning when the wet market is in full swing, this area is a mad house. Traffic is heavy. Thousands of people mill the main roads, side-roads and back alleys. They are all engaging in activities like buying, window-shopping, meeting friends or eating bak kut teh or dim sum at the shops. The place has been described by some as the “electronics pasar malam”. For a long time now, those who seek replacement parts for hi-fi systems, new D-I-Y gadgets or who just want to look at what’s new in the wired world have zeroed in on this roadside vendors’ market. Serious enthusiasts searching for components to CCTV systems, public announcement or alarm systems will gravitate towards the dozens of shops along Jalan Pasar. Anything you want under the sun and clouds can be found here. If it’s not sold in this part of Pudu, then the device probably hasn’t yet been invented or imported. But there is something else about this street that holds a never-ending fascination for others. It is the street vendors who sell their wares on makeshift tables, out of vans or simply on the pavements. Naturally, the bulk of curious onlookers and customers are men,
Road to electronics in Pudu
The city of Kuala Lumpur remains unexplored by many of its residents. LIN ZHENYUAN embarks on a walking tour of Pasar Road, Pudu, in search of oddities, trinkets and novelties.
these days to even find tall trees. There are still trees but they are tucked away in the more quiet parts of Pudu. Historical records reveal that Pudu originally had a village at the site where the famous Pudu Jail is located. The has now been s torn down and the site will be re-developed under a city master plan. The year was 1889 and the village consisted of several factories making bricks for shops along Petaling Street. Then a year later, in 1890, the factories were moved to Brickfields. In 1895, the village came to a close and the prison took its place where it became the main feature of Pudu until 2009. The history of Pasar Road is
Different species of fish in plastic bags of green water for eager customers.
Tiny crabs for the aquarium at home. Business in full swing along the pavements in Jalan Pasar.
Little birds looking for a good home for a small price, maybe.
young and old. They are here to look for imitation watches, D-I-Y items, flashlights, shoes, health enhancing supplements, T-shirts, semi-precious stones, birds or maybe even fish. These and more are all on sale in Jalan Pasar, at a price, of course. Haggling is permitted but only the seasoned bargain hunters know how to trim down the original price to a reasonable final figure. It takes patience, a bit of tact and lots of good humour. You don’t want to antagonise anyone in these parts. Pudu to a lot of Cantonesespeaking Chinese is still known as “poon san pah” or half-jungle. That may be true more than 100 years old but it is a myth today. It is difficult
Semi-precious stones and other jungle products for discerning customers.
linked to the Pudu market. In the early days, the market was situated at where the present day post office is. City planners then discovered that the market was not big enough to cater to the needs of residents in Pudu, hence the market was shifted to a nearby road aptly named Jalan Pasar Baru. This explains why the present Pasar Road has no market because its location has been shifted. The electronics shops that sprung into existence with a commercial ferocity began in the 1970s. Since then, the area has become a heartland for audio products, handphone accessories and electronic components. Pudu also has two major shopping complexes – Shaw Parade and Pudu Plaza. But if you want to find knick-knacks and small objects to decorate your car, room or study room, Jalan Pasar is the haven of such items. On a hot, humid afternoon when I was prowling Pasar Road, there was even a snake charmer. Unfortunately, the snake (probably a defanged viper or cobra) was having its siesta. The snake charmer himself was having a respite. It is not easy to find snake charmers on the
streets of KL anymore but apparently in this part of Pudu, they still are very much alive, and so are their slithery companions. In the far corner of Jalan Pasar which diverts into Jalan Pasar Baru, there are several stalls that sell aquarium fishes. It is a spot that attracts a lot of children because of the colourful fish sold in bloated plastic bags. Much has changed since my teenage days. These days, the vendors even sell tiny crabs and what look like live prawns. In an ingenious gimmick to draw potential customers, some of the fishes are kept in greenish water. In Jalan Pasar, a person needs more than a single afternoon to truly appreciate its five-foot pavement charms and exotic assortment of vendors. They have wares seldom seen in ordinary shops and tiny gadgets that will fascinate the handyman in most adult males. A lot of walking is needed but then if you are thirsty or hungry, there are dozens of eateries around the area that will satisfy any fastidious individual.
The torch of time
by Anusha Bai Paramasivan
February 25 — 27, 2011
011 sat nervously at the edge of her seat and fidgeted with her new sparkling white robe as the International Date Line shimmered in the silence of the arena. The only sound that was audible was the careful footsteps of 2010 as he made his way towards the end of his reign. He was noticed soon enough, though. As he took the bend, he was seen walking with a confident swagger, one arm raised high above carrying the Torch of Time, which most of the folk not involved directly with Time believed stay lit forever, and would only diminish at the sudden death of Time himself. She caught his eye, smiled and gave a wave. “Hey...” she said. He nodded in reply and quickened his pace to a jog. In between concentrating on his jog and carrying the Torch of Time, he somehow managed to blow a kiss towards his old friend 2009 who blushed into such a delicious colour. In a different world, tomatoes turned envious. He finally threw himself on the seat strategically placed at 2350 hours, and positioned the Torch of Time into its holder. The light flickered for a second, before it was quietly taken away to be cleaned and refuelled by two of Time’s most important personal assistants. Every year, as they cleaned the torch out while the fire sat sullenly in an old unused torch, they would joke about the silliness of mortals believing that Time himself would die one day. No doubt, the sun would swell up, turn into the red giant and incinerate a few planets while at it, including all those silly people who could never see the bigger picture no matter how much you shoved it at their faces. Nevertheless, Time would go on and on, and an entire new circle would begin. Every year as they discuss this, they keep their hopes up that the next circle will
have far further intelligent beings who could at least understand that they were only one minuscule corner of one of the pieces along the second row of a thousand piece puzzle. The silence was shattered by 2011. “How was it?” she asked, breathlessly “I sprinted!” 2010 laughed as he replied. “Are you allowed to do that?” 2011 asked, shocked and intrigued simultaneously 2010’s eyes lit up mischievously. He shrugged. “Well, I think they hated me” he added as an afterthought. In fact, some of them did, and part of it was because they felt that 2010 moved at such a speed that there was never enough time for them to accomplish what they set out to accomplish. He even received a few hate mails for all his effort as he kept up with current technology, reading people’s blogs, twitter and that ever increasingly famous Facebook. “Yeah, they did. Every now and then, I’d take a pause, and look over the shoulders of people who couldn’t finish their work, or whose babies just refused to sleep at night, and morning would come too soon for them leaving them staggering like zombies going to battle. How very amusing,” he added. “Can I sprint too?” 2011 enquired, her eyes wide with wonderment. “It’s your call, babe. I know 2008 and 2009 sprinted as well... so I decided to do some training, and broke their records,” 2010 added. “Isn’t a year comprised of 365 days, or 366 thanks to human manipulation?” she asked. “It’s all about how they perceive time. The more they say they need more time, the less they get. The mosquito doesn’t feel a thing... she lays her eggs, they turn to larvae, then pupas. If she’s Aedes aegypti, then I convey my sympathies, because humans always seem to re-
member to empty the vessels of water these days. But if it’s a human person, with their perception of time, eight hours of work is never enough. Neither is six hours of sleep! They just get older and grumpier and even more disgruntled the faster they perceive time,” he said “We’re waging a war against humans, then? I quite like them really, they and their quirks, ambitions, always trying to succeed” 2011 said “Don’t forget their greed, their need to be on top of everything, trampling over the lives of those they feel are beneath them, blatantly cutting down trees thousands of years old, hunting for sport. It’s disgusting. But no... none of us were waging a war against the humans. Like I said, it’s how they perceive time, and we’re just using that to mess with them, because they are willing to be messed with” 2010 flashed 2011 a smile. The Torch of Time was carried out again, clean and bright, the fire flickering brightly. In the background, the tick of the final minute of 2010 sounded louder than usual. The clock, a human invention, ironically signified the passage of time even in Time’s arena due to how convenient it was. 2010 stood with the Torch of Time in his left hand on his side of the line as it glowed brighter than ever. 2011 stood on the other side of the line and held up her right hand, completely ready to accept her responsibility for a brand new year, filled with hopes and dreams and crazy people’s resolutions. The clock gave another tick in the silence of the arena, marking the arrival of 2011. The Torch of Time passed hands. “Good Luck!” whispered 2010 as 2011 moved forward. Far away, in another place, fireworks exploded in the air as champagne bubbles tickled the noses of people, street parties became much more exciting and people generally started wishing each other a Happy New Year.
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Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815
Borang maklumaT Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk bercuti. Kepada Kawasan pentadbiran balai polis .............................................................................................. BuTiran penduduk: nama: .................................................................................. alamat: ................................................................................. .............................................................................................. .............................................................................................. nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................ nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................ .............................................................................................. tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................ tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ........................................... Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar kenderaan). 1. .......................................................................................... 2. .......................................................................................... 3. .......................................................................................... lain-lain maklumat: ..............................................................................................
Should abolish PJS 2 toll
INSTEAD of abolishing the toll rate, our Prime Minister announced the reduction of the toll rate for the PJS 2 Toll Plaza along the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) from RM 1.60 to RM 1.00 last week. Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this is a Chinese New Year gift to the people. Should we be happy of this “gift”? NPE was opened on 30 Apr 2004. For the past 7 years, the exorbitant toll rate at PJS 2 has increased the cost of living of the residents, especially for those living in Taman Medan, Taman Datuk Harun, Taman Maju Jaya, PJS 1 and PJS 2 who use the NPE daily. It is also ridiculous to charge for the access to NPE from PJS 2 Toll Plaza as this part of the road that has existed long before NPE linked to it. This road has always been an important transport link used by the residents here daily. Since 2004, the residents here have been protesting strongly against the erection of Toll Plaza at PJS 2. The countless appeals to the government for the abolishment of this Toll Plaza have been falling on deaf ears. Since the federal government is prepared to announce a freeze or reduction on toll rates, why doesn’t the government restructure and nationalise all toll roads in Malaysia to benefit the people? By routinely dishing out goodies to the people prior to elections does not follow the “people first” principle. Doing so only brings short-term benefits and does not solve the escalating cost of living suffered by lower income Malaysians. By reducing toll rates, the government is compensating huge amounts of money to the concessionaires. This has rendered the toll rate reduction a pointless exercise as the government will utilize a large amount of taxes from citizens to pay for it. For the benefit of all Malaysians, I urge the government to abolish all toll roads in the country to reduce the cost of living. Hee Loy Sian Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Selatan
Have you cHecked your electrical switcHes before leaving Home?
Before ieaving your home for a holoday, have you checked all your electrical switches and turned off your gas tanks?
Call the SS17 BomBa for advise at
By Basil Foo
February 25 — 27, 2011
SHAH ALAM: Already lighting up the Shah Alam landscape at night, I-City is now looking to work with the National Science Centre to promote educational tourism in Selangor. “The collaboration has been approved and we are in the midst of working out the technicalities,” said I-Berhad chief executive officer Eu Hong Chew. He said the science centre currently charges visitors RM6 per head and a deal was being worked out where where visitors with science centre tickets could enjoy discounts at I-City. I-City currently charges visitors an entrance fee of RM10 per vehicle. Recently added to its repertoire of family-friendly entertainment was the RM10 million Snow Walk where visitors don heavy jackets to weather the -5C temperature.
I-City and science centre deal
“We could utilise this as an educational tool for school children where they could come and not only experience snow but learn interesting facts about it,” said Eu, adding that I-City’s snow walk was similar to the one in the Singapore Science Centre. I-City has been endorsed by the state as a tourism destination and EU cites Disneyland in Anaheim, California as inspiration. “They initially started out as an orange farmland which was made into a theme park and despite resistance, they finally succeeded with even a town growing around it,” he said. I-City’s most prominent attraction has been its dazzling array of light formations, from trees and animals to seasonal designs in conjunction with local festivals. Eu said that the idea was to make a unique theme park where every entertainment and decoration would be based on lights, making for a unique backdrop for functions. With a weekly average of 90,000 visitors, I-City has hosted various events with themes from the World Cup, Mid Autumn Festival, Merdeka Day, Hari Raya, and the Miss Tourism International competition. To capitalise on the crowd during special events, bazaars would be organized and manned by local vendors who, according to Eu’s estimate, earn a total monthly revenue of RM5 million. The number of visitors peak on Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm to 11pm. I-City has a parking capacity of 5,000 lots.
Eu with a miniature display of existing and planned developments for I-City.
Hap Seng Star shines at Mercedes-Benz Challenge
KUALA LUMPUR: Hap Seng Star Sdn Bhd, one of the leading authorised dealers for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Malaysia, confirmed its reputation for excellence in its aftersales service when its team members recently clinched the top spot in two categories during the biennial Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Skills Competition 2010. Fellow teammates from the same dealership also recorded impressive results in all four categories of this prestigious Mercedes-Benz Malaysia show-down. The competition is organised by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia and was first held in 2008. Its aim is to promote a spirit of continuous self-development and life-long learning among Mercedes-Benz technicians. The 2010 competition saw a total of 204 participants competing in four categories, namely Certified Service Advisor (CSA), Certified Diagnosis Technician (CDT), Certified System Technician (CST) and Certified Maintenance Technician (CMT). Albert Lim of Hap Seng Star (Kinrara) came first in the CSA caategory. He walked away with RM10,000.00 along with a gold medal and a certificate. His colleague, Lee Kai Song of Hap Seng Star (Kinrara), also emerged champion in the CST category. He took home RM7,500.00, Cheah and Ricky Kueh of Hap Seng Star (Kinrara) clinched first runner up and second runner up respectively. Chief Executive of Hap Seng Auto Sdn Bhd, Wong Leh Seng, said, “Our achievement in this event reflects the strength and competency of Hap Seng Star’s after-sales team in Malaysia.” Wong said Hap Seng Star has a stringent recruitment process and consistently trains, develops and motivates its staff. A qualifying round for the 2010 competition was held earlier to streamline the field to 10 participants for the Semi Final Round. Subsequently, only five participants from each category were selected for the Grand Final, which was held in the Mercedes-Benz Training Centre in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. The competition involved a knowledge quiz, written and practical tests covering technical and non-technical aspects as well as the history of Mercedes-Benz and general automotive knowledge.
a gold medal and a certificate. In the CDT category, Wong Hwang Fei of Hap Seng Star (Kuching) and Looi Poh Lam of Hap Seng Star (Kinrara), were first
runner up and second runner up respectively. Chu How June of Hap Seng Star (Sandakan) was awarded the first runner up in the CST category. In the CMT category, Ben
Hariff bags Bikeathon title
SEPANG: Attracting more than 600 cyclists with the likes of Anuar Musa, Noreffendy Rosli and Mohd Hariff Saleh; and top motor r a c i n g na m e s l i ke Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah, Muhammad Zamri Baba and Eric Yeo, the third edition of Kencana SIC Bikeathon at Sepang Circuit last Sunday was considered a success. “We had more people this year and they come in a very happy mood to enjoy the event. We look forward to feedback from the participants to develop the event further. One of it would be the women’s categories,” said Sepang International Circuit chairman Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir. Apart from top Malaysian riders, the third edition of the Kencana SIC Bikeathon also attracted riders from Japan, Iran, Indonesia, Germany and expatriates working in Malaysia. The premier category saw a tight battle to the end of the 12-lap race with a large peloton of some 50 riders in a close group as they entered the final lap. Starting in the opposite anticlockwise direction, they continued to bunch together until final bend at Turn 1 before the pacemakers swerved to the side to allow their sprinters to compete to the chequered flag. Representing the Terengganu Pro-Asia Cycling Team, Hariff won the battle of the sprinters with a time of 1 hour 14 minutes 16.102 seconds. He edged out his more cele-
brated team-mate Anuar, who clocked 1 hour 14 minutes 16.806 seconds. In a field of 219 starters, Mohd Nor Ridzuan Zainal from the Armed Forces Cycling Team finished third, while Noreffendy finished in 26th place. Terengganu’s top junior rider
Mohd Afiq Huznie Othman topped the junior category with a time of 42 minutes 59.497 seconds to cover six laps of the racing circuit. Malaysia’s cub prix champion Hafizh Syahrin Adullah, 18, finished 29th among 41 starters. Tony Harvey defended his veteran title, scoring a hattrick and
winning the class this year with a commendable time of 44 minutes 48.243 seconds in a six-lap battle around the circuit. Eric Yeo, the Malaysian Super Series multiple champion and winner of the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race in 2002, finished in 53rd place.
Playing according to demands of position
he main role of a chess trainer is that of being a guide. As the le g endar y Mikha il Botvinnik, former World Champion and leader of the Soviet School of Chess would say: “Chess cannot be taught, it can only be learnt”. Because of Botvinnik, chess became a science and the competitive element moved towards that of a sport, and for him and the rest of the Soviet School he founded, it was all about studying Steinitz. Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900), the first official World Champion but more importantly is said to be the first to have documented the rules of positional play even though I have yet to see them in his writings. The credit, however, must go to his successor as World Champion, Emanuel Lasker who attributed everything to the man he beat convincingly for a title he then held on for 26 years, a feat that no one believes can ever be duplicated. What then were Steinitz’s teachings? Well, it is in its simplest form, that in a game, a plan had to be made that the position demands ( in other words we cannot independently impose our will just like that!). Of course in a sense Steinitz had studied Morphy who was before him, in a short and tragic career, had understood the principles of the open game. The principles as Lasker put it for Steinitiz (and logically organised by Euwe) are: 1. Lead in Development 2. Superior Mobility 3. Occupation of the Centre 4. Unsafe king position 5. Weak Squares 6. The Pawn Structure 7. The Queenside Majority 10.h4! Now with his development ABOUT THE AUTHOR complete, the Peter Long is FIDE Master who is a two centre secured, it time National Junior Champion and is time to make National Champion in 1986. The Polgar an attack on the Chess University Director for Asia, he is also Malaysia’s only FIDE Trainer, having flank. served in the FIDE Trainers’ and FIDE Nd7 11.h5 c5 Chess in Schools Commissions, and is 12.hxg6 Nxg6 a FIDE Arbiter who has officiated at over 13.0-0-0 a6 40 international events. 1 4 . Ng 5 Nf 6 15.Nxh7! Nxh7! 8. Open Files With preparation this blow, the 9. The Advantage of the Two start of a combinative finish is easy Bishops to find and play! 10. Material Preponderance 16.Rxh7 11. Conversion of Temporary Simpler was 16. Qh5. Advantages into Permanent Kxh7 17.Qh5+ Kg8 18.Rh1 Re8 Ones 19.Qxg6 Qf6 20.Bxf7+ Qxf7 While these have been refined by 21.Rh8+ Kxh8 a over a century of practice, they are 22.Qxf7 1-0. as good as a starting point as ever, and remain a legitimate basis from which to evaluate a position in a game and to make a plan accordingly. Let us see now how Steinitz applied what he had learnt with a fine attacking game. Steinitz,William - Mongredien,Augustus NOW that school is well underway and with the London, Match (3) 1863 Chinese New Year holidays behind us, the more 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.c3 serious local chess enthusiasts can look forward to A simple pawn move to build up the first major events of Malaysian chess calendar. and secure his position in the centre. The National Age Group Championships will b6 4.Be3 Bb7 5.Nd2 d6 6.Ngf3 take place from Mar 12-15, followed by the NaWhite’s position is already tional Closed Championship, both for men and for starting to look preferable but he is still not showing any aggression – just happy to arrange his pieces flexibly and in good positions. e5 7.dxe5 Black without completing his developing is already taking active steps and with this move White fixes the pawn structure. dxe5 8.Bc4 Ne7 9.Qe2 0-0 (below)
February 25 — 27, 2011
Get smart! Play chess!
By Peter Long firstname.lastname@example.org
Age group, National Closed tourneys next month
women, from Mar 16-20. As has been for some years now, this period of intense national level competition is during the short mid-term school break and important for players hoping to represent the country to put down their marker towards selection. For more details, contact Gregory Lau, Honorary
Tamil church seeks donations
Church members singing a Tamil hymn during the cultural night.
SELAYANG: The Tamil Methodist Church Selayang is looking to raise RM270,000 to expand its ministry and better serve the local community. The church has successfully raised RM120,000 by organising an Indian cultural night last Sunday at the Ideal Convention Centre in Selayang. According to committee chairperson Steven Sekhar, the collected funds will be used to expand the church’s ministry. “We plan to have more free tuition and computer
classes for children and programmes for single parents,” he said, adding that the church has always been actively involved in charity activities. The church is also planning to provide free meals once a week for the poor and needy in the Selayang area. Executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar, who was also present at the event with his wife, pledged RM20,000 to the church. Selayang Member of Parliament William Leong also donated RM2,000.
February 25 — 27, 2011
Foreign tourists get ready to toss mandarin oranges into the Taman Jaya lake during the Chap Goh Meh celebrations hosted by the Petaling Jaya City Council last Thursday.
State executive councillor Elizabeth Wong (left) giving out angpows sponsored by Selangor Menteri Besar to Orang Asli children present at a thanksgiving ceremony in Bukit Tampoi, Dengkil last Sunday.
Some of the Temuan handicraft items up for sale during the thanksgiving ceremony organised by the Temuans in Bukit Tampoi, Dengkil.
A lion dance performance at Setia Eco Park’s Chinese New Year open house last Saturday.
Chinese New Year revellers fishing for mandarin oranges thrown into the Taman Jaya lake during the Chap Goh Meh celebrations hosted by the Petaling Jaya City Council last Thursday.
Children enjoying the Chinese New Year open house hosted by Setia Alam in Shah Alam last Saturday. Some 6,000 residents from the housing estate were invited to the annual event.
FEBRUARY 25 — 27, 2011
❚ COMPILED BY ZEDECK SIEW
What is performance art?
he Buka Kolektif wants to show you performance art. Their Buka Jalan festival (on now till Monday at the National Art Gallery) is exactly what it says on the tin: an introduction to the form and tradition of performance art, featuring artists from both within Malaysia and around the region; talks and workshops. Conceptual artist Sharon Chin is one third of the Buka Kolektif, alongside visual artist Poodien (Shafuddin Mamat) and poet Rahmat Haron. She tells us what performance art is, why we should get to know it, and what we can expect at the festival. First things first: what is performance art? How is it different from performing arts like theatre or dance? Performance art is an experimental and contemporary form, with origins in the visual arts tradition. It’s non-object-based. When people think about art, they think of paintings or sculpture. Performance art changes how audiences experience art. Instead of standing back to look at a painting, a performance artist communicates directly with the audience through gestures. The performing arts – theatre and dance – are defined by their relationship with the stage. But performance art can happen in any situation: it doesn’t need a banner, or an announcement saying: “Hey, this is happening.” A person stumbling across a performance on the street would be captivated by that intervention into everyday life. controversial Satu Kali festival in 2006. There’s Fared Ayam, who’s a theatre practitioner; he brings elements from theatre into his performances, like its physicality: one of his past performances has him doing sports exercises until he was totally worn out. There’s Aisyah Baharudin, whose performances are about being a mother and woman in Malaysian society; she involves her kid in many of her works. From the region, we have Paduncsak Kochsomrong, one of the founders of Asiatopia, Asean’s longest-running performance art festival. We also have Zoncy Zon Spaal Phyu, a young artist from Myanmar. In one of her previous works, she sang a wordless tune over and over; each time she finished, she made herself gag. She also got people to sing along – building a chorus of this plaintive lament. It was a work about togetherness and suffering, about giving a voice to the unspeakable. What are Buka Kolektif ’s future plans? What is a performance artist? Why should people get to know the form? A performance artist is an entertainer and public intellectual who expects his or her ideas to be criticised. Culture belongs to everybody; a performance artist (and artists, in general) imagines the culture that they’re in, so that the public can see it and experience it. It creates a sense of togetherness and solidarity. Art brings people together, even though views differ – unlike politics. Who and what can we expect to see at Buka Jalan? Buka Jalan will include performances by eight Malaysian artists, and eight artists from abroad. We have people like Ray Lagenbach, who’s our link to previous performance art events in Malaysia; he was a co-organiser of the Having the festival at the National Art Gallery, our national institution, is our first step. We originally wanted to have Buka Jalan in a park in PJ, but had to abandon that idea because of logistical reasons. That’s still our dream, though. We’d like to continue organising performance art events for the next ten years. It’s important to be consistent, so that we can start to change how people view and experience art. Art is not just about galleries!
Feng shui - a solo exhibition by Munkao
As an artist, Munkao is good at wit. This is usually visual: his fun 2009 show, Natural (a double-bill with Saharil Hasrin Sanin) featured paintings of chimera: wolves with the lower bodies of footballers; an octopus with odalisque-like legs. Sometimes it is more conceptual: 2010’s The Best Art Show In The Univers (with Chi Too and Dill Malik) looked at the pretensions of the commercial art world, which tends to court collectors with grandiloquent essays and glitzy highsociety openings. Feng Shui, Munkao’s latest solo show, is a culmination of these two paths. Its fun paintings and installations are treated as Feng Shui implements -- stuff that you get to manipulate the flow of luck and energy in your home or office, similar to crystals and giant horse paintings. “Frog with Glow For Home Safety” is a “painstallation” that features a large toad -- frogs being an auspicious, money-making symbol -- with glowing eyes. “The night light frog has a dual function as an aesthetic work of art that also protects the home from intruders.” What is art if it isn’t functional? The lit eyes and streaming water effects of these paintings even mirror the plug-in
Film Screening; Five Arts Centre, Taman Tun Dr Ismail; free admission; 03-7725 4858; www.fiveartscentre.org
12 Malay Movies
The title of Amir Muhammad’s 2010 book, 120 Malay Movies, doesn’t lie: to write it, the writer sat down and watched 120 Malay-language films, all made between 1948 and 1972, in chronological order. To what end? To see what our past fantasies were like, and how they reverberate with us today. Now there’s an opportunity to experience (a fraction of) the movies Amir saw. This weekend’s screenings include Ribut (1955), not “just the first Malay colour movie we can see, but possibly the first feminist one”; Serangan Orang Minyak (1958), the “kinkiest Malay Movie so far”; and Panji Semerang (1961), which has a “prince pining for someone he takes to be another prince”. On Saturday and Sunday, from 2pm.
Kitsch of things like those miniature fountains with the constantly rolling ball. The show is strongest when the works are conceptual: “Its Time to Get Rich” is a 66cm x 170cm 4D generator: push button, receive nombor ekor. But, in his paintings, Munkao’s penchant for easy witticism and gimmickry may be becoming a crutch. He’s an excellent painter; “Five Bats of Fortune” is a magnificent piece of canvas. The bats’ glowing eyes just become annoying after repeated viewing.
Arts Festival Map KL @ Publika; admission variable
This “festival celebrating Art, Photography, Music, Culture and Fashion” is for a good cause. Portions of proceeds from LiFest’s events will go to the Yayasan Orang Kurang Upaya Kelantan (YOKUK), a non-profit committed to improving the quality of life of Kelantan’s disabled. Featuring an art exhibition with work by Alife Omar, Azli Wahid, Daud Rahim, Husin Hourmain, Najib Ahmad, Rafiee Ghani, and many others; a talk by academic Eddin Khoo about the Mak Yong traditional form; “Keep it Short, Stupid”, a programme of short film curated by Amir Muhammad and Azharr Rudin; the launch of Readings from Readings, a collection of short stories edited by Bernice Chauly and Sharon Bakar.
elevating the touchstone of residential communities with new ideals that soar above common conventions.
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