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Sweating for Orang Asli
16 – 17
Temple To serve communiTy
February 18 — 20, 2011/ issue 12
Forrest Medical Centre radiographer Elly Nadia Che Afzar demonstrates how an ultrasound examination is done on a patient during breast cancer screening. Selangor sponsors 1,000 breast cancer detections per constituency per year.
• StorieS on page 12 – 13
Security barriers stay for now
By Alvin Yap
peTaling Jaya: The Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) move to dismantle unauthorised security barriers in neighbourhoods is on hold until public concerns are addressed. “Local authorities must know that people are worried about their security. They are not breaking the law because they want to. The issue is physical safety,” said state executive councillor Ronnie Liu in an interview on Wednesday. Liu, who is in charge of local government, said the state understands that residents have taken their own measures to safeguard security out of fear and as such, it was unfair to penalise them. MBPJ’s move to strictly enforce the Street, Drainage and Building Act which makes it an offence to block access roads has caused uproar
among residents’ associations (RAs) and local leaders in the city. The city council had initially set March 31 as the deadline for the removal of permanent structures guarding residential streets. While the move to tear down the barriers is now on hold indefinitely, Liu said that residents still needed to get approval from the local authorities before taking matters into their own hands. “Local authorities must get a proposal [from RAs] and know how [the barriers and security measures] it will be carried out,” he said. Proposed plans must include the specifications of the barriers and must ensure free movement of emergency and trash collec-
tion vehicles. This MBPJ policy shift comes in the wake of a town hall meeting on Sunday in SS22 Damansara Jaya between some 100 irate ratepayers, councillors and elected leaders who lashed out at the city council’s directive. Former MBPJ councillor Michael Soon, who chaired the meeting, had to keep reminding residents to maintain their cool. He reiterated that the town hall-styled meeting was an avenue for residents to air their views, and not to point fingers or single out parties for blame. It was also not the venue for issued to be resolved. However, residents had a hard time following Soon’s plea as they took apart MBPJ on a host of issues related to residential
security at the Sunday meeting. From the start, residents ticked off the city council for not being furnished with minutes of the council meetings on the issue. “This is about making the councillors accountable. We don’t know what has been said or done. Councillors, get this right. Don’t waste our time,” Lim Jiran said at the meeting. Lim, representing Damansara Utama Residents and Owners Association (DUROA) said he wanted to know what local councillors were saying and doing on the issue of gated communities. Residents lambasted the city council for not sending staff to attend the town hall meeting. “MBPJ should have sent their staff to correctly represent the city council, to listen to us. We are the grassroots,” said Johan Tung Abdullah. • turn to page 6
February 18 — 20, 2011
Friday Saturday Sunday
Girl, 12, molested on way to school
By Alvin Yap
To place your Advert in
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
Villagers showing Santiago a pothole in this road.
Villagers see red over illegal factories
By Gan Pei Ling
PORT KLANG: Factory owners in Telok Going are being urged to legalise their operations and contribute towards improving the condition of roads. Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago, who visited the area yesterday, pointed out that more than three quarters of the factories here are illegal and contribute nothing to improving surrounding roads. “They do not contribute to the road-maintenance fund set up by legal factory owners and villagers have been complaining to me about bad road conditions,” said Santiago. Roads in the industrial area are in deplorable condition and riddled with potholes. Villagers say they are fortunate that there has been no accident so far. However, they have appealed to Santiago to resolve the long-standing problem. Klang councillor Ismail Arsat, who was present yesterday, also urged illegal factory owners to legalise their operations. He said the state had extended the discount provided for these factories to change their land status from agricultural to industrial till year’s end. He added that only 20 per cent of the illegal factory owners had taken advantage of the offer.
AMPANG JAYA: A single mother whose 12-year-old daughter was molested here while on the way to school on Monday yesterday came out to warn other parents to safeguard their loved ones. Although the culprit was caught by neighbours and handed over to police the same day, the hawker is coming out to raise awareness of the scourge. “I want to speak out now so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said the 36-year-old mother of two. The woman, who runs a food stall, was speaking at a press conference at the office of Teratai assemblywoman Jenice Lee. She said she wanted other parents to keep a watchful eye on their children. On Feb 14, her daughter was on her way to buy exercise books at a stationery shop before going to school when she was sexually assaulted. “My daughter usually had lunch at my stall before going to school, but that day she was almost 15 minutes late,” she said. The woman, suspecting something amiss, went to look for her, only to find her daughter crying as she came out of the alley behind the hawker area. The girl, who recounted the incident, told her mother and people having lunch in the stalls that she had been molested in the alley. She also described her assailant as male, wearing a brown t shirt and aged about 20. “As soon as my daughter described the suspect, I immediately realised that I had actually seen him 30 minutes before that,”
Contact Timothy Loh at 019-267 4488 or Ivan Looi at 014-936 6698
The single mother (right) and Lee at the press conference.
the woman said. Outraged neighbours finally caught the suspect after a struggle. Lee said there were cases of delinquents extorting schoolchildren from the nearby secondary school. “I have written a letter to the headmaster of the school to inform him that his students have been extorted and
also bullied by delinquents in the area,” she added. Residents have also found evidence of glue-sniffing in the parks and alleys in the area, Lee said. Lee has appealed to the state to provide more financial assistance to fund youth civic programmes in her constituency.
Strays desecrating graves
The Muslim cemetery in Teluk Gong which is being threatened by strays.
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PORT KLANG: The Klang member of Parliament is urging authorities fence up the Muslim cemetery in Teluk Gong here, to prevent dogs from digging up graves. “I hope the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department ( JAIS) can act immediately,” said Charles Charles Santiago yesterday. During the visit, Santiago listened to grouses of the residents who were concerned about the situation.
Village chief Abdul Razak Karim said they had appealed to JAIS in 2005 but nothing had been done. “Sometimes even the bodies can be seen,” he told the press, adding that the villagers have been covering up the disturbed graves. Abdul Razak hopes JAIS will act fast to prevent the strays from entering the cemetery. Used by six villages in Teluk Gong, villagers have caught around 20 stray dogs this year in order to reduce the number of graves disturbed.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ February 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ 3
February 18 — 20, 2011
A Chinese New Year celebration tomorrow from 5.30pm to 9.30pm. Attractions include 888 Riddles Challenge, 24 Seasons Chinese Drum, Chinese Classical music ensemble, King of Masks and Classical Dances. For more information, contact 03-3343 2255. Venue: Setia Alam Welcome Centre.
Finally, a place to call home
By Alvin Yap
Another Chinese New Year celebration tomorrow from 7pm to 10pm. Features: Fortune telling and palm reading, Chinese calligraphy demonstration, traditional games galore, Shanghai-themed dance show and songs, Acrobatic lion dance and fireworks. It is exclusive for Setia Eco Park’s property purchasers. RSVP to Rohana or Rebecca at 03-3343 2228. Venue: Sales Gallery, Setia Eco Park.
Chap Goh Meh Celebration
Lovely Disabled Home hosting a Chap Goh Meh celebration to raise awareness of the home tomorrow. The Lovely Disabled Home website is at http://www. lovelydisabledhome.com/ and is reachable by phone at 03 7873 9622. Venue: SRJK Yuk Chai, Taman Megah.
Kencana SIC Bikeathon Mass Jamboree
The Jamboree starts at 10am on Sunday with a lap around the F1 track before taking the participants another 38km on off-road terrain around the vicinity of the racing complex. A criterium for the junior category starts at 2pm and covers five laps of the F1 track. Everybody will have a chance to win prizes as there will be lucky draws at the end of the race. The top three winners will win cash prizes and F1 tickets. Entry to the jamboree and criterium is RM30 for each category. There will be no charge for the kids’ event. For more information, go to Facebook/SIC Bikeathon 2011 or call Alia from Human Voyage at 03-92229786 or Nizam of Sepang International Circuit at 03-87782230. Venue: Sepang International Circuit, Sepang.
Amir Yussof Concert
Performing original works on Feb 21 at 8.30pm. Amir is the 1996 winner of AIM’s Best English Album of the Year and has been a familiar name on the local entertainment scene for the past 23 years. Admission is RM48 for all seats and RM38 for early birds. Dress code is smart casual. Venue: Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, Level 2, Tower 2, Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur.
National Craft Day 2010
Participated by craftsmen from all around Malaysia, this programme aims to promote and market crafts and products directly to domestic and international consumers. Activities include craft sales, exhibitions, sales missions, fashion shows, cooking demonstrations and much more. From Feb 23 – March 7 from 10am to 10pm daily. Admission is free. Venue: Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex, Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur.
MIA Grafine Art & Design Exhibition
Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) holding a Grafine Art & Design Exhibition, a solo exhibition by Norlisham Selamat, from Feb 14-Mar 5. Free admission. The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm. and Saturday from 10am to 1pm. Venue: MIA Art Gallery, 294-299, Jalan Bandar 11, Taman Melawati 53100 Kuala Lumpur. Closed on Sundays and public holidays. For details, call MIA at 03-41088100 or visit www.mia.edu.my
shah alam: A foundation stone marked the centre of the new Sri Maha Mariamman temple here and ends the painful relocation from its former century-old site. The start of the relocation from Section 19 to its new home at Section 23 last Sunday was commemorated with a brick-laying ceremony and closes a controversial chapter in Selangor which contained racial undertones in 2009. Worshippers say they now look forward to serving the needs of the community in the area. “I am relieved that we finally have a home for the temple,” said Jayamanalan Suppiah, 59, a Section 23 resident. He said that the temple, once built, will also serve as a community centre especially for Indian youths. “It’s a nice place for our youth to receive spiritual guidance,” said the retired aircraft engineer. Even though the new site is encircled by factories, Suppiah said the location was quiet and peaceful enough for devotees to carry out their religious duties and to attend temple classes. “I want to thank the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) for giving us the land,” Suppiah said. The new temple will also be able to accommodate a larger crowd of worshippers as there is ample parking in the 22,500 sq ft lot. Temple treasurer R Sugumaran said the new temple would serve at least 10,000 worshippers in the area. Although it is not within a residential area, the temple is less than a 10-minute drive from surrounding housing areas. The temple, he added, would also function as a community hall where the Indian community will be able to hold functions like weddings or seminars. Lau Peng Lee, 40, said he looked forward to worshipping in the new Sri Maha Mariamman temple. “My heart is glad and peaceful now that I know can worship here,” said the welder, who married a Hindu. There are also plans to run a kindergarten, said M. Baskaran of Malaysia Hindu Sangam. Baskaran, secretary general of the Hindu Welfare group, said his organisation will assist the temple committee in setting up a kindergarten. “Temples, in our view, must be service oriented, providing training and promoting volunteerism,” he explained. Sri Maha Mariamman temple is now 150-years-old, and as such, will actually not be demolished. Instead it will be deconstructed brick by brick and reassembled in its original form in Section 23. The state will assist the committee in the monumental effort, said state executive council-
Forum on elections
lor Dr Xavier Jayakumar. “I call on PKNS to speed up the move,” Dr Xavier said at the brick-laying ceremony. The former estate temple in Section 19 was forced to relocate when housing development sprouted around it, creating a Muslim enclave. Another site at Taman Ixora, Section 23 was initially chosen but the issue became a political firestorm for the State Government when a group used a severed cow’s head to protest the relocation at the State Secretariat building at the end of Aug 2009.
Top: Temple chairman R Selvakumaran officiating at the brick-laying ceremony for the new temple on Sunday. Bottom: Temple committee members welcoming state executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar (left).
Join YMCA KL to enjoy intense kickboxing sessions. Classes every Thursday evening and are currently open for new intake. For more information, contact sports coordinator Sharon at 03-22741439. Email: sharon@ ymcakl.com or visit www.ymcakl.com Venue: YMCA of Kuala Lumpur, 95, Jalan Padang Belia, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.
petaling jaya: Bersih 2.0, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, is hosting a public forum with the Election Commission (EC) on Feb 21. The forum, entitled “Moving Forward with Electoral Reforms”, will discuss the amendments the EC has promised it will make with regards to the election process to make it more transparent, clean and fair.
Bersih 2.0 chairperson Datuk S Ambiga will moderate the forum, directing questions to the panellists and also taking questions from the floor. On the panel will be Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, the EC deputy chairperson; Dr Wong Chin Huat, Bersih 2.0 steering committee member; and Jasmine Ng, chairperson of Growing Emerging Leaders (GEL).
The forum will be held from 8pm to 10pm with the first half hour reserved for arrivals, registration and introductions, and the last one hour and a half dedicated to the question-and-answer session. The forum will be held at Bilik Gerakan, First Floor, Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, Jalan Yong Shook Lin, 46675 Petaling Jaya. Selangor.
By Basil Foo
PUCHONG: A 200-meter road has been built at the cost of RM526,000 along Persiaran Taman Tasik Prima (PTTP) to alleviate traffic congestion and frequent accidents. “There used to be daily accidents at the crossroads of Persiaran Puchong Perdana and Persiaran Taman Tasik Prima,” said Subang Jaya councillor Ng Sze Han (right). This was caused by vehicles from both roads merging into a single threelane stretch on PTTP with no divider separating both streams of traffic. The absence of traffic lights at the crossroads also contributed to the accidents and congestion. The situation is better now after the road was completed last December. “The project took four months to complete and the cost included drainage, road pavement, road furniture, electric works, and traffic lights,” said Ng. The missing link was essential after more than five years of high traffic volume coming from over 10,000 homes at the far end of PTTP which leads to Sepang and Dengkil. “Connecting the missing link on this side leads to the LDP interchange which the council hasn’t built as we do not have sufficient funds for the project,” he said. “The total project cost is RM20 million and we will be collecting from the developers of the surrounding housing areas,” he added. Developers have to pay a sum to the local councils, depending on the scale of their housing project, for building infra-
structure like roads. This sum is called “sumbangan infra” or infrastructure contributions. As of last August, the council has received RM8 million in contributions from developers and is still waiting for the surrounding areas to be developed in order to receive additional funds. “Instead of waiting for the full amount for the project, we decided to use what resources we have to finish the missing link to solve part of the problem,” Ng added.
Missing Link Found
February 18 — 20, 2011
New road built to alleviate traffic congestion along Persiaran Taman Tasik Prima.
USJ residents learn about their rights as citizens
By Alvin Yapi
SUBANG JAYA: Residents from USJ were educated on their constitutional rights and how the different levels of government function in Malaysia at a Bar Council workshop here last Sunday. “Educating people on the rights granted to them in the Constitution is needed for making the country a better place, an essence of being part of a democratic country,” said Subang Jaya Municipal councillor (MPSJ) Rajiv Rishyakaran at the launch of the workshop. Participants from MPSJ’s Zone 3, comprising USJ2-USJ15, said the workshop created a better understanding of their rights and duties as citizens.
“I am now more aware of my rights as a Subang Jaya resident and also as a Malaysian. It is something I feel lacking in present day society, especially among youth,” said Joe Gomez. The workshop at MPSJ Auditorium was organised by Rishyakaran’s office and the Malaysian Bar Council’s Campaign for Constitutional education, MyConsti. Yee Siew Meng, 42, said the workshop gave him better understanding in discharging his duties as a residents association (RA) member. “I know what the different levels of governments, and how I can engage them to press them to make changes in the law,” said the RA treasurer. “I can serve the community to the best of my ability.” The Constitution, said accountant Elizabeth
Wong, underscored the importance of laws and regulations. “For anyone in any country, the Constitution is the reference point. It is the rule book,” said Wong, who is the RA Zone 3 secretary. Wong said the workshop was an opportunity to ask questions on governance and policies. “If we can learn more about how our local government works, we can solve issues on the ground by suggesting laws or regulations,” Wong said, adding that the same concept of problem solving should also apply to national issues. The workshop was attended by 40 participants from USJ2-USJ15. Subang Jaya assemblypersonw Hannah Yeoh also took part.
6 ⁄ February 18 – 20,2010 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES
Housing areas are like war zones
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“I want the state assemblypersons here today to tell MBPJ off that they should be here to listen to our concerns. Tell them off,” said Tung, who is the head of All Petaling Jaya , Selang or Residents Association Coalition (APAC). He also called for local councillors to take up their cause. “If the local councillors won’t support us, then if [we have] local council elections, we will vote them out,” Tung said heatedly. On the sidelines of the meeting, Tung told Selangor Times that housing areas had indeed, the appearance of “war zones”. “It looks like a warzone, but the crime rate has dropped and we have peace of mind,” said Tung, explaining that it was a short-term solution until the police steps up patrols in housing areas. Similarly, said George Chong of Taman Megah: “We want concentrated security in our areas, that is static; gated and guarded structures is the answer.” Residents singled out the state, saying
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Chance for young talent to shine
By Basil Foo
the administration was not doing enough to take their side on the issue of gated and guarded communities. As such, residents wanted the state to enact laws to give local councils - and RAs especially – the right to maintain gated and guarded structures. “[If ] the state can call an emergency session to change the law to deal with the appointment of the State Secretary, why can’t they change the law to provide better security?” asked Datuk Yew Cheng Hoe, who represented Damansara Jaya Residents and Owners Association (DJROA), to loud applause. “We will take the barriers down if the state or Federal government increases police presence,” said Yew heatedly to state assemblyperson Elizabeth Wong who was present. In reply, Wong, a State Exco member, reassured residents that MBPJ will not demolish the gates and barriers. “There’s a stay on the demolition of barriers, even permanent structures like cement-filled drums,” she said. She said Selangor would look into local government by-laws and state law to see if local councils can be given the power to close roads for security reasons. “We are studying the Street, Drainage and Building Act and will bring it to Parliament for our MPs for debate and possible amendments to look into the legality of gates and guard houses,” Wong said, urging residents to approach their Members of Parliament to raise the issue in Parliament. Another meeting with elected officials, local councillors and the MBPJ is slated for Feb 16. Representatives from RAs are advised to prepare proposed guidelines on gated communities to be presented to MBPJ.
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PETALING JAYA: The Sweet Obsession of Stuff (SOS 2011) was an extensive affair with 14 back-to-back performances by local musicians, film producers, and photographers. “There are many young talents in Malaysia who need opportunities to showcase their abilities and this is intended to be one of the platforms,” said SOS 2011 organiser Sim Jia Kent. While a large portion of the acts were indeed undergraduates, highlights of the night included award-winning singer songwriter Juwita Suwito and local artiste Reza Salleh. Sim was relieved Suwito responded to his request to perform at the show willingly, as the show’s budget did not allow for much compensation for a singer of her calibre. “It is quite a low budget event as we only charged RM2 per entry. Unfortunately, Malaysians don’t like to pay large amounts for music events,” he said. About 150 people packed the Mosaic
Community Studio on the second floor of Centrepoint Bandar Utama for the event on Feb 9. Sim also performed for the night with his friends in a band called Lyon. The group has been performing at various shows around town since mid 2010. “Most of the invited performers were those I met online through YouTube and from previous shows at places like Frontera in Jaya One,” he said. Performances for the night included artistes Melinda Wong, Priscillia Xavier, Jenn Chia, Azim Zain, Alif Azizi, and Soo Wei Wen, film producers Sundae Productions, photographer Nicholas Chin, beatboxer A Beat C, and bands Decimal and Traffic Lights. Sim and a few friends from Taylor’s College took two weeks to organise the inaugural show. He said he was interested in organising a second show next year. “I will be leaving for Australia to further my studies but maybe the next one could be when I come back for the summer holidays,” he added.
Mixed reactions to proposal
By Alvin Yap
february 18 — 20, 2011
SHAH ALAM: Selangor’s proposal for auxiliary police to be set up improve security got mixed reaction from rate-payers. Residents, on the whole, say that they want to know more about the proposal before they can give their opinions. Looi Meng Wai, 55, a church care taker, said he welcomed the idea of an auxiliary police force because the crime rate around his work-place is high. “There have been snatch theft cases in the day time over the past year,” said Looi, whose office is in Taman Mayang and stays in nearby Kg Cempaka. Motorcyclists, he said, would survey the area looking for victims. Heightened police presence, he said, would ensure the public’s safety by keeping would-be criminals at bay. However, he asked if the auxiliary police force would have ‘full’ arrest powers of their own, or if they still needed to be accompanied by a regular duty police officer. “Are they like Rela, or like Neighbourhood Watch (RT)?” he added. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, on Feb 10, had shot down Selangor’s proposal for the formation of an auxiliary police force, saying that it was “disrespectful” of the police. He also said that the crime index in Selangor was on the decline. College lecturer Chong Eu Choong, 40, said the setting up of an auxiliary police would help the police force as it had its hand full in fighting crime. “The auxiliary police should have proper and adequate training, together with the right equipment,” Chong said. Some rate-payers said the Royal Malaysian Police should pull more officers from other duties and place them on patrols. Rennie Martin (right), 73, said: “It is the duty of the police to provide security. I’m sure they can arrange their staff to assist in crime prevention duties.” The retired teacher, who stays in Petaling Jaya’s Section 6, said the police should deploy its famed General Operations Force to patrol the streets in Selangor. The paramilitary unit, which dealt with
Commun ist insurgents during the Malayan E m er g en c y, should be “walking the streets in Peta l i n g Ja y a”, Martin said. He sug gested the police return to “walking the beat”, that is conducting foot patrols in housing and commercial areas. “We feel more secure when we see police conducting foot patrols near us,” Martin said. In relation to the crime rate, citizens have also asked authorities to go to the heart of the problems, which are the socio-economic issues like lack of education and poverty. “Firstly, we have to ask if there’s poverty or hardship that is causing people to resort to petty theft,” said social worker Lee Soo Choo. She said the authorities should look further into alleviating poverty by carrying out studies on crime and poverty. She suggested that ‘micro-loans’ be given to poor families. “Poverty breeds poverty and that causes a host of problems like crime,” Lee concluded. Some rate-payers were sceptical that crime rate can be lowered with the formation of an auxiliary police force. Johan Tung Abdullah said the additional number of officers would not be enough to cover Petaling Jaya, let alone Selangor. “200 extra police for the whole of Petaling Jaya isn’t enough; you will end up with maybe two police officers for one Residence Association area the size of Damansara Jaya,” said Tung, adding that there were 52 RAs in the Petaling Jaya district alone. In relation to the issue of security and crime prevention, some rate-payers want their gated and guarded schemes to remain, instead of an auxiliary police force. “Instead of an auxilliary police, we want concentrated security in our areas that is static. Gated and guarded structures are the answer to keeping crime index low,” said George Chong of Taman Megah.
Adnan bidding farewell to his colleagues from MPSJ yesterday.
Adnan bids farewell to MPSJ
By Basil Foo
SUBANG JAYA: A farewell ceremony was held for outgoing Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) president Datuk Adnan Mohd Ikhsan on Wednesday. “I hope everyone will cooperate with the new president and that MPSJ will continue to improve,” said Adnan. He was appointed deputy secretary general of the Federal Territory Ministry on Feb 14. He described the appointment as a promotion and admitted that he appreciated the honour of getting such a job. “I was quite surprised at the sudden appointment and have not finished many projects. So I might return to MPSJ for a week to finish my
work,” he said. In his speech before councillors and about 500 council staff, he encouraged them to be helpful. He said he managed to work well with the people. He also congratulated the council’s Revenue Department for collecting more than 95 per cent of their targeted revenue for 2010, exceeding the state’s target of 70 per cent. “MPSJ still has some areas to improve on like the working relationships with outside agencies like the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association of Malaysia,” he said. On his relationship with the local councillors, he said that there were initial tensions but after having worked with them for the past two years, conditions had improved.
Unisel gets new chief
SHAH ALAM: Raja Tan Sri Arshad Tun Uda is the new chancellor of Universiti Industri Selangor (Unisel). The director of Sime Darby Bhd takes over from the Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. Public Services Department former director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam was named new pro-chancellor. State executive councillor for education Dr Halimah Ali (right), who announced the appointments on Monday, said they would take effect on Feb 21. “The new appointments go to show that we do not want to politicise the education system in Selangor and are also in response to the suggestion by Unisel students who want a non-politician as chancellor,” she said. Raja Arshad is also a panel member of Tax Panel Review, chairman of the Raja Muda Selangor Foundation, a member of th e Ma l ay s i a n Multimedia and Communication Commission and Fellow of Accredited Institute of Accountants England and Wales. Ismail had served as secretary-general of the Health Ministry.
february 18 — 20, 2011
‘No graft in waste tender’
By Alvin Yap
Subang jaya: Local councillors from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) have refuted graft allegations in its open tender process for waste management. “Since we launched the open tender, we’ve received 7,813 bids from 1,124 companies,” said councillor Pooi Weng Keong, at a press conference here on Monday. Using the statistic as an example, Pooi said that certain parties would be aggrieved at failing to secure the lucrative contract worth RM25,000 a month for a duration of two years. “The parties that failed to secure the contracts are complaining that they lost out because of bribes or abuse of the tender system, but the selection is open,” Pooi said.
Councillors going through the tender documents.
Pooi said MPSJ’s tender selection committee will judge applicants based on their capacity, competence, assets, equipment and experience.
MPSJ, he explained, will vet the sub-contractors based on their staff, equipment and track record while the state economic planning unit
(UPEN) will check the financial records. “This way, we can check if they are shell companies and also if they have the right equipment and
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vehicles to carry out sanitation work,” explained Pooi. Alam Flora will still manage the sub-contractors, but MPSJ will directly select the companies. The open tender system will save MPSJ RM3.5 million a year in its health and sanitation budget. “This is based on the bidders telling us how much they are offering to get the job done; some have said they can do the job at a lower price than others,” said councillor Dr Loi Kheng Min, explaining that some companies won the bids based on their competitive pricing. Dr Loi said MBPJ was looking at ways to save costs, as health and sanitation accounted for a third of its yearly operating budget. There are 61 contracts for rubbish collection and 180 contracts for sanitation services in the MPSJ area.
By William Tan
Yeoh addressing problems faced by restaurant owners.
Restaurateurs air grouses
Lim also related instances when enforcement officers would repeatedly insist on checking whether his shops had renewed their licences. Subang Jaya assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh, who attended the meeting, said Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya had formed a subcommittee to tackle these issues. “The subcommittee will convene next week together with councillors, restaurant representatives and enforcement officers to review unfair summonses issued during peak hours,” said Yeoh. She said the time of summonses issued would be taken into account and advised restaurateurs to check the time written by enforcement officers on the fines. Yeoh added that there could not be a blanket approval for banners in shops as the council would still have to check the contents of the banners to see if they were fit for public viewing. Addressing the placement of tables and chairs, MPSJ councillor Pooi Weng Keong said restaurateurs could put them along sidewalks from 6pm to 12am. “The licence is RM30 per table monthly, or RM1 per table daily. It is only allowed on sidewalks so long as they do not block people, and not on carparks,” said Pooi. He also said licence officers were supposed to check outlets only once a year and restaurateurs should report to MPSJ if they were being checked repeatedly and solicited for bribes.
SERI KEMbangan: Heavy rain might have affected the turnout at Seri Kembangan’s Chinese New Year festival on Sunday but it did not dampen the mood. More than 400 residents turned up to partake of the free food and the entertainment provided by children and residents. “This is my second time I have attended this event, me and my family were invited by our friends,” said Perumal Murugasau, a resident of two decades. The pensioner said the event was a good way to meet his Chinese friends and bring the community closer.
Lai Yok Long, who is also a resident of 20 years, echoed the same sentiments. The 63-year-old local leader was seen making preparations before the arrival of Serdang Member of Parliament Teoh Nie Ching and Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah. “These events are a good opportunity to see if people around the area are driving even bigger cars,” Lai quipped. “The rain really affected us but I am not too bothered by it, that just happens sometimes,” said Subang Jaya councillor Loka Ng Sai Kai, 46, who was one of the organisers. The funds for the annual event were allocated by Teo and Ean Yong.
By Basil Foo
Subang jaya: Thirty restaurateurs here aired their complaints regarding longstanding cleanliness, licensing and summons issues with local authorities at a meeting on Feb 14. “One of our problems is officers inspecting our premises during peak hours like lunch time,” said Petaling Jaya Coffee shop Association vice-president Danny Lim. Lim, who also runs the Bandar Sunway Ming Tien restaurant, said even highly accredited hotels would have less than pristine hygienic conditions during peak hours. Another point of contention was about the placement of tables and chairs on sidewalks and parking lots bordering the restaurants and coffee shops. Lim said they were initially allowed to apply for the placement of tables outside their premises but only a few outlets in Subang Jaya had their applications approved. “There is also the slow approval process for putting promotional banners in our shops. By the time they get approved, the promotions would have already been over,” said Lim. “We are requesting that the council grant a blanket approval for all promotional banners hung up on our premises,” he added.
Perumal Murugasau at the Chinese New Year function.
february 18 — 20, 2011
Funds for community policing
By Basil Foo
10,000 turn up for state CNY do
By Basil Foo
SHAH ALAM: The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will provide funds of up to RM5,000 to each rukun tetangga association and residents association for facilitating community policing programmes. “The allocations are for the over 200 rukun tetangga and residents associations in Petaling
Jaya,” said Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman. The Petaling Jaya mayor told reporters at the launch of a disabled-friendly park on Feb 12 that the policy announcement has been made and residents could begin to apply. The council would then judge the applications based on the residents’ patrolling plans before giving approval. “They will also have to make known what
they intend to spend the money on, such as flashlights, batons, and reflective jackets,” he said. Under the community policing programme, residents will receive their training and patrolling guidelines from the police. “The police will then check on the residents to ensure that the guidelines are being adhered to,” he said.
He said the funds were initially intended for an auxiliary police force but since the state did not receive approval for it, the funds were now being diverted to community policing programmes. The state’s requests to the Home Ministry for granting local council officers limited police powers to prevent crimes since July last year was rejected by the Federal Government.
KAJANG: About 10,000 people attended Selangor’s annual Chinese New Year carnival in Jalan Sulaiman last Saturday. “This carnival has managed to show the cooperation between government and non-governmental bodies as part of an effort to develop the Kajang community,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Guests of all ages were entertained with performances, some of which included a Chinese orchestra, “Diabolo” jugglers, and Chinese drummers, who were from SMJK Yu Hua. The Menteri Besar reminded the people of Selangor to use opportunities like this to work together as a family for the success of the state. He also touched on the RM1 million allocations to state assemblypersons for repairing roads and hoped that the funds would go to where they are needed. “I hope that in February, the states of Selangor, Penang , Kedah, and Kelantan can meet to discuss programmes to lighten the burden of rising prices through market intervention,” he added.
Top: Khalid, state executive councillors and event organisers extending their wishes.
Right: Khalid meeting wellwishers at the celebration.
Hearty meal for less fortunate
By Alicia Mun
SubANG JAyA: About 150 residents from eight welfare homes were treated to a grand luncheon at Empire Hotel ballroom last Saturday. The event for orphans, senior citizens and single mothers was organised by local elected leaders in conjunction with the Lunar New Year celebration. State executive councillor Teresa Kok also presented donations totaling RM4,000 to the homes. “This year, we decided not to host an open house in order to save money to be donated to the less fortunate because it is more meaningful,” said the Kinrara assemblywoman. The eight homes which received RM500 each were Destiny Starting Point,
House of Joy, Malaysian Spring Single Mother’s Society, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Selangor, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Yesuvin Mahligai, Rumah Charis, Rumah Shalom, and The Salvation Army. Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said the event was part of the state’s efforts to ensure every one has an opportunity to celebrate the occasion. Destiny Starting Point home co-ordinator Julian Amaarjeet said the boys from the shelter were very happy to attend the luncheon. “We feel blessed and we truly appreciate this donation from the state government,” he added. Subang Jaya assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh and Pas Puchong chief Sufyan Ismail were also present at the event.
Senior citizens enjoying the delicious spread at the luncheon.
Disabled-friendly park opened in PJ
February 18 — 20, 2011
Know Your Councillor: Edward Ling Sieak Meeng
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
chairs. Maybe they could upgrade both entrances.” PETALING JAYA: A park in Despite precautionary meaSection 6 here had its facilities sures by the local council, upgraded to become the first ofnearby residents were called ficial park catering for disabled upon to keep an eye on the residents needs. state of the park to prevent “The walkways were installed vandalism. with blind-friendly tac-tiles, paths “The problem used to be were made disabled-friendly, and motorcycles running their the entrance is now wheelchairtyres on the ground and damfriendly,” said Petaling Jaya counaging the soil,” said Datuk cillor Anthony Sivabalan during a Mohamad Roslan Sakiman. simple ceremony to launch the The Petaling Jaya mayor said facilities last Saturday. residents from the surrounding Additional features of the one400 homes should monitor the acre-sized park include lighting at park and report to the council night, barriers to stop motorcycles if any vandalism or rubbish from entering, and a sign to indidumping occurs. cate the wheelchair entrance. Selangor executive council“At one point or another every- Sivabalan: Wheelchair friendly. lor Elizabeth Wong, who was one will become old and disabled, also present at the launch, but that doesn’t mean we should handed over a certificate to be excluded from life,” said Anthony, who has been us- residents to take care of the park. ing a wheelchair for 40 years. “Malaysians seem to have an innate gift of vandalLim Chee Hoong, a 48-year old disabled resident izing and throwing rubbish. Elders should admonish said, “The upgrades look very good. It should be better and teach the younger ones not to do so,” she said. for us when we want to visit this park.” She urged the community to be the eyes and ears of Gurdip Kaur, who visits the park occasionally said, the local council as their officers could not be every“I am quite impressed with the changes made. But I’m where at once, and to call their 24-hour hotline at 03not happy because there is only one entrance for wheel- 79542020.
By Basil Foo By William Tan
SUBANG JAYA: At 29, Edward Ling Sieak Meeng is among the youngest of councillors. But he doesn’t feel his age is an issue as far as the job is concerned. “The Prime Minister himself was already a deputy minister at age 25. If he can serve as a minister at that age than I don’t see why at 29 I can’t do a good job as councillor,” said Ling. A graduate of Monash University, Australia, Ling is serving his first term with the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ). Currently, he is focused on addressing housing issues in the Sunway area where houses are being turned into hostels for students attending Sunway University College and Taylor’s College. Residents in the area are complaining that the makeshift hostels are overcrowded and the occupants noisy. Another complaint is the lack of parking space as a result of the hostels. Ling said that so far, MPSJ has
no guidelines on such situations where houses are turned into hostels. Ling said a sub-committee was recently formed, headed by the MPSJ president, to look at regulating this practice. Besides this concern, Ling is also aiming to shorten the length of time taken to get business license approvals. He is also trying to get more MPSJ services online so that the public do not need to be physically present at the MPSJ headquarters to conduct transactions. Ling finds it beneficial and important to attend all council meetings because he feels the views of the people are best heard in these forums. The meetings help him stay up to date with issues when dealing with ratepayers, he said. Being a councillor is anything but ordinary, Ling added When not busy at his job at a information technology company or attending to his duties as councillor, Ling enjoys doing outdoor activities like hiking and playing badminton.
PETALING JAYA: A refuge for the disabled - the Lovely Disabled Home (LDH) – needs greater awareness and support for their work. Located on Jalan SS 2/5, the home is both the residence and workplace to some 30 special individuals but space is fast running out and there are mounting bills to be paid. “Sometimes I wish there was more being done formally by the government. At the moment we are running mainly on the goodwill of local businesses” said LDH committee member, Andy Chan, 41. The home needs around RM8,000 for its monthly expenses. The home does manage to generate some of its own income by having those under its care perform simple tasks such as recycling newspapers or card boxes, and occasionally packing products for local businesses. The simple work allows participants to exercise motor skills and socialise, and is a precious opportunity to Tan Lay Beng, 44. “My 17-year old daughter is disabled, spastic and confined to a wheelchair. Thus, this home is a big help to me and her, as it gives her a chance to work and allows me to better manage her fits when she is here,” said the homemaker. Tan said her daughter helps to pack newspapers into 4kg bundles which the home sells at 40 cents per bundle. Tan also volunteers at the home by managing its accounts, and she wishes the home will one day be able to afford its own premises. On Saturday, Petaling Jaya Utara
Lovely Disabled Home perseveres
(From Left) Tan, Pua and home director K K Lum.
Member of Parliament Tony Pua applauded the efforts of the home during a visit. “By offering work, you not only restore their self-confidence and dignity but also it allows the disabled to claim subsidies from the government,” said Pua. To raise awareness, the home will host a Chap Goh Meh celebration tomorrow. The event will be held at SRJK Yuk Chai, Taman Megah. It has been held annually for the past five years to celebrate the lives of the residents of the home. “It entirely for them, we won’t even collect any money on the day of the event and the event itself is free, though people may give them ang pow,” said Tan Joo Gin, chairperson of the LDH com-
mittee. The home expects as many as 450 people who have committed to attend the event, which is higher than the original goal of 300. However, Tan admits they are still short of RM10,000 of the RM 30,000 for the event, but he has faith that they will be able to collect it before the event. “I believe people do care, and having this event that allows us to share our lives and cultures. It may well lead to more and better partnerships in the future,” he added. The home does hold numerous fundraising events throughout the year. Lovely Disabled Home was first established in November 2005. More information about the home can be found at http://www.lovelydisabled- (From Left) Tan Lay Beng and her daughter Phua home.com/ or by calling 03-7873 9622. Yan Shuen at Lovely Disabled Home.
(From Left) LDH committee members Andy Chan and Cecilia Chen standing in front of the newspapers the home recycles.
Tripping Zero 3
hah Alam, tainted by cringeworthy events such as Teoh Beng Hock’s death and the cow head protest, is actually a very pretty place. It was a real joy driving past public parks and rows of shady trees and flower bushes that line the roads on my way to the Sultan Alam Shah Museum, also known as the Selangor State Museum. My previous visits to Shah Alam were clouded by frustration over notorious roundabouts and useless signboards that marred its beauty. Now that I’m slightly more familiar with the roads, the capital city appeared to me in a different light. The Selangor Museum was first established in 1899 at the site where the current National Museum stands in Kuala Lumpur. Before it was bombed during World War II, the building was a typical colonial building, unlike the Minangkabau structure we see today. I was surprised to discover that some of the artifacts saved from the bombing were moved to Convent Bukit Nanas - my former school, while others were moved to the Taiping Museum in Perak. After independence, then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj commissioned Ho Kok Hoe to design a new museum with a more local flavour. The museum was completed in 1963 and became the National Museum. It continued to be owned by Selangor until Feb 1 1974, when Kuala Lumpur was declared a Federal Territory. The blue brother to the National Museum, the Sultan Alam Shah Museum, was inaugurated in 1989 by Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Abdul Aziz Shah Al-Haj and named in honour of the 6th Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Hishamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj. The museum is compartmentalised into five galleries; history, culture, sports, Islamic and natural history. I thoroughly enjoyed the section on Selangor history, refreshing my memory of its past and picking up new information, such as detailed demographic and territorial histories of Selangor’s nine districts - Gombak, Hulu Langat, Hulu
In 1824, the population of Selangor was estimated to be 6000 and by 1891, the population grew to more than 81,000, with the migration of Chinese and Indian settlers due to the booming economy of trade, mining and plantations. Situated on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Selangor was an ideal trading ground.”
Selangor, Kuala Selangor, Kuala Langat, Klang, Petaling, Sabak Bernam and Sepang. Selangor’s origins in record could date back to the 15th century, when it was ruled by the Sultanate of Malacca and the people were Minangkabau settlers from Sumatra. The sultanate was taken over by the Bugis in 1740, whose lineage continues till this day. In 1824, the population of Selangor was estimated to be 6000 and by 1891, the population grew to more than 81,000, with the migration of Chinese and Indian settlers due to the booming economy of trade, mining and plantations. Situated on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia, Selangor was an ideal trading ground. I moved on to the natural history gallery and was curious to see how they would organise knowledge regarding this area. It wasn’t much of a surprise to find that the natural history gallery was the saddest part of the museum. The space was occupied by nothing more than a section on PERHILITAN and threatened species,
The entrance to Sultan Alam Shah Museum.
February 18 — 20, 2011
some types of birds, some preserved animals in jars, a bunch of rocks on display (okay, fancy mineral rocks.) and some fruits. Yes, fruits. It was a bit too much to expect a section on Darwin’s evolution theory but there was not even an attempt for taxonomy nor explanations on research and development of natural history in Malaysia and information on the displays was appalling (Bird one: Mynah. Bird two: Hornbill.) As I made my way out, I stepped into the Islamic gallery. I was impressed by the model of the Blue Mosque - no doubt it is a magnificent architecture, but not so much on the biographies of the Selangor Mufti and the “Digression in Islam” section where confiscated goods such as a shirt adorned with the words ‘Allah’ in Arabic and various charms were displayed. I can appreciate the focus on Islam but I question the omitted, deliberately or not, heritage of our Hindu past as I feel it is equally important. I’m bringing up this issue because
Some of the artifacts on display.
The gallery on culture.
cultural and historical institutions such as museums carry the weight of representation and can play a more a c t i v e r o l e i n e n c o ur a g i n g understanding and dialogue – the exhibitions are in themselves, a dialogue. It was a real shame that such incidents like the cow head protest have to happen in the first place; because not only was it an insult to the Hindus, it was an insult to the Malay heritage. The Hindu roots of the Malay culture are a blind spot that we fail to acknowledge and respect, yet throughout the displays in the museum we see hints of it, such as the use of kendi, a word derived from Sanskrit Kundika to mean a water container and was a common attribute for Hindu deities such as Brahma. In relation to art museums specifically, Alain de Botton wrote, “While exposing us to objects of genuine importance, they nevertheless seem incapable of adequately linking these objects to the needs of our souls.” But I wish to extend his statement to include historical accounts, artifacts and cultural traditions that
in their own right, could potentially guide us to being better citizens, as we claim ownership of our past, present and future. Drawing on Hegel’s definition of art, de Botton asserted that “Good art is the sensuous presentation of those ideas which matter most to the proper functioning of our souls, and yet which we are most inclined to forget.” Like the kendi, a simple artifact reminds us of our relationship with the Sanskrit language, the Hindu culture that we’ve inherited and the bond that Malaysians across ethnicities share. We do not exist in isolation from each other but in relation to each other. The way we organise our museums, state level or national, should move away from just presenting the past but to actively contribute to the development of a thinking and progressive society. The verdict? The Sultan Alam Shah Museum is in dire need of a curator who is not ancient.
sharyn shufiyan works with an organisation working to promote environmental and social sustainability. sometimes you can find her sitting in a coffee shop with her nose plastered to a book.
febrUArY 18 — 20, 2011
State gives free breast cancer screening
A little-know programme by the state government is Mammogram Selangor (MammoSel) which provides free breast cancer screening for women. It was started in mid-2010 and has since benefited more than 3,600 women in the state as of January 2011. Under the programme, women above 35 years old, either born in Selangor or who have resided in the state for more than 10 years, can register for the free screening at their state assemblyperson’s office. “We picked breast cancer screening over other screenings like pap smear (for cervical cancer) because breast cancer is the number one cancer among women,” said Rodziah Ismail, the state executive councillor in charge of women’s affairs. Although the programme is for all women regardless of their economic status, Rodziah expects it to benefit women from the low-income group, in particular. Indeed, most programme participants whom Selangor Times spoke to admitted that they would never have done a mammogram if they had not signed up for MammoSel. A mammogram would usually cost RM150 to RM200 and women above 40, who are at higher risk of getting breast cancer, should ideally do a mammogram every one to two years. “Awareness is insufficient if women cannot afford the screening, and early detection and treatment can help save lives,” said Rodziah. After registering at their state assemblyperson’s office, the women would be fetched at an arranged date from the office to the Forrest Medical Centre, a diagnostic centre in Kepong. The centre has been operating for four years and is located next to the Kepong Carrefour. The state government pays the centre RM90 per screening under MammoSel. At the centre, the women are given a briefing on breast cancer. A video of how the mammogram is done – compressing and x-raying the breasts – is also shown to them. “Those who had never done mammogram before might be scared,” said S. Anjalai, a senior nurse at the centre. She said the compression might be a bit painful but most participants are able to tolerate it. Anjalai’s job at the centre also allows her to counsel the women and answer some of their varied questions. “Some have asked me how to make their breasts bigger, others have asked if they should wear bras with wire,” she said. She has told them that plastic surgery is definitely not an advisable method to enlarge one’s breasts and under-wire bras are fine as long as they are not too tight. After the briefing, participants are called one by one, beginning with the eldest, to do a clinical breast examination by the nurse before proceeding with the mammogram. A movie is screened in the waiting hall for the others while they wait. During the examination, the nurse asks each participant about their family history of breast cancer, whether they have breastfed before, and if they have taken hormone pills like birth control pills. These questions help identify a person’s risk of breast cancer. Participants are also taught how to do breast examinations by themselves and are urged to do it every month, and to teach their daughters as well. The mammogram results are out after about two weeks. A follow-up breast ultrasound is done for patients with suspicious or abnormal findings. Those suspected of breast cancer are further referred to government hospitals. So far, 41 patients have been referred to government hospitals with seven confirmed to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Anjalai said some patients did not want to know if they had cancer, and refused to go hospitals for fear of what they might find out. Despite that, the centre keeps in touch with the patients and encourages them to follow through with the referrals. Currently, the most active state constituencies under MammoSel are Batu Caves, Selat Klang, Teluk Datuk, Sri Serdang and Gombak Setia, among others. Rodziah noted that five out of the ten most active constituencies are under Barisan Nasional assemblypersons. “We don’t discriminate,” she stressed. Each of the 56 constituencies in Selangor are allocated 1,000 women participants per year, and the state aims to screen 56,000 women every year. Rodziah added that Selangor’s programme is benchmarked against the National Population and Family Development Board’s MammoSubsidi programme. Under MammoSubsidi, Malaysian women only have to pay a minimal fee of RM50 for a mammogram but the state decided to go a step further and provide it for free to Selangor women above 35. For now, awareness about the programme is spread mainly through word of mouth. Hopefully, as more get to know about it, MammoSel can help prevent breast cancer in more women. *Note: The Forrest Medical Centre does not take walk-in participants. Interested women who are above 35 must register with their state assemblyperson’s office to sign up for MammoSel.
By Gan Pei Ling and Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin lmost all of us know or have heard of a friend or relative affected by breast cancer. One of the most common cancers among women, it is also one of the most survivable, if detected early. And thanks to modern xray technology, it is now possible to detect breast cancer even before any lumps are felt by touch. But what happens when the cancer is discovered? Not all women opt to have it removed, as Selangor Times discovers in one the following interviews. Women vary in their reactions and way of coping with the disease. Michelle (pseudonym), 47, was saved by early detection through mammography. Her lump was so small she probably would not have been able to detect it through self-examination. “It was about the size of a green bean,” said the homemaker from Rawang who requested anonymity because she does not want more friends to know about her condition apart from those who already do. Friends told her about Selangor’s free mammogram programme for women above 35. Michelle signed up last July. “In hindsight, I was lucky my friends told me about the programme and asked me to join,” said Michelle, whose mother had also been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier. Michelle was referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital and the biopsy subsequently confirmed that the bean-size lump in her breast was cancerous. She underwent surgery to remove the lump at private hospital Gleneagles in Kuala Lumpur as she did not want to wait for a few months at the Sungai Buloh Hospital. “I just wanted to get it over and done with,” said the working-class parent, who had to borrow money from her siblings to cover the RM10,000
bill for surgery. Post-surgery, she continues radiotherapy treatment to destroy any remaining cancer cells in her breasts and has to take medicine for the next five years to prevent the cancer from recurring. To save cost, Michelle did not continue her treatment at Gleneagles but is currently going through radiotherapy at Tung Shin Hospital in KL and getting her medicine for free from Sungai Buloh Hospital. The mother of four no longer wears fitting clothes now as she is afraid that it would reveal her breasts which are no longer of the same size. “There’s a special type of bra, but we can’t afford it,” said Michelle, who had lost around 8kg after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Michelle also no longer plays badminton now. The non-smoker and non-drinker is also keeping to a stricter diet, eating mainly vegetables and fish. “I haven’t had any chicken since the surgery. Sometimes I would let myself have some pork, but only occasionally,” she added. Michelle admitted that she was very scared at the beginning when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and suffered sleepless nights. “I used to cry…The first time I stepped into the cancer treatment centre at Tung Shin Hospital for radiotherapy, seeing the word ‘cancer’, I couldn’t really accept it [that I was a patient],” recounted Michelle, who initially also found the daily medicine repulsive. She also did not tell her friends about her disease until after her surgery and became a little antisocial: “I didn’t want friends to visit, and didn’t feel like going out to join their gather-
Toothpaste, facial cleaner, hair and body shampoo... nor fadilah has been using products with lingzhi in the hope of curing her breast cancer.
nurse s anjalai (right) with patient Teh khon You.
ings as often as before.” Fortunately, her family has been very supportive and Michelle also found comfort by sharing stories with other cancer patients at the treatment centre. “They also have a counseling session for cancer patients every Tuesday afternoon at Sungai Buloh Hospital but I have to fetch my son to his tuition class so I can’t make it. “But I would really like to join a support group, I think only a cancer patient could truly empathise with another cancer patient and fully understand what she’s going through,” said Michelle. Compared to Michelle, Yeoh Lai Choo, 61, was more fortunate as she had insurance to cover most of her treatment costs. The homemaker from Teratai was also diagnosed with early stage breast cancer last July after a lump was found in her breast through a mammogram. She later removed part of her right breast at Pantai Hospital in Bangsar. Yeoh said the surgery cost about RM3,000. She continues her treatment at Hospital Universiti KeThe doctor told Malaysia (HUKM) inme as long as I finish bangsaanPantai Hospital to save stead of the chemotherapy costs. The following six sessions of and radiotherapy, I’ll chemotherapy cost would cost her be able to outlive the another RM3,000 but she said the same would cost ten times more at cancer for another Pantai Hospital. 10 years. The most important thing is not lossLike others, she suffered from hair after the chemotherapy sessions to give up hope.” and usually wears a scarf now to cover her head.
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” she said. The mother of two used to work as a babysitter but stopped after being diagnosed with breast cancer. “Now I no longer have an income, I have to be thriftier lah,” said Yeoh, whose husband is a retiree. The outgoing and cheerful lady remains hopeful that she w ill be able to recover from the disease. “The doctor told me as long as I finish the chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I’ll be able to outlive the cancer for another 10 years. The most important thing is not to give up hope,” she said. While Michelle and Yeoh used Western medicine to treat breast cancer, Nor Fadilah Puteh from Bukit Beruntung is putting her faith in Chinese traditional medicine using lingzhi, a kind of mushroom. Nor Fadilah, 49, spends a few hundred ringgit a month on direct sales products, including coffee and personal care products, made with lingzhi extract. She consumes six packets of the coffee a day which adds up to around nine boxes costing RM295 per month. On top of that, Nor Fadilah also uses lingzhi-based products like toothpaste, facial cleaner, hair and body shampoo. “I feel my lump is smaller now,” said the homemaker, who is reluctant to remove her left breast and is confident that she can recover by using these products. “The doctor from Sungai Buloh Hospital had called me many times since last year, asking me when would I do the surgery to remove the lump…I told him I’m still considering,” she said. She said she no longer suffers migraines and
high blood pressure after using these products. She has heard that cancer as well as leukemia patients have recovered after consuming these products. If she could afford it, Nor Fadilah said she would buy the lingzhi tablets, which cost RM310 per bottle with 60 tablets. But one bottle has to be consumed in three days and her husband cannot afford to buy her ten bottles, amounting to RM3,100, every month. Nor Fadilah used to sell kuih and sew clothes to complement the family’s income but she no longer has the energy to do so. Her husband, an army retiree, is relying on his pension and making handicrafts to sustain their family of six. Their eldest daughter is already married, but the second child is still in college and another three are still in school. Nor Fadilah joined the state’s free mammogram programme after discovering a lump in her breast through self-examination. More than 3,600 women have been screened since the state-sponsored mammogram programme started last June. The free screenings are conducted by Forrest Medical Centre in Kepong. Of the 3,600 screened, 41 were referred to hospitals for suspected breast cancer and seven were affirmative cases while two were benign lumps. S Anjalai, coordinator of the programme at the centre, is tasked to follow-up with patients. The senior nurse said she has been trying to convince Nor Fadilah to accept modern treatment to no avail.
Things you should know abouT breasT cancer
Around one in 20 Malaysian women has a risk of getting breast cancer. All women above the age of 20 are at risk, but the risk increases with age. OTher rIsk facTOrs Include: • Family history – Women who have family member(s) who has breast cancer are at higher risk • Early menstruation (before the age of 12) or late menopause (after the age of 50) • Never having a full-term pregnancy or giving birth after the age of 30 • Not having breastfed • A diet high in fat and low in fibre • Obesity in post-menopausal years • Excessive alcohol consumptions Despite what some people believe, tight-fitting or underwire bra does not cause breast cancer, neither do the fondling of breasts. Breast cancer is curable and there are methods of early detections. Women below 35 are advised to do a breast self-examination every month. For women above 35, breast examination by a doctor every year is recommended. But the best method to detect breast cancer before any lumps can be felt is via mammogram. When doing self-examination, women should look out for lumps, bleeding or discharge from the nipple, change in the breast’s shape or skin. Not all lumps are cancerous, but do see the doctor if you notice any unusual changes in your breasts. The earlier a breast cancer is detected, the higher the chances of recovery. Treatment may usually involve a combination of surgery (partial or total removal of breast tissue), radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
For more information, visit www.breastcancer.org.my and www.makna.org.my/breastcancer.asp.
Flight From Incheon
Some refugee children of Burma in a crowded detention cell in Mae Sot, Thailand, along the Thai-Burma border
February 18 — 20, 2011
By Avie Azis
n the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) hosted a series of posts on love – all kinds of love. “Flight From Incheon” by Avie Azis ran in three parts; below is an excerpt from the series. To read the posts in full, and to view the rest of the posts in the #LoyarBerkasih series, go to http://www.loyarburok.com/ tag/loyarberkasih/. NOT long after I moved to KL, I came to know a Burman refugee named Zaw. Well, that wasn’t really his name, it was an alias. I Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by never knew his real name. LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) where all your profound, Others called him Ko Zaw. I referred to abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, him as the General, after General Than Shwe, sagacious, and other thesaurusthe untouchable head of the ruling military described queries are answered! government in Burma. Ko Zaw did have this uncanny resemblance to the junta leader. Minus the uniform, of course. And I imagine the real Than Shwe would never wander around in a foreign town, carrying a pink umbrella, like he did. It was from the General that I learnt of something that I refer to as the Malaysian symptom. Too many of my respondents among the refusenting me with the gees complained of a “heart condigrand gesture, he tion” which did not exist prior to really left. I had their migration. spent the previous “The problem started when I got weeks convincing here,” the General said. He didn’t him to abandon know what exactly caused it but his plans for such a risky heart beats very rapidly now. journey, but in the According to the narratives I General Than Shwe: Head of the junta end it was his have collected, the displaced believe government in Burma. choice. that it was the kind of life they led It was a dangerin Malaysia that caused the condi- panorama. We let Rela conduct ous undertaking, but it was not irtion. “Ini bukan biasa macam raids wherever they please. (I re- rational. It logically came down to hidup.” member hiding for hours on end this. There are methods of resistMy respondents describe living with my “illegal” respondents from ance. First, you take space. When in Malaysia as, “curi-curi di rumah a Rela squad in a little Burmese shop you cannot take space, you take orang.” in Kota Raya). We put people in jail speech. When that’s not allowed, The rapid heartbeats are mostly just because they have no papers. you take flight. associated with their constantly livI heard Mat Nur left via Penang. ing in fear, heartache and heartbreak “DO you like cintawan?” Penang again. How many hours from the bad treatment they have “Eh?” Cinta means love. But I does Penang sleep a day? The pelarreceived. wasn’t sure what he meant. In Ba- ian slip in and out of the country, Exile is eating them away, and the hasa Indonesia, the suffix – wan - living their nightmares in motion. first organ to go is the heart, be- refers to someone who does. So The locals slip in and out of concause, as one young man explained, would cintawan mean someone who sciousness, unaware or don’t care. “Hati hakikatnya adalah sesuatu loves? Do I like lovers? What kind yang lembut.” of question is that? HERE in Malaysia, I have come to I have my own documentation in “Here, cintawan,” he showed me the conclusion that love exists, but order. But I could still empathise. It a plastic bag full of mushrooms. is often very exclusive. No, no, no, is not hard for me to see how Ma“Oh, cendawan,” I finally knew no, no. Love with a big L is a lanlaysia can instill a certain fear in the what he meant. guage we no longer understand. We undocumented. I myself do not dare “Yes, cintawan, I’m cooking cin- understand only loves that start with go anywhere without my passport, tawan for you.” the little l’s. It is the love we have for even if only to the mamak stall Mat Nur then disappeared to the our lovers, parents, children, friends, across my flat. Friends think I am kitchen, turning fresh cintawan to a pets. Selfish loves that come so easbeing extremely paranoid but Ma- pot of curry. I knew now that it was ily for us because these people are laysia has bitterly taught me how the mushrooms, but it still sounded to one of our own. IC epitomises the dominant tech- me as if he was about to cook some Amitav Ghosh once said the opnology of self. lovers. Lovers curry, I learnt about posite of love is not hatred but One Rohingya man I met elo- an hour later, was burningly spicy cowardice, and so we have become, quently lamented, “The world we and delicious. people who do “what is technically live in is no longer one that is The last time I saw him, Mat Nur correct, but not what is right”. guided by the norms of religion. It and his wife gave me a box of chocoI don’t judge Malaysia or Malaydoes have faith, but it subscribes to lates. Nothing fancy, of course, but sians, but I do deeply resent this a faith in technology and docu- still it was special. Nobody had ever difficult world of fictional but dements.” given me a box of chocolates before, finitive boundaries. With that faith, we citizens ac- my love life being rather uneventful, There is a school for Rohingya cept appalling scenes as normal, as obviously. Little did I know it was a children in Puchong. I often came if they are naturally a part of daily farewell gift. A few days after pre- just to watch the children sing as
loudly and as off-key as they could. One of the songs had the following lyrics: The place to be happy is here; And the way to be happy is to make others happy; And to make a little heaven down here. Tell me, why does Malaysia refuse to get heaven in this life and after? Discriminating against children is something that I completely refuse to understand. OK-lah, you don’t want to accept the parents, but how are children guilty of their parents’ migration? I came to know some of these children in Puchong well. They would sing ‘Negaraku‘ proudly, not yet aware that their Negara considered them unworthy foreigners and put “warga negara asing” in the nationality column of their birth certificates. If they were given birth certificates at all. They have no memories of Burma. How can they be warga negara asing when they only know Malaysia? THERE was a memorable Rohingya girl in Klang, named Robizan. She had experienced a brutal police raid. Not satisfied with taking her parents, they took her to detention too. They shaved her head and she screamed like hell. When I met her, her hair had not grown back to a length proper for a girl. But she did not indulge in sad stories. She was more interested in my own tragic situation. “Kakak dah kawin ke?” Girls around Robizan’s age were always so disappointed when I replied negatively to the question. To appease the dismay and to render myself a less pitiable singleton, I’d entertain them with tales of
an imaginary fiancé back home. Sometimes he’s a veterinarian, other times he’s an information technology guy. I could never get my story straight. Those who saw through my b.s. offered to set me up with their brothers/uncles/etc. The matchmaking reminded me of a “mencari jodoh” advertisement pinned on a tree near the Bank Negara KTM station. One of the lines in the ad say, “Tak kisah apa status Anda”. And I wondered if I would live to see a day when Malaysia decides “tak kisah” about the one particular status they now stamp on those without papers: “Illegal”. The regular series “Ask Lord Bobo” resumes next week. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered! 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 #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? Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!
Concert to aid unheard community
By Basil Foo
February 18 — 20, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR: A concert to aid Malaysia’s transgender community was held by the “Justice For Sisters” ( JFS) coalition at Solaris Dutamas last Saturday. “We are raising funds to pay for their legal fees and to bring together Malaysians of all backgrounds to stand against the persecution of the transgender community,” said spokesperson Angela Kuga Thas. After a concert at Central Market marked the initiative’s launch last December, this was their third concert with local musicians and artists in tow. “We want to tell people that they are normal people. If we get to know them, they are like any other family member or colleague,” said Angela. Members of Corporate Youth, one of the bands that performed, expressed similar sentiments regarding feeling s towards the transgender commuThilaga, a JFS nity. volunteer.
“I think many people are not aware of the Mak Nya h b e caus e their voices go unheard most of the time,” said 24year old drummer Hanafi. “But they are people who have feelings too,” he added. Tanesh, a graduate of Segi Colleg e and band The band Corporate Youth performing at Solaris Dutamas. vocalist, said he did some research on the subject and is glad thing frustrating. to support the cause. The plight of the transgender community “After I realised who the show was benefit- is described as a vicious cycle with many of ing, I decided this is a definitely a cool thing them realising they are different as early as to do,” he added. seven years old and attempting the transition Artists Buka Kolektif brought their own in their teens. brand of stage performance to the show and Angela explained that most of them put off expressed their support for the cause. the transition due to the environment they are An interesting performance was by Buka in. Kolektif member Sharon Chin, whose show They are then forced to leave home without involved screaming into a pillow with the finishing formal education and end up on the audience after asking them to tell her some- streets.
Part of the hardships faced by this community also stems from arrests and assaults by religious officers. “Section 66 in the Negeri Sembilan Islamic Enactment, among other sections, criminalise them. They can be fined RM1,000 and jailed after their third arrest,” said Justice For Sisters volunteer Thilaga Sulathireh. The coalition hopes to assist 15 transexuals from Seremban who are facing hefty fines. “We are seeking RM60,000 to help them fight the court cases,” said Thilaga.
February 18 — 20, 2011
Sweating off for T the Orang Asli
By Gan Pei Ling
Extraordinary People Impacting Community focuses on improving the lives of the Orang Asli.
ired of merely talking about change, a group of youths decided to take things into their own hands and got down to the ground to help the Orang Asli. Since January 2010, volunteers from Klang Valley have been going to two Orang Asli villages – Kg Jawa Kerling and Kg Hulu Tamu – in Kuala Kubu Bharu to help construct basic amenities. Jasmine Ng, a co-founder of Growing Emerging Leaders (GEL), said these trips provided the youth a glimpse into the lives of the Orang Asli. “The young people enjoyed interacting with the Orang Asli kids, one of them even brought balloons to play with them. “It also shows the Orang Asli that we care about them,” she added. Since 2006, Ng has been mentoring a group of young adults including undergraduates, educating them about the application of leadership principles in real life. “One of the issues with the education system worldwide is that we emphasise too much on skills like memorisation, but not enough on character development. Part of being a leader is learning to be considerate to others,” she explained. “In late 2009, the youths decided that they have had enough talks and hence it’s time to put their ideas into action and that’s how project EPIC was born.” EPIC or Extraordinary People Impacting Community focuses on “improving the plight of the Orang Asli”. The first project EPIC started was building a toilet Kg Jawa Kerling. During their first visit in late 2009, the urbanites were “shocked” to discover that Kg Jawa Kerling did not even have a proper toilet. “So we asked them if we could build a toilet for them. It wasn’t so much for the Orang Asli, but for their visitors,” says GEL’s co-founder John-son Oei, a graduate from Taylor’s University. The 23-year-old said that they also noticed that most of the houses in the village needed a paint job. They created an event page on Facebook to gather volunteers and over 60 people, answered their call for assistance last January. “I was quite sceptical at first on the number of volunteers we could get…but some of them even skipped
Growing Emerging Leaders aims to register two million voters.
February 18 — 20, 2011
Oei: Sceptical of number of volunteers initially.
Besides improving the lives of Orang Asli, non-profit organisation Growing emerging Leaders (GeL) is also spearheading a voter registration campaign. A non-partisan group, GeL’s target in Voice Your Choice voter registration campaign, is to register two million eligible voters. “We’re non-partisan. We believe people can decide for themselves who they want to vote for,” said Jasmine Ng, GeL co-founder. Currently, there are around four million eligible voters in the country who have yet to register to vote. Their campaign, launched last April, has attracted community and faith-based groups nationwide to join in and help register new voters. From Perlis to Johor and sarawak, the campaign has united citizens and groups that have been carrying out the initiative on their own. Collectively, they had successfully registered more than 140,000 new voters last year. Ng, a former banking consultant, said that the election Commission has been very cooperative throughout the campaign. in January, the commission has officially appointed GeL as an Assistant Registrar. The organisation can now register new voters directly. Ng explained that previously, they had to rely on assistance from political parties such as Gerakan and dAP when the election Commission was unavailable during their voter registration drives. “We had to get the voter registration forms from them and one of their representatives had to be there to sign off the forms,” she said. Although the Voice Your Choice campaign is non-partisan, many continue to associate them with political parties. “Many people equate us as being political, but it’s not the same as we
work or classes to join us,” said Oei. As for the some of the expatriate volunteers, they had heard about the toilet-building and house-painting project through Couchsurfing.org (an international travel website). since then, ePiC have moved on to bigger projects such as rebuilding homes for the Temuan tribe. “We wanted to engage the community and develop a close relationship with them,” says Oei. similarly, they put out a call for volunteers, who helped to identify the needs of the villagers during the A house, designed by EPIC, which can be built in three days. first visit. “Many Orang Asli complained about their roofs, floors or walls so we brought our contractors. After examining the houses, they identified 30 houses that needed to be rebuilt,” Oei said. subsequently, they designed a house that can be built in three days and successfully secured funds from a sponsor to build the prototype. Pak Cihong, an old Temuan, cried upon the completion of his new house. Unfortunately, he passed away due to cancer this January but both Ng and Oei were glad that they had provided him a more comfortable house to live in during the last few months of his life. Pak Cihong’s widow and son will inherit the new house and move into it a month after his passing according to the Temuan tradition. This April, GeL wants to build the remaining 29 houses for the villagers in Kampung Hulu Tamu. “A lot of people say we’re too idealistic, but we’re just putting our ideals to test,” says Oei. GeL is currently looking for sponsors to fund their second house-building project this April, interested individuals or groups can contact them at johnsonoei@dosomethinge- Ng: Trips provide youths a glimpse into the lives of pic.net. the Orang Asli.
can be politically aware yet remain independent,” John-son Oei, another co-founder of GeL, pointed out. They will continue to champion the campaign this year and are looking for interested sponsors to support it. individuals or groups interested to open a voter registration booth can also contact them at email@example.com. Apart from voter registration, Oei reveals that they are currently planning a voter education campaign as well. They are working on setting up a website which will contain our elected representatives’ relevant information to help citizens make informed decisions during the elections. “everything they should know about their parliamentarian or state assemblyperson will just be a click away,” said Oei.
AMONG the many disturbing developments and non-developments in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco, Ti Malaysia and the public are gravely concerned that the proposal for the reappointment of datuk Rajasingam as an independent director in the Port Klang Authorit y (PKA) board was rejected by the Minister of Transport even though the board had recommended his extension. Although under the Act, t h e minister has the power to appoint directors, the PKA Ad-Hoc Committee on Governance had recommended that one-third of the board members be independent directors. This practice is crucial for good governance. The PKFZ fiasco exposed serious failures in governance, with serious impact on the public and taxpayers. The recommendation for independent directors was made specifically: (1) to provide a check and balance and (2) to bring in members with the relevant competencies to help with the oversight of PKA. From my participation (by invitation) in PKA board meetings for about six months, i have observed the lively and fruitful discussions at board meetings. Rajasingam came across to me as someone who is highly competent and very knowledgeable in the affairs of the PKA and the operations of the ports. Being a past general manager of PKA, where during his tenure, PKA had operated efficiently and had accumulated a cash surplus of about RM500 million, he had shown the greatest passion and dedication to make sure things are done in good faith and in the interest of PKA. Therefore, it is a great disap-
Independent Directors for PKA
pointment that his term was not extended. What message is the Ministry conveying to the public in its commitment to improve governance at PKA? Currently, apart from reports filed by PKA with the MACC and Police, there are several civil suits filed against some parties implicated in the PKFZ fiasco. Our greatest concerns are: (1)Whether the required number of independent directors will be appointed. These new appointees must be people who act without fear or favour and in the public interest. (2) Whether the reconstituted PKA board will be as diligent to safeguard the interests of PKA and to ensure that the current suits are pursued to the logical conclusion. (3) Whether in the course of time when more evidence surfaces, the board will be able to act independently to bring wrongdoers to book. (4) Whether the previous members of PKA Board will be held accountable if found to have failed in discharging their fiduciary duty. There are many important lessons to be learnt from the mismanagement of PKFZ and we must ensure the remedial measures put in place to improve governance in the public interest are not compromised or reversed for political convenience. Removing or not reappointing persons of good faith such as Rajasingam and perhaps datuk Lee Hwa Beng when his chairmanship comes up for renewal, would be retrogressive and deplorable. Datuk Paul Low President, Transparency International (Malaysia)
18 February 18 — 20, 2011
The quest for great Malaysian cuisine is a never-ending one. LIN ZHENYUAN braves the traffic to Puchong for its famous yong tau fu.
Step on the gas for Puchong yong tau fu
rankly, Puchong isn’t much to look at unless you are staying there. It used to be a sprawling landscape of tin mines but time and progress have changed everything. There are now more housing estates than you care to count. The toll plaza and traffic jams will deter any outsider without a specific agenda from visiting the place. But one thing is sure, the Puchong yong tau fu is as good today as it was years ago. It rivals the much-praised Ampang yong tau fu, which now has branches across the Klang Valley. The same goes for the Puchong yong tau fu, or so I was told. There may be various branches of self-proclaimed “Puchong yong tau fu” elsewhere, but the “original”, or “ori” – the slang word used by some people – is located at Batu 14, Jalan Besar, Kampung Baru Puchong. Look for Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Han Ming and the yong tau fu restaurant is directly opposite it. The school is a landmark you don’t want to forget, otherwise you will end up like me, walking boldly into a eatery nearby to ask for yong tau fu and finding none. The bewildered owner knew I wasn’t meant to be his customer so he graciously told me the yong tau fu restaurant is another 100 metres away. Even though yong tau fu is a subjective food item, quality YTF (yong tau fu) is easily recognisable by the size of the crowds at an outlet. I am not a yong tau fu fanatic but I will yield to the majority’s choice whenever I am outvoted by more than three people or vetoed by the chief financier. What’s unique about the Puchong yong tau fu The big sign that says you are at the right place. is that it’s freshly prepared. That means you pick your selection of vegetables or tau fu and the fish Be sure of what you want from the paste will be stuffed in just before long list of yong tau fu items. Many boiling or frying. customers, including yours truly, have Oily stuff always tastes better, as the food connoisseurs will tell you. unintentionally gone overboard and If you are the type who counts caloordered more than necessary.” ries and who is timid about how your heart reacts to food, stop reading this and go and watch TV. If you do not want rice to go with the long list of yong tau fu items. Anyway, yong tau fu is a fairly the yong tau fu, dry pan mee is an Many customers, including yours healthy type of food as far as Chi- option. It is sold at a separate stall. I truly, have unintentionally gone nese cuisine is concerned. don’t think it belongs to the same overboard and ordered more than The tables at the Puchong yong establishment. necessary. tau fu restaurant are usually full durA young woman who looks Thai When the dulang-sized bowl ing weekends. So if you can, go runs the pan mee stall. Her dry pan comes with the yong tau fu floating during weekdays, otherwise you will mee actually tastes quite good and happily on the sea of soup, your end up standing, scanning for an it blends in well with the yong tau gastronomical courage will make a empty table and receiving pitiful fu. quick exit. glances. Be sure of what you want from That is why I always have a stain-
less steel tiffin carrier in my car boot. I have used it on numerous occasions and on my very first to this particular yong tau fu restaurant, I used it. On a scale of one to 10, the Puchong yong tau fu scores an eight. The Ampang yong tau fu gets a seven from me. There are some people who say that both the Ampang and the Puchong yong tau fu are over-rated. If you haven’t had the Puchong yong tau fu, you should give it a try. There’s nothing like an unhurried meal in the middle of nowhere and sometimes it looks as if a thunderstorm is around the corner. You can easily work up a bill in excess of RM40 at the Puchong yong tau fu restaurant, if you come with
a party of four. But what are four red notes. Think of the amount you have to pay at one of those fancy foreign restaurants at an upmarket shopping complex. Don’t forget to order a pot of hot Chinese tea. It helps with digestion and you won’t feel so greasy or full as you waddle your full belly out of the restaurant and towards your car. Did I mention that there’s hardly any parking space during weekends? You may have to park along one of the tiny side lanes but that’s the price you have to pay for good yong tau fu. C’est la vie, bon appétit and have a great Malaysian meal. By the way, the GPS co-ordinates for the Puchong yong tau fu restaurant is N02 59.729 E101 37.435
That’s what you come for – great yong tau fu.
The dry pan mee goes down well with the yong tau fu.
by Fadzlishah Johanabas
February 18 — 20, 2011
very family has their own secrets. Mine is no exception. Earlier this morning Daddy received a phone call that sent him into the dining room where we were having our breakfast. “It’s time,” he said. And now we’re two states away, with Daddy parking the car beside Uncle Jamil’s in front of his parents’ estate. From the number of cars and motorcycles crammed in the big yard, almost every one – if not all – is here. We burst out of the car before Daddy even turns off the ignition. Mama carries my youngest brother. He’s too young to walk without falling, much less to know what’s going on, but our excitement seems to have caught on him. He’s wide awake and jumping in Mama’s arms. My grandparents’ house is big, filled with antique furniture that Mama tries so hard to prevent us from touching or knocking over every time we come to visit. But Mama is a grown-up. She doesn’t understand the grand adventures my cousins and I have up and down the stairs, in and out of the many rooms, and up and around the four shady rambutan trees in the backyard. Even with the whole family crowding the hall, the house is quiet. I see Uncle Jamil’s children and I go to them while Daddy and Mama settle down at another corner, my sister trailing them. I don’t see my grandparents, but I think they must be in the middle of the room. “What’s happening?” I ask Cousin Asri. “Nothing the past hour we’ve been here.” My taller cousin rolls his eyes. “It’s boring.” “Shh,” says Uncle Jamil. His eyes
are stern. From somewhere beyond the wall of uncles and aunts comes a weak squawk. After a collective gasp, I see everyone looking up. I follow their gaze. The crystal chandelier hanging from the high ceiling is glowing red, except that light is not coming out of it, but from underneath. A small bird is flying in a slow circle. It looks wrong, not like the beautiful bird I remember. The crimson feathers have lost their sheen, the gold beak lacks its usual luster. I feel a lump forming in my throat when I look at its eyes. The bird is saying goodbye to us. =“Fly, Garuda, your final flight,” comes Grandfather’s voice. At first I don’t understand what’s going on, but looking at Daddy standing across the room, I remember the story he told my little sister and me when we first saw the bird years ago. Garuda is a special bird, a secret I can never tell anyone, not even my best friend Kit Wan. It has been looking after my family for generations, when Grandfather’s grandfather was young. I remember telling Daddy it’s impossible, but he said that this is Garuda’s eighth incarnation. I still don’t understand what that means. The bird flies toward us and hovers over Uncle Jamil’s head. I see everyone nodding, as if agreeing with a well-chosen decision. Uncle Jamil is smiling. It feels wrong, somehow, to see him happy when the bird is giving off such a sad feeling. The bird sighs. I sigh with it. With gentle flaps of red wings, it floats down to land. Not on Uncle Jamil, but into my arms. I hear everyone gasping aloud. I see them clearing a circle around me, but right now I don’t care. I stroke
Garuda’s little body. It feels light and soft. And warm. Tears start to drop on its belly. I’m crying and I don’t know why. “Put it down, Khir,” says Grandfather, his tone gentle. I ease the bird onto the marble floor and sit in front of it. Garuda squawks at me and lifts its head. It sighs again, before going limp and lifeless. I cry out and reach for it, but it suddenly bursts into flames, gold and red. It feels warm, but not scalding like fire on a stove. I hear Mama crying out, but I reach out anyway. The fire tickles my skin. It feels like clothing fresh out of the dryer. I touch Garuda’s burning beak and gasp not in pain, but in surprise. The bird crumbles into ash, and in the middle is a gold egg slightly smaller than chicken egg. “Garuda has chosen you, Grandson, to be its next keeper.” I look up and see Grandfather smiling at me. Daddy too. Mama looks worried, though. “The egg feels warm.” “When it hatches, Garuda will be reborn the ninth time. Whomever it chooses is destined for greatness. I hope I’ll live long enough to see you achieve it.” Grandfather chuckles, and the whole family laughs with him. Except for Uncle Jamil, although I can’t understand why. “Guard our secret well, and Garuda will watch over you and your family, Khir.” I cup the egg with both hands close to my heart. I feel a quiver, a pulse, matching my heart. I don’t understand much of what Grandfather has just said, but I know this much is true: I will have a lifelong friend, and no matter how dark things can get, there will always be light.
Take 5 minutes to fill this form up and drop it off at the nearest police station to have regular checks at your house while you are away. Ibu pejabat polIs Daerah subang jaya
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: ..............................................................................................
RM42k for eight NGOs
by William Tan
PETALING JAYA: A total of RM42,500 in aid was handed out to eight needy organisations during Chinese New Year celebrations in Section 17 last Saturday. The allocations, from Petaling Jaya councillor Tang Fuie Koh and Bukit Gasing Assemblyperson Edward Lee’s allocation budgets, were given to resident associations, charities, a temple and school. “I’m happy that we got the funds as quickly as we did” said 41-yearold Lim Chee Pang. The treasurer of SJK © Yuk Chun Building Fund, said the RM 12,500 received will go towards building new classrooms for the local Chinese school. He said the school still needed to raise RM1million but he said the contribution from the local leaders was a step in the right direction. Lim added that he was positive that their fund raising which started in October will reach its targets to help the school.
Lee (fourth from the left), Haniza and Hee with leaders of eight NGOs who received a total of RM42,500 during the Chinese New Year open house in S17 last Saturday.
Reverend Sek Chan Wen of the Yuan Lin Xiao Zhot Buddhist Temple Fund was also thankful for receiving the financial aid so quickly. “The RM 3,000 will be used for general purposes such as food, repairs and printing,” he said. Yap Kian Kong from the Bandar Lama Petaling Jaya resident association also received RM6,000
on behalf of the association. Yap, who is also the president of his resident association, said the funds will be used to hold events such as cultural festivals in his area. The event was also jointly org anise d by Taman Me dan assemblyperson Haniza Mohamed Talha and PJ Selatan member of Parliament Hee Loy Sian.
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
20 February 18 — 20, 2011
By Edwin Yapp
he idiot box has come a long way since it was invented close to a hundred years ago. For a long time, the use of the cathode ray tube (CRT) was the only way to receive TV broadcast signals and project images of moving pictures on a screen. But some 15 years ago, alternate technologies besides the CRT started coming to the fore, namely plasma TVs and more recently, LCD TVs.
So what’s the difference? Plasma and LCD are two competing technologies that produce images that have very similar characteristics. Plasma screen uses a matrix of tiny gas (Xenon and Neon) cells charged by electrical voltages to create a plasma which then excites phosphors to emit light and display images. LCD display, on the other hand, is made of liquid crystals sandwiched between two glass plates illuminated by a backlight. Images are created when electrical signals are varied through the crystals thus either blocking the light from shining or allowing it to pass through. Both are bright, crystal clear and brilliant in colour presentation. So if that’s the case, which do you choose? Generally speaking, LCDs are cheaper than Plasmas if they are 36-inch and below. As the size of the screen increases, Plasma TVs become more economical. Plasmas are favoured because they have a very high contrast ratio compared to that of LCDs. The contrast ratio is a measure of the blackest black against the whitest white. This is because of the fact that in a LCD display, the crystal cannot fully block the backlight resulting in some light leakages through the pixels, while in a plasma TV, individual cells are either lighted or blackened. A good contrast ratio increases the amount of detail you can see in the shadows thereby making the picture look more three-dimensional. This is where it becomes quite subjective as some people can spot the difference, while others cannot. However, LCDs are brighter in presentation and can be a plus point if you are viewing under bright lights. Plasmas vs LCDs Plasmas are also cited for their superior fast moving playback capabilities. Because of its high contrast levels, plasma produces brilliant images from video sources such as sports and action movies, as well as console games. LCDs are somewhat more prone to a phenomenon known as “trailing/blurring,” where individual pixels seem to be out of step and
The dawn of flat screen television
“trail” from what is shown on the screen, but of late, blurring in LCDs are not that observable anymore due to better technology. Of late, LCD TVs have caught up and higher end models have technologies that can deal with this blurring of fast moving images. An oft-cited comparison between Plasmas and LCDs is that plasmas do not last as long as LCD TVs due to their active illumination of individual cells while LCDs do not have this limitation because only crystals are used to filter light through. This used to be true up to a few years ago when plasmas used to lose half of their brightness after more than 20,000 hours of viewing but they have since greatly improved. Today, some claim plasmas can work up to 60,000 hours before losing their brightness. This equates to about 20 years of TV viewing at 8 hours per day. Plasmas do consume more energy than LCDs although manufacturers have made great improvements in this area also in the last year or so. LCD vs LEDs? With the introduction of LED TVs in the last year or so, there has been much confusion over the battle between these two technologies, but in actual fact, the two can be quite easily distinguished once the marketing hype and speak are stripped away. The first thing to note about the term LEDs is that it’s a misnomer. When vendors and advertisers use the term LED TV, it conjures images that it’s a new kind of TV powered by a new kind of technology, which is not actually quite true. To understand this clearly, we have to go back one step to consider how LCD TVs work. As mentioned earlier, LCD TVs have liquid crystals sandwiched between two glass plates illuminated by a backlight. The source of the backlight of an LCD TV is usually in the form of cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). In LED TVs, the source of that backlight is in the form of light emitting diodes (LEDs), a new kind of light source that uses less power and which are very much thinner and smaller than CCFLs. Thus, an LED TV is nothing more than an LCD TV pow-
LED TV has been much confusion over the battle between two technologies,
LED TV is nothing more than an LCD TV powered by LEDs backlight instead of CCFLs. The underlying technology of the LCD TV is essentially the same. To avoid confusion, think of an LED TV as an LEDbacklit LCD TV.”
ered by LEDs backlight instead of CCFLs. The underlying technology of the LCD TV is essentially the same. To avoid confusion, think of an LED TV as an LED-backlit LCD TV. That said, LED TVs do have their advantages over older LCD TVs. First up, LED TVs use less power by virtue of its more efficient lighting. At the same time, the brightness is not compromised, as LED TVs are much brighter than conventional LCD TVs. Because they are smaller than CCFLs, LED TVs are markedly thinner than LCD TVs, which make them more ascetically pleasing to look at. LED TVs also have better contrast ratios, a measure of the blackest black against the whitest white, which make the picture more realistic looking. LED TVs also have better viewing angles and this is especially true viewing from off centre and they also last longer thanks to LED backlight technology. Next issue, we shall examine some other details of the modern flat screen TV, namely trying to understand what high definition video is all about and finally drill down details of what kind of flat screen TVs you should consider.see in movies.
Plasmas have a very high contrast ratio compared to that of LCDs.
Mo receives the mock key to her brand new Toyota Vios from Lim (middle, with tie) at an outlet in Seremban last month.
Media 21 Ajmal creates new perfume for celebrity couple
February 18 — 20, 2011
Mo joy for accountant
SEREMBAN: The Year of the Rabbit hopped in to an auspicious start for 49-year-old Mo Mun Ying, who was chosen as the grand prize winner of Da Ma Cai’s Drive a Toyota Vios in 2011 contest. Mo’s entry form was selected in a lucky draw out of a total of 2.2 million entries that were submitted nationwide during the month of December last year. The accountant received the amazing prize of a Toyota Vios 1.5J (AT) worth RM78,000 at a prize-giving ceremony at the Da Ma Cai outlet in Jalan Nunis, Seremban, where the winning ticket was purchased. Andy Lim, general manager, NFO, Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn Bhd presented her with the keys to her brand new car. Lim said: “We are happy to be able to make Chinese New Year all the more memorable for our loyal customers” A resident of Taman Bukit Galena, Seremban, Mo had a shock when she received a phone call from Da Ma Cai informing her that she had won the contest. Mo said: “This is the first time I have ever won anything and I was in such disbelief when they called to tell me, I had to ask them to repeat themselves many times. My colleagues at work have now started calling me Lucky Star for winning the grand prize.” During the ceremony Lim also presented a cheque for RM5,000 to Lai Kim Tin, the sales operator from whom Mo purchased her ticket. Additionally, as consolation prizes, 20 shopping vouchers worth RM500 each were awarded to the first 20 names drawn from the pool of entries before the grand prize.
SHAH ALAM: Love was definitely in tive director and renowned perfumist the air for celebrity television host and Abdulla Ajmal. personality Soo Kui Jien when he was Based on their individual personalities, invited to create a one-of-kind, exclusive Abdulla suggested a blend of ingredients fragrance perfume for the love of his life, to make the base, middle and top notes of celebrity Channel [V] VJ, Sarah Tan, at the perfume. the Ajmal Perfumes Store located in the Jien selected three simple ingredients Pavilion Shopping Centre last week. - Jasmine, Musk and Citrus Fresh - which “They say the best gifts anyone can get was diluted with another diluting liquid are gifts that come straight from the heart. called Floral Fresh. I chose to create a special fragrance, which “When selecting ingredients, it’s best perfectly captures the essence of my wife, to keep simple. It’s important to not comSarah. plicate the smell. Jien shared that Sarah “I could not have thought of a better and himself are simple people who like gift than the ‘My Inspiration’ perfume that simple things. I created at Ajmal,” said Soo, who is more He also wanted something light and popularly known as ‘Jien’. fresh for Sarah as she was into light fraA great gifting idea, Ajmal’s ‘My Inspi- grances. That is why we suggested Jasmine ration’ Perfume allows the creator to not to be one of the ingredients,” said Abonly capture magical dulla. memories in a bottle, but Introduced to reflect also to relive it over and Ajmal’s brand philosophy over again. – Creating Memories – For the inexperienced the ‘My Inspiration’ retail perfumist, the process of concept is one of Ajmal’s creating a fragrance from innovative concepts scratch can be a mindwhich have been introspinning experience; but duced to all their stores it is definitely one that is located worldwide; inwell-worth the effort and cluding Malaysia. time in the end. The Ajmal Perfumes To help him start off store in Malaysia is the the creation process of a 135th outlet worldwide perfect Valentine’s gift, and the first one outside Abdulla: Jasmine is one of Jien sought the help of the ingredients. of Middle East and the Ajmal Perfumes execuGCC.
DAP Selangor wishes
Sdr. Kit Siang
on the occasion of his 70th birthday
A dinner will be held to celebrate the occasion at Shah Alam Convention Centre on 27th Feb (7.30 pm). Those interested please contact Mary Joseph at 016-291 3453 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 18 — 20, 2011 Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and state executive councillors “lou sang” during the state’s Chinese New Year celebrations in Kajang last Saturday.
Reverend Sek Chan Wen of the Yuan Lin Xiao Zhot Buddhist Temple and Mohd Azwar enjoying the festivities at Seksyen 17 Chinese New Year open house last Saturday.
A rukun tetangga representative of Section 6 Petaling Jaya and Petaling Jaya City Council mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman installing a park sign while councillor Anthony Sivabalan (on wheelchair) and Selangor exco Elizabeth Wong (right) look on last Saturday.
MPSJ Local counciler Pooi Weng Keong checking a parking meter that shows “Tidak Perlu Bayar!” at Jalan USJ 8/2A on Monday.
Nurse S Anjalai of Forrest Medical Centre briefing women waiting for their mammograms last Friday. The Selangor State Government sponsors 1,000 women a year per constituency.
A girl performing an Indian folk dance during the Joy of Combined Festival organised by KRT 2 and KRT 6 at Subang Avernue on Tuesday.
FEBRUARY 18 — 20, 2011
❚ COMPILED BY ZEDECK SIEW
Celebrate unrequited love
eaturing fun and heartfelt music, The Annexe Gallery’s Torch Song Massacre concert evenings, “where we kill everyone with those oh so tragic love songs”, tend towards titillation and inclusivity. Whatever gender or kind of love you profess, you’ll be bound to come away touched. Its latest installment, “Battle of the Sexes”, is this weekend and will feature the talents of ROZZ, Elvira Arul, Liyana Fizi, Reza Salleh, Aaron Khaled, with special guest appearances by Salamiah Hassan, Junji Delfino, Ida Mariana and Nabila Nasir. I talk to Torch Song Massacre’s regular host, drag queen extraordinaire Shelah!!! about what the concert’s about, I usually what we can expect, and why we’re fighting the tell people that gender war. Shelah!!! is world we live in. She is a bringer of joy and hope and love and fabulousness, with a size-13 heel thrown in, for good measure. I usually tell people that Shelah!!! is actor/director Edwin Sumun’s altered ego. Very altered. You’ve been in most of the Torch Song Massacre gigs. Just what, exactly, is Torch Song Massacre? Isn’t it just an evening of musicians playing covers? Yes, it’s a night of cover songs — done fantastically well. But first, you must understand the term “torch song” — a sentimental love song about unrequited love that everyone can relate to — and you’ll get the idea of what this gorgeous mini-concert is all about. This edition of Massacre is a special one. We have a great bunch of performers — including living legend Salamiah Hassan, who will be one of our cameo singers. It also marks my last appearance as host of the series. Why “Battle of the Sexes” lah? Why so confrontational? As a drag queen, I’m constantly battling with my sexes! It’s quite thrilling. With the show, we’ve asked the performers to go beyond themselves, and tackle songs they would never otherwise think of doing. So, you know, it’s all self-confrontational. Knowing the boys and girls who are performing, though, they can sing anything. What does gender mean, to you? Gender? Isn’t that a kind of goose? Which fellow Torch Song Massacre performer are you looking forward to sharing the stage with, the most? Well, seeing as this may be the last time I host it, I’m looking forward most to sharing the stage with our audience. Yes, I’m very Miss World that way. It is fabulous to be on stage with all these talented performers — but, for me, it’s the people who come to watch us that makes me click my heels with joy. Torch Song Massacre — Battle of the Sexes! happens 17 — 20 February 2011. RM45; 03-2070 1137; www.annexegallery.com.
actor/director Edwin Sumun’s altered ego. Very altered.”
Describe yourself. Shelah!!! is everything you know that is good and fabulous with this
Arts Festival Map KL @ Publika 19 — 27 February 2011 admission variable 03-6207 9732 www.mapkl.org
The week-long LiFest wants to be everything. It’s billed as a “festival celebrating Art, Photography, Music, Culture and Fashion”; it’s got an exhibition, talks, dances, concerts, book launches, and a “Special Circus Act”. Feeling tired, yet? Well, all this fanfare is for a good cause — the Yayasan Orang Kurang Upaya Kelantan (YOKUK): a non-profit committed to improving the quality of life of Kelantan’s disabled. Proceeds of LiFest’s art exhibition, featuring work by Alife Omar, Azli Wahid, Daud Rahim, Husin Hourmain, Najib Ahmad, Rafiee Ghani, and many others, will be donated to the foundation to help fund its efforts. Other highlights of the festival include “The Party and the Feasting”, a talk by academic Eddin Khoo with accompanying Mak Yong performance; “Keep it Short, Stupid”, a programme of short film curated by Amir Muhammad and Azharr Rudin; the launch of Readings from Readings, edited by Bernice Chauly and Sharon Bakar; and “The Secret Garden”, a true-blue “classy ballroom dance event”.
Life sdn Bhd 6: ABUse
Theatre Performance; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10; 22 — 27 February 2011; RM33; 03-2142 2009; www.theactorsstudio.com.my The Actors Studio’s Life series began in 2004; it’s confessional theatre, featuring performers delivering true stories about Big Subjects like cancer and HIV. This year, the tearjerker platform tackles an equally painful subject: “almost every day we read or hear about sad, gory, despicable stories of abuse relating mainly to humans but also to animals.” Ouch!
terima Kasih Cinta
Musical; Istana Budaya; Tomorrow — 6 March 2011; RM30; 03-4026 5555; www.istanabudaya.gov.my 2006’s Cinta, directed by Kabir Bhatia, was a Love Actually clone: five intertwined love stories set in contemporary Kuala Lumpur. Now, that set-up gets a stage adaptation with Terima Kasih Cinta, a musical based on the sappy movie. Directed by Pat Ibrahim — a veteran of the genre, having previously worked on Puteri Gunung The Musical and P Ramlee The Musical — this looks to be promising. Featuring the talents of Latif Ibrahim, Tony Eusoff, Norish Karman, Vince Chong, and Nadia Aqilah (among others) singing over 20 “carefully selected hit songs”.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Setia Eco Park ushers in the year of the Rabbit with the launch of Phase 10B a series of luxury Semi-Ds and Bungalows.
To commemorate this auspicious occasion, all Setia Eco Park home buyers during the month of February 2011 will enjoy an attractive CNY angpow package of RM100,000 furnishing cost*.
Gated & Guarded
Mere minutes from the landscaped pathway that leads directly to the Tenby International & Private Schools, Phase 10B is the ultimate enclave for learning, for love and for laughter.
Solar Heating System
Rainwater Harvesting System
Exclusive Residents’ Clubhouse
Bungalow - Helenus 2
For more information, please call
Semi-D - Phoenix 2
For our location, please log on to www.spsetia.com.my/setia_eco_park Our sales office opens daily, including public holidays, from 10 a.m to 6 p.m
Bandar Eco-Setia Sdn Bhd (566138-A) 5A Jalan Setia Nusantara U13/17, Seksyen U13, Setia Eco Park, 40170 Shah Alam, Selangor DE, Malaysia T. +603 3343 2228 F. +603 3343 7228 E. email@example.com
Developer License No.: 9586-11/11-2013/1284 • Validity Period: 10/11/2010 – 09/11/2013 • Advertising & Sales Permit No.: 9586-11/2259/2011(11) • Validity Period: 18/11/2010 – 17/11/2011 • Land Tenure: Freehold • Land Encumbrances: OCBC Bank (M) Berhad • Approving Authority: Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA) • Reference No.: MBSA/BGN/BB/600-1(PB)/SEK.U13/0247-2008, MBSA/BGN/BB/600-1(PB)/SEK.U13/0330-2009, MBSA/BGN/BB/600-1(PB)/SEK.U13/0223-2008, MBSA/BGN/BB/600-1(PB)/SEK.U13/0256-2008, MBSA/BGN/BB/600-1(PB)/SEK.U13/0222-2008 • Completion Date: Dec 2012 • Total Units: Semi-D - 78 units / Bungalow - 33 units • Min Price: Semi-D – RM2,127,000 / Bungalow – RM3,146,800 • Max Price: Semi-D – RM2,853,300 / Bungalow – RM4,725,700 • Terms and Conditions apply.
Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
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