community March 18 — 20, 2011/ issue 16

Greater
transparency
with FOI bill
From
communities
to ghettos
p 4
p
12-13
mrt project:
residents
disappointed
p 8
• Turn To page 6
By Gan Pei Ling
suBang jaYa: Tere are
flms, literature and even songs
dedicated to the old saying of “dog
eat dog”, but in an innovative
swoop by a local municipal coun-
cil, the “dog” will soon be replaced
by a mosquito.
In a pilot project to be under-
taken soon between the Subang Jaya
Municipal Council (MPSJ), Uni-
versiti Sains Malaysia and CIMB
Bank Bhd, mosquito larvae will
soon be used to combat dengue.
Te larvae of the Toxorchynchites
Mosquitoe, which preys on other
species of mosquito larvae, will soon
be employed to reduce the dengue
threat. 
Te pilot project to release the
“mosquito eater” to reduce Aedes
mosquitoes is being carried out by
the MPSJ. 
A Toxorhynchites larvae can eat
up to 158 to 400 Aedes larvae
during its lifetime, said  USM
representatives during a briefing
with  MPSJ ofcials on March 11. 
Unlike other mosquitoes, adult
Toxorhynchites mosquitoes do not
feed on human blood but nectar.
Te local council is working to-
gether with the university on a pilot
project to release Toxorhynchites
mosquitoes at an abandoned area in
USJ 1 to see if it can reduce the
population of Aedes mosquitoes
efectively.
Asked whether the release of the
mosquitoes would disturb ecosystems,
USM science ofcer Adanan Che Rus
said it would not as Toxorhynchites
mosquitoes is a natural specie.
Tis project between MPSJ and
USM, which cost RM60,000, is
fully sponsored by CIMB Bank.
If the trial is successful, the local
council plans to apply the method to
other areas within its municipality.
However, Adanan also pointed
out that Toxorhynchites mosquitoes
can only thrive in areas with vegeta-
tion, so the method cannot be used
in fats and apartments.
“Tis is only one of the tools to
help curb the spread of dengue,” said
Adanan.
He said they will begin the trial
this month by monitoring the Aedes
mosquito population at the aban-
doned area in USJ 1.
Later, they will release around
600 Toxorhynchites mosquitoes in
the area, with 100 males and 100
females in each batch.
Te entire trial will take around
six months to complete.
Adanan, who visited Subang Jaya
in January to identify suitable loca-
tions to conduct the trial, said the
area in USJ 1 was chosen because it
MPSJ to unleash
“mosquito eater”
reaDY To HIT THe SKIeS:
Workers preparing to launch a hot
air baloon in the shape of “Star
Wars” character Darth Vader
during the putrajaya International
Hot air Ballon Fiesta yesterday.
– Picture by Victor Chong
2 March 18 — 20, 2011
news
phone (603) 5523 2288
fax (603) 5523 1188
email editor@selangortimes.com
EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR KL Chan
COMMUNITY EDITOR Neville Spykerman
WRITERS Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, Basil
Foo, Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan
COPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang
DESIGNERS Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
PHOTOGRAPHER Victor Chong
ADVERTISING Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi
ADVISORS Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
Pillars of one of the buildings in Taman Jasmine visibly eroding.
Morning
Friday Saturday Sunday
afternoon
night
Selangor WeaTHer
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: A movement to convince Petaling Jaya
residents to grow their own organic produce and to enjoy the
fruits of their labour is slowly gaining popularity, thanks to the
support of the city council here.
“Te movement to grow our own high quality vegetables
without chemicals is moving slowly but surely,” said Petaling
Jaya City Council (MBPJ) planning and development director
Norani Roslan.
Norani said among the benefts of going green is waste
reduction at home, as it is recycled for growing organic produce.
She said the MBPJ would promote greater awareness of
going green by holding an Organic Day on March 26 at SS2/63
with Centre for Environment, Technology and Development,
Malaysia (Cetdem).
Cetdem is a non-government organisation that champions
sustainable development and “environmental friendly” practices
like organic farming and energy conservation.
“We will conduct classes on recycling waste products, like
turning cooking oil into bio-diesel and kitchen waste into
compost. We will also hold cooking classes on the preparation
of organic produce,” said Cetdem programme coordinator Tan
Siew Luang.
Tan, who is promoting Organic Day, said they were
encouraging the production of locally grown organic products
as the country was losing out to imported ingredients.
Te movement has the support of residents’ associations
(RAs) in Petaling Jaya.
Betty Chuah and Lee Kwee Cheng, of RA SS2 South and
RT SS2 respectively, said housewives in their areas had started
organic farming on their premises.
“Tey all tell me their papayas are sweeter, the fruits bigger
and say that they enjoy eating their own produce,” said Lee.
Councillor Richard Yeoh said the practice of locally growing
produce was a step in the right direction to reduce climate
change.
“Transporting food across the world is contributing to
climate change. If we can spread the practice of growing produce
in our own backyards, it will make this world a better place,”
he said.
Green thumbs
and good food
Selangor offers
nursing aid to Japan
SHAH ALAM: Selangor Menteri
Besar led a delegation to convey the
state’s condolences to the Japan Embassy
over the loss of lives and properties
following the earthquake and tsunami
disasters following the devastating
tsunami which hit the country last
Friday.
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was received
by the embassy’s deputy chef-de-mis-
sion, Koichi Ito on Monday. In the
meeting, Khalid told Koichi that the
state and its people will continue to pray
for the Japan to overcome the hardship
that the country is facing.
He also ofered to send nurses’ ser-
vices to treat the victims of earthquake
and tsunami during the rehabilitation
period, adding that the state’s Selangor
International Islamic College (KUIS)
nursing school will have the capacity to
provide aid.
He said the state will not hesitate to
fnance the dispatch of nurses to help
Japanese patients.  
“Tis may not be much, but we are
willing to provide help within our ca-
pacity. We continue to pray for the
people of Japan and for the country’s
speedy recovery. We believe Japan will
be able to recover quickly as they have
in the past,” said Khalid.
He also extended the condolences
from Dewan Rakyat opposition leader
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is also
the state economic adviser.
Meanwhile, Koichi said Japan
thanked Selangor and Malaysia for
their thoughts, prayers and ofers to
help.
“Teir voice of concern is valuable to
us.  We are confdent of overcoming this
disaster. The Japanese government
highly appreciates the solidarity shown
by the Selangor government and the
people of Malaysia,” he said.
Koichi said he would refer Selan-
gor’s ofer of help to his government in
Tokyo.
Khalid was accompanied by Selan-
gor Exco members Elizabeth Wong,
Rodziah Ismail and Ronnie Liu, as well
as Pakatan Rakyat members of Parlia-
ment, including Datuk Kamarul Baha-
rin Abbas (Teluk Kemang), Tian Chua
(Batu), Nurul Izzah Anwar (Lembah
Pantai), Dr Dzulkefy Ahmad, (Kuala
Selangor) Loh Gwo Burne (Kelana
Jaya), William Leong (Selayang), Aziz
Kadir (Ketereh), Amran Ghani (Tanah
Merah) and Rashid Din (Merbok),
and KUIS’ Dean of the Nursing
School, Dayang Annie Abang Naru-
din.
To place your Advert in
Contact Timothy Loh at 019-267 4488
or Ivan Looi at 014-936 6698
By Gan Pei Ling
PORT KLANG: As if foods, stench
and robberies were not bad enough,
occupants of shoplots in Taman Jasmine
are now concerned about the safety of
their building.
Owners and tenants of two blocks
of four-storey shoplots want the Klang
Municipal Council (MPK) to act afer
noticing that the pillars of the building
looked like they were “eroding”.
MPK councillor Yeo Boon Lye, who
met the owners on Wednesday, said he
would ask the municipality to appoint
consultants to determine if the building
was safe.
Te owners also lamented that they
had to put up with calamity afer calam-
ity for far too long.
Grocery shopowner Liaw Kim Huat
told the press that they had been facing
problems of bursting sewage pipes for
the past three to four years.
“We have complained to (sewerage
company) Indah Water (Konsortium)
several times. Tey would come to fx it,
but the pipes would burst again,” said
the 53-year-old.
Apart from having to endure the
strong stink due to leaked sewage, Liaw
said his grocery shop had also been
robbed three times in the past fve years.
Fed up with calamity
Shopowners also have to put up with
frequent foods.
“Tis area can be fooded within 30
minutes of rain,” said Liaw, who has
increased the height of the barrier in
front of his front door to about a metre
to fend of foods.
The problems have caused many
shopowners to move away, causing a
sharp fall in property prices.
Liaw said he bought his ground foor
unit for RM185,000 but he could not
sell it for RM100,000 now.
Koo Soo Wah, 32, who has been
working as a mechanical technician in
Taman Jasmine for close to10 years, said
the site had also become a breeding spot
for mosquitoes due to the clogged
drains and leaked sewage.
Another landlord, Lim Poh Heong,
42, said he had lodged complaints with
the local council’s Commissioner of
Buildings since 2004, hoping they could
help address their woes but to no avail.
Yeo acknowledged that he had re-
ceived complaints from the residents.
He visited the site with ofcers from the
Public Works Department ( JKR), In-
dah Water Konsortium, Alam Flora and
three other local council departments.
Afer a preliminary survey of the site,
JKR Klang engineer Ashrul Nizam said
the structure of the shop houses did
“seem weak”.
However, he added that a more de-
tailed evaluation would have to be
conducted to determine the next course
of action.
He said the matter fell under the
local council’s jurisdiction. 
Meanwhile, Yeo suggested the land-
lords form a management council to
take charge of management afairs as the
developer was bankrupt.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ March 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ 3
4 march 18 — 20, 2011
news
EvEnts
Talk on 2D/3D animation
The Malaysian Institute of Art will hold a talk on
animation on March 23, from 3-4pm at its campus
in Taman Melawati, KL. The talk, titled Creative
Process Involved in 2D/3D Animation, will be
presented by Helena Serafn, the principal lecturer
in Creative Visualisation from Teesside University.
The talk is open to the public. Admission is free.
For registration, contact 03-2163 2337 or email
mia.ems@gmail.com.
T4YP auditions at KLPac
The KL Performing Arts Centre’s Theatre for Young
People (T4YP) programme, which was launched
three years ago, is back. KLPac will hold auditions
on March 27 for young people between the ages
of 16 and 25 to be part of the T4YP ensemble for
Season 2011, which runs from April to September.
The season will feature three main stage
productions in Pentas 2, and a two-week season
of experimental theatre in the Indicine.
Compulsory weekly rehearsals are conducted
on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
nights as well as on Saturday afternoons. For
more details, go to www.klpac.org.
Buddhism course
The Subang Jaya Buddhist Association is
conducting an introduction to Buddhism course
every Friday from 8.30-10pm at the temple at Lot
12593, Jalan Kewajipan SS 13, Subang Jaya. The
course will run for nine consecutive weeks. The
course started on Feb 25 and will end on April 22.
For details, contact Lily at 03-56348181.
Youth baking classes
The House of Bread offers baking courses for
youths who seek skills training. The training also
includes Moral and English classes. For details,
call 016-3178778 or 016-3435478.
Bonsai class
Create your own bonsai masterpiece by attending
the Malaysia Bonsai and Suiseki Society’s
series of Sunday workshops at the society’s
clubhouse at 95, Jalan Rukun 5, Taman Gembira
(Happy Garden), Kuala Lumpur. Lessons will be
conducted by experienced bonsai masters at
10am every Sunday for eight weeks. Call Ms Lim
at 012-6140379 for registration.
School holiday workshop
The Department of Extra-Mural Studies of
the Malaysian Institute of Arts (MIA) will be
holding a series of workshops during the school
holidays. They are Creative Designer Animal
Plush Sewing Workshop (March 19), Batik
Workshop for Beginners (March 20-April 10), and
Bead Jewellery Workshop (March 26).
The workshops will be held at the MIA Art Centre
on Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur (near KLCC).
More workshops such as Art Clay Silver
Workshop, Shibori Tie and Dye Workshop, and
Acoustic Guitar Workshop will be offered soon.
For registration, contact MIA Art Centre at 03-
21632337 or email mia.ems@gmail.com or log on
to MIA’s website at www.mia.edu.my.
Korean food fair
A Korean food fair will be held at Sungei Wang
Lower Ground Main Stage from today until
Sunday. The event, organised by KMT Trading
Sdn Bhd and the Street Cafe, also features the
“On Fire Ramen Challenge”, where shoppers
compete to be the frst to fnish hot and spicy
Korean ramen noodles. The contest will be held
tomorrow, on Sunday, and March 20 at 5pm.
Greater transparency
with FOI bill
By Gan Pei Ling
 
SHAH ALAM: Red tape will no
longer be an excuse to refuse the public’s
right to information if amendments to
Selangor’s Freedom of Information
(FOI) bill are accepted.
Under the amendments, civil serv-
ants in Selangor can no longer get away
with refusing to provide information.
“Te public can expect better trans-
parency and efciency in the civil ser-
vice … We also expect to receive tremen-
dous requests for information espe-
cially at the local councils and land of-
fces,” Saari Sungib (pix) told Selangor
Times.
Te chairperson of the  select com-
mittee set up by Selangor’s legislature
to examine the FOI bill said the amend-
ments will be debated by lawmakers on
March 28.
The Hulu Kelang assemblyperson
said he is not allowed to divulge details
of the amendments before the select
committee tables them at the state as-
sembly.
However, Saari assured the public
that recommendations made by the
select committee aim to make the FOI
bill as “people friendly” as possible.
“Te frst draf has been [heavily]
criticised as it creates many barriers for
the public to obtain information,” said
Saari.
For instance, the public had to give
a reason for requesting for information.
In addition, they faced a potential pen-
alty of up to RM50,000 or fve-year jail
term or both, if they were found to have
used the information for reason(s)
otherwise provided.
If nobody responded to their re-
quest for information within 30 days,
their application would simply be
deemed rejected.
“Information is not a monopoly of
the government. The government is
elected by the people and is running the
state using the people’s money … the
public has the right to know,” said Saari.
He added that the right to informa-
tion is a fundamental human right that
governments should respect and up-
hold.
During the select committee’s public
consultations last year, civil societies
pointed out that the public should not
need to provide any reason to seek in-
formation from government bodies.
Te media was also allowed to attend
public consultation sessions.
It has been reported that apart from
state departments, local councils and
government-linked companies should
be included under the jurisdiction of
the bill.
Te select committee collected feed-
back not just from law experts, but
from human rights groups, business
associations and religious groups as
well.
Te select committee also had a dia-
logue with civil servants, whose coop-
eration is crucial in implementing the
bill efectively.
When asked how the state plans to
change the public service’s widespread
culture of secrecy even if the FOI bill
was passed, Saari acknowledged that
enforcement would take time.
“During the Selcat (Select Commit-
tee on Competency, Accountability and
Transparency) hearings, public servants
were not used to being scrutinised ...
[But once they accept and get used to
it], we believe with better fow of infor-
mation, it will reduce red tape and make
their work smoother,” said Saari.
He added that the state would need
to train information ofcers to handle
the requests for information.
He estimated that it would take six
months to a year for the state to enforce
the bill.
“We hope the bill can be passed in
the upcoming sitting,” said Saari.
Te select committee will table its
recommendations to the state legisla-
ture during the sitting, which will be
held from March 28 to April 5.
Apart from Saari, the six members in
the select committee are Hannah Yeoh
(Subang Jaya), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad
(Seri Setia), Amirudin Shari (Batu
Caves), Dr Yunus Ahmad Hairi (Sija-
ngkang), Dr Karim Mansor (Tanjung
Sepat) and Shukor Idrus (Kuang).
Selangor made history when it be-
came the frst state to table the FOI bill
in July 2010.
Already, close to half of the countries
worldwide, including Asian countries
like Indonesia, Thailand and India,
have FOI laws to protect the public’s
right to access information held by
government bodies.
SHAH ALAM: Selangor state ex-
ecutive councillor for tourism, consum-
erism and environment Elizabeth
Wong has joined the chorus of leaders
who are asking the federal government
to reconsider plans to build a nuclear
power plant following nuclear blasts in
Japan.
“Within the last 24 hours, govern-
ments as diverse as Germany, Switzer-
land and the Philippines have suspend-
ed or reversed their nuclear plans. Tai-
wan has announced that it is reviewing
all of its plants in light of the Japan
disaster,” said Wong on Tuesday.
Green Technology, Energy and
Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin
said on Monday that the government
would not rush into building nuclear
plants in the country until all safety
aspects and public feedback were con-
sidered.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri
Muhyiddin was also reported on Tues-
day to be noncommittal
when asked whether Ma-
laysia intended to pro-
ceed with its plans to build
a nuclear plant.
Instead, he said, the local
agencies knew what they were do-
ing and would do their best to ensure
public safety.
“Muhyiddin’s stance is not science-
and fact-based policymaking. Approval
should not precede assessment,” said
Wong.
“At this rate, are we going to have two
nuclear plants constructed before safety
assessment has even been completed?”
she asked.
Wong urged the federal authorities
to suspend approval for nuclear power
until a transparent, independent and
credible assessment and consultation
process was completed.
“Te consideration of nuclear pow-
er must be done alongside assessment
Wong: Don’t proceed
with nuclear plant
Graphic source: sxc.hu
of our increasing capacities in the feld
of renewable energy.
“Malaysia is set to become the world’s
number three producer of solar cells,
while we have zero production capacity
for nuclear.
“Te federal government must start
incorporating logic into its energy-
planning policies,” said Wong.
5 march 18 — 20, 2011
news
By Alvin Yap
Subang jaya: Local councillors
must not be denied full impact assessment
reports on trafc and infrastructure in
order for them to  determine if develop-
ment projects are feasible.
“Tere must be no more summarising
of assessment reports,” said lawyer Gobind
Singh Deo.
Te Puchong Member of Parlianent
was responding to protests by residents
against Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s
(MPSJ) approval to convert a 0.35-hec-
tare piece of land belonging to TM Fa-
cilities into a commercial lot.
In this case, local councillors were not
furnished with complete information
before approving the project. He pointed
out that they were given a summarised
report at the end of 2008, which was too
late for them to properly vet the project.
“Short of being misled into approving
the project, they didn’t have enough time
and information to make a decision,” said
Gobind.
He said the state government should
stop the “practice” of councillors being
given “highly summarised” assessment
reports.
“I call on Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid
Ibrahim to intervene in such cases where
decisions were made without full reports,”
he added.
Gobind is representing the disgruntled
residents in USJ 6, who are concerned
about increased trafc if the nine-storey
commercial lot is built.
A traffic impact assessment (TIA)
study carried out in 2008 by consultants
hired by developer Pujannga Budiman,
who is partnering with TM facilities, said
the area around USJ 6 was “already expe-
riencing severe trafc jams”.
It further reported that trafc would
“come to a standstill” in the future if the
commercial lot was built.
“Te study suggests that presently, traf-
fc the jams are bad enough in USJ 6. How
can MPSJ give its approval for the com-
mercial lot to be built?” asked Gobind.
A trafc consultant who carried out the
study told Gobind at the appeal hearing
on March 4 that a Mass Rapid Transpor-
tation system would “hopefully” mitigate
the trafc situation afer the commercial
lot was built.
MPSJ rejected the applications to
convert the land for development at its
full board meetings in November 2005
and February 2006.
Te council later gave conditional ap-
proval to the project in 2008 but revoked
its order in 2009.
It subsequently reversed that order, a
decision that was not endorsed by the State
Planning Committee (SPC) last year.
Te case is still before the state appeal’s
board.
Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah
Yeoh, who was at the press conference,
pointed out that the municipality  was
overdeveloped.
She said two major roads – Jalan Ke-
wajipan and Jalan Tujuan – were experi-
encing trafc jams during peak hours in
the mornings and evenings.
Ad hoc planning without taking into
account trafc congestion will result in
the need to build a “mess” of fyovers,
ramps and highways, she said.
Councillors
call for
full reports
Gobind
Factory owners
want compensation
rawang: Owners of small factories and businesses
which will be relocated to make way for a highway here
want the Public Works Department ( JKR) to compen-
sate them.
Forty owners held a protest while JKR ofcers and
contractors came to inspect the site on Tuesday.
While acknowledging they only held Temporary
Occupation Licences for the land, the owners main-
tained they should be entitled to some compensation.
CW Swee, whose car workshop is among the busi-
nesses afected, said JKR should take into consideration
they had invested a lot of capital on their buildings and
contributed to the infrastructure of the area.
“We don’t object to the development, we just want
to be compensated fairly,” said Swee.
He added that their premises were worth more than
RM7mil.
JKR rejected their request for compensation at a
meeting last week.
Te owners were shocked when they frst received
the eviction notice early this year, asking them to vacate
the land within two weeks.
Tey were told to make way for a 1.6km elevated
highway connecting the Rawang toll station to Bandar
Baru Rawang to ease trafc congestion in town.
Te owners had requested an extension due to the
short notice, and authorities agreed to extend the dead-
line to March 15.
However, only a few factories have moved. Te rest
are unwilling to vacate the land until they receive com-
pensation.
Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei has been as-
sisting the owners to look for a suitable site to be relo-
cated. Afer negotiations with the district ofce and
Selayang Municipal Council, it was decided that the
factories would be relocated to Bandar Puteri.
Hannah
6 March 18 — 20, 2011
news
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School land turns into
stinking dumpsite
By Chong Loo Wah
CHERAS: A primary school
reserve land in Pandan Perdana has
been turned into a stinking illegal
dumpsite, posing health problems
to residents.
Te local council did not clear up
the debris afer demolishing a golf
driving range and restaurant at the
reserve land last November. As a
result, the site has been treated as a
garbage dump by irresponsible
business operators and residents.
“Two to three truckloads of
garbage are being dumped at the site
daily,” said Pandan Glades Rukun
Tetangga chief Terence Ee.
Ee alerted the police and Ampang
Jaya Municipal Council immediately
when he caught a lorry dumping
waste there last month.
“The local council issued a
summons to the lorry driver, but
others kept coming back,” said Ee.
Besides construction waste,
household and food waste from
restaurants was also dumped at the
site, attracting rats and insects.
Ee had complained to a MPAJ
councillor three weeks ago, after
which Alam Flora started clearing the
site, but that did not stop the dumping.
Business operator Yong Nan Lee,
45, urged the council to barricade
the place afer clearing up the site
once and for all.
He said the stink was so bad that
even closing the ofce windows did
not help.
Wanita MCA Pandan chief
Cindy Leong urged the council to
address the problem immediately at
a press conference on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, MPAJ councillor
Cheong Chye Wah sai d she
understood the residents’ woes as
she is a resident in the area as well.
She said she would ask the
council to clean up and barricade
the site as soon as possible.
SUNGAI LONG INDUSTRIES SDN BHD
Batu 11 3/4, Jalan Hulu Langat, 43100 Hulu Langat,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel : 03-90212400 (Hunting Line)
Fax : 03-90212425
Website : www.sglong-ind.com
has sufcient vegetation and is not
located near residential areas.
Commonly found in forests,
Toxorhynchites mosquitoes are much
larger than normal mosquitoes, av-
eraging 19mm in length. Tey are
also more attractive with blue or
green metallic stripes on its body,
depending on species.
Tey usually lay their four to fve
eggs at a time, white or yellowish in
colour, in tree holes, bamboo
stumps, and abandoned plastic
containers or tyres.
Adanan said Toxorhynchites mos-
quitoes adapt more slowly to urban
settlements as their eggs are less
drought-resistant than those of
Aedes mosquitoes.
MPSJ has consulted the Health
Ministry, Department of Environ-
ment and Institute for Medical Re-
search in July 2010 before embark-
ing on the trial.
Te Health Ministry had advised
the local council to inform the pub-
lic about the project and any com-
plications that may arise from it,
while the Department of Environ-
ment said it would only be involved
if the mosquitoes were “living
modified organisms” such as the
genetically modified mosquitoes
released in forests in Bentong, Pa-
hang last December.
Executive councillor for health
Dr Xavier Jayakumar was also pre-
sent at the briefng with other MPSJ
ofcers and USM representatives.
Xavier said Selangor has the
highest recorded dengue cases in the
country, and the state is working
hard to curb its spread.
Last year, 35.4% of the cases
(16,367 out of 46,171) occurred in
the state, with 45 deaths. It was a
drop from 45% (18,676 out of
41,486) of total recorded cases, with
48 deaths, in 2009.
As of March 5 this year, Selangor
has recorded 1,439 dengue cases,
with one death, according to the
Health Ministry’s latest press state-
ment.
Biological war
on mosquitoes
• From page one
Toxorhynchites larvae
(From
right) ee,
Leong,
Yong and
residents at
the illegal
dumpsite.
7 March 18 — 20, 2011
news
For some, the
waiting continues
HULU SELANGOR: Despite
pending land applications for more than
40 years, the wait is still not over for
some residents of Ulu Yam Baru New
Village.
“Tere are more than 30 applications
from this village, but they mostly come
from third-party applicants, and not the
house owners themselves,” said state
executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.
He said under a new ruling, once an
application is received, checks have to
be done on the land to identify the
residents.
Admitting that this problem afected
many new villages, he said Ulu Yam
Baru recorded the highest number of
application irregularities in Selangor.
He said previously, there had been
cases where some of the residents were
denied land titles due to deception
which resulted in third parties receiving
the titles.
“Afer checking the 30 applications,
we found only three of them had houses
built and the others were empty land,”
he said.
Te empty lands would not be given
to any applicant, but instead would be
gazetted by the state as government re-
serve land.
As some of the applicants have died,
he said the state would ensure that the
land was given to their children afer
checks had been made.
He said the costs of land titles would
depend on the leasehold.
Ulu Yam Baru village head Lai Swu
Chong said the state had given out more
than 20 titles to residents for the past
three years.
“Out of 650 houses in the village,
there are still about 50 applications
which are still being processed,” he said.
Villagers get land
titles after 40-year wait
By Basil Foo
HULU SELANGOR: Residents of Rasa New
Village, who have been living here for over 40 years,
have fnally received their land titles.
“We have been living in our home for three
generations since our grandfather’s time, but only
now did we receive the 5A form,” said resident
Liow Mei Yan.
Te 44-year-old said they applied for the title
three times before receiving the form on March 15,
which requires them to pay a premium before
receiving their title.
She said although she still needed to pay a hefy
premium of RM16,000, she was happy because she
could fnally take ownership of her residence.
Rasa village head Lim Ken Seng said the village
still had more than 80 residents who have not
received their titles, with their applications still
pending.
“Tese people have been living here for more than
40 years without receiving replies to their applications
but now we are trying to resolve the problem,” said
state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.
Ean Yong, who was at the village to hand out
the forms to residents, encouraged them to pay
their premiums promptly.
“Once they have paid their premiums, the
district ofcer will hand over the titles,” he said.
He said 13 homes had received forms for the
99-year housing title, and added that the state
would check whether the owners in the applications
corresponded with the people actually living in the
houses before awarding the titles.
Ean Yong (centre in blue) with residents of Rasa New Village holding their land title forms.
Ean Yong
(centre in
blue) with
Lai (second
from right)
checking on
the identities
of land title
applicants.
8 march 18 — 20, 2011
news
Anti-dengue campaign
gets poor response
Residents disappointed
By Gan Pei Ling
KAJANG: Close to 1,000 con-
cerned residents from Cheras and
Kajang returned home disappointed
from a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
public dialogue last Tursday night.
Residents expected to get more
detailed information about the
MRT project, but representatives
from MRT project delivery partner
Gamuda-MMC and project owner
Prasarana did not turn up.
Kajang assemblyperson Lee Kim
Sin said a general manager from
Gamuda had promised to come to
respond to the people’s queries but
cancelled at the last minute.
Not wanting to disappoint, Lee
and Kajang councillor P Narayanan
presented the limited information
they had received from the authori-
ties and attended to concerns raised.
Most of the public stayed to lis-
ten to their briefng, but almost half
of the crowd lef afer the frst dia-
logue ended.
Residents raised their concern
about land acquisition and trafc
congestion during construction.
Many also lamented a lack of de-
tailed and accurate information on
how the MRT would afect them.
“I went to the local council to get
more information during lunchtime
a week ago, but the ofcer in charge
KAJANG: Apprehension at the possibility
of losing their homes to the Mass Rapid Tran-
sit (MRT) project is growing among residents
in the municipality.
Homeowners with properties along  Batu
9 and Batu 10 Cheras as well as Kampung
Sungai Balak, who are most at risk of land
acquisition, expressed their fears at the town
hall meeting last Tursday. 
“Tey’ve already taken some of our land for
the Cheras-Kajang [Expressway], now they
want to take our homes too,” lamented a civil
servant who declined to be named.
Te 55-year-old, a long-time resident of Ta-
man Sri Raya, said he had been looking forward
to retiring in peace afer having completed his
home-loan repayments a few years ago.
“Now I’ll probably have to buy a new house
[and service a loan] again,” he said.
Other residential areas in Batu 9 Cheras
likely to be afected by land acquisition in-
clude Taman Suntex and Kampung Sungai
Raya.
Further down the proposed MRT line,
owners of Malay reserve land in  Kampung
Sungai Balak Balak may have their land taken
away for the third time in a decade.
Te villagers had to give up some of their
land for the Cheras-Kajang Expressway in
2000 and the Silk Highway six years later. Tis
time around, it would be for the proposed
25-hectare MRT depot.
Kampung Sungai Sekamat, which is also
on Malay reserve land, is likely to be afected
by land acquisition for the MRT line as well.
Residential areas aside, 39 shopowners on
Jalan Besar in Kajang town have also received
preliminary acquisition notices. But they
raised their objection with the local council
in a meeting on March 1.
Tey have proposed an alternative route
for the MRT line as they said the current
alignment would worsen trafc congestion,
afect local businesses, and diminish the his-
tory of Kajang town. Many of the shops have
been there since before Independence.
Kajang councillor P Narayanan urged resi-
dents from these areas to check with the au-
thorities for more information on how the
MRT line would afect them.
Open tender for construction work on the
MRT project is likely to be called next month
and land acquisition is expected to take place
in May and June.
Te government targets to start construc-
tion in July and complete it in 2016.
By Chong Loo Wah
serdANG: Municipality ofc-
ers armed to combat the spread of
dengue were lef disappointed by
the poor public response to their
campaign in Sri Kembanagan last
Sunday.
Te ofcers, from the Subang
Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ)
health and urban services depart-
ment, had  arrived early at the
playground in Pusat Bandar Putra
Permai, but few residents turned
up afer an hour.
MPSJ health director Dr Roslan
Mohamed Hussin said four dengue
cases were reported in the area so
far this year, and it was the residents
themselves who had asked for the
anti-dengue campaign.
Tey had planned to distribute
insecticide to residents besides
briefng them on the ways to re-
duce the breeding areas for Aedes
mosquitoes.
But as it turned out, there were
more ofcers than residents at the
event.
Te area’s residents’ association
head, John Lim, attributed the
poor turnout to lack of publicity.
Despite the setback, Roslan
said MPSJ was planning a series of
anti-dengue programmes, includ-
ing distributing dengue-preven-
tion information fyers, holding
gotong-royong activities, and car-
rying out mosquito fogging in the
municipality.
Property owners living in fear of land acquisition
John Lim
(second
from left)
pouring
anti-dengue
solution
into a
container.
Residents at the dialogue to discuss the MRT project.
Inset: Kajang assemblyperson Lee Kim Sin.
wasn’t there,” Rosalind Ng, 64, told
Selangor Times.
Te MRT public display at seven
locations, including the Kajang
Municipal Council, is only available
during ofce hours from Feb 14 to
May 14.
Ng operates a clinic on Jalan Su-
laiman in Kajang town, close to Jalan
Besar, where 39 shopowners have
been notifed their lands are likely to
have to make way for the MRT line.
“My father opened the clinic
during Independence time,” said
Ng, who wanted to make sure that
her clinic would not be afected by
the MRT line.
She was given a fright when the
ofcer in charge at the MRT display
at the local council confused her
land lot number and wrongly in-
formed her that her clinic would be
afected.
Te ofcer also told her to at-
tend the public dialogue to get
more information. Ng said she tried
to email her feedback and query to
feedback@kvmrt.com.my but had
not received any response.
Meanwhile, Kajang assembly-
person Lee Kim Sin said Prasarana
or Gamuda-MMC would be hold-
ing a briefng on the MRT for all
elected representatives in Selangor
soon.
He urged residents to send feed-
back to his ofce so that he could
collate their input and share it with
the state. 
Te state assembly is expected
to discuss the MRT during its
scheduled seating from March 28
to April 5.
Touted to be the new “back-
bone” of public transport in Klang
Valley, the MRT is part of the fed-
eral government’s plan to address
declining public transport usage,
from 34% in 1985 to 18% in 2009.
Once completed, the MRT is
expected to ease trafc congestion
on Jalan Cheras and the Grand Saga
Highway, according to the detailed
environment impact assessment
released on Feb 14.
The MRT system will be the
third rail network afer the Light
Rail Transit and monorail. Te Sg
Buloh-Kajang line is the first of
three MRT lines. It has 35 proposed
stations along an estimated 51km-
long line and is expected to cost
more than RM36.6 billion.
The Land Public Transport
Commission, a government agency,
is supervising the project.
9 March 18 — 20, 2011
news
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Friendly
bacteria to fx
smelly farms
By Gan Pei Ling
KUALA LANGAT: Efective micro-organisms (EM) are commonly used
to clean polluted rivers. Now, Selangor is promoting the use of EM to keep
pig farms clean and odourless.
Te state has allocated RM500,000 to promote the technology among
128 farmers in Kuala Langat by selling them EM solution and mud balls at
cost price.
“It is part of the state’s efort to promote environmentally friendly farm-
ing methods,” state executive councillor Yaakob Sapari said on Tuesday afer
visiting pig farms in Kanchong Laut.
Two of the pioneer farmers who have been employing the Japanese tech-
nology say it is more cost-efective and reduces pollution.
“My farm is cleaner and
not so smelly any more,” said
farmer Chia Boon Seng, 44,
who has been rearing pigs for
more than 20 years.
Chia was one of fve farm-
ers selected by the district
Veterinary Services Depart-
ment to join its programme
last year.
He was given one month’s
supply of EM solution and
mud balls, and was taught to
use the technology on his
farm, which has around
2,000 pigs.
“Initially I sprayed it ev-
ery day, but now I only have
to spray [the EM solution]
two to three times a week,”
said Chia.
EM breaks down harmful
micro-organisms and toxins
that emit foul odour or
spread diseases.
He has also been using
mud balls to treat his farm’s
waste water before it is re-
leased back into the river.
Afer seeing the positive
effects, Chia is now using
EM to feed his pigs. He has
found his pigs to be healthier
and less susceptible to disease.
Chia added that it was
cheaper to use EM rather
than antibiotics to fend of
diseases.
Lim Chai Huat, 57, also
found it more cost-efective
than using traditional disin-
fectants to keep his farm,
which has 1,500 pigs, clean.
Kuala Langat Pig Farmers
Association chairperson Chu-
wa Leong Kim said they
would be working together
with the state and Veterinary
Services Department to en-
courage more farmers to
adopt the technology.
Selangor is not the frst to
employ EM in farms; Penang
has been promoting it since
2008.
Yaakob, who is in charge
of modernising agricultural
practices in the state, said
they would promote the
technology to other farms
that raise chickens, goats and
cattle.
Yaakob (second from left) visiting Chia’s farm in Kuala Langat on Tuesday.
SHAH ALAM: Selangor wants Putrajaya to explain why
the state is sidelined in the River of Life project to clean up
the Klang River.
Te project, part of Putrajaya’s Economic Transformation
Programme (ETP), is aimed at cleaning, beautifying and
developing the river, which fows through both Kuala Lum-
pur and Selangor.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has written to
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to express his disap-
pointment over the sidelining of the state and concern about
the transparency of the project.
In his letter dated March 15, Khalid pointed out that
there had been no substantive developments so far despite
high-level meetings chaired by Federal Territories and Urban
Well-Being Minister Raja Nong Chik.
He also questioned the decision to appoint MRCB-
Ekovest as the project development partner, asking if it was
via open tender.
Khalid is calling for the fnancial plan and agreement
between Putrajaya and the company to be disclosed, along
with how much they will be paid to complete the project.
He also wants to know why Lembaga Urus Air Selangor
was not given the responsibility of cleaning up parts of the
river that are under Selangor’s jurisdiction.
Khalid said RM2 million should be allocated to all local
governments along the river. Tey include the Shah Alam
and Petaling city councils, as well as the Subang and Klang
municipalities.
Murky River of Life
10 March 18 — 20, 2011
News
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
AMPANG JAYA: Meeting
ratepayers and going on the
ground to gauge the conditions
of the community is a big prior-
ity for three-term councillor
with the Ampang Jaya Mu-
nicipal Council (MPAJ )
Jafrien Muhammad.
One of the issues he has to
deal with is the issuance of li-
cences to businesses.
“Sometimes there are busi-
nesses situated in inappropri-
ate areas and the council has
to tear it down, so [also]
among my duties is to help the
businesses relocate to a suit-
able area,” he says.
Jafrien, who is in charge of
Zone Two in Ulu Klang,
holds frequent dialogues with
residents to hear their com-
plaints or requests, which he
then forwards to MPAJ.
Ratepayers in Ampang
Jaya also have a Customers
Day, held once a month,
when they can come in and
air their grouses to MPAJ and
contractors such as Alam
Flora Sdn Bhd.
“I want to give the best
service to the ratepayers and
ensure they have a comfort-
able living environment,”
Jafrien says.
Jafrien, who has a service
centre in Taman Permata,
adds that he occasionally has
trouble fulflling his commit-
ment to the residents when
they do not cooperate with
him.
“Somet i mes I di r e ct
the  complainant  to the rele-
vant department in MPAJ
which can solve their prob-
lems, but instead they go to a
different, unrelated depart-
ment.
“Tis will delay the process
of solving their problem, and
[then] they complain, when in
fact it was their uncooperative
ways that caused the delay,” he
says.
Jafrien fnds his job chal-
lenging and feels that the most
important attribute of a coun-
cillor is to be familiar with the
residents in order to better
grasp their problems.
Jafrien, who is married with
one child, still fnds time be-
tween his commitment to his
family, his engineering job,
and his duties as a councillor
to play football.
Know Your
Councillor:
Jafrien
Muhammad
Residents seek
junction upgrade
By Alvin Yap
SHAH ALAM: Residents at a
Chinese new village here are asking
the Public Works Department
( JKR) to reopen and upgrade a
junction on Jalan Pekan Subang for
convenience and safety.
Residents and factory owners at
Section U6 have to make a U-turn
some 500m at the intersection of
Jalan 2D and Jalan Sungai Buloh to
get back to the town centre at Kam-
pung Seri Subang or Shah Alam.
“It’s not the distance, but heavy
vehicles have to mount the road
shoulders to make the turn,” said
village head Chang Chan Man last
Friday.
Te proposed junction, Chang
explained, would ease trafc as it
would be in front of the only main
road leading into Section U6.
Te existing junction was closed
six months ago due to “major” up-
grade works to the 4.6km stretch of
road linking Monterez Golf and
Country Club to Kampung Seri
Subang town.
Te existing road will be widened
to double and dual-carriageway
lanes in order to smoothen trafc
from Sungai Buloh to Sultan Abdul
Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.
The village committee, Chang
added, has received 400 signatures
to petition the federal and state JKR
to reopen and upgrade the junction.
Church, mosque and RA come
together for clean-up
By William Tan
PETALI NG JAYA: Members of
the Community Baptist Church PJ, Masjid
Aminah binti Abdullah, and  SS2 Selatan
Residents Association (RA) joined forces in
a gotong-royong last Saturday.
Despite only a week’s notice, between
150 and 200 people gathered on Jalan SS2/6
to clean up their neighbourhood with
the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).
“Tis is a really good activity, a great place
to exercise a sense of civic responsibility. I
just hope they can keep up the momentum,”
said a long-time resident who only to be
known as Chua.
Te gotong-royong also served as an op-
portunity for MBPJ ofcers and members
of the RA to
hear out grouses
from the com-
munity.
MBPJ depu-
ty mayor Puasa
Md Taib said it
was a change of
approach for the
city council as it
was no longer
about the peo-
ple coming to
them but them
having to go to the people.
He also pointed out that the success of
any programme depended on the close co-
operation between MBPJ and the local
community.
“Achieving results is not
that difcult if you choose
to be open, patient and very
specifc whenever possible,
especially in working with
the MBPJ,” added RA pres-
ident Lim Teng Kau.
Lim said even though his
team mainly consisted of
retirees, they were the best
people he could have as they
got the job done.
Te gotong-royong was
part of state’s Zon Bersih
initiative, and is held every
month in selected areas
earmarked for a clean-up.
Sections of the road project are
being built by Seri Siantan, which
won the bid from JKR last year.
Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah, resi-
dents and village committee mem-
bers later met the company’s road
engineer, Mohd Yusmadi Yusof.
Yusmadi said engineers had to
consider widening the road to three
lanes if the junction opposite Jalan
2D is to be built.
Tis includes the proposed dou-
ble lanes, plus a lane for trafc to
make the turn onto Jalan 2D.
However, he said precise calcula-
tions had to be made as buildings
were located beyond the existing
road shoulders.
A trafc light might also have to
be built at the proposed junction,
Yusmadi added.
Engineer Mohd Yusmadi Yusof (second from right) showing the
road project to Sivarasa (second from left) and residents.
Residents pointing to yellow
barriers that they want
reopened and upgraded
into a proper junction.
The gotong-
royong in
progress.
Puasa Md Taib, deputy
mayor of PJ.
SS2 Selatan RA president
Lim Theng Kau.
11 March 18 — 20, 2011
Views
W
hen I frst heard of Broga, I thought it
was in Spain or Latin America. It
didn’t sound local to my ear. Located
on the border of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan,
it is believed that Broga earned its name from
Buragas, a mystical beast that lives in the forest.
I only knew of Broga when I returned from
New Zealand in 2008. I had just started work
with an environmental organisation, and came
across the story of the Broga community oppos-
ing the incinerator project. Later I had the op-
portunity to meet and work with Ong Ju Lin,
who had flmed Alice Lives Here, a documen-
Tripping Zero 3
Sharyn Shufiyan
Making use of
the great outdoors
sharyn shufyan works with an organisa-
tion working to promote environmental
and social sustainability. sometimes you
can fnd her sitting in a coffee shop with
her nose plastered to a book.
nearby towns of Semenyih and Ka-
jang.
Fun activities aside, campsites
such as Outbac teach our children
and youths essential values such as
teamwork, and build mental and
physical endurance. Spending time
outdoors al so
gives us a mo-
ment to appreci-
ate the gift of
nature we too
easily neglect.
E x p o s i n g
children to their
na t ur a l s ur -
roundings at an
early age would
heighten their appreciation towards
nature, and this is important to en-
sure that the environment continues
to be protected and conserved for
our children’s future.
Perhaps I am just jaded with a
world obsessed with technology,
and living in a society where self-
worth is measured by material gain,
that an initiative such as Outbac is
– fguratively and literally – a breath
of fresh air. It is only when we make
use of our natural environment that
we start to appreciate its value and
take ownership of our inheritance.
For more information on Outbac
Broga, visit http://www.outbacma-
laysia.com.
Outbac also hosted an open day for the
public to use their facilities for free. They had
visitors from the nearby towns of Semenyih
and Kajang. Fun activities aside, campsites
such as Outbac teach our children and
youths essential values such as teamwork,
and build mental and physical endurance. ”
tary on the issue which won Best
Film at the 2005 Freedom Film
Festival.
Broga is famed for the hike up
Bukit Lalang. Less than an hour
away from Kuala Lumpur, it is a
convenient location for a day’s re-
treat, and the hike is friendly
enough for people of various ftness
levels.
But there is another aspect of
Broga that caught my attention.
Recently, a colleague of mine shared
stories of facilitating a children’s
camp at an adventure site called
Outbac Broga.
With two girlfriends on tow, I
paid Outbac a visit one Saturday
afernoon.
“Outbac started eight years ago
as a community service. When it
frst started, it only had a feld and
public toilets. As it progressed and
became popular, more facilities were
added,” explained Dr Yap, who man-
ages Outbac.
Previously a lecturer in Singa-
pore, Yap came back to Malaysia
afer six years to contribute to the
community.
Outbac’s main target market is
young people, from primary school-
children to college students. During
a brief walkabout of the campsite,
we saw groups of college students
laughing and shouting words of
encouragement as they went
through the obstacle courses.
Te courses looked like a whole
lot of fun – from fying-fox, water
and rope obstacles and a 15m climb-
ing wall, to the Leap of Faith, a tra-
peze-like challenge 7m high up in a
tree – but I bet it takes a lot of
courage and determination to com-
plete some of these tasks.
“Te instructor is very friendly
and the activities are exciting. Tey
are mentally and physically chal-
lenging, so it’s good training,” said
Juliana Rosli, project leader from
Orange International College,
amidst excited screams as a team
member missed the trapeze bar and
dangled in mid-air.
Another group of students was
from the Inti College Business Club.
Sandra, from the organising com-
mittee, explained that the trip was
to improve the relationships among
some of the club members who were
new.
“It’s good for young people to
come together. We learn about
teamwork as we help each other to
go through the obstacles,” she said.
Outbac is also committed to the
environment and the community.
Last year, the
campsite host-
ed a clean-up
day at Bukit La-
lang with 160
volunteers and
collected 100kg
worth of rub-
bish.
“We need to
do this since it’s
our responsibil-
ity as we bring people up there. We
plan to do it again this year,” Yap
said.
Outbac also hosted an open day
for the public to use their facilities
for free. Tey had visitors from the
Whole lot of fun in the water and rope obstacles.
A friend enjoying the serenity. 15m wall climbing: Takes a lot of courage and determination.
12 MARCH 18 — 20, 2011
InsIght
FROM COMMUNITIES
TO GHETTOS
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
Te Setinggan Sifar policy was introduced by the previous
administration in Selangor in 2001, by then Menteri Besar
of Selangor Datuk Dr Khir Toyo.
Te policy targeted “zero” squatters by 2005.
Khir, who sharedhis visiononMarch1, 2000, intended
to create quality housing for the citizens with his motto
“One family one house, perfect family comes fromperfect
homes.”
According to the Malaysian census conducted in
2000, the population was estimated at 23.27 million
people.
Tis was an increase of 2.6%compared with the
result of the census conducted in 1991, which
showed 18.38 million people. Tis was an increase
of 4.9 million people in 10 years.
Findings revealed that the population in urban
areas increasedfrom50.7%in1991to62%in2000.
As such, housing inurbanareas became not only
scarce but expensive, and as a result, squatter areas
become more rampant.
Squatting is defned as an activity of settlement
or building on land that does not belong to the
individual, such as government land, reserved
land, government agency land, communal land,
and private land.
Several problems have beenidentifedwithland
squatting, including congestedliving areas, the rise
of social depravity, poverty, depreciation in the
quality of environmental aesthetics, andinadequate
infrastructure, not only in the squatter area but
surrounding the settlement as well.
Under the previous administration, housing
executive councillor DatukMohdMokhtar Ahmad
Dahlan initiated an action plan and created the
ZeroSquatter inSelangor ActionPlan2005, which
was approved by the State Meeting Council on
March 1, 2000.
Tis action plan was prepared with the philoso-
phy of humancapital development. It was anaction
framework for each agency or party involved in
solving the squatter problem through the building
of low-cost houses in Selangor for a period of fve
years from February 2000 until December 2004.
It was hoped that this framework would help
achieve the goal of solving the squatter problems
in Selangor by 2005.
Siti Aishah Ahmad (pix), hails
fromKedah. Inthe early1980s,
she moved to Sunway to join
her husband, who was then
working at the Sharp factory.
The 46-year-old, who is
blessedwitheight childrenand
two grandchildren, said the
family was relocated to Kota
Damansara nine years ago.
They have been staying at
Block B since the launch of the fats.
Unlike other families, they have opted to stay put,
because, as Siti puts it, the family is trying its best to
form a community among the residents there.
“My children’s friends are here, their school is here.
We’re okay here,” she said.
She added that her elder sons provide her with a
sense of security by accompanying her whenshe moves
around the low-cost fat.
Siti has a teaching certifcate she obtained as a gov-
ernment replacement teacher in Kedah. She puts it to
good use, as she runs free tuition classes for the youths
in the foyer of Block B.
“I’m doing it voluntarily and I bear the expenses
solely,” she said, adding that her closest friends and
family members contribute to pay for the teaching
materials, exercise books andother monetary requests.
Among the equipment she has bought withher own
money is a television set, which she uses to screen
educational videos. It is nowbroken, andshe is waiting
for donations from her friends to buy another set.
She also teaches some 40 orphans, who were intro-
duced by the local religious authorities.
During the school holidays, she runs more classes
so that the youth are not “idle” during the long semes-
ter breaks.
She hopes that the state government will fund her
tuition programme for the youths in her fats.
“I have been waiting for it, I welcome it,” she said.
She has forwarded a request for funds to run her
tuition programme from the state through Kota Da-
mansara assemblyperson Dr Nasir Hashim’s ofce.
“I hope I can get the money soon, as I can and like
teaching the youths here,” she said.
By Alvin Yap
T
orn from their com-
munities andhomes,
many of the 50,000
families relocatedduring the
Selangor’s SetingganSifar or
Zero Squatter policy are to-
day living in squalour.  
Unlike the Briggs Plan,
which successfully reset-
tled 500,000 squatters
in New Villages to
deny resources to the
communists during
the Emergency,
Setinggan Sifar
created ghettos
by moving the
settlers to low-
cost fats.
“We’ve creat-
ed ghettos. All
we did was move
them from being
ground squatters
to an elevated
squatter environ-
ment,” said exec-
utive councillor
Iskandar Samad.
In the 1970s
there was an in-
flux of people
who flocked to
Ul u Ke l a ng ,
Shah Alam and
Sungai Way in
search of work at
the beginning of
the countr y’s
manufacturing
andindustrialisa-
tion era.
Unable to aford housing or fnd cheaper
alternatives, the early workers opened up
tracts of land by cutting down trees and
building their own roads to establish village
communities amidst the urban crawl in the
Klang Valley.
But under Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo’s
administration, the settlers were regardedas
squatters and were forced to move.
From 2001 to 2008, Selangor undertook
the controversial step of clearing the urban
landscape of squatter villages under the Zero
Squatter policy.
Te aim of the Zero Squatter policy was
to address the environmental and social
conditions of living in congested surround-
ings, social depravity, and poverty issues.
However, the policy has created the very
problems that the previous state government
had wanted to “get rid of ”, Iskandar said.
Te People’s Housing Project (PPR) fats
in Section 8, Kota Damansara is a good ex-
ample. Many residents at Block A and B
claimto have beenvictims of petty thefand
robberies.
Tey also admit that the fat they stay in
is an eyesore. Equipment and facilities are
constantly vandalised or go missing.
Sundari Arumugam, 47, prefers to keep
her motorcycle outside her unit on the 12th
foor rather than park it in the ground-foor
bays. Metal chains bind the bike to the grille
and stand pipe.
“I’ve had my motorcycle stolen once be-
fore,” she said, adding that other residents
have also had their motorcycles stolen or
cars broken into.
Downstairs, most of the motorcycles are
locked with multiple locks, chains and pad-
locks to frustrate would-be thieves.
Worse still, she said, thieves broke into
her unit last year when she was out to fetch
her son from school. It took the thieves 20
minutes to break both the padlock on the
grille and the pick the lock on the door,
Sundari said.
She lost her money, handphone, and
jewellery. However, she is more fearful for
herself and her children’s physical safety.
Last month, two unidentifedyouths fol-
lowedher sonfromthe groundfoor totheir
unit. Tey were, she said, part of a gang that
was responsible for snatch thefs.
“Te women in this fat are hesitant to
enter a lift alone if there’s a man in it,”
Sundari said, adding that she makes sure her
husband accompa-
nies her if she needs
to take the lif.
Te situation has
grown so bad that
residents think twice
about holding wed-
ding ceremonies at
the fat.
Tis, Sundari said,
was because families
have had their units
broken into by thieves looking for gold,
money and dowry.
“We are easy victims to these gangs,” said
Sundari, who moved to Kota Damansara
fromKampung Kedondong inSungai Buloh
in 2006.
She said youths have stripped the fat of
wiring, broken padlocks, and carted away
the fre extinguishers for scrap metal.
In the past, living in a squatter village
meant that residents knew who their neigh-
bours were. Te sense of community was
reassuring, she said, adding that people in
the squatter village looked out for one an-
other and ofen kept watch on each other’s
homes.
“Here, we only care for ourselves,” she
lamented.
Similarly, Tan Ah Fatt @ Chua Ah Fatt,
65, said would-be thieves have tried at least
four times to force
the grille on the
door and window
of his unit during
the early morning
hours.
If not for his
daughter who was
awake at that time,
they might have
broken in, he said.
His friends, who live alone, were not so
lucky. He has seen them move out over the
years because they were victims of multiple
break-ins, when they were away at work or
on outstation trips.
The thieves, Tan said, would check if
residents were at home late at night by
knocking on the doors.
“Someone will knock on our doors, and
we open it to fnd no one there but people
walking quickly away from our unit,” Tan
said, adding that his family hadencountered
such situations “too many times”.
For this reason, Tan makes sure he does
not leave his unit unguarded, but he admit-
ted of being more afraid of stepping outside
his unit.
“Tere have beencases of criminals spray-
ing pesticide toblindandchoke their victims
before relieving them of their possessions,”
he said.
Tan said telephone cables together with
the public telephones on the ground foor
have beenremovedandsoldfor their copper
content.
Residents at the flat had approached
Telekom Malaysia to have the cables re-
placed, but the utility provider told them to
provide a bond for the replacement.
Last year a friend who visited Tan in the
evening parkedhis car inthe bay, only tofnd
his window broken and his radio stolen an
hour later.
Younger female residents, Tan said, have
been harassed by youths staying in the fat.
His youngest daughter, he added, was
“groped” by a drunken male on the ground
foor one evening three months ago.
Tan, who relocated from Sungai Way in
Petaling Jaya, said the fat used to have a
guard on duty on the ground foor, but he
quit because he had not been paid for six
months.
He said the police also “rarely” patrolled
the area or the fats. Perpetrators that were
caught, he added, would be released some-
time later.
Tan claimed the community in Sungai
Way had been able to distinguish between
strangers and residents.
“If someone inthe communitythere com-
mitted a crime, we would know who that
person was,” he said.
Similarly, the distrust of strangers has
become so bad that a 35-year-old resident
who only wanted to be known as Lee gave
this interviewfrom one corner of her living
room behind her locked grille door.
“Sorry, but this is howone of the residents
was held at knifepoint. She was tricked into
opening the grille. I don’t trust anyone now,”
said Lee.
Lee, who also relocatedfromSungai Way
in 2006, has had her unit broken into three
times last year.
Lee lost her handphones, ang pow,
money and CDplayer, among other things.
She said she did not want to experience
another break-in, and rarely goes out these
days. Te new front-door grille is installed
withthree stout padlocks for addedmeasure.
Te diference between a newvillage and
squatter area, Lee said, is one of space and
community.
“In Sungai Way, we had one plot of land
for each house,” she said, adding that she
knew who her neighbours were.
Zero Squatter
policy
Doing her bit
for youths
From squatters to settlers
From 2000 to 2008, under the administration of
Menteri Besar DatukKhir Toyo, Selangor embarked
onthe controversial policy toclear the state of squat-
ters by relocating families to low-cost fats around
the state.
Whenthe PakatanRakyat (PR) coalitionformed
the state government, it put an end to the practice,
said Housing, Building Management and Squatters
executive councillor Iskandar Samad (pix).
In an efort to acknowledge the role squatters
have played in opening of new land in the Klang
Valley and Selangor in particular, the state chose to
recognise them as “settlers”.
Te “urbansettlers”, Iskandar said, openedupvast
tract of lands inthe mid1970s as they migratedinto
the Klang Valley insearchof jobs that were abundant
as Selangor industrialised.
“Tey focked to Shah Alam, Ulu Kelang, Selay-
ang and Sungai Way in search of jobs, and set up
their squatters near there,” said Iskandar.
He added that the settlers provided ready and
cheap labour to the factories in those areas, contrib-
uting to the growth and development of the nation
at the beginning of its industrialisation era.
Iskandar, however, said the authorities have not
treated the settlers fairly. Te relocation under the
Zero Squatter policy “threw people out of their
homes”.
Te policy, Iskandar
said, uprooted a major-
ity of Malay families,
with Indian and Chi-
nese families closely
behind.
Te authorities re-
sorted to using the
Emergency Ordinance
to cl ear the settl e-
ments, which Iskandar
said was “ironic” as Chinese new villages were
founded during the Communist insurgency with
the same legislation that was used to evict the
squatters now.
As the previous Barisan Nasional state govern-
ment had used a federal law to evict the squatters,
the directive still stands, said Iskandar.
He, however, reiterated that the present PR state
government “was not ina hurry” toevict the remain-
ing 7,000 families that were occupying land and
river reserves.
Te state government, he said, recognised the
social impact of relocating the settlers to temporary
or permanent housing consisting of low-cost fats.
Firstly, he said, the low-cost fats – which cur-
rently cost RM42,000 – are constructed with low-
quality materials resulting in poor workmanship.
Tis, he explained, “demoralises” the residents as
amenities and fxtures are constantly broken.
Te youths in the fats, he added, vandalise the
building as they do not have recreational facilities
and open spaces.
Similarly, he said, residents are frustratedas some
of the low-cost fats are situated near sewage treat-
ment plants and large power substations.
Te fats are also placedsome distance away from
job centres and public transport, making residents
commute further and longer.
“It was a rawdeal that the previous state govern-
ment struckwiththe settlers tohave themtrade their
squatter land for low-cost fats,” said Iskandar.
Iskandar saidthe state was working toremedy the
problems.
The state, he explained, was carrying out the
“Pangsapuri Kita Bersih, Ceria dan Harmoni” cam-
paign by organising community cleaning (gotong-
royong) projects.
A RM2mil fund will also pay for the repairs and
maintenance of lifs, to repair roofs and repaint the
fats.
Te Selangor State Development Corporation
(PKNS) has also started a RM5mil fund to repair
its 18,000 units of low-cost fats.
More importantly, the state is embarking on a
pilot project to provide better-quality housing
for some of the 7,000 squatters in Gombak and
Hulu Kelang.
Te new housing project, to be developed by
PKNS, will sell for RM89,000 on the open market.
Squatters, he said, will get to own the homes for
RM42,000.
“Low-cost fats units currently have 650sq f of
space. Te pilot project will have 850sq f of space,
with better amenities, parks, playgrounds and open
spaces,” Iskandar said.
Only one lift is working in this block.
Block A of the People’s
Housing Project low-cost fats
in Section 8, Kota Damansara.
Sundari
Tan
14 march 18 — 20, 2011
views
Lee with offcials and participants at the launch of the badminton academy.
D
ear Lord Bobo, I have been hearing of the
@pusatrakyatlb and @undimalaysia cam-
paigns. What are these, pray tell? @ange-
line_tung, via Twitter
It’s like this. A mosque is a place where faithful Muslims
congregate. Likewise, a church is where faithful Christians
congregate. Pusat Rakyat LoyarBurok, or the LoyarBurok
Rakyat Centre (LBRC), is a place where rakyat of any faith
congregate in one common belief – that Malaysia is home,
and it can be a better place for all.
Lord Bobo has felt the time was right for a physical
manifestation of LoyarBurokness on earth and play a larger
role in the nation’s drive towards being a civilised society.
Aside from being a base of operations, LBRC hopes to
provide space for today’s youth to constructively engage,
discuss and educate themselves about political, social and
cultural issues, as well as provide a platform and/or catalyst
for other benefcial rakyat-oriented initiatives.
If you are a rakyat who wants to see Malaysia as a country
governed by core values such as human (and animal as well;
let’s not forget them, please) rights, justice, democracy and
the rule of law, and if you’re wondering whether there is
something you can do, then LBRC is the place for you.
LBRC does not seek to claim that all these goals will be
achieved overnight, but it believes in building a stronghold
of rakyat who are willing to participate in realising these goals.
It is important to note that LBRC is politically non-
partisan, although we love a party, son.
For a start, LBRC will focus on creating awareness of
important issues that afect the rakyat through its blawg,
training and resource centre.
At the same time, it will launch its frst voter education
project a.k.a. Undi Malaysia.
Undi Malaysia is a bit like American Idol without the
glitz and glamour. And oh, no idols too. And, come to think
of it, nothing American either. Er. But the idea is there.
We want to help Malaysia vote for the best election
candidate in their respective constituencies through grass-
roots voter education activities.
Trough this campaign, LoyarBurok intends to de-
velop its ofine presence in an inimitable, politically and
socially relevant, yet rakyat-oriented approach.
Undi Malaysia is a voter education initiative that is de-
signed to empower citizens to take ownership of their own
country instead of leaving it to the negligence, despotism
and corruption of their representatives.
Centre for
the rakyat
Te goal is to provide information and issues that will
assist the rakyat in deciding whom and why they choose
someone or which party to represent them.
Crucial to this is to also provide useful information regard-
ing the political institutions such as the legislature, the ex-
ecutive and the judiciary and their roles and responsibilities.
By empowering them, we hope that citizens will come to
understand that demanding accountability and transparency
from their representatives is not a privilege or a blessing, but
a constitutionally enshrined right that they can and are en-
couraged to exercise reasonably and bona fde.
A wise guy by the name of Edmund Burke (not Edmund
Bon; don’t misquote) once said: “In order for evil to triumph,
is for good men to do nothing.” LBRC aspires to build an
army of rakyat who will do something.
To fnd out more about what LBRC does, please come to
the ofcial launch (codename “Ops Pisang” – People’s Ini-
tiatives for Social Activation and New Governance) tomor-
row from 3pm to 6pm at 3-4, 4th Floor, Jalan Bangsar Utama
3, Bangsar Utama.
For more details, go to www.loyarburok.com.
Come on down. Bring your friends. Bring your enemies.
Become a LoyarBurokker. Touch a LoyarBurokker. Tere will
be fun. Music. Prizes. Chat. You don’t need to be a lawyer to
be a LoyarBurokker. See you there.
Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by
LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com)
where all your profound, abstruse,
erudite, hermetic, recondite,
sagacious, and other thesaurus-
described queries are answered!
By Basil Foo
PUCHONG: A badminton training pro-
gramme has been launched for the beneft of
less fortunate children by Michael’s Badmin-
ton Academy (MBA) in Bandar Puteri Pu-
chong on March 16.
“I believe these kids have the talent in
badminton and our role here is to work to-
wards nurturing it,” said academy director Lee
Kok Choong.
Te children will be trained at the academy
on weekdays following a staggered schedule
that takes into account the children’s school
commitments.
Costing RM100,000, the programme has
enrolled 53 children from seven to 17 years
old who will be trained by the academy’s 11
coaches.
“Apart from the training, we will bring
them to the Badminton Association of Ma-
laysia (BAM) to let them have a feel of how
national players train and to meet some of the
players,” said Lee.
He said they will also visit the Bukit Jalil
Sports School as it is a stepping stone to the
national squad as well as other tournaments
organised by the BAM.
Te MBA-IOI Properties Hope For Change
is a 10-month-long badminton programme to
provide children from three shelter homes an
opportunity to learn and enjoy sports.
Te children are from House of Joy in Ta-
man Kinrara, Rumah Shalom in Taman Pu-
chong Indah, and Rumah Amal Limpahan
Kasih in Kampung Sri Aman.
Badminton fun for needy children
SHAH ALAM: Pelangi Damansara fat resi-
dents can heave a sigh of relief afer their water
supply was reconnected by Syarikat Bekalan Air
Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) this week.
Residents had their water supply disconnected
last Tursday due to a hefy bill amounting to
RM199,021.93 was owed by the developer.
Te supply was reconnected afer four days.
Following the disruption, Selangor executive
councillor Elizabeth Wong held a series of dis-
cussions with representatives from Syabas, the
developer and Surau An-Nuur.
“Members from all parties then went door-
to-door to collect payments to settle the out-
standing bill,” said Wong in a statement yester-
day.
According to the Bukit Lanjan assemblyper-
son, the free water coupon programme was also
expiated afer a discussion with the housing,
building management and squatters executive
councillor Iskandar Samad.
“Te coupon amounting to RM38,577.60
for phase two, which began in January, has al-
ready been issued to Syabas,” said Wong.
Meanwhile, she urged the developer to apply
for individual water meters as soon as possible
so that the issue will not recur.
Pelangi
Damansara
water woes
resolved
“Children from any home tend to be
academically weak but are very enthusiastic
in extracurricular activities like sports,” said
Rumah Shalom representative G. P. Joseph.
He said six children from the home will
be taking part in the programme, and he
may add more participants depending on
their progress.
A 14-year-old Rumah Shalom child,
Teeban Anandan, hoped to learn more
about badminton through the programme.
“I am new to badminton. My favourite
badminton player is Lee Chong Wei,” said
the Form One student from SMK Bandar
Puchong Jaya B.
Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih hostel
manager Nor Hayati Wan Abib said she
chose participants for the programme based
on their interest and health.
“Tis programme may unearth badmin-
ton-playing skills in the children, but unfor-
tunately some of them had to be excluded
due to asthma and disabilities,” she said.
Faris Faino, 15, from Rumah Amal, said
his favourite badminton player was Lin Dan.
 “I enjoy badminton because it strength-
ens my muscles and trains me to think
quickly,” said the Form Two student from
SMK Puchong Utama 1.
 IOI Properties property director Da-
tuk David Tan, who was also present at
the launch, said the programme allowed
the children to have fun while developing
a new hobby.
15 MARCH 18 — 20, 2011
NEWS
Stickers to beef up
neighbourhood security
By Basil Foo
PUCHONG: Villagers from four
traditional kampungs under the
Subang Jaya Municipality (MPSJ)
came together for the frst time at
a carnival to promote unity last
weekend.
“We had a good response with
about 3,000 people taking part,”
said MPSJ Youth, Sports and Cul-
ture assistant director Muhamad
Zaki Yusof.
He said Kampung Kenangan,
Kampung Batu 13, Kampung Kuala
Sungai Baru and Kampung Tengah
were the frst to come under their
jurisdiction when the municipality
was created in 1998.
Villagers of all ages took part in
a variety of events like football,
ketupat weaving and cycling.
The  programme started in the
morning with an aerobic session and
entrepreneur workshop, which in-
cluded sewing classes for house-
wives, single mothers and the poor.
Tis was followed by seven-a-
side football, gunnysack racing,
coconut shaving, coconut tree
trunk sawing, coconut bowling and
tug-of-war in the evening.
“We even had our own cycling
competition around the villages,
which we called Le Tua De Kam-
pung. Te race attracted 52 com-
petitors,” he said.
Te carnival ended with a poultry
hunt, where villagers tried to capture
100 chickens released in a feld.
By Basil Foo
KAJANG: Te long wait for Cer-
tifcates of Fitness (CFs) for owners
of 10 three-and-a-half-storey shop-
lots on Jalan Pasar Baru, Semeny-
ih, ended on Monday, March 14.
“Te shoplots were completed
in 1995 by the developer who
didn’t follow the building plan,
which was originally set as three-
storey buildings,” said Majlis Per-
bandaran Kajang (MBKj) council-
lor Lee Kee Hiong.
Lee said the developer was
asked to resend the building plans
and to fulfill their promise of
building trafc lights in the area.
However, in the process of
meeting MPKj’s demands, the de-
veloper faced bankruptcy, leaving
the shop owners to run their busi-
nesses without CFs for 15 years.
“In the three years since our
service began, we asked the shop
owners to send their building
plans, and afer some procedures,
MPKj approved the CFs in Janu-
ary,” Lee said.
He explained that there were
seven projects without CFs in the
constituency, due to some of them
having structural problems and is-
sues with the developer.
He said the council had so far
solved the problems of three pro-
jects, including 2,642 units in the
Riching housing area, 30 factories
in Cheras, and the shoplots on Ja-
lan Pasar Baru.
Handing the CFs to shop own-
ers, state assemblyperson Ean Yong
Hian Wah said there were 14
problematic projects within MP-
KJ’s jurisdiction, of which three
had been solved.
“Tese projects include those
without CFs, and those aban-
doned by the developers afer they
became bankrupt,” he explained.
He said the state government
was flexible in solving problems
faced by building owners.
Te law requires developers to
pay an infrastructure fund to the
state government for the construc-
tion of additional infrastructure
like roads and trafc lights.
Upon the developers’ bank-
ruptcy, the responsibility will be
taken up by the local councils to
pay the infrastructure fund.
“If a company becomes bank-
rupt, they are blacklisted, and un-
less they pay their debts, they can-
not start new projects,” Ean added.
CFs for Semenyih
shop owners
Carnival time for
traditional villages
Muhamad Zaki said a talk on
drug addiction, including the expe-
riences of former addicts, was held
the night before as part of the
programme.  
“Tese events enable the villagers
to get together and know each
other better,” said MPSJ councillor
Azizan Jamaluddin.
She said the event took two
weeks to organi se and cost
RM11,000.
“Maybe MPSJ can organise more
low-budget events,” she said.
Kinrara state assemblyperson
Teresa Kok handed over prizes to
the winners. “Tese events should
be held more ofen as they help to
promote better ties between villag-
ers and councillors,” she said.
Kok giving away a cheque for RM700 to seven-a-side football winners Bulan Penuh. Looking on are
Azizan and councillor Norhesni Ismail.
By William Tan
SUBANG JAYA: Car stickers to
distinguish friend from foe are being
used in some neighbourhoods here
in a bid to step up security.
Te Vehicle Sticker Plan (VSP),
for housing estates in Zone 1, was
launched at the Subang  Jaya  Mu-
nicipal Council (MPSJ) auditori-
um last Saturday (March 12).
“Car stickers are to be given for
free to all residents here to enable
easy identifcation of cars that be-
long or come from a particular
area,” said AB Naicker.
Te engineer, who is among the
Zone 1 resident committee mem-
bers involved in the move, said the
VSP covers homes in Taman Wang-
sa Baiduri as well as SS12 to SS19.
Te  stickers include the street
names where the car owners reside,
so  that suspicious vehicles that
enter the housing estates can be
easily spotted by neighbours.
Te backs of the stickers will also
include a list of emergency num-
bers such as the local police station
and nearby hospitals.
Registration for the stickers also
means that residents who sign up
would automatically join the Sub-
ang Jaya Resident Association
(SJRA) and receive the MPSJ mes-
saging service known as SJAlert.
Te residents will also receive an
“Infokad” containing emergency
numbers and spaces for an indi-
vidual’s personal emergency con-
tacts.
Naicker believes that the move
will encourage neighbours to rally
together for the sake of mutual se-
curity. But he added that the VSP
is still within the early stages and
will require local heads to gather
and inform residents to register for
the stickers.
Nevertheless, he expects all the
stickers to be handed out within
two to three months.
However, certain parties have
acknowledged that the plan is far
from foolproof.
“It is a good initiative, but what
is there to stop someone from lend-
ing out his sticker or stealing an-
other person’s sticker?” said  Ter-
ence Tong, a resident from SS17.
He pointed out that people who
rent homes are unlikely to return
the stickers.
SJRA secretary Tony Loh voiced
the same concerns. He also doubts
that people would be more obser-
vant of suspicious vehicles just be-
cause of the stickers.
“Te system does have its faws
and a lot of things still need to be
worked out,” Loh said.
However, he believes the VSP
has its merits, such as bringing new
members into the SJRA and allow-
ing police to do their job more ef-
fciently.
As of March 12, the plan has
cost more than RM 20,000, but it
is fully sponsored by the CIMB
Community Link foundation.
CIMB has donated RM 50,000
for such community-based pro-
jects.
Te plan itself comes under the
wider-arching programme, Subang
Jaya – Towards a Safe Neighbour-
hood. 
Naicker Loh
The shop owners with their Certifcates of Fitness.
16 March 18 — 20, 2011
news
Volunteer teachers wanted
Bands rock Radio Demokratika launch
SHAH ALAM: A sof launch of the
Radio Demokratika album was held in
conjunction with the 18th edition of
monthly fea market and concert Pekan
Frinjan on March 5.
“Te album has 12 songs by diverse
acts, and as music has always been a
part of Pekan Frinjan, they opened it
up to us,” said Farez Jinnah, who man-
aged the album concept.
He said the album was conceived by
the constitutional law committee under
their MyConstitution campaign, which
usually held forums and lectures.
Te sof launch was to reach out to
the masses, especially youths and the
young at heart.
“Te whole idea is not to preach a
particular ideal, but to let people know
By Basil Foo
SERDANG: More volunteer
teachers are needed to teach poor
primary and secondary students
under a programme by  Persatuan
Komuniti Prihatin Selangor (Pri-
hatin).
“We have been providing free
tuition classes on Saturdays from
2pm to 4pm with three teachers so
far,” said Neow Ti Hooi, 25.
Te spokesperson from the non-
government organisation said they
were appealing to the public to
contribute to the community.
“It is not necessary for them to
be a schoolteacher,” she added.
Te tuition classes difer from
commercial tuition centres – the
frst half is devoted to helping stu-
dents academically, while the second
half comprises activities like arts.
Te Saturday classes are divided
in two, with Standard One to Tree
in one class and Standard Four to
Six in another.
Neow made the announcement
at a press conference with Serdang
Women’s health
campaign kicks off
KLANG: Selangor’s One Mil-
lion Healthy Women campaign
kicked off at Pandamaran last
Sunday (March 13).
“All 56 constituencies in Sel-
angor can register up to 1,000
women each above the age of 35
for free mammograms to check
for breast cancer,” said Pandama-
ran assemblyperson Ronnie Liu.
Liu said women can register
themselves with the state, and
transport will be provided for
them to clinics and back to their
homes once the mammogram is
completed. 
“If women were to go to pri-
vate clinics, they would normally
be charged around RM200, but
the state is ofering this service
for free,” he said.
Costing over RM11 million,
the free mammogram service has
yet to begin in all state constitu-
encies.
Liu said although breast can-
cer can be cured if discovered
early, many women are still una-
ware of the importance of mam-
mograms.
“ Thi s campai gn i s t wo-
pronged: one is to create aware-
ness, the other is to help some
women who may be aware but
don’t have the money for the
procedure,” he said.
Liu made the announcement
during an exercise to give out
1,500 flowers at the morning
market on Jalan Papan to mark
International Women’s Day.
“We give them fowers to ap-
preciate their contributions be-
cause they are extraordinary by
Member of Parliament Teo Nie Ch-
ing, state executive councillor Ean
Yong Hian Wah and Subang Jaya
councillor Ng Sze Han. 
“Even without much advertising,
the response to this initiative has
been overwhelming as currently all
classes are full with 25 students,”
said Ng.
He said classes were being con-
ducted in the community hall, and
included Malay, English, Chinese,
and Mathematics subjects.
Also present at the press confer-
ence was Serdang Educational
Welfare and Research Foundation
(EWRF) vice-chairperson Kamith-
ra Letchume. EWRF volunteers
ofer free tuition classes on Mondays
and Wednesdays.
“Te classes started a month ago
for students whose parents are un-
able to pay tuition fees, especially
households with more than three
children,” said Kamithra.
She said the foundation carried
out a survey with 110 SPM students
in Taman Muhibbah 4 last year.
Tey then decided to start giving
tuition for English, Math and Malay
since only10 students passed the
subjects.
She thanked MPSJ for providing
a hall for the classes and giving
monthly allowances of RM50 to
each volunteer.
“We also have started football
training every Sunday at the hous-
ing area in front of SMK Seri Ser-
dang in a move to reduce crime
rates in the area involving youths,”
she said.
“Te residents’ committee for
Zone 23 sponsored RM5,000 for
this training, and we have got coach
Sivam from the Malaysian un-
der-17 football team to help us
out,” she added.
Te foundation will hold guid-
ance and counselling sessions for
SPM and STPM students at the Seri
Kembangan Multipurpose Hall on
March 26 from 8am to 5pm.
that it is their right to exercise what-
ever it is they feel they have to do,”
Farez said.
Another sof launch is planned on
March 19 as a run-up to the main launch
at Penang’s Fort Cornwallis on April 2.
Featured on the album with their
song Let’s Battle It Out With Vesuvius
Te Great, rock band An Honest Mis-
take played several songs at the concert.
“Tis is a great initiative, and we
identify with what they are doing be-
cause Malaysian youths should know
about what important issues are hap-
pening,” said Leonard Chua, 25.
Te band’s guitarist, who is also an
independent marketer, said youths
should learn to judge for themselves
what is right and wrong instead of hav-
ing people tell them how to think.
Teir song featured on the album
talks about fnding an avenue of hope
in the midst of prevalent hopelessness.
Lead singer Darren Teh said with the
amount of negativity in society today,
he wrote the song based on his experi-
ence of fnding positivity.
“As a band we want to be part of
something bigger than just music be-
cause the biggest impact we can make
is for everyone to know their rights,”
he said.
Local songstress Amirah Ali enter-
tained the crowd with her composition
Katakanlah, which won in a songwrit-
ing competition in the US.
“My genre can best be described as
world pop as many traditional instru-
ments have been incorporated to try
and make traditional music more ap-
proachable to the community,” she said.
Accompanied by guitarist Raja
Farouk Raja Zaini, keyboardist Grace
Cho, and futist Asrol Afendi, she said
events such as this are important as
peaceful avenues to get youths engaged
and more aware of the constitution.
Her song is featured on the Jom
Bangkit album launched by the Saya
Anak Bangsa Malaysia initiative.
working outside and coming
back to take care of their family,”
he said.
Running concurrently with
this campaign is a state initiative
called Layar Rakyat, which be-
gan on Feb 19 and will end on
March 18 at the Pekan Kapar
Klang night market.
“The initiative consists of
tents pitched in the mornings,
and night markets in 21 areas in
the Klang constituency to pro-
mote various state welfare
schemes,” Liu said.
Te welfare schemes include
fnancial grants to senior citi-
zens, students entering institu-
tions of higher learning, and
young children.
Asrol, Raja Farouk, Cho, and Amirah performing at Dataran Shah Alam last week.
Liu (centre) giving out fowers to women at the Jalan Papan
morning market in Pandamaran.
Neow (second from left), Kamithra (fourth from left), Teo (third from right), Ean Yong and Ng at the
press conference.
17 MARCH 18 — 20, 2011
REVIEW
MINISTER of
Energ y, Green
Technology and
Water Datuk Seri
Peter Chin on
Monday indicat-
ed that Malaysia’s
plan to build two
nuclear power plants will proceed despite the
nuclear emergency and meltdown in Japan.
He suggested that the “government will not
do it secretly without informing the public”.
Te minister’s response comes two days
afer what is considered as the worst nuclear
emergency involving a nuclear power plant
since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago.
The tragedy surrounding the March 11
tsunami in Japan also signals a warning about
the dangers of nuclear energy. Following the
earthquake and tsunami, several Japanese nu-
clear power plants are in a state of emergency.
Te New York Times reported that partial
meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reac-
tors and indicated possibilities of a second
explosion. Four more reactors are facing seri-
ous cooling problems.
Japan declared a nuclear emergency when
one reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi power
plant Fukushima Daiichi 1, experienced a
partial meltdown and explosion. Fukushima
is one of the 25 largest nuclear power stations
in the world.
Te ongoing crisis at the Fukushima 1, just
150 miles north of Tokyo, suggests that nu-
clear plants pose a tremendous risk to the
public and environment, even with safety
protocols and management expertise de-
signed to handle natural disasters.
Japan has had nearly 60 years of experience
with nuclear power, yet there has still been a
history of accidents. In 1999, there was a
major accident at Tokaimura, where a nu-
clear fuel-enrichment facility had an out-of-
control reaction, leading to radiation leakage
afecting hundreds of people and crippling
the local agriculture industry.
If a country with as much expertise and
experience as Japan can fall foul of nuclear
accidents, then Malaysia should not go nu-
clear as the risks and costs of failure are too
great.
Te problem with nuclear power, com-
pared to all other sources of electricity, is that
if and when things go wrong, the conse-
quences are far, far worse.
A problem could occur at a solar power
plant that could lead to 200,000 residents
having to fee for safety beyond a 10km ra-
dius. Tis is what happened this weekend in
Japan as Fukushima went out of control.
In the Fukushima case, ironically, the
earthquake knocked out the station’s own
electricity supply, leaving the pumps unable
to supply coolant to the reactor. Te backup
diesel generator was also knocked out by the
waters of the tsunami.
A nuclear reactor is like a giant pressurised
water boiler. It requires vast quantities of water
to cool the reactor, which is why nuclear plants
are usually next to rivers or the sea.
However, this leaves them vulnerable to
water-related disasters such as tsunamis,
foods and storm surges, or even droughts.
Location near water also means that any pol-
lution can quickly spread to other areas.
Malaysia sees more than its fair share of
flood-related disasters. Any nuclear plant
built locally could well sufer a similar prob-
lem.
Te misfortune at the Fukushima plant has
resulted in radiation levels 1,000 times the
normal level in the control room and eight
times over normal immediately outside.
Te other problem is the economic cost of
such disasters. Not only could a power plant
worth billions be rendered so contaminated
as to be useless, a surrounding 20km area
could also be lef unft for human use.
Furthermore, under Malaysia’s atomic
energy law, nuclear plant operators are not
liable for any damage resulting from natural
disasters.
Japan embarked on nuclear energy because
they lacked domestic fossil fuel alternatives,
and because their industrialisation took place
well before renewable energies such as solar
power were widely available.
Malaysia has no such excuse as we have oil,
gas, biomass, hydro resources, and abundant
sunshine; not to mention that we are now set
to be the world’s number three producer of
solar cells.
Thus, I call upon Chin to abandon all
ideas to continue with the nuclear adventure.
Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang
By Basil Foo
D
eciding to take the road less
travelled would lead you to
P y o n g y a n g Ko r y o
Restaurant, nestled on the second
foor of a row of shophouses on Jalan
Solaris, Mont Kiara.
Rather than the usual Korean
BBQ fare that has proliferated
around town over the years, this
restaurant sells itself as bearers of
North Korean cuisine. Tis was in-
triguing and admittedly had us
slightly apprehensive.
Upon entering the premises, we
were greeted cheerfully by a cadre
of waitresses sporting traditional
Korean dressing which, we learnt
later, is called the hanbok.
The restaurant’s décor was
homely but nothing out of the or-
dinary: several booths for diners as
found in most barbeque establish-
ments; a single long table for spe-
cial functions.
A trickling fountain nearby,
paintings of natural scenery on the
walls, classical music playing in the
background, and having to remove
Unique North Korean fare
our shoes before entering the
booth made for a laid-back dining
experience.
Some of those were enjoyable,
but the majority needed an adven-
turous palate as some of the herbal-
tasting shoots were alien to our
taste buds.
From the wide selection of bar-
bequed beef, chicken, and seafood,
we settled on Barbequed Pork Neck
(RM25), which came served with
sour chilli sauce, garlic, and lettuce
to wrap the meat in.
Despite barbeque apparatus on
the table, the waitress suggested we
let the kitchen do the cooking as it
would taste better.
Te meat cutlets came out thick
and juicy, which would satisfy any
barbeque enthusiast, but the por-
tions could have been larger. Tis
was probably because we opted for
the smaller size due to budget con-
straints, there being a larger size
priced at RM40.
We also ordered a standard-fare
Bibimbap (RM22), which was rice
covered in mixed vegetables, kimchi,
seaweed, fried meats and an egg, all
sizzling in a ceramic pot.
Tis hearty dish provided us with
a complete meal, which was warm
and enjoyable during the rainy night
and tasted quite diferent from your
usual mixed rice as this had traces of
earthy spices.
Te Mushroom Gratang (RM15)
was presented as a mushroom- and
meat-flled dish with a top layer of
sof mashed potato. It had a pie-like
consistency and even smelt like an
oriental Shepherd’s Pie. It could be
considered as a safe choice as it
tasted more familiar than the ap-
petisers we’d had earlier.
The Korean Seafood Pancake
(RM25) was a large fried pastry
stuffed with vegetables and sea-
food like prawns and cockles,
which added up to another very
flling dish.
As the complimentary barley
water sufced, we did not order ad-
ditional drinks. Fragrant towels
were provided at a cost of 20 sen per
packet. Te total bill came up to
RM95 for three persons, but we
could have spent less as the amount
of food was more than we could
fnish.
The overall experience was one
of discovery, and would appeal to
fans of Korean food and those
looking to try something out of
the norm.
Immediately
after ordering,
we were given
complimentary
barley drinks,
pumpkin broth,
and an array of
small dishes flled
with appetisers,
from the more
familiar kimchi
to lesser-known
sliced potatoes,
green beans, and
herbal roots.”
Waitresses in traditional costume. A myriad of appetisers.
Barbecued pork neck.
Focus on safer energy supply
18 MARCH 18 — 20, 2011
TRAVEL
Simplicity of Kampung
Melayu Subang
On a long and fairly deserted road that veers away from the old Subang airport road, LIN ZHENYUAN stumbles
upon an old village that struggles to retain its distinctive identity.
B
efore the Kuala Lumpur
International Airport in
Sepang was ofcially opened
in 1998, Subang airport and its
surroundings were the “happening”
place.
From 1965 to 1998, a period of
33 years, the Subang airport area
enjoyed a daily influx of arrivals,
domestic and international, who
contributed in no small way to its
prosperity.
There were numerous seafood
restaurants that were situated in
what was formerly termed the old
airport road. In fact, the restaurants
are still there, although evening
activities have slackened.
But the Subang airport has since
been revived and renamed Skypark
Subang. The old Subang airport,
which used to have Terminals 1, 2
and 3, now serves Firefy, Berjaya
Turboprop Services and Transmile
Air Services.
Beyond the Subang airport, the
road leads to Kampung Melayu,
which is several winding kilometres
away from a recently developed
township.
New visitors to this place will be
surprised by the visible signs urban
development. Te rows of shops,
engaging in various kinds of business
activities, loom large as the wide
road leads an unsuspecting motorist
to Jalan Subang Perdana, and then
onwards to Jalan Sungai Buloh.
Just when you think you are lost,
you come across a little township
called Kampung Baru. According to
the townsfolk there, it is actually the
commercial outskirts of Kampung
Melayu.
Kampung Baru, or Kampung
Melayu town, as some may call it,
seems to be haphazardly planned.
Te roads do not seem to have a
logical symmetry.
One section of the town still re-
tains remnants of its own façade
which consists of a row of old
wooden shacks. Te only tangible
sign of progress is the blue-coloured
multipurpose hall named Dewan
MBSA Kampung Baru Subang.
Tis section of old Subang comes
under the jurisdiction of Shah Alam.
Te main road is Jalan Besar, which
has overhead power cables strewn
all over the commercial centre.
Some of the power cables are
precariously low, propped by thin
communication poles. Nearby, there
are concrete suggestions that this
area i s experi enci ng tugs of
urbani sati on i n the form of
multistorey structures.
But a motorist who does not have
a GPS must rely on road signs for
guidance. Along the imfamiliar
roads, one comes across business
establ i shments l i ke Aquati cs
International, Ayam Wira Food
Processing, Metro Driving Acade-
my, and BIS Chemicals.
But in the midst of this sprawling
landscape is the charming and still
relatively undisturbed Malay village
cal l ed Kampung Mel ayu. Its
identity is personifed by the narrow
roads and even narrower side lanes
dotted with traditional and semi-
kampung-style homes.
Roads with names like Jalan
Chengal, Jalan Merbau, Jalan Jati
and Lorong Melati spring into view.
Masjid Annur hugs part of a
kampung road.
A s chool named Sekol ah
Menengah Kebangsaan  Subang is
located right next to Jalan Bukit
Badak.
A mixture of
traditional
kampung homes in
a semi-suburban
setting.
Traditional snacks like this pancake reveal the tussle between fast food and street
food.
Pancake seller doing business in the little township on the edge of
Kampung Melayu.
19 MARCH 18 — 20, 2011
TRAVEL
Have you cHecked
your electrical
switcHes before
leaving Home?
Ibu pejabat polIs Daerah subang jaya
Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815
Take 5 minutes to fll this form up and drop it off at
the nearest police station to have regular checks
at your house while you are away.
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:
..............................................................................................

...............................................
tandatangan
.......................................
tarikh
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
03-5634 9444
The aura of the old kampung
pervades the relatively pollution-
free atmosphere and carries with it
a s pi r i t t hat embodi es t he
entrenched values of a well-pre-
served Malay village.
Like most kampungs in the
peninsula, there is a sense of
serenity and a relaxed mood in
Kampung Melayu.
There are few outsiders here.
Most strangers do not venture this
far unless they have relatives or
friends staying here.
On the leisurely drive through
the rustic heartland of Kampung
Melayu Subang where speed is
obviously unnecessary, one can’t
help feeling that perhaps life achieves
a deeper meaning when heartbeat
takes on a slower rhythm.
Just when a non-kampung
resident feels that there’s nothing
more to see, out pops a sign that says
“KFC”. Initially, a registration of
surprise is not unexpected.
KFC out here in the boondocks
is not only unusual but also  most
uncommon. As one drives closer to
the sign, the mystery is unravelled:
it announces “Kelantan Freid
Chicklen” (sic).
Beneath the signage that adorns
the nondescript eatery that says
“Stesen Ayam Goreng” are the
smaller words “Resepi Orang Kita,
Rasa Macam Dia.”
It was undoubtedly a witty ad-
vertisement. But what is rather
ambiguous is the following two-
word statement: “Peluang Fran-
cais”. Tis demands further investi-
gation, but that has to be lef for
another visit.
Kampung Melayu has been part
and parcel of the old Subang land-
scape for decades. Only the very
curious and the hardcore adventur-
ers have ventured thus far to satisfy
their own wanderlust.
But traditional Malay villages
like Kampung Melayu, which exist
on the fringes of the more developed
parts of Shah Alam and Sungai
Buloh, are fast disappearing.
Tey are being edged into semi-
oblivion by the inexorable march
of 21st-century development that
has an insatiable appetite for virgin
land.
Perhaps there will come a time
when our city developers will come
to realise that there are some things
worth preserving. Te highway to
modernisation cannot be stopped,
but clearly there must be avenues in
which a compromise can be struck
between progress and heritage.
Meanwhile, we all wait with
bated breath for the next crane to
fall, and the incoming sounds of the
bulldozer.
KFC, but not the kind that others are accustomed to.
Bolster and pillow – two for only RM10 in this town.
20 march 18 — 20, 2011
fiction
Jebat: A second-class citizen
Fiction by Ghulam Hussain
Bhalwani
H
e was a talented actor. He wanted
to play the courageous warrior
Hang Tuah. The director was
impressed with his audition. But the pro-
ducer didn’t share the same sentiment. The
producer felt he was not commercial
enough to pull in the crowd. Like always,
the man with the money has the last say.
The role went to a handsome actor who
could not act to save his life. He had never
acted on stage. He had never seen a theatre
performance in his entire life. He was a
screen heartthrob. Men hated him, women
loved him, and gay men worshipped him.
“I took this role because I wanted to
show to the world that I have more to offer
than my good looks,” said the handsome
actor to the media.
“I am putting my heart and soul into this
role. After this performance, people will
start seeing me differently. They will take
me more seriously as an actor.” 
The talented actor was not entirely for-
gotten. He was given the role of Hang Jebat,
the best friend to Hang Tuah and the villain
of the play. This would be his fourth time
playing Jebat. In fact, this role had earned
him the Best Actor award, twice
But he was tired of playing a villain. He
was tired of playing Jebat. He didn’t want to
be on the floor again, giving his last
breath.  For a change, he wanted to be the
hero that people cheered for.
In the end, he bit his tongue, buried his
frustrations and accepted the role. He
needed money to put a roof over his head,
food on the table and prostitutes in his bed.  
The rehearsal was a painful process. The
handsome actor could not get into the skin
of his character. He kept forgetting his lines.
His heart was not into the role. 
His heart was not into the production.
He was more interested in winning the
heart of the beautiful actress who played the
leading role. It didn’t take long for a ro-
mance to blossom on the set.   
His incom-
petence, hi s
lack of dedica-
tion, and his
romance on
the set were
driving the di-
rector nuts.
“I can make
cows act but
not him,” the
director grumbled.  
“Who wants to see him act? Just make
sure he looks dashing in his costumes and the
audience will love him,” said the producer.
The director made a vow that he would
never work with the handsome actor again,
even if a gun were pointed at his head.
Looking at the drama that was taking
place on the production, the talented actor
felt furious and frustrated. 
“I have shown dedication but what do I
get? Nothing, nothing, nothing,” the tal-
ented actor said to his image in the mirror. 
Out of anger, he smashed the mirror into
many pieces.
At the very last minute, the producer
decided his theatre production was going
to be short and sweet.  Some of his best
scenes were scrapped. This only added salt
to the talented actor’s injury.
“This is so unfair,” the talented actor
shouted.
“You are in no position to raise your
voice,” said the producer. That was enough
to end their argument. Like always, the man
with the money has the last say  
He h a d
played Hang
Je bat t hr e e
times, but this
was the first
time he truly
under s t ood
Jebat’s pain,
betrayal and
di s appoi nt -
ment.
“Jebat did no wrong,” he said to himself.
“He loved his best friend more than him-
self. He was just avenging Tuah’s death.
“Yet Jebat was not appreciated for his
loyalty and sacrifices. He was treated like a
second-class citizen. One is regarded as
hero and the other as villain. This is so
unfair.”
He felt his fate is not different from Je-
bat’s. He had shown dedication. Yet he got
punished. His best scenes were edited out.
He was treated like a second-class citizen.
It was then that the talented actor could
no longer bury his frustrations anymore.
“Jebat must not die,” he said. “He did no
crime. I will not allow Jebat to die. I will
save Jebat!”
It was the first night of their perfor-
mance. The auditorium was packed. Two
hours later came the final scene where Hang
Tuah would kill his best friend, Hang Jebat,
for betraying his country and his king.
Eventually, Hang Tuah would be hailed as
a hero.
The talented actor didn’t waste any time
as he stabbed the handsome actor with his
keris. The audience was shocked. They
could not believe what they were seeing.
Hang Tuah was on the floor, screaming
in pain and blood was oozing from his body.
A few minutes later, Hang Tuah was not
moving anymore.
Hang Jebat was proudly waving his keris,
covered with blood. The audience screamed
their heads off. The director shouted on
the top of his voice, “Oh My God! Oh My
God! What you have done? You have mur-
dered him!” 
A year passed. The talented actor was
still in a mental hospital. A young journalist
managed to get an exclusive interview with
his mother, who lived in a small fishing vil-
lage.
“My son is not a murderer,” his mother
said. “He didn’t know what he was doing.
A spirit had possessed him.”
Looking puzzled, the journalist asked,
“Who is this spirit?” 
With tears streaming from her eyes, her
mother answered, “Jebat, of course. Can you
tell Jebat to leave my son alone…?”
Review by Gan Pei Ling
If you have forgotten the euphoria and re-
newed hope for democracy around this time
three years ago, you should read March 8:
Time for Real Change.
Edited by Kee Tuan Chye, the book is a
revised edition of March 8: Te Day Malay-
sia Woke Up, one of the frst books to docu-
ment the events leading up to the historic
2008 general election and its impact.
I remember everyone being caught by
surprise when Barisan Nasional (BN) lost fve
states and its two-third majority in Parlia-
ment. It sufered its worst electoral defeat in
history, with many of its big guns, including
Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, Datuk Seri Shahrizat
Abdul Jalil and Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon,
losing their seats. Many Malaysians, including
those who were not politically inclined like
me, were awed and started to take an active
interest in politics.
Malaysian voters have been voting for
BN for more than 50 years. Led by then
Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi, BN
had even won 90% of the seats in Parliament
back in 2004. So what cause the political
tsunami in 2008?
I remember reading March 8: Te Day
Malaysia Woke Up with hope. Malaysia is
ripe for change, I thought. But then, in
2009, Perak fell because of three frogs. And
on Sept 16, 2008, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) de
facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
vowed, and failed, to take over Putrajaya
with BN elected representatives he had
purportedly enticed to cross over.
Te country has also seen 16 by-elections
since 2008. With the constant politicking
between the two coalitions, the people’s re-
newed hope for change has been dying down.
Divided into three sections, the frst sec-
tion of March 8: Time for Real Change
chronicles these happenings post-2008.
Written by political commentators and aca-
demics like Azmi Sharom and Zaharom
Nain, the 11 articles in the frst section also
attempt to evaluate the state of our country
in terms of education, economy, judicial
independence and media freedom.
Has Malaysia changed for the better since
2008? Have the political and social reforms
we desperately hope for been implemented?
Te frst section makes for grim reading.
Te second section, Back to the beginning,
comprises 21 articles from the frst edition
and contains exclusive interviews with the
likes of Malaysiakini co-founder and chief
editor Steven Gan; political blogger Raja
Petra Kamarudin, now in self-exile; and Pen-
ang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Merdeka on March 8, written by Kee
himself, is a must-read. It brings you back to
the historic day and reminds us what Malay-
sians are capable of when we stand united.
Te people made history, and they could very
well do it again.
Te third section, Where do we go from
here?, attempts to look to the future.
While echoed throughout the book is
the need to eliminate race-based politics,
most of the contributors analysed voting
trends based on race. Tis was most disturb-
ing – how do we move away from racial
politics if we continue to analyse our voters
based on race instead of class, age or politi-
cal ideology?
What I enjoyed the most were the snip-
pets by multifarious Malaysians. Te writers
of this book are predominantly male, but
here there is gender, racial and age balance.
Diferent people may have diferent opinions
on how the country should be run, but ex-
pressed throughout is Malaysians’ collective
hope for a transparent and just government
that is corruption-free and colour-blind.
Tis is a timely publication to remind
Malaysians that the road towards a better
country is long. Enthusiasm may have have
died down since March 8, and we might be
muddling through unchartered waters in the
nation’s history, but as Kee writes, “We live
in exciting times, and the threshold of change
is waiting to be crossed.”
Remembering March 8
But he was tired of playing a
villain. He was tired of playing Jebat.
He didn’t want to be on the foor
again, giving his last breath. For a
change, he wanted to be the hero
that people cheered for”
KLANG: Te speed and quality of service
provided to Klang Municipal Council
(MPK) ratepayers has improved signifi-
cantly since the launch of its Express Micro
Bill Payment System (EMBPS).
According to MPK president Datuk
Mislan Tugiu, the kiosks, which are located
at the MPK ofce, have enabled residents to
pay their bills 24 hours a day, allowing them
to save their time and minimise risks.
“Te public must make full use of the
EMBPS as it has good safety features and
it is efective,” Mislan said in a statement on
Tuesday.
Te kiosks allow ratepayers to pay their
assessments and quit rent via debit and
credit cards.
According to Mislan, the system also ac-
cepts personal and company cheques and can
identify problems during transactions.
Express kiosks
working well
for MPK
21 March 18 — 20, 2011
Media
UMobile’s
1+1 promo
Motivational camp
for secondary students
SHAH ALAM: Mobile service
operator U Mobile will unveil their
latest promotion when they relaunch
the U Mobile Flagship Store on the
ground floor of Berjaya Times
Square on March 23.
In celebration of the flagship
launch, U Mobile will reward its
loyal customers with a One-Day-
Only Grand Sale, coined the 1+1
Just For U promo.
After successfully simplifying
their BlackBerry Data Plan recently,
U Mobile will once again ofer its
customers the opportunity to stay
connected in style with their best
friend or love ones by offering a
chance to purchase the phone and
get the second phone for free.
Te selected phones available for
By Basil Foo
KLANG: A camp for students
preparing for major secondary
school exams was organised and
hel d by the  Sel angor Stat e
Development Corporation (PKNS)
recently.
“Te Summer Camp Bijak Pela-
jar is an annual programme which
started in 1996, and to date has
enrol l ed 1, 650 parti cipants,”
said  PKNS general manager Oth-
man Omar.
He said the camp is held specif-
cally for students facing the  Pe-
nilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR)
and  Si j i l Pel aj aran Mal aysi a
(SPM) examinations.
As part of the company’s corpo-
rate social responsibility, the pro-
gramme is open to students from
lah in Sabak Bernam and SMK Syed
Mashor in Hulu Selangor.
Othman hoped other organisa-
tions would hold similar pro-
grammes to beneft students.
PKNS Employee Welfare Asso-
ciation president Lokman Abdul
Kadir, who was at the ceremony to
mark the end of the event, said he
was happy to coordinate the pro-
gramme.
He sai d duri ng the camp,
participants from diferent schools
and backgrounds could mingle,
interact, and learn from one another.
The participants were also
divided into groups under certain
“values”, such as Creativity and
Innovation.
“Te focus of the programme was
to instill values in participants, and
increase discipline and teamwork,”
Lokman said.
He also hoped the students could
continue their relationships with
one another afer the camp and keep
in touch through social networking.
Muhammad Fikri Nazif Azlan, a
17-year-old participant, thanked the
camp facilitators who assisted and
shared their knowledge with the
students.
Puma launches after-hours
athletes programme
SHAH ALAM: Puma brings fun to the sports
sphere once again with the launch of Puma Social, a
new campaign bringing together afer-hours athletes
from around the world.
Whether its foosball, darts, ping-pong or bowling,
the campaign offers everyone a chance to come
together online and ofine to share in social exchange
and friendly competition.
Te campaign hinges on a number of elements
including a mood video (available in multiple
languages on a variety of platforms); cheeky in-store
adverts; and a Puma Social website that fuses user-
generated content that is updated dynamically on
the site.
Te website is designed to make it easy for afer-
hours athletes across the globe to share their own
competitive scoreboards, connect with other users,
and view party pictures and video from Puma Social
Clubs running in cities around the world.
Te site also enables users to generate points and
fame by synching their social networking profles
(Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare).
Te Malaysian version of the Puma Social Club
Tour will be launched this month, and in April, this
exciting pop-up Afer-Hours Sports concept party
will travel through several popular bars and clubs in
Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru.
After the kick-off event in Kuala Lumpur last
Friday, the Puma Social Club Tour will make its way
to Monkey Bar, Penang on April 1, and Roost Bistro,
Johor Bahru on April 8, before making its way back
to Kuala Lumpur for the grand fnale on April 15.
A full listing of events, venues and dates will be
released and updated on www.puma-social.com.my.
this promo are Nokia E5, HTC
Wildfire, Blackberry 9300 and
Nokia 7230.
Tis promo will be ofered on an
hourly basis from 1pm to 7pm.
U Mobile will also unveil its
freshly packaged Voice + Data Plan
specially catering for intensive data
users.
PKNS developments, as well as
children of the employees of the
company and its subsidiaries.
Some 125 students participated
in the three-day programme at Bumi
Jati Camp, which ended on Sunday.
“We are trying to give students a
chance to experience a camp envi-
ronment, especially since private
camps outside can charge upwards
of RM250,” said Othman.
Since the inception of the pro-
gramme, PKNS has so far spent
RM375,000, with an average of
RM25,000 per programme and
RM227 per participant.
Othman said the camp was a
chance for students from less afu-
ent families to improve their learn-
ing capabilities and to give them
opportunities to excel.
“It’s tough for people in rural
areas. Outside the Klang Valley, they
don’t have the same opportunity to
study compared to city people who
can get access to tuition,” he said.
Te camp also included students
from sponsored schools in rural
areas, such as SMK Munshi Abdul-
Camp participants with Othman (middle in yellow), motivational counsellor Dr Abdul Aziz Sahat,
and Lokman at the graduation ceremony.
Motivational counsellor Dr Abdul Aziz Sahat (left) giving the Best
Participant award to camp participant Muhammad Fikri as Lokman
looks on.
Lokman, motivational counsellor Dr Abdul Aziz Sahat, and Othman
at the graduation ceremony.
22 March 18 — 20, 2011
Gallery
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and members of the Pakatan Rakyat on a
visit to the Japan Embassy on Monday to convey the state’s condolences over
Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami tragedy.
Executive councillor Yaakob Sapari (in green) on a visit to a pig farm in Kuala
Langat on Tuesday. Selangor has allocated RM500,000 to promote the use of
effective micro-organisms to keep pig farms clean and odourless.
Members of the Community Baptist Church PJ, Aminah Binti Abdullah mosque and
the SS2 Selatan Residents Association who took part in a gotong-royong exercise
with the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) last Saturday.
Children competing in a gunnysack race during a carnival in Puchong last weekend.
Residents from Kampung Kenangan, Kampung Baru 13, Kampung Kuala Sungai Baru
and Kampung Tengah took part in the event.
Two villagers holding up chickens caught in a competition during the carnival
organised by the Subang Jaya Municipality last weekend. The event, which was
attended by about 3,000 people from four traditional villages, was part of efforts
to promote unity.
23 March 18 — 20, 2011
Culture
The big performing arts event this month,
model-turned-showbiz mogul hans Isaac
presents a star-studded musical-theatre
take of Lat’s beloved Kampung Boy and
Town Boy, graphic novels about growing
up in rural Perak and Ipoh in the national
adolescence of the 1960s. hopefully the
stage adaptation, written by comedians
harith Iskander and Kuah Jenhan, will
manage to capture the tone of the books,
which are simultaneously funny, optimistic
and quietly flled with pathos – as all good
stories about growing up should be. With
Awie as Lat; also featuring Atilia, Datuk
Rahim Razali, Douglas Lim, and Sandra
Sodhy. Music by Michael Veerapen and
choreography by Pat Ibrahim.
Editor’s
Pick
LAT Kampung Boy:
Sebuah Musikal
Musical; Tall Order Productions;
Istana Budaya; March 16-3 April
2011; RM40; www.istanabudaya.
gov.my
Compiled by Zedeck Siew
The Last Five Years
Musical; KL Performing Arts Centre; March 10-20 2011; RM35;
03-4047 9000; www.klpac.com
Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown’s work
incorporates a contemporary, pop-rock sensibility. The Last
Five Years, which Brown staged in 2001 to critical acclaim, was
based on his own failed marriage. “Funny and uplifting, the show
captures some of the most heartbreaking and universally felt
moments of modern romance.” The Kuala Lumpur iteration of
The Last Five Years features Tabitha Kong and Jon Chew, with
musical direction by Stephen Tok. Directed by KLPac’s resident
director Christopher Ling.
Muzik Ku: Muzik Mu
Music festival; Kakiseni; The Celebrities Club, Solaris Mont
Kiara; weekends, March 11-April 2 2011; free admission; www.
kakiseni.com
One of the main events of Kakiseni’s Women:100 festival
(ongoing throughout March) is Muzik Ku: Muzik Mu, a month-
long music platform with an all-women line-up. This weekend,
listen to the sultry strains of elvira Arul, Vima 2010 winner for
Best Female Vocalist (March 18), and the rock-out riffs of indie
band Tempered Mental (March 19). Free admission through
online booking only.
Women On Top
Dance performance; Aswara Dance Company, experimental
Theatre, Aswara; March 17-20 2011; free admission; www.
kakiseni.com
This contemporary dance bill features eight pieces, performed
by Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan’s (Aswara)
dance department. Check out Nasi Putih, an interpretation of
how “nasi kangkang” is prepared; Behind the Wall, a dance
flm about a battered wife; and Tapak 4, a mixed-gender
demonstration of the traditionally masculine silat form, among
others. Directed by Aswara dance faculty dean Joseph
Gonzales. Part of Kakiseni’s Women:100 festival. Free admission
through online booking only
theatre
A Modern Woman
Called Ang Tau Mui
Theatre performance; Pentas
Project; The Annexe Gallery,
Central Market; March 17-19
2011; free admission; www.
kakiseni.com
Leow Puay Tin’s A Modern
Woman Called Ang Tau Mui
– about the gamut of issues
Malaysian women face, between
tradition and modernity – is
one of Malaysia’s most often-
restaged plays.
There were two productions
just this month. Unlike Five Art
Centre’s offering last weekend,
experimental theatre group
Pentas Project focuses on a
single aspect of Leow’s text: the
titular character’s love of cinema,
and her propensity for embarking
on fights of fancy. “She runs away
from reality whenever she can
and acts and imagines herself as
someone else, hoping reality will
be what her dreams are.”
Directed by Loh Kok Man,
featuring Pearlly Chua, with a video
otherworld created by Au Sow
Yee. Part of Kakiseni’s Women:100
festival. Free admission through
online booking only.
Short Eyes
Theatre performance; Rumah
Anak Teater; The Actors Studio @
Lot 10; March 16-20 2011; RM35;
www.theactorsstudio.com.my
Puerto Rican playwright Miguel
Pinero wrote Short eyes in prison,
as part of a theatre workshop
for inmates; the work’s depiction
of life, love and death among
the incarcerated (many of them
minorities, condemned by
mainstream society) so impressed
viewers that it eventually made
its way to Broadway. By staging
Short eyes, Rumah Anak
Teater continues on its path as
reVIeW
Malaysian Shorts
Out of the venerable Kelab Seni
Filem Malaysia’s (KSFM) many
activities, Malaysian Shorts – an
evening of flmmaker-submitted,
gulp-sized ficks, screened by and
for flm lovers – is the most fun.
The flms themselves vary in style,
subject matter, and quality.
Twelve flms were part of the
most recent Malaysian Shorts, held
on March 14 at KSFM’s traditional
base in heLP University College’s
Theatrette. These ranged from
awareness-campaign advisories
(Yihwen Chen’s Like Toy Dolls,
which won the BMW Shorties
2010 Grand Prize, about baby-
dumping); beautiful, moody road
drama (Margaret Bong’s Fatiha,
about a young daughter’s ride
with her mother’s corpse to her
hometown); and 90-second visual
poems (Isazaly Md Isa’s Corridor, a
nostalgic look at Singaporean hDB-
fat corridors).
My personal favourite was Belon
Biru by Al hafz Burhanuddin. About
a boy’s preparations for asrama
life, the short ends by having its
protagonist woken up by bullies,
who cut up his new shirt – a most
harrowing scene (though relatively
non-violent) that sums up all the
violations young men are prone to in
school dorms.
Better than watching the flms,
though, is getting a chance to
hear directors talk about them.
Newly minted flm graduate Nadiah
hamzah (who made Sub Rosa,
about cross-cultural love) spoke
about getting a pair of sneakers from
one Spike Lee (he was a teacher
of hers). Fikri Jermadi (Bound, a
comedy thriller with two kidnapped
Korean dudes cussing at each other)
explained that he shot his short in a
single take as a personal challenge.
When asked about the smoothness
of a long, tracking shot in Famous
Last Words, ho Yuhang revealed
the ingenuity of funding-starved
Malaysian flmmakers (even award-
winning ones): “I put the camera in a
Kancil and pushed the Kancil down
the road,” ho said. “Actually you can
make flms with a very low budget.
We spent RM300 in total.”
Malaysian Shorts used to
be one of the incubators of
Malaysia’s nascent independent
flm community; I saw my frst
Liew Seng Tat flm there. As our
cinema matures, however, its import
seems to have waned, supplanted
by more “offcial” things like the
aforementioned BMW Shorties. Still,
things like this, by virtue of being
enthusiast-driven, will always have a
place. If you’re looking for a place to
meet Malaysian cinema, this is it.
Join the Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia
group on Facebook!
Hikayat Merong
Mahawangsa
In comparison to the no-budget stuff
of Malaysian Shorts, KRU Studios’
hikayat Merong Mahawangsa
a young theatre outft prone to social
commentary. Featuring Zahiril Adzim as
a Clark Davis: white, middle-class, and –
wrongly accused, but self-admittedly – a
paedophile. With Taiyuddin Bakar, Amirul
Affendi, Tayanithi, and others. Directed
by Ayam Fared, with artistic direction by
Nam Ron.
(international title: The Malay
Chronicles – Bloodlines) was made
with RM8mil; it took a decent RM2.2mil
on its opening weekend. These are big
numbers for local cinema.
But my overriding feeling, watching
the movie, was that they needed to
spend more. If you want to imitate
action-adventure blockbusters, it’s
going to cost you – and the worst thing
an epic flm can do is look cheap. The
sets looked like they were built by
city-born Boy Scouts, and the Roman
cuirasses were obviously too big for
their actors.
Yes, Romans. hikayat Merong
Mahawangsa’s plot involves the
unlikely diplomatic marriage between
a Latin prince (Gavin Stenhouse) and
a han princess (Jing Lu). Merong
Mahawangsa (Stephen Rahman-
hughes), reputed descendant of
Alexander and future frst king of
Langkasuka, acts as a chaperone
– and, along the way, fnds a
place to call his own.
Anachronisms aside, I didn’t
mind the writing so much; it’s a
cool premise. But stripping away
the hikayat – a classical Malay
text about the founding of Kedah
and the struggle between Islam
and hinduism in this region – is
a disservice; the flm ended up
taking place in a generic fantasy
nowhere, full of hollywood
tropes.
In this light, the convenient
Aesop of hikayat Merong
Mahawangsa’s narrator Phra Ong
Mahawangsa (according to the
source material, the frst Kedah
monarch to embrace Islam) about
not forgetting the past is ironic. The flmmakers addressing the audience at Malaysian Shorts.
MusIcal / dance
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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