State allocating Suitable land for orPhanage

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Reprieve for two villages
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Pandamaran – Still a village at heart
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12 & 13

community

May 27 — May 29, 2011/ issue 26

ZERO TOLERANCE: Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) enforcement officers carrying out seizure operations on business outlets with assessment tax arrears.

By Gan Pei Ling

• STory on page 9

Shah alam: An alarming nine in 10 welfare homes in Selangor are operating illegally. The state has ordered all licensing authorities to act now before another tragedy recurs. Only 82 out of the 865 welfare homes – both charity- and profitbased – are officially registered with the Social Welfare Department and local authorities. “Most of these unlicensed homes are owned by private operators,” said Rodziah Ismail. The executive councillor, whose portfolio includes welfare, gave the figures in response to the deaths of 16 people in a landslide at the unlicensed Hidayah Madrasah AlTaqwa orphanage last Saturday. Its Hulu Langat premises, built on agriculture land, did not comply with guidelines, being located next to a hill with an 80-degree slope. Rodziah pointed out that more than a quarter of the 783 unlicensed homes are located in Hulu Langat. Petaling, Gombak, Klang and Subang Jaya also have more than 100 unlicensed welfare homes each, according to statistics released by the Selangor Social Welfare Department. These homes are not only housing children, but also offer shelter to senior citizens, disabled people and single women. Rodziah said the state had instructed the 12 local authorities to LB_246806_TheSun_m14.ai 1 conduct a comprehensive survey to

locate other unlicensed charity homes in their areas within the next three months. “We want to make sure these shelters are safe. [Not just in terms] of their 11:18 PM and facilities, but buildings 5/20/11 also to make sure that they have

Most welfare homes unlicensed
trained professionals to take proper care of the children or senior citizens to prevent abuse,” she said. Rodziah added that the state would categorise these unlicensed homes and give priority to tackling those located in high-risk areas to prevent the Hulu Langat tragedy from recurring. She said Selangor would assist these high-risk welfare homes by offering them a nominal premium of RM1 to relocate to safe and suitable state lands. Meanwhile, Rodziah also announced this week that Selangor would be setting up a one-stop centre to help unlicensed homes legalise their operations. She added that while most op-

erators might have premise licences and business licences from local governments, many did not obtain operating licences from the Social Welfare Department. She said the one-stop centre would assist unlicensed homes secure licences and permits. Rodziah assured operators of unlicensed homes that the state would give them ample time to legalise their operations. • Turn To page 2

2

News
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

Selangor WeaTHer
Friday Morning Saturday Sunday

afternoon

night

Source: Malaysian meteorological department

Selangor remains investors’ No 1 choice
By Brenda Ch’ng

Khalid and Dr Siti mariah mahmood with the CDs and write-ups sent by post.

SHAH ALAM: Selangor has attracted investments worth RM2.5 billion in the first three months of the year, topping other states while potentially creating 3,880 new jobs. “Based on statistics from the Malaysia Industrial Development Authority (Mida),  Selangor’s foreign investment value totals RM1.5 billion, doubling Johor’s figure which is only RM766 million,” said Teresa Kok. The executive councillor for investment, industry and trade added that Selangor is the number-one choice of local and foreign investors. She added that 60% of the investors are foreign. Kok said the statistics indicate an increase in local investors’ confidence.  The state has approved 59 manufacturing projects, amounting to 32% of approved projects in the country, during the period. Kok said 43 projects are new, while the rest are an expansion of existing projects.  “This figure, [which puts us at number one in Malaysia], contributes to 32% of total projects approved in the country,” she said. Currently, South Korea is the biggest foreign investor in Selangor with RM637 million, followed by Singapore with RM485 million and Australia with RM102 million.

Sex videos distributed to village heads
By alvin Yap

To place your Advert in
Contact Timothy Loh 019-2674488, Ivan Looi 014-9366698, or Vincent Boon 012-8902033

SHAH ALAM: Village heads in Chinese- and Malay-majority areas in Selangor have received compact disc (CD) recordings allegedly showing a prominent politician having sex with a woman. Envelopes with Malacca and Shah Alam postmarks containing four CDs were sent to village chiefs in Rawang and Shah Alam respectively on Monday and Tuesday.   At two separate press conferences, Pakatan Rakyat politicians condemned the act, calling it a circulation of pornography. “This is organised. The perpetrators managed to get the addresses of village

chiefs in the [Rawang ] area,” said Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei at a press conference on Wednesday. Gan and the village chiefs in the area had lodged a report at the Rawang district police station on Wednesday. She said the scandal, which began on March 21 when businessperson Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah showed the 22-minute video to journalists at Carcosa Seri Negara, had not resulted in any party being investigated and charged. At a press conference yesterday, Shah Alam Member of Parliament Khalid Samad said Malay village heads in his area had also received the CDs by post. On Tuesday, village chiefs of  Subang, Meru, Kota Raja and other places

received envelopes containing CDs and a detailed write-up alleging the male figure in the video was Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. “If the original was surrendered to the police, where did these copies coming from?” he asked. Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmood, who was present at the press conference, said the perpetrators were going against ethical, moral and Malay customs in sending the pornographic material. She did not discount the move as a tactic to erode support for Pakatan Rakyat. Khalid said he would accompany the village chiefs to lodge a police report.

Welfare home operators need to follow guidelines
• From page one

phone (603) 5510 4566 fax (603) 5523 1188 email editor@selangortimes.com

“We’re not here to point fingers, but to solve problems. We acknowledge the operators’ good intention in setting up welfare homes, but they need to follow safety guidelines and proper procedures,” said Rodziah. However, if operators refused to legalise their operations within the given timeframe, she said the state would not hesitate to act against them. She said the operators could be fined or closed down. Proper procedures to set up a shelter 1 Inform the Social Welfare Department of your intention to set up a welfare home. 2 Register with the Registrar of Societies (for non-profit organisations) or Companies Commission of Malaysia (for private or commercial operators). 3. Apply for premise licences from your local authority. Private or commercial operators will need to obtain a business licence as well. 4. Invite the Fire and Rescue Department to inspect your building and facilities. 5. Apply for an operating licence from the Social Welfare Department.

welfare homes in selangor
District Hulu Langat Petaling Gombak Klang Subang Jaya Hulu Selangor Shah Alam Sabak Bernam Kuala Selangor Kuala Langat Sepang TOTAL not registered 221 134 124 112 108 34 26 10 9 5 – 783 registered 16 11 10 16 16 2 8 2 1 82 ToTaL 237 145 134 128 124 36 34 10 11 5 1 865

EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR COMMUNITY EDITOR WRITERS

KL Chan

Neville Spykerman

Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng COPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang
DESIGNERS

Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen

ADVERTISING ADVISORS

Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi, Vincent Boon

Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz

Source: Selangor Social Welfare Department (as of May 2011)

SElANGOr TiMES MAY 27 29, 2011 3 SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ ⁄MAY 27 ––29, 2011 ⁄ ⁄3

news
April 1 — 3, 2011

3

Top 10 property developers

BCI AsiA Awards 2011

BCI Asia (Building and Construction Interchange) named Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) as one of Malaysia’s 10 most-active property developers on the 20th of May 2011. The portfolios of these elite developers contain US$5.38 billion worth of projects. Through the BCI Asia Top 10 Awards the industry has a way of knowing who the leading developers in a given region are, and better understand the importance these firms have in shaping our society and influencing the built environment. Now into its 7th year, the BCI Asia Awards is a regional event to honour the best in building and architecture in Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

4

NEWS
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

EVENTS
Coaching clinic
A coaching clinic featuring tennis coach Kuldip Singh Durbara will be held by the Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches (MACC) tomorrow (May 28) from 9.30am to noon at their office at 62B, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Contact Rachel at 017-2238293 or 03-62054488 or visit malaysiancoaches.com for more information.

State allocating suitable land for orphanage
By Alvin Yap

Home and lifestyle expo
The Super Home Ideas 2011 will be held from today (May 27) till Sunday (May 29) from 11am to 9pm. Local and international exhibitors are taking part. Come to the Mid Valley exhibition centre to check out the home living and lifestyle exhibition featuring interior designers, renovation services, landscaping, kitchen appliances, bathroom accessories, and more. The exhibition will showcase more than 350 booths. Admission is free.

Book exhibition
Read Malaysia 2011 will be held today (May 27) till June 5 from 11am to 10pm at the Malaysia International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC) in Mines Resort City. The expo will offer a wide range of educational, fictional and general books, as well as comics, stationery, and e-learning products. Expect an interactive event with school performances, colouring and spelling contests, and visits by astronaut Dr Syed Mustaphar and sportspersons Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Nicol Ann David. Admission is free. Free shuttle bus services will be provided from Bukit Jalil LRT and Serdang KTM.

SHAH ALAM: The state is locating a suitable site to house the Madrasah AlTaqwa orphanage following last Saturday’s landslide which claimed16 lives. The Hulu Langat district officer has been directed to locate a plot for the new premises as engineers have declared the current building unfit for habitation. “Our wish is to see the organisation continue to provide religious classes as well as house orphans and other children,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in a press statement. The Menteri Besar pointed out that the state would gazette the plot as reserve land, and the welfare group can submit its plans to acquire it. “We will arrange for the lowest premium payable of RM1,” said Khalid. He reiterated the state’s commitment in assisting non-governmental organisations (NGO) to locate land for their premises, and would continue to ask welfare groups to pay a land premium of only RM1. However, he said NGOs would have to follow regulations pertaining to the running of welfare homes and orphanages by registering with the relevant authorities. “This is to avoid a repeat of [this] tragic incident from happening again,” he said. Geologists and Public Works Depart-

ment (PWD) officials have said the deaths could have been avoided if authorities had known about the orphanage’s existence. Several cases of soil erosion in the past few months had been reported to the authorities. The orphanage was operating at the bottom of the unstable hill slope, which slid down last Saturday, causing tons of muddy soil to bury its victims at the back of the building.

Khalid said other residents would be placed at schools under the Selangor Islamic Department ( Jais), and added that the state was paying for their accommodation at the nearby Azwen Resort. The Menteri Besar’s office and the state administration have donated RM1,000 and  RM5,000 respectively to each victim. The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the Selangor Zakat Board have have also contributed RM217,000.

Blood donation drive
A blood donation drive by University Hospital will be held on May 29 from 11am to 4pm at 11, Jalan SS26/6, Taman Mayang Jaya. It is organised by D’Happy Club and Eulogia Community Centre. Visitors can also attend health checks and a health talk conducted by Assunta Hospital and Eye Specialist Centre. The event is open to the public. Call 0378062635 for details.

Immediate action on riverbank collapse
By Basil Foo

Charity concert
The Selangor Kuala Lumpur Orchestra and Choir (Skoc) will hold a charity concert on June 12 from 3pm to 5pm at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre. They will be joined by SRJK(C) Lick Hung Chinese orchestra and SRJK(C) Yak Chee choir group. The concert will be conducted by Xavier Anthony, a veteran with 50 years’ experience. Skoc aims to raise RM60,000 to buy music equipment for their practice venue. Call 012-295 1245 for details.

UPSR English clinic
English Champ @ Literacy World in Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya will hold a free UPSR English intensive clinic for Standard 4, 5, and 6 pupils on June 9. Seats are available on a firstcome-first-served basis, with priority given to Standard 6 pupils. For registration, call Aileen/ Christine at 03-78802460 or 016-2091989 or e-mail info@englishchamp.com.my.

PETALING JAYA: Rather than wait for developers, the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will repair a collapsed riverbank due to the danger it poses to nearby residential buildings. “Due to the severity of the collapse, the council will be repairing the riverbank first. They will then claim the repair costs from the developer responsible,” said Ronnie Liu. The state executive councillor for local government, who visited site along the Penchala river on Wednesday, said a report would be out in a week. MBPJ will appoint an independent surveyor to determine which developer is responsible for the collapse, and who will be footing the repair bill estimated at RM900,000.

“We understand the concerns of the people who are worried about the [collapsed bank], so we will be resolving the problem as soon as possible,” said Datuk Mohd Roslan Sakiman. The Petaling Jaya mayor said it would take two weeks to identify the developer responsible for the collapse of the riverbank, which has been eroding over the past three months. The collapse affects about 10,000 residents of the nearby Ken Condominiums and Jasmine Tower, Bestari and Aminah apartments on Jalan SS2/72. Repairs were initially requested by MBPJ councillor Mak Khuin Weng, but were deemed unfeasible. “This is because it involved too many parties, including the Department of Irrigation and Drainage,” said Roslan.

Google Earth to help prevent disasters
SHAH ALAM: Local governments in Selangor will use Google Earth’s real-time satellite images to monitor soil erosion in their municipalities. Executive councillor for local government Ronnie Liu said this after announcing that six local authorities had been instructed to form a hillslope division in their engineering department within a month. The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) is the only local council with a hillslope division at present. It was set up after the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide in 2008 that claimed five lives. The Petaling Jaya City Council, municipal councils in Subang Jaya, Kajang, Sepang, Selayang, and Hulu Selangor District Council will be the next to form their own hillslope division. “The division will strictly monitor buildings before, during and after they are completed,” said Liu on Tuesday. The announcement was made in the wake of last Saturday’s tragedy at Hulu Langat, where a landslide hit Hidayah Madrasah Al-Taqwa orphanage and claimed 16 lives. The unlicensed orphanage was built next to a hill with a slope of more than 80 degrees on agricultural land five years ago. Liu said development is forbidden on all hillslopes above a 35-degree slope in Selangor as these Class IV slopes are classified as environmentally sensitive areas. Slopes can be divided into four classes: Class I for slopes below 15 degrees; Class II between 15 and 25 degrees; Class III between 25 and 35 degrees; and Class IV above 35 degrees. Liu added that only selected development projects are allowed on Class III slopes, and the projects must be approved by a state-level committee. He said MPAJ has been conducting bi-monthly checks on 28 hotspots prone to landslides.

Micro-credit workshop
A workshop on Selangor’s micro-credit scheme will be held on Sunday (May 29) from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Come to the office of Klang MP Charles Santiago to learn more. Micro-credit is an interest-free loan available to those earning below RM1,500. The scheme is meant to assist the poor in Selangor regardless of race. Remember to bring along your MyKad and a passport-size photo. For registration, call 0333232122. The collapsed riverbank and its close proximity to condominiums.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ MAY 27 – 29, 2011 ⁄ 5

B.PG K.HQ (JM) 2011/195/2

Reprieve for two villages
By Brenda Ch’ng

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News
May 27 — 29, 2011

KLANG: Residents of  Kampung Bukit Kerayong, whose homes are earmarked for demolition, got a reprieve thanks to the intervention of Charles Santiago on Wednesday. The Klang MP, armed with letters indicating that the matter was still pending in court, mobilised the villagers to stand their ground in the face of demolition crews. “This case is still an active court case, and before the case is closed and a decision made, the developer has no right to demolish any of the houses here,” said Santiago. The residents of the 70-year-old village are locked in a battle for their homes with a developer who acquired the land in the 1990s. Sections of the village had already been demolished earlier. Warnings were issued earlier this month that two homes and a shophouse were next. For close to an hour, residents

barricaded the entrance of their homes with vans while  developers and contractors waited in their respective vehicles before leaving.  Santiago advised the residents to take precautions and come up with backup plans to protect their homes. “I’m worried this isn’t the end of the story. The contractors might come back anytime to kick the residents out of their houses,” said Santiago. He said the residents may seek an injunction from the courts if contractors attempted to clear the lots again. A nearby village, Kampung Jalan Papan, has been facing the same predicament since 2005, with the same developer who has plans to redevelop the villages one section at a time. “The developer is slowly demolishing [the village] part by part, and after clearing Kerayong, they will be moving on to Kampung Papan,” said Dominic See Chee Yong.

Victims of Kampung Bukit Kerayong with Santiago (second left) showing their police report.

Santiago with villagers standing their ground and not letting bulldozers through. In the background are a house and car workshop, both next on the demolition hit list.

The 40-year-old chairperson of Kampung Bukit Kerayong’s urban pioneers committee said the developer is refusing to meet them.  The residents held Temporary Occupational Licence for the land until 1993, when they were told by the Klang Municipal Council to cease making payments for it. “Ever yone stopped paying because we weren’t allowed to. We were also told that the previous mentri besar had allocated 1,000 plots of land to all villagers in both villages,” said See. Plans had been drawn and shown to the residents committee, but when residents went to claim their land titles, they were told that the land had already been sold to a private developer. Since 2005, villagers in Kampung Bukit Kerayong had been issued notices to move out of their homes, with a promise that they will be given new lands and cash compensation of RM7,000. However, villager Teow Chin Joo was denied that compensation and new land, despite his house having been already demolished. “I’m 78 years old, and I’ve been waiting to receive compensation for five years. How long do they expect

me to wait?” Teow asked. Unlike other residents who received notices, Teow was one of the unfortunate ones whose house was demolished without his consent. According to him, the house was demolished while he was visiting and living with his son for a while. “When I came back, my house was gone,” said Teow, who is now still appealing for what he is due. Following this, some villagers were even forced out of their house harshly under the Emergency Ordinance Act.  Residents who were issued that notice couldn’t appeal to court and had to sit back and watch their houses being bulldozed to the ground. When questioned on the status of the land they are living on, residents claimed they are urban pioneers, and not squatters as labelled by the developers and enforcement agencies. “My house has been part of my family even before Malaysia gained independence, and this land is rightfully mine,” said Goh Ah Soon. Goh, who owns a car workshop and house in Kampung Kerayong, was one of the victims of the

demolition on Wednesday. He claims that his house had been built 70 years ago, and he inherited it from his late father. “How can I move out of my house when the promised land by the contractors is nowhere to be seen? Where can I go?” asked Goh. Goh’s neighbour said contractors entered his compound a few months ago and cleared the grass around his house. “I rushed home from work when I got a call from my mother telling me there were people wanting to demolish my house,” said Ng Cheng Leong. The 29-year- old sa id the contractors came three times – first to clear the drains outside his house, next to clear his compound, and the third time to take pictures of the area. Ng chased them off his property when the contractors explained that they had to clear the land to make way for equipment storage that would be used for the development. Currently there are 25 families in Kampung Bukit Kerayong and 117 families in Kampung Papan.

We are community newspaper which focuses on events and happenings in Selangor. If you are interested to join a passionate team of young people bent on contributing to Selangor’s development through the media, join us.

MPSJ keeping watch on landslide hotspots
By Gan Pei Ling

Crackdown on errant contractors
SHAH ALAM: Contractors who cut corners will be blacklisted by the state for two years with immediate effect. “We’ve found contractors who have cheated. That’s why we’re carrying out this measure,” executive councillor Ronnie Liu announced on Tuesday. He added that company directors of errant contractors would be blacklisted as well. He said contractors must carry out their work in accordance with the specifications set out in their contract. “If [they are] found guilty, no warning will be given, and they cannot bid for similar projects in the next two years,” said Liu. All contractors are required to register with the State Economic Planning Unit (Upen) to bid for projects.

Accounts cum Administrative Executive
• Candidates should have a Diploma or Degree in Accounting or LCCI Higher • Minimum 1 year experience in keeping full set of accounts • Familiar with accounting software – SQL Accounting Software • Computer literate • Able to speak good Bahasa Malaysia and English • Self motivated with good communication skills • Able to work with minimum supervision Job Description • Prepare and submit monthly accounts, billing statements, monthly payroll and expenses statements, prepare and distribute employees monthly pay slips and yearly EA Forms. • Monitor and update staff leave • Other administrative functions as assigned Interested applicants must send a resume and letter to editor@selangortimes.com by June 12, 2011.

SUBANG JAYA: The local council’s hill slope committee is keeping a close watch on 124 hotspots prone to landslides in its municipality. Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) acting president Abdullah Marjunid said only 13 are under the local council’s control, while the rest are private land. However, MPSJ engineering department director Ismail Shafie said they are also keeping watch on three private high-risk sites. They are Jalan Puteri 9 in Bandar Puteri Puchong, Jalan Kasawari in Puncak Kinrara, and Jalan Tiong 2 in Puchong Jaya. A landslide struck Jalan Puteri 9 last Sunday, damaging its retaining walls. A natural disaster committee comprising representatives from MPSJ, the police, Fire and Rescue Department, Land Office, residents and the developer has been formed to find ways to prevent another landslide. MPSJ has ordered the developer, Flora Developer, to lay plastic canvas on the slope and build an embankment to stop water from seeping into the affected slope. Other long-term measures the developer must take include conducting an investigation, preparing a design, and finding methods to protect the slope. The developer will also need to submit its design and methods to MPSJ for review before implementation.

NEWS

Berkeley development on hold
By Brenda Ch’ng

MAY 27 — 29, 2011

7

KLANG: The developers of a proposed highrise near the already congested Berkeley roundabout have two weeks to tackle residents’ objections before the status of the project is decided. “Developers will be asked to join heads with their assemblyperson to solve residents’ complaints, and to come up with a win-win situation that complies with all guidelines issued,” said Lim Lip Suan. The Klang Municipal (MPK) councillor said the municipality has also determined that the building, if approved, can only be nine storeys high and not 25 as proposed. Monday’s decision by the council’s One Stop Centre (OSC) comes in the wake of

objection by local residents, who pointed out that the development would make worse an already bad traffic situation. Lim assured residents that the OSC has taken their views into account, and that the project will not likely be approved if the developers fail to conform to objections and guidelines issued by MPK. He also said it would be great if the developers and residents could come together and discuss the issue. Currently, residents are in the dark about development plans for the area, but are concerned about the potential worsening of traffic leading in and out of Berkeley if two major banks occupythe 25-storey building as proposed. “This will cause double parking along the busy one-lane road leading to the roundabout and

Federal Highway,” said Datuk Ang Thye Chin. The chairperson of the Taman Berkeley Residents Association thinks that the proposed building should not be higher than four storeys. He said the building shouldn’t be taller than any of the other buildings in the area as it would stick out like a sore thumb. Ang further highlighted several reasons the building shouldn’t be developed. Among them are the possibility of air, noise and dust pollution during construction, flooding and traffic congestion before and after the building is up, and possible invasion of privacy due to the height of the building. Residents are also worried that the building construction might damage and crack roads around the proposed building land. “I hope that MPK can be transparent about

Residents making their stand clear last Sunday.

their development guidelines and not approve a high-rise commercial building in the residential area without consulting residents around it,” said Dr Loke Shuet Toh. The 52-year-old resident of Jalan Rajawali said MPK should study the surrounding area, especially the traffic conditions, before consenting to this project. Loke attended a dialogue last Sunday in Taman Berkeley’s community hall along with more than 50 of her neighbours who want the development halted. “I hope residents will set the ball rolling with a signature campaign to make a stand and tell developers we do not want the 25-storey building,” said Suzy Sulaiman. The 34-year-old resident of Jalan Unta is worried what might happen to the residential area if a commercial building is built. Suzy, who has been living in her house which has been passed down for four generations, wants Berkeley to remain a family-oriented neighbourhood and not turned into a congested commercial one. Of the residents at the meeting, Vincent Chow is the only one who stood up and demanded a chance to meet with the developers. “I want to hear the developers’ side of the story, but if they are not willing to come and share their plans with the residents, this will forever be a one-sided debate and there will never be a winning solution,” he said. The 35-year-old resident of Lorong Bangau said the developers have the right to develop the area, but they should have the decency to do right by the residents who have been living there for many decades.

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NEWS
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

Residents: ‘No’ to car park
By Alvin Yap

PETALING JAYA: A proposed school car park under high-tension wires in PJU 3 Tropicana has sparked concerns among residents of Laman Impian Condominium of a possible landslide if the project is approved. The proposed car park is located on a hill slope between Laman Impian and SJK (C) Damansara, and could reduce traffic congestion in the area, according to town planners.

Tengku Baharudin

But residents are fearful any move to clear the Tenaga Nasional Berhad reserve of its foliage could result in a tragedy similar to that at the Hidayah Madrasah Al Taqwa orphanage, which claimed 16 lives last Saturday. “We are the nearest neighbour that will be affected by the construction. If the land gives way, we might be killed,” said Tengku Baharudin Mahadi. The 59-year-old retiree was among 30 residents who attended the heated  public hearing on the issue at the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) on Tuesday.  Laman Impian residents also claim that contractors have indiscriminately discarded construction debris in the area, and have also blocked the monsoon drain there. They were adamant that the move should be scrapped despite assurances

from the  school’s Parents-Teacher Association (PIBG) committee that they will undertake “every measure” to ensure residents’ safety. Former PIB G chairperson Wong Siew Sang pointed out that  engineers had been engaged to “stabilise” the slope bordering Laman Impian. He denied allegations that contractors had disposed of building materials in a haphazard manner. “There is other construction work going on in the area. They are the culprits,” said Wong. However, not all the condominium residents are objecting to the car park. Mohamed Shukri Zain said it would help to ease the traffic congestion in the area. “We want the traffic situation there to be alleviated,” he said. But he added that the school committee and its contractor had to address safety concerns, and pointed out that MBPJ must vet the

engineering plans closely. “If it does not meet safety regulations, then do not build it,” Mohd Shukri concluded. A town planner engaged by the school committee also indicated that the move would reduce traffic. The proposed car park is designed to let parents drop off and pick up their children during school hours without causing traffic congestion. It will consist of 273 bays, with another area for 273 bicycles. SJK Damansara has seen an increase in students and staff over the last six years, after it was relocated from Section 17 to PJU3 here in 2001. It has some 3,000 students and 135 staff, and caters to the community in a 10km radius. A survey conducted among the 31 residents associations in that

Wong

location indicated that residents support the building of the car park. The meeting was chaired by MBPJ councillors Tiew Way Keng and Chan Chee Kong, who will refer the views of both sides to the city council before a decision is made.

State to fund Kewajipan pedestrian bridge

Demolished La Salle bridge to be replaced
PETALING JAYA: A two-year wait for a pedestrian bridge to enable students from two schools to cross Jalan Gasing safely is almost over. Peta l ing Jaya Cit y (M B P J ) Councillor Derek Fernandez said work to build the much-needed bridge will start next week. “It is to encourage the students to use the bridge, rather than cross the busy road,” he said to Selangor Times. The previous bridge was demolished by MBPJ engineers due to safety reasons after a bus crashed into one of the supporting pillars in 2009. The ne w mo dern wa l kway, which will be equipped with closecircuit television (CCTV) cameras so that MBPJ can monitor security, will cater to students from La Salle PJ secondary and primary schools. Construction of the RM700,000 bridge, which will be full-covered with a glass ceiling and decorated with murals, is expected to take three months to complete. It will also have shallower steps to facilitate an easier climb. Parents of students along with teachers of the schools had been appealing for the bridge to be rebuilt as students are dicing with danger each time they cross the busy road. Derek said two tenders for the construction of the bridge were advertised in 2010 but there were no bidders for it. The delay was also due to MBPJ’s wait for an insurance claim from the bus company. However, the need for the pedestrian bridge became too urgent to ignore, and the city council decided to use its own funds first, instead of waiting for the insurance settlement. Meanwhile, Edward Lee pointed out that construction work for the replacement bridge will cause traffic jams during peak hours. The Bukit Gasing assemblyperson, together with the MBPJ engineering department, met the La Salle’s Parents-Teachers Association (PIBG) committee recently and briefed them on the upcoming construction project. “We told them to expect heavier traffic during the construction period,” he said over the phone yesterday. Lee said a suggestion has been forwarded to the committee to have them request for police to direct traffic during peak hours. He said MBPJ should also cover up the monsoon drain on Jalan Cantek 5/13 to convert it into a car park for parents to wait at for their children after school. “It depends on funding and whether it is feasible or not,” Lee said. “Furthermore, a restaurant that is using the area near the monsoon drain will have to vacate the place,” he added.

Khalid speaking at the Subang Jaya Wihara Buddhist temple. Looking on are Yeoh (second left), Chim and Venerable U Nyaramsi.

By Basil Foo

SUBANG JAYA: The state government has pledged monetary assistance for a pedestrian bridge across Persiaran Kewajipan should approval be granted by the Public Works Department ( JKR). “The state will help to build the bridge if JKR approves,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The Menteri Besar was addressing a crowd of 1,000 devotees at the Subang Jaya Wihara Buddhist temple during Wesak Day celebrations on Tuesday. The temple, which faces the busy Persiaran Kewajipan and Kesas Highway intersection, has been petitioning for the construction of the bridge since the widening of Persiaran Kewajipan last year. “We petitioned JKR and wrote to the Prime Minister. We were told in April that they did not have a budget for building the bridge,” said Subang Jaya Buddhist Association president Chim Siew Choon. Chim said they have since sought approval to build the bridge using their own funds from donations. The bridge is estimated to cost RM1.5 million and, if ap-

proved, will be built across the 10-lane Persiaran Kewajipan which connects SS13 with SS14. “It is inexcusable for the federal government to say they do not have a budget to build the overhead bridge,” said Hannah Yeoh. The Subang Jaya assemblyperson said this was because Selangor residents contributed RM16 billion in yearly income ta x while only re ceiving RM408 million for development. She added that the petition, which collected about 2,000 signatures from the temple and its next-door Hindu temple, was important to ensure the safety of pedestrians. “Currently, it is not safe for devotees [of the temples], students from the nearby universities and members of the public to cross the busy intersection,” Yeoh said. She added that this was due to fast-moving vehicles coming from the Subang-Kelana link, which was completed in 2009. She also said the temple faces inadequate parking space for

devotees which causes congestion, especially during major festivals. The temple committee has requested that the land next to the temple, an estimated 1,200 square metres, be turned into a car park, but Yeoh said they were told it was gazetted as an open space. However, the space could be given to the temple if another piece of land is found and gazetted as a replacement.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ May 27 – 29, 2011 ⁄ 9

News

Council: Settle arrears or face seizure of properties
By Basil Foo

SHAH ALAM: The Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has warned business and home owners with assessment arrears to pay up or risk having their properties seized. “We will hold a confiscation exercise soon for 30,000 accounts which have assessment arrears. Final reminders will be posted to them on June 1,” said Khairul Nizam Zainal Abidin. The M B SA R e venue Mana g ement Department manager spoke to the press after conducting their first confiscation operation for the year on Wednesday (May 25). He said 10 shops were raided by MBSA enforcement officers who carried off tables, chairs, television sets and computers. “We will begin our operation on houses soon,” he said. Khairul, who showed the shopkeepers the warrants for the seizure of properties, said they were given ample time to pay up. He said officers had earlier visited the outlets to compile a list of items which were at risk of

Khairul: The council will hold a confiscation exercise soon for 30,000 accounts.

being seized. “They were then given seven days to respond, failing which we will confiscate their properties,” he said. Khairul said these operations were provided for under the Local Government Act which allows councils to confiscate items which are mobile and easily removed. The items would be returned to the business owners once they settle their debt with the council, failing which a public auction would be held on July 1. “Profits from the sale of confiscated items will be deducted from the amount owed [by the business owners],” he added. Current arrears amount to RM24 million, and the council plans to collect up to 70% by the end of the year.

Computer equipment being confiscated.

Talent competition for youths
By Brenda Ch’ng

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor Young Talent Award (Seyta) is an opportunity for youths to showcase their abilities in the arts. Organised by the Selangor Youth and Sports Committee, the awards will also be a platform to celebrate the works of Malaysian artists. This award is open to Malaysian citizens aged between 16 and 35 who have already made a significant mark in the arts world. For example, musicians must at least be recognised domestically or internationally, and three copies of their works have to be sent in together with the nomination. The same goes to all other categories, where a substantial portfolio which proves their achievements either in the local or interna-

tional arena must be sent in. Categories open for nominations are performing arts, creative writing, visual art and music. However, if participants have other categories in mind, they can submit an application for the “Special Jury Award”, where entries will be individually judged and awarded. All entries are open to four languages – Malay, English, Tamil and Mandarin. All categories have an open theme. Winners will each receive a trophy, certificate and cash prize of RM3,000. The Special Jury Award winner will receive a RM20,000 grant. For entry forms and more information, contact Mazir Ibrahim at mazir@gens.com. my.

News 10
May 27 — 29, 2011

Daily nightmare from noise and dust
The turnout at the Mother’s Day luncheon in Ampang last Saturday.

Don’t neglect financial security, mothers advised
By Basil Foo

Eng Yong (in white) visiting the cement factories with MPS officials.

SUNGAI BULOH: Residents at Kampung Desa Aman, Taman Seri Aman and Taman Suria are outraged that three illegal cement factories near their neighbourhoods are still operating. Despite being closed down by the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS), brazen operators have ignored the council’s orders to continue running their factories as usual. Former Taman Seri Aman Residents Association chairperson Mah Swee Lye said residents have to put up with the noise and dust pollution from the factories every day. He said close to 100 lorries travel at high speed to and from the factories daily, with the plants operating early in the morning until late at night.

Residents had protested before the third factory was set up last year, but their objection was ignored by MPS, which approved the factory’s planning permission before revoking it later. Executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah visited the site with MPS officials earlier this week, and has instructed the local council to resolve the problem with the operator within three weeks. He said the three factories are located on agricultural land. Only one operator has a temporary permit to operate, but the permit will expire on June 30. Two operators have agreed to be relocated. However, the third factory, which was only opened early this year, remains defiant.

SHAH ALAM: During a Mother’s Day celebration here last Saturday, mothers were advised to include financial security as part of their responsibility to their children. “They have to understand their responsibility as a mother. They need their own savings,” said Hanizah Talha. The Taman Medan assemblyperson said it would be better if they could stand on their own should their spouses pass away or they get divorced. “The problem is not only does our status drop, our income drops, too,” she said in her speech to 150 mothers at the Darul Ehsan Club, in describing the dif-

A cement truck leaving one of the illegal factories.

Local singers entertained the moms.

ficulty faced by single mothers. Hanizah said husbands should also ensure their wives have enough savings to raise their children in the event of an emergency. This is because many single mothers depend solely on their husbands for financial support – a lifeline that is cut in his absence, she explained. “In assisting the single mothers, the state has found many turned penniless after a divorce or their husband’s death,” Hanizah said. She added that the state is continuing to find ways to directly help single mothers, and that those who run small shops like food stalls could apply for loans through the state’s micro-credit programme. Rokiah Maulud, a single mother who attended the afternoon luncheon hosted by the Ampang Women’s Development Organisation (Awdo), said she was happy to be invited. “I used to work as a housekeeper in a hotel to support my three children who were nine, eight and three years old during my divorce,” said the 58-year old. Her youngest child is now 24, and Rokiah, who has since started a fried banana stall, said she still remains strong-spirited. Also at the event was state executive councillor in charge of women’s affairs Rodziah Ismail, Ampang Member of Parliament Zuraida Kamaruddin, and Awdo director Salmah Ismail.

Factory workers push for minimum wage
By Brenda Ch’ng

SHAH ALAM: The demand for minimum wage echoed through the halls of the Selangor Youth and Cultural Complex as a thousand workers came together voice their demand for a fairer deal. The factory workers from major industrial areas in Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya, Banting and Klang expressed their support for Buku Jingga, a book produced by Pakatan Rakyat to outline short- and long-term policies, including minimum wage. “It is about time labour workers learn their rights and stand up for what is rightfully theirs,” said Yusoff Ahmad. The 47-year-old manager was one of the participants dressed in

orange, who were present at the Buku Jingga congress in support of minimum wage. The father of seven children said despite being a manager in a company, his wages are only minimal and just enough to get his wife and children through the days. Being the breadwinner of the family, he can’t imagine what it would be like to be in the shoes of a factory worker earning below minimum wage and expected to feed a family of seven. Also present was a 20-year-old factory worker who works a five day week, earning an estimated RM900 a month. “My monthly wages is only enough for my own spendings in the village. I can’t even have savings for the future,” said Nurul Hana.

Nurul Hana (far left) with her fellow workmates.

Hana cannot imagine what it would be like to survive in the city with living expenses that are constantly on the rise.

She hopes that all labour workers will one day get the pay they deserve so that they can keep up with price increments.

With that, the state promises to fig ht for minimum wa g e of RM1,500 for all labour workers. “The state has made a commitment to ensure all workers are duly paid, and we want to honour that commitment,” said Shuhaimi Shafiei. The Sri Muda assemblyperson was one of the many speakers present at the Buku Jingga seminar. Also present were Rafizi Ramly, chief executive of the Selangor Economic Advisory Office; former Menteri Besar of Perak Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin; and director of congressional labour Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid. There to officiate the seminar was state executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar, on behalf of Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Scandals, property, contracts and iPad 2
W
hy is it that the “most-read” articles on Malaysian online news sites are always either about gossip, sex scandals, or other frivolous issues? @Regina S, via email We assume that this is because the other news is just too boring, or hopeless. How many times can one be expected to read about promises made by politicians, or proclamations that the Malaysian economy is in amazing health, when we know as a fact that the price of our food, drink, rent, clothes, petrol, and very survival is as high as it has ever been? So it should be no surprise that the most read “news” items are usually about tragedies, celebrity gossip, or sex (including sex crimes). Who knows why headlines like “woman tricked into gang rape” seem to be irresistible to the Malaysian reader? Perhaps they expect photos?

views 11
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

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ear Lord Bobo, I thought I read last year that most “experts” were saying that property prices had hit the ceiling, and would soon stop rising. What’s happening? @Homeless, via email The seemingly unstoppable rise of property prices in the Klang Valley is a strange phe-

nomenon. But it is not a unique one. His Supreme Eminenceness has experienced many property bubbles in his intergalactic travels. In the Malaysian context, it has gotten so crazy that even terrace houses which cost RM500,000 five years ago are now going for close to RM1,000,000. All this makes it very difficult for the aspiring homeowner. However, look deeper into the reality of the situation, and one finds an even stranger fact: properties are still being transacted like hot cakes. Almost any half-decent property development launch is sold out within a week,

Register To Vote Now Before It's Too Late!
Who is eligible?
Malaysian citizen Above 21 years of age
Date: 28-29 May 2011 (Saturday & Sunday)

BE THE BOSS!

Where can you register to vote? Kajang • 11am-9pm Petaling Jaya Metro Point (Old Town) 1Utama (Oval , 1st Floor) 10am-10pm Kepong • 10am-10pm Digital Mall, Sect 14, PJ (Grd Floor) 10am-9pm Desa Park City (Co ee Bean) Puchong • 10am-10:30pm Klang • 10am-10pm IOI Mall Old Wing (Guardian) Klang Parade (Renren Bookshop) Sekinchan • 8am-12pm Kuala Kubu Bharu • 8:30am-10:30am Restaurant Sheng Hui (Sekinchan Market) KKB Market Serdang • 11am-9pm Pandan • 8am-11am MIECC, Mines Resort City th on Pandan Perdana Market (Sat only) Subang Jaya • 10am-10pm m Empire Shopping Gallery 6- n to i Tmn Muda Market (Sun only) ee io n Fr pt ki s! y! scri sia oter rr b y v Organised by DAP Selangor & DAP FT Hu su ala ew M or n Enq: info@reg2vote.com, 03-7957 8022, www.reg2vote.com
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if not immediately upon launching. People complain about the prices on the secondary market, but there are still willing buyers, and of course very willing sellers. The government has tried to rein in the market in recent months, introducing a limit on the margin of financing banks can make available to buyers who are buying properties for investment (as opposed to as their residence). It is a ridiculously unhealthy situation Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by when buyers are allowed to finance up to 95% LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) where all your profound, abstruse, of the purchase price for more than 30 years. erudite, hermetic, recondite, As to the prices themselves, well, it’s a free sagacious, and other thesaurusmarket isn’t it? If someone owns a property, described queries are answered! and wants to sell it, and people are willing to pay a high amount for it, which seller in his or her right mind would not want transact on out. Unfortunately, that is as much information as the lawyer minions were willing the highest purchase price possible? to give. After all, they want to See Mah ord Bobo, I’m thinking of setting up Nee too! my own business, but need a business id you queue up to get an partner to provide the capital. What iPa d 2 ? @ St e v e Jo b s , v i a are the key points to look out for in our em ai l partnership agreement? @See Mah Nee, via email Steve! Good to hear from you! (We obviously know it’s not really you, since the email was sent using a Yahoo! email account). No, Lord Bobo does not queue, ever. Especially for the purchase of earthly products. His Supreme Eminenceness believes that any manufacturer or retailer which makes customers queue for hours to purchase a product obviously doesn’t understand a basic rule of retail: always have more products made than you expect to sell. These Apple folk obviously don’t know how to make money – which is why we prefer bananas. Lord Bobo is only joking, obviously. We know that the shortage is intentional, and helps create a hype and exclusivity around products, which add to their desirability. This is exactly what happened with the limited edition ONLY tee. Despite protests, pleas, petitions and lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth, no more ONLY tees will be produced. Instead, LoyarBurok is coming up with several brand-spanking-new designs. If you’re interested in snapping up what’s left of the ONLY tee (selected sizes only), or to be kept up-to-date with the new tees, do drop an First of all, See Mah Nee, the fact that you’re email to pusatrakyatlb@loyarburok.com. We writing to ask a monkey in a wig about an promise you won’t have to queue. agreement that is going to define the success or failure of your partnership is alarming. Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on Despite appearances, His Supreme Emi- His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing nenceness is not a lawyer – Lord Bobo did asklordbobo@loyarburok.com, stating not manage to obtain any form of official your full name, and a pseudonym (if you education or professional qualifications due want), or tweeting your questions by mento the tragic but ultimately happy nature of tioning @LoyarBurok and using the his childhood. hashtag #asklordbobo. The first 100 quesUpon consultation with our earthly tions published will receive monkey-riffic lawyer minions, we can however tell you LoyarBurok merchandise courtesy of Sethat the most important things in a partner- langor Times. What the hell are you waitship agreement – as with a partnership of ing for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are any nature really – is how somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animuch each party puts mam Meam! I Have Freed My in (effor t, mone y, Spirit! time, liability), and how a party can either get out, or kick the other one

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12 MAY 27 — 29, 2011

InsIght

Pandamara villag
bungalow, Chew Kim Swee is helping to oversee a landmark event in the annals of KB Pandamaran. This would be the first basketball court among Selangor’s New Villages to have its own roof. Chew helped to get support from a local condom manufacturer to rubberise the court surface (Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim came to officiate this new installation in an event last weekend). Chew was six years old when his family was moved from Banting to Kampung Baru Pandamaran by the British colonial rulers in 1951. “Each family was given a plot of land, some 80 by 80 feet, some 100 by 100 feet. We didn’t have property, so we knew this was our place now.” From 1950, an estimated 470,000 people (about 10% of the Malayan population then) were forced to resettle into 452 “New Villages”. This was part of the Briggs Plan during the Emergency period designed to segregate rural communities from the communist insurgents, who relied on them for supplies and support. KB Pandamaran was divided into four sectors: Sector 1 housed families who were shifted from Dengkil; Sector 2 from Sijiangkang; Sector 3 from Sungai Manggis and Banting; while Sector 4 came from Tiram Buoh, Tanjung Karang and Sekinchan. The plan basically concentrated the dispersed rural communities of western Selangor into a handful of New Villages. As the population of these new villages was overwhelmingly Chinese, political constituencies were inevitably divided along ethnic lines, ensuring that a race-based political paradigm would prevail. Being shifted to guarded camps ringed by perimeter fences was not a comfortable experience for these communities. It didn’t help that, according to Chew, they only got electricity sometime around 1959 – after Independence. By then curfews had already been relaxed, and people had already begun taking down the wire fences after 1955. Those who owned estates and property were eager to return to their former homes. Desperate to sell off their allocated plot of land, they offered dirt-cheap rates. “RM50, at most RM100 for a house,” says Chew. Those who stayed were the landless peasants. Underpinining the dominant Hokkien culture of the villagers is an economic ethos that comes from being granted land of their own to live on. Particularly among the village elders there is a sense of pride from building a closely knit community from the adversity of forced resettlement on unwanted pieces of land. Typically, small villages tend to have their youth siphoned off into the bigger towns and cities, leaving the old to preside over the inevitable decay. Not so for this Kampung Baru. Even with Klang and Kuala Lumpur just 2km and 30km away respectively, KB Pandamaran’s population has steadily increased, doubling from 14,524 in 1980 to an estimated 30,000 today. While KB Pandamaran remains more sub-rural than suburban, “those houses” along the village’s major ar-

Welcome to the New Village.

By Danny Lim

This was all swamp land, and all the houses were wooden attap houses,” says Lim Ong Sian, a 60-year-old resident of Kampung Baru (KB) Pandamaran. Lim was only eight months old when his family was moved from his birthplace of Dengkil to the New Village. “During the British time, there was a military airport where SMK Dato Hamzah and SMK Tengku Ampuan Jemaah is now.” The long rectangle of the airstrip land is today home to a football field, sports complex, swimming complex, hockey stadium and a clinic right beside KB Pandamaran. Like most Chinese New Villages, KB Pandamaran was

Bak kut teh.

known as a hotbed of triad activity. But Lim snorts at the suggestion that the gangs here were taken seriously. “There were all kinds of groups here – 24, 16, 18, 36, Ang Soon Tong. But they just fight each other, no big deal. It’s just to protect their territory and protect themselves. “Most of us were farmers or port workers – coolies. We earned about RM80 a month. There were a lot of pig farms before the 80s. Now no more,” Lim recounts in Hokkien between sips of the dark zesty broth of bak kut teh, a particularly Hokkien variant. He sports a deep natural tan on his leathery skin that can only come from spending decades working out under the sun. His checked shirt is left unbuttoned, clad over that classic Chinese working-class mufti – a white pagoda T-shirt. His parents were vegetable and poultry farmers – “What else could they do?” Sixty years since it was created, KB Pandamaran has changed somewhat. The villagers who went to what was then Port Swettenham just 2km away to carry goods by hand have been replaced by crane operators and lorry drivers. Pig farms and rubber plantations were swapped for light industrial factories processing chemicals and imported timber, and churning out gloves and car spare parts. Lim is now a contractor. The starkly angular wooden attap houses have gradually been colonised by gleaming , gaudy Corinthian-columned double-storey bungalows with curvy balconies. The surrounding forests where Lim has seen tigers prowling, and the swamps once filled with crocodiles, have made way for more urban development. What has remained constant is the resilience of people like Lim to stay in a place that was forced upon them. And bak kut teh. In a basketball court tightly flanked by a wooden shophouse and a concrete Light industrial factories.

Nan Tien Men (South He

an – Still a ge at heart
who is a board member of both school administrations, the schools are overloaded and do not have enough space to accommodate such numbers. “Ideally it should be about 1,500 students per school,” he says. “Most of the students are not from here. They’re from (Taman) Sentosa, (Taman Sri) Andalas, Port Klang, Bandar Puteri.” Given the village’s origins, there is a certain irony in the root of the school capacity problem: “There is not enough land,” says Chew. Not that the area has been developed into an urbanised squeeze. Rather, the schools have not been allocated land to expand to meet their needs. “In the Klang district, there are 22 lots of land reserved for the Ministry of Education. We need the land. The federal government should do something about this. There will be more development near Jalan Papan and Jalan Young, these two are 100-plus-acre developments. I’m sure they’re going to build housing estates. So there will be more students. It’s going to be a huge problem,” Chew laments. What KB Pandamaran has in abundance are bak kut teh restaurants and temples, both indicative of the village’s working-class identity. In Sector 1 alone, there are seven temples. A handful like the Nan Tien Men (South Heaven Gate) temple are large, wellmaintained and ornately decorated, but most are small shrines, occupying either a roadside corner or tucked away in the fringes of the mangrove forests. One folk story of the ubiquity of bak kut teh in this region draws its origins as the breakfast staple for the Chinese coolies working at Port Swettenham. This particular meal set of pork ribs in Chinese herbal broth was supposedly a healthy morning boost for the day’s slog. Long after the last of KB Pandamaran’s Chinese coolies had been replaced by containers and cranes, the bak kut teh shops have remained, thriving as a widely sought-after dish

as well as a source of local pride. For now, life in KB Pandamaran still emphasises the “kampung” Chew Kim Swee over the “baru”. “During the [19]60s, 70s, life was very simple,” says Chew. “People don’t close the doors, because they know each other. The old people are very happy here, they like the living here. If one person dies, we go for donation, they can collect RM50,000 to RM100,000. Whether we know him or not, we all go and donate.” And everyone insists that this trait has lasted till today. “Pandamaran is a nice place. Ang pek su (red and white matters, i.e. weddings and funerals) … people see, we go and help each other, we never demand anything in return.” • TURN TO PAGE 14

Children playing basketball.

teries of Jalan Chan Ah Choo, Jalan Young, Jalan Pekan have now been replaced by the suburban staples of commercial activity – motorcycle repair shops, coffee shops, sundry stores, bank and telco branches. Traffic congestion has become a recent problem. The two independent Chinese schools, SJK (C) Pandamaran A and B, are packed to the brim, enrolling over 4,200 students combined. According to Chew,

Homes in the new village.

eaven Gate) temple.

SJK (C) Pandamaran A.

VIEWs 14
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

Girls and subcultures
YouthologY
Lee Lian Kong

on’t accept the old order. Get rid of it.So says Johnny Rotten, vocalist of the Sex Pistols. That’s what subcultures are all about: rejection of mainstream society, whether in the form of music, fashion, visual arts, dance, literature, films, etc. A subculture’s intention is to differentiate itself. Ironically, while Rotten denounces the old order, subcultures are sucked into the gender “norm”. Most major subcultures are male-centric and have male origins. Female-dominated subcultures exist but are few and far between, though this is quickly changing. Mohd Ikmal, 23, a hip-hop enthusiast, attributes this to the “headstart” men have “due to the restrictions imposed on females in the past”. Therefore, “it is more likely for a male to have originated hip-hop,” he says. It follows that since most cultures were dominated by males for a long time, “it is only natural that most subcultures are initiated by males”. That said, it is a common sight to see hiphop girls. In fact, their numbers can rival those of hip-hop boys. The same can be said of other major subcultures such as punk, hipsters, rock, bohemian and anime. “A woman did not start punk. She could have, but she did not,” according to Yench, 21, a law student. “Men did. Or men popularised it. Like any other revolution: a group of disenchanted, angsty young men.” He believes the root of subcultures is the need for expression, be it by smashing guitars or smoking weed and listening to Miles Davis. “Men were more likely to express these then.” Gabrielle Chong, 23, a Malaysian student at Wellesley College, disagrees. She reasons that this perception of males being more dominant, or creators of these subcultures, is due to males having a more overt nature.

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She cites queer subculture: “Gay males are more visible than gay females, even though a larger percentage of females are bisexual, simply because women tend to be less promiscuous”. Participation may be even, but they are nevertheless still different. For women, there is an

added criteria to participate. To enter a maledominated subculture involves manouvering a complex, set of norms i.e. being “one of the guys” versus retaining their feminity. A girl racer might have the attitude, style of dress and language of counterpart male drivers, but would perhaps

modify her car to reflect her feminine side. So, why the need to be “one of the boys” in subcultures participated by both genders? One can go with Yench’s vulgar euphemism: “Women still have that biological need to get married and have babies so they don’t act all different, while men do whatever they want because they have penises.” Ikmal believes women in hip-hop feel no need to emulate men. They are not trying to be like men, they are simply different. Gabrielle gives another example of the gaming subculture. “More girls play Farmville, and more guys play Grand Theft Auto, [yet] both genres are socially significant in terms of participant numbers, industry size, and so on.” Origins, dominance, dynamics. There is much literature discussing women’s roles in subcultures. This can be seen as too simplistic. Dr Ong Kian Ming, a political scientist, reasons this by giving the example of more “out” and queer activists who disagree on gay marriages. The question is not only about gender, but also society’s limitation of the number of gender and number of persons in a relationship. “Advocates of gay marriages marry queer people. There are others who choose other arrangements. It can be a committed relationship involving more than two people, or a three-men-and-a-baby kind of a thing.” Distinctions remain between the traditional “male” and “female” roles in subcultures; the cacophony of factors involving these will exist, at least for now. Ikmal states: “Regardless of which gender initiated it or how big the majority of the people in the subculture are of a specific gender, the more important issue is what the subculture is about and whether it appeals to a certain individual.” In a constantly evolving society, subcultures are a permanent fixture. There will always be rebels, be it a boy or a girl or whoever you are within the 3D polygon of sexuality. At the end of the day, the discourse on subcultures is not about gender. It’s about individualism – that is, the individual, you, against mainstream society.

Young and mild-mannered
• FROM PAGE 12 KB Pandamaran veterans say things began to change in the 1990s. The usual suspects were fingered: development, development, development. Modern life was going to be thrust upon them whether they liked it or not. But measured along the brief lives of two 23-year-old locals, Raison Lee and Chenny Lim, “nothing has changed.” And they might be right. Tracing their young working lives, a metaphorical baton seems to have been passed from generations of yore. Lee, born and bred in the village, went straight to work in Port Klang after finishing school, pretty much as his village’s ancestors did. Only the details differ: instead of a coolie, Lee is a supervisor for truck repairs at Westport. His friend and former schoolmate, Lim, was born just outside the village. But she has been working at the Pasar Pagi on Jalan Papan since she was 10, selling food supplies. “Business has gone down over the last five years since Tesco (in Bukit Tinggi) and Giant (in Klang) opened up.” While some friends have moved on to KL (“They won’t come back, except for Chinese New Year,” says Lee), both of them are content to continue living and working in the kampung.

Raison Lee

Chenny Lim working at the morning market.

There’s hardly any crime or danger to be wary about. “Gangsters were a problem in school,” says Lee. “They would fight, and police come almost every day. But they fight over small things only.” They divide their free time between the “city life” available in nearby Klang or Bukit Tinggi and the “kampung life” in KB Pandamaran. After work, they hang out with friends, yam char, play snooker, mahjong, or go to the nearest internet cafe in Bukit Tinggi to “play Facebook.” And what do they talk about during yam char? Lee: “Work, girls.” Lim: “We don’t talk about politics.” Lee: “We don’t really know about it.” Lim: “It’s not our business also.”

Smash and grab on the rise in Klang
KLANG: Cars owners who unwittingly leave valuables in their vehicles risk returning to find their windows smashed and their goods stolen. “I only left my car for less than 30 minutes,” said Lee Huey Wen. The 19-year-old, who lost her laptop worth RM2,000 during the incident on May 18, said nobody heard a thing although the parking lots were across the road from where she was. Her laptop was in the backseat while she went to meet her friends in a café for a short chat. Yap Kim Huat, who is in charge of community policing at Bandar Bukit Tinggi 1 and 2, said seven other cars on Jalan Batu Nilam 13, Bandar Bukit Tinggi 1 suffered the same fate. Two other similar incidents were reported at the Taman Chi Liung night market. Yap said all the incidents on the same night, and he had rushed to the scenes after receiving calls from residents. “Nobody heard anything even though they were nearby. We suspect the thieves used special equipment instead of a hammer to smash the windows quietly to avoid attracting attention,” said Yap. He said his members positioned themselves around the area on the next night in an attempt to catch the thieves, but the culprits did not show up again. Yap said they would continue to patrol the area to act as a deterrent. He added that he has checked with the police, but none of the victims lodged any reports. Yap urged the public to alert the police of thefts so that they are able to increase patrols in areas where there are spikes in crime rates.

NEWS 15
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

New buildings to harvest rainwater
SHAH ALAM: Selangor will accept Putrajaya’s new standardised guidelines for universal design and all its new buildings must be installed with rainwater harvesting systems in future. Ronnie Liu, executive councillor for local government, said only terrace and low-cost houses are exempted from the ruling. All other residential and commercial developers are required to build a system to harvest rainwater in their buildings in order to reduce the nation’s demand for treated water. The rainwater collected can be used for gardening, cleaning houses and cars and flushing toilets. Treated water is only needed for cooking, drinking and bathing. Liu said the measure would also help the public save on water bills. Meanwhile, Liu said Selangor’s local councils would also adopt the National Landscape Policy and merge it with existing state-level landscaping guidelines.

Tips to avoid car break-ins
1. Keep doors locked and windows closed. 2. Keep valuables such as electronics, accessories, as well as empty shopping bags out of sight. 3. Don’t leave towels or sheets in the car looking like they are covering something. 4. Install an alarm system. 5. Park the car in well-lit and wellpopulated areas.
Lee pointing to her smashed car window.

Green technology at property expo
By Basil Foo

Emphasis on early breast cancer detection
Selayang Hospital for their check-up on Tuesday. He hopes these women will ask their friends and neighbours to sign up for the second batch of check-ups. Breast cancer is on the rise, and all women should take advantage of this free checkup to make sure they are healthy. Those who are tested positive for breast cancer will be asked to go back for subsequent tests and consultations by the hospital. Teng wants to stress that this programme is free and participants are not expected to pay for anything. Transportation and food

SHAH ALAM: Green technology and environmentally friendly products will be the focus during the Selangor Lifestyle and Property Expo 2011 from June 10 to 12. “Visitors to the expo can expect to gain a lot of knowledge and learn more about cost-efficient green technologies,” said Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad. The Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) chief executive officer said they have invited guest speaker Matthias Gelber, an inspirational speaker on eco issues. As entrance is free, Zulkifli estimates that about 30,000 visitors will attend the three-day event, which will open from 10am to 8pm daily. “There will also be RM500,000 worth of prizes to be won by visitors, over RM300,000 of which are health-related like fitness-centre memberships,” added Zulkifli. Matthias, who has been living in Malaysia for several years, said he would be “talking about hijau all the way” during the lifestyle and property expo.

He explained that there are many benefits for homeowners, businesses, and property developers to initiate green practices in their buildings. “I’ve been to a 16-floor apartment in KL which used environmentally friendly building materials and managed to save RM1 million while keeping their building temperature cool,” he said. Matthias, who has been voted Greenest Person on the Planet, said he plans to create an awareness that eco-friendly does not have to mean inconvenient or costly. The Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), which is the platinum sponsor for the expo, set their sales target at RM34 million throughout the event. “We have also started to install green technologies in our developments, the first being the construction of our new headquarters in July,” said Noraida Mohd Yusof. The PKNS deputy general manager of administration and development added that they are targeting house buyers under 35 years of age and around the RM3,500 income group.

Solution to sticker menace
  SHAH ALAM: The headache of removing unsightly posters or stickers offering services of illegal loan sharks (Ah Long), massages and sex toys is now over with a special glue remover. The special solution, which has been adopted by local governments, will easily remove the eyesore. “We tried to use kerosene, petrol and other solutions in the past, but [it] didn’t work,” said executive councillor Ronnie Liu. A demonstration for the press on Tuesday showed that the solution could remove stickers and
By Gan Pei Ling

Teng (right) with the participants of the free mammogram programme.

By Brenda Ch’ng

KLANG: Women are being urged to take advantage of the state’s free mammogram programme to protect themselves from breast cancer. “It is disappointing to see the lack of response in my area, Sungai Pinang, despite the numerous advertisements and write-ups for the free check-up,” said Datuk Teng Chang Khim. He is urging all women to sign up at their respective assemblyperson’s service centre and make full use of the opportunity for a free check-up. Teng organised the first batch of 39 elderly women from his constituency, who will be taken by bus to the

will also be provided. “I don’t think I could have gathered these women if it weren’t for my friends, who helped me spread the word directly to residents and helped them register,” said Teng. Teng thinks the programme is not reaching as many women as it could because Selangor is currently the first and only state in the country to have this free mammogram test. “It will take time for it to become a well-known programme,” he said. In the meantime, Teng hopes word of this programme will spread, and that assemblypersons’ offices will be more active in promoting it at events.

posters in just five minutes. Local authorities will also be using a special aerosol spray to prevent Ah Long from pasting new stickers and posters on traffic lights, street lamps and Tenaga Nasional substations. Any sticker or poster will come off easily if they are pasted on surfaces that are sprayed with the special solution within six months. Liu said both the glue remover and aerosol spray would not affect the paintwork. He added that both solutions are affordable, but he did not disclose the amount councils would be spending on them.

NEWS 16
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

Free services to commemorate PJ city status
By Alvin Yap

Roslan (centre) announcing what’s in store for PJ folks.

PETALING JAYA: Folks will enjoy a host of free services on June 20 in conjunction with the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) fifth anniversary. “I call all Petaling Jaya residents to come and celebrate the occasion,” said Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman. On that day, parking fees will be waived by MBPJ, and there will be no charge for using the city council’s swimming pools and sports facilities. Roslan also announced that the MBPJ community library on Jalan Selangor will be giving free one-year memberships to the first 500 visitors on that day. The first 500 members whose library cards have expired will have their membership renewed for free. Usage fee for using the library’s CD archives will also be waived. The following hospitals will also provide free

comprehensive health check-ups: Assunta Hospital, KPJ Damansara Specialist, Kelana Jaya Medical Centre and Tropicana Medical Centre. Alam Flora will collect large-bulk trash, and old and discarded furniture from homes on that day. MBPJ is also organising a host of events beginning June 10 leading to the anniversary. On June 18 and 19, there will be a Street Food Carnival from 10am to 10pm at the Petaling Jaya Stadium at Kelana Jaya. Petaling Jaya, better known as PJ, grew out of a satellite town around Kuala Lumpur in the 1950s which had become overpopulated. On 20 June 2006, it was granted city status by the Sultan of Selangor, making it the first non-capital city in Malaysia. The local authority changed its name to Petaling Jaya City Council following the granting of the status. It is home to some 600,000 residents.

Record attempt with photo collage

Mother’s Day help for single moms

Lee presenting a schoolbag to a student.

By Alicia Mun
Datuk Abdul Ghani Pateh Akhir gesturing to a picture of the Kota Bridge. Looking on is Tourism Selangor general manager Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din (left).

By Basil Foo

KLANG: Tourism Selangor will attempt to set a record for the longest photo collage in the country by setting it up along the Kota Bridge here. “We chose this bridge because we want to introduce Klang as a royal city which is full of history,” said Fazly Razally. The Tourism Selangor events and marketing manager said during a press conference on Monday that the bridge had been completed on the same day as Independence Day. The photo collage is planned to be placed along 181 metres of the bridge. “About a third of the photos we will use come from the royal collection of the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah,” said Fazly. According to the organisers, this would be the first at-

tempt at such a record anywhere in the world. Orang Besar Daerah Klang Datuk Abdul Ghani Pateh Akhir praised the efforts to promote Klang as a historical destination for tourists. He said Klang has as much historical depth as Malacca, but the latter received more tourists due to its aggressive approach to marketing. Malaysian Book of Records representative Leona Paul said about 250 pictures would be

Tourism Selangor events and marketing manager Fazly Razally.

used, and they had to be relevant to the theme of the event. “They must be of the purpose to promote Klang, to be approved by us,” she said. The photo collage is part of the Selangor Heritage Photo Carnival 2011, to be held on June 4. Co-organiser Photo Creator Publication chief editor Jessica Chan said the event will not be just for photographers, but will be more of a family day. Activities to be held include photography competitions, free children’s photography workshop, traditional arts and food demonstration, and fireworks display. “Those interested to take part in the various competitions can sign up on Tourism Selangor’s website (www.tourismselangor. org), through their Facebook page, or at the Klang Municipal Council building,” said Chan.

PETALING JAYA: Schoolbags and groceries were distributed to single moms and their children here last Saturday in recognition of Mother’s Day. Edward Lee said the event was organised to ease the burdens faced by single mothers. “The state would like to address their needs, and this event is a good opportunity for us to get to know them better so we can help to improve their living conditions,” said the Bukit Gasing assemblyperson. A total of 28 schoolbags sponsored by Tupperware and 35 bags of groceries comprising a 10kg pack of rice, a bottle of oil, a packet each of sugar and salt, were presented to single moms and their children. The groceries were sponsored by the state. The event was jointly organised by Bukit Gasing Leadership Services (BGLS) and Lee’s office. “The poor and and single mothers are the most vulnerable groups in our society. It is the responsibility of our government and state lawmakers to help them to cope with the many hardships that they face,” said Lee. He also urged the corporate sector

to come forward and pledge their support to do their part to help needy families and single mothers. “Companies must participate in more Corporate Social Responsibility projects in collaboration with non-governmental organisations such as BGLS to help those in need especially during difficult financial times,” he said. Diabetic patient Ong A Su, who was among the recipients, said she was grateful for the aid. BGLS has been working closely with Lee’s office to help the community in Bukit Gasing, including offering free tuition services for Form Five students. Other projects in the pipeline include daycare services as well as preschool learning centres to provide free education for poor children under a programme called Projek Harap. “The mission of Projek Harap is to eradicate poverty through education. [This will be done] by equipping people with living skills to promote harmony in Malaysia and instill loyalty to the country, because the future of Malaysia depends on the future of our children,” said BGLS adviser Richard Rajoo.

A Starry Hill
Fiction by Alfian Sa’at

FICTION 17
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

D

uring their school holidays, Shazeela and Nurdiyana always made it a point to visit Kuala Lumpur. They would save up for the coach ride and a three-night stay at a modest three-star hotel. Kuala Lumpur was different without their parents around. They would not have to tail them on trips to handicraft markets, where their mothers would coo over gaudy batik scarves, or eat at “Western” restaurants that were not halal in Singapore, their fathers enthusing over grilled steaks and roast chicken. There was something provincial about their parents’ conception of Kuala Lumpur, which was perceived as a place of both familiarity (everyone spoke in Malay), as well as freedom (there were few dietary barricades). But the girls knew that the place wasn’t just an expanded Geylang Serai bazaar. There was a pulsing energy to the city, and a dizzying cosmopolitanism that they could not find in Singapore. Once, after jaywalking in front of the Pavilion Shopping Mall, they found themselves assailed by a sight they could not make sense of: Iranian women in chadors, Burmese men in cleaning services polo tees, towering Scandinavian backpackers. The girls also felt that the nightlife in Kuala Lumpur held more promises of nocturnal adventures (cars audaciously parked on pavements, faces of indeterminate ethnicities). One of their favourite spots was the Bukit Bintang stretch. Since they were not locals, the name still retained its etymological innocence, and its very mention enchanted them, conjuring up a hill where people climbed to gaze at stars. One night, the girls decided to check out a bar at Bukit Bintang, which a website guide described as having a “mixed expat and local crowd”. The girls had spent close to an hour ironing their hair, matching their clothes, ensuring that their eyeliners ended in perfect calligraphic upstrokes. After all that, they would spray perfume on themselves, to create the impression that their

appearance was not deliberate and laboured; they were effortless clouds of colour and scent. The girls always felt confident walking around Kuala Lumpur. They knew that they were attractive, but part of that confidence— or superiority—also came from a certain self-image as Singaporeans. They were certain that they had an advantage over other girls in Kuala Lumpur, like the ones who came from smallholder farms (whom they called Minah

own ironing. A couple of them had mixed features, with eyes and hair that would probably reveal their fiery brown hues under the sun. After a few minutes, one of the boys turned to the girls and asked, “Can I top up your drinks? What would you like?” He was not one of the mestizos, but he was fair-skinned, with thick, inky eyebrows. “We’re fine for now,” Nurdiyana replied.

Felda), or the “skanky ones” who wore lowriding jeans which exposed spotty posteriors (whom they called Minah Bohsia). In the bar, the girls bought some soft drinks and parked themselves in a corner. The crowd was thickening, and the girls tried to be nonchalant to the glances that were darting in their direction. A group of boys appeared and occupied the seats beside them. They were Malay youths, but well-dressed, in crisp ironed shirts, though something in their manner suggested that they did not do their

“Where are you girls from?” the boy asked. “Singapore,” Nurdiyana replied, flattered that he had asked. “This is my best friend Zeela. And I’m Diyana. Are you from KL?” One of the other boys, who was listening in, said, “He’s from the Royal House of Kedah!” The boy who spoke first frowned at this interruption. “Are you on holiday?” he asked the girls. Nurdiyana replied that they were, and in the next few hours found out that the boy was

studying at the London School of Economics, and was back for the summer vacation. He bought jugs of drinks for his friends, who would wander off and come back, but who never attempted to join in the conversation with the girls. Shazeela could see that Nurdiyana was quite smitten: she recognized the forced laughter, the anecdotes she had heard before, now polished for another airing. Shazeela assigned to herself the role of a watchful but somewhat indulgent chaperone. When the girls left the bar, Nurdiyana showed Shazeela the namecard the boy had passed her. “Tengku Azlan,” Nurdiyana said. “He said he’s going to call me tomorrow.” “But we’re going back tomorrow,” Shazeela said. “Maybe we can extend?” Nurdiyana asked. Shazeela did not like the scratch of hope she detected in her voice. But the boy did not call. Nurdiyana waited until it was time to check out, and then rang him up herself. Three times. Nobody answered her call. On the bus, she was silent, leaning back in her seat with her sunglasses on. “You know why we keep going up?” As her eyes were shielded, it seemed as if Nurdiyana was not addressing anyone in particular. “We do it just like our parents. We go up to discover who we really are.” Shazeela wanted to feel some sympathy for her friend, but it was annoyance that she felt instead. Nurdiyana was too old to be nursing some fantasy of becoming a princess, or a member of some royal entourage. She should know better, coming from Singapore, where there were no palaces or farms, no peasants or kings. How silly these notions were! No, Shazeela thought, we go up so as to discover who we are not. And we’ll keep going up to discover it again and again. But she did not voice her thoughts aloud. She turned to the window, watching curtains of trees whisk by. She wondered what it would feel like to reach her hand out, through the glass, to brush her fingers against the sun-shimmering leaves.

Students hold charity concerts for Japan
By Basil Foo

Help University College volunteers who helped to raise funds for Japan’s disaster victims.

KUALA LUMPUR: Students from Help University College here held two charity concerts to raise funds for victims of the recent natural disasters in Japan. “We hope our contributions will help the people [there] to recover faster,” said 22-year-old Howen Cheong. The Music Club president said singers and bands from the student body took part in the concerts. Cheong, a public relations student, said many students wanted to contribute as they felt they owed a lot to Japanese culture. “People here love Japanese

Cheong (left) with Deem, a musical group from Help, at the concert.

food and their way of life. We also admire their handling of the tragedy,” he said. The concerts, themed “love” and “hope”, were held at the 160-seat Theatrette Hall in the Pusat Bandar Damansara campus on Wednesday and Thursday (May 18 and 19).

Guests were serenaded by members of Help’s Music Club, where Cheong also serves as a vocal trainer and multi-instrumentalist. Cheong said they would hold a ceremony today (May 27) to hand over the proceeds to the university.

technology 18
may 27 — 29, 2011

Playing safe on Facebook
By Edwin Yapp

ocial networking came into being more than five years ago with sites like Friendster and MySpace, but it was not until Facebook appeared that the world was bowled over by the social media phenomenon. Today, Facebook is the undisputed king of social networking, with over 500 million members and counting. But as the world gets so dependent on this social media utility, the risks of exposure are also greater. The fact is that as more of us go online and post personal information about ourselves in that space, we’ve got to realise that, probabilistically speaking, the risk of us being exposed is higher. So unless you’re going to completely shun social networking, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you’re not totally exposed. The first thing to understand if you want to get into Facebook, you’ll have to reset your mindset to realise that everything you put online is in public domain and can be seen by all. The general rule of thumb, then, is that you should never publish anything on your Facebook wall that you wouldn’t want to read on the front page of a newspaper. Because of the openness and highly collaborative nature of Facebook, privacy settings on the site are limited and require intervention from its users to lock down default settings. So what are some of these best practices? Begin by telling yourself to never post sensitive information such as your address, phone number, birth date or other information that could be used for identity theft. Common-sense practices include never post that you’ll be on vacation or away from home for an extended period of time; never add friends that you don’t know; always choose a difficult password, one that mixes and matches letters and numerals; and don’t be afraid to deny people access if you’re not sure who they are. Never assume that if other friends are

S

posting things in an open manner, they are using this resource safely. For instance, your pictures can be tagged (labelled) by your friends, and although they may not have your explicit permission to be tagged, they end up on your friends’ sites, which may be unsecured. While you may be able to remove some pictures on Facebook, you can’t control what gets posted in third-party websites, and consequently, you can’t delete them from those websites. The privacy settings on Facebook are also quite a handful to go through. But generally speaking, click on “Only Friends” under the sharing preferences screen. “Only Friends” is the setting that is recommended for sharing any information on Facebook. At the very bottom of every page on Facebook, there’s a link that reads “Privacy.” The linked page is “A guide to privacy on Facebook”, which contains the latest privacy functions and policies. It’s a good idea to go through these pages with a fine-tooth comb so that you’re aware of what’s going on with Facebook’s latest policy. Always check this page to ensure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. As tedious as this may sound, it’s important to go through these terms of service carefully. One of the most powerful things you could do on Facebook is to add applications for you to do various things on it. The trouble with this is that you tend to install from third-party application providers, which may just turn out to be applications created by cybercriminals. So never install any application from an untrusted source. One technique that’s often used by cybercriminals is called “phishing,” in which an e-mail is sent to you purportedly from Facebook scaring you into action by selling you a story about your account being compromised. You would then be duped into following
Common techniques Taking care of your settings

a link sent to your e-mail, asking you to enter your username and password, when in fact, you’re surrendering your details to cybercriminals. Be aware of this and never follow that link that may lead you to malicious websites. One way to check to see what people say about you on the Internet is to do a Google/ Yahoo/Bing search of yourself to see what returns. By doing so, you can further enhance your security and improve your privacy settings. Conversely, this means that other people can check up on you, and because everyone’s connected with each other, people can find

out things about you, including future employers, and even prospective dates. Because there is a tendency for some individuals to lose their objectivity, it’s important that you be alert, and take the necessary actions to have good online presence. Avoid negative posts about people or organisations and be careful of what you say. Also ensure that your PC and/or laptop is protected with a good antivirus program and make sure you update it as often as you can. Lastly, be aware lest you get too addicted to Facebook and allow yourself to be distracted from work, which can ruin your reputation with your employers and loved ones.
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may 13 recoll: reconcections & 12 & iliation

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Where to get your
LRT Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning Ampang – Sentul Timur Ampang Cahaya Cempaka Pandan Indah Pandan Jaya Sentul Timur Sentul Kelana Jaya – Terminal Putra Kelana Jaya Taman Bahagia Taman Paramount Asia Jaya Taman Jaya Universiti Sri Rampai Wangsa Maju Taman Melati Sri Petaling – Sentul Timur Taman Melati Sri Petaling Bukit Jalil Bandar Tasik Selatan Salak Selatan Shopping Malls (From Saturday noon) 1 UTAMA Tropicana Mall Sunway Pyramid The Curve IOI Mall Plaza Damas Ikano Power Centre Empire Subang MetroPoint Centro Mall, Klang Bangsar Shopping Complex Hypermarkets (From Saturday noon) Giant (Puchong, Kajang, Bandar Kinrara, Klang, Pandamaran, Bandar Selayang, Kota Damansara, Taman Setiawangsa, Putra Heights, Taman Connaught, Kelana Jaya, Bukit Antarabangsa, Subang Jaya, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Kota Kemuning) Sentul – Port Klang Port Klang Bukit Badak Shah Alam Subang Jaya Jalan Templer Petaling Rawang – Seremban Kuala Kubu Baru Sungai Buloh Kepong Sentral Kepong Morning Wet Markets (Saturday morning) Jalan SS2/62 Taman Medan Jalan 17/27 SS15 Subang Jaya Taman Kuchai Lama Taman OUG Pasar Taman Megah Pasar Jalan Othman Pasar Jalan 17/2 Pasar Sek 14

commun

15

ity

May 20

— 22, 2011

/ issue

25

By Will

iam Tan

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Carrefour (Bukit Rimau, Subang Jaya, Wangsa Maju, Sri Petaling, Kepong, Puchong, Ampang, Jalan Peel, Jalan Kapar, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, S23 Shah Alam) Jusco (Bukit Tinggi, Tmn Maluri, Wangsa Maju, Bandar Baru Klang, Mahkota Cheras) Commuter Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning

Pasar Seri Setia SS9A/1 Pasar Kg Chempaka Taman Tun Dr Ismail Hospital Forrest Medical Centre Colleges Help Institute College Bandar Utama (KBU) Universiti Kebangsan Malaysia

Tesco (Puchong, Kajang, Mutiara Damansara, Rawang, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Ampang, Extra Shah Alam, Kepong)

food 19
May 27 — 29, 2011 Chilli Jack Dog.

By Basil Foo

coffee shop on Tropicana City Mall’s ground floor is sure to evoke a chuckle out of passers-by with its donkey mascot and garish neon sign proudly displaying the words “Bad Ass Coffee”. Visitors to the outlet will be greeted by Hawaiian paraphernalia decorating the interior, with surfboards, palm trees, and posters of native girls to set the mood. The coffee shop’s origins and tongue-incheek name come from the time when donkeys were used to haul bags of harvested coffee beans down the hills of Kona, located Visitors are welcomed by donkeys. on the southwest side of the Hawaiian island. The Kona community is located on the slopes of Mouna Loa Mount Hualaiai, where coffee is grown in the rich volcanic soil. Bad Ass staff were helpful in pointing out crowd favourites from the extensive drink menu, which had standard Kona coffee and those with mixers. Hesitant to try out the 100% Kona coffee after hearing friends’ late and raspberry mix, and Snick- Dog (RM9.90) and minestrone tales of how their earlier sampling erlicious (RM13.90), a mix of dark soup (RM9.90). of the beverage resulted in sleepless chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut. The pizza came as a thin-crust nights, we settled on the 10% inThe powerful aroma of the Kona and thick-cheese concoction with stead. beans permeated the mixed drinks, lots of veggies, on top of the usual The 12-ounce Frosted Kona which left us barely tasting anything meat chunks and pineapple slices, (RM8.60), made up of a 10% Kona other than coffee and chocolate in and was a simple tasty dish. brew mixed with white chocolate, the Snickerlicious. The Jack Dog was a foot-long had the heady taste of freshly ground Deciding to add the optional sausage smothered in what appeared coffee with a slight sweetness about whipped cream on the Haoles gave to be ground meat in spicy spait. The hot brew would be the perfect the drink a heavier texture, while the ghetti sauce, with a side of fries. This answer to a rainy night when there’s sweet raspberry was a nice exotic dish would not be recommended for nothing interesting on TV, and you touch, fitting the outlet’s theme. those who cannot take spicy food have 300 pages of your favourite Apart from coffee, Bad Ass offers – even we could not finish the servauthor’s latest work in your lap. a variety of typical Western café ing due to its spiciness. We also ordered the Haoles Me- food, with 10-inch chicken HawaiThe dish that stood out was the nehune (RM13.90), a white choco- ian pizza (RM15.90), Chilli Jack soup, which was a thick mixture of

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Coffee and donkeys

(Clockwise from left) Chocolate Donut, Snickerlicious, Haoles Menehune, Frosted Kona, Tiramisu Cup.

tomato soup, meat, pasta, and mixed vegetables with a side of garlic bread. Warm and fulfilling , the soup could have used more water as it dried out quickly when left untouched for too long. For dessert, we ordered a chocolate donut (RM5), which was obviously intended for more than one person because it was as large as three regular-sized donuts. They heated the pastry before serving, letting the chocolate melt a little for a more satisfying bite. Lastly, we ordered a Tiramisu

Cup (RM9.50), which did not have any pastry or cake in it but was filled to the brim with a form of custard, some crunchy coffee beans, and topped with tiramisu powder. The bill, which included government tax, was mostly padded by the drinks. Some food dishes were reasonable, while others were not worth the price. Good for a quick coffee run or a lazy gathering among friends, Bad Ass serves up a solid variety of food and beverage in cozy surroundings and lilting island music.

Among the palm trees and surfboards, the outlet has a line of Bad Ass donkey merchandise on sale.

Minestrone soup.

FOOD 20
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

This lor mee is the real deal

The days of going all the way to Ulu Yam Lama for lor mee are over. LIN ZHENYUAN finds out that there is a genuine Ulu Yam lor mee restaurant in Kepong

Ulu Yam Mee House in Kepong Baru.

The yummy Ulu Yam lor mee lives up its reputation.

that proclaimed Ulu Yam Mee House. It made my heart miss two beats. The next day, which was Wednesday, I made a quick trip to that restaurant. Much to my surprise, it was shut. I later learnt that the restaurant closed on alternate Wednesdays. But that minor setback only strengthened my resolve to revisit that place. I made good on my promise to return, just like General Douglas MacArthur’s pledge to the people of Philippines during World War II. When I finally paid a visit, Ulu Yam Mee House had only one table of customers at 3pm. Where was everybody? Even the waiters ignored me as I sat down. Only when they realised that I was ready to order after staring in confusion at the long list of menu items on the wall did one of them come over. The only thing on my mind was lor mee, so it was all I could utter when the guy came with his pen and pad to take my order. I stretched my hands to make a visual impression of a bowl big enough for two. Fortunately he understood my vague gestures. I also said a plate of greens would be nice. The waiter rattled off in rapid succession a list of vegetables which I could The plate of veggies springs a little surprise of its own. not make head or tail of. I only heard “choy sum” and agreed to it. When the veggies came, it turned out to be cabbage. My comprehension of Cantonese isn’t so good after all. The history of the Kepong Baru Ulu Yam Mee House goes back to the early 1980s when its owner, Koh Pek Kong, relocated his entire family from Batang Kali to Kepong. It seems that the Koh family are Hakka, The lobak and fish cake make the meal complete.

F

oodies say that distance is never a deterrent if a particular dish is worth the effort. So for some time now, some friends have been travelling for the better part of an hour or so to Ulu Yam Lama.    Ulu Yam Lama, to the uninitiated, sounds like a sad, forgotten town in the middle of nowhere. That’s partly true, but lovers of lor mee will swear on their plate of “fat mee” that this dish is what helped build the town. Since then, the fame of Ulu Yam’s lor mee has spread beyond its own borders. There are several outlets that lay claim to their authentic lor mee, and the flavour reaches all the way back to Ulu Yam. Last week, I had the good luck to spy on a big sign outside a restaurant in Kepong Baru

even though could swear I heard time we emptied the claypot of lor mee, our them speaking Hokkien at the next stomachs were complaining of congestion. table. But their Hokkien did not The waitress took my suggestion of packing sound anything like Penang Hok- the unfinished lobak and fish cake into a kien. I surmised they could have styrofoam box. Both of us had big smiles on come from Klang, where the resi- our faces when we left the restaurant. dents speak the “China” version of Hokkien. It was my good fortune that the plate of fried cabbage was one of the best I have ever tasted. It was spiked with tiny dried shrimp, one of my favourite ingredients. The claypot lor mee soon arrived. I gingerly added two tea spoonfuls of vinegar, as was the requirement of all lor mee consumption. I cautiously took one mouthful and looked at my lunch partner. Was it the real McCoy? Yes, it was indeed. I was mentally comparing it to the real lor mee in Ulu Yam Lama where I have vis- Herbal drinks went down well with the dishes we ited several times in the past. ordered. The lor mee was par excellence. The noodles inside the claypot was of such great The bill came to just RM34, inclusive of volume that it could easily feed four people. two big glasses of herbal tea, or pak chee choe, Luckily, I had a tiffin carrier in the boot of my as the Cantonese call it. It was a real bargain. car. Nothing must be wasted, as my mothI pledged that on our second visit to Ulu er always said. I was just following her Yam Mee House, we should sample some of orders. the other 25 items we had missed out on. It is I had the presence of mind to also order definitely a food trip worth making. the fish cake and the house specialty, lobak. Ulu Yam Mee House is located at 38, The lobak was better than what all the other Jalan Ampong 4, Kepong Baru. Contact lobak stalls in Petaling Jaya and Kota Daman- numbers: 016-2720198 and 012-3197719. sara had to offer. It was that good. Operating hours are from 10am to 9pm. You It didn’t take long for my companion and wouldn’t want to show up when their doors me to realise that we had over-ordered. By the are closed.

Long list of menu items on the wall, all in Chinese characters.

Roasters Run raises RM65k for charity

Media 21
May 27 — 29, 2011

Men’s division posing with (from left) Chua Hong Wee, NKF chief executive officer; Kenny Rogers Roasters mascot; Datuk Francis Lee; and Lee Siew Weng, Kenny Rogers Roasters senior general manager.

Introducing Fujifilm’s thinnest compact
SHAH ALAM: Looking for an easy-to-use, high quality compact digital camera that is to carry along, wherever you go? Fujifilm’s new FinePix T300, with its 10x zoom compact, is the thinnest model to capture those important moments. W i th a re s o l uti o n o f 1 4 megapixels, the new FinePix T300 delivers photos that can be printed out at A3 size without the need for any software resizing. Its 10x zoom range, which stretches from 28280mm (35mm equivalent) also lets you shoot images – from wideangled landscapes, cityscapes and large group photos to closely cropped portraits and close-up, detailed photos. And to avoid blurry images, the T300 has incorporated a powerful CCD shift Image Stabilisation (CIS) system that helps eliminate camera shake and deliver sharp images in a wide variety of lighting conditions, including low-light and at night. According to Fujifilm, the T300 is so stable, it can even be used without a tripod or other support in a wide range of shooting situations. Another useful feature the T300 has is the Motion Panorama Mode, which allows you to stitch three photos together to create a single panoramic image – perfect for wide landscapes, tall buildings or large groups of people. It also features Face Recognition – a very useful feature if you shoot a lot of portraits, as you’ll quickly be able to find all the shots of a specific individual. When a shot is taken, you can store the name of the person/people in the image. The T300 will automatically find other imag es on the memor y card featuring the same person. The T300 also features a threeinch LCD screen where images and menus are d isplaye d in 230,000 pixels. Other features offered by the T300 include image search and HD video (720p HD video at 30 frames per second). The recommended retail price for the new Fujifilm FinePix T300 is RM748 and comes with a free 8GB SD memory card and soft case.

SHAH ALAM: It was a quirky balancing act for a good cause at the seventh annual Roasters Chicken Run at Sunway Lagoon on May 22 More than 3,000 runners gathered at Sunway Lagoon for the unique charity run organised by Kenny Rogers Roasters, which helped raise RM65,000 for the National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia (NKF). People of all ages took on the designated route in the surrounding area of Bandar Sunway while balancing an egg on a cone. Runners had to ensure that the egg remained intact when they completed the designated route of 4.8km (Adult & Junior Categories) or 2.8km route (Kids Category). Berjaya Roasters (M) Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Francis Lee flagged off the run. “While I am proud that the Roasters Chicken Run has been a success, I am also humbled by the generosity and kindness of Malaysians when it comes to lending a helping hand to those in need,” said Lee. The funds raised from this charity run will help the NKF to fund the operational costs and treatments for the needy patients. “NKF is grateful to Kenny Rogers Roasters and their supporters for their contributions. The proceeds raised will help more than 1,300 NKF patients as we continue to subsidise their dialysis treatments and medication,” said NKF director Dr Lee Wan Tin. This year’s run was co sponsored by co-organiser Sunway Lagoon, and supporting partners Berjaya Air, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, Sunway Pyramid, Celeb-

rity Fitness, Fudgeez, Isotonic H-Two-O, Milo, Unilever Food Solutions and Yeo’s. In previous years, the run had successfully raised more than RM300,000 for a variety of charitable organisations and homes such as Tabung Kebajikan Pesakit HUKM; Pediatric Unit HUKM (Oncology); Unit Tutur – Aural Rehabilitation Centre for Hearing Impaired Children together with

Yayasan Budi Peyayang Malaysia and House of Joy and Faith; Yayasan Sunbeams Home; Rumah Juara; Rumah Kanak-kanak Tengku Budriah; Rumah Sayangan; Malaysian National Kidney Foundation – Dialysis Treatment for the Young ; Rumah Hope; Rumah Kebajikan Anbu Illam; Rumah Charis TiRatana Welfare Society; and Tabung Kebajikan Pesakit PPUKM – Young Diabetic Patients.

Sexual violence has reached epidemic levels
ALL Women’s Action Society (Awam) notes with concern The Malay Mail’s front-page story on May 19 on the alarming rate of sex crimes.  According to the report, 10 women become victims of rape every day, and that on average, every two and a half hours one woman gets raped, according to latest statistics released by Bukit Aman. While these statistics are alarming, they don’t convey the true scale of the crime. Applying the general rule of thumb that only one in 10 cases of rape is reported, the more accurate picture is approximately one rape happens every 15 minutes in the country. This means that each year in Malaysia, the number of victims is enough to fill Bukit Jalil stadium to capacity. If we include other sexual crimes such as incest and harassment, experienced not just by women alone but also the transgendered and people of all ages, the numbers would easily double. According to the 2010 Malaysia Millennium Development Goals report, Malaysia ranks among the highest in the world for reported cases of rape. Sexual violence has reached epidemic levels in the country. It is a widespread social, development and public health issue that needs to be radically addressed and dealt with. Prior to this report, these statistics were classified as “sulit” and withheld by police, suggesting a sweep-under-the carpet mentality which betrays a resistance to tackle this issue openly. Similarly, our government’s ambitious Government Transformation Programme and National Key Result Area to reduce crime make no mention of reducing sexual crimes, betraying perhaps a disconnect with the reality that sexual violence is on the rise. The pitifully low rate of prosecution of 162 rapes in 2009 also suggests that our court system is also failing. Meanwhile, the Women’s Ministry is virtually silent on tackling sexual violence. Rape is a crime that is seemingly committed with impunity, where many perpetrators escape the law and get off scot-free. We need a national strategy to deal with sexual crimes, which includes the involvement of all agencies such as service providers, judiciary, police, and medical staff. Prevention strategies which promote education, awareness of gender equality and securing women’s rights are a long-term strategy to reduce this scourge. We need to approach this epidemic with the will and the resources to eradicate sexual crimes. Ho Yock Lin Acting President All Women’s Action Society

Gallery 22
MAY 27 — 29, 2011

Single mothers and their children received free groceries and schoolbags in conjunction with Mother’s Day. The event was organised by Bukit Gasing Leadership Services and the office of Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee.

Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) Revenue Management Department manager Khairul Nizam Zainal Abidin notifying a shopkeeper that the council will soon be seizing property belonging to business owners with assessment tax arrears.

Executive committee member and Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok during a visit to the Madrasah Al-Taqwa orphanage in Hulu Langat, which was hit by a landslide last Saturday, claiming 16 lives. On her left (in sunglasses) is Kajang Municipal Councillor Steven Chan.

Factory workers standing up for their right to minimum wage and singing along to the labour union song at an event held at the Selangor Youth and Cultural Complex in Shah Alam.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim with the family member of a landslide victim at the Ampang Hospital on Monday evening. Looking on (right) is Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

Children lighting candles on Wesak Day on May 17 at the Subang Jaya Wihara Buddhist temple.

Culture 23
May 27 — 29, 2011 (From left) Jordan MacVay, two fans, Shanthini Venugopal, Sharon Bakar, Uthaya Sankar SB and Brian Gomez.

CaLENDaR

Compiled by Nick Choo – nick@selangortimes.com

Live @ The Actors Studio: Singer-Songwriters
Music; May 27 & 28; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10; 03-21442009, www.theactorsstudio.com. my
Original compositions written by Malaysia’s own independent singer-songwriters. Featuring Ida Lisa, Nightlights, Rashdan Harith, Priscilla Xavier, Joshua Foong and Ariff Akhir on Friday (May 27); Ian Chow, Wani Ardy, Tony Leo, Markiza and Peter Hassan, Khairil M Bahar and Devon Chew on Saturday. Free admission.

Projek Disko Baldi
Comedy; May 28 & 29; PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One; RM10 (for preview on May 28) / RM35; 0379600439, email: boxoffice@pjla. com.my; www.pjla.com.my
“A journey of random, ‘what the what?’, ‘gila dowh’ sketches” (sic). “Parodies, satires, original songs and 100% zaniness — you’ll never know what hit you.” Projek Disko Baldi is a comedy ensemble under Playground Productions, comprising Megat Sharizal, Redza Minhat, Farah Rani, Iedil Putra Alaudin, Ashraf Zain, Shamaine Othman and Tuan Faisal. Part of PJ Laugh Fest 2011.

By Terence Toh

man adrift at sea comes across six naked maidens trapped on a floating tree trunk. A woman discovers a unexpected carton of eggs on her doorstep, which her friends suspect were placed with sinister intentions. A cat applies to become a government official. No, these are not the synopses of the latest Haruki Murakami novel or David Lynch film, although they very well could be. These are the plots of some of the stellar short stories in Readings from Readings, a compilation of Malaysian poetry, fiction and non-fiction submitted and read by local writers at Readings, Kuala Lumpur’s longest-running live literature event. Edited by Bernice Chauly and Sharon Bakar, Readings from Readings is an inspired showcase of the best of Malaysian literary talent, a delicious rojak platter of stories profound, rib-tickling and thought-provoking. Editor Bakar describes it as a “dipinto collection”: whenever and wherever you dip into it, you will always find something good to read. In conjunction with the book’s recent publication, MPH Bookstores recently organised a reading of the book on May 15 at its 1-Utama outlet. Featuring several of the authors in the anthology, the event was a delight, attracting a small crowd eager to hear stories being read. Opening the event was editor and emcee Sharon Bakar, who welcomed the crowd and introduced the first reader, Shanthini Venugopal, who read an excerpt from her piece Chicken or the Egg?. Based on a true experience, Venugopal’s tale of the sudden appearance of a carton of eggs combined mystery and humor, and effectively charmed the listening audience. “To this day, I still have no idea how the eggs got there,” Venugopal said with a smile. “My friends think it was part of a jampi, but who would want to jampi me? I’m broke!” Venugopal was followed by writer Alina Rastam, who read two of her poems, Pantun and In My Lover’s Hands. Simple yet

A

Readings from Readings from Readings
Jordan MacVay reading his story The Six Maidens.

Photos by Uthaya Sankar SB

Actorlympics!
Comedy; May 31-June 2; PJ Liva Arts @ Jaya One; 03-79600439, RM30/ RM60; email: boxoffice@pjla.com.my; www.pjla.com.my
“1. A competitive activity or sport in which theatrical players contend with each other according to a set of rules; 2. A theatrical, improvisational, comical activity providing entertainment or amusement; 3. An evening of entertainment provided by a collection of Malaysia’s best comedy improv actors; 4. The best night of laughs you have had in a long time with the most amount of actors onstage at one time.” Featuring Adlin Shauki, Harith Iskander, Nell Ng, Rashid Salleh, Ida Nerina, Patrick Teoh, Kuah Jenhan, Douglas Lim and Reza Zainal Abidin. Part of PJ Laugh Fest 2011.

The Moon Speaks For My Heart: Teresa Teng, Her Life, Her Songs
Musical; May 19-29; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; RM60-RM255; 03-62019107/62019108, email: dama@damaorchestra.com; www. damaorchestra.com
Dama Orchestra’s latest concert is a tribute to the legendary Teresa Teng. Savour the sweet melodious music and songs that made Teng a truly international icon. Featuring Tan Soo Suan, Evelyn Toh, and Chang Fang Chyi, with narration in English by Sam Tseu.

White Crane Silat & Dance
Dance; May 30; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10; RM10; 010-3061100 / 0126560812; email: jess_procast@yahoo.com.my
powerfully written, Rastam’s free verse was stirring and evocative, an effective expression of the innate beauty found in simple things, whether it be the tranquility of a beach at night, or the touch of someone close to you. Brian Gomez, author of novel Devil’s Place, then read from his story a/p, a moving account of childhood innocence affected by religious and racial strife. Gomez proved an engaging reader, bantering with the audience before he read: “I use profanity in everything I write. I think it’s a fair reflection of Malaysians. We can swear in four languages. And so can Singaporeans, but what have they got to swear about?” Following Gomez was Jordan MacVay reading The Six Maidens, about an Indonesian man lost at sea, and the peculiar company he meets. In a true testament to truth being stranger than fiction, MacVay shared how many thought the events in his story were fictional, when amazingly, all of it really happened, as related to him by one of his students, Rizal Sahputra, who was swept out to sea by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and actually experienced the events of the story. Uthaya Sankar SB then read Cat (previously published in Selangor Times) with the first part of his story read in English, and the second in Bahasa Malaysia. A rib-tickling, surreal piece about a cat applying for a government post, Sankar’s piece was well-received by readers, who Sankar successfully cajoled into miaowing along with him at certain parts of the story. Bakar closed the event with a reading of Homunculus, an experimental three-sentence story she was inspired to write after participating in a writing activity from an online writing course. The story drew upon the medieval legend of an artificial human as a metaphor for the effects of a debilitating disease, and was moving in its poignancy. All in all, the session of Readings from Readings proved to be a delightful experience, a lovely opportunity for Malaysian book fans and writers to get acquainted with each other. Storytelling, after all, should be a two-way experience, with both the reader and the writer playing vital roles, and this engaging live reading proved to be a fine testament of this. Performance and demonstration by Jane Chen from Indonesia. Born in Jakarta and moved to Bali after she graduated from the Art College, she has been practicing “white crane” silat, an Indonesian martial art that promotes a sound mind and fit body, for the past 22 years. The craft evolved from the ancient Southern China Shaolin and Bodhidarma. Limited seats available.

The Fulfillment of Solitude
Exhibition; May 10-31; EQ Fine Arts; 03-62010985/019-2809985, email: rajaihsan@gmail.com; free admission
A selection of photographs by HRH Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah (19071979). “The 25 photographs carefully chosen for this exhibition are some of his most celebrated, and also several that were never before printed. These are pictures that reveal the true character of the photographer, who also happened to be a Malay Sultan. They also reveal his relationship with the human element of his subjects, as well as the countryside that he belonged to.” Viewing by appointment only.

Land of Gods & Shadows
Exhibition; May 9-29; Pentas 2 Foyer, KLPac; 03-7958 2175, email: stag@ tm.net.my; www.shaliniganendra.com
Pictures by photojournalist Rahman Roslan, taken during frequent visits to Bali in 2010. “As a frequent stranger to this land, Bali offers many surprises. On my second visit, I was able, due to familiarity, to capture images, people met, and landscapes touched, and the feeling of the breeze. What I see has more meaning now and grows from the image, because from the visual I explore the multiple layers beneath. Sometimes a beautiful marriage occurs between the ancient and contemporary, or the obvious and the subtle. These relationships, shadows, and realisation brought the mesmerising energy for this series.” Presented by Shalini Ganendra’s Fine Art.

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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