Heritage behind museum p

FreedoM of expression
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Heroes lauded

1Malaysia & 8G
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community

DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010/ issue 3

MyKad solution
By Neville Spykerman

sHaH alaM: MyKad recognition of underage patrons at cybercafes is  among some of the proposals being considered by the State to regulate the multi-million ringgit industry. The idea mooted by the Selangor Cyber Cafes Operators Association is aimed at reducing truancy and online gambling while helping authorities distinguish between legitimate businesses and illegal operators. “We have developed a programme that recognises the age of users through their MyKad and which will automatically shut down computers used by children at 10pm on weekdays or 12am on weekends,” said association president Bronson Chuah to Selangor Times. The association has spent RM50,000 to develop the software which has undergone trials for the past one year. If accepted by the State, all users will be required to swipe their MyKad in order to use

the computers at cybercafes. “With the new measures In addition, the we hope the state will lift association is suggesting that the freeze so our members all cybercafes adopt an open can expand their layout which will ensure that businesses.” there are no hidden corners The association is also for patrons to surf for porn s u g g e s ti n g that o n l y or gamble online. Chuah said operators with a minimum the move is aimed at safeof 40 computers be allowed guarding the industry which to apply for new licenses as is estimated to be worth some the costs involved will RM200 million annually in compel owners to operate the Klang Valley. within the law. “Through our surveys we “ Cu r r e n t l y i l l e g a l estimate that cybercafes here operators can just pay a fine get 40 million visitors a Chuah: New measures and reclaim seized year  but illegal cybercafes computers before outnumber legitimate ones by three to one.” reopening at a different location.” He pointed out that the 650 legal operators As a means to provide further services to were being maligned because of the illegal the public, the association is also seeking the ones. Chuah said the situation would only get State’s approval to allow cybercafes to be worse because the current freeze on licenses upgraded into one-stop centres for postal for new outlets is causing illegal ones to services and bill payments. mushroom. However, Chuah acknowledged the

measures proposed will not be able to totally eradicate the problem of illegal operators, nor was it within the powers of the association to enforce the regulations. “ That’s the responsibility of local governments who was must step up their enforcement,” he said. Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu said the state was  considering the recommendations proposed by the association. “We wanted a mechanism to regulate cybercafes and we thank the association for taking up the initiative,” said Liu, whose portfolio includes Local Government. He said the open layout and design plan submitted by the association was a good way of ensuring that cybercafes operate in a transparent and open manner. “We believe this will deter online gambling and prevent patrons, especially the youths from watching pornography, gambling and loitering in the premises.” He said a decision on the proposals will be made soon.

2

news
Morning

DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

Selangor WeaTHer
Friday Saturday Sunday

Selangor to make third offer by month’s end
SHAH ALAM: Selangor will make yet another bid to take over the four water concessionaires this month. “Documents pertaining to the acquisition will be prepared first and it will take about two weeks,” said Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Wednesday. Two previous offers of RM5.7 billion and RM9.3 billion were rejected by the companies last year. Khalid said the state was still finalising the offer and could not reveal the figures for the latest offer. He  added that the state executive council needed to discuss the offer before it was made to the four companies. They include Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Sungai (Splash) and Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd. Shah Alam and Putrajaya have been deadlocked over who should have control over the supply and distribution of the natural resource. In line with the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA) - Selangor intends to take over and manage the industry more efficiently and reduce tariffs. However the Federal Government has been adamant on handing back the concession to Syabas despite numerous breaches of contract and its poor record. The move will also result in an increse of water tariffs for 7.5 million consumers Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Last month the state launched the “Return water rights to the people” campaign. This culminated with a petition seeking the intervention of the King which was sent to the palace on Sunday.

afternoon

night

EvEnts
Musical – Mahim Junction
This musical team is coming all the way from India with the support of Maxis Bhd. It is an entertaining mix of nostalgia and cinema, a snapshot of Bollywood film in the 1970’s. It has run shows to full houses in London and India. It will on from today to Sunday. Tickets are priced at RM50 per adult for the centre, RM40 for the sides and RM30 for students and the disabled. Venue: Pentas 1, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), Sentul Park, off Jalan Ipoh. The box office is reachable at 03-4047 9000.

End to grant woes for Pakatan reps
By Neville Spykerman

International Motor Show
The Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show will only be on till Sunday and showcases some of the world’s automotive wonders, as well as sought after car accessories with goodies. Admission prices are RM15 per adult on weekdays and RM20 on weekends. Special rates for families, students and children are available on their website http://www.klims10.com/. Visiting hours are from 11 am to 10 pm. Venue: Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

Free Classes
Compassion Buddhist Mediation Society is offering classes on Buddhism for Modern People from Dec 12-26. Classes are from 10.30am to noon. Admission is free. Venue: Journey Within Sdn Bhd, 30-2, Block B, Jalan PJU 5/21, The Strand Kota, Damansara, Petaling Jaya. For more details, call 012-222 9201 (Doreen) or 016-620 3565 (Sean), or email at info.mkms@ mediateinkl.org.

S H A H A L A M : Pa katan Rakyat  assemblymen will for the first time have a bigger say on how grants are used in their constituencies from next year. “RM1million will be allocated to each of the 56 constituencies but the money can only be used to upgrade roads and drains,” Teng Chang Khim told Selangor Times. The Sungai Pinang assemblyman s a i d th e i d e a wa s m o o te d by backbenchers two months ago and the state had agreed to the proposal. He said no additional funds will need to be allocated or budgeted for the shift in policy. The money will come from State

Road Grants which Selangor receives annually from the Federal Government. These grants are channelled to local governments. “There will be nothing different except state lawmakers will have the right on how some of the money money is utilised within their constituencies,” said the Selangor Legislative Speaker. Powers to determine how the funds are used will also be g iven to coordinators overseeing the 21 constituencies held by the Opposition. Pandamaran Assemblyman Ronnie Liu said the move would help reduce red tape, especially if the funds were needed urgently. “Currently lawmakers need to wait for municipalities and authorities to

act but there have been complaints about delays,” said the Executive Councillor whose portfolio includes local government. He pointed out that Federal Grants are also allocated to the Drainage and Irrigation Department and Public Works Department. Opposition assemblyman Yap Ee Wah said the state should also give the same powers across the board. The Sungai Pelek lawmaker from MCA pointed out that all assemblymen were elected and knew what was best for their constituency. However, Selangor had previously declared that it was willing to give the Opposition state funds provided Putrajaya was willing to do the same for Pakatan Rakyat MPs.

Women Role in Environment Protection
The Department of Environment Selangor will be holding a workshop on the Role of Women in the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The workshop is in conjunction with the wider Ozone Layer Protection and Awareness Campaign. It will be held on Dec 14 at 9am. Venue: Ballroom, De Palma Hotel, Shah Alam. For more details, please call 03-44214115/128.

Fan Yew Teng – A loss to civil society
SHAH ALAM: Former Petaling Jaya Assemblyman and DAP stalwart Fan Yew Teng (pix) passed away in Bangkok on Tuesday, after a six-month battle with cancer. The former DAP deputy secretary-general was elected concurrently for the state seat as well as the Menglembu (Perak) Parliamentary seat in 1974. Previously he had served as the MP for Kampar in 1969. But he was disqualified as a lawmaker in 1975 after being fined RM2,000 for publishing a seditious article, based on a speech by the then Penang party chairman, Dr Ooi Kee Saik, in DAP’s newsletter, The Rocket. The 68-year-old who was the oldest in a family of nine siblings, is survived by his wife Noeleen Heyzer and twin daughters Lilianne and Pauline. His funeral will be held at the Holy Redeemer Church in Bangkok next Thursday. Parliamentarians observed a minute’s silence in Parliament on Wednesday. In Shah Alam, Executive Councillor Teresa Kok was among politicians who paid tribute to the former DAP leader. Kok said Fan held the party together, as acting secretarygeneral, while Lim Kit Siang was detained under the Internal Security Act in 1969. Fan subsequently left the party for two decades due to internal disputes before returning in 1998. During the 1999 general election, Fan contested the Tebing Tinggi state seat and lost but he continued to cham-

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

EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR COMMUNITY EDITOR WRITERS

KL Chan

Neville Spykerman

Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, Alvin Chin, Lee Choon Fai, William Tan COPY EDITORS James Ang, Deborah Loh
DESIGNER

Jimmy C. S. Lim Victor Chong Evelyne Low

PHOTOGRAPHER ADVERTISING ADVISORS

Faekah Husin, Arfa’esa Abdul Aziz

pion human rights and social justice. “Although temperamental , his heart was in the right place. He had a lot of love and passion and always stood up for the weak, oppressed and marginalised, “I will always remember him with fondness and admiration for this,” said Kok. She said his passing is a great loss to civil society in Malaysia but he will continue to live on in their memory.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010 ⁄ 3

Klang residents lash out over flood woes
By William Tan

4

news

DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

KLANG: Victims of frequent flash floods at three housing estates here are pointing fingers at both the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) and Drainage and Irrigation Department ( JPS) for their woes. The residents from Taman Chi Lung, Taman Palm Grove and Southern Park said it was not uncommon for them to face floods up to two or even three feet high. But having suffered for over 12 years, they now say the situation had become worse due to new developments along irrigation channels all along Persiaran Tengku Ampuan Rahimah. “We see new houses, schools, and even graveyards being built but all their water still flows down to one main irrigation channel in our area” said R Selvaraju. The resident of Taman Palm Grove also blamed a development near a hotel in Persiaran Raja Muda Musa as another major cause for the flooding. He said the development had narrowed an existing irrigation drain which was badly built to begin with. This has caused a backflow of water which led to flooding every time it rained. Selvaraju said water retention ponds and widening of irrigation ditches have so far been ineffective. He pointed out that the response from the authorities to residents’ complaints has not been encouraging.

“The MPK says they have no money and the JPS calls it an act of God,” said Selvaraju. “It has being going on for a long time but only in the past few months has the problem really gotten worse” BAD FOR BUSINESS: A hairdresser looks at his flooded shop on Nov 29 after said another resident Liaw Poh Chee. a heavy downpour. He said while the damage from me. I saw a flower pot with the soil and plant still in it, sitting flooding may be minimal, the recurring situation had affected in the middle of a drain,” he said, referring to the actions of the value of property at his housing estate. some people who threw unwanted items into the drains. Residents met Klang Member of Parliament Charles San  He added that MPK needed to be more proactive and tiago and Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M Manoharan re- investigate the matter thoroughly. Rosli Adidin, who reprecently, and said they want a permanent solution to the prob- sented Selangor Exco Iskandar Abdul Samad at the meeting, lem. said JPS would be asked for an explanation within a week. Also at the meeting was a representative from MPK’s En‘”We will bring the matter to the Menteri Besar of Selangor” gineering Department, Mohammad Zaidi Zainal. he said. Mohammad Zaidi said the Council estimated that it would During a subsequent closed door meeting at MPK on cost RM50 million to solve the problem and the money should Wednesday,   JPS representative Jamaluddin Sarib assured come from JPS. The money would be used to build more residents that they were developing a plan to solve the flood pumps and flood water catchments in the area. problem. But to the ire of residents and lawmakers, no representatives He estimated that it would cost RM57 million and take up from JPS showed up for the pre-arranged meeting. to a decade to rectify the problem. “I will make a formal complaint on this issue,” said ManoAccording to MPK councillour Lim Lip Suan, JPS was still haran. However Santiago called on all parties to share the needed to raise the funds and the issue that will be brought responsibility for the situation. up to state this Friday. “I visited the site about a week ago and what I saw shocked But residents from the affected areas remain sceptical.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010 ⁄ 5

With Utmost Sincerity

From the management and StaFF oF YaYaSan Selangor

6

news

DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

Farmers upset over price drop
SEKINCHAN: Local farmers will lose millions as a result of the drop in selling price of rice seeds and rice grains recently. The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry slashed the selling price of rice seeds from RM1,400 per tonne to RM1,300 and rice grains from RM1,250 to RM1,150 recently. Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Swee Lim said that there are around 29,000 acres (11,736 ha) of paddy fields from Tanjung Karang to Sekinchan. He said on average three acres of land can produce 10 tonnes of rice every season. Hence, a farmer will lose around RM1,000 for every three acres of land. “This would amount to losses in the millions for the paddy farmers in Selangor,” said Ng, who led the protest by around 40 farmers in Sekinchan against the price cut. Ng also questioned if the lower selling price would translate into lower buying price for local consumers. Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) did not respond to Selangor Times’ query on the reason for the price cut at press time. In addition, as rice seeds are sold at a better price than rice grains,


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Farmers concerned with lower price of rice seeds and grains.

Selangor denies discrimination
by William Tan

most paddy farmers in Sekinchan are rice seed producers. They supply rice seeds to 80% of the farmers in the country for cultivation. However, under the ministry’s rice seed verification scheme, the farmers can only harvest their paddy after the Agricultural Department has inspected their fields. Sin Chew Daily reported that farmers are also unhappy with the Agricultural Department’s speed in pre-harvest inspections due to the shortage of manpower.

The farmers are also worried that they will not be able to harvest in time and the rainy season would further reduce yield. They are also concerned that their crops will suffer a drop in quality from rice seeds to rice grains due to late harvests. Former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo also visited Sekinchan last week during which he urged the Agricultural Department to speed up the pre-harvest inspections to minimise the farmers’ losses.

SHAH ALAM: Selangor has denied it discriminates against minorities wben awarding tertiary loans, saying that no quotas   are imposed. “I want it to be made known that the Selangor government’s main criteria are poverty and hardship. Race has nothing to do with it,” said executive councillor for education Dr Halimah Ali on Wednesday. Priority is given to Selangorborn students with excellent results and who come from families earning less than RM2,000 a month,

she said. She lashed out at the Opposition for trying to gain political mileage from the issue. However, she said the state was aware that not many non-Malays know about the loans, and there were fewer applications from Indians and Chinese because of poor publicity. This year’s 505 applicants included 20 Indians and two Chinese students while the rest were Malays. Last year, only two Indians received loans out of  504, with the rest being Malays. “According to our records, the number of non-Malays receiving

loans has not changed much since 2000, especially among the Chinese community which never exceed 10 recipients annually.” said Dr Halimah. She added that 874 applicants, including three Chinese and two Indians, also received Yayasan Selangor scholarships this year. Dr Ha lima h sa id Yayasan Selangor scholarships are offered only to students enrolled in the foundation’s special education programme. Next year, the state will advertise loan applications and Yayasan Selangor scholarships in more vernacular newspapers.

............................................... tandatangan

....................................... tarikh

Chi Liung hawkers gather support to stay
by Alvin Chin

Have you cHecked your electrical switcHes before leaving Home?
Before ieaving your home for a holoday, have you checked all your electrical switches and turned off your gas tanks?

Call the SS17 BomBa for advise at

03-5634 9444

KLANG: Despite complaints of traffic congestion and cleanliness, some residents at Taman Chi Liung still want hawkers at the morning market here to stay put. “We have a total of 1,500 signatures from the residents who want the hawkers to remain where they are” said Yap Kim Huat. Yap, the president of the Klang Hawkers Association, said 1,000 signatures were obtained from Taman Chi Liung residents and another 500 from residents of Southern Park. Yap said the signatures were obtained at the Taman Chi Liung market on Sunday. They will hand over the signatures to Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago. Calls for the hawkers to relocate follow long-standing complaints by some residents in Taman Chi Liung

and were initiated by Kota Alam Shah Assemblyman M. Manoharan. However, the planned relocation to Southern Park on Dec 1 was put on hold following protests from residents there, as well as resistance from the hawkers themselves. A meeting at the Klang Municipal Council will be held at the end of the month to reassess the situation. Santiago has pointed out that relocating the hawkers would be a no-win situation for any party. Relocation would adversely affect the livelihood of the hawkers, some of whom have been operating in the area for the past 30 years, as well as residents from both Taman Chi Liung and Southern Park. Santiago has also called for a compromise so that hawkers can remain where they are, provided problems regarding cleanliness and traffic congestion are addressed.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010 ⁄ 7

With Utmost Sincerity From The Chairman, Board oF direCTors, managemenT and sTaFF oF

8

news

DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

MyKad use at cybercafés may hit schoolchildren
By Alvin Chin

SOME licensed cybercafé operators interviewed by Selangor Times are open to the idea of using MyKads to regulate when schoolchildren are allowed to use computers at these outlets. However, their location was also a factor, as it determined whether children formed the bulk of their customers. “It will not affect our business at all because our current location favours university students. They are the regular customers here,” M Veejay said. The 18-year-old, who works at DotCom8, added that if the MyKad system was implemented, secondary school students would not loiter as much at cybercafés. He added that replacing the tinted windows of cybercafés with see-through glass would be a boost, especially for parents who want to see what their children were doing inside. Liew Jian Qi, 18, said the MyKad system would not affect the cybercafe business too adversely. Liew said the main customers at his outlet were adults between the ages of 20

and 40. “I think all cybercafés should follow rules and regulations set by the government. Illegal gambling is ruining the cybercafe business around Selangor” said Liew, who added that the cybercafé he works in follows regulations. Illegal outlets can be easily recognised as they usually have heavily tinted windows, he added. However, operators of cybercafés located near schools may feel differently about the possible new regulations. Operator Wong Liang Be said that implementing the MyKad system could slow down business as his regular customers are school students. “Our shop is located behind a school and students usually come in after school hours. Currently, they are having their school holidays so our business is a little bit slow” said Wong, 26. But Wong supported the proposal to have transparent glass windows instead of tinted ones. “This should not affect business if you are not doing anything illegal,” he said.

Wong: Implementing the MyKad system could slow down business.

Veejay: New system will not affect business as most clients are university students.

Free spay and neuter to reduce strays
AMPANG: Pet owners here will have an opportunity to spay or neuter their pets for free under a programme to prevent them from being abandoned. The offer by the Ampang Jaya Municipality Council (MPAJ), the office of the Teratai Assemblyman and Save a Stray will be on a firstcome-first-served basis on Dec 19. Owners will be required to register their pets and pay RM15 to obtain licences for animals. “This programme is to encourage residents to spay their female dogs and cats to prevent dumping of unwanted puppies and kittens,” said Teratai assemblywoman Jenice Lee. She said organisers hoped to change the mindset of pet owners. Twelve veterinarians will be on a field near the Meranti Apartments in Jalan Cheras Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, to spay the animals between 7.30am and 5pm. The success of the pilot project will determine if it will be extended to other areas. Pet owners will also be educated on caring for their animals. The progamme will also include free obedience training and vaccination and 50 per cent discount to treat blood parasites. For more information, call 034295 2354, 012-223 8176 or email scopeevent@yahoo.com.

Khir resigns as Opposition Leader
SHAH ALAM: Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo has stepped down as Opposition Leader following graft charges against him in relation to his bungalow in the city. The former Menteri Besar’s resignation was faxed to the Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly and Umno Selangor the same morning. Dr Khir said he resigned for the sake of his party and to prevent Pakatan Rakyat from exploiting the issue. However, he remains the Sungai Panjang assemblyman. He faces two years’ imprisonment and fine if he’s convicted of obtaining two plots of land and a house in Jalan 7/1L at half the market value price of RM6.5 million, for himself and his wife, Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik. Dr Khir was charged on Monday at the Shah Alam Sessions Court.

Stray dogs face being spayed or neutered at a shelter in Petaling Jaya.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010 ⁄ 9

With Utmost Sincerity

from Dato & DatiN NG Bee Chai

NBC Group of CompaNies

FEATURE 10
DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

FAVOURITE HAUNT: Young and old urbanites are flocking to the new kopitiams to catch up and have a quick meal.

Kopitiams Everywhere
hile traditional kopitiams have been in steady decline for a while, new style kopitiams are mushrooming. “There are definitely more of these shops nowadays; it is good business it seems.” B. Priya said while taking a slurp of coffee from his cup. Priya works in a nearby office in Damansara Utama, just a few blocks away from Old Town White Coffee. “I think that for kopitiams like this to thrive in business is to find a really good location. Like this shop for example, it is a good place to meet up,” said the 32 year old. At lunch and dinner hours in particular, these kopitiams usually have a lot of business. For places with a brand name like Old Town White Coffee and Pappa Rich, there is often not enough seats for hotspots. “I’m not here just for the food. Not to say that its bad but I can find better food elsewhere.” Andy Chong (pix) commented. “Overall I would prefer the old, traditional kopitiams. But these places are often very well situated, making it convenient for costumers.” Chong works at the office just above the outlet of Old Town White Coffee he is having his lunch in. He also added that the environment is comfortable and with wifi available, it makes customers want to stay longer and take their time. New style kopitiams usually stay open much longer than classic kopitiams. Most traditional  kopitiams are only open during the usual work hours. They are usually open from 10am to varying times at night and some even till midnight. The night scene is not all that different compared to lunch time; young working adults can be seen looking through files on their laptop or chit-chatting with their colleagues. “I think it is quite obvious that people like the cleanliness of these shops and the customer service offered.” Chan Wei An said while taking a puff from his cigarette in the smoking section of Pappa Rich. He also stated that while these restaurants are popular, he much prefers the traditional   kopitiams. “They have an old, authentic taste. The environment of classic kopitiams are also usually more relaxed and comfy,” he said. New styled kopitiams are in fact more popular within young working adults than university students and teenagers. “Actually most of our customers are working people, business people.” Hazry Nazaruddin stated. The manager of The Curve’s Pappa Rich branch added that students and youths in general don’t really go to such places. “I think the main reason these kopitiams are becoming so popular is because of good location and affordable prices. Pappa Rich also have the advantage of better tasting food.” He explained. While franchises already have a brand name to ensure their business, The Straits Café is an independent restaurant. Located in Centrepoint, Petaling Jaya, the restaurant is also enjoying a good amount of business. “I think we are lucky to have acquired such a good location to start our restaurant, we’re basically in the middle of a bunch of offices,” the manager of The Straits Café Terrence Kok said. He added that they have been in business for about seven years and that staffing is one of the major problems in setting up the restaurant. “We wanted to emphasise on customer service, and to achieve that we need to hire locals who can communicate with our customers. That way, if you want extra chili or kerang in your char kuey teow we can do it for you. The franchises cannot do that because they take the customers’ orders on little pieces of paper. But not many locals are looking for this kind of job.” Terrence explained. An interview with some youths also reveal that the popularity of new kopitiams have more to do with their location rather than their quality of food. Matthew Tan, 21, gives his two cents on the booming business, “I think it is mainly because they are in convenient locations, and traditional ones are hard to find these days.” The university student also added that it is a good place to hang out with friends because of the location. “It is clean, and has more variety in food. You can get almost anything in there,” Chen Yoon Yi said. When asked what she thinks about the location factor, she stated that the shops are very common. “They are everywhere, so I guess you could say that they have good location.” Once upon a time classic kopitiams used to line every street. But now these oldtimers are being phased out by new ones doing a booming business. But like all trends of a bygone era, sooner or later these new stylekopitiams will get outdated. But for now, franchises and entrepreneurs are just content to profit, by providing a service sought by much of the young working adult class.

By Lee Choon Fai

W

NEW TREND: New shops like this are replacing the classic kopitiams.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010 ⁄ 11

With Utmost Sincerity

From The Management and Staff of Sungai Long induStrieS Sdn Bhd

insight 12
DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

By Gan Pei Ling

T

he right to freedom of expression is an under-appreciated right and many Malaysians may still be unaware that it is a guaranteed right under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. Many may fear that to exercise this right is to invite negative repercussions. The Annexe Gallery at Central Market, for the third year running, will honour those who have spoken out and continue to do so fearlessly with its Freedom of Expression Award tomorrow. Selangor Times speaks to the five recipients of this year’s award to find out what motivates them to express themselves and their work boldly:  

The lawyer is part of the collective behind the MyConstitution Campaign, LoyarBurok blog, and is also the Bar Council’s Constitutional Law Committee chairperson. Via various creative means, Bon and the collective have helped to popularise the Federal Constitution and empowered Malaysians to understand and defend their rights. “This award should go to the hundreds of people working in the Bar Council, on the MyConstitution Campaign and LoyarBurok. “I’m only a figurehead representing them. They are the ones who have moved these rights initiatives. “Many Malaysians are unaware of their rights guaranteed under the Constitution. By reaching out, we hope we give people the courage to speak out, stand up and exert their constitutional rights fearlessly.” The historian and writer often presents Malaysians with a different version of history, the people’s version instead of the elites’, through his books and lectures. His books include “The Other Malaysia” (2004), “From Majapahit to Putrajaya” (2005), “Quran and Cricket” (2009) and “What Your Teacher didn’t Tell You” (2009). “From Majapahit to Putrajaya”, a collection of essays about contemporary Malaysia, was seized by the Home Ministry in late 2008 for not containing the publisher’s address. Farish is currently a Senior Fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technical University in Singapore. “It feels rather nice to know that my work has been appreciated by some people at least after ten years as I had almost given up and concluded that academic work is unappreciated in Malaysia. “This award is important as it recognises the need for open rational debate and how that is conducive to a matured thinking society.”   Fahmi has been highlighting the little known yet inspiring history of the 1960s student movement in Malaysia via his interactive Student Power lecture to empower the current generation of youth. Although his lecture has been banned in Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Malaya, Fahmi is still determined to present his findings to the students. In addition, he is also the director of short films “10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka” and “Revolusi ‘48”, which exposed another side of history of our independence and the emergency period. “I don’t really care about getting awards. I’m glad people acknowledge and recognise my work, but I will continue to do what I do even without any award.

EDMunD Bon

DR FaRish a. nooR

FahMi REza

matters

Why freedom of expression

i believe freedom of expression is a fundamental right and it’s the only way for the public to keep the government in check.”

Dreaming aloud: Awarding freedom of expression
pang Khee teik farish noor Malaysians understand our life and society better,” Pang explained in a phone interview. He said the recipients must have helped broaden the space for people to think and express themselves. “I believe what is often censored or perceived as controversial is merely people dreaming aloud for the sort of country they want, a better Malaysia. “Sometimes people don’t like our dreams, so they try to intimidate us…because of various constraints, we’re afraid to dream. “I think it’s very important for us to reclaim that space. We should not be afraid to dream aloud,” said Pang. He said the heroes were nominated online by the Annexe Gallery Facebook group members. From there, Pang selected 10 individuals or groups and last year’s award recipients voted for the final five. Last year’s heroes include Malaysiakini founder Steven Gan, filmmaker Amir Muhammad, online TV PopTeeVee, women’s group Sisters in Islam, and political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat. This year the recipients will receive a military-style dog tag engraved with their names. “We don’t have the budget to make pewter for them, so it’s a token for the battles they have fought to open up spaces in Malaysia,” he said. The award ceremony will begin at 12pm at the Annexe Gallery on 11 Dec. The recipients will share what they think about the state of freedom of expression in Malaysia and their own freedom of expression role models with the audience. “It will be like a talk show,” said Pang, who will host the awards. *The Annexe Heroes Freedom of Expression Awards is part of the Art for Grabs festival at the Annexe Gallery this weekend.

By Gan Pei Ling
The Annexe Gallery at Central Market is giving out its Freedom of Expression Awards to five distinguished individuals tomorrow. The recipients are law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom, lawyer Edmund Bon, artist Fahmi Reza, academic Dr Farish Noor and actor Edwin Sumun. “We felt too many awards are given to people who are either in the entertainment industry or cronies of some big shots. “There’s a lack of recognition of unsung heroes, people who are doing the real work to empower people to think for themselves,” said Annexe Gallery arts programme director Pang Khee Teik. The Annexe Gallery gave their first Freedom of Expression Award in 2008 to singer songwriter Shanon Shah, women’s rights activists Irene Fernandez and Yati Kaprawi, writer Kee Thuan Chye and Hafidz Baharom. Pang said the selection criteria was simple. “They must have encouraged people to speak up, and their work must address pressing issues in Malaysia. “A lot of people prefer to donate money or click ‘Like’ on Facebook. But to speak out and empower people to think for themselves and to dream of a better future, that’s a much harder job. “Their work can be controversial or may have even been banned, but it must have made us think, and help

shelah... sumon’s alter ego

“Freedom of speech is especially important for our youth to combat ignorance, apathy, prejudice and intolerance that have been planted in our mind since we were young. “We the younger generation need to establish a new progressive culture of open dialogue, discussion and deliberation without restrictions and without fear of the authorities. “Political power rests ultimately with the rakyat. Those in power can only rule as long as they have the rakyat’s consent. Jadi lu mau takut apa? They are the ones yang patut takut sama kita!”   The Universiti Malaya law lecturer regularly speaks about students’ and constitutional rights through his talks and writings. Azmi dares to criticize the institutions he is a part of and has inspired his students and readers to deal with the complexity of being a Malaysian. “I’m amused to receive this award considering what I’ve been doing is not particularly heroic. “I believe freedom of expression is a fundamental right and it’s the only way for the public to keep the government in check.”  

DR azMi shaRoM

We the younger generation need to establish a new progressive culture of open dialogue, discussion and deliberation without restrictions and without fear of the authorities.”

Shelah is actor Edwin Sumon’s alter ego. The drag queen has performed at fashion shows, theatre performances and Seksualiti Merdeka’s concert Rainbow Massacre. Edwin told Selangor Times he started performing as Shelah 15 years ago and decided to bring her back last year. Shelah celebrates gender diversity proudly and is not afraid to be who she is and wants to be. She will be running her first drag queen workshop at the Annexe Gallery this Sunday. “I think it’s important to remind everybody to live the best that they can live. “There’s enough fear in this world, but don’t let those fears stop you from being who you are and who you could be.” The public is welcome to join the award ceremony at the Annexe Gallery, Central Market tomorrow at 12pm. The five recipients will be there to receive their awards.

shElah

sumon

NEWS 14

DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

By Gan Pei Ling

Getting to know the Constitution better
Constitution and citizenship,” said Syahredzan Johan, Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee co-deputy chairman. He said this was one of the most important topics in the Constitution as it touched on equality, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and other fundamental liberties. In conjunction with International Human Rights Day, the council is launching this phase jointly with the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) at the Bar Council auditorium at 10am. Bar Council executive officer
Dated 30 Nov 2010 Circular No 281/2010

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n the first-of-its-kind national campaign to educate the public about our Constitution, the Bar Council’s MyConstitution campaign will launch its second-last phase today. “This phase is about the people’s rights guaranteed under the
MALAYSIA

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An invitation by the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee to

THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE 8TH PHASE OF THE MYCONSTITUTION CAMPAIGN, ENTITLED “THE RAKYAT & FUNDAMENTAL LIBERTIES”
Tan Sri Hasmy Agam Chairperson Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia, “SUHAKAM”)
Bar Council Auditorium (1st Floor), No 15, Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Itinerary 10:00 am 10:15 am 10:35 am

by

Friday 10 Dec 2010 | 10:00 am

Lim Ka Ea told Selangor Times this was the first time the council was working together with Suhakam on an International Human Rights Day event. She added that Suhakam chairperson Hasmy Agam would give a keynote speech and the eighth Rakyat Guide on civil liberties and citizenship will be given out at the launch. She said the public are welcome to attend. The My Constitution campaign is divided into nine parts, focusing on different aspects in the Constitution such as parliament, executive and judiciary. Each part is accompanied by a pocket-sized Rakyat Guide and a Rakyat Service advertisement. The Rakyat Guides are a series of booklets that simplify complex concepts in the Constitution while the Rakyat Service advertisements comprise short videos on the selected concepts. Lim said all these resources are available online at MyConstitution’s website www.perlembagaanku.com. “The last phase will focus on elections and democracy,” said Lim, adding that it would be launched around end February or early March 2011 in Penang. Apart from the booklets and

videos, Syahredzan said the council has also been organising workshops in colleges to reach out to young people. “In one of the sessions, they were asked to select six people to bring to a new planet. From there, we could examine their selection criteria, for example, whether race could be a factor?” said Syahredzan. He said the six would have to come out with a system of governance for the new planet subsequently. “They must come out with a system by consensus, which means everyone must be comfortable with it, there will be no voting and everyone must try to reach a middle ground,” he explained. He said the process would help students realise how our constitution came into being and it was the first time the students were exposed to such training. “In the process of nation-building, we must find ways to reach consensus on different matters, but this important process is not taught in our education system,” he said. Syahredzan said students could invite the Bar Council to conduct workshops in their colleges or universities.

10:50 am

MyConsti goes to ATC College
Arrival of Guests Welcome Speech by Ragunath Kesavan, President, Malaysian Bar “MyConstitution Campaign” PowerPoint presentation by Syahredzan Johan, Co-Deputy Chairperson, Constitutional Law Committee, Bar Council

By
11:10 am

“MyConstitution Journey” video presentation by Lingswaran Singh, Member, Constitutional Law the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee, Bar Council

Phase 8 Launch Speech by FOLLOWING our successful launch and workshop choose six people from the existing earth to be sent to Name Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, Chairperson, SUHAKAM at KDU University College on Nov 16, the MyCon- aof Firm/Organisation : _____________________________ new earth. Most groups had similar choices, selecting stitution team steppedServicethe busy streets of China- people like a single mother with two children, an old into Advertisement 8 Screening of Rakyat _____________________________________________________ town to visit renowned law college, ATC College at Indian farmer and a Chinese traditional sinseh to the new world. Most groups emphasised that the new Tea Break 11:40 am Bangunan Tunas Utama, Jalan Petaling, on Nov 27.Address : _____________________________________________ We were greeted with a speech by the Chief Execu- world should be free of the elements that “destroyed” Press of ATC tive OfficerConferenceCollege, Datuk Ghani Yunus, who the old earth, and wanted to start afresh. _____________________________________________________ welcomed the MyConstitution campaign to the instiStudents were also taught about the differences Close Noon tution. He emphasised the importance of knowing the between positive and negative rights during the second _____________________________________________________ Constitution as it is the supreme law of the land. part of the workshop which was the drafting of a preFollowing that, Bar Council Constitutional Law Com- amble__________________ Fax : ____________________ Telephone : of a constitution. RSVP by Monday, 6 Dec 2010, 5:00 pm. Completed forms are to mittee deputy chairperson, Maha Balakrishnan took Emphasis was placed on rights such as the right to be forwarded to: on the rostrum and thanked ATC College for inviting life, right to a fair trial and right to privacy. One stuBar Council the team for the launch and workshop. She had also dent stood up and said that they were thankful that No 15, Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur briefly introduced -the campaign alongside the Rakyat the MyConstitution team had “come to empower us Tel: 03 2031 3003 Guides and Rakyat 2026 1313 on the knowledge of the Federal Constitution and Fax: 03- Service Advertisements. Date : ______________ Signature : ________________________ One highlight of the day was the brisk sale of the rights”. For more details or 5 register MyConstitution Articleto and Article 10 t-shirts. The The day ended with the presentation of the preamcall Lim Ka Ea at 03-2031 7103 or email kaea@malaysianbar.org.my t-shirts sold like hot cakes, especially the popular size bles of the constitution that the groups had drafted M, which went out of stock. Students and lecturers for their new world, and a short presentation on the Issued by: came in groups to the campaign merchandise booth Constitutional Law Committee, Bar Council fundamental liberties contained in the Federal Conat the entrance of ATC College to shop during the stitution and the Universal Declaration of Human lunch break. Rights. Following the launch of the campaign was the Most students said they felt empowered and workshop entitled “Reconstituting Earth v2.0”. A wanted more of such workshops to be held as they total of six groups were entrusted with the mission to found it helpful for their studies.

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I/ We would like to register for the official launch: Name : _______________________________________________ Email : _______________________________________________ Name : _______________________________________________ Email : _______________________________________________ Name : _______________________________________________

Taman Murni's land title limbo
By Lee Choon Fai

Committee

Email : _______________________________________________

SEPANG: Some 400 households in Taman Murni, who collectively owe the Land Office an estimated RM200,000 in assessments, are appealing for a reduction so that they can get individual land titles. "They are tired of all this waiting and want the state to intervene,” said Tai Seng Sin on Monday. The personal assistant to Sungai Pelek Assemblyman Yap Ee Wah explained that the developer of Taman Murni had failed to apply for the land titles when the homes were built almost two decades ago and this had left residents in a lurch. The homes, located 10 km from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), are under a single master title and the arrears in assessment has been accumulated over the last 18 years. “We don’t actually own our houses yet as they’re still under a master title because the developer did not help us apply for it,” said resident Nam Hock Moi. The 47-year-old businessman

pointed out that all their previous efforts to apply for individual titles had failed because of the arrears in land assessment. Another resident, who only wanted to be identified as Kurunadhan, said they had previously called on the developer to solve the issue but their effort was fruitless. “They do not want to bear the responsibility because they think that we own the houses now and so it is not their problem,” said the 53-year-old, who was   formerly the Taman Murni Resident Association treasurer. “The outstanding amount was RM180,000 on May 31 but it should be around RM200,000 now,” added Ngan Pan Kui. The 56-year-old livestock farmer, who has living in Taman Murni for a decade, said it was unfair to impose such a high amount on the residents. R e s i d e n t A b d u l Ja m i l , 44,  who has been living in Taman Murni since 1996, said many residents had completed paying for their homes yet they could not live in peace because they do not have individual land titles.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010 ⁄ 15

With Utmost Sincerity

From The Staff and Management of

news 16

DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

D

ear Lord Bobo, what is 1Malaysia? @syahredzan, via Twitter

1Malaysia reminds Lord Bobo of a planet which His Supreme Eminenceness encountered on an intergalactic stroll in 2100 A.D. The planet was inhabited by an advanced colony of apes, who, despite all their initial excellence, eventually found themselves overtaken by neighbouring planets, as their rulers were keen to oppress the apes, and constantly violated basic concepts such as meritocracy, justice, the rule of law, fair elections, and the ideals of the founding apes. All these rulers had in mind was how to control the banana plantations and to line their massive ape bellies. They too attempted to mind-control the apes with catchy slogans, multi-coloured bananas, and the occasional feel-good banana smoothie. Back to the question though, 1Malaysia is an expensive branding and marketing exercise by the government known as Malaysia concocted by non-Malaysians. It is not a policy, but a slogan. It is the song and dance show by the powers that be put on for the rakyat to entertain them whilst the plunder of Malaysia goes on backstage. The “1” does not refer to unity. 1Malaysia is code for “Looking Out for No. 1 using the resources of Malaysia”. 1Malaysia is the new Islam Hadhari. That means when a new Prime Minister comes in, it will be forgotten and overtaken, as it should have been right from the start. Will Malaysia ever have a better, faster, more efficient internet network? @noreenlynn, via Twitter Matters concerning the World Wide Web are indeed very close to the Lord’s heart. Especially when the miraculous power of His Supreme Eminenceness works through the online platform of the Blawg, in its quest for world domination. To give you a rough idea of how Internet connectivity works in Malaysia, all the data lines are actually owned by a select few service providers. These lines are then ‘leased out’ to other third party service providers and rebranded as their own, in the name of market liberalisation, to create an illusion of competitive pricing between the service providers. In order for the original service providers to preserve their own monopoly over the market, they will then hold back on allowing access of the infrastructure to the other third party service providers. Even though, in theory, the infrastructures can provide up to a certain speed, as claimed by some Internet service providers, in reality, consumers will not be able to get access to the full speed because it is simply held back from them, and the available infrastructure is just not enough to withstand all the consumers’ demands. Unfortunately, no action is taken against internet service providers who constantly break their promises – and hide behind a “best efforts basis” connection speed. Recently, there was a launch of a 4G product, which is not even 4G (in fact, 4G does not even officially exist). Yet, the authorities allowed it to be marketed as 4G. All this results in the organised, licensed deception of Malaysian consumers. Since complete fiction is apparently allowed, perhaps a service provider should next roll out 8G – why bother with 5, 6, and 7? Malaysia can then boast the most highly-numbered mobile internet service. So, regarding your question whether Malaysia will ever have a better, faster, more efficient Internet network? The Lord’s answer is th--- ***Transmission lost. No internet connection detected. Please contact

1Malaysia & 8G Mobile Internet!
your ISP, or try again later.*** Although Lord Bobo already knows your question before you even knew you had a question, as a practical display of your true desire to have your query answered, His Supreme Eminenceness has graciously allowed you to communicate your questions by – • emailing asklordbobo@loyarburok. com, stating your full name, and a pseudonym if you wish the question to be published anonymously (and a good reason for anonymity). • tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. The first 100 questions published will receive LoyarBurok’s ONLY merchandise you ever need (worth a lot for humankind) courtesy of Selangor Times. Now, what the hell are you waiting for? Hear This and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!
Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurusdescribed queries are answered!

Perak: A State of Crisis
Book Review by Adrian L. Chew

AS time passes, some will cite Winston Churchill’s famous maxim about democracy being “the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried” as apologia for the events that unfolded in the Perak Legislative Assembly in early 2009. It is the ugly truth about politics that battles are won not only through ballot boxes but also legitimately through backroom manoeuvring and bargaining. All is fair as the nether creatures of realpolitik – party-hopping and money politics – are set loose on democratic principles and idealism. It is after all an eternal fight born of our flawed human condition to lust for power and wealth, and as a consequence of that, our necessary resistance to the tyranny and despotism such lust breeds. And it is somewhere between the rocky terrain of these two opposing ends, in the domain of our laws and philosophies that the constitutional crisis of Perak was sparked following the dramatic resignation of three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers. It plunged the state’s political system into paralysis as the Sultan of Perak became embroiled in the impasse, leading subsequently to his controversial decisions to dismiss the PR Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and appointing in his stead Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir of the Barisan Nasional (BN). What came next was a litany of battles, some played out in the media and some, the pivotal parts, in the highest courts. As ordinary Malaysians struggled to make sense of the complex legal issues, lawyers and jurists began writing their takes on the crisis. Perak: A State of Crisis is a collection of 20 of these insightful essays that were first published on LoyarBurok.com by wellknown lawyers such as Amer Hamzah Arshad, Art Harun, Cheang Lek Choy, Edmund Bon and K. Shanmuga, a few of whom were part of the legal team representing Nizar. Other writers are eminent jurists such as retired Court of Appeal justice, Datuk N.H. Chan and law academicians Drs Shad Saleem Faruqi, Andrew Harding and Kevin YL Tan. The bulk of the essays were written contemporaneously with the unfolding of events in 2009, giving a ringside blow by blow running legal commentary of what was happening inside the Perak Legislative Assembly,

court rooms, and even the Royal Palace. The perspectives and sentiments of the writers run the gamut. There is LoyarBurok’s trademark measured irreverence in Amer Hamzah’s piece, “Wake Up and Smell the Carcass” on the Court of Appeal’s perceived bias and determination in returning Zambry to the seat of power. Art writes an elegant riposte to a scathing email sent by an attachment student of Hafarizam Harun (one of the Counsel for the BN), in “The Perak Crisis – my rebuttal to Lord Lester’s Opinion” where he (Art) methodically dismantles Hafarizam’s legal opinion on Nizar’s dismissal but not before pummelling the attachment student down to size. In Chan’s two-parter “Gobbledegook and Regurgitation Galore in the Written Judgments of the Court of Appeal in Zambry v Nizar”, the reader is invited to sit on the tiered stands of a dissection theatre as the judgments of the three Court of Appeal judges are presented, still warm and alive, but slowly cut open in an elaborate vivisection performed to study the anatomy of the judges’ minds. The separate essays by Shad, Harding and Tan delve deeper into the relevant provisions of the Perak Constitution and examine the various legal arguments surrounding the crisis. For example, Shad in his “The 2009 Constitutional Turmoil in Perak”, looks at the apparent lacuna in the State Constitution posed by the absence of any sanction against an MB who refuses to tender the resignation of the Executive Council after losing the confidence of the majority in the Legislative Assembly, and after having his request for dissolution refused by the Sultan. Shad argues that Sultan Azlan Shah had, despite widespread criticism of His Royal Highness’ decision to dismiss Nizar, acted correctly within his constitutional powers to end the impasse. These opinions cover not only the episode surrounding Nizar’s dismissal but also the legality of then Speaker V. Sivakumar’s actions in both the Assembly and the Privileges Committee in accepting the purported resignation letters of the three PR lawmakers and later suspending the newly appointed MB, Zambry, and his Executive Council. What happened in Perak in 2009 was not the first time that a state leader’s dismissal

sparked a constitutional crisis. It has happened before: The 1966 Sarawak Constitutional Crisis involving then Chief Minister Stephen Kalong Ningkan’s ouster by the Governor assisted by the Federal Government’s Proclamation of State of Emergency in Sarawak under the Federal Constitution. Kelantan in 1977 also faced a constitutional crisis involving the then MB Mohamad Nasir. What is unique in Perak is the effort of so many legal commentators to record and analyse the many facets of the crisis. This book stands at the forefront of those efforts, excellently summarising a very complex subject and providing a fascinating read. It is not only for lawyers and law students but also to anyone who has ever worried about the state of our country especially in the aftermath of the 2008 general elections. It is without doubt the definitive textbook and research primer on the 2009 Perak Constitutional Crisis. But more than that, every page of this book is a candle-light vigil to Democracy and the events in Perak; a constant reminder that nothing about democracy is timeless. Nothing about it is set in stone. What we forget and what we choose to remember will determine how democracy develops in our country. Perak: A State of Crisis will be launched by Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, this Sunday, 12 Dec, 4.00 pm, at the Annexe Gallery @ Central Market Annexe. The event is open to the public.

Advertorial

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010 ⁄ 17

Memorandum
Restructuring of the Water Services Industry in Selangor Darul Ehsan
From:

The People and The Selangor State Government
To:

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku Al-Wathiqu Billah Al-Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Al Muktafi Billah Shah Yang Dipertuan Agong, Malaysia
2010 Dengan nama Allah s.w.t., Tuhan Yang Maha Pengasih dan Maha Penyayang. Selawat dan salam buat junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w., pesuruh Allah s.w.t. yang sangat mencintai dan menggesa umatnya berlaku adil.
Assalamu’alaikum w.b.t. Ampun Tuanku beribu ampun, sembah rakyat harap diampun. i. With the knowledge that basic human living is dependent upon access to clean and affordable water, 20%, 10% and 5% in 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2021). The agreement should have been discussed with the people originally as it affects them primarily. We call upon Tuanku to empower the people by ensuring that any new agreement must be discussed with the people before it is finalised. 4) Restore State Government’s Powers Water services falls under the “Concurrent List” in the Federal Constitution 1957, giving both the Federal Government and State Government shared jurisdiction over the matter. We urge the Federal Government to uphold the spirit of Federalism and the powers of the State in the issue of water services, instead of using coercion tactics against the Selangor government. We call upon Tuanku to restore the state government’s powers. 5) End Cronyism It is the perception of the people that the Federal Government sides with the private sector, in this case a particular company, which is equivalent to cronyism. It is evident that to ensure concessionaires’ profitability, they were allowed high tariff rates and more than adequate Federal Government guarantees to loans that the rakyat has to ultimately pay for. The rakyat has to now pay high water rates, and Malaysian taxpayers are forced to underwrite the risk of SYABAS’ business. We call upon Tuanku to remind the Federal Government of their promise to end cronyism. With the mandate that is given by the people, the Selangor State Government is committed to ensure their interests are protected. The Selangor State Government ensures that the water services industry will be managed in the best manner possible for the benefit of the people through its taking over of the water services industry. Thus the Selangor State Government together with the people have placed their hopes in supporting this important motion. It is the people’s hope that this issue will be given serious attention by Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku. The people thank Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku for the attention that has been given. Thank You. Daulat Tuanku. 5 December 2010.

ii. With the realisation that people’s expanding costs of living are steadily increasing in comparison with their incomes, iii. With a firm opposition to misappropriation, abuse and mismanagement of power, iv. With a commitment towards building a leadership that is transparent, responsible, efficient and respectful of the spirit and practice of Federalism; We, the People and the Selangor State Government, hereby gather together seeking the humble permission of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku to deliver our concerns towards the issue of Restructuring of the Water Services Industry in Selangor Darul Ehsan. Ampun Tuanku beribu ampun, sembah rakyat harap diampun. 1) Return the Rights of Water to the People We, on behalf of 150,000 people of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, plead that justice is given to us by correcting the past mistakes of water privatisation, resulting in poor quality of water and water services, and with water tariff increases at unreasonable rates. We hereby seek clean and good quality of water and water services at reasonable and affordable prices, taking into consideration the poor and low-income groups of Selangor. We call upon Tuanku to return the rights of water to the people. 2) Uphold the Water Services Industry Act 2006 We humbly request for Tuanku to uphold the spirit and aim of the Water Services Industry Act 2006, that is to restructure the water services industry into one that is holistic and managed by the Selangor State Government. The WSIA 2006 was originally enacted for the purpose of reversing the errors made in privatising the water industry. We call upon Tuanku to remind the Federal Government of this. 3) Empower the People The concession agreement signed in 2004 between Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn. Bhd. (“SYABAS”), the Federal Government and the Selangor State Government contains a number of ambiguities that show SYABAS is not concerned with the people’s welfare, namely the water tariff increases at alarmingly high rates (37% in 2009, and 25%,

TRAVEL 18

DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

Selangor’s heritage behind museum doors
There are portals through which we can discover our past and present. These gateways pave the way as to how we will shape our future. LIN ZHENYUAN goes back to the past to glimpse the future

RAJA BROOKE: A collection of this famous specie of butterfly.

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n almost every country around the world, there is at least one museum to inform and educate citizens and outsiders as well as to illuminate less known subjects which are no less important to the State. In Selangor, there are five other museums besides the main one known as the Sultan Alam Shah Museum. Located in the heart of Bandar Shah Alam, this museum opened its doors officially on Sept 2, 1989. It was named after the seventh Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sir Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj. A first time visitor may bypass this museum quite easily because the Minangkabau-style museum also houses the State library. After a 40-minute drive from Damansara along the NKVE (North Klang Expressway), the museum slowly looms into view if you don’t make a wrong turn. On a week day recently when rain was absent for more than a week, the Sultan Alam Shah Mu-

seum played host to very few visitors. Our planned visit found only five guests. They were us, a party of five, comprising two locals and three from England. From the huge, impressive doors to the beautifully lit interior with its ceiling panels decorated with motifs, the museum guards were courteous in extending greetings to its guests. Unfortunately, there was also a sign that indicated that the airconditioning had broken down for some time. Thus, beads of sweat accompanied every step we took. Within the curves and corners of the museum, pictures and artefacts of Selangor’s rich cultural heritage were in full display. The museum is neatly divided into five galleries. They are the history, cultural, sport, natural history and Islamic. If not for the slightly stifling atmosphere, the visit would have been a very comfortable and enjoyable tour. But still, it was a heritage journey that needed more

BLAST FROM THE PAST: A locomotive from the past greets visitors in the Sultan Alam Shah Museum.

than an hour. The sport gallery displays pictures of some of the State’s most notable sportsmen who have contributed significantly to the glory of Selangor sports. Some of these prominent sportsmen were footballer Mohktar Dahari, goalkeeper Arumugum Pillai, and badminton’s famous Sidek brothers. The cultural section has a fine display of the various Malay “baju” and the history of the various Malay communities like the Javanese, Banjar, Mandailing and the Boyan. Schoolchildren who need an insight into the customs and musical instruments are advised to pay close attention to the artefacts ondisplay in this gallery. The Natural History Gallery has a detailed series of exhibits that
TRIBUTE: Dedicated to one of Malaysia’s most-loved singers, SM Salim.

cover the geology, wildlife, natural environment and forestry of the land. There’s even a life-sized crocodile that died some years ago in Malacca. At nearly six metres from tail to its massive jaws, it was an impressive tropical reptile. Of course, it wasn’t the grand-daddy of them all but it just proves that there are some gigantic creatures lurking beneath our murky swamp waters. Each gallery holds a fascination of its own. There is even a detailed account of the Sultanate institution of Selangor Darul Ehsan. It began about 237 years ago with Raja Lumu or the prince of Opu Daeng Chelak. The rest of the story you will personally have to discover for yourself at this museum. In case you are a history buff who seeks a deeper insight into the genealogy of the Selangor Sultanate, Riau Sultanate, Johor, Brunei and Bugis-Makassar, the information is on display at a specific corner of the well organised museum. For the majority of recent and long-time residents of Selangor, who have drifted to this land for pecuniary reasons, it would be good to know that this prosperous State comprised nine districts. For the sake of knowledge, the districts are Petaling, Gombak, Sepang, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Klang, Kuala Langat, Ulu Langat and Sabak Bernam. An impromptu visit to the Sul-

tan Alam Shah Museum will quickly prove that it is never too late to learn. However, the main feature at the museum during our recent visit was an exhibition on the life of the Tan Sri S.M. Salim. He was undisputedly the King of Malay Traditional Songs. According to many experts in the local music industry, S.M. Salim is only second to P. Ramlee, the legend in the Malaysian world of music, past and present. It was all about his life, his achievements and awards (19 altogether) and his evergreen songs. Truly, the Sultan Alam Shah Museum has paid a fitting tribute to one of Malaysia’s most popular musicians. The museum’s opening hours are from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Thursday. On Friday, the hours are 10 to noon & 2.45pm to 5.30pm. The Sultan Alam Shah Museum is closed on Monday, weekends and public holidays. Admission is free. In case, museums are right up your street, there are five more museums in Selangor. Check them out if you have the time and the inclination. They are the Kuala Selangor District History Museum, Jugra Museum (Kuala Langat), Museum of Traditional Folk Games (Kuala Selangor), Tin Museum, Gedung Raja Abdullah (Klang ) and the Sabak Bernam District Agricultural and Fishery Museum.

DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

NEWS 19

Learning from Kirkby Teachers
  KUALA LUMPUR: Laughter and shouts of joy were heard all around last Saturday as 130 seniors in their late 60s and early 70s met for the 50th anniversary of the Kirkby Teachers, at the Sime Darby Convention Centre.  All are graduates of the Malayan Teachers Training from Kirkby, Liverpool, UK, who were educated on government scholarships.  Coming from all races and walks of life, these Kirkby old schoolers have plenty to teach others. For one, they simply practiced a national identity.  “Back than we did not discrimiBy William Tan

HAPPY TEARS: Azimah Hamid (centre) cries upon seeing her friends S Arulmacar (left) and Rubiah Ahmad during the Kirkby reunion.

HAPPY REUNION: Wong Ho Ying (left) hugs Tam Kam Moon after meeting up at the Kirkby reunion last Saturday.

nate by community, we were simply Malaysian, nothing else mattered,” said current President of Aliran and Kirkbyite, P Ramakrishnan.   He feels unhappy now that schools these days are polarised, and feels that a public school might as well be called a Malay school. He says there is no longer any space to develop the Kirby spirit.  Just what is the Kirkby Spirit?   “It is simply togetherness. We just did everything together, and we were family regardless of race or background. That is the Kirkby spirit,” smiled T Balasubramaniam.  The founder of MECA Employers Consulting Agency fondly recalls the time that Kirkby trainees

would go hitchhiking all over Europe in groups of two or three. They would sleep in barns and hostels. Such experiences forged unbreakable bonds.   Kirkby trainees also learnt to appreciate things that many take for granted these days.  “Most of us could not afford to enter university at the time, so we jumped at this alternative to study abroad.” said Vimala Kandiah.  Ahmad Sobri recalls that entering Kirkby allowed him to escape the communist threat at Sik, Kedah in 1960. He is now a partner of Hisham, Sobri and Kadir.  For Ramakrishnan, memories of Kirkby make him laugh as he recalls

having to stretch 10 pounds on expenses for a month.   Perhaps it’s a combination of these factors that make the Kirkby teachers among the best in the field, a fact many still believe today.  “I rode a taxi on the way here, and the driver spoke excellent English, and he told me when he was young, he had this teacher who graduated from England, a teacher from a place called Kirkby” boasted Ramakrishnan.  Their dedication to teaching was so strong that many never left it, such as Goh Meow Lan.  “Oh I loved it, did it for 42 years. [From] time to time [now], I trained up new teachers” she said.

 Choong Chong Suee is also passionate about teaching, but however, does not think of it as a profession for his children to take up.  “Teachers have a tough life, they are occasionally bullied. We can be unsung heroes,” Choong said.   Ramakrishnan thinks teachers teach less these days, no thanks to the education system. “The system these days is such a mess, teachers are just overburdened and spend more time on paperwork or redundant duties than teaching,” he added.  It’s sobering to realise that one day, the legacy of Kirkby graduates will fade when the last of them leave us.

Affordable Artista
By Gan Pei Ling

I

f you’re looking for a place with reasonably-priced food and live music to chill with friends in Petaling Jaya, Artista Bar & Restaurant may be the place for you.  The restaurant cum bar offers set lunches at RM10 excluding tax.  You can also enjoy a three-course dinner set at RM26, excluding 15% tax, from 6pm to 11pm with live band performances on weekend nights and certain weekday nights.  The dinner set’s starter and dessert are fixed but you can choose between a roasted herb chicken or a prawn and slipper lobster pasta for the main course.  For drinks, there is a choice of coffee, tea and juices (unfortunately they do not offer fresh juices).   My best friend and I visited Artista on a Sunday night. We ordered a dinner set and a separate starter, main course and dessert.  We wanted to try the Mushroom Ragout (RM16), a starter which

Bouilabaisse

we’ve heard is worth dying for. Indeed, the crispy bread topped with fresh mushrooms left us craving for more.   The dinner set’s course starter Bouilabaisse also did not disappoint. The creamy fish soup coupled with cheese croutons was thick and addictive.  Expectations ran high with such great starters, but the roasted herb chicken was ordinary and only met our minimum expectations.  We were more impressed by the baked potato that comes with it than the meat itself.

  Another main course – beef pepperoni pizza (RM20) – also failed to generate further excitement.  The taste of onion overwhelmed the taste of cheese in the pizza. It may have worked well for onion lovers but not for us.  My friend asked for extra parmesan cheese powder from the staff and we were glad that they attended to our request swiftly.   As the night progressed, more customers started streaming in and the restaurant was packed by around 8.30pm. The live band began playing around 9pm.  By then, Artista ran out of peach crumble - its fixed dessert for the dinner set - and replaced ours with a chocolate brownie topped with ice-cream. It was a disappointment as we found the brownie too sweet and dry.  Fortunately, the vanilla pannacotta we ordered separately saved the evening.  Overall, Artista’s food presenta-

Mushroom Ragout

tion was simple yet attractive, notwithstanding the food’s actual taste.   The atmosphere was relaxed, with occasional cheers from the crowd once the band started performing.    In addition, the staff were polite and helpful. Despite the mixed review on its food, we thought Ar-

tista was definitely worth another visit. Hopefully, they’ll prepare enough peach crumble in advance and tweak their roasted herb chicken recipe. Artista Bar & Restaurant is located at Tropicana City Mall, Jalan SS20/27, 47400 Petaling Jaya.

FEATURE 20
DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

Case for openness, rationality
Review by Sheridan Mahavera

W

hen rumours started that outspoken Islamic scholar Associate Professor Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin was joining Umno in June, many of his fans were disheartened. Here was a voice that challenged the conventions of Malaysian Islam created by a government-approved theocracy. The former mufti also criticised the conservatism in the practice and attitude of Malaysian Muslims. So if he joined Umno, many felt that he would lose the intelligence, independence, sincerity and persuasive logic that fuelled much of his writing. The Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer is a breath of fresh air when it comes to discussing Islam’s role in politics, economics, race relations and daily life in Malaysia. Most importantly, Asri is at the forefront of re-claiming the right for Muslims (and non-Muslims) to participate in that process of figuring out what Islam demands of its believers and how they should live in the 21st century. This is essentially the theme that underlies all 47 articles in “Islam in Malaysia: Perceptions and Facts” published by Matahari books. The articles were written between 2006 and 2008 when he was mufti of Perlis. The collection is a significant contribution to freeing up discourse about the faith by the faithful without their need to become or be cowed by an ustaz, ulama or mufti. The first lines put it succinctly: “Islam is a religion established by reason and evidence and the supreme bases of its teachings are the Quran and Sunnah. “... If an opinion produced in the name of Islam fails the test of reason and evidence established in the Quran and Sunnah, then such an opinion cannot be said to derive from the teachings of Islam even though the one who makes that opinion assumes a religious title or dresses in a manner that reflects piety.” Too often, Malaysian Muslims are intimidated into blindly following the tenets of the

Shafie mazhab (school of jurisprudence) while denying the teachings of the three other main mazhab. The first few articles are devoted to making the case for the return of rationality and openness towards the opinions of other ulama. Most importantly that Muslims should not feel forced to shackle themselves to only one mazhab or the opinion of one ulama. “... our tendency towards attaching or limiting ourselves to a particular opinion without considering evidence or logic ... not only dulls our minds, it contradicts the basic tenets of Islam that seeks not to burden its believers.” Besides quoting extensively from the Quran and Hadith (the Prophetic tradition), the author’s points are amply backed up with the opinions of other famous ulama such as Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Dr Wahbah al-Zuhaili and Sheikh Nasir al-Din al-Albani. Another key theme is Asri's criticism of the Malay Muslim obsession with religious talismans and superstitious rituals that have now become de rigueur. He points out how the increasing complicatedness of practice follows the narrowing of the collective and individual Malay Muslim mindset. Just as they are deceived into buying koka wood thinking that it is sacred, they become more and more suspicious and intolerant of non-Muslims. It’s unsurprising that many of his detractors are in the bureaucratic establishment tasked with managing and administering Islam. The author repeatedly blames them for the sad state of Malaysian Islam. Since the articles are written for a newspaper column, the specific subjects don't follow a particular order. They are either in response to a hot topic of the time or meant to coincide with a holy festival such as Ramadan. There are outstanding chapters on entertainment, women's rights, balancing worship and worldly affairs. Quite a few of the later pieces deal with how Muslims should get involved in politics and why much of ‘Islamist’ politics of today is not Islamic.

There are also eye-opening critiques of Malaysian laws barring non-Muslims from entering suraus and mosques and of forcing them to change their names after converting to Islam. Equally persuasive is a piece on why Muslims ought to be staunch environmentalists. Though the articles go far in opening up the discourse on Islam in Malaysia, the scope of that space is limited by the fact that Asri is also preacher. The pieces often start out as sermons to Muslims rather than as an invitation to the reader, of any faith, to come sit down, ponder and discuss. Though the arguments are structured systematically and academically, there are articles where the discussion takes an evangelistic bent. So while one article argues for non-Muslims to be given a certain right (Chapter 10) another pieces attempts to invalidate their faith (Chapter 35). Which brings us to the point of who should get the collection. Critical readers and non-Muslims would find that the collection does not delve deeply enough into questions of how Islam is supposed to govern a society where almost half the population is non-Muslim. Issues such as equal treatment before the law – enshrined in the Constitution – for both non-believers and believers and women's roles as leaders and decision-makers are not discussed. For Malaysian Muslims, it is an invaluable contribution to opening up discourse of the faith and reviving the spirit of reason and evidence that is at the heart of its intellectual

tradition. Though the articles were written in Malay, translator U-En Ng manages to bring out the nuance and humour of the original. Asri is not just appealing because of his intelligence but because he also pokes fun at his subjects. The collection has extensive footnotes and a glossary for Arabic and Islamic terms to fill in context. Overall Islam in “Malaysia : Perception and Facts” makes a strident case for throwing off the shackles of blind adherence (buta taklid). It is a call for Muslims to actively engage with and interpret the Quran and the Hadith to better navigate through the travails of the 21st century.

Story of A Thin Man
Fiction by Yusuf Martin

hunched, thin, Pak Ri edged steadily towards the old shop. He was dressed in blue billowingly loose trousers, tied clumsily at the waist, a soiled white shirt and an old school tie. His years worn, frayed, as his shirt, stained, burnt by many restless nights – tobacco dropping from loosely rolled cigarettes. The shirt flapped about his wiry body as he loped down the lane, moving towards Pa Yusop’s corner shop. Old Pak Ri – a familiar sight wandering about the kampong, muttered to himself, talking to the ghosts of war and invasion which continued to haunt him. Lost, he all too rarely acknowledged the presence of others, keeping mostly to himself. Others stared, talked at him. Pak Ri chose his own time to respond. Pak Ri, only fractionally present, was constantly distracted by persistent, recurring memories of policing duties under the Japanese. War and insurrection never totally left him.

A

In the darkness of his bedroom, nightmares returned the full horror of conflict in vivid widescreen, flat screen HD – with inglorious soundsurround. He awoke, sweating cold sweat in the heat of the equatorial dark, called out in the middle of the night to the wife no longer there. She had long since left – taking the children who should have been there to assist him, with her. Pak Ri sat bolt upright, alone in the darkness, his frail body shaking, his sarong drenched with moisture, trembling until the night’s horrors finally subsided. He drank warm water from a white, chipped, enamel mug to ease his dry throat and tried once again to escape waking torture by escaping into sleeping nightmare. In the morning as he walked towards Pa Yusop’s shop, Pak Ri counted the steps from his rundown wooden shack. ‘Eighty one, eighty two...ninety four, ninety six’ He hoped that remembering the steps would help him forget his personal horrors.

Should, by any mischance, the count be wrong, Pak Ri would retrace his steps and correct the count, touching the telephone pole outside the primary school in compensation, only then was he free to approach the kedai kopi once again, trapped in his recurrent compulsive obsession. Steadily counting, Pak Ri would reach Pa’s shop. He would touch the wooden door frame, giving him tacit permission to enter. He would step down onto the hardened earth shop floor. He would walk to one of the long wooden benches, filled with the smoking men whose eyes would suddenly drop to their teas. Once he was settled they might whisper and joke at his expense, spilling tiny amounts of their drinks in their eagerness to deride him, relieved it wasn’t them. The smoking men would look expectantly at Pak Ri, waiting for the entertainment to begin, waiting for the performance – to confirm their prejudices. Ha,ha,ha,ha, haa – a hollow

laugh, devoid of any resonance of humour. But it was what they expected as he performed on cue. Later, Pak Ri might have badly sung a poorly remembered Japanese song – etched into his brain by the war invaders forever leaving their scar. That day it all sounded wrong; his audience wasn’t amused, only guilty, as they were reminded of the fragile, mad man sitting, waiting to drink his tea. They knew that there had always been a part of Pak Ri’s mind which was hidden, even in his youth. They understood that Pak Ri had not been like other kampong children, he had always been an outcast, an object of derision. The drinking , smoking men knew that as he grew up, there was part of Pak Ri which had become more insular. They witnessed that over time Pak Ri was revealed to have a stunning capacity for math, jumping ahead of other students with little effort. He was an unnerving, yet special child. As his school life pro-

gressed, his tendency for isolation was put aside, while he tutored other children in math. Yet the years passed quickly and loneliness in his mind shrouded his dark brilliance, his startling ability revealed only on rare occasions. The war and the Emergency took their toll, hollowing out an already thin man and part of Pak Ri journeyed inward, never to return. Tomorrow, the smoking – drinking men expect Pak Ri to be walking the lanes of the kampong, heading only he knows where until, limit reached, he re-traces his steps to his own purpose. Tomorrow, the smoking - drinking men imagine that Pak Ri will brave the proximity of Pa Yusop’s shop, once again performing for them – waiting to mock the lonely crazed old man and his ‘ha, ha, ha, ha, haa. The smoking drinking men will wait and, tired, they will quietly leave, a little disappointed, unaware that Pak Ri’s heart had finally surrendered, bringing the peace which he had, for so long, longed for.

TECHNOLOGY 21
DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

By Edwin Yapp

T

his buzzword has been bandied about for some time now. But only recently, the buzz got a lot louder. Led by the sell-out Apple iPhone, which was first launched in the US in 2007, smartphones today are no longer a a luxury item coveted by many but it has become pretty much a standard item seen even on tables of mamak stalls. But what is a smartphone? Why is it smart? And what exactly can it do for the average mobile user? A smartphone amalgamates two basic functions that have already been known to the marketplace for over 50 years – the phone and the computer. One way to think of the smartphone is that it’s essentially a computer in a phone. This means that smartphones can do a host of things, including schedule appointments, store contacts, phone numbers and addresses, make written or voice notes, set alarms and reminders, playback various media, including video and audio, take pictures and view and edit documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. All of these functionalities are doable using a laptop/netbook, but you can’t bring them along with you wherever you go. Because these functions are integrated with the phone, you can also access the Internet, and consequently, the power of the smartphone becomes evident as you can extend the computing functions to include wi-fi and cellular data connectivity, receiving and sending e-mail, surfing the web, downloading applications and using mobile services. This is why smartphones are what they are – because of their ability to have a computer in your hand and still connect to the Internet while on the move. Smartphones to the fore So why has the smartphone become so popular? What is so special about the smartphone that makes it different from the rest of the other consumer devices? Firstly, the rise of smartphones is inevitable as the hardware and software become more and more powerful, and as the world becomes more dependent on the Internet. For example, today’s screen technology is able to display some of the best and brightest images through new technology such as AMOLED (active matrix org anic L ED screens). Software has also come very far

CHOICES: HTC’s series of smartphones.

Welcome to the world of smartphones
with new players such as Google’s Android operating system in addition to Apple’s iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows 7 Mobile. Secondly, high-speed mobile broadband, which these bandwidth-hungry smartphones depend on, has been soaring in the past few years. Five years ago, access to the Internet for most people was largely confined to desktops and fixedline modems. Today, this is no longer true, because with smartphones, you have essentially a computer in your hand and an alwayson wireless network on tap to keep you constantly connected. Finally, arguably the biggest catalyst in the smartphone realm today is the rise of rich content and applications that have been made available in a fuss-free manner to consumers. This is what truly makes the smartphone stand out from the rest of the consumer electronic devices as the smartphone is no longer a static piece of electronic equipment, which is bought and used for only a set number of purposes, but one that is able to adapt and evolve its functions based on software applications and services. Three to choose from The latest smartphones to hit the street are HTC Desire HD, HTC Desire Z and the HTC Windows 7 phone, also known as HTC HD7. Sporting a large 4.3-inch touch screen, Dolby Mobile and SRS surround sound and a 1GHz processor, the HTC Desire HD can record and playback high-definition (HD) video. HD video is sharper to look at, has brilliant colours and is incredibly lively to experience. The HTC Desire HD also comes with an 8-megapixel camera with dual flash, a GPS, a micro SD expansion slot that caters up to 32GB of memory while weighing164 grams. The HTC Desire Z is a must for those who prefer a full QWERTY keyboard layout in a smartphone, and comes equipped with a 3.7-inch screen, a GPS, a 5.0-megapixel camera with auto focus and flash, HD recording, and a micro SD expansion slot that caters up to 32GB of memory. Both the HTCs have valueadded features, some of which are pretty nifty. The first is HTC Locations, a new way of looking at maps in an offline mode, without having to download map data or incur mobile roaming charges. The second is HTCSense.com, a new portal in which people can manage their mobile phone experience from a HTC phone or personal computer. For example, a user can easily locate a missing phone by triggering the handset to ring loudly even if it has been set to silent mode, or to flag its location on a map. If the phone is lost or stolen, users can remotely lock the phone, forward calls and text to another phone, send a message to the phone to remotely wipe out all the data. Lastly, users can also customise their phones with exclusive HTC content such as wallpapers, sounds and plug-ins. Last by not least is the HTC HD7, one of the first of many of the Windows Phone 7 powered devices to hit the market. The HD7 also sports a wide 4.3-inch touch screen and has 16GB of internal memory. It differs from the Android in that it’s the only phone with “Live Tiles,” so you can quickly see everything you care about on your “Start” screen. The phone is also customisable according to your needs: pin people, apps, playlists, pictures and other favourites so they’re always at your fingertips. What’s more, the unique HTC Hub provides an exclusive series of applications and utilities including a new weather and stocks application – and new photo enhancer to apply special effects to photos you share with friends from the Picture Hub. The HTC Desire Z and HTC HD7 is only available exclusively through Maxis Communications. Their suggested recommended reta il price are R M2,299 and RM2,399 respectively without any mobile data plans. However, the phones are available at subsidised rates through various Maxis plans. For more, surf to www.maxis.com. my The HTC Desire HD will be available at HTC resellers beginning December at DiGi Centres and Specialised Stores at RM2,299.

USER CONNECTION: HTCSense.com allows users to manage their mobile phone experience from their computers.

Gallery 22
DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

WET, WET, WET: A resident taking the flood problem in Taman Palm Grove, Klang with a smile on Nov, 29. Residents blame a development near a hotel in Persiaran Raja Muda Musa as a cause for the flooding. A group of teenagers using the long school holidays to learn how to rock climb near Batu Caves.

From left: Ex-Kirkby teachers Chong Cheng Swee, P Ramakrishnan, Amy Grace, Cheah Lean Aing and Amrit Kaur Gill reading SelangorTimes during their reunion last Saturday.

Director of Symposium Prof (E) Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Ibrahim (left) celebrates an early birthday with Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on the sidelines of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences and Bio-Technology International Symposium 2010 on Wednesday. Together with Khalid were Exco members Ronnie Liew and Dr Halimah Ali. Residents attend the “Dialog Banjir di Zon48C” to know more information last Sunday.

Gallery 22
DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

WET, WET, WET: A resident taking the flood problem in Taman Palm Grove, Klang with a smile on Nov, 29. Residents blame a development near a hotel in Persiaran Raja Muda Musa as a cause of the flooding. A group of teenagers using the long school holidays to learn how to rock climb near Batu Caves.

From left: Selangor Excos Teresa Kok, Elizabeth Wong, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Azmin Ali and Dr Xavier Jeyakumar handing over the Water Memorandum to Istana Negara press officer Khairi Abdul Rahman as Dr Yaakob Sapari looks on last Sunday. The Selangor state government handed over the memorandum on the restructuring of the Water Services Industry in Selangor.

Some of the water protestors and Pakatan Rakyat leaders Gobind Singh, Elizabeth Wong, S Manikavasagam and Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud gathered in downtown Kuala Lumpur before their march to Istana Negara last Sunday.

Culture 23
DECEMBER 10 — 12, 2010

PLAYS
Justice For Sisters
Campaign Launch & Fundraising Concert; The Annexe Gallery; Central Market Annexe; 11 December 2010; RM15 donation; 03-2070 1137; angela@kryss.org Another ancillary event to Art For Grabs, this concert is subtitled “Helping the Mak Nyah Community Fight Against Violence & Persecution”. It’s the launch of a campaign to raise awareness for, and condemn, mistreatment against transgender Malaysians. Just to illustrate how horrible things can get, here’s an excerpt from the Mak Nyah Community of Malaysia statement: “We are sexually molested or our breasts are groped when the religious officers insist on checking if we are wearing brassieres. We are sometimes made to change our clothes in full view of the officers.” Come on: that’s not cool! The campaign aims to raise RM50,000 to finance court cases brought against Mak Nyahs. Featuring performers like Azmyl Yunor, Elvira Arul, Janet Lee, Jerome Kugan, and Liyana Fizi. With Nell Ng as emcee.

Art For Grabs: A Human Rights & Xmas Special
The Annexe Gallery has been a hotbed of exciting art and events since its beginning in 2007; curator Pang Khee Teik and his team are also fearless in tackling thorny subjects such as human rights, religion, and sexuality. They were recently in the papers for Seksualiti Merdeka 2010, their annual “sexuality rights festival”, which celebrates the gamut of ways human beings love and relate to each other. Art For Grabs is another Annexe Gallery flagship event. A bazaar of stalls selling cool knick-knacks and artwork under RM100, it traditionally runs alongside book fairs, performances, and fora of all sorts. This year-end instalment will include the launch of Perak: A State of Crisis, an anthology of analyses of the Perak state government coup in 2009; a performance reading of Unimagined, Imran Ahmad’s memoir about growing up as a Muslim in the West; a lecture by academic Farish Noor entitled “From Totem to Blingbling: Megaprojects & Other Follies in Southeast Asia”; a mime showcase by the Perak Tronoh Theatre Shop; and a drag workshop by drag queen par excellence Shelah! Also featuring the third Annexe Heroes Freedom of Expression Awards, with recipients like Edmund Bon, Fahmi Reza and Azmi Sharon talking about their work at making Malaysia a better, freer place.

REVIEW
FORUM Fest
(12 December 2010. MAP KL, Solaris Dutamas. Free admission.) There’s a lot of human-rights stuff going on -- and for good reason: 10 December is Human Rights Day worldwide, the annual commemoration of the UN’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948. But good causes are a hard sell: people complain about paying extra for their plastic bags; the moral police come out against sexuality rights; and you get water-cannon-ed if you rally for a citizen’s right to cheap, clean water. What’s needed is a creative way to get people interested. Enter FORUM, a month-long series of workshops, discussions, and performances, designed to introduce artists and activists to Brazilian director Augusto Boal’s methods of interactive, socially-conscious theatre. Ongoing since mid-November at MAP KL, FORUM is hosted by Fallen Leaves Theatre, a company that started from drama therapy sessions for recovering drug addicts. To date, the group has worked with the Malaysian AIDS Council and Amnesty International, raising awareness about various social issues through stagecraft. The programme culminates this weekend in the FORUM Fest, a showcase of “interactive art and dialogue creation techniques”. Definitely something for those who want to have fun and think at the same time!

Editor’s Pick
Art Bazaar & Festival; The Annexe Gallery; Central Market Annexe; 11 & 12 Dec; Free admission; 03-2070 1137; www.annexegallery.com

33rpm Live
Music Gig; BFM; Little Havana, Changkat Bukit Bintang; 11 December 2010; www.bfm.my The English-language radio stations that fill our airwaves tend to broadcast bland, mass-produced hits and airheaded DJ chatter. An exception is BFM 89.9, which gets relatively interesting guests and music -- the latter through 33rpm, its 30-minute weekday romp through pop history. Host and musician Zack Yusof takes his show live this weekend, with local star acts like Tenderfist and Kyoto Protocol helping out, playing a selection of their own songs as well as covers of Joy Division and Jesus and Mary Chain!

SMS From An Angel
Experimental Performance; KL Performing Arts Centre; 9 - 12 December 2010; RM15 donation; 03-4047 9038; www.klpac.com Abstract navel-gazing into the mores and pangs of contemporary life is the preferred mode of cuttingedge Malaysian Chineselanguage theatre. One wonders why alienation is such a fecund subject for this community; still, it can’t be denied that they turn out some sublime shows. In that fine tradition comes SMS From An Angel, a devised, experimental performance. A series of SMSes -recording a person’s dayto-day feelings about life -- forms the basis for this multi-sensory experience, which fuses soundscapes, physical movement, and video art. Directed by Kimmy Kiew, featuring music design by Goh Lee Kwang, lighting by Lim Ang Swee, and video work by Alison K. Performed by Kimmy, Leng Poh Gee and Angel Chang.

REVIEW
Pekan Frinjan 16: Hak Asasi Manusia
i-City, Shah Alam’s hottest new mega-development, is a weird place. Tricked out with neon-lit, fake trees and effigies, it’s an energy-intensive wonderland – but one of strikingly icky aesthetics, above the usual standard for wonderlands. Billed as the “No. 1 Technology City”, parking tickets are handed out manually, by attendants standing out in the rain. “You have to pay RM10 to get into i-City,” explained Zulhabri Supian, prime coordinator of the Pekan Frinjan monthly street festival. “It used to be free. They started charging people to control the crowd.” Indeed, on 4 December, during Pekan Frinjan’s 16th instalment, the place was packed with wandering children, aunties and uncles – even though it was a monsoon-drenched night. Malaysians may have bad tastes, but at least they are out and about; the neon extravaganza is endearing, after a while. i-City demonstrates the need – and economic viability; just ask anyone from the many stalls peddling food and gadgets – for open, more-or-less public space. Pekan Frinjan is traditionally held at Laman Menara Jam, in Shah Alam’s city centre, but Zulhabri said that they were following the crowd. “If not it will be just our friends who come, and you can’t depend on them.” The festival is overtly designed to introduce people to art and ideas, via the medium of music and quizzical performance art – and it was a success. The audience (hipster youth and families) grooved to the tune of nu-jazz band Tilu’s “Diam, Diam”. They looked on as artist Rahmat Haron wrote “HAK” in the gravel with his umbrella; later, they were more than willing to participate when invited to extract a toothpick from his mouth and stick it into his beehive of dreadlocks. “I think it was a case of ‘aneh’,” Rahmat told me. “Or, if they are polite, people would say: ‘unik’.” But, for a tattoo-ed Muslim in the supposedly conservative Malay heartland, he was surprisingly well received. You’d expect heckling. Instead, by the end of the evening, a young boy was also drawing the letters “H”, “A” and “K” in the ground with a stick.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ DECEMBER 10 – 12, 2010 ⁄ 24

Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Ultimate Print Sdn Bhd Lot 2, Jalan Sepana 15/3 Off Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40200, Shah Alam, Selangor

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