community January 21 — 23, 2011/ issue 9

Calling for
more civic
spaces
JURy and
a little
Red book
p
11
p
14
FigURing oUt
electRicity
bills
p
12–13
Foreign invasion
By Alvin Yap
selayang: Immigrant traders at the market here are
robbing local hawkers of business while authorities turn a
blind eye despite numerous complaints. Tere are even sus-
picions that some ofcers might be extorting protection
money from the illegal traders.
Chin Chan Kam, who sells vegetables at
the Selayang Utama wet market said the illegal
traders, who are mostly from Myanmar, are
under-cutting them at every turn.
“We can’t compete against them, they don’t
incur overhead from electricity and water and
rental. We sell our vegetables at RM2, they can
sell at RM1,” said Chin, who is chairperson of
the Selayang Hawkers and Traders Associa-
tion.
Pek San Cha, whose vegetable business has
been hit by the illegal traders, echoes Chin,
saying local hawkers were getting a raw deal.
Te illegal hawkers operate “afer hours”
when Selayang Municipal Council (MPS)
enforcement ofcers appear to be of duty.
Up to 150 stalls mushroom from 8pm to
8am the following day. Tese stalls operate
“extra hours” till 12pm on Saturdays and
Sundays.
Teir stalls are set up along fve-foot ways
and spill on to the road, causing trafc conges-
tion and blocking access to stalls run by local
traders.
Pek said traders like him fnd it difcult to
unload produce from trucks because the shop
pavements are blocked, while customers who
fnd it hard to make their way to his stall opt
to buy from the illegal traders instead.
Selayang Municipal Councillor (MPS)
Lim Ching How said that the MPS was well
aware of the problem.
“Tis issue has been brought to us by the
traders since March 2008. Te council is seri-
ously looking into it,” said Lim.
Lim said the municipality did not have
powers to arrest illegal traders. At the most,
MPS could seize their stalls and goods but the
illegal traders could come back
the next day.
Lim also suspects that the
illegal traders are somehow be-
ing “protected” from having
their stalls and goods seized as
they have been seen giving
money to unidentifed people.
“Security guards working at
the market overnight have reported seeing
some people go from stall to stall collecting
money from the illegal traders,” he said.
The traders themselves are tight-lipped
about it, but Lim does not discount the pos-
sibility of corruption.
“We think that there might be corruption
on the ground among our ofcers. I’ve raised
the issue that some form of monitoring is
needed to the MPS full board meetings,” he
said.
“I hope that the local traders will come
forward and give proof if ofcers are taking
bribes,” he added.
Lim said he was ready to present any evi-
dence to the MPS president and the Malaysian
Anti Corruption Commission.
MPS had plans to allocate more funding
to the enforcement unit to stop the illegal
traders from operating overnight but Lim
expressed concern for the ofcers’ safety.
He said a more permanent solution to the
problem was needed and suggested a joint
operation between Kuala Lumpur City Hall
(DBKL), the police and the Immigration
Department.
Besides causing massive trafc jams along
Jalan Selayang Utama, which leads into the
Selayang new Chinese village, the illegal hawk-
ers are also blamed for starting an illegal rub-
bish dump which falls under the jurisdiction
of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
Security guards working at the
market overnight have reported
seeing some people go from stall
to stall collecting money from the
illegal traders.”
Selayang Hawkers and Traders Association chairperson Chin Chan Kam (right) and a colleague point to the mountain of rubbish allegedly
caused by immigrant traders. – Picture by Tang Hui Koon
2 January 21 — 23, 2011
news
phone (603) 5523 2288
fax (603) 5523 1188
email editor@selangortimes.com
EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR KL Chan
COMMUNITY EDITOR Neville Spykerman
WRITERS Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Rahmah Ghazali,
Gan Pei Ling, Basil Foo, Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
COPY EDITORS James Ang, Deborah Loh
DESIGNER Jimmy C. S. Lim
PHOTOGRAPHER Victor Chong
ADVERTISING Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi
ADVISORS Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
Morning
Friday Saturday Sunday
afternoon
night
Selangor WeaTHer
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
State lashes out at threat
against Serdang MP PETALING JAYA: A movement
against the recent appointment of
Datuk Khusrin Munawi as State
Secretary is urging the public to
come to voice their protest on
Sunday.
Te 4pm rally at the Kelana Jaya
Stadium is being organised by
Hormati Suara Rakyat Selangor
(HSRS).
Te movement hopes to pressure
Federal Chief Secretary Tan Sri
Mohd Sidek   Hassan to declare
Khusrin’s appointment null and
void.
Both Shah Alam and Putrajaya
are deadlocked over the appointment
which remains controversial because
the Menteri Besar was not consulted.
“The fact is Tan Sri Khalid
Ibrahi m di d not recei ve the
recommended list from the Public
Services Department,
“Since this has been revealed, it
is imperative that Sidek declares the
appointment of Khusrin as null
and  void, as due process and
convention were not followed,” said
social activist Haris Ibrahim.
Haris is among civil society and
political leaders slated to speak at
the event.
Others include former Malaysian
Bar Council and present Bersih 2.0
chai r per s on Dat uk Ambi g a
Sreenevasan and Shah Alam MP
Khalid Samad.
HSRS is a coalition of  civil
society organizations.
Free delivery to
RA and JM
B.
Contact:
editor@
selangortim
es.
com
or call:
03-55232288
community
January 14 — 16, 2011/ issue 8
Yellow
power back
in action
Curious
Case of
ss
p 9
p 14
sg Lima
struggLes
to survive
p 12–13
D
rug
haven
in new

village
By Alvin Yap and Chong Loo Wah
BaNtiNg: Kampung Jenjarom has
turned into a battleground between
an anguished community and drug
pushers who are keeping its youths
high and suicidal.
“Tere have been three deaths and
four attempted suicides in the past four
years,” said village head Tan Ching Han. 
All the cases involved young men in
their prime, between the ages of 23 and
30.
Te oldest victim was found hanged
in his room afer his mother had re-
turned from the morning market in
October last year. 
Tan said the mother had refused to
give her son money as she suspected he
was using it to buy drugs.  “She said he
was moody and angry before his death,”
added Tan.
The other victims had consumed
paraquat, a strong herbicide which is
easily purchased in hardware and sun-
dry shops, owing to the fact that the
surrounding area is agricultural land. 
Some of the victims who survived
suicide attempts sufer severe and per-
manent damage to their throats and
vocal cords due to the toxic herbicide. 
“Some of them can’t even talk,” said
Tan.
Te suicides, Tan said, are caused by
the drug’s side efects.
He also claimed that some victims
had sufered brain damage. 
“It could be both brain damage and
depression that are driving the victims
to  suicide,” he said.
Tan said the widespread drug use in
the village frst reared its ugly head in
2007 which also saw a rise in petty
crime with snatch thefts becoming
common. 
Residents are wary of walking
around the village even during day time.
Te village committee members are
very worried because the criminals are
youths at the prime of their lives. Many
families are going though sleepless
nights because of their children’s ad-
diction. 
Other village committee members
who met reporters from Selangor Times
said most of them either knew a relative
or neighbour whose son or daughter is
or was a former drug addict.
Some families are facing the harsh
reality that they may have to send their
sons and daughters to drug rehabilita-
tion, maybe for years away from home.
Tan said that it was the “last but
unavoidable” recourse left to many
families if they wanted to see their child
saved from addiction.
“One committee member received
a call from her neighbour who was torn
at having to ‘surrender’ her son to po-
lice. Te mother was crying while the
committee member was advising her to
give her son up to police, as his addic-
tion and criminal acts had got worse,”
said Tan.
Tan recalled an incident where a
family of four vacated their house on
the son’s release from prison. In this
case, the mother had surrendered the
• Turn To page 6
a bleak Chinese new Year
awaits 52-year-old Tan Suan
Ji after his poultry farm was
demolished on Tuesday.
• STorY on page 4
By Rahmah Ghazali
SHAH ALAM: Proposed amendments to the State
Constitution to allow Selangor to appoint its own top civil
servants were unveiled by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim
on Wednesday.
“I have presented the amendments to His Highness and I
am grateful the Sultan has given his consent for us to proceed
with the state sitting,” he said.
Te Jan 24 sitting seeks to amend Article 52 to restore the
powers of the ruler and menteri besar to choose who should be
appointed to the positions.
Clause (1) in Article 52 will be substituted with the
following clause: “His Royal Highness shall on the
recommendation of the appropriate Service Commission by
instrument under His Sign Manual and State Seal appoint a
person holding whole time ofce in public service to be the
State Secretary, State Legal Advisor and State Financial Ofcer
respectively. Provided that before acting on the recommendation
of the Service Commission, His Royal Highness shall consider
the advice of the menteri besar and may once refer the
recommendation to the commission in order that it may be
reconsidered.”
Khalid said the changes restored the procedure that was
provided in the State Constitution before earlier amendments
in 1993.
Te proposed changes come in the wake of an on-going
dispute with Putrajaya, which controversially appointed Datuk
Muhammad Khusrin Munawi as the new state secretary
without frst consulting Selangor.

MB unveils proposed
amendments
Elected village heads
to get state funds
By Alvin Yap
SHAH ALAM: Leader s of
Pandamaran New Village, Pulau Ketam
and Jenjarom who are elected by
popular vote in frst ever direct elections
will receive funding from the state
regardless of their political afliations.
“We will accept the results of the
elections for the village heads, and they
will get funding from the Pakatan
Rakyat state government even if they’re
from Barisan Nasional.
“Which political party the village
head comes from or represents is irrele-
vent. Te state will allocate funding for
them to develop the villages,” said state
executive councillor Ean Yong Hian
Wah.
When met at the State Secretariat
building on Wednesday, Ean Yong said
it was the people’s right to be able to
choose their leaders in a direct election.
Te voters, he explained, are able to
choose their leaders who would listen
to them. Ean Yong said the winners in
the direct elections would work with
the state and not be entrenched in
“petty politics”.
Te Sri Kembangan assemblyman
said candidates must campaign on their
individual ideas, strengths and vision for
their community - and not on the plat-
form of the political party they represent.
“Contest as an ordinary citizen, and
not as a political party candidate,” said
Ean Yong. “Represent yourself and not
your party.”
He explained that elected village
heads must be a representatives of their
community, and must therefore be re-
sponsive to the people’s needs and
wishes, and not to their political parties.
Ean Yong said the candidate must be
Selangor residents, with a Selangor ad-
dress on his MyKad.
Te deposit required to stand in the
elections will be announced at a later
date, he added. He said there would be
a week of campaigning.
Te elections are set to take place
around March, the latest date being
around the middle of the year, he added.
Eligible voters must be local residents
based on the Election Commission’s
electoral roll as of 30 June 2010.
Tose who had registered to vote
after that date will probably not be
eligible to vote in this round of elections.
Ean Yong said procedures would be
similar to state and national elections.
Te initiative to conduct direct elec-
tions for village heads is yet another
efort to address the deadlock in govern-
ing the state, at least on the local level.
Since the takeover of Selangor by
Pakatan Rakyat, villages in the state
have seen “two” chiefs – one appointed
by the Federal Government and the
other by the state.
Tis move, Ean Yong said, would put
to rest the issue of a village having two
chiefs.
Most importantly, Ean Yong said,
direct elections are a “small step” to-
wards reviving local government elec-
tions that have been suspended since
1965 by the then ruling Alliance party,
said Ean Yong.
The suspension followed the out-
break of hostility arising from Confron-
tation, an undeclared war between
Malaysia and Indonesia over the future
of Borneo.
However, local elections were not
reinstated afer Confrontation.
Civil society activists have called for
Pakatan Rakyat to fulfl its promise to
revive local elections that it made during
the 2008 general election if the coali-
tion was voted in.
Tere is support from the public for
the direct elections, said Ean Yong,
based on media reports.
He said that if the direct election was
carried out successfully, the state would
implement it gradually in the other 78
Chinese new villages and fshing villages
in Selangor.
SHAH ALAM: Te state government
has condemned the death threat against
Serdang Member of Parliament Teo Nie
Ching which they described as a
perversion of the true meaning of
Islamic jihad.
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim criticised
those who placed the threat, describing
their actions as “irresponsible”.
“Their action will not resolve any
problems and will also limit Teo’s
freedom to go about in her constituency,”
said the Menteri Besar.
Te frst-term MP received the death
threat early Wednesday morning, with
a dead and bloody chicken hung on the
door of the DAP branch ofce in Sungai
Chua.
A note also was also found with the
carcass. It said, “Ingat! Ini satu peringatan
Teo Nie Ching, Tentera Jihad”. (Take
note! Tis is a reminder Teo Nie Ching,
the Jihad Army).
Teo was accused of inappropriate
dressing when speaking to an audience
in the prayer area of Surau al-Huda in
Kajang last year. More recently, she was
criticised for the T-shirt and track pants
that she wore during an aerobic exercise
session at a mosque compound in
Cheras.
Regardless of the opinions about
Teo, the act of issuing a death threat was
“unacceptable”, said state executive
councillor Teresa Kok.
“In my opinion, using a dead chicken
as a death threat is uncivilised and
should be condemned by everyone
because this criminal act is not helping
anybody.
State executive councillor Halimah
Ali also condemned the attack, especially
the use of the word “jihad” in the note.
She said the use of the word in such
a manner was a deviation from Islamic
teachings where “jihad” is specifcally
used to safeguard the mission of
spreading Islam as practiced by the late
prophet Nabi Muhammad.
“Tose who have used those words
on a politician elected by the people, are
[committing ] treason against the
Prophet,” she said, adding that Selangor
Islamic Religious Department ( JAIS)
should investigate it.
Public rally
against SS
appointment
The dead chicken hung on the door
of the offce.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ January 21 – 23, 2011 ⁄ 3
C
M
Y
CM
MY
CY
CMY
K
PKNS for Selangor Times FA.pdf 1 1/18/11 2:44 PM
4 January 21 — 23, 2011
news
The champs: Kwan Beng Hong and Chandran
with Teng (second from left).
EvEnts
By Chong Loo Wah and Gan Pei Ling
shah alam: Te state has objected to Putrajaya’s recent
guidelines which have lowered the percentage of residents’
support needed to set up a gated and guarded community.
State executive councillor Ronniu Liu said the state had
already set the cap at 85% more than a year ago.
“Te Federal Government’s cap at 51% is insufcient and
is likely to be problematic,” he told Selangor Times.
Te Pandamaran assemblyman explained that some com-
munities had been unable to set up a gated and guarded com-
munity as they were not able to secure 85% support from the
residents in the past.
Lowering the limit to 51% may result in the mushrooming
of gated and guarded communities in Selangor in the short-
term. Such security schemes are more likely to fail as well, due
to lack of adequate community support. Liu said that gener-
ally, only residents who agreed to the security scheme would
be committed to paying the monthly fees.
Te state has also rejected the federal guidelines because
security tarifs have been raised since Jan 1 due to the increase
in security guards’ minimum wage.
Liu said he had received several complaints from resident
associations following the announcement of the security fee
hike.
As fees are increasingly expensive, he said Selangor would
be maintaining its 85% cap to ensure that private security
schemes garner sufcient commitment from residents before
they are approved by local councils.
Minimum monthly wages for security guards have been
increased from between RM300 and RM500 to between
RM500 and RM700 from this year.
Following this resident associations have to pay between
RM5.20 to RM7 per hour for an unarmed guard (depending
on area; see table).
For an armed guard, the fee increase is from RM12 to
RM15 per hour.
Security Services Association of Malaysia president Datuk
Shaheen Mirza Habib said the increase in security guards’
wages was delayed from July 2010 to this year to give time for
the market to adapt.
He said residents should be willing to pay a reasonable price
for quality security services and a safe neighbourhood.
By Gan Pei Ling
shah alam:: Te state’s own Tamil monthly paper,
Selangor Indru, is expected to hit the streets this weekend.
“The first edition will be an evaluation of Pakatan
Rakyat’s performance in Selangor since 2008,” said executive
councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar. Although Selangor Indru’s
frst issue would be political, he said subsequent editions
would focus on community issues.
Dr Xavier added that the paper would have a circulation
of 100,000, with 50,000 copies printed twice every month
and distributed free in areas with signifcant Indian com-
munities. He cited Kapar, Banting, Klang, Damansara and
Batu Caves as examples. “We also plan to bring it to Tenang
( Johor),” quipped the Seri Andalas assemblyman.
Tenang by-election’s nomination day will be held tomor-
row and voting day is on Jan 30 (Sunday). Te paper was
approved by the state executive council last December and
a yearly budget of RM800,000 was allocated for it.
Tree experienced writers who were previously from the
mainstream media and a graphic artist will helm the eight-
page paper.
Gated scheme
cap stays at 85%
Teng graces badminton tourney
Tamil monthly launched
*The above rates do not include 6% government service tax
NeW seCurity tariffs
effective Jan 1, 2011
areas
uNarmed
Guard
(per person/
hour)
rm7
rm5.2
rm5.50
rm6
rm15
rm15
rm15
rm15
ZoN a Penang, Selangor,
Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and
Southern Johor
ZoN B Malacca, Negeri
Sembilan, Perak, Pahang,
Terengganu and Northern
Johor
ZoN C Labuan, Sabah and
Sarawak
ZoN d Perlis, Kedah and
Kelantan
armed
Guard
(per person/
hour)
malaysia it fair
Malaysia IT Fair is an inspiring digital lifestyle event
that caters both to consumers and the ICT (information
and communications technology) industry. It is not
only about value bargains but more. It encompasses
a learning platform packed with activities for the
modern generation to get acquainted with the latest
IT happenings and consumer electronic offerings in
the market. The fair will be on from Jan 28 to Jan 30,
2011. Admission is free. Venue: Mid Valley Exhibition
Centre, Level 31 The Gardens South Tower Mid Valley
City Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur.
KLPaC open day
Visit Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre’s (KLPAC)
open day on Jan 23 from 10am to 5pm. The programme
includes Theatre & Dance performances such as Green
& White by Nyoba Kan, Jom Dance by Lex Lakshman
Balakrishnan, Balinese Dance by Max Roswell,
Through the Looking Glass by Balletbase (Bilqis Hijjas
and Ng Bee Bee), and Standup Comedy in Chinese by
Joker Duo. There will also be indie flm screening, drum
jamming by Drumclix, Afro Sahara & Drum Simfoni, arts
and crafts market, live painting by Marta and treasure
hunt (recommended for 12-year-olds and above). For
details, call 03-4047 9000 for more info or visit www.
klpac.org
Hospital open day
Columbia Asia Hospital Cheras will be organising an
Open Day for the public on Jan 23 from 8.30am to
4pm. There will be free health screening tests including
tests for high blood pressure; blood sugar tests; body
mass index; bone scan, hand grip assessment. Other
activities involve a blood donation drive, colouring
contest, health quiz, magic show, face painting and
sand art. Venue: Columbia Asia Hospital Cheras, Jalan
Suakasih, Cheras, Selangor.
youth and maturity
Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra presents Kees
Bakels as conductor and Tengku Ahmad Irfan on
piano. Framed by a piano concerto by a 20-year-old
and the fnal composition of an ailing 68-year-old,
the founding father of the MPO and Malaysia’s latest
piano prodigy (aged 12) introduces us to the rarely-
heard original version with orchestra of one of Chopin’s
most dazzling virtuoso piano showpieces and one of
Rossini’s most captivating overtures. The concert will
be on Jan 22 at 8.30pm and Jan 23 at 3pm. Admissiion
on Jan 22 is RM95, RM75, RM55, RM25 and on Jan
23 is RM85, RM65, RM40, RM20. Dress code on Jan
22 is long-sleeved batik or lounge suit and on Jan 23 is
smart casual. Venue: Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS,
Level 2, Tower 2, Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC, Kuala
Lumpur.
Princely Wedding fair
Back by popular demand, Prince Hotel & Residence
Kuala Lumpur is once again organising its Annual
Princely Wedding Fair for the 9th year on Jan 22 and
Jan 23. In collaboration with Carven Ong Couture &
Wedding Specialist, WeddingsMalaysia, Association
of Wedding Professional Malaysia, the event will
feature offers for specially tailored wedding packages,
ballroom settings with contemporary style decorations
and wedding gifts at the Prince. The Wedding Theme,
“The Romance of Princely Garden” at Prince Hotel &
Residence Kuala Lumpur will be featuring more than 15
professional wedding partners and a host of wedding
showcases, consultations and fashion show. The fair
will be on from 11am to 6pm. Venue: Prince Hotel &
Residence Kuala Lumpur.
Proton malaysian open super series 2011
The world’s leading players from China, Indonesia,
Malaysia, South Korea, Denmark, England, and other
member countries play for the US$400,000.00 purse
from Tuesday to Sunday. Tickets are from RM5 to RM45.
Venue: Putra Stadium, National Sports Complex, Bukit
Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.
By alvin yap

klang: A badminton doubles championship named afer
State Assembly Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim saw shuttlers
playing their hearts out . Te two-day event at Taman Eng Ann
in Klang was divided into four age groups.
“Te players worked and struggled together. It is like a
community working together to solve problems,” said Teng.
He added that community sports championships brought
people together. “It’s hard work, to think, to struggle and es-
pecially to work with someone else.”
He said the state supported initiatives to bring communities
closer, citing the championship as a catalyst for more sports
meets in future.
Lim Zhan Lee and Wong Man Hung beat Liow Chee Yea
and Ng Kean Kaa in the Under-15 fnal. Puah Chen Hao and
Tan Jin Shen took the Under-17 title, while Kwan Beng Hong
and Chandran won the Senior Open by beating Lim Ee Qin
and Muhammad Hashim. Te event was organised by the
Sungai Pinang State Assembly seat service centre.
5 January 21 — 23, 2011
news
41 factories get reprieve
SERI KEMBANGAN: Over 500 contestants, both young and
old, took part in a Chinese New Year calligraphy competition at the
Serdang Community Hall yesterday.
“As I like drawing, calligraphy is not very difcult for me,” said
Joyce Cheong, champion of the open category.
Having started calligraphy lessons since she was 12, the 34-year
old systems analyst took up the art form afer being persuaded by
her mother.
“I became interested in calligraphy because it is one of the Chinese
traditions, which sadly nowadays many children don’t enjoy,” she
said.
First runner-up in the secondary school category, Loo Jia Qian
from SMJK Kwang Hua, has been taking calligraphy lessons for
seven years.
“Calligraphy helps me to be more patient, and I like it because it
is very beautiful,” said the 18-year-old.
Her father also expressed pride with his daughter’s success and
remarked that calligraphy is a good hobby for youngsters.
Also present were state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah
and Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching.
“Tere was a good response today. I am surprised we attracted so
many local residents to join as this is our frst competition,” said Ean
Yong.
Consisting of primary school, secondary school and open catego-
ries, the competition began at 9am and ended with the prize-giving
ceremony at 1pm.
Cheras residents want their school
By Chong Loo Wah and Gan Pei Ling
CHERAS: Residents of Bandar Sungai Long and
Bandar Mahkota Cheras want Putrajaya to honour an
election  promise to build a new Chinese primary school
here.
Te residents, along with their elected representa-
tives, gathered yesterday at the site reserved for the
primary school to remind the Federal Government that
it was time to deliver.
Tan Kok Wai, who was among those gathered,
pointed out that seven new Chinese primary schools,
including one in Bandar Sungai Long, was supposed to
be built under the Ninth Malaysian Plan.
Te Cheras Member of Parliament added that devel-
opers had reserved three pieces of land in Bandar Sungai
Long and two in Bandar Mahkota Cheras for schools
over two decades ago.
Selangor has also been waiting for Putrajaya to change
the lands’ status from ordinary school reserve land to
Chinese primary school land.
Hulu Langat MP Dr Che Rosli Che Mat added that
Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said
in Parliament that his ministry did not have sufcient
funds.
He urged the federal government to prioritise educa-
tion and building schools in their budget.
Also at the event was Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching and
state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.
By Basil Foo
RAWANG: Factories operating on
a road reserve here who have been
told to make way for the widening of
Jalan Batu Arang have been granted
a reprieve.
Te owners of the 41 factories,
some which have been operating at
the site for past two decades, sought
and received an extension of the
deadline to move, at a meeting on
Wednesday with Rawang assembly-
woman Gan Pei Nei.
Gan, who met the owners and
representatives from the Public
Works Department and the Selayang
Municipal Council, said they now
had until the end of February to
move to new premises.
Te owners, who held Temporary
Occupati on Li cences ( TOL),
claimed they only received eviction
notices in December.
Te new deadline was also to en-
able authorities to decide how many
factories should receive compensa-
tion.
The Gombak Land Office had
included another 13 factories to an
initial list of 28 which were to receive
compensation but JKR is against the
move.
Gan added that JKR was also
concerned about the additional costs
due to delays and wants the issue to
be settled as soon as possible.
So far, only a handful of factories
have moved to new locations, with
the rest to follow soon.
A local council officer said 16
f ac t or i e s c ol l e c t i ve l y owe d
RM85,000 in assessment arrears and
this would be deducted from any
compensation.
The planned construction in-
volves road-widening projects along
Jalan Batu Arang and a 1.6km elevat-
ed highway connecting the Rawang
toll with Bandar Baru Rawang to ease
worsening trafc conditions.
Calligraphy competition attracts all ages
To place your Advert in
Contact Timothy Loh at 019-267 4488
or Ivan Looi at 014-936 6698
Residents stating their stand at the site.
6 January 21 — 23, 2011
news
LEE LANDSCAPE SDN BHD
LEE LANDSCAPE SDN BHD (Company No. 433709-X)
46-1, Jalan 8/62A, Bandar Menjalara,
Kepong, 52200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-62731913 (Hunting line) Fax: 03-62750496
E-mail : leescape@yahoo.com
Contact person : Ms Brenda Lai
Know Your
Councillor: Lee
Kee Hiong
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
KAJANG: Being a local coun-
cillor is a privilege because of the
opportunity to shape policies
for services delivered to the com-
munity, says Kajang Municipal
(MPKJ) Councillor Lee Kee
Hiong (pic).
Lee, who was appointed
councillor in July 2008, believes
that municipal services are com-
plex and must continuously
evolve in order to remain at a
high standard to meet the de-
mands of the local community.
To know their needs, Lee
frmly believes in building good
relationships with community
members. “My team and I dedi-
cate ourselves to talk and listen
to people from all walks of life.”
She fnds that the main com-
plaint from residents is rubbish
collection, which is not carried
out according to schedule.
Lee receives these complaints
at her service centre at No. 33-2
Jalan Temenggung 9/9, Seksyen
9, Bandar Mahkota Cheras,
43200 Batu 9, Selangor.
Lee holds a Bachelor of Sci-
ence (Resource Economics) and
a Master’s degree (Master in
Library and Information Sci-
ence). She was a business re-
porter before working as a spe-
cial assistant to Lim Kit Siang
from 1993 to 1997.
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: It was all smiles
for children from Lighthouse Children
Welfare Association when they got
training tips from national badminton
champions Koo Kien Keat and Tan
Boon Heong at the 1Utama shopping
mall last week.
Koo and Tan, who were once the
world’s top men’s doubles pair, are cur-
rently ranked third in the world.
Eleven children from the shelter
home took turns to receive person-
alised training from Koo and Tan as
they learned how to serve properly and
how to deliver drop shots, and even
play a short match against the cham-
pions.
“We’re glad to be here to play bad-
minton with the children,” said Koo.
Te older children, being taller than
the rest, also learned the art of deliver-
ing “smash” shots that hit the oppo-
nent’s court with pinpoint accuracy
from the World Championships run-
ner ups.
Some of the children demonstrated
exceptional skills when they returned
difcults shots from the pair.
Tey had a chance to put whatever
they had learned to the test when Koo
and Tan squared of with them in a
doubles and singles match.
Afer the “strenuous” workout, the
children were also treated to afernoon
tea comprising sandwiches, desserts
and fruit juices at O’Brien’s.
Te event on Sunday was hosted by
OSIM in conjuction with their spon-
sorship of the Badminton World
Federation Superseries circuit which
started on Wednesday.
When asked if he would consider
coaching in the future, Koo said that
his immediate plans was to further
develop his skills.
“To the children here today, I want
to tell them that being a world ranking
badminton player means giving your
best to your chosen career,” said Koo.
Children realise dream of
“training” with champs
Tan Boon Heong (right) and Koo Kien Keat (left) together with the children from
Lighthouse Children Welfare Association.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ January 21 – 23,2010 ⁄ 7
news
Luxury development
plagued by pollution
By Basil Foo
PUCHONG: Unsightly rubbish and foul
smelling air have upset residents of the ex-
clusive Lake Edge housing area, who aired
their grouses with local authorities at a
meeting last Friday.
Residents voiced their displeasure over
garbage in the lake, which is the main sell-
ing point for the luxury neighborhood of
375 houses.
“Garbage from the other side of the lake
falls into the water here when there are
rainstorms or strong winds,” said resident
Denzil Albert, 36.
“Tere have been incidents where the
whole surface of the lake is covered with
garbage,” he added.
Te other side of the lake where a dump-
site is borders the Puchong Industrial Park
where land reclamation work is ongoing. It
is believed that the garbage is used to fll
land in the reclamation project.
Te Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s
(MPSJ) regulations stipulate that the de-
veloper should only use construction debris
like rock and soil for the land reclamation,
but Albert said garbage was being used to
reclaim the land.
“We can see that it is actually all sorts of
garbage, like organic waste, [being used],”
said Albert.
MPSJ issued a summons and stop work
order on Dec 21 last year to developers
doing the land reclamation but the order
went unheeded.
“Residents have observed that afer the
stop work order was issued, trucks were still
coming in to dump rubbish. I don’t believe
the stop work order is actually helping,”
Albert added.
Local councillor Ng Sze Han acknowl-
edged the complaints and agreed with some
of the residents’ suggestions to erect barriers
at the reclamation site.
“[Concerning the] dumping of the rub-
bish at the reclamation area of the lake…
MPSJ will take immediate action to block
access to this project,” said Ng who is also
a resident here.
“We will also do a cleanup of the rub-
bish. Once there are any updates, we will
call for another meeting with the residents,”
he added.
Residents also raised the issue of a foul
smell believed to be caused by improperly
functioning water treatment plants.
“Te smell is acrid, it burns your nose,
and it gets into your house. It started from
the frst week of December and happens
intermittently, mostly during the evening
and afer rain,” said Albert.
“We are not sure where the smell comes
from, but we suspect it’s from the sewerage
plants because we have seen them overfow-
ing,” he added.
Representatives from Indah Water Con-
sortium at the meeting urged residents to
call their hotline when the smell occurs so
that they could investigate its source.
Councillor Ng also urged Indah Water
to investigate the source of the smell by
checking the water treatment plant at Jalan
Bandar.
Malaysia, warts
and all, in Teohlogy
DUBBED the “Voice of Malaysia” due to
his years as a mainstay presenter on the
local airwaves, Patrick Teoh is now launch-
ing a diatribe on the Malaysian experience
in trademark acerbic wit with his book,
Teohlogy.
Teohlogy – Te Word According To Pat-
rick Teoh will be launched with an appear-
ance by the author himself tomorrow from
2pm at Popular Book Store, IKANO
Power Centre, Mutiara Damansara.
Te book comprises Teoh’s previously
published articles which
were carried by the now
defunct Of Te Edge mag-
azine from 2005 to 2010. In
his pieces, Teoh expounds
on the trials and travails
faced by ordinary Malay-
sians in this multifaceted
country.
From the wealth of ob-
servations made during his
time as a radio personality,
television presenter, voiceo-
ver talent and actor, Teoh
provides an insider’s insight into the intri-
cacies and idiosyncrasies that a young na-
tion like Malaysia is learning to go through.
Expanding his writing presence online
by blogging at his website, Teoh is no
stranger to sharing his views in a candid,
no-holds-barred manner. He presents
Malaysia, warts and all, in a way that will
have readers either chuckling in recogni-
tion or sighing in resignation.
Teohlogy presents a Malaysia with the
farcical antics of its politicians, the perils
of its public transport, digs at the powers-
that-be and Malaysians themselves – hop-
ing we will not give up trying to understand
the nuances of this beguiling country.
Some call him a cynic or an old grump
but Teohlogy is an authentic Malaysian voice
telling it as it is with a generous sprinkling
of realism, humour and provocation.
Currently, Teoh is a full-time actor and
member of the Instant Café Teatre Com-
pany. Among many other roles, he has also
appeared alongside Chow Yuen-Fatt and
Jodie Foster in Anna and the King in 1999.
He is also continuing Teohlogy as a col-
umn in the Selangor Times.
Being restaurateur of the Damansara
Village chain of restaurants, he also prides
himself most as being husband, father,
grandfather and, in his own words, “a gen-
erally misunderstood person”.
Te book Teohlogy will retail for RM38
per copy.
8 January 21 — 23, 2011
news
From left: Ira, Julien and Sarrah experiencing Thaipusam in Batu Caves.
Annual
experience
for devotee
By Basil Foo
KLANG: Te traditional rituals of penance
and sacrifce are nothing new to Navin Kumar,
who has been bearing the kavadi at Batu Caves
since he was 11.
“Taipusam is the day Lord Murugan came
down to earth. On that day, all will get his
blessing,” said the 25-year old quality control
ofcer.
Navin learnt to carry the kavadi from his
grandfather, and said the signifcance of the
ritual is further heightened during the prepa-
rations made before he set of on his journey.
Tis includes a month-long vegetarian fast
as part of his special prayers before Taipusam.
Te process of preparing to carry the ka-
vadi involves the spiritual cleansing of the
body which has to be done at a specifc loca-
tion.
For devotees, this includes sleeping daily
in the “god room” – a room in their homes
where deities are placed.
“In order to carry the kavadi, our body
must be very clean, so we don’t sleep in other
places,” he said.
According to Navin, carrying the kavadi is
not limited to only Hindus.
“Even those from diferent religions also
take up the kavadi because they believe in it
or because their prayer to be healed from sick-
ness was answered,” he said.
Taipusam, which was ofcially held on
Tursday, also draws spectators from all walks
of life who congregate at the caves to observe
devotees and the procession of Lord Muru-
gan’s chariot.
Navin, who bore his kavadi a few days be-
fore Taipusam, said devotees had to walk
much further this year, due to a new fyover
which had been built.
Starting from the Batu Caves railway sta-
tion, the procession would have to cover a
distance of about two kilometres in order to
reach the foot of the cave stairs.
Tourists
soak in
spectacle
By Alvin Yap
Ira, Julien and Sarrah are from Canada. Tey
have never seen anything like this - meaning
the sights, sounds and feel of Taipusam at
Batu Caves.
“It’s crazy and unbelieveable,” said Ira,
who hails from Toronto.
A suggestion to come to Batu Caves on
the eve of Taipusam, Ira said, was the best
thing he and his friends did.
Julien, who has been staying in Malaysia
for four years, had not been to any Taipusam
celebration before.
He said he was not prepared for what he
would be witnessing.
“It’s intense, up inside the cave. We’ve seen
the devotees dance around carrying the thing
(kavadi) on their shoulders,” said Julien, who
studies in an international school in Kuala
Lumpur.
He marvelled at the kavadi, a wooden
cross like structure weighing 30kg that
devotees carry on their shoulders. “It must
be exhausting to carry the kavadi.”
He said he respected the participants for
their devotion to their faith, adding that
tourists must make the trip to Batu Caves on
a night like this.
“It might be outside the comfort zone, I
mean to see scenes of people who pierce the
hooks into their flesh,” said Sarrah, who
comes from Montreal. “It’s about faith, isn’t
it?” she said quietly.
Sarrah is taking a year of afer fnishing
college. Her world journey has brought her
from Mexico to Malaysia. Australia is next.
“Tis place must have lots of history, I
bet,” she said. She stared at the massive
crowd inside the temple grounds in Batu
Caves. A devotee passed by barefooted.
“Why do they go barefoot?” she asked.
It had been memorable for the three
friends.
“Te hypnotic thumping of the proces-
sional drums and the chants have been in-
tense, “ said Sarrah.
Khalid (centre) and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman and Gombak MP Azmin Ali and executive councillor Dr Xavier
Jeyakumar arriving at Batu Caves on Wednesday night. – Pictures by Victor Chong
A young child has his hair shaved at
one of the many stalls in Batu Caves. A devotee picking out the best garland at a stall.
9 January 21 — 23, 2011
news
Hardip Singh (wheelchair) and his brothers making their annual
pilgrimage to Batu Caves.
MB promises
temple upgrade
By Rahmah Ghazali
BATU CAVES: In the spirit of
Taipusam, Menteri Besar Tan Sri
Khalid Ibrahim has promised that
Sri Maharamariamman Temple will
be developed and upgraded to cater
to millions of devotees who throng
the popular shrine every year.
“To me, this suggestion is very
important because tonight we can
see that a lot of devotees, many even
coming from other countries, and
tourists visit Batu Caves,” he said on
Tursday.
Khalid, who visited the site with
executive councillors, assemblymen
and parliamentarians, said discus-
sions with the temple committee
and the local authority would take
place afer Chinese New Year.
He praised Sri Maharamariam-
man Temple president Datuk R.
Nadarajah and his committee for
contributing a lot to the state and
nation.
“I hope we will have bilateral
talks as the committee has played a
signifcant role in bringing in ben-
efts, not only to Selangor but to the
country. That is why we need to
exchange views on how to take the
temple to greater heights,” said
Khalid.
He said the state was aware of the
Indian community’s welfare and
needs.
“In 2010 alone, we spent RM3
million to upgrade and repair exist-
ing Hindu temples. Meanwhile, out
of 103 land applications to develop
non-Muslim places of worship, 56
were given to Hindu temples,” he
said.
Later, Khalid presented a RM3
million grant to develop Sekolah
Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil)
in Ladang Midlands, Section 7 Shah
Alam. Petaling Jaya City Council
(MBPJ) and Tadika Rakyat were
given RM470,000 each while Sri
Mariamman Temple in Rimba Jaya
received RM300,000.
Also present at the event were
Gombak Member of Parliament
Azmin Ali and Batu Caves assem-
blyman Amiruddin Shaari.
Hindu devotees had earlier car-
ried the statue of Lord Murugan in
a 10km procession from downtown
Kuala Lumpur to Batu Caves to
mark the beginning of Taipusam.
BATU CAVES: Hardip  Singh Gill, 45, is disabled
with cerebral palsy but year afer year, he makes his an-
nual pilgrimage to the temple here for Thaipusam
without fail.
Te devotee was seen being wheeled around by his
big brother Amer on the eve of this year’s celebration.
“We have been coming to the temple for the past 11
years,” said Amer.
Te 48-year-old businessman, who has been looking
afer Hardip since their parents died more than a decade
ago, said they did not have problems with the huge
crowds at the temple.
Arriving at 7pm, A Rela officer escorted them
through the throng.
“When they see me and my brother in his wheelchair,
they blow their whistles to make way for us,” said Amer,
who hails from Teluk Intan, Perak.
At 10.30pm, amid the milling crowd and the thump-
ing drums, the brothers were seen sitting quietly at a
special site reserved for the handicapped as they soaked
in the celebrations. 
The highlight was receiving blessings from the
temple priests inside Batu Caves.  
` Ameer said Hardip’s caregiver, who also made the
pilgrimage with them,  climbed many stairs to receive
the blessings on his behalf.
He said this kept them coming back year afer year. “It’s
all about faith, that my brother will be blessed,” he added.
Brotherly love and faith
One of the many colourful kavadi groups at the yearly Thaipusam celebrations.
Millions of devotees climb 272 steps to reach the main temple in
Batu Caves.
A family of devotees bring milk offerings in Batu Caves.
10 January 21 — 23, 2011
News
Abandoned project
successfully revived
SHAH ALAM: Owners of the Suri Puteri Com-
merical Centre, which was delayed for almost six
years, fnally received the keys to their properties
from Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Sunday.
Te Menteri Besar ofciated at a ceremony at
Section 20 with Shah Alam City Council
(MBSA) Mayor Datuk Mazalan Md Noor.
Mazalan said the abandoned project, which was
privatised by MBSA, was revived  thanks to the
intervention of the state.
He thanked Khalid for helping fnd the new
developer,  Semangat Ulung Sdn Bhd, to rescue
the project in 2009.
“Te development, consisting of 67 shop/ofce
lots and 312 serviced  apartments  which was
started in 2003, should have been completed and
occupied by 2005,” said Mazalan.
He pointed out that close cooperation between
the state, MBSA and Semangat Ulung made it
possible for the frst phase to be completed.
Mazalan added that MBSA was monitoring the
construction of serviced apartments and will en-
sure construction is completed according to
schedule.
Single mums
feted to
luxurious
dinner
By Alvin Yap
SEPANG: On Saturday evening,
it was as if the single mothers from
Seputeh had left the weight and
worries of being the sole breadwin-
ners at home as they gathered for
dinner at Sepang Gold Coast.
Te event was organised by the
Malaysian Spring Single Mothers’
Society (MSSMS) and hosted by
Golden Palm Tree Resort to recog-
nise the sacrifce and hard work of
single mothers as they work hard to
maintain their jobs in the workplace
and at home.
From left: Mazalan handing over a souvenir to Khalid as executive councillor Rodziah Ismail and Shah Alam MP Khalid
Samad look on last Sunday.
Deplorable conditions
at public housing fats
PETALING JAYA: Selangor has instructed the
City Council (MBPJ) here to act or even termi-
nate the contract a company that has allegedly
failed to maintain the Kota Damansara Public
Housing Project.
“The failure of the management company
in carrying out their duties properly is among the
source of problems in the housing project,” said
Selangor executive councilor for housing Iskandar
Samad.
Iskandar, who visited the area on Tuesday, saw
widespread problems which included cleanliness,
vandalism, security as well as problems with lifs.
He said garbage could be found on stairs, al-
leyways and even on top of the main water tank.
Iskandar said he was concerned that refuse
could seep into the water supply for the fats.
He has suggested that MBPJ hold a cleaning
operation with the management company, resi-
dents and relevant authorities.
SHAH ALAM: Muslims who choose to
leave their jobs at entertainment outlets which
serve alcohol can opt for entrepreneur training
and grants from the state.
Selangor has set aside RM10 million for
the programme to help these workers.
Te Syariah Criminal Enactment forbids
Muslims from serving alcohol. Te state is
conducting a feasibility study to determine if
local councils can restrict entertainment out-
lets from hiring them.
Tose interested to apply for the training
or grants can do so at the State Economic
Planning Unit (UPEN) at the state secretari-
at or call 03-5544 7115 or 03-5544 7965.
RM10 million for
Muslims to fnd
alternative work
“Work-maker, home-maker...ev-
eryday, they work in the jobs that
they’ve chosen, to support their
family...and then they go back and
cook, take care of their family’s
needs. I salute them,” said Pascal
Pringent, the general manager of the
award winning luxury resort located
at Sepang’s Gold Coast.
Marianne Sandanasamy said she
was honoured to sit with her fellow
single mothers at the dinner func-
tion.
“I think we single mothers know
that we work hard to provide for the
physical and mental needs of our
children,” said the 42-year-old
mother of two teenaged children.
To the laughter of the other single
mothers, Marianne, who works as
an administration ofcer in an ac-
counting firm, said that she was
taking time of from work and her
children.
Te others nodded their heads as
33-year-old Chee Poh Suan said that
she did not look back at “the circum-
stances” that caused her to raise her
children single-handedly.
“I have my children to look afer;
I have them to look forward for me
to provide for them,” said the pint-
sized lady who works as a factory
assembler in Klang.
For Chee, the preparations begin
the night before as she cooks por-
ridge for her children’s lunch-time
meal.
Te next morning, she gets out
of her home at Taman Seputeh at
6am, well before her children wake
up.
She then walks for about 30
minutes to the KTM commuter
station at Seputeh to take a 40-min-
ute ride to Klang. She says this is the
best time for her to catch up on some
sleep.
Chee said that she does not
worry about her son and daughter
at home. Even though they are not-
yet 13 and 14 respectively, they are
independent. “My neighbours look
into my children from time to time
and they send food over. Sometimes
they help them get ready for school,”
said Chee.
The Malaysian Spring Single
Mothers’ Society is a non-govern-
ment organisation which was
founded in 2002 to provide fnan-
cial aid, community support and
counselling to more than 500 single
mothers.
Ng Yoot Kuen, as the organisa-
tion’s president, said the single
mothers consisted of those who have
been widowed, divorced, or sepa-
rated from their husbands and those
facing marital problems.
Its advisor is Seputeh member of
Parliament Teresa Kok.
11 January 21 — 23, 2011
Views
W
hen I had to make the ul-
timate life-changing deci-
sion, or so it seems when
you’re 18, of which college to fur-
ther my studies, I chose aesthetics
over academic reputation as I
couldn’t be bothered to spend more
than a day mulling over my future.
I was instantly attracted to Tay-
lor’s College because it had a nice
name and the campus looked well-
designed, like a real campus. Not to
mention that it is one of the oldest
private colleges around. So the
older it is, the better, no?
Te Taylor’s College campus in
SS15 had a lively student vibe. Te
gates opened out to a courtyard and
the rush of students going in and out
was an exhilarating feeling for a
young woman embarking on her
academic journey.
I had never been studious in high
school and had long been jaded with
teachers’ play of authoritarianism,
so my transformation from a high
school student to college freshman
was a precious moment for me.
I had loved the campus feeling
where students hung about min-
gling freely and I could roam around
changing from one lecture hall to
another. But that feeling didn’t last
long.
Before our frst semester ended,
we were given notice that the Di-
ploma programmes would be moved
to the Leisure Commerce Square
campus in Kelana Jaya. We were
disappointed with the decision, and
I took it especially hard because one
of the reasons I chose Taylor’s was
for the campus experience!
And now, we were “moving” to
an ofce building?
So we exercised our rights and
signed a petition against the move.
Needless to say, the power of corpo-
ration prevailed over petty student
voice and the next semester, we
found ourselves - students in t-shirt
and jeans, battling for space in the
elevators with corporate employees.
Seven years later, I came back to
SS15. Te student vibe has probably
amplifed threefold since.
Taylor’s has now acquired univer-
sity status; next door INTI College
had annexed a new building; and
there seemed to be a rise in interna-
tional students flocking to these
private colleges.
In the nearby areas, new malls
popped up in addition to the neigh-
bourhood malls like Subang Parade
and Te Summit.
Sunway Pyramid had opened P-2
since 2007 and a short walk from
SS15 will take you to Empire Gal-
lery, a massive new mall opened last
April. SS15 is becoming, or already
is, a bustling commercial centre.
SS15 and its surrounding areas
are increasingly becoming commer-
cialised because not only is it a resi-
dential area but a magnet for middle
to upper class students with spend-
ing privileges and international
students.
It makes perfect business sense to
set up pop franchises like Starbucks
and Pappa Rich in the area, and the
nearby malls provide consumer ca-
Colleges should provide spaces for debate and exchange of ideas.
Tripping Zero 3
Sharyn Shufiyan
Calling for More
Civic Spaces
tharsis afer a “hard day” spent in
lectures.
Various shops line the streets and
lanes of SS15, and it is a convenient
place for education centres.
I didn’t notice as many cyber ca-
fes now as compared to my short
stint here. Tey seemed to have been
replaced by new convenience stores
instead. Not that it’s a shame though
as I’ve always thought that it’s dis-
tracting to have cyber cafes right
outside colleges.
But what I did notice was that the
area didn’t have any cultural or social
spaces, still. Which is a shame be-
cause, being the higher education
hub in Selangor, Subang Jaya could
potentially develop into a resources
and knowledge centre, a signifcant
yet often sidelined facility com-
monly absent in the Malaysian civic
sphere.
It is my concern that our students
are not engaged and increasingly
disinterested in current afairs.
We seem to lack social and cul-
tural spaces for students to gather
and discuss – spaces that are com-
fortable enough for them to gather
and hang out with friends while
accessing information and resources
that would be useful for their studies
or for their own general knowledge.
Instead, entertainment outlets
are easily accessible. What about li-
braries, archives, galleries and youth
centres that host books, artworks,
documentaries, films, documents
and activities apart from the conven-
tional lectures spoon-fed by some-
times unqualified lecturers? Or
bitter spinsters in my case.
Tere are no public libraries in
the area in which students can access
further readings that are not avail-
able in the college libraries. I remem-
ber resources were appalling during
my time at Taylor’s and being a Mass
Communications student, there was
not even a media archive.
What about the space for forums,
debates and discussions?
I assume most discussions take
place either in the nearby cafes or in
the limited spaces within the col-
leges itself. Do we still fear equip-
ping students with a mind of their
own? Are we still nurturing a culture
of spoon-feeding? Do we still expect
students to study as they’re told and
regurgitate word for word in their
essays?
If so, then we will sufer a great
setback in quality graduates, I’m
afraid.
I am a staunch believer that cul-
tural and social spaces are important
for developing bright and intelligent
minds.
Intelligence goes beyond books.
One should be able to articulate
opinions well, generate ideas and
engage in discussions. But the ques-
tion is – who carries the onus to
provide such facilities?
We have many times depended
on municipal councils to fx every-
thing for us. Te police beat base
that was set up by the municipal
council was a positive step towards
combating crime in the area but I
think we should also move forward
and start thinking about developing
the area into an active and vibrant
cultural space, because it is a lacking
aspect of our ‘urban’ areas.
But here’s a thought: perhaps the
private colleges should collaborate
and establish a cooperative that
would provide such spaces. One
such model we could aspire to is the
partnership by the various schools
and colleges of the University of
London, which have established
common spaces for students to
converge to and make use of.
An example is the Senate House
Library, a common library that all
students of the University of Lon-
don can use, even if their own school
or college have their own libraries.
The idea is that students from
other colleges can have the space to
share, to engage with each other and
to access resources that may not
necessarily be provided in their own
campuses. It can even be a collabora-
tion between the private colleges
and the municipal council to de-
velop these spaces.
I personally think that Klang
Valley, a cosmopolitan it may be, is
only partially developed as such. Te
arts, philosophy and humanities are
relegated to being the stepchildren
of development.
Development should not just be
about physical structures such as
gigantic malls and skyscrapers. It
should include intellectual develop-
ment. But then again, this might just
be a rant suppressed for seven years
afer I was kicked out of SS15.
Are colleges pushing intellectual and personal growth, besides
academic performance?
Bustling commercial centre near private colleges.
sharyn shufyan works with an organisa-
tion working to promote environmental
and social sustainability. sometimes you
can fnd her sitting in a coffee shop with
her nose plastered to a book.
12 January 21 — 23, 2011
InsIght
Things WE SHOULD
know abouT OUR
elecTriciTy bills
Caption
By Rahmah Ghazali
H
ave you ever felt like you have been paying
more than you should for your electricity
althoughthere are only a fewof you living
in the house?
Have we ever calculated the power usage re-
fected in our bills, or do we even bother to look
into the details and just pay the amount stated?
For those who take their bills seriously, they
can go to the extent of taking legal action against
issuers of the bills.
In this case, it is Tenaga Nasional Berhad
(TNB), the electricity provider, that is usually the
party responsible, and ofen times, put under the
spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Tere is anexplanation, nevertheless, as towhy
the consumers feel they are overcharged, said the
Energy Commission, whose role is to regulate the
energy sector in Malaysia.
Te commission’s head of electricity pricing,
Marlinda MohdRosli, saidmany complaints from
the public concerned the O(ofce) bill.
Te OBill is an estimated bill that is sent out
through Pos Malaysia to All Ordinary Power
Consumers (OPC), andthis means TNBwill only
conduct meter reading once every two months.
But this causes problems to most consumers,
she said, as TNB calculates the bills based on the
consumer’s monthly usage trend.
“For example, if my usage for the frst month
is RM60 and if this trend continues, my bill for
the month afer will refect RM120 as the total
amount I have to pay,” she told Selangor Times.
As this seems to be a basic mathematical calcu-
lation, things couldturncomplicatedas the power
usage still depends ontwotiers under TNB’s tarif
category, implemented in 2009. (Refer to Table
on the left).
Te two tiers indicate that power usage be-
tween 0-400 kWh (frst tier) per month would
enjoy a lower electricity tarif compared to the
second tier.
“Te problem arises when the consumer ex-
ceeds evenone kWh(1kWh) of 400kWha month
and they will be automatically charged under the
second tier.
“Tat is whywe have receivedmanycomplaints
from the public regarding this matter,” she said.
However, those who use less than 400kWh a
month will be granted a “life land band”, which
means its tarif will be at the lowest rate of 21.8
sen per kWh.
“For instance, those who have only used 200
kWh a month still pay on average RM40 but this
crosses the board,” said Marlinda.
“As long as youmaintainyour minimumusage,
you can enjoy this rate,” she added.
She also revealed that such issues had become
common among the public, until it caught the
attention of the Public Complaints Bureau.
“Te Chief Secretary alsoknewabout this and
asked TNB to settle the issue,” she said, adding
that the Government was alsoreviewing the tarif.
Meanwhile, the Energy Commission’s Mohd
Nawawi Said Abdullah shed more light on com-
mon complaints, which usually involve TNB’s
termination of electric supply because of out-
standing bills.
“Tis normally happens when the owner of
the house rents it to other people who fail to pay
their bills. In the end, it is the owner who should
be held responsible,” said the supply and services
monitoring head.
To prevent that from happening, he said it is
the owner’s duty totransfer the electricity account
name to the tenant during the rental period.
“If there is anoutstanding bill, TNBcanalways
sue the tenant instead of the owner, although it
involves the same premises,” he said.
As complaints vary, Mohd Nawawi explained
that solving a particular case is time-consuming.
“Sometimes, the consumers are not happy with
our solutions. Whenwedecidethat theyhavetopay
thebills, theywouldprolongtheissue, andsomeone
has even taken TNB to a tribunal,” he said.
And this was all over claims that TNB had
miscalculated his monthly bill by RM8 extra.
“Although it was an issue of only RM8, as a
matter of principle, he went ahead with the legal
action. Inthe end, the tribunal decidedthat TNB
was right in calculating the bill based on gazetted
tarif, and the consumer ended up paying the bill
and also the legal cost,” said Mohd Nawawi.
Tere have also beencomplaints about double
billing, he said, which usually afects condomin-
ium owners or tenants.
Tis happens when TNB has a main meter
where it reads overall power usage of one block of
the condominium and there is also an individual
meter for each of the units.
“Double billing occurs when the owner or
tenant pay the bill to TNB without knowing
that the management has also paid the overall
amount. Tis can be avoided if the management
company only pays the balance of the usage of con-
dominium owners from the main meter,” he said.
Mohd Nawawi also recalled an incident when
TNBhadtorepay RM400,000toa condominium
inPetaling Jaya due to double billing. Te reason?
Te management overlooked the matter.
“Te management usually paid the bill every
time they got it, so did the owners. Tey only
discovered the error when the management con-
ducted an internal audit,” he said.
And it is TNB’s responsibility to compensate
the management company as it is not allowed to
charge twice inone monthas stipulatedunder the
Electricity Supply Act 1990 and Licence Supply
Regulation 1990, he added.
In cases where TNB failed to terminate the
electric supply despite the owner having outstand-
ing bills, MohdNawawi saidthis was due to many
factors.
“First of all, it is TNB’s duty to cut the electric
supply if the consumer failed to pay afer 30 days
(afer the frst bill came out), but a notice should
be issued to them frst. However, failure to do so
(cut the supply) couldbe due tothe TNBworkers’
limited authority to execute their duty.
“For instance, they might have trouble cutting
the supply if the meter box is located inside the
house. Unless they get permission, they could be
considered trespassing,” he said.
Terminating the electric supply is not an easy
task, added Mohd Nawawi, especially if the elec-
tric source distributes to many houses.
“Sometimes they can’t just cut the electric sup-
ply as it might afect other places,” he said.
However, he gave an assurance that they took
every complaint fromthe public seriously by con-
ducting regular dialogues with interested parties.
“Last year alone, we conducted a number of
dialogues with them. Even the Chief Secretary
took part,” he said.
Consumers who would like to lodge
complaints with the commission can go to
www.st.gov.my under the ‘Consumer’ tab.
“But it is advisable if they resolve the issue
withTNBfrst. If it comes toa deadend, then
they can come to us,” said Marlinda.
How is your electricity consumption
at home?
Many are unaware of how they consume
energy at home, be it from a hairdryer, iron,
microwave, television or air-conditioner,
until they receive a “shocking” bill at the end
of the month.
According toa booklet titled“Your guide
to energy efciency at home” released by the
Energy Commission, it says that the kitchen
is a good place to start the hunt for the ben-
efts from wise use of energy.
Tis is because the kitchen consumes the
major part of electricity consumption in the
home, about 40 percent compared to other
parts of the house.
It said an average family in a low-cost
house spends about RM65 per month, while
the electricity bill in a medium cost house is
about RM110 a month.
But bungalows consume more energy
with their monthly bills going up to RM350
a month.
What is the cost of using your electri-
cal appliances?
The booklet further states that many
people are unsure of what kind of appliances
contribute to their bills.
However, they can actually do their own
energy audit and control consumption..
Below is general information of average
electricity consumption cost a month in low-
cost house, mediumcost houses and bungalows
A high-tension issue: Maybe it’s time for a simpler billing.
views
14 JANUARY 21 — 23, 2011
W
hy isn’t there a trial by jury
system in Malaysia when it
comes to criminal proceedings,
etc., and how does the current system
afect the judiciary? Sesha Atchiah aka
Franky, via email
Te idea of a jury trial came in tandem with
the abolition of the notorious 15th century
“Star Chamber” in England that exercised
wide civil and criminal jurisdiction. Tis court
gained infamy because the judges had unlim-
ited discretion in how they decided a case.
Tis meant the judges could decide as and
how they liked, without regard for anything
or anyone. In such an environment, it is not
hard to envisage things getting completely out
of hand to the point it became intolerable.
Te Star Chamber is now a common short
hand for a court marked by arbitrary, oppres-
sive, and secretive procedures — so a few
touches diferent from the current Federal
Court of Malaysia.
When the Star Chamber was abolished,
the people of England insisted that judgments
be rendered not by a judge but by the “judg-
ment of his peers, or by the law of the land.”
Jury trials used to exist in Malaysia, but it
was limited to capital ofences. Te govern-
ment abolished the jury system on 1 January
1995 citing, amongst others, a danger with lay
jurors delivering verdicts coloured by emotion
or popular perception, instead of the facts of
the case.
Tis criticism is valid, more so in a develop-
ing country where the pace of development
and level of education is uneven in various
parts of the country. Te current system for
almost all criminal cases is for a single judge
to hear and decide on the case.
Although the present system is more vul-
nerable to political and corrupt infuence —
because only one person needs to be “bought”
to achieve those corrupt aims — it is not
without its benefts.
A judge is likely to be more learned in the
law and its application as compared to a juror,
and would, in the ordinary course of things,
decide based only on the admissible facts
before him, and not based on emotions.
More importantly, a judge has to explain
his judgment whereas jurors do not. The
beneft of a jury system would be that infu-
encing or corruption would be far more ex-
pensive because now you had to deal with
seven diferent people instead of one. Tey are
also less likely to be controlled by the state.
Tough the jury system is an
excellent concept, its practical-
ity severely hampers its imple-
mentation.
Another criticism is that
most jurors would not able to
understand more scientifc or
highly technical matters. In a
multi-cultural environment
like Malaysia, there is also a
strong likelihood that racial
and religious bias and partial-
ity may enter into their deci-
sion.
If you were on trial, and had
your life on the line, would you really want to
be judged by a jury of your peers in Malaysia?
I have read the Bar Council’s Red Book,
and found it useful. However, could you
please tell me what are my rights, and
the rights of the police, if I am stopped
at a roadblock in a situation where I am
not put under arrest? I intend to write
an article to highlight this issue for the
education of the general non-law public,
and would appreciate any guidance.
Phoon Kar Yue, via email
Roadblocks are an important thread in the
socio-cultural fabric of Malaysia. Everyone
has a theory about what the best strategy” is
at a roadblock. Even the frequency of road-
blocks is predictable by the seasons — “oh,
Raya soon mah, sure got a lot of roadblocks
one lah!”
Let us frst deal with your rights and duties
— that of the citizen. Firstly, if the policeman
is not in uniform, you have the right to see his
authority card. Always note his name and
authority card number, whether or not he is
in uniform. Take note of the card’s colour.
Secondly, if asked for identifcation, tell
him your name and show him your IC. He is
only entitled to inspect it, but not take cus-
tody of it (unless you are arrested) — taking
your IC from you is illegal under the Na-
tional Registration Regulations 1990.
Tirdly, the police must inform you of the
reason you were stopped you. If you are not
informed, ask — you have a right to know. If
the police say you have committed a trafc
ofence, you have several options. You could
try to plead for leniency with the cop. Make
sure you come up with a very good excuse.
Claiming to be a lawyer and doing a bit of the
nudge-wink is not a good excuse. Tis is where
the many theories come in. Some say greeting
an ofcer by calling him “cikgu” is a “secret
code” that indicates you or a member of your
family are linked to the police force. Some
swear by the “acting clueless” method. Others
claim that requesting that a summons be is-
sued quickly as you’re in a hurry will confuse
the cop. If you do have ones that work, please
email them over to LoyarBurok for compila-
tion. If that doesn’t work, we advise you to just
take the ticket.
If, however, you see the cop hesitating,
pulling up his pants when there is no neces-
sity to, or holding your driving licence and
doodling on his clipboard, or repeatedly
threatening to issue you a ticket despite you
asking for it — “I’m going to write you a
ticket now ah. Right now ah. Okay, now ah.
Like right this instant okay? Are you ready?
Sure? I’m going to…” — be very careful. He is
very likely looking for duit kopi (literally
translated as “cofee money” although you
could aford the cheaper selection of Moets
with it). LoyarBurok strongly condemns of-
fering a bribe to a corrupt public ofcial.
You should immediately note his name and
number, and lodge a report with the Malay-
sian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Don’t worry about ending up dead afer that
because you would be considered a complain-
ant as opposed to a witness — just try to stay
on the ground foor.
If the cop informs you that you did not
commit any ofence, you can politely tell him
that you are going to leave. If he tries to detain
or stop you, you should ask whether you are
being arrested. If he declines to answer and
still detains you, congratulations, you have a
cause of action for unlawful detention/arrest
against the police.
Do make it a point to mention this to them
as sweetly as possible and give them your big-
gest “I’m so gonna open a can of whup-ass on
you lot when I see my lawyer” smile. Tat
should see an increase in the damages recover-
able, though be warned that it is directly re-
lated to the amount of physical injury you
sustain.
Have fun at your next roadblock!
Although Lord Bobo already knows your
question before you even knew you had a
question, as a practical display of your true de-
sire 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 ano-
nymity).
• tweeting your questions by mentioning
@LoyarBurok and using the hashtag
#asklordbobo. Te frst 100 questions pub-
lished 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 (al-
though trembling is optional if you are some-
where 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 thesaurus-
described queries are answered!
The jury
Red Book
and a LiTTLe
By Rahmah Ghazali
shah alam:: Badrul Hisham Abdul-
lah has ceased to be Port Klang assembly-
man afer being absent from the state as-
sembly for six months.
Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim an-
nounced on Wednesday that the seat fell
vacant on Jan 16.
Te former frst-term state lawmaker
was last seen in the house on July 15 last
year. Teng pointed out that Badrul, who
quit PKR in 2009 before joining Umno
last year, was absent for all six days of the
third assembly sitting from Nov 8-15, 2010
without seeking leave from the Speaker.
Article 69 of the State Constitution
provides that if a member of the legislative
assembly is without leave of the Speaker
absent for a period of six months, the seat
shall be declared vacant by the Speaker.
Teng added that the Election Commis-
sion (EC) has to call for an election afer
it receives notice of the vacancy.
Port Klang seat vacant, says Teng
More importantly, a judge
has to explain his judgment
whereas jurors do not. The
beneft of a jury system would
be that infuencing or corruption
would be far more expensive
because now you had to deal
with seven different people
instead of one. ”
15 January 21 — 23, 2011
news
I recently purchased a house in
Glenmarie. Approximately two
years afer the keys were handed
over, 75 per cent of my ground
foor tiles heaved.
Te damage covered areas of my
living room and dining room.
It is hard to believe that
this could happen in a
high-end project by a
prestigious developer.
I was told that the
developer has no respon-
sibility to me for this la-
tent defect, for two rea-
sons.
Firstly, the defect liability peri-
od of one-and-a-half years, had
lapsed.
In countries like Australia and
United Kingdom, home buyers are
ofered a longer warranty period.
For instance, in the United King-
dom, the home warranty period
offered by the National House
Building Council against major
structural defects is for 10 years.
The 18 months of warranty
period does not adequately cover
homebuyers from defects as some
defects occur after the warranty
period, for example due to land
settlement.
Are Malaysian housing develop-
ers not confdent of their build-
ings?
In my case, I had purchased this
house from the first buyer very
early afer the keys were
handed over. From the
time I purchased the
house till the time of
the damage, no ren-
ovation was done to
the damaged area.
I also cannot help but
reflect on the poor quality of
houses nowadays and compare
them against the quality of houses
of old.
For example, I grew up in Petal-
ing Jaya and my family lived in that
same house for 20 over years. Te
foor of that house has survived not
only 20 years of everyday use but
also two cycles of renovation to
other parts of the house.
We homebuyers lack protection
where developers are not con-
structing quality houses profes-
sionally and where they do not use
quality workmanship and materi-
als.
Due to this, homebuyers are lef
having to fork out more money to
rebuild already completed homes.
Secondly, I am the second buy-
er of the Glenmarie Cove house.
There are no laws to protect
housing developers from being
responsible to second buyers for
defects.
However, this doesn’t change
the fact that the house was still
constructed by the developer. Why
are there no laws to protect subse-
quent homebuyers in this aspect?
Should housing developers be al-
lowed to constantly deny responsi-
bility of sloppy work?
If the warranty by vehicle man-
ufacturers covers subsequent own-
ers, I don’t see why the housing
developers cannot do the same for
house purchasers. Houses do not
even sufer as much abuse as vehi-
cles from everyday use.
It is therefore, my humble yet
reasonable opinion that Malaysian
homebuyers are not adequately
protected.
Ultimately, it is the home buyers
who are the victims. If we as home-
buyers do not stand up, we indi-
rectly encourage housing develop-
ers to continue to build substand-
ard houses on the assumption that
home buyers will renovate and
rectify the defects anyway.
Hoping to make a diference,
Resident at Glenmarie
Home buyers should
be better protected
Financial aid
for storm victims
NGO proposes
spay and release
to reduce strays
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Sterilising strays before re-releasing them has been
suggested by Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) as a more humane
way to deal with the perennial problem of controlling strays.
“Currently strays are placed in pounds that are unhygienic and breeding
grounds for many of the canine related diseases,”  said Wani Muthiah, one
of the founding members of MDDB.
Te non-government organisation believes that sterilisation before re-
leasing them can reduce the number of strays over time because the dogs
will be unable to breed.
Wani pointed out that this would also mean that local governments will
not have to resort to euthanasia or putting down animals which are caught.
She also claimed that stray dogs are currently trapped in a manner that
is causing them injuries, adding that many strays have sufered cuts and
bruises while being chased and caught.
MDDB wants the state to direct local councils to carry out the move
and allow dogs to be released to their  “natural environment”.
Under the “experimental system”, stray dogs would be caught with
minimum physical harm before getting their ears surgically marked. Te
dogs are then released to the areas where local residents will take care of
them and feed them.
She added that feeding points will be established in the areas for local
residents to feed the stray dogs.
“In short, that is the ‘release’ part of the system we want the local coun-
cils to try out,” said Wani.
She said that MDDB was set up afer a story that came out in the media
in Oct 2008 of Russel, a mixed breed dog that was injured when he was
trapped by local council workers.
Wani said the public started to write in to the blog that was created to
highlight Russel’s plight.
“I thought to myself that Malaysian dogs do deserve better,” said Wani
on Sunday at the MDDB’s monthly adoption centre at Jaya 1, adding that
was how the group got its name.
By Gan Pei Ling
SEMENYIH: Families whose homes
here were ravaged by a storm and food
i nOctober recei ved a total of
RM20,700 from the state on Tuesday.
State executive councillor Dr Xa-
vier Jayakumar gave out RM300 each
to 69 families from six diferent vil-
lages in Beranang.
 “RM300 may not be much, but the
state is doing what it can to ease the
families’ fnancial burden,” said Hulu
Langat Member of Parliament Dr Che
Rosli Che Mat. He visited the villages
with district ofcials afer what some
villagers described as the worst storm
they had ever experienced. Roofs were
blown away and floods damaged
houses and crops.
Tirteen families from Kampung
Indah PKNS, 25 from Kampung
Sesapan Batu Rembau and 28 families
from Kampung Sesapan Batu Minang-
kabau received aid. Tree families each
from Kampung Sesapan Kelubi, Kam-
pung Rinching Hilir and Kampung Sg
Jai were among the recipients.
“The water level was up to my
knees, most of my furniture, including
the mattresses, were damaged,” said
Azura Anzan, 30, from Kampung In-
dah PKNS.
  Although Azura was eight
months pregnant then, the
mother-of-three had to help
clean up the mess in the house.
Dr Che Rosli said the state
was repairing the drains in Seme-
nyih and drawing up measures to
prevent similar foods in future.
Te state also built a new
brick house for rubber tapper
Rohani Maamor, 60, who is cur-
rently staying with her mother
and younger sister.  Rohani said
her family’s old house was built
in the 1960s and was infested
with termites.
Kampung Sesapan Batu
Minangkabau village chief Waris
Amal said the state only had to
bear the construction cost for the
house as the land, located in
front of the village’s surau,
originally belonged to Rohani’s
family.
Xavier
presenting
RM300 to a
victim.
Dr Che Rosli: State
repairing drains.
Azura and her baby.
16 January 21 — 23, 2011
News

By Basil Foo
HULU LANGAT: Families looking to re-
decorate their homes this Chinese New Year
could consider donating their old furniture to
charity.
Te Seri Sinar Charity operates a free col-
lection service of recyclables like paper, plastic,
and electronic waste, as well as old furniture
and other unwanted goods.
“Usually collection increases four-fold
about one month before Chinese New Year
and during the year end,” said the organisa-
tion’s president, Datuk Dr Eadon Ching, at
his ofce here on Wednesday.
Te old furniture is brought to Seri Sinar’s
storage facility for refurbishment before they
are donated to other charity organisations.
Recyclable items and those which are be-
yond repair are sold to nearby recycling centres
and scrap dealers at market rate.
“We try to reuse whatever we can but if
there are too many irreparable furniture items,
we will have to charge residents a minimum
of RM60 for disposal costs,” said Ching.
Proceeds from the sale of collected items
are donated to poor students, schools and
charitable homes while reusable items like
books will be donated to libraries.
“Most of the clothing we receive come
from fashion houses and expatriates who are
returning home,” he said. Seri Sinar, which
started in 2003, employs 70 truck drivers,
item sorters, carpenters, collection workers
and administration staf.
“We have 300 recycling bins in Klang Val-
ley and 24 trucks which collect items daily
from the bins and residents who call us,” he
said.
Ching said Seri Sinar had moved premises
four times since their beginning due to space
constraints following an increase in demand
for their collection services over the years.
“During peak season, the collection bins
are flled every day,” he added.
Seri Sinar’s collection services are available
by calling 03-90211888, or fnd out more at
www.recyclecharity.org.
HULU LANGAT: Recycling for
charity was initiated by  Seri Sinar
Charity’s founder Datuk Dr Eadon
Ching due to his twin passion for
the environment and helping those
in need.
“I worked for more than 20 years
as a social worker in other non-
governmental organi s ati ons
(NGOs) before stopping in 2001 to
do my car business for two years,” he
said.
Ching recalled how Tan Sri Ong
Ka Ting, a minister then, encour-
aged him to take up the environ-
mental cause which led to the
charity’s formation in May 2003.
Seri Sinar Charity has faced its share
of difficulties in dealing with its
workers.
“Te main setback we faced is
[human resources] because we have
a manual workforce. It is a tough job
with low wages and long hours,”
Ching said.
Te organisation’s 70 employees
are mostly truck drivers, collectors,
and sorters, who manage 24 trucks,
300 recycling bins in Klang Valley,
and a 1.3 acre storage facility.
“During festive seasons when
donations are at their peak, the
workers could be at the warehouse
until late at night,” he added.
Ching said volunteer groups
would occasionally visit the ware-
house to help sort out the col-
lected goods but cannot cope with
the physical labour.
“I cannot rely on volunteers, I
need dedicated workers. So our
workers’ wages are sponsored by
kLANG: Sungai Pinang assem-
blyman Datuk Teng Chang Khim
distributed ang pow and hampers
to 23 senior citizens at an old folk’s
home on Wednesday.
One of the recipients was Lim
Heng Loong, who turned 100 last
September. She is the oldest resi-
dent of Chik Sin Tong Old Folk’s
Home.
Teng said the state was consid-
ering allowing senior citizens
registered under Selangor’s Mesra
Usia Emas scheme to draw a por-
tion of the fund for medical pur-
poses.
Under the scheme, senior citi-
zens’ selected beneficiaries will
receive RM2,500 for funeral ex-
penses upon the elders’ deaths.
Teng urged the state to make a
decision fast. “RM2,500 may not
seem much, but for the poor the
amount could be a signifcant.”
Saving the
environs
and
helping
the poor
Hampers for senior citizens
The recycling bins for residents to dispose of their unwanted goods.
corporations and my own company,”
he explained.
According to Ching, the inabil-
ity to keep a strict rein on workers is
a reason why other organisations
have not been able to succeed.
“Even foreign NGOs have failed
here. We have to be strict with our
workers so they do not damage
items that they cannot be sold, or
sell items for their own pockets,” he
said. 
Te charity has also faced issues
with some opportunists who take
advantage of their recycling services
for their own beneft.
“Tere are unscrupulous environ-
mentalists who collect items to sell
but keep the money. Tey are abus-
ing the public’s concern for the
needy,” said Ching.
He said such groups of people use
the same methods as Seri Sinar, with
some even using their collection
bins.  Seri Sinar has started using
diferent coloured bins, but Ching
laments that the damage has been
done and public perception of recy-
cling collection services has eroded.
Te best environmental advice Ch-
ing can give the public is to reduce
their consumption of new goods.
“We must ask ourselves if we re-
ally need to buy an item. Most waste
money by buying new things and
throwing old things away,” he said.
“Tis would use up our natural re-
sources faster. If we reused old things
like furniture, we could reduce de-
forestation,” he added.
Home owners could start com-
posting their organic waste for use
as garden fertiliser.
“60 per cent of waste from
households is organic so I encourage
the use of composting,” he said.
Ching showing
electronic waste and
unsorted items in
the storage area.
Donate old furniture to charity
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ January 21 – 23, 2011 ⁄ 17
Taahira Sdn Bhd (875421-H) (AJL 931811)
53-1 Jalan SS23/15, Taman SEA, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel.: 03 7805 5598 , Fax: 03 7805 7066 , Email: taahira@live.com
Website: www.taahira.com
Organic Skincare
Pure From Nature
Here are a few reasons why our products
are diferent from others on the market:-
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and 95% natural ingredients
• No dangerous chemicals used in our
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Phenoxyethanol, Synthetic Fragrances,
Phthalates, Mineral Oils, PEGS, AHAs,
Sodium Hydroxide, Hydroquinone or
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• No Animal ingredients or testing
For more details call us on 03 7805 5598
or visit us at www.taahira.com.
STOCKIST AND
DISTRIBUTORS
WANTED
Let Nature
Take Care Of
Your Skin
18 January 21 — 23, 2011
technology
IT consumerisation
set to dominate 2011
By Edwin Yapp
T
echnology pundits always adopt the
beginning of the year as a time to look
into their crystal balls and try to predict
what’s on the horizon for the coming year.
Some of their predictions do come true, while
others don’t.
Despite these uncertainties, there are some
trends that are probably more obvious than
others and this week, I’ll try to capture some
of them.
Te frst trend that will stand out is what
pundits and analysts term as the continuing
“consumerisation” of IT. What this basically
means is that more and more electronic de-
vices and gadgets will be designed and tar-
geted at consumers – average Joes including
mums and pops – whose chief interest is just
to use them as they are without having to
tweak or modify their gadgets.
Tis trend is simple to comprehend. As
technology consultant Ovum noted, informa-
tion technology (IT) today is being trans-
formed as an everyday tool for the common
man, or plainly put, this is known as the “iP-
hone efect.”
Gone are the days when computers are the
domain of geeks and techies. With the advent
of the Apple iPhone and iPad, more and more
people can get connected in the simplest of
ways without having to struggle to learn the
technology.
The rise of tablet computing
Nowhere else will you be able to see this trend
of consumerisation of IT best at work than
the recently concluded Consumer Electronic
Show (CES) held in Las Vegas from Jan 6–9.
Among the interesting announcements
made on the frst day was Taiwanese comput-
ing maker Asus making inroads into the tablet
computing game.
Asus announced four new tablets designed
for a wide range of users and applications.
Tey are the Eee Pad Slider, Eee Pad Trans-
former, Eee Pad MeMO, all running Google’s
Android operating system sofware, and Eee
Slate EP121, which runs the Windows 7
Home Premium sofware.
Each of them has its own pros and cons but
the main selling point of the Eee tablets is that
it comes with the option of having a full QW-
ERTY keyboard, which to date, is the sorest
point of most tablet computers.
Arguably the biggest tablet computing
announcement was made by Motorola in the
form of its Atrix. Tis new Android-based
device is actually a smartphone but with the
capabilities that can extend to making it a
tablet.
Te hardware spec is very impressive; it
sports a NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 chipset,
a 5 megapixel rear camera with LED fash, a
front facing VGA camera, 1GB of RAM and
16GB of internal storage, a fngerprint reader
and a 4-inch display with a resolution of
960x540.
Now what’s interesting is that the Atrix has
the option of docking to a netbook-like shell,
which sports only an 11.6-inch screen and a
three-cell battery. Tis netbook-like docking
station serves to merely extend the computing
experience already available on the handset
from one of a smartphone to that of a tablet.
Te netbook shell has a docking area in the
rear with an HDMI plug and a micro-USB
plug that slide into the ports on the phone
when it is placed in the dock. Te phone can
charge itself from the netbook shell’s battery.
A pretty cool device for those who want the
option of having the portability of a smart-
phone and the practicality of a tablet-size
computer.
Tat said, it’s unclear if the Atrix will be
available here in Malaysia anytime soon.
Android to the fore
Another big trend that is easy to spot is the
rise of Google’s new operating system — the
Android. Tere was much talk at the CES
about the fact that the next major iteration of
its system, dubbed Honeycomb or Android
3.0, is really going to change the playing feld
of tablet computing.
Already as it is, Android has grown phe-
nomenally with one analyst noting that it
spiked more than 3,000% growth in Decem-
ber alone. Another frm predicts that in 2011,
Android device shipments are expected to
grow twice as fast as devices running rival
operating systems.
So what’s so special about the up-and-
coming Android Honeycomb? To begin with,
it is an operating system that has been de-
signed from scratch with codes that are opti-
mised to work on tablets. Many of the An-
droid tablets today are using older versions of
the Android such as the Froyo and soon-to-
be-launched Gingerbread but these sofware
are much more suited to powering smart-
phones rather than tablets.
Not wanting to be lef out, Apple has also
slated a strike back with the introduction of
the so-called iPad2, touting faster processor,
more battery life, and a slicker operating sys-
tem interface.
What else?
Complementing the two trends above will be
the upgrade of the local mobile broadband
networks in order to take advantage of smart-
phones and tablets.
In this respect, UMobile, a little known 3G
service provider is the frst operator to fre the
salvo touting to give its subscribers mobile
broadband speeds of up to 42 megabits per
second (Mbps) through a technology known
as HSPA+.
On the heels of this are existing players –
DiGi, Maxis and Celcom – who would in-
variably also upgrade their network speeds.
Not forgetting existing WiMax players includ-
ing recently rebranded P1 4G and new entrant
YES 4G, the biggest beneft to these develop-
ments are that consumers will get more choice
because of increased competition and hope-
fully, better services.
One other noteworthy mention is that
2011 will see the rise in high-defnition (HD)
content hitting us more. With Astro Byond
already having introduced us to HD and
other Internet Protocol-based video, such as
TM’s UniFi and YES’ Sezmi hybrid digital
TV on the horizon this year, consumers can
expect prices of HDTVs to also drop as supply
of these devices increases.
So 2011 is a year to look out for great
technological changes. So here’s to a great year
ahead for technology!
Asus Eee Pad
Slider.
Google’s new operating system — the Android.
Motorola Atrix.
19 January 21 — 23, 2011
REVIEW
Rich Middle Eastern
favours at Tarbush
By Basil Foo
M
iddle Eastern food outlets are
gaining popularity, thanks to the
growing number of students,
workers and tourists from these countries.
Tarbush is one such outlet, and boasting
a selection of Arabic and Lebanese cuisine,
it’s for diners looking for something dif-
ferent in the heart of the city.
We chose the Ampang Point branch.
Tarbush also has a branch in Sunway
Pyramid which is dubbed as a “fne din-
ing” restaurant, and is priced accordingly.
A waf of grilled meat and baked bread
greets you the moment you enter the
premises due to the open grilling station
and kebab stand.
When it came to ordering food, the
waiter was helpful in recommending
crowd favourites from the menu and was
even helpful in pointing out which dishes
may not be favoured by the Malaysian
palate.
For an appetizer, we chose the Hom-
mus Tahina (RM10), made up of mashed
chickpeas, olive oil, and sesame sauce,
served with pita bread. It’s suitable as a
light snack for a quick lunch.
  Tose who are not fans of olive oil
could be turned away by its astringent
taste so it is recommended that the hum-
mus be thoroughly mixed like a dip before
eating.
Te Mixed Grill (RM28) we ordered
next was a combination of a few meat
dishes available on the menu: lamb chops,
lamb shish kebab, and shish tawook,
which were chicken cutlets.
Te lamb chops were juicy and had a
freshly char grilled taste while the shish
kebab and shish tawook were laced with
spices, adding to the foreign dining expe-
rience.
Te helpings of meat came with a side
of fries, fried onion slices, and what
tasted like sour cream which when
all mixed and eaten together made
for an addictive treat that seemed
like ideal food for a movie or foot-
ball game night.
Te Chicken Sharwarma (RM6)
looked like the usual meat sandwich
that is the norm at most roadside
markets but held its own in the taste
department due to the special Tar-
bush garlic sauce.
Filled with grilled chicken, gen-
erous helpings of onion and other
veggies, the dish is an afordable,
tasty choice for a quick meal or a
takeaway lunch.
A selection of salads was also
available, one of which was the Fe-
tush (RM10) which was made up of
romaine lettuce, cucumber, radish,
and topped with crunchy Lebanese
bread. Tossed with a lemon vinai-
grette, it is recommended that this
dish be eaten immediately when
served to enjoy the crispness of the
vegetables.
If the heavy dose of meat in the
Lebanese repertoire leaves you long-
ing for some familiarity, the Lamb
Briyani (RM19) would sate your
appetite for some rice.
Tis dish could have been better
as the lamb cutlets were not as meaty
as the ones in the Mixed Grill, and
the rice was slightly dry.
To remedy this, some side orders
of Tarbush garlic sauce would be
recommended to complete the fa-
vours in this heavy dish.
Tere were many generic drinks
on ofer but the most eye-catching
of them was of course the tradi-
tional Arabic Tea with Mint (small
pot RM6).
Served with sugar on the side for
taste, the mint tea ended the meal
on a refreshing note.
Overall, the relaxed ambience
and good food in Tarbush made for
an enjoyable dinner session for four
with the bill ending up somewhere
in the RM80-90 region.
Families or even groups of
friends wanting a hearty meal
should check it out for an exotic
twist on a night out.
If the
heavy
dose of
meat in the
Lebanese
repertoire
leaves you
longing
for some
familiarity,
the Lamb
Briyani
(RM19)
would
sate your
appetite for
some rice.”
Arabic Tea
with Mint – a
refreshing end to
a hearty meal.
The cook at
Tarbush can whip
out a variety of
grilled Middle
Eastern dishes
with ease.
20 January 21 — 23, 2011
FICTION
Have you cHecked
your electrical
switcHes before
leaving Home?
Ibu pejabat polIs Daerah subang jaya
Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815
Take 5 minutes to fll this form up and drop it off at
the nearest police station to have regular checks
at your house while you are away.
Borang maklumaT
Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk
bercuti.
Kepada Kawasan pentadbiran balai polis
..............................................................................................
BuTiran penduduk:
nama: ..................................................................................
alamat: .................................................................................
..............................................................................................
..............................................................................................
nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................
nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................
..............................................................................................
tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................
tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ...........................................
Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar
kenderaan).
1. ..........................................................................................
2. ..........................................................................................
3. ..........................................................................................
lain-lain maklumat:
..............................................................................................

...............................................
tandatangan
.......................................
tarikh
Before ieaving your home for a holoday, have you
checked all your electrical switches and turned off
your gas tanks?
Call the SS17 BomBa for advise at
03-5634 9444
The
Painted
Cat
Fiction by Uthaya Sankar SB
D
AD came home one night
and woke us from our sleep.
We rushed out of the house.
Then, we took out a match and
burnt down the house. Te whole
family stood staring as the fames
brought down the house to ashes..
Since then, we have been moving
from place to place without a house
to stay in. Tis situation is better,
said Dad. We don’t have to crack our
heads to think about what colour to
paint the walls, what brand of paint
to use, hire someone to paint or
paint it ourselves, how many cans of
paint would be needed, and so forth.
Tat is only about the paint. Dad
listed tens, hundreds and thousands,
of problems that we would be able
to avoid all together by not owning
a house.
“But, Dad,” said one of us while
we were seated inside a peanut shell.
“Which address shall we use for
official purposes? What about
school registration; which address
to use? What if someone wants to
send us a letter; a fan perhaps?”
We don’t know why we named
him Cat. Perhaps since – to the best
of our knowledge – there has never
been a cat called “Kucing”. We
spontaneously named him Cat.
Cat is bright. Not very long ago,
a government department advertised
an openi ng for the Head of
Department. Word was that all the
previous heads were too old and
retired merely a week afer being
promoted to the post. So, the
Government decided to hire a
younger Head of Department who
would last longer.
Cat applied for the job. He was
cal l ed for an inter vi ew. The
interviewer had no reason to deny
Cat’s right to apply for the advertised
position. Cat seemed to fulfl each
and ever y requi rement and
qualification to be the head of a
government department. Indeed
that was the reason why, said Cat,
the Public Services Commission
called him for an interview.
“We are looking for a candidate
who is fluent in more than two
f orei gn l anguages,” sai d the
interviewer while using a pen to
circle the requirement which was
i ndeed cl earl y stated i n the
newspaper advertisement.
Cat began to deliver a speech in
Italian, German, French, Japanese
and Hindi. Cat spoke about the
Kinder, Kuche, Kirche – “children,
kitchen, church” – concept which
was implement when Adolf Hitler
ruled Germany.
Strangely enough, the interview
result – which was received three
months later – said Cat was
unsuccessful. It seems that when Cat
spoke Italian, German, French,
Japanese and Hindi, it sounded the
same: Miew-miew-miew.
What a stupid inter viewer!
Doesn’t he know that cats in Italy
say miew-miew-miew, cats in
Germany say miew-miew-miew, cats
in France say miew-miew-miew, cats
in Japan say miew-miew-miew and
cats in India say miew-miew-miew?*
One day, we caught Cat and
dumped him inside a glass container.
Ten, we bought a can of paint. We
were not sure of the colour. We don’t
even recall the brand. But word was
that the paint which we bought had
a fve-year guarantee. If used afer a
general election, the paint is assured
to last until the next general election,
fve years later.
We poured the paint into the
glass container containing Cat.
We let Cat soak in the paint for
a few hours. Later we took him out.
Of course Cat had changed colour
according to the colour of the paint.
Cat told us that he was actually
dead. But he was still alive, he said,
because cats have nine lives.
“Miew-miew-miew,” said Cat.
Meaning: Take me to the govern-
ment department which rejected my
application to become the Head of
Department.
“What for?” asked someone
among us.
“Miew-miew-miew,” said Cat.
Meaning: Do not ask!
Cat demanded a second inter-
view. Troughout the interview, Cat
said absolutely nothing. Not even
miew-miew-miew. Ten questions
asked, zero answered. Hundred
questions asked, none answered.
“Great! Tis is the sort of Head
of Department we want. Mister Cat,
you still have eight lives, right? So,
the Government hereby appoints
you, Mister Cat, as the Head of
Department until you, Mister Cat,
die for the eighth time,” the
interviewer decided.
Cat is bright. Cat made it possible
for us to buy a residence by means
of his salary as the head of a
government department.
Cat is often referred to as the
candidate with the most potential
to become a prominent national
leader. But the fact still remains that
Cat is a cat which was once dumped
into a glass container and soaked in
paint – God knows what colour!–
that is guaranteed to last fve years
only.
Dad came home one night and
woke us from our sleep. We rushed
out of the house. Ten, we struck a
match and burnt down the house.
Te whole family stood staring as
the flames brought down Cat to
ashes.
Translated from the Bahasa
Malaysia short story, “Cat”, first
published in Mingguan Malaysia, 21
Dec 1997, by the author.
21 January 21 — 23, 2011
Travel
T
here was a time when Kampung Baru in
Sungai Buloh received the attention that it
never wanted. It took place on May 7, 1991.
A massive explosion occurred at the Bright
Sparklers factory which claimed 26 lives and injured
103 people. Tat was 20 years ago.
Te memory of that tragic incident at Kampung
Baru has receded into the recesses of everyone’s
mind.
Kampung Baru today is still the shanty town that
it once was. In fact, it is close to being a village. Many
of the houses are half wooden and half mortar.
Life in this sleepy hollow moves on a low gear.
Part of it consists of light industrial factories. About
25,000 people call Kampung Baru their home.
If you never venture further than Kota Damansara
or travel only along the Sungai Buloh trunk road,
you will probably not see this village.
An accidental travel excursion ended on a back
road which led me straight into this new village.
Initial impressions brought back memories of
Malaysian villages reminiscent of the 1950s and
1960s.
Any stranger would quickly be aware that the
village is one of those “out-of-sight, out-of-mind”
places. The business sector is predominantly
Chinese.
A pit-stop at a Toto outlet evaporated hopes of
a quick fortune a day afer the results came out.
Apparently, there’s no such thing as beginner’s luck
even in this friendly place.
Back in the bad old days, as the old timers
describe it, this area was teeming with communist
elements. To curb the undesirable activity, Kampung
Baru was created.
Te agrarian livelihood then was vegetable and
fruit farms, followed by rearing of pigs. A short
The village that time forgot
Life sometimes tastes a
little sweeter when the
unexpected happens. LIN
ZHENYUAN takes a wrong
turn and comes face to
face with a friendly village.
distance away, plant and flower
nurseries began to mushroom.
In the early 1990s, the Selangor
State Economic Development
Corporation started developing a
193-hectare section of Sungai Buloh
for the beneft of the people living
in the district.
The master plan was to create
four sectors: hi-tech industries,
standard factory structures, handi-
craf industries and support indus-
tries.
Presently, Kampung Baru Sungai
Buloh shows clear evidence that the
master plan has succeeded to some
degree. Tere are lots of small and
medium sized plants.
However a few years ago, this
village got back into the news, again
for the wrong reasons. Illegal
immigrants begun to fock into the
place because the vil lage was
relatively secluded and factory jobs
were plentiful.
Te size of the foreign migrant
population and the persistent infux
of illegal foreign workers led to
social problems and the sprouting of
vice dens. Residents complained to
the authorities when matters began
to get out of hand.
These foreign workers were
mainly from Myanmar, Bangladesh,
Vietnam and Nepal. It was alleged
that three quarters of them were
illegal immigrants.
Local residents also became quite
worri ed when Myanmar and
Vietnamese call girls begun to
appear in large numbers and
apparently the local men were
succumbing to their charms.
Tere was great concern at that
time that family harmony in the new
village would be severely afected by
this licentious activity.
At the height of the illegal
migrant presence issue, an estimated
50,000 of them reportedly conver-
ged in Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh.
Currently, there is hardly any
evidence of their presence. Perhaps
the media coverage has driven them
to seek more “peaceful” zones.
A police beat base in the centre
of the town coul d have al so
contributed to the alleviation of the
problem. Some roads leading out of
the area have obviously been
widened to accommodate the
increasing trafc.
Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh of
late has acquired an inchoate
reputation for some fne restaurants.
Since it is the Chinese New Year
season, many of the shops are decked
out in red.
Restaurants that promote their
chicken rice, fish head curry and
“Rawang talapia” put up big banners
advertising their local cuisine.
In Jalan Besar, a small stall outside
a shop called Sin Sang Loong which
sells Chinese religious artefacts was
doing brisk business selling its oil-
less vegetarian buns.
At 80 sen a piece, the buns which
come in assorted fllings of red bean,
peanuts and coconut are apparently
a hot item in town. Customers who
drive up in their cars to park, buy the
buns in batches of 50 and 60.
I bought a few because I have not
seen this “hot plate bun” sold
anywhere else. Fresh from the big,
round hot plate, the bun tasted very
nice. It would have been better if
there was a hot kopi-o to go with the
buns.
Te Kampung Baru Chinese are
mostly Hakkas. They looked like
they have been staying there for
decades. So if you are a Hakka, you
will feel as if you have returned
home.
Kampung Baru fts the “cowboy
town” description very nicely. If you
don’t know about this new village,
you probably won’t know how to get
there, unless you have a GPS.
It is sandwiched between Kota
Damansara on one side and the
main Sungai Buloh town on the
other. Some of the road names are
Jalan Walfare, Jalan Besar, Jalan
Union, Jalan Middle and Jalan
Public.
Te nearest village next to it is
Kampung Paya Jaras Hulu. The
trunk roads of Jalan Kuala Selangor
and Jalan Sungai Buloh run along its
borders.
Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh
doesn’t look very inviting but the
numerous Chinese restaurants look
very promising.
The size of the foreign migrant
population and the persistent infux
of illegal foreign workers led to social
problems and the sprouting of vice dens.
Residents complained to the authorities
when matters began to get out of hand.”
Free and easy parking
for vehicles in this
sleepy hollow.
The stall worker prepares the hot plate buns for sale.
Special markings denote the different types of buns.
A house with long clothes lines are common at this village.
22 January 21 — 23, 2011
Gallery
TRAVEL HUNTERS:
Selangor Menteri
Besar Tan Sri Khalid
Ibrahim visits the Iran
Show Room at the
MATTA International
Fair Selangor Umrah
& Muslim Travel 2011
at the Shah Alam
Convention Centre last
Friday.
Sungai Pinang assem-
blyperson Datuk Teng
Chang Kim giving out
exercise books spon-
sored by the state to
students from SJK (T)
Jalan Meru, Klang last
Friday. RM30 vouch-
ers were also given to
79 students from low-
income or single par-
ent families to reduce
the family’s fnancial
burden at the start
of school year. Teng
also pledged to give
the 75-year-old school
fve new computers.
Selangor exco Teresa Kok discuses the Pulau Meranti project at Majlis Perbandaran Sepang on Monday.
The Malay Haritage
Band performs tra-
ditional music at the
MATTA International
Fair Selangor Umrah
& Muslim Travel 2011
at the Shah Alam
Convention Centre
last Friday.
Indian
dancers
performing a
folk dance at
the Sangaman
Pongal
Ceremony
at Stadium
Melawati,
Shah Alam
,last Friday.
Koo Kien Keat
demonstrating the
right way to hold a
racquet at a badminton
clinic organised by
Osim at 1Utama
shopping mall last
Sunday.
23 JANUARY 21 — 23, 2011
culture
Bakat Muda
Sezaman 2010
REVIEW
❚ COMPILED BY ZEDECK SIEW
I
n his statement for a work called “Messenger @ Pas-
senger”, artist — and Bakat Muda Sazaman (BMS)
2010-prize hopeful — Mohamad Hafz Yahaya quotes
critic Ooi Kok Chuen: “Te BMS is a traditional incubator
of creative talents as well as a springboard for the artists to
greater achievements”. No joke: with a grand prize worth
RM20,000, the National Art Gallery (NAG)’s big compe-
tition — begun in 1974 — is the juiciest fnancial carrot
for art in Malaysia. Young talents could go far with that sort
of cash.
Unfortunately, the ongoing exhibition of BMS 2010
fnalists presents a sorry lack of talent. Hafz’s work, a pull-
cart that he invites visitors to use in viewing the show (cur-
rently occupying the NAG second- and third-foor galler-
ies), is a disappointing metaphor: if you’re the one pulling
the cart, you’re an artist, working to bring culture to the
public; if you’re the one being chaufeured around, you are
a “passenger”, a member of the hoi polloi “yang cuma duduk
berpeluk tubuh”, expecting art to
be spoon-fed to you. Art and its
relationship to the public is a big,
complex subject. Reducing it to a
binary is lazy — not to mention
patronising.
Other works are similarly shal-
low. Daud Rahim’s “Sapuan Berus
dan Kereta Idaman” depicts a
Ferrari crushed by “a very bright
and expressively-bold brush
stroke”; it represents a clash be-
tween materialism and spiritual-
ity. Goh Chi Kuan’s “Aiyah …It’s
Not Mine Lah” uses the gory
warnings on cigarette packs as a
way to criticise our general reluc-
tance to do the right thing because “it’s not their veins that
are clogged, not their homes that are destroyed … not their
own children sufering”. Again, these are hefy issues — and
art is an opportunity to explore subtleties, not bulldoze
over them.
Art
and its
relationship
to the public
is a big,
complex
subject.
Reducing it
to a binary
is lazy — not
to mention
patronising.”
Editor’s
Pick
The ArT InsTIncT serIes
2011: epIsode 1
Artist Talk
Instant Café Theatre
Leonardo’s Dining Room & Wine Loft
Bangsar; 25 January 2011
RM10
03-2096 2226
www.instantcafetheatre.com
The philosopher and academic Dennis
Dutton passed away last month. His
career was quietly stellar: he co-founded
Arts & Letters Daily, a website that
compiles thought-provoking essays from
across the interwebs; his Bad Writing
Contest in the journal Philosophy and
Literature was a righteous stick that
he used to beat academics for their
unreadable legalese; his 2009 book, The
Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure and Human
Evolution, argued that art appreciation
isn’t culturally learned, but is a deep
instinct humans evolved from adaptations
during the Pleistocene.
The Art Instinct Series is a lecture
platform in honour of Dutton; in it,
artists and intellectuals will deliver lively
presentations about “being creative and
what it means”. This frst episode will
feature talks by playwright and comedian
Jit Murad and director/performer Jo
Kukathas. Jit argues that the self — not
issues or ego — is “the most trustworthy
engine for any impulse for creativity”. Jo
presents lessons she has learned from a
cockroach.
heAdLIGhTs 2011
Exhibition
Valentine Willie Fine Art
19 - 31 January 2011
free admission
03-2284 2348
www.vwfa.net
With branches all over the
region, Valentine Willie Fine Art
is one of the most powerful
commercial galleries in
Southeast Asia. It has a long
history of incubating the careers
of regional up-and-coming
artists; many of these individuals
have since made names for
themselves! Headlights is
VWFA’s annual showcase of
its current artist-collaborators.
This year’s exhibition features
work by Agus Baqul Purnomo,
Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Don
Salubayba, Gan Chin Lee, I
Nyoman Agus Wijaya (aka
Koming), Jalaini Abu Hassan
(aka Jai), Kaloy Sanchez, Kow
Leong Kiang, Phuan Thai Meng,
Putu Sutawijaya, Yogie Ginanjar
and Yustoni Volunteero.
Some of the finalists try. Mohd Fariazal Puadi’s “Don’t
Touch!!!!” is a chair, divided in little blocks and encased in glass:
an exploration of democratic principles like voting and parlia-
mentary representation. Still, the work itself falls short of the
artist’s intent. Why arrange the “seat of power” so neatly? Tat’s
hardly true to the reality of Malaysian democracy.
In the end, the strongest works of the BMS 2010 showcase
are the ones that are content to tackle personal subjects. Haslin
Ismail’s “Te Way It All Works” (the grand prize winner, inci-
dentally!) is a fun assemblage of cut-up, collaged books and
illustrations; it concerns the artist’s family, his father, and a love
of reading. My favourite piece in the show is Issarezal Ismail’s
“Bill - Is Hero”, a mixed media print of a tiny toy fgure contem-
plating a school of giant anchovies. It is a strange, wonderful,
completely unpretentious image. It also did not come with a
sanctimonious artist’s statement.
Te big question: why are the new BMS works so weak? A
NAG curator I spoke to hazarded institutional failure. Submis-
sions for the competition opened August 2010; artists had
until November. A paltry fve months for artists to conceptu-
alise and execute their work. Tat suggests that the competition
mechanism, itself, wasn’t well thought-out. Is it surprising that
its results were slipshod?
Once a beacon in the arts community, the NAG today has
become a by-phrase for government -- bureaucratic bloat, ofcial
callousness, the squandering of public funds. Te dear old
Balai is in the midst of a reformation: it now puts out a fairly
excellent newsletter, Senikini; it’s hired a bunch of exciting
young curators; it was recently empowered, legislatively. But it
has to re-learn how to do things well.
The Bakat Muda Sezaman 2010 grand prize (worth RM20,000)
was awarded to Haslin Ismail for “The Way It All Works”. Three
jury prizes (worth RM10,000 each) were awarded to Tan Nan See,
Diana binti Ibrahim, and Helmi Azam bin Tajul Aris. The awards
were announced on 18 January 2011.
Model citizens
Play
The Necessary Stage & KLPac
KL Performing Arts Centre
19 - 22 January 2011
RM33
03-4047 9000
www.klpac.com
Singapore-mari The Necessary
Stage (TNS)’s resident playwright,
Haresh Sharma, has a personal
axiom: “If you are not producing
work, any reason you might give
for not doing work is an excuse.”
Like clockwork, TNS manufactures
theatre that is both fun and
newspaper-headline topical.
Model Citizens, TNS’s latest
offering, is no different. Check
out its premise: a man stabs a
Singaporean Member of Parliament
at a “Meet the People” session.
Three women are caught in the
fallout: the attacker’s girlfriend, an
Indonesian maid seeking marriage
and citizenship in the island nation;
said girlfriend’s employer, also
coping with personal tragedy; the
MP’s wife, who has to cope with
the subsequent media attention.
Immigration, such a big topic in
Singapore at the moment, is sure
to feature prominently.
Model Citizens, which
premiered in March 2010, will be
performed in KL by Goh Guat Kian,
Siti Khalijah and Karen Tan. Written
by Haresh Sharma and directed by
Alvin Tan.
plAYS
ARTS
Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.

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