bill amended to proteCt forests

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Free tuition for needy SPM students
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Chaos at land briefing
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April 8 — 10, 2011/ issue 19

Mourners carrying the remains of Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed into Surau Ar-Rahman at the Kelana Jaya Customs quarters yesterday afternoon. Stories on Page 2. – Pictures by

Anti-human trafficking units
By Gan Pei Ling

Victor Chong

shah alam: Enforcement officers from local governments will be trained to spot victims of human trafficking and alert relevant authorities as part of Selangor’s initiative to stop the trade. “We have instructed all local councils to set up special units for the task,” said Ronnie Liu. The state executive councillor said while local enforcement officers did not have powers of arrest, they  could still raid places suspected of trafficking and alert the police and immigration department immediately. Liu, whose portfolio includes local government, pointed out that enforcement officers were already raiding entertainments outlets

under their jurisdiction. The units, to be set up in all 12 local authorities, will be specially trained to identify victims.  The move was announced at a press conference on Monday by Liu and executive councillor  Rodziah Ismail, who chairs the Selangor Anti-Human Trafficking Council (Mapmas).  Rodziah said that Selangor was collaborating with Tenaganita, which champions the rights of migrant workers. The non-government organisation will handle the case management of victims for Mapmas.  Meanwhile, local councils will also revoke business licences of companies found to be harbouring victims.  Briefings are also being organ-

ised for local councils, said Mapmas task force vice-president Rozaini Mohd Rosli. The Klang Municipal Council and its councillors were the first to be briefed at its monthly board meeting last week. The Shah Alam City Council and Subang Jaya Municipal Council are expected to be briefed at the end of the month.

Rozaini expressed hope that they would appoint a councillor to champion the initiative at each local council. When contacted by Selangor Times, Petaling Jaya councillor Cynthia Gabriel said the move would help to increase awareness among enforcement officers. “It’s part of their job to raid illegal settlements (they usually treat all illegal migrants the same way), but there could be potential human-trafficking victims among them,” said Gabriel. Daniel Lo, a member of the Mapmas task force, said it was important for enforcement officers to distinguish between the victims and treat them well. “Victims are at the heart of prosecution. They are usually the

sole witnesses,” said Lo, adding that the victims would be afraid to speak up if they were intimidated or abused by officers. Lo noted that both legal and illegal migrants could be potential victims of human trafficking, with women being the predominant victims. Meanwhile, Selangor has demanded access to victims as only the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is allowed to interact with them. “We must determine the [human traffickers’] operational process in Selangor, who are the agents, [and] how it is happening in order to be able to intervene effectively. “That’s why access to victims is important,” said Tenaganita director Irene Fernandez, who also attended Monday’s press conference.

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news
April 8 — 10, 2011

Selangor WeaTHer
Friday Morning Saturday Sunday

Grief and disbelief
By Alvin Yap

afternoon

night

Source: Malaysian meteorological department

Civil societies call for RCI
SHAH ALAM: Seventy-three groups have called for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the death of a Customs officer in the custody of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The non-governmental organisations said there must be an “independent and thorough” probe into the officer’s death, including MACC personnel involved and its power structure. They added that half of the members should be nominated by civil societies to ensure its credibility. Human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia coordinator E Nalini spoke on five demands on behalf of the groups at a press conference on Thursday. The NGOs include Amnesty International Malaysia, All Women’s Action Society, Malaysians for Beng Hock and Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia. Besides the establishment of the RCI, they also want the police to buck up and conduct a professional and independent probe into the MACC to restore public confidence. The groups took the police to task for not investigating or acting on the 59 complaints lodged against MACC in the past five years, resulting in the death of former political aide Teoh Beng Hock in 2009 and now Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed. They said MACC investigation director Datuk Mustafa Ali and other officers involved should be suspended until the RCI completed its investigation to prevent cover-ups or interference. They also urged the government to enact the Coroner’s Act and set up a coroner’s court to investigate all deaths in custody. The NGOs lastly reminded the government to set up the long-delayed independent police complaints and misconduct commission to investigate abuse of power among enforcement bodies. Eric Paulsen, from Lawyers for Liberty, said there have been 147 deaths in custody since 2000, but nobody has been held accountable for the deaths. Selangor Customs assistant director Ahmad Sarbani, 56, was found sprawled on the first floor of the MACC building on Jalan Cochrane in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday morning. His death came in the midst of a RCI into the death of Teoh, who was found dead at Selangor MACC’s former headquarters in Shah Alam in 2009. His death is being investigated openly for the second time following dissatisfaction with an open verdict by a coroner’s inquiry.

PETALING JAYA: Overwhelmed with grief, the mother of Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed collapsed while viewing his body on Thursday. Aishah Abdullah Rauf, 75, was seen being carried out of the Ar-Rahman Surau in the Customs quarters in Kelana Jaya. She had earlier been among loved ones and colleagues who had waited since 10.30am for his body to arrive. Over 200 mourners were seen waking along with the hearse when it arrived from Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) at about 5pm before it was taken into the surau, where it was prepared for burial Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who arrived shortly after, was seen expressing his condolences to family members. “I am sad for the family, we have to find the truth. It is a great tragedy, but we must ensure there are investigation into MACC’s methods of interrogation and conduct,” said the Selangor Menteri Besar. Ahmad Sarbani’s body was taken to the Kota Damansara Muslim cemetery soon after. Meanwhile, there was widespread disbelief over suggestions that he had committed suicide.   “How could someone who is loved by everyone, someone who is helpful and smiling , commit suicide ?” asked Aznijar Ahmad. The University Malaya aeronautical engineering lecturer, who knew the deceased when they stayed in Klang, said Ahmad Sarbani had been a religious man. “Our family is extremely sad. He was a surau committee member,” said the lecturer, whose wife is also a Customs officer. He said Ahmad Sarbani  had also been the treasurer for the surau committee and had discharged his duties conscientiously. “Are they going to write that he  committed suicide?” said a uniformed customs officer to his colleague. “We do not know what happened. We are sad and we are angry. His death should not have happened,” said another officer, who did not wish

Friends and relatives carry 75-year-old Aishah Abdullah after she fainted upon seeing Ahmad Sarbani’s remains being taken to the surau at the Kelana Jaya Customs quarters late yesterday afternoon.

to be identified. Ahmad Sarbani was found dead on Wednesday and is believed to have fallen from the third floor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters on Jalan Cohcrane, Cheras. The Selangor Customs assistant director had been among 62 Customs officers reportedly picked up for alleged graft. But the 56-year-old father of five was released on bail on Monday. A relative who spoke to the press pointed out that Ahmad Sarbani’s death was now a matter of speculation in the media. “There are many reports, and all conflict with each other. Are the reports verified? Is it true?” said the man, who refused to be identified. Others who knew the deceased described him as  a  person who had always been smiling and helpful. Among other VIPs who came to visit the grieving family were state executive councillor Dr Halimah Ali and Shah Alam Member of Parliament Khalid Samad. Dr Halimah was seen hugging members of the family and consoling them over their loss.

Khalid Samad said nothing short of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) would suffice to find out the actual circumstances behind the death. “This is a high-profile case, involving millions of ringgit in graft, and the death of a senior civil servant needs nothing less than a RCI,” he said. The MACC has suspended two officers for the purposes of investigation into the death of Ahmad Sarbani on Wednesday. According to a MACC statement issued from its headquarters in Putrajaya, the officers were suspended because they had breached regulations pertaining to witnesses and visitors to MACC offices. “Two officers have been suspended for the breach of regulations on witnesses or visitors to MACC premises, whereupon the officers had failed to be with the witness or visitor during the whole time that they were at the MACC office,” the statement read. “The internal investigations will be forwarded to the MACC Complaints Committee, which is headed by former Court of Appeals judge Datuk Mohd Nor Abdullah and has three other members,” it added.

State condemns latest MACC death
SHAH ALAM: Selangor has condemned the death of Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission building on Jalan Cochrane in Kuala Lumpur. “The state regrets that another MACC witness has died under suspicious circumstances,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The 56-year-old assistant director from the Selangor Customs Department, who was under investigation for graft, is believed to have fallen from the third floor of the building. Khalid said it was shocking that another tragedy could happen. “It looks like the MACC has not learnt anything from [Teoh Beng Hock’s] case and is still not responsible for the safety of witnesses or those detained by them,” he said. Khalid also extended his condolences to the victim’s family. He said this illustrated to all Malaysians that without justice for cases such as Teoh’s, similar tragedies would continue to occur. “The lack of serious action against those responsible for Teoh’s death has led certain parties to think they are immune from the law,” said Khalid. A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is being conducted into the death of Teoh, the former political secretary to executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah. Teoh was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, where the Selangor MACC office was then located. Khalid said the incident has strengthened the state’s resolve to protect its civil servants. The legality of Selangor’s circular preventing its civil servants from being questioned by the MACC after office hours and only while accompanied by a lawyer is being challenged in court. “We will appeal right to the Federal Court, the decision [of the High Court] to nullify the circular,” he said. He said the instruction was appropriate in the wake of the two deaths.

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

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Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan COPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen Victor Chong Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi
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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 8 – 10, 2011 ⁄ 3

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news
april 8 — 10, 2011

EvEnts
Yoga for Japan Manasa Yoga, in collaboration with Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, will hold an outdoor yoga charity event for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami survivors on April 17. The programme, which starts at 7am, will be conducted by Manasa Yoga guru and founder Manoj Kaimal and his wife, Sandhya. Proceeds will be donated to Red Cross Japan. For details, contact Susan at 012-3375955 or via email: susan@manasayoga.com. Kinabalu climb Shelter Home for Children will organise its annual Climb of Hope to Mount Kinabalu to raise RM100,000 to help the abused and refugee children’s education, healthcare and protection from July 13-16. Those interested are required to submit their registration details before May 29. For more information, call Edwin at 03-79550663, email shelter@po.jaring.my or visit www. shelterhome.org. Old boys’ dinner The Malacca High School Old Pupils Association will hold its annual general meeting and dinner at Dewan President, Kelab Golf Negara Subang, on May 7. For details, contact Robert Lim (012-2029116), Leo Ann Mean (012-6068265) or Lim Koh Chin (012-2136148). You can also visit www. mahsopa.net or emaildmin@mahsopa.net. Soka Gakkai exhibition Soka Gakkai Malaysia will hold an exhibition titled “Seeds of Hope – Visions of Sustainability, Steps toward Change” tomorrow until May 1 at Wisma Kebudayaan SGM, 243 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition will be in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese. Opening hours for public viewing are from 11am to 6pm. Admission is free.

Bill amended to protect forests
SHAH ALAM: Selangor became the first state to make public inquiry compulsory before a forest reserve can be de-gazetted. The state assembly passed an amendment to the National Forestry Act 1985 Enactment on March 31 in an effort to further safeguard its forest reserves. “We want to provide an opportunity for the public to give their opinion, suggestion and constructive criticism before a forest reserve can be de-gazetted,” said executive councillor on environment Elizabeth Wong at last week’s state assembly. Wong said the people could provide feedback during public inquiry and help protect forest reserves that are constantly under pressure from development. “A few years ago, the Kota Damansara Forest Reserve was de-gazetted to make way for a luxurious residential area. “The transfer of land was only cancelled after Pakatan Rakyat took over the state’s administration,” said Wong. She added in her press statement that thousands of hectares of forest reserves were cleared without public knowledge from 2000 to 2007. Wong said the state has yet to finalise the mechanism for the public inquiry. However, she gave assurance that the public inquiry would be advertised on billboards and newspapers early so that residents and non-governmental organisations would be well informed of it. Meanwhile, environmentalists have applauded Selangor’s move. Environmental organisation TrEES congratulated the state for its commitment towards protecting Selangor’s forest reserves. Its directors, Leela Panikkar and Christa Hashim, hoped input collected from the

World Parkinson’s Day
Lloyd Tan Parkinson’s Trust Fund, together with Negri Sembilan Parkinson’s Society, Lions Club of KL Central and Pantai Hospital Cheras, will hold a meeting at Crystal Crown Hotel PJ in conjunction with World Parkinson’s Day tomorrow from 2pm to 4pm. Parkinson’s patients, caregivers and the public are invited to the event that pays tribute to two Parkinson’s community leaders. For details, call Patricia at 0240240060 or 012-2110065. Marriage course The Buddhist Gem Fellowship Counselling Unit will hold its 12th Marriage Education Programme on May 28 and May 29 at its centre at 60A, Jalan 19/3 Petaling Jaya. The programme includes the importance of the family unit and effective communications. The programme is open to non-Muslims. Couples will have to pay RM50 for the SmartStart programme manual. For details contact Hooi Eng at 016-2930684 or Iris Goh at 016-3025792.

public inquiry would be a key factor in deciding whether a forest reserve would be de-gazetted. They also noted that public inquiry should be held for land-use conversion that does not require a change in land status, such as the building of roads through forest reserves.

Forestry expert Lim Teck Wyn also welcomed the state’s amendment to its forestry enactment. “As a professional forester and someone who is born, bred and resident in Selangor, I am very proud that the law has been changed to protect our forests,” said Lim in an email interview.

TI Malaysia wants independent study
petALing jAyA: Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) is calling for an  independent, transparent and speedy inquiry into the death of Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed. TI-M president Datuk Paul Low said in a statement the  inquiry should also cover the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) current standard procedures, processes and guidelines for the investigation of cases of corruption.  “Any person in MACC’s care, be they a witness, suspect or visitor, must be accorded fundamental protection at all times,” Low said. He also called for the immediate implementation of recommendations and proposals by the MACC  complaints committee, chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Mohd Noor Abdullah, made on March 31.  It includes for MACC interrogation rooms to be placed in the lobby or basement area to prevent untoward incidents, and closed-circuit television cameras in the interrogation and waiting rooms.  “This is to prevent allegations of rough tactics used in  interrogation and any untowardly incidents,” Low said. While expressing condolences to the family  of the deceased who died tragically at the MACC building on  Jalan Cochrane, Low said it should not in any way undermine ongoing  investigations involving Customs officers. TI-M strongly urged MACC to investigate without fear or favour and act on all parties,  including any “big fish” involved in corrupt practices.  “The ongoing joint operation investigating Customs and the Freight Forwarding industry must continue without outside influence or interference.” It has been reported that MACC’s preliminary investigations found billions of ringgit were lost annually from underdeclaration of imported goods and money-laundering activity.

State to launch micro credit financing
SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government is ready to launch the third phase of the People’s Economic Agenda, according to Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim yesterday. During the “Developing Selangor’s Economy” Maqasih Syariah seminar at the state government office yesterday, the Selangor Menteri Besar said that the state has already incorporated the establishment of a RM70 million micro credit financing scheme in the Budget 2011 last year. A RM20 million fund has been set aside for urban areas while RM50 million has been allocated for rural areas in the micro credit financing scheme. The seminar was attended by the state civil service and held at the Dewan Jubli Perak. Besides Khalid, Datuk Dr Siddiq Fadhil and Selangor economic adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also delivered their lectures.

Youth baking classes
The House of Bread offers baking courses for youths who seek skills training. The training also includes Moral and English classes. For details, call 016-3178778 or 016-3435478.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 8 – 10, 2011 ⁄ 5

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NEWS
APRIL 8 — 10, 2011

Councillors want stiff penalties for polluters
MBPJ  will also monitor nearby restaurants to ensure solid food waste is not thrown into drains which ultimately end up in lakes.  “It will now strictly enforce the [threestrike] rule, where eateries found to be flouting cleanliness and environmental by-laws three times a year will be shut down by MBPJ,” said Chan.  More checks on grease traps in these restaurants will be carried out to ensure the system is working to filter oil from waste water. MBPJ is also looking into building “mini” wetlands to trap and filter waste water flowing into the lakes. 

By Alvin Yap

PETALING JAYA: Stiff penalties for polluters and biological filters are being proposed by Petaling Jaya Municipal councillors to save the city’s dying lakes.   “MBPJ has to stop polluters from spoiling our lakes, We also have to look into using wetland plants to filter and remove [remaining ] pollutants reaching the lakes,” said councillor Chan Chee Keong.  Last week, Selangor Times reported that six lakes were in danger of becoming stagnant pools because no contingencies were in place to tackle widespread pollution.

Gabriel and Chan pointing to a layer of oil at Taman Jaya lake.

MBPJ and other agencies show the environmental condition of Taman Jaya. Class III means very significant pollution.

The lakes, which are dying due to decades of pollution, are Taman Jaya, Taman Aman and Kelana Jaya, which has four. It was reported that RM1.8 million was spent to clean the lake annually, but state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong has clarified that the cost is actually RM3 million.  Wong pointed out that MBPJ should enforce a “no dumping and no grease” ruling as a condition for licence renewal for restaurants. “I don’t think restaurants will dare to dump food into the drains or leave their grease traps uncleaned if we enforce the [three-strike] rule,” she said. She also said MBPJ should conduct more checks on sewage tanks with Indah Water Konsortium. “IWK must inform the Department of Environment of any treatment facilities that

are leaking raw, untreated sewage,” she said. Councillor Cynthia Gabriel agreed that drastic measure have to be taken to ensure the lakes are no longer polluted.  “Restaurants found throwing food or rubbish repeatedly into the drains will be shut down by the city council,” said Gabriel. Under the “three-strike” rule, local authorities can close eateries for offences committed for 14 days. She said MBPJ was finalising a pilot project that involves regular inspections of grease traps at restaurants in the surrounding Taman Jaya lake area. Gabriel said the city council was also carrying out studies on converting the monsoon drain that flows into Taman Jaya lake into mini wetlands.

Syabas: Water disruption caused by demand spike
SHAH ALAM: The water disruption that affected around 9,000 consumers in Klang Valley last Saturday was due to a sudden spike in demand. “Increased water demand on March 31 and April 1 has resulted in decreasing water levels [in the reservoirs], causing unscheduled disruptions in some areas, including Subang Jaya,” Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) said in a statement on Tuesday. “This incident shows that densely populated regions in urban areas have started to experience water shortages due to high consumption. The main plants have reached their maximum capacity. “Syabas would like to take this opportunity to urge consumers to use water economically,” said Syabas corporate affairs executive director Abdul Halem Mat Som. He said the disruption initially affected a small area in Subang Jaya on March 31, but later spread to more areas on April 1. Areas affected in Subang Jaya on April 2 included SS12 to SS19, Wangsa Baiduri, U1, PJS1 to PJS12, USJ 1 and USJ 2. SS1 to SS3, Section 14 and Section 22 in Petaling Jaya, Taman Lian Hoe, Kuchai Lama and Taman Gembira also experienced disruptions due to low water levels in reservoirs. Abdul Halem said Syabas had deployed tankers to supply water to residents after sourcing alternative supply from neighbouring reservoirs. He added that reduced demand on April 2-3 had indirectly restored water levels in the three reservoirs – Effingham, Bukit Gasing and Subang Airport – to normal. He said the current supply was exceeding demand in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. The water distribution company urged the government to develop alternative sources to meet growing demand. On Monday, the state demanded an explanation from Syabas over the disruption.  “Syabas must clarify this matter with the state at the MTES (Selangor Economic Action Council) meeting,” executive councillor Elizabeth Wong said at a press conference. Wong said water levels in the four dams in Selangor were 94% to 100% full as of March 28. “We will instruct Luas (Selangor Water Management Board) to investigate why water levels in a few reservoirs have gone down,” said Wong. Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh also criticised Syabas for failing to alert consumers. “Why wasn’t there an alert when water levels in these three reservoirs dropped? Why didn’t consumers receive any notice before and during disruption? “What happened to (Syabas customer service centre) Puspel, and what is its call-handling capacity, especially during a crisis?” asked Yeoh. She said her office had been “flooded” with calls from residents who were unable to reach Puspel last week. Abdul Halem said Syabas would usually issue a notice seven days ahead of any scheduled water disruption, but they were unable to alert consumers last week as they did not anticipate it. They issued a notice on April 2, which was published in the media the next day. Abdul Halem said Puspel had 60 lines to handle calls from public, and some of the callers might not have been able to get through.

Selangor to reform PKNS
the board of directors and new management. Previously, board members only met four to five times a year. With the ne w email system, Khalid said board members can be informed of decisions made by the management immediately, regardless of the amount of fiExecutive council members Ronnie Liu and Dr nancial transaction Xavier Jeyakumar with Khalid during a press involved. conference on Monday. “[So] that it beBy Gan Pei Ling comes a collective decision-making … the board members SHAH ALAM: The state plans to can comment or give suggestions,” said restructure the Selangor Development Khalid. Corporation (PKNS), which has been Meanwhile, the Menteri Besar rein the spotlight in recent months due to mained tight-lipped on the fate of alleged mismanagement and wastage. PKNS general manager Othman Part of the state’s reformation plan Omar, whose two-year contract has is to introduce a new audit committee expired and was supposed to have been made up of “experienced and well-re- renewed in February. spected” practitioners to scrutinise the Othman’s contract is being renewed state-linked company’s operations. on a monthly basis until the comple“We want to change the culture of tion of the corporation’s ongoing audit PKNS from a closed organisation to an ordered by Khalid. open and well-informed one,” said “ We’ll announce accordingly,” Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim Khalid told the press. after chairing the executive council PKNS’s misconducts were first meeting on Monday. brought to light at the state assembly He said PKNS will also adopt a in November 2010 by Hulu Kelang more transparent decision-making assemblyperson Saari Sungib. structure by setting up an email system Khalid subsequently ordered an to ensure free flow of information to audit on PKNS.

news

Statewide futsal competition from Saturday

April 8 — 10, 2011

7

By Basil Foo

SHAH ALAM: A state-wide District Youth Futsal competition starts on Saturday with RM70,000 in prizes up for grabs. The third annual Selangor Gen-S Futsal Championship Tour will see contestants from each district compete for the local title before battling it out in the finals for the state title. “The first- and second-placed teams from each local council will join the finals at a statelevel competition,” said Amirudin Shari during the competition launch on April 7. The Youth and Sports exco assistant said

futsal is a popular sport among youth nowadays, and they are expecting a turnout of 5,000, including futsal team members and spectators. Amirudin, who is also the Batu Caves assemblyperson, added that a female category was added for the competition this year, which will be held only during the finals. “ We will see the turnout of female contestants this year. If it is good, next year we will have a separate female category,” he said. Prizes for the district level-teams include RM1,000 for first place, RM500 for the runners-up, RM250 for third place and trophies. Prizes for the state-level finals will be RM3,000 for first place, RM1,500 for the runners-up, and RM1,000 for third place and trophies. The first stop of the competition will be at Ferro Futsal in Subang Jaya on April 9, which will be organised by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ). The last stop of the tour will be at the statelevel finals at Real Sports Arena in Teluk Pulai. Those interested in registering must be between 13 and 35 years old and must live in the district they register in. Payment is RM120 for a team of five players and three substitutes, which must be given to their respective local council officers before the respective deadlines. For more details on the competition and registration deadlines for the respective local councils, contact 012-6879936 or visit www. gen-s.com.my.
Amirudin (far right), Selangor State Sports Council director Nor Zamri Ishak (second right) and local council representatives at the launch.

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NEWS
april 8 — 10, 2011

Former landfill a problem seven years on
By Alvin Yap

PETALING JAYA: A former landfill in Taman Manja here should not be developed if the land is found to be toxic and emitting harmful gases, said state deputy speaker Haniza Mohd Talha. “We engaged an environmental consultant who said there should not be any development in the area for 15 years, maybe even 30 years,” she said. The former landfill is private property and a developer has started building a supermarket on the edge of the area, she said. The Taman Medan assemblyperson claimed the mining pool-turned-landfill is still toxic and unsafe even after seven years of treatment. The toxic level reached dangerous levels in 2004, and the Petaling Jaya municipality spent some RM4.8 million to treat the waste from 2004 to 2006. Haniza also refuted the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) claims that the area is free of toxins. “They can say that there’s no more toxicity, but the [former] landfill is very huge,” said Haniza. She said the city council should take samples from “all areas” in the sprawling former

landfill which borders PJS 1, PJS 2 and PJS 3. “It is impossible for them to say that it is safe without extensive testing,” she added. She also claimed that illegal dumping in the area still takes place even with warnings from MBPJ. “There is still illegal dumping there, especially domestic waste,” she said. Haniza said she was still receiving healthand environmental-related complaints from residents there, some three years after their health woes were highlighted. An environmental consulting company that was engaged to treat the contamination in 2006 had said they had managed to bring the situation under control. But solid waste and environment experts cautioned against starting new projects. In November 2008, Malaysian Waste Water Association secretary Ismail Abdul Aziz said the area at the landfill and its surroundings should not be developed further. He said the soil could sink if it rained continuously, and would pose structural flaws to buildings. Experts say landfills and garbage dumping grounds should only be used as recreational areas. In view of the land being unsuitable for

Illegal dumping is still happening at the former Taman Manja landfill.

development, Haniza has suggested to the state and MBPJ to convert parts of the decommissioned landfill into recreational use. However, she said the toxicity and gas emission issues would have to be tackled first. Haniza also said illegal settlers were put-

ting their lives at risk by cultivating the land. “The land there is toxic, some places may blow up [from gas build-up]. The fruits and vegetables are not safe for consumption as they are grown in toxic soil,” she said. Selangor Department of Environment officials could not be contacted for comment.

Know Your Councillor: Tan Heng Kim
By Basil Foo

MBSA mayor pledges to improve connectivity
  SHAH ALAM: Improving this city’s public transportation system will be the top priority of new mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan, who was sworn in on Monday.  “I intend to set up a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to improve connectivity in the city,” Mohd Jaafar said. The former director of Selangor’s Town and Country Planning Department is the Shah Alam City Council’s (MBSA) sixth mayor. He said the BRT could help ferry commuters to train stations. Mohd Jaafar acknowledged that while the project would require proper planning, he is determined to help reduce the number of cars on the road.
By Goh Chee Yuan

TIRELESSLY serving the public for his second year now, Klang Municipal Council (MPK) member Tan Heng Kim sometimes equates himself to having two jobs. “As I am also the president of the Chinese Society for the Handicapped in Malaysia, I feel like I not only take care of the public, but also take care of the handicapped,” he said. In a phone interview with Selangor Times, the councillor for Jalan Meru Batu 8 said Klang has more disabledfriendly facilities now compared with previously. A member of the disabled community himself, Tan said there has been an increase in ramps, parking, and toilets to specifically cater for the disabled. “Even local government buildings such as the halls in MPK have been equipped with ramps up to the stage for the easy access of people in wheelchairs,” he said. However, there has been widespread misuse of the disabled parking lots, which are frequently occupied by vehicles without the “disabled driver” sticker. “There is a need for increased enforcement at the parking lots because sometimes when officers come to put compounds, the cars just come back and park again,” said Tan. He explained that the council had already approved the implementation of car towing and held an open tender meet-

ing in February to acquire tow trucks. Already experiencing some delays in the tender process, Tan said he hopes the towing will be implemented as soon as June this year, barring any further delays. “Usually major projects like these take a longer time to settle, like a project to resurface Jalan Pasar Malam in Bukit Kapar last year, which took five months,” he said. Tan, who is married with four children, said he is able to drive himself and walk using crutches. He only relies on a wheelchair if he has to move a long distance. “As all my children have grown up already, it leaves more time for me to be a councillor. But the only thing is, my zone is mostly rural areas, so it can be difficult to move around at times,” he said.

He also said MBSA would monitor the construction of basic infrastructure at the four proposed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations in the city to ensure that the stations are accessible to the public. Mohd Jaafar further vowed to develop the city sustainably and improve the city council’s service efficiency by adopting modern technology, including the internet. Mohd Jaafar succeeded Datuk Mazalan Md Noor, whose term ended on March 31 and who has been transferred to the Public Service Department. Mazalan was appointed as Shah Alam mayor in 2007 and is the longest-serving mayor in the city to date. His biggest achievement during his tenure was effectively resolving the floods in the city.

‘Take advantage of MBSA summonses discount’
By Alvin Yap

SHAH ALAM: The city council here is offering motorists a maximum 70% discount when they pay their outstanding summonses effective April 1 until May 15. “This is to compel motorists to settle their summonses before we take stern action on them,” said a press release from former mayor Datuk Mazalan Md Noor’s office on Wednesday. The discount is also carried out to educate the public on settling their traffic summonses on time, the mayor’s office said. Motorists settling the summonses from April 1 to 14 are entitled to a 70% discount;

those who settle the summonses from April 15 to 30 will get a 60% discount, and those who pay their summonses after this date will get a 50% discount. “As such, motorists are asked to check if they have summonses and to pay it,” the press statement said, adding that motorists with accumulated compound summonses would benefit greatly from the discount. Motorists can go to Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) counters at G level at Wisma MBSA, or to its branches in Kota Kemuning and Sungai Buloh to settle their summonses. Online payments can also be made through the MBSA website at www.mbsa.gov.my.

NEWS
APRIL 8 — 10, 2011

9

Chaos at land briefing
By Basil Foo

KEPONG: Confusion over land status of homes in Taman Ehsan here was cleared up, despite some tensions, during a briefing by the Gombak Land Office last Sunday. The owners were unaware that they had previously been given “qualified” titles to their homes and were informed that their “final” leasehold titles were ready for collection.  However, some owners thought they could change their leasehold titles to freehold. The event started with speeches by Selayang councillor Lee Khai Loon and Gombak assistant district officer Nor Zaidi Ratiman to about 300 seated residents. But midway through the briefings, the  programme  disintegrated into several separate question-and-answer sessions as residents began crowding around the

speaker’s podium. Lee and Nor Zaidi fielded questions from groups of residents, while Subang MP RSivarasa took to the floor to address groups of residents personally. “The purpose of today’s briefing was to help homeowners to change their temporary titles to final titles,” said Lee after most of the crowd had cleared the hall. He said they came to brief the residents because they had received many calls from them after a land title issue in Taman Kepong was resolved recently. Most residents have been living here since the 1970s and still hold temporary land titles, while newer house buyers already have final titles. “The difference between the two titles is only the name, and residents can still carry out transactions with the temporary titles,” Lee explained. This is because even when the land is sold

Subang MP R Sivarasa (seated right) talking to residents.

to a new party, they still have to reregister with the land office and will receive a final title then. “They cannot change from leasehold to freehold, and once they change to their final title, they still will have the same conditions – like 99 years, or 60 years,” said Lee. Residents were also told they had to pay a RM10 fee if they lost their premium pay-

ment receipt when heading to the Gombak district land office to receive their final title. Suresh Genyeh, a 43-year-old Taman Ehsan resident, said this was the first he had heard of this issue and would go to change his land title immediately. “A lot of my neighbours are like me, they [didn’t] know about this matter only until today,” he said.

Owners surprised by final land titles
By Gan Pei Ling

KEPONG: Residents of Taman Ehsan and Desa Jaya were caught by surprise when informed on Sunday that their final leasehold tiles were ready for collection.  The residents, some who have been staying at the housing estates for three decades, were unaware that they had been holding “temporary” or “qualified land” titles all this while.   A resident from Desa Jaya, who only wanted to be known as Mrs Ho, told Selangor Times  that she had not previously known the difference between qualified and final titles. “We only realise now that we can collect our final leasehold title from the land office,” said the 70-year-old homemaker, whose family has been staying in Desa Jaya since the 1970s. An estimated 1,600 homeowners were also oblivious to this fact and would have remained so had it not been for a briefing organised by Bukit Lanjan assemblyperson

Elizabeth Wong. During the briefing, Gombak assistant district officer Nor Zaidi Ratiman said most of the homeowners’ final titles were ready but had yet to be collected from the land office. “They can come and collect anytime,” he said. Nor Zaidi added that final titles had been given to new owners who bought houses recently or who have applied for change in ownership.  Wong explained that owners holding qualified titles could still sell their property but could not subdivide, change the land boundaries, or combine the land with other lots. Some residents also asked if they could convert their land titles from leasehold to freehold. Wong said the matter was out of the state’s hands as the change in status could only be decided by the National Land Council chaired by the prime minister with all states’ chief executives.

(From left) Nor Zaidi, Wong and councillor Lee Khai Loon taking down notes while a resident asked a question on the land title.

Selangor moves to protect alternative water sources
By Basil Foo

Around 180 residents attended the briefing on Sunday.

SHAH ALAM: Seventeen lakes, ponds, and mining pools identified as emergency water sources during droughts and shortages will be gazetted by the state. “The state has agreed to the move as alternative or additional water sources,” said Elizabeth Wong in statement recently. The state executive councillor for environment said the sampling  of quality in these water sources showed it is safe for use during emergencies. However, the public is also encouraged to implement water conservation techniques such as the use of the Rain Water Harvesting System (SPAH), which was launched last November. Groups that have already implemented the system include the Damansara Jaya Residents and Owners Association, which is using the water for their herb garden in their community centre.

The system is also been used at the  Sri Kelana high school in Petaling Jaya for watering plants, cleaning exercises, and to supply water to their fish ponds. The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has also made the use of SPAH compulsory in all landed property projects in their jurisdiction. MBPJ will also give reductions in the Infrastructure Service Fund for developments in their area that have been recognised by the Green Building Index. Other local authorities in the state have been encouraged to follow Petaling Jaya’s lead in implementing these environmentalfriendly initiatives. The Selangor Water Management Authority will also intensify its promotion of the rain-harvesting system.  Also in the pipeline are projects as well as educational programmes that aim to foster a culture of conservation to ensure water resources are preserved. 

News 10
April 8 — 10, 2011

MBPJ to address staff parking monopoly
By Alvin Yap

PETALING JAYA: Claims that City Council (MBPJ) staff here are monopolising public parking spaces in PJ New Town have been brought to the attention of the mayor. “Datuk Roslan Sakiman will be speaking to MBPJ’s staff union on the issue,” said Derek Fernandez. The city councillor was responding to the allegation from the All Petaling Jaya Residents Association Coalition (Apac). Besides occupying scarce public parking bays, Apac president Johan Tung observed that MBPJ staff parked for free. Tung also lashed out at MBPJ staff for depriving others of parking space on the first floor of the multi-level  parking  lot behind Standard Chartered bank. These lots are designated as reserved bays for MBPJ, while the public had to walk two floors up. Fernandez suggested that the council staff swap their reserved parking space in the multi-level parking lot with that allocated for the public. Under his proposal, MBPJ staff who need to park their cars from 8am to 5pm would park one floor up to make it easier for those who might only park for a short while. “Staff should park one floor above so that someone who needs to park temporarily won’t have to park on the higher floors,” he said. Fernandez also blamed Menara MBPJ for the lack of parking space, saying the imposing tower was built without providing for more parking space for MBPJ staff. “It should never have been built,” he said.

Lee (second left), Wong (third right) holding employment contracts with other employees of the beauty salon.

By Basil Foo

KUALA LUMPUR: An employee of a local beauty salon, who claims to have been mistreated and threatened at her job, has sought assistance to take her employers to court. Wong Huey Siew listed a large number of infractions, including unfair pay, charging employees a severance fee, and sexual harassment by customers. “We were also made to do work which was out of our job scope, like painting and cleaning,” said the 25-year-old during a meeting on April 4. She said the unfair pay included a RM5 hourly overtime payment that was given to employees working after 12am. Her employers also charged her RM9,000 when she requested to leave the company. Wong also had to work during public
mrt pr reside oject: disapp nts ointed

Harassed worker seeks legal aid
holidays, and sometimes worked for months with only two days off. “According to the contract, all therapists get days off but not if they stay in the company hostel, which is in the service apartments above Berjaya Times Square,” said Jenice Lee Ying Ha. “But according to the labour laws, employees should have at least seven days off in their first year of employment,” added the Teratai assemblyperson. Lee hosted the meeting with Wong and members of the media at her office in Taman Muda on Monday. She had previously arranged a meeting with the employers on March 24 to resolve the matter, but reached an impasse as she said they were aggressive and uncooperative. “Six of them came, two women and a man who claimed to be directors, but they did not produce any identification and just gave nicknames,” she said. The other three who came to her office were described as thug-like in appearance and behaviour, and, when asked who they were, reacted violently. “I explained to them [Wong’s] rights but they accused her of leaving to another company for more pay,” said Lee. She added that Wong has since moved out of the company hostel but had not looked for a new job as she feared retribution from her old employers. Lee would be assisting Wong in her court case in the coming month. She advised other employees who might be facing similar situations at their workplace to lodge a report with the labour court.

Where to get
lrT Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning Ampang – Sentul Timur Ampang Cahaya Cempaka Pandan Indah Pandan Jaya Sentul Timur Sentul Kelana Jaya – Terminal Putra Kelana Jaya Taman Bahagia Taman Paramount Asia Jaya Taman Jaya Universiti Sri Rampai Wangsa Maju Sri Petaling – Sentul Timur Taman Melati Sri Petaling Bukit Jalil Bandar Tasik Selatan Salak Selatan Shopping Malls (From Saturday noon) 1 UTAMA Tropicana Mall Sunway Pyramid The Curve IOI Mall IOI Business Park Ikano Power Centre Empire Subang Amcorp Mall Klang Centro

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issue 16

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Hypermarkets (From Saturday noon) Tesco (Puchong, Kajang, Mutiara, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Ampang, Extra Shah Alam, Kepong) Giant (Puchong, Kajang, Subang Jaya, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Kota Kumuning) Carrefour (Bukit Rimau) Jusco (Bukit Tinggi) Metro Point, Kajang GM Klang Commuter Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning Sentul – Port Klang Port Klang Bukit Badak Shah Alam Subang Jaya Jalan Templer Petaling Rawang – Seremban Kuala Kubu Baru Sungai Buloh Kepong Sentral Kepong

By Gan Pei Ling su Ba ng films, liter jaYa: The dedicate ature and even re are eat dog d to the old sayin song s ”, g of “dog swoop by but in an inno a cil, the “dog local municip vative al coun ” will soon by a mos be replacedquit In a pilo o. taken soon t project to be Municip between the Sub underal Council ang versiti Sain (MPSJ), Jaya Ban k Bhd s Malaysia and UniCIMB soon be , mosquito larvae will used The larv to combat Mosquit ae of the Toxo deng ue. species of oe, which prey rchynchites mos feed on be employe quito larva s on other hum d to redu e, will soon The loca an blood but threat.  ce the deng gether with l council is wornectar. ue The pilo king to- USM , which the univ project “mosqui t project to ersity on cost fully spon relea mosquit to release Toxorhy a pilot sored by RM60,000, is mosquit to eater” to redu se the oes If CIMB Ban oes this mon USJ 1 to at an abandon nchites coun the trial is succ the MPSJ.  is being carr ce Aedes k. ied out mosquit th by monitoring populat see if it can ed area in othe cil plans to appl essful, the loca by o pop A Toxorhyn the redu l don y the met r areas with effectivelion of Aedes mos ce the ed area ulation at the Aedes chites larv up to 158 hod y. However in its municipa to represen abanquitoes ae can to 400 Later, in USJ 1. , Adanan Asked dur ing lity. out that Aed es larveat with  MPtatives during its life also poin 600 Toxo they will relea Toxo mosquit whether the relea a brie SJ tim e, said ae se of the can only thrivrhynchites mosquit ted the area rhynchites mos se around Unlike officials on Mar fing USM oes would distu   USM e in area , with quitoes tion, so oes fem Toxorhyn other mosquit ch 11.  said science officer rb ecosystem the method s with vege ales in each 100 males and in s, chites mos oes, Adanan it wou tacann 100 batc quitoes adult mosquit ld not as Toxo Che Rus in flats and apar do not tments. ot be used six The entire trial h. oes is a natu rhynchite “This is will months only one s help This proj ral to complet take around curb of the ect betw specie. een MP Adanan the spread of deng tools to in Adanan, who visit e. SJ and . January ed Sub ue,” said He said tions to to identify suita ang Jaya they will cond begin the area in USJ uct the trial ble locatrial 1 was chos , said the en because • Turn To pag it e6

MPSJ to “mosqu unleash ito eater ”

Timely intervention gets school its roof
PETALING JAYA: Sekolah Kebangsaan Methodist will finally be getting its roof replaced after Petaling Jaya City (MBPJ) councillors and the Ministry of Education (MOE) intervened. An initial request for the roof – which was blown off in a storm on Feb 17 – was turned down by the state education department because the school, being a missionary school, was privately funded. (The state education department comes under the purview of the federal government.) However, a change of heart occurred, and MOE later stepped in to provide RM50,000. This was after MBPJ councillors contacted them and also held a press conference to highlight the issue. “The state education department said they could not render assistance as SK Methodist’s land belonged to the church. “A few of us councillors then held a press conference [the next day] to highlight the issue,” said councillor Richard Yeoh. The meeting with the press was also attended by fellow councillors Derek Fernandez and Tan Suie Ko. The freak storm on Feb 17 damaged three classrooms on the top floor of the three-storey Methodist kindergarten building. Part of the roof of two of the classrooms collapsed, causing rain to damage the desks, chairs and tables. Petaling Jaya Selatan Member of Parliament Hee Loy Sian and the three councillors also donated RM15,000, with the school board contributing RM10,000. Yeoh also contacted Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong’s office. The ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Dr Rosli Mohamed, toured the school and announced that funds would be provided for repairworks. Yeoh said SK Methodist was now 51 years old and in urgent need of refurbishment to repair the structure. Yeoh urged residents in Section 5 and the surrounding area to contribute towards a fund to maintain the school. The school’s Parent-Teacher Association committee members have been told by MOE to come out with a working paper on refurbishment plans. MOE says it will match ringgit-for-ringgit funds that the school board is able to raise.

Morning Wet Markets (Saturday morning) Jalan SS2/62 Taman Medan Jalan 17/27 Taman Kuchai Lama Taman OUG Pasar Taman Megah Pasar Jalan Othman Pasar Jalan 17/2 Pasar Sek 14 Pasar Seri Setia SS9A/1 Pasar Kg Chempaka Taman Tun Dr. Ismail Hospital Forrest Medical Centre Colleges Help Institute College Bandar Utama (KBU) Universiti Kebangsan Malaysia

Views 11
April 8 — 10, 2011

Teohlogy
patrick teoh

He who laughs last…
pear magically from … somewhere la, because nobody really knows or says where they are from. (As far as I know, only very few Malaysians are allowed to send in postal votes. Well, maybe not that few, actually. No, ah? Anyway.) Like illegal voter transfers. You know what that is, don’t you? It’s like you’re so very sure that you’re going to be voting in Section This One. “Ya la. Sure one! I do that before ma.” On polling day you go to Section This One and are told: “Maaf ya. Now you need to go to Section That One to vote because you have been transferred.” Do they need your permission? No. Do they inform you or need to? No. Like handing out “goodies” during or immediately prior to important elections. Which one minister has already proudly announced that it is not to be considered bribery. It is merely the government’s way of fulfilling its elections promises made during the last elections. Said minister’s explanation is far funnier. Read this quote attributed to the Yang Berhormat: “For example, the handing out of sewing machines, if it is not given during election, it would still be given out at a later date. What is the difference? Is this an offence?” prime minister fertilising the crops in the state of Sarawak. And boy, is he doing a great job. It’s promising to be a bumper crop I think. RM73million is going to be distributed to schools in Sarawak. Wah! Good innit? And most of the recipient schools just happen to be missionary schools. A big If you have lost a portion of the funds will also loved one, don’t despair. go to Chinese schools. With that kind of manure sure will The next GE is around the corner, and I am quite get bumper crop, right? But in the same cerita, the sure that at least some best line came from the chief of you will be able to minister of Sarawak when he see returning parents, said: “… A lot of assistance is brothers, sisters, relatives needed, so the deputy prime minister is giving a little at a and friends very soon.” time to solve the problem.” Ha ha ha ha! Of course it is not Giving a little at a time to solve the an offence la. It is merely the gov- problem? Something has to have ernment’s method of public sup- been lost in translation! port cultivation ma. Right? An online friend of mine lost his And as I am writing this I am mother to cancer some years ago. also reading about the deputy And although it has been a number of years since his mother’s passing, this friend still misses her very much. And so as a loving, filial son he looks forward to each general election. Why? That’s when his mother returns to vote. At least, that’s what the election rolls tell him. Good innit? If you have lost a loved one, don’t despair. The next GE is around the corner, and I am quite sure that at least some of you will be able to see returning parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends very soon. So, don’t forget to go and register to vote at the next GE and also go and check if your friends and loved ones are going to make the trip back from the other side, okay? Also don’t forget to ask for your gift from your YB. Don’t need to be shy or feel guilty for being part of this questionable practice. After all, it’s only a gift ma. And what they will give you is rightfully yours anyway. So it’s just taking back what they took from you. No?

s I sit down to write this a lot of funny things are happening in my country. Sex scandals. Snap elections threats. Detailed explanations of when a Bribe is not a Bribe but a Gift. The list goes on, so much so that it is almost impossible to have a day pass without something to laugh about. But sometimes, after the laughter ceases, the same events bring tears to our eyes. Here’s something funny to start with. Some days ago I commented on my Facebook page about the deputy prime minister proudly announcing that he feels that there is “growing public support” for Barisan Nasional, which, to him, has boosted the coalition’s confidence in “wresting” back Selangor from Pakatan Rakyat. I commented that being the ruling federal government, there are allegedly quite a number of ways of cultivating “growing public support”. Like postal votes which ap-

A

A biblical perfect storm?
MAN IN BlACK
wong chin huat

istory is often written unconsciously. When the Tunisian police confiscated Mohamed Bouazizi’s vegetable cart, then President Ben Ali would never have thought that the innocuous incident would eventually bring him, Housni Mubarak and perhaps a few more Arab leaders down. When the Shah Alam municipal officials tore down a Hindu Temple in Klang on the eve of Deepavali in 2007, little did then Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo – let alone former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – know this demolition would eventually cost them their jobs. I believe when the Home Ministry officials stamped and serialised the 35,000 copies of Al-Kitab, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein also did not know this act would land him, and more importantly Sarawak Chief Minister (CM) Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, into a huge political storm, when many Sarawakians are already angered by land grabs and deforestation under his 30year rule. No, it’s not the taking of a cart, the demolition of a temple, or desecration of 35,000 copies of Malay-language bibles that moves the wheels of history. They are but the last straws that broke the camel’s back.

H

One year ago, I asked my Sarawakian friend in Kuching if there could be a Dayak version of Hindraf. The answer I got was negative. The most oppressed among the Dayaks are often uninterested in any fightbacks, I learned. Even earlier, I had also wondered if there could be any Martin Luther King Jr-like figure rising from the East. The answer I’d got was negative, too, at least not in the present. Chris- Martin Luther King Jr Mahatma Gandhi Barak Obama tianity is not a yet a political ideology capable of guiding voters If it really happens, even if just ans were once firm believers of that in the polling booth, I learnt. one tenth of the targeted turn out, apolitical code of conduct. Only Today, I am increasingly con- it would send shockwaves through after the Hindraf rally have they vinced that a Christian version – the whole of Sarawak. learnt that a show of strength can be instead of a Dayak version – of It’s eventually about breaking the a viable option. Hindraf is here. They may not be the taboo that “politics” is “dangerous”, For years, the Hindus had wanted same as Hindraf, but the churches “sensitive” or “simply not to be dis- Thaipusam be declared a public are now speaking louder for their cussed in public”. holiday in Kuala Lumpur but to no congregations, much like the Hinavail. However, following that draf lawyers four years back. rally, there are now specific proLike the Hindraf No, we haven’t seen any Martin grammes to help the Indians. Luther King figure yet, but the The “pray for religious freeactivists who found churches – in Sarawak and beyond dom” rally in Kuching has an unexpected ally – are certainly resembling more and forced the PM Department in Pas, Sarawakian more like America’s Southern BapMinister Datuk Seri Idris Jala Christians may find tist churches which evoked the icon to dish out a 10-point plan to it unbelievable that of Martin Luther King alongside resolve the Allah 2.0 controPas is actually more Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Manversy, which is over the banning dela and Barak Obama. accommodating than of Malay-language bibles. The Kuching is a city that shies away earlier controversy was over the they had previously from politics. Even outspoken inof imagined, at least on right of the Malay edition to ternet opposition supporters hesiCatholic publication Herald the word ‘Allah’.” tate to do a “Taib must go” sign in use the word “Allah”. the public. But Idris’s 10-point comproBut three weeks ago, the KuchBut what’s wrong with voicing mise was shortlived. Before he could ing Ministers Fellowship held an concerns in public? Why must even get all the major Christian indoor prayer rally where 2,000 to public interests be kept to private groups to sign up, it has already been 3,000 people showed up. conversations while the most pri- shot down by Hishammuddin. A 100,000-person gathering is vate part of life is good for public Understandably, the Umno scheduled for tomorrow, three days discourse? heavyweight has to entertain the after nomination. The Peninsular Malaysian Indi- right-wing Malay-Muslim NGOs,

Nelson Mandela

religious officials and the bureaucrats who are angered by this compromise, and is worried that this may precede the government’s concession to drop the appeal in the Allah court case. For the rightwing Muslims, the exclusivity of the word Allah is an ideological battle that they cannot afford to lose. Pas and progressive Muslims who support the right of non-Muslims using the word would have been vindicated. Just a year ago, Sarawakian Christians were relatively quiet compared with their Sabahan counterparts in the Allah row 1.0. That sense of exceptionalism evaporated when 5,000 bibles were confiscated in Kuching port. Like the Hindraf activists who found an unexpected ally in Pas, Sarawakian Christians may find it unbelievable that Pas is actually more accommodating than they had previously imagined, at least on the word “Allah”. But with the Al-Kitab issue heading nowhere for now, it’s increasingly looking like another perfect storm brewing in Sarawak.

12 APRIL 8 — 10, 2011

InsIght

FREE TUITION FO NEEDY SPM STUDENTS

Executive councillor Dr Halimah Ali (front centre) with students who attended the state-sponsored SPM workshop in 2010 in Shah Alam.

By Gan Pei Ling

I

t has become the norm for students to attend tuition classes these days. However, not all parents, especially those from lower-income families, can afford to send their children for extra classes. As such, in 2009 Selangor began to offer free tuition classes for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) candidates whose families’ income is lower than RM1,500 per month. Priority is given to students with average grades. The students are selected based on their Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) and Form 4 year-end results. “We’re flexible. A student may still be accepted if his or her parents’ income is say, RM2,000 a month but have 10 children to raise in an urban area. “The point is to reach out to students who need the extra help but cannot afford them,” said Nurul Imma Mansor, the state officer in charge of overseeing the free tuition programme called Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor. The free tuition programme coaches students in four subjects: Bahasa Malaysia, English, History and Mathematics. “Some have asked why can’t the state offer tuition classes for Additional Mathematics or science subjects, but the state has to be fair to students from all streams. “So after much consideration, the state decided to stick to the four core subjects that all students have to sit for in SPM,” Nurul Imma told Selangor Times. The state allocates RM3.45 million for Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor each year. The programme falls under state executive councillor Dr Halimah Ali’s education portfolio. Since 2009, more than 8,800 students have benefited from

the free tuition programme – 4,333 students in 2009, and the number has increased slightly to 4,508 in 2010. This year, 3,794 students have been accepted into the programme since registration started in February.   Transcending political divide to reach students Despite its benefits, Selangor faced several challenges in getting students and teachers to join the programme when it was first implemented in 2009. “Nobody had heard about Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor then, but now it has become increasingly popular,

especially in the semi-rural and rural areas,” said Nurul Imma. In 2010, the state’s free tuition programme was so wellreceived that 25 out of the 56 constituencies, mostly semi-rural or rural, reached the state’s maximum cap of 100 students per constituency. Thirteen out of these 25 constituencies are under Barisan Nasional (BN). Among them, Dusun Tua and Semenyih even exceeded their limit by having 130 and 160 students each. This year, over 170 students from the Sungai Panjang constituency (BN) have expressed interest in the programme, but they can only accommodate a maximum of 140 students. Nurul Imma said the coordinators from these constituencies have to look for other sources of funding to support additional students. In stark contrast, the free tuition programme only received lukewarm response in urban and more affluent constituencies like Subang Jaya, Bukit Gasing, Bukit Lanjan and Kampung Tunku. Subang Jaya only had 22 students last year, Bukit Gasing 20 students, while Bukit Lanjan and Kampung Tunku did not have any. Nurul Imma pointed out that students in urban areas have more choices due to the abundance of private tuition centres around town. However, she said a lot also depended on the programme coordinators’ individual ability to seek out students from poorer families in urban areas. A coordinator is appointed in each constituency in Selangor to look for suitable students, experienced teachers and places to host the free tuition classes. The coordinators are central to the programme’s success.

OR

Improvements after tuition
SIJIL Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) leaver Hazira Aziz used to fail Mathematics, her weakest subject, in Form 4. “I couldn’t understand what the teacher was teaching,” Hazira told Selangor Times in an interview in Meru on March 27. Fortunately, she was able to catch up after she joined the statesponsored free tuition programme last year. “I like the maths teacher Cikgu Nurhayati (Haroon) as she taught in a way that was easy to understand,” said Hazira, who used to be an arts-stream student from Sekolah Agama Menengah Tinggi Sultan Hisamuddin, Kampung Jawa. Hazira was able to catch up on the subject subsequently as the tuition teacher re-taught the Form 4 syllabus. She went on to obtain an A for Mathematics in last year’s SPM. Overall, Hazira scored six As, two Bs and two Cs. But the fourth child out of a family of five children is most proud of her achievement in Mathematics. Muhammad Zamzurin Faiez Zambry, who was studying in boarding school Sekolah Menengah Sains Muzaffar Syah in Malacca, is another former SPM student who has benefited from Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor. The aspiring computer scientist used to score C or D in his History, but managed to score an A- in SPM last year. “There are fewer students in the tuition classes here, so I feel more comfortable to ask questions,” said the teenager, who joined the tuition class late last October. He said the notes provided by the history teacher were also very useful for his revision. The two students are among many who have benefited from Selangor’s pioneer initiative to provide free tuition classes for needy SPM students since 2009. They were recruited into the programme last year by Baharom Basiron, the programme coordinator for Meru. Baharom said his ultimate aim is to help the average students, especially those from families who cannot afford tuition, to improve their grades so that they can enter college. The students attend the tuition classes every Sunday from 8am to 1.30pm at Sekolah Agama Rendah Meru. Most constituencies organise their free tuition classes on Sundays. However, programme consultant Mohd Din Che Ramli said some hold their classes at night, too. He said in Kuala Selangor, for instance, the tuition classes are held from Tuesdays to Thursdays at night. Mohd Din said it was up to the coordinator to decide the best place and time for the students and teachers, depending on the availability of the centre. He has to regularly visit the constituencies around Selangor to check on the coordinators and classes to make sure things are running well. “Initially the schools were a little suspicious [of our programme], but they later realised it’s good for them too if the students improve after attending our free tuition classes,” said Mohd Din. He added that some of their coordinators such as those from Ijok and Sungai Panjang are former teachers. As for the teachers providing free tuition for the students, they are paid RM40 per hour regardless of constituency. The rate is markedly lower than the urban rate of RM50 to RM60 per hour, but higher than the RM30 per hour in rural areas. Bahasa Malaysia teacher Zainudin Tarji, 42, has been teaching for 16 years. While acknowledging that teaching tuition is an additional source of income, he said the best satisfaction comes from the students’ improvement in their examination results. “Without a pass in BM, the students cannot get an SPM certificate, so I always use this to motivate them to study harder,” said Zainudin. Meanwhile, English teacher Siti Hawa Husin said she would identify the better students in her classes to help the weaker ones. “We’ve to take a different approach with students of different capabilities,” said Siti Hawa, 38.

Hazira (second from left) and Muhammad Zamzurin (centre) with other former participants of Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor in Meru last year.

She observed that the students tend to ask more questions and participate more in tuition classes if the group is smaller compared to in school. Siti Hawa said the most common weakness among her students is the lack of vocabulary. “I always encourage them to read more to increase their vocabulary. As a tuition teacher, I can only guide them. So, they must also put in their own effort and read more to improve their English,” said Siti Hawa, who has been teaching since 1998. Mathematics, History, English and Bahasa Malaysia are the four core SPM subjects offered in the state-sponsored free tuition programme. Interested students or parents can visit tuisyenrakyat.blogspot. com for more information and download the registration form. Priority, however, is given to students from families whose monthly income is lower than RM1,500, with grades of B, C or D in the four core subjects. and scored A or B in SPM after attending our classes,” said Nurul Imma. Executive councillor Dr Halimah would present the 10 students with an award at the official launch of Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor each year. “This also serves to motivate future students and show them that they can improve their grades too if they put in the effort,” said Nurul Imma.

Current participants in Meru taking a break during their Sunday marathon tuition classes from 8am to 1.30pm.

They must be able to maintain the students’ interest in the classes throughout the programme. Otherwise, the students may drop out halfway. To recognise the coordinators’ contribution, the state awards the best coordinator with an excellent service award each year. Apart from tuition classes, six other free educational programmes are also included as a package in Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor.
Not just a free tuition programme

Besides the core subjects, students get to attend the Smart Learning Programme during the first quarter of the year to learn how to study more effectively. Closer to the SPM examinations at the end of the year, they are invited to join Program Pecutan Akhir and a special SPM workshop for tips and techniques to answer exam questions. “Besides academic performance, Dr Halimah also wanted us to help develop the students’ characters and spirituality through this programme,” said Nurul Imma. As a result, the state has also introduced a motivational programme called Youth SPIES for the students. SPIES stands for spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social. During a two-day, one-night camp, the students are exposed to different modules that aim to develop their capabilities in these five areas. Besides that, Muslim students also get to take part in Solat Hajat Perdana, where they are brought to visit mosques. The students’ parents can also join a free programme to polish their parenting skills and learn different psychological tactics to encourage their children to excel in their studies. Finally, when SPM results are announced, 10 students who have shown the most improvement in the four core subjects are honoured every year. “These are the students who used to get C or D in Bahasa Malaysia, English, History and/or Mathematics but improved

Students in Meru attending free tuition class for Mathematics on Sunday, March 27.

VIews 14
April 8 — 10, 2011

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Free and fair elections?
eriously, will we ever have a free and fair election focusing on bread and butter issues for once? @firdaus_h via Twitter. Free and fair elections are different from bread and butter issues. The truth is we don’t have bread and butter issues. Since we’re in Malaysia, we tend to have more rice and rendang issues. After all, how many Malaysians eat bread and butter? Even if they do eat bread, they won’t stop at just butter, but add kaya or maybe just eat it with sugar. But hey, whatever rocks your rojak. The truth is, the rakyat for the most part are Source: sxc.hu focused on those issues. Most of the rakyat are having a hard enough time just eking out a living, if not a leaving. The problem is that the politicians wouldn’t otherwise give are not focused on these meehoon and you when there are no sambal issues. They are more interelections. You should not ested in poorly made sex video clips, also choose simply based sodomy, more sodomy, sexual harasson a political party. ment – and did we mention sex? You should vote the If the rakyat wants nasi lemak candidate based on their and sambal sotong issues, then they track record and what have to tell their state councillors they will do to alleviate and Members of Parliament their pressing issues in the local concerns. Tell them to push these communit y such as, issues for you. Don’t let them dictate “What is your stand on what the issues are. If they don’t local council elections?”, listen to you and address them, then or “Do you think domesAsk Lord Bobo is a weekly column by vote them out when you can. tic marital rape should be LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) As for free and fair elections, of criminalised?” where all your profound, course we will get there. Eventually. Ultimately this windabstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, The possibility of that kind of elecbreaking initiative aims to sagacious, and other thesaurusdescribed queries are answered! tions has been given an added boost help Malaysian make an with the recent launch of the Pusat informed choice at the Rakyat LoyarBurok (Pusat LB) – ballot box. that Rakyat centre of undiluted pure that you, as a voter, should base your UndiMalaysia aims to educate awesomeness in Bangsar Utama – choice of candidates on their stand voters on their rights so they can which will soon launch its Lord on local community issues. You make an informed choice and ask Bobo-inspired initiative cryptically should not give your votes away meaningful questions to the politinamed UndiMalaysia. simply because someone gives you cians, instead of just relying on their The idea behind UndiMalaysia is money or promises you things they ad-hoc promises made during the election period. It also aims to educate voters on how to keep their elected representatives accountable and responsible. So UndiMalaysia hopes to inspire a new political culture where voters make responsible and rational choices at the ballot box. When this is achieved, you will find your elected representatives slowly focusing on kuey teow and cincau issues. Finally, it’s important that you understand that UndiMalaysia is politically non-partisan, but we at Pusat LB love to party, son. ties to compete on an equal footing. Providing equal opportunity to them would entail allowing them access to institutions that would allow them to compete equally. Examples of this are quotas in educational institutions and subsidies in economic opportunities. However, as with everything, there are two sides to the story. The pros for such a programme are that it tends to boost competitiveness even for those sidelined economically, due to history of events beyond their control (like slavery and war). It also facilitates economic redistribution and helps close the income gap between the rich and the poor, or, at the very least, slows its widening. The cons to affirmative action are that it discourages true competition and creates a perception of unfairness to those who do not have access to such policies. Ultimately, Lord Bobo is not inherently opposed to affirmative action programmes, but understands that it can be greatly abused if not carried out honestly, meaningfully and fairly. It cannot also last too long or indefinitely. Affirmative action is simply a temporary measure to assist a community or people who are hampered from competing on an equal footing because of their economic, social or political deprivation, which happened to them sometimes without any blame on their part. When it is abused, then affirmative action programmes become a tool of tyranny instead of a springboard to a more equal and just society.

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Twitter

hat does Lord Bobo think of affirmative action? @fareez_shah via

Man. You don’t make it easy for us, do you? We could do a three-volume book with this question because Lord Bobo is so very learned. But let’s try our best to address this. What was the ultimate goal of an affirmative action programme in the first place? It was first implemented on a large scale in the 1960s at the height of civil rights movement in America. First mentioned in the executive orders by President John F Kennedy and his successor, President Lyndon Johnson, it was aimed at increasing competitiveness and combating discrimination against non-whites and other minority communities, who were displaced and deprived of opportunities socially and economically because of their race, religion, origin, or the colour of their skin. Some of the policies were aimed at empowering minority communi-

Promoting Selangor as a food haven
KOTA DAMANSARA: Prizes and holiday packages are up for grabs as the Selangorlicious! Food Blogging Competition gets under way until May 31. The quest to determine the best foodie is organised by Tourism Selangor to  highlight the state as a food destination and collect entries for a food guide to everything yummy in Selangor. “The aim [of the competition] is to put Selangor on the map as a food destination for local and foreign tourists,” said Elizabeth Wong. The state executive councillor for tourism said just as health and education tourism have proven to be viable ideas, food tourism will appeal to those who are keen to try something new. The joint organisers are Storm Studio and Bright Lights After Midnight, two Klang Valley-based creative agencies that came up with the unique idea to promote food tourism. A series of activities has been planned throughout the year, making food tourism in Selangor an ongoing programme. June has been earmarked as the official food month for Selangor, and the competition will kickstart the event by highlighting the state as a food haven. “The competition is a short cut to identifying the best food available in Selangor by mobilising bloggers to uncover delicious delights,” said Fazly Razally. The Tourism Selangor events and marketing manager said the blogs would encourage people to visit the various districts of Selangor as the competition covers the entire state. Existing and new bloggers are encouraged to take part in the competition, which begins on May 1. Participants can visit www.selangorlicious.my for more information. The competition is open to people of all ages. Participants can write about their meals at any food outlet, big or small, in 400 to 800 words. Blogging about home-cooked meals is not accepted. Each entry must be accompanied by photos of the meal and submitted via the website. Prizes: 1st – RM5,000 and a holiday package. 2nd – RM3,000 and a holiday package. 3rd – RM1,500 and dinner vouchers. Consolation – 3xRM500 cash prizes and dinner vouchers. Best Food Photography – RM1,000 and a digital SLR camera. Best Food Photography (Runner-up) – a digital camera. Best Food Photography (Consolation) – a digital camera. Weekly prizes – Goodie hampers.

Wong is joined by Storm Studio managing director Amri Rohayat, Adam Swee, and Fazly at the launch of the competition.

By Basil Foo

PETALING JAYA: A free car park has been built in Section 10 on Jalan Gasing to alleviate the longstanding problem of insufficient parking space and traffic congestion. “We are thankful for this great project, which we were also involved in during the input-gathering sessions,” said Ronald Danker at the car park launch on April 2. The Section 10 Residents Association president said the traffic congestion, which had occurred for over 10 years, was made worse by the nearby SMJK Katholik school. There were also regular occurrences of double or sometimes triple parking because of the nearby St Francis Xavier Church. “One of the problems of urbanisation is parking. This is to ease some of your problems,” said Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillor Derek John Fernandez. He said the budget for the project, at a cost of RM465,000, was approved in 2009. But the car park was only constructed this year and took three months to complete. The parking lot contains 116 bays and is only open to light vehicles like cars and vans. Heavy vehicles like lorries and buses are barred using a height limit barrier. Members of the public will be able to park their cars from 7am to 9.30pm every day, but their vehicles might get towed if they leave them past the time limit. “At the moment there will not be any overnight parking to avoid people abandoning their vehicles here,” said Fernandez. The parking lot, situated next to several well-known chicken rice restaurants, aims to reduce the number of cars being parked on road shoulders, especially along roads 10/1, 10/4, and 10/5. In a council statement, the police, beginning from April 15, will be issuing summonses along those three roads. (Front, from left) Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee, SMJK “We will also be installing closed- Katholik principal Lee Kim Lai, Fernandez, and Datuk Roslan. circuit cameras (CCTV) in the car park at a cost of RM33,000 and a under Tenaga Nasional Berhad will be about 12ft above the car park. netting above it for RM100,000,” (TNB) electric cables. “We will consult TNB for addihe said. According to Fernandez, TNB tional advice, but putting the netting The netting is a metal wiring to had approved the safety aspect of the is a long-term plan to keep the car cover the car park as it is situated project, and the netting wire mesh park safe,” said Petaling Jaya mayor

Smoother roads with free car park

news 15
April 8 — 10, 2011

The free car park at Petaling Jaya Section 10, which was open for public use recently.

Datuk Mohammad Roslan Sakiman. Commuters were urged to take care of the cleanliness of the parking lot as it is meant for public use, and as the council cannot afford to have weekly gotong-royong to clean the place. He also said a task force will be formed to clamp down on litterbugs by issuing fines within two months. Flyers on the decision will

be out soon. Fernandez also said plans for additional free car parks in the city have been considered, and the next area would be near the Asia Jaya LRT (Light Rail Transit) station. “I have also begun an application process to get the support of the state government to use their fixed reserves [for projects like this],” he added.

Selayang tops dengue cases
SELAYANG: The Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) has so far recorded the highest number of dengue cases in Selangor this year. A report monitoring dengue cases in the municipality showed 151 positive cases from January to March 15. While there have been no casualties, MPS plans to increase the number of gotong-royong activities to increase awareness on the disease. “I urge councillors to work with residents’ committees to hold activities that will make people aware of dengue mosquito breeding habits,” said MPS chairperson Datuk Zainal Abidin. He said dengue could only be eradicated when the public heed warnings that Aedes mosquitoes breed in stagnated water. In his speech at a council meeting on March 30, he announced that 67 cases were reported in February, with the MPS carrying out fogging operations on 45,639 premises. Out of 1,848 residential and business premises that were checked, 100 were found to have positive cases.  MPS has also issued 18 compounds to land owners who did not adhere to dengue-prevention methods under the Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act 1975. “Out of the premises that were checked, three areas have been found to be dengue hotspots (Dahlia and Palma Apartments in Bandar Country Homes and Taman Muhibbah Batu 16),” he said. When asked if MPS would follow the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s lead in releasing mosquito eaters to destroy dengue mosquitos, Zainal said, “If MPSJ is undertaking the study to see the effectiveness of the mosquito killers, there is no point in repeating their study.” Also discussed at the meeting was the collection of assessment tax by the council, which until February had received RM29.5 million from a total of RM35.1 million. Also collected were assessment tax arrears of RM2.7 million. “As this is the main income of the council, we will continue to push for payment of the remaining assessment tax [owed to us] so that we can proceed with development projects,” said Zainal. He added that the council went to 1,979 premises for the collections, with 38 premises having their properties repossessed for failing to pay up.

Plan to ensure taps run clean
By Alvin Yap

landfill sites at Sungai Kembong and Sungai Pajam are PUTRAJAYA: World Health being managed and treated to Organisation (WHO) standards prevent leachate from reachare now being used to safeguard ing groundwater. vital fresh water from the Seme“That programme is on nyih river and dam. track. Previously it was dicey Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd as no one was managing the (Abass), which treats the water, landfill,” explained Abas. said the new standards are part of He was referring to an the company’s water safety plan Abas Abdullah (left) and Abbas senior incident in September last to safeguard drinking water.  year when the water treatmanager Sazli Mohd Salleh. Abbas  chief executive Abas ment plant here was shut Abdullah said they continue to face ecological and envi- down for the whole day due to leachate leaking into ronmental challenges in treating water from upstream.  Sungai Kembong and Sungai Semenyih. “The challenges at Hulu Semenyih are from landfills The situation, he said, was currently under control due at Sungai Kembong and Sungai Pajam. We are also af- to treatment and monitoring from World Wide Holdings fected by illegal sand-mining activities,” he said. under its subsidiary Worldwide Landfills Sdn Bhd. “Another problem is ammonia content due to old Abas said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had Indah Water Konsortium treatment plants upstream.” visited the landfill site at Sungai Pajam recently, and exAbas said the plan is part of the National Water Ser- pressed concern over the environmental issues. vices Commission’s (SPAN) move to ensure safety of He also said Abass is looking into ways to reduce drinking water through the use of risk assessment man- sludge waste from treating upstream water. agement from “catchment to consumer”. Abas explained that the company is partnering with The company is applying for International Standardi- local universities in carrying out research on turning sation Organisation and Risk Management certification sludge into biodegradable waste. with Moody’s Risk Management Agency. The plant is part of the Sungai Semenyih Water Sup“The auditors from Moody’s will audit us on com- ply Scheme. It produces 135 million gallons of water pliance with international standards in water produc- daily to parts of Bandar Baru Bangi, Klang, Petaling Jaya, tion,” said Abas during the launch of the programme Puchong, Shah Alam, Sepang, Seri Kembangan and USJ. at its Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant in PuAbass is partly owned by Kumpulan Perangsang trajaya last Friday. Selangor Berhad, a subsidiary of Kumpulan Darul On the ecological challenges, Abas reiterated that the Ehsan Berhad.

food 16
April 8 — 10, 2011

Shelf decor.

By Basil Foo

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onsisting of indoor and outdoor sections that were always full of customers, The Little Pantry in IOI Mall Puchong seemed to be a favourite among diners here. The first time we noticed this restaurant was during Valentine’s Day recently, but what attracted our attention most was the prevalent use of pink and flowers. The outdoor entrance was decorated like a garden patio, and upon entering, we were greeted cheerfully by waitresses in French maid-like uniforms. The expansive establishment also included a closed section, Flower decor at the indoor entrance of The Little Pantry. possibly for private parties, which looked like the dining room of a meticulously designed house. While restaurants usually just throw anything on their walls for a vintage feel, The Little Pantry seemed to have been decorated by a tidy person fond of gardening and tea parties. The menu presented us with a wide selection of Western and Asian cuisine. We opted for the former this time. Arriving as soon as our appetites were sufficiently whetted from looking at the food on surrounding tables, the Spaghetti Beef Bolognese (RM15.90) was a hearty edition of the crowd staple. Soft Shell Crab Salad. While this dish usually suffers from insufficient sauce or overly salad with, as its seafood taste can was featured on a full page in the floury noodles, the flavours of this be quite overpowering if eaten on menu, we had high expectations version were a pleasant blend with its own. of this dish. We were not disapa side of Parmesan for taste. The vegetables were crisp and pointed. The savoury dish had a good fulfilled all the expectations of a The lamb meat came easily off balance of noodles and meat and salad, but the quantity of sauce the bone and was surprisingly tenretained its heat well, but none- left much to be desired. It could der, given that most other lamb theless should be enjoyed as soon have been improved with more dishes we have tried have been of a as it is served. varieties of greens. chewier consistency. The Soft Shell Crab Salad Next up was the centrepiece of Mint sauce was not included in (RM11.90) was a strong-tasting the whole meal – the Braised the original presentation but was fried soft-shell crab with a mix- Lamb Shank (RM28.90) – which available upon request, and thyme ture of greens dressed in creamy was arranged standing up on a was also used extensively in the cilantro sauce. platform of mashed potato and dish’s sauce. It is advisable to divide the crab mushroom sauce. Another hearty dish was the in enough portions to eat the As an impressive photo of it S t u f f e d C h i c k e n B r e a s t (RM23.90), which comprised several chunks of the meat encasing mushroom ragout and served Stuffed Chicken Breast. with mashed potatoes. The dish was a warm blend of wild mushrooms and its accompanying sauce, but perhaps its flavours could have been better enhanced with some cheese, like a Cordon Bleu. While probably costing more than your average neighbourhood restaurant, diners would be pleasantly surprised with The Little Pantry. Requests were promptly attended to by the friendly staff, and overall food quality exceeded expectations. The Little Pantry is located on the ground level of IOI Mall, Puchong. Braised Lamb Shank. Spaghetti Beef Bolognese.

Saying it with pink and flowers

FICTION 17
ARPIL 8 — 10, 2011

Cinta Satay
By Amir Muhammad

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he had six months to find him. She would be reaching a milestone birthday then, and if her friends gave her another surprise cake, it would come with the customary joke that a fire extinguisher would be needed to extinguish all the candles. She didn’t need a fire extinguisher; she just wanted a guy beside her to help her blow. Getting dates was the easy part, as she was an eligible bachelorette. But each guy would need to pass the satay test to go further. The satay stall was a semi-autonomous region across from a restaurant near her apartment. The restaurant really came alive at night, which meant that it was more fun to be there with someone else. Satay orders could be made to the restaurant staff but payment had to be made separately, upon delivery, to the satay-maker Sam. His stall closed only on rainy nights. On a dry night in the first month, she brought a guy named Rais. He was full of florid praise for everything about her. But she noticed he didn’t even look at Sam when ordering. Worse, he complained too loudly when there weren’t enough nasi impit cubes for his liking. You could tell a lot about a guy from the way he behaved to people he considered beneath him. Rais was rude, and so he didn’t go further. On a dry night in the second month, she brought a guy named Daniel. He was punctual when he picked her up, which was such a rare quality. But she noticed that he didn’t eat any of the kuah satay. When she asked why, he said,

“It makes things messy.” This made her look at him in a new light. A man who couldn’t handle messiness would also be less fun and spontaneous later. Daniel was dry, and so he didn’t go further. On a dry night in the third month, she brought a guy named Ivan. He had great taste in clothes and aftershave. But she noticed something off-putting when he ordered the satay. “We’ll have only the beef. Chicken’s lame, and mutton’s gross,” he told Sam. She was taken aback. Did she have no say in the matter of which slain animal she might like? Ivan was inconsiderate, and so he didn’t go further.

You could tell a lot about a guy from the way he behaved to people he considered beneath him.”
On a dry night in the fourth month, she brought a guy named Prakash. He had a very nice car, the kind she could imagine disappearing into while forgetting the congestion that might be on the road or in her head. But something happened as soon as he ordered 10 chicken and 10 mutton sticks for himself (she was not hungry this time). “Why?” she asked, since it seemed to be expected of her. “It’s to remind myself that in life, we can’t always get what we want. We have to deal with even negative eventualities. So if I ordered only chicken, which is what I love, I’d be lulling

image source: sxc.hu

myself into a false state of comfort. So I force myself to also eat mutton.” He went on and on, not noticing that her eyes were glazing over. He didn’t want a date, but an audience. Prakash was ponderous, and so he didn’t go further. On a dry night in the fifth month, she brought a guy named Ghani. He was in an industry that was related to hers. So they had many matters of mutual interest, and that helped to keep the conversation lively. In fact, everything seemed to go swimmingly. She thought she’d finally found the ideal guy for the birthday party, which was only a month away. She had no problems with how he chose, ordered or ate the satay. It was only when he ostentatiously used a stick, now stripped of

meat, as a toothpick that she felt dismay. He kept doing it for the rest of the conversation, which grew less scintillating as it progressed. Ghani was gross, and so he didn’t go further. Almost a month later, she was at the restaurant alone. It was raining. Sam, who couldn’t open his stall, asked shyly if he could sit with her. She was surprised but was happy for the company. They started talking. They’d had no reason to speak to each other before; aside from the capitalist barrier of customer/provider, she had always been busy with her dates and he with his orders. But now that they were unoccupied, she found herself having fun. She didn’t even mind not having satay, because they ended up doing other things later. Sam was sexy, and he skewered his way to the next stage perfectly.

Double joy for Yee siblings
Talented 13-year-old figure skater Naomi Peh Ju Xian Haeger from Singapore. Ryan Yee Zhi-Jwen, 15, Malaysia’s first skater to pass the International Skating Union (ISU) Senior Test.

By Alicia Mun

SUBANG JAYA: There was double joy for the Yee brothers last weekend as Ryan and Julian Yee managed to top their respective groups during the 6th Malaysia National Figure Skating Championships (MNFSC) held at the Sunway Pyramid ice rink. Older brother Ryan, who is already a veteran in the figure skating scene in Malaysia, grabbed the Senior Men’s crown with a total of 135.44 points. However, the 15-year-old, who represented Malaysia in the recent 7th Asian Winter Games (AWG), was the sole entry in the Senior Men’s category. Ryan said he felt good to be able to compete with expe-

rienced skaters of top level during the AWG in Kazakhstan in January. “I started skating since I was six as I used to follow my mum to the ice rink,” he said. “Figure skating is fun yet challenging and it is a very good sport.” Younger sibling Julian managed to edge out three other skaters to bag the Junior Men’s category with a convincing performance. Julian collected 108.85 points, while second-placed Bryan Christopher Tan finished with 98.2 points. Third-placed Chan Zhen Feng finished with 98.17 points. In the Ladies Junior event, Raya Willoughby defended her title again after finishing with 74.14 points, edging out the other contestant Ching Siau Chian (66.66 points). According to competition director Norrizah Ismail, the winners of the respective categories will go on to represent Malaysia in the various junior figure skating tournaments this year. “The junior season is expected to begin in July and there

are eight Grand Prix tournaments,” said Norrizah. “But we are still waiting for the organisers to decide which country will host the competitions.” Last weekend’s championships drew 83 participants, aged from six to 26, from seven countries: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, India and New Zealand. The panel of judges consisted of 2006 Winter Olympics (Torino, Italy) referee Rita Zonnekeyn and Malaysia’s first national judge Jennifer Low. The 6th MNFSC is organised by the Ice Skating Association of Malaysia (ISAM) with the support of the National Fitness Council and sponsored by Sunway Pyramid Ice, 100PLUS, Nestlé Milo and Shaklee. ISAM president Datin Laila Abdullah said Malaysia’s biggest handicap now in terms of figure skating is the lack of an Olympic-sized ice rink in the country. “This has to be looked into urgently if we are looking at being represented and achieving results,” she said.

TRAVEL 18
april 8 — 10, 2011

Fishermen’s market of Pasir Panjang
A highway cruise to nowhere often leads to surprising discoveries. LIN ZHENYUAN feels the heartbeat of Pasir Panjang on a northbound journey
fisherfolk. Others are involved in agricultural activities like rice cultivation and the planting of crops like eggplant, fruits, vegetables and chilli. The rest of the people in this sparsely populated area hold jobs in the private, public and manufacturing sectors. However, in recent years, development has crept up on the area and the look of Pasir Panjang is undergoing a gradual transformation. About half of the residents are farmers whose average income is about RM1,000 a month. The farmers work on their own plots of about one to 1.6 acres, and are mainly involved in oil palm or paddy. Their products are sold to intermediaries and wholesalers who distribute them to nearby towns around the region. On the day I stumbled upon the fishermen’s market in Pasir Panjang, business was The sign that tells you business is in full swing. operating at full throttle. The amount of agricultural produce was a feast to city eyes area as it was sold in abundance. There was a like mine. market vendor who came from Kampung Petai seemed to be rather popular in this Lope in Sabak Bernam near the Perak border to do business here. Others were selling “kue teaw goreng” and keropok lekor. At RM1.50 per packet of the fried noodles, it wasn’t considered costly at all. Other enterprising women were making good money selling Malay dishes. On a table were plastic bags of beehoon with pre-packed ingredients and gravy that is usually packed separately for customers. There was an ice-cream seller who sold his sticks of “ais potong” utilising an uncommon method. He had an aluminium tub designed with cone-shaped slots. Inside the tub, which could be rotated manually, were chunks of dry ice. The vendor poured chocolate milk or strawberry chocolate milk from one-litre cartons into plastic tubes and stirred the tub. Within minutes, the chocolate milk would solidify and a customer would have his “ice cream á la kampung”. Quite an ingenious way of pleasing and enticing young children. Near the fishermen’s market was a mini market that looked more like a grocery shop. Nevertheless, the owner saw it fit to advertise Fried chicken and nasi lemak are popular among kampung folk. Petai lovers will love Pasir Panjang for its abundance. his business outlet as a “mini market”.

I

f you are on the road to Tanjung Karang heading north, Sekinchan will soon meet you halfway. Before long, you will be passing Kampung Sungai Leman. A few more minutes later, Pasir Panjang and its green acres will rush to meet you. Anytime between 8.30am and 6.30pm, you will probably come across the fisherman’s market, or Pasar Nelayan. The trading site is under the auspices of the Fishermen’s Association of Sungai Besar. The heartbeat of this place emanates from Kampung Pasir Panjang. Pasir Panjang shares its boundaries with Sungai Besar and Sekinchan. Kampung Pasir Panjang also comes under the jurisdiction of the Besut district council of Selangor. Besut is situated near the border of Selangor and Perak. More than three quarters of the population of Kampung Pasir Panjang are descendants of Javanese who settled here around 1915. The population of this village is about 3,000. Since the sea is within cycling distance, a sizeable number of the residents here are

Life is simple and fairly uncomplicated in Pasir Panjang.

TRAVEL 19
april 8 — 10, 2011


Take 5 minutes to fill this form up and drop it off at the nearest police station to have regular checks at your house while you are away.
Fried mee and koay teow for takeaways.

Ibu pejabat polIs Daerah subang jaya

Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815
Borang maklumaT Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk bercuti. Kepada Kawasan pentadbiran balai polis .............................................................................................. BuTiran penduduk: nama: .................................................................................. alamat: ................................................................................. .............................................................................................. .............................................................................................. nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................ nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................ .............................................................................................. tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................ tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ........................................... Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar kenderaan). 1. .......................................................................................... 2. .......................................................................................... 3. .......................................................................................... lain-lain maklumat: ..............................................................................................

Past-times in Pasir Panjang generally involve games like sepak takraw, football and fishing. Anglers normally try their luck at the Kampung Pasir Panjang wharf or at the nearby Sungai Nibong. The Pasir Panjang district consists of 15 villages. There is a local resort called the Nibong Beach Resort located in Kampung Nibong near the Pasir Panjang village. Visitors who come here on weekends or public holidays are usually from Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Apparently, the most popular stretch is nicknamed the “23-mile beach”. People from as far as Negri Sembilan and Malacca come here to enjoy the sea, the beach, the food and deep-sea fishing. Boats are available for hire for anglers who “want to catch the big ones”. But daily market activities centre on Pasar Nelayan. It is the melting pot of Pasir Panjang. The simple country lifestyle co-exists with the agro-

based culture of this rural settlement, where the spirit of community co-operation or gotong royong is practised in its best form. Pasir Panjang is also well known for its version of “tempeh”, which is a high-protein food made of partially fermented, cooked soya beans. The origins of tempeh can be traced back to Indonesia. Malay housewives who are familiar with this dish will tell you that tempeh can be prepared with other ingredients like red kidney beans, coconut, small white beans, wheat, oats and barley. How it will all turn out depends very much on the experience and culinary knowledge of the tempeh chef. Apparently, Pasir Panjang has its share of tempeh experts. Pasir Panjang is one of those small villages that’s hardly a blip on a traveller’s radar, but when you stop and have a good look, the sights and sounds will astound you.

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

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

Have you cHecked your electrical switcHes before leaving Home?
Before leaving your home for a holoday, have you checked all your electrical switches and turned off your gas tanks?
The ice cream vendor who makes his own stuff.

Call the SS17 BomBa for advise at

03-5634 9444

FEATURES 20
APRIL 8 — 10, 2011

Cheating with technology
F
or this week’s insight into chess, I would like to touch upon a topic of some controversy that has been largely ignored until the French Chess Federation, in an unprecedented move, took action against members of its own national team. They had used an elaborate system of SMSes among themselves to communicate computer analyses of their ongoing games. What was difficult to understand was how players of such strength would need to do this, and if there were any real practical benefits. Chess is today regarded as a sport. Computers are widely used in training, from databases of your games and that of your opponents to studying or playing training games from preset positions added by computer analysis. It was also interesting that a Grandmaster had moaned on Facebook about how his rating was slipping because he no longer studied openings as he wanted to just play chess, but could not help getting into trouble with players who were avid users of technology. But the shocker came following a game played recently at the European Championship in an article titled Massacre of the Innocents by “Mishanp”, on the website Chess in Translation. Sergey Fedorchuk (2662) – Saša Martinović (2504) Aix-les-Bains 2011 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.N2f3 Bb4+ 8.Bd2 0–0 9.Bc4 And this is where it begins. 9…e5! (Diagram 1)

Get smart! Play chess!
By Peter Long peterlong@aol.asia

Martinović spent even a little time thinking. Up to that point he still had his original hour and a half on the clock. The 30-second increment for each move had been more than enough to conduct the game. 15.Bxe6 Nc6! This computer trick could no longer have surprised anyone. There followed: 16.Bxf8 Qe5+ 17.Kb3 (or 17.Kc4 Rxf8 18.Bd5 Qf4+ with mate) 17…Nd4+ 18.Kb4 Qb5+ 19.Kc3 (Diagram 2)

Knowing what followed, it’s easy to recommend withdrawing the knight to e2, but at this point Fedorchuk still had not grasped the strength of his opponent’s preparation. He simply didn’t know who he was dealing with. It goes without saying that taking the pawn on e5, without having looked at it beforehand, was problematic. 10.Nb5 e4! I think that after this move Sergey must already have suspected that he was in trouble. But it was already too late. The fight had begun. 11.Bxd5 In the line 11.Bxb4 Nxb4 12.Qxd8 Rxd8 13.Ne5 Nxc2+ 14.Ke2 Nxa1 15.Nxf7 (or 15.Rxa1 Be6 16.Bxe6 fxe6 17.Nc7 Nd7 18.Nxd7 Rac8! -+) 15… Bg4+ 16.Ke3 Nc2+ 17.Kf4 Black would win with the exquisite blow 17… Be2!! followed by 18.Nxd8+ Bxc4 19.Nc7 Nc6! and so on. 11…exf3! 12.Bxb4 And if 12.Bxf3 Re8+ 13.Be2 Bg4 14.f3, then even an amateur would see the elegant mating conclusion 14…Bxf3! 15.gxf3 Qh4+ 16.Kf1 Bc5 17.Be1 Qh3#! Never mind the computer. It’s also not hard to guess that the line 12.0–0 Qxd5 13.Bxb4 Qxb5 14.Bxf8 Kxf8 15.Qd6+ Ke8 16.a4 Qc4 17.Qg3 Be6 18.Qxg7 Qg4! (with a big advantage for Black) would have been taken care of by the great hurricane. 12…Qe8+! Elegant geometry, don’t you think? 13.Kd2 Qxb5 14.Kc3 A desperate king dashes under fire and has allowed White to keep his pieces, but a new salvo follows. 14…Be6! This was the first move in the game on which 19…Ne2+ Black wins the queen. White resigned, not even having managed to get to the 20-move mark! You’ll agree that was a massacre. A top class player was simply wiped from the board.

Feast of international tourneys ahead
KUDOS to the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) for holding both the National Age Groups and Malaysian Closed Championships in March, as there are many international events, both official and traditional, that take off this month. Since the basis for the selection of national representatives is already in place, hopefully MCF will be consistent in the criteria they have formulated while remaining flexible where necessary, because at the end of the day, most of the top players are not full-time chess players. First up is the 11th Thailand Open to be held at the Dusit Thani in Pattaya from April 1117. This is the most “western” of reg ular Asian International Open Championships and is an excellent choice for budding amateurs. For more details, visit www.apcoa.net. Next is the Asian Cities Team Championship for the Dubai Cup, which will be held in Jakarta from April 21-29, and where last year’s National Inter State Team Champions Penang will be representing Malaysia. World Championship qualification starts with the superstrong Asian Continental Championship in Iran from May 1-11, while all eyes will be on the Asian Youth Championships in Subic, Philippines from May 14-22, where many of our top juniors are expected to play. Hopefully, Malaysia’s junior champions will also try and make it to the Asian Junior Championships in Colombo, Sri Lanka from June 1-11 as this is the banner event for aspiring young talents, and a great platform for our juniors to vie for an International Master title. Concurrently, the Sri Lanka Chess Federation is also organising the Asian Seniors Championship. The next tournament for young players to look forward to is the ASEAN+ Age Groups Championships which will be held in Indonesia (Kalimantan) from June 12-21. This year, too, the World Junior Championship returns to Asia and will be in Chennai from Aug 1-16, and is a much bigger deal if Malaysia’s top young talents are serious to see where they rank among their peers. MCF also plans to send our top juniors to the World U-16 Youth Olympiad in Sanliurfa, Turkey from Oct 23 to Nov 1. On the local front, the Malaysian Open will be held from July 20-26.

Revenue collection improves in Selangor
By Gan Pei Ling

SHAH ALAM: Selangor’s 12 local governments collected more than RM977 million, including outstanding arrears, from ratepayers last year. Petaling Jaya City Council topped the list with close to RM172 million in revenue last year, followed by Shah Alam City Council (RM156 million) and Subang Jaya Municipal Council (RM155 million). Councils from other urban areas such as Kajang collected RM70 million. In stark contrast, district councils from rural areas such as Kuala Selangor, Kuala Langat and Hulu Selangor collected between RM13 million and RM26 million. Sabak Bernam district council, which has no subsidiaries, recorded the lowest income with RM3.65 million in 2010.

 The overall collection rate for all local councils was 90.87% for current collection and 58.57% for outstanding arrears. Executive councillor Ronnie Liu told the press on Monday that overall, the local councils’ revenue has been increasing steadily since 2008. 2008 2009 2010 RM 892.52 million 928.10 million 977.36 million

Liu advised the local councils to use some of their financial reserve to repair roads and improve local facilities for the people. On a separate matter, Selangor also announced on Monday that it would fork out RM500,000 to rebuild a burnt-down longhouse and repair mosques in Sarawak.

SHAH ALAM: After the success of townships in Damansara, Shah Alam, Mont Kiara and Semenyih in the Klang Valley, Sunway City Bhd will unveil yet another iconic master integrated development tomorrow. Located just 3.8km from Kuala Lumpur City Centre, the new development, Sunway Velocity, is about to change the way people live, work and play. The mixed commercial development comprising service apartments and retail shops will merge office and home needs, recreation and wellness with shopping and entertainment. Sunway Velocity’s Phase 1A, which comprises 124 units of shop offices, is due to be launched tomorrow. Its service apartments are scheduled to be launched in the second quarter of 2011.

Sunway to launch Velocity
Tomorrow’s launch will be at the Sunway Velocity Sales Gallery from 6.30pm to 9.30pm, and will be held together with the Velocity City Street Party. The retail shops are priced from RM2.4 million, and office suites are priced from RM1.2 million onwards. The indicative pricing for the 264 units of service apartments is from RM600,000 onwards. Unlike other developments, the advantage of Sunway Velocity begins with superb connectivity. This new hub of activity will be connected via major roads and highways, plus public transportation including the LRT and a proposed MRT station. Sunway Velocity will also ease the way traffic flows in this booming quarter of KL with a direct tunnel and underpass cutting across Jalan Cheras. The numbers and the facts are equally impressive as KL’s next landmark development features a
Environmental Deck at Level 1.

Media 21
April 8 — 10, 2011

lifestyle shopping mall of over a million square feet, with more than 5,000 parking bays, a pedestrianfriendly environmental deck and a two-acre Central Park. Beautifully integrated with luxury service apartments and topnotch shop-offices spread over 22 acres of valuable freehold land, Sunway Velocity embraces the latest technologies in design and architecture to enhance your life, day in, day out. Sunway Velocity is also where you can inject stylish vigour into your life whether at work, business or at home. The pedestrianfriendly elevated environmental deck links all three. Basking in a lush, bright and breezy ambience, you can enjoy shopping or simply observe the scenes of day-to-day outdoor living. Al fresco dining and wining takes on the ultimate in

style and comfort. In the heart of it all is the huge Central Park. In line with Sunway embracing the Lohas philosophy, the Central Park is a two-acre green lung offering tranquil and wholesome moments to help balance the pace of work with play and leisure. For more details about the development and the launch, contact 03 -92055500 or 012-3189656.

GSC Alamanda celebrates third anniversary
SHAH ALAM: Make your way to Alamanda this month as Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) Alamanda celebrates its third anniversary. From April 3, moviegoers will be rewarded with a GSC “Buy 1 Free 1” or “Buy 2 Free 1” voucher with ever y purchase of two GSC Alamanda movie tickets in a single transaction, while stocks last. At the GSC concession counter, grab a Combo 2 and be rewarded with a Cars 2 car decal. The Cars 2 car decals are available in two designs, featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater on the first, and the main characters company they belong to. With their people of the Cars 2 movie on the second propelled to greatness through coaching, design. companies will forge ahead of others and This giveaway is for a limited accelerate better results”, he added. period, while stocks last. Omnicom Media Group is the media On April 10, GSC will also host services division of Omnicom Group, Inc., a the Hop Roadshow, featuring global advertising, marketing and corporate games, activities and movie precommunications company. miums to be won. ICF is a non-profit organisation formed by Also be sure to catch the professionals who practise coaching. With upcoming movies in GSC Alamanda over 17,000 members, it is the largest this April such as Hop, Cun, Just Go worldwide resource for professional coaches, With It, Rio and many more. and a source for those who are seeking a coach. For showtimes and further MACC is an independent and non-profit information, log on to www.gsc. national coach community of certified and/or com.my or www.gscmobile.com.my. trained coaches and coach-students of the GSC is the leading cinema International Coach Federation (ICF) and exhibitor and distributor in other coach-learning institutions Malaysia, with a total of 180 screens Coaching Standards is available free of cost. in 22 locations around the country. However, individual and corporate donations Currently, GSC has 40 digital will enable the printing of more books. halls nationwide, which includes To get a free copy, contact MACC at 03the larg est d ig ita l ha l l : the 62054488 or email mikeheah@corporate555-seater GSC Maxx on the 10th coach.com. floor of Berjaya Times Square.

GSC Alamanda

SHAH ALAM: Ushering a new chapter in the coaching industry in Malaysia, Corporate Coach Academy (CCA), the Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches (MACC), and media network Omnicom Media Group unveiled the first-ever handbook for the Malaysian coaching industry – Coaching Standards. Coaching Standards, which was launched last Friday, aims to set the benchmark for the coaching industry, guide coaches and coach aspirants on the path to excellence, and enable the sharing of best practices. It also aims to educate the public to be more discerning in differentiating between welltrained coaches and untrained ones. “At PHD and OMD (leading agencies of Omnicom Media), we believe in putting people first above everything else, and we are relentless in our efforts in engaging, motivating and nurturing our staff to excel. “The launch of Coaching Standards is about success, self actualisation, and achieving outstanding results. As a group, we firmly believe in staying true to our 3Ps principle – People, Product and Profit. “Sponsoring the first-ever coaching

Handbook on coaching standards

(From left) Vogiatzakis, Heah and Lim during the launch last Friday.

standards handbook is in perfect sync with our motto of walking the talk”, said Andreas Vogiatzakis, managing director of Omnicom Media Group, Malaysia. Dr Michael Heah, CEO of CCA and MACC chairperson, stressed that “one of the key aims of this book is to help raise the awareness in our industry, to become a catalyst for change and to set an example for others to follow”. “Coaching is an increasingly critical tool that is beneficial to both individuals and the

Gallery 22
April 8 — 10, 2011 More than 3,000 students attended the state-sponsored Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) workshop held in Shah Alam late last year. The state allocates RM3.45 million for this programme, which is open to SPM candidates whose families earn less than RM1,500 a month.

About 300 students from SM Teknik Sepang, Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah, Sekolah Sri Putri Cyberjaya, SMK Precint (16) 1 Putrajaya and Selangor Recreation Club students were taught about the water treatment process by Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd last Saturday in Putrajaya as part of its public education campaign.

Residents raising their concerns to Bukit Lanjan assemblyperson Elizabeth Wong, councillor Lee Khai Loon and Gombak assistant district officer Nor Zaidi Ratiman after a formal briefing on land and local issues in Kepong last Sunday. Residents of Taman Ehsan And Desa Jaya were surprised to be told that their final leasehold titles were ready, as they were not aware that they had been holding temporary or qualified land titles all this while.

Demonstrators protesting against nuclear power plant development at the jetty of Pulau Ketam on Wednesday. The protest was spearheaded by DAP division chairperson Ivan Ho Fook Keong, Pas secretary for the Klang branch Mohd Prasad Hanif, and Klang MP Charles Santiago (second from left). On Charles’s left is Klang Municipal councillor Yeo Boon Lye.

At the launch of a voter-registration campaign – part of Pakatan Rakyat’s Layar Rakyat programme – at a morning market in Taman Greenwood, Selayang on April 3.

Divas bring Vegas to Shah Alam
By Basil Foo

Culture 23
April 8 — 10, 2011

SHAH ALAM: A Secretaries Week luncheon at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) turned out to be an intimate affair when two celebrities took to the floor to serenade 800 guests. The show, dubbed Divas Las Vegas, saw invited crooners Anita Sarawak and Noryn Aziz show some personal touches to their performance as they moved table to table greeting the secretaries. “I hope all of you are having a good time; if you’d like, feel free to sing and dance along with me,” announced Anita after she entered the hall to cheers from the audience. Dressed in a glittering pantsuit covered by a large blue-feathered coat and looking every inch the diva, she brought her own brand of Vegas-themed entertainment to the show. Bursting into rock anthems like Queen’s We Will Rock You and lounging on onstage furniture while singing sentimental Malay ballads, she also sang Sinatra’s New York, New York. “When I was performing in Vegas, and although it is a song about a different city, this song by Frank Sinatra was a crowd favourite,” she said before singing the song accompanied by Broadwaystyle dancers. Noryn also took time between her songs to chat up members of the audience and take pictures with them. Hosted by Raja Lawak runner-up Zizan Razak and actress Juliana Evans, Divas Las Vegas not only treated guests to a lunch spread but also lucky draw prizes. Up for lucky audience members was a set of luxury furniture from Empire Classic Furniture worth RM45,000, and a set of green agate and pearl jewelry from Elegance Club worth RM60,000. The most well-dressed secretary was chosen to win the Best Dressed award and went back with a gown from Ashley@ Kapas worth over RM3,000. “It is apparent we have the ability to host events of international standard,” said Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad. The SACC chief executive officer stressed that not only was a performance by the two celebrities highlighted, but SACC also guaranteed the quality of the food served.

Noryn struts her stuff.

TheATre / Music / DAnce
Indicine Live! 3
Theatre; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; April 6-17, 2011; RM35 / RM25; www. klpac.org
Following a sold-out 2010 season, Indicine Live! returns with more sketch comedy highlighting various aspects of Malaysian life, directed by KLPac’s director-in-residence Kelvin Wong. Featuring the writing of Patrick Lee, Ema Mahyuni, Adriana Nordin Manan, Nina Shah, Freddy Tan, Tung Jit Yang and Amir Yunos; starring Siti Farrah Abdullah, Sani Zanial Ibrahim, Oliver Johanan, and Shirin Jauhari, among others.

Compiled by Nick Choo

Odissi Stirred
Dance; Sutra Dance Theatre; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; April 6-10, 2011; RM53/RM33; 03-40479000; www.klpac.org
Featuring works from contemporary Odissi choreographers Sharmila Biswas (Kolkata), Madhavi Mudgal (New Delhi), and Ramli Ibrahim and Guna (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Comprising three dance performances – Evocations, Pallavan and Kamala – each drawing upon and and inspired by the Odissi tradition, one of the most dynamic Indian classical dance styles. “One takes us back to its folk and rural tradition of games and drums; another moves us beyond to the experimental, creating new works with compelling images and messages.”

Madu II
Theatre; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10; April 6-10, 2011; RM33/RM23; 0321422009 / 21432009; www.theactorsstudio. com.my
Polygamy. We hear about it, we read about it, and often we are told what to think about it. What is it like to be a madu (co-wife) in a modern world? Writer U-En Ng, in his directorial debut, leads the audience to contemplate the extent of polygamy in Malaysia and the controversial issues that revolves around it. Singaporean playwright Alfian Sa’at’s Madu II contains the quiet hopes, shattered dreams, compromised joys and honest humanity of women who live in polygamous households. “It is at once breathtaking as it is heartbreaking, uproarious in its humour, pathos and outrage.” Featuring real-life sisters Elza Irdalynna and Inessa Irdayanty; in Malay with English surtitles.

Fantastikal Strings
Concert; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; April 9 and 10, 2011; RM35 / RM15; www.klpac.org
Fantastikal Strings’ programme features folk songs and well-known classical pieces such as Pachelbel’s Kanon, Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Dvorak’s The New World Symphony. The ensemble will also be playing the theme song from the blockbuster movie Titanic as well as an old favourite popularised by the late Teresa Teng, The Moon Represents My Heart. Conducted by Dr Takahisa Ota, music director and resident conductor of the KLpac String Ensemble.

Anita wows the crowd.

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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