residents want Green lunG, not septic tank p 7

Neighbours spat over illegal barriers p 2

Greater transparency with sunshine law p 12 & 13

community

April 15 — 17, 2011/ issue 20

Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) personnel attempt to extinguish a fire with a fire blanket during a demonstration held in Subang Jaya on Sunday as part of the Rakan Bomba event. Rusli Abu (right) and his colleague failed to put out the blaze despite several attempts. More stories on page 8.

By Gan Pei Ling

shah alaM: Victims’ families are outraged by Britain’s excuse that Scots Guards, implicated in the 1948 Batang Kali Massacre, were only present here “in support of the Ruler of Selangor”. The claim was made to justify the British government’s rejection of a public inquiry to be reopened to investigate the alleged killings of 24 rubber tappers and villagers by the British soldiers 63 years ago. “They’re now putting the blame on the Selangor government at that time, completely ignoring the fact that they were the colonial power [then]. “It’s a preposterous suggestion to imagine that the British army was working under the command of the Selangor Sultan at that time,” said lawyer Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin. Firoz, who is acting for the victims’ families, described Britain’s excuse as “an insult to Malaysia” at a press conference on Wednesday. British soldiers had allegedly killed 24 men, who they claimed were communists, at a rubber estate in Batang Kali between Dec 11 and 12, 1948. Britain formally rejected a request by the families to reopen a public under the law of that state”. inquiry last November. They also rejected the families’ It said in a written reply that “the demand for an apology and moneScots Guards were only present in tary compensation. Selangor in support of the civil Four relatives filed a judicial repower i.e. the Ruler of Selangor … view against the decision at the Britany claim relating to the incident at ish High Court on Feb 25. Batang Kali should have been litiThe four claimants are Lim Kok, gated in the courts of Selangor and whose father was beheaded; Wooi

Kum Thai, whose father was also killed; Loh Ah Choi, who was seven at that time and claims to have witnessed his uncle being shot dead; and Chong Nyok Keyu, whose mother witnessed her uncle being shot dead. But they are fighting an uphill battle because Britain has discontinued the legal aid they had previously received. Lawyer Quek Ngee Meng, who is also acting for the family, said the legal aid renewal was rejected because the case has not raised significant public and human rights concerns. The families’ lawyers in Britain submitted a final appeal for legal aid on Wednesday. “The UK government has persistently tried to cover up the truth of

UK rubbing salt into wounds
this matter,” said Quek. British newspaper The Guardian reported last Saturday that Britain had pressured Malaysian authorities in the 1990s to stop investigating the deaths of the villagers.  Three former Scots Guards had admitted that the 1948 killings were a massacre in a BBC documentary titled In Cold Blood aired in 1992. That is not the first time an investigation into the Batang Kali massacre has been halted. In 1970, an investigation commissioned by British government itself was terminated midway because of a change in government. The investigation followed an exposé of the killings by The People, a daily newspaper.

The very first probe ordered by the Malayan Attorney-General in 1949 had concluded the 24 men would have escaped if the soldiers had not opened fire. However, only the soldiers were interviewed, and the families’ statements were excluded. In addition, Britain had admitted that sensitive files from former colonies had been removed before independence and kept in secret in Hanslope Park. The families’ solicitors in Britain had demanded the British government hand over the files related to Malaya. “If the British government has nothing to hide, let the documents speak for themselves and the truth prevail,” said Quek.

2

news
April 15 — 17, 2011

Local councils to take over cleaning services
cal governments said the savings would come from a 4-10% commission the councils pay to the waste and cleaning management company to select and manage cleaning contractors. If carried out, local authorities will regain the power to appoint and manage their own contractors. The state is looking to save up to RM10 million annually. The move follows complaints against Alam Flora’s poor service from local councillors and ratepayers. “We see the proposal as a move to reduce expenditure, to improve service and also to reduce complaints against local councils. “People who complain about local councils not doing their job

Selangor WeaTHer
Friday Morning Saturday Sunday

By Alvin Yap

SHAH ALAM: Selangor plans to hand back Alam Flora’s cleaning contracts to local authorities and save millions in ratepayers’ money annually. Alam Flora currently manages both solid waste collection and cleaning services for cities, municipalities and district councils. But the state plans to stop using the company’s services for cleaning streets and roads, while maintaining the status quo on solid waste disposal. “It’s likely Alam Flora’s cleaning contracts for all local governments [in Selangor] will not be renewed when they expire,” said Ronnie Liu. The executive councillor for lo-

are unaware it’s actually afternoon Alam Flora’s responsibility to keep streets and roads clean,” said Liu. night Liu hopes the pro- Liu: Authorities are posal can be carried out currently “spending at the end of the year. too much”. Source: Malaysian meteorological department He pointed out that local authorities are currently Council (MPSJ), which is carrying ment and cleaning services make up “spending too much” on cleaning out a pilot project to hold open some 30-40% of the budgets of the services, but are not getting their tenders for all solid waste manage- larger councils. ment contracts. From there, Alam Flora takes a money’s worth. The contractors selected by 4-10% cut to select and manage “Our proposal will reduce the annual budgets of these local gov- MPSJ will continue to be managed sub-contractors. by Alam Flora. Alam Flora, a subsidiary of ernments,” he said. They will be responsible for rub- DRBHicom Bhd, was awarded the He said the state was studying the proposal and talks were going bish collection in 242 areas, with concession rights for solid waste the move expected to save ratepay- management in 1998 for the cenon with Alam Flora. tral region covering Selangor, The idea for the proposal comes ers RM3.5 million annually. Liu said solid waste manage- Kuala Lumpur and Pahang. from the Subang Jaya Municipal

Neighbours spat over security barriers
By Basil Foo

SERI KEMBANGAN: Illegal barriers, set up to improve security in Taman Putra Indah, are driving a wedge between neighbours. “The main reason we set up the barriers [six months ago] is due to the high crime rate in our neighbourhood,” said Tan See Meng. A resident of Jalan SR 8/7, the 46-yearold chief financial officer had his car stolen last year. Tan said he was not alone. Others had been victims of car and snatch thefts as well a s brea k-ins in the t wo - de cade- old neighbourhood before the barriers were set up on Jalan SR 8/7 and Jalan SR8/6. “The idea was to cut off access to criminals, and since then there has been zero crime on these two roads,” said Tan.

On the legality of the barriers, Tan said he had sought permission and donations from households on his road and Jalan SR 8/6 for the installation of the barriers. He then applied to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) after complying with a requirement that requires support from more than 90% of residents. “At a monthly fee of RM60 per house, more than 90% of residents on these two roads are paying because they support the initiative of setting up the barriers here,” he said. He added that while MPSJ did not approve the barriers, they “took note” of it as common practice when dealing with the installation of such structures in residential areas under its jurisdiction. The barriers consist of metal barrels affixed with metal bars which block off the
Contractors, MBPJ staff, Silara members and Roslan.

side and back entrances, while the front entrance is a movable bar beside a guardhouse. The barriers, which limit access to the two roads to one entrance, have since drawn the ire of residents staying outside of the cordoned area. “As there is only one entrance into the area, school buses will stop in front of my house to drop off the children who would cross over the barriers by foot,” said Melissa Mun. A resident of adjacent road Jalan SR 8/8, Mun said MPSJ had told her the barriers did not in fact adhere fully to requirements. However, she was told by the council that they could not do much about the barriers, only to “take note” of them, and asked her to take it up with her area’s assemblyperson. “Roads are there for a reason, and the way they block it, there is only one exit if there is

an emergency like a fire,” she said. Mun added that the barriers, which are now immovable except with the use of heavy machinery, should only be put up during the night and removed during the day. “This would make them legal, and if they did that, I would not have any grouses,” she said. When contacted, MPSJ councillor Ng Sze Han acknowledged that the barriers on the two roads did not fully comply with the council’s guidelines. However, he said gated and guarded communities are gaining popularity due to the residents’ worries about their safety and dissatisfaction with the police. Ng said the validity of complaints by residents would be looked into, and if residents of other roads want to set up their own barriers, they could also apply to MPSJ.

The entrance to Jalan SR 8/7 with one of the disputed barriers installed for security measures.

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

Mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman.

Underperforming contractors to face axe
tors are expected to be on call 24 hours a day to attend to public complaints immediately. They are required to remove fallen trees during storms, repair potholes and to clear debris following floods, among others. Roslan said this after presenting certificates to 37 contractors who attended MBPJ’s two-day landscaping course. MBPJ has held the course for the past two years to help contractors improve their standards. “From next year, the course will be one of the conditions contractors have to fulfil before getting contracts,” said Roslan. The latest course was held in collaboration with the Association of Landscape Industries Malaysia (Silara) on Tuesday and Wednesday. The course included proper landscape maintenance and horticultural activity.

EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR COMMUNITY EDITOR WRITERS

By Brenda Ch’ng

KL Chan

Neville Spykerman

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

Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen Victor Chong Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi

PHOTOGRAPHER ADVERTISING ADVISORS

Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz

KELANA JAYA: Landscape contractors working for the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) have been warned that they face the sack if their standards fall below par. “I believe contractors who do not know how to do their job well or who are unwilling to improve should be penalised,” said Datuk Roslan Sakiman. The mayor pointed out that contrac-

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 15 – 17, 2011 ⁄ 3

4

news
april 15 — 17, 2011

EvEnts
Church growth conference
Glad Tidings Assembly of God will hold a Fourth Dimension Spirituality & Church Growth Conference from April 25-27. It aims to provide an insight into how one can grow in the Christian faith and how the church can move forward in the Fourth Dimension. Registration fee is RM150. Night sessions are open to the public. For more information visit www.gtpj.com or call 03-7958 2777 or 012325 3003.

‘Inaccessible’ land office irks residents
puchong: While the new Petaling District Land Office in Section U5 Shah Alam is almost fully operational, complaints about its inaccessibility are mounting. “It’s just too far and too hard to find,” said 70-year-old Chik Chum. The president of the Puchong Resident Associations Coalition (PRAC) added that many residents were also complaining because there is no public transportation to the land office, which used to be based in Subang Jaya. He pointed out that the building also houses the Social Welfare Department and many seeking aid had problems travelling to or finding the office. He also claimed that some people who rely on monthly aid have to spend RM50 on taxi fares to get their RM300 welfare cheques. Chik, who frequently goes to the land office to help those having problems with land titles, said it took him a frustrating two hours to find the new building, and that the journey was made worse because of the poor signage. The building also houses the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and the Public Works Department. To solve the problem, Chik has appealed to the state to establish a branch in Puchong.

Asian musical feast
Artistes from seven Asian nations will be featured in the Asian Music Festival 2011 on April 30. The festival, which starts from 2pm-midnight, will be held at the Malaysia International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC), Mines Resort City, Seri Kembangan. For more information call 039222 8811. For ticket prices and sales, visit www.ticketcharge.com.my.
Dyslexic children fundraiser Giant hypermarkets and Guardian pharmacies nationwide, together with Proctor & Gamble Malaysia (P&G), are having a fundraiser to help children of the Dyslexia Association of Malaysia (DAM). The public can buy selected P&G products at Giant and Guardian outlets in Malaysia from now until May 19. Special consultation counters are available tomorrow and Sunday at Giant Hypermarket, Kota Damansara, and from April 23-24 at Giant Hypermarket, Shah Alam. Sri KDU open day

Chik (right) and Lim with their appeal letter to the state.

He added that the branch should be at a strategic location, either at the prominent   IOI Mall or where the proposed Light Rail Transport (LRT) stations are going to be built. PRAC treasurer Lim Geok Tham, 54, echoed a similar sentiment. But as a stop-gap measure, developers Gapurna Builders are offering to work with the relevant agencies to set up feeder bus services from the old office in Subang Jaya to the new building in Shah Alam. Gapurna Builders spokesperson Imran Salim said this measure would be part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.

“We understand that there are transportation challenges that need to be addressed, and we are trying to assist by engaging all the stakeholders relevant to this issue,” he said .  Imran said they want to come to a quick and effective solution to the issue so that the public need not be burdened. Imran added that unfair claims were levelled against Gapurna Builders, which built the new office, by state lawmakers who visited the building late last year. Sekinchan assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim had alleged that the building, constructed in 2009, was ill equipped and lacked security facilities. He also claimed that the building’s strong room, which will be used to store important documents like land titles, did not have sufficient protection from fires and floods. “These allegations are [all] unfounded,” said Imran, who lamented that the company never had an opportunity to refute the claims. He pointed out the building was still under renovation at the time, but is fully equipped and functional now. Imran added that fire-prevention sprinkler systems cannot be installed in strongrooms because important documents are stored there, but measures are in place to protect the room, like fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, as required by the authorities.

Sri KDU welcomes prospective primary, secondary, international and international Baccalaurete Diploma Programme students from 10am-4pm tomorrow. Call 03-6145 3888 for details.
Sunday Dhamma classes

Brown and murky, but still quite a catch
By William Tan and Basil Foo

The Ti-Ratana Buddhist Society in Klang is having a Sunday Dhamma School for children aged 6-16. Registration is open to everyone at 99, 1st floor, Pusat Perniagaan NBC, off Jalan Meru Klang. Classes, conducted in English and Mandarin, will start on May 8. For details, contact Foo at 016-278 7962. Blind harmonica concert In support of blind harmonica players, Suzuki Harmonica Masters will hold a concert for them tomorrow. The concert, titled The Glorious Sound of Harmonica, starts at 7.30pm at the 4th floor Summit Auditorium, Summit USJ Subang Jaya. Admission is by invitation only. Call Anna at 012-699 6088 for details. Wesak festivities The Chempaka Buddhist Lodge will celebrate Wesak festivities with the public from now until May 18. There will be events like Wesak eve chanting, float procession, blood donation and health campaigns, water festivals and Wesak float-lighting ceremony. Contact the centre at 03-7880 3936 for details. Youth baking classes The House of Bread offers baking courses for youths seeking skills training. Training includes Moral and English classes. For details, call 016-3178778 or 016-3435478.

klang: Due to the murky brown reputation of its waters, many would assume the Klang River to be devoid of marine life, but anglers here would tell you otherwise. “The chances of a catch are decent, and you can fish with just bread as bait,” said Mohamad Hafiz at a fishing competition here on April 9. The 18-year-old, who has been fishing for as long as he can remember, said the weight of fish he catches tends to average around two kilogrammes. Though no one would encourage you to eat them, the two most common fishes you will find are ikan patin and keli Afrika, both part of the catfish family. Sightings of otters in certain stretches of the river have also been reported. “We even have stories of crocodiles appearing under a nearby bridge,” said Mohd Ikhsan Mukri. The Klang Municipal Council (MPK) vicepresident, who was at the competition in Taman Pengkalan Baru, said the crocodiles could be well fed with discarded food from nearby restaurants. He believed that the competition could result in some interesting catches, and admitted he was personally curious about what lives beneath the brown river surface. To the surprise of everyone, a monitor lizard showed up in the middle of the competition, swimming past fishing lines. “This is a rare sight, though I still think I’m only going to catch empty bottles today,” said civil servant Shafie Karsibi. The 40-year-old has been fishing at various spots for the past 10 years, but has not obtained a single catch in his two trips to the river.

Top: A young participant shows the way. Right: Mohamad Hafiz Below: Shafie Karsibi

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 15 – 17, 2010 ⁄ 5

News

MPSJ told to appoint officer to oversee market

Yeoh (second right) listening to a hawker’s complaints at the SS15 wet market as Loi (far left) and MPSJ officers look on.

By Basil Foo

months,” she said. She added that stall SUBANG JAYA: The owners were responsible Su b a ng Jay a Mun i c i p a l for cleaning their own Council (MPSJ) has been traps, and called for inurged to appoint an officer creased monitoring and to oversee the departments enforcement to deal with responsible for maintaining the issue. the SS15 wet market. “Most of the hawkers “As many departments are are not aware of their reinvolved like licensing, engisponsibility as far as the neering and landscape and usage of utilities here is town ser vices, an officer MPSJ councillor Rajiv concerned,” said Loi. should be appointed to coor- Rishyakaran. Having conducted bidinate all parties,” said Submonthly visits to the marang Jaya assemblyperson ket to address hawkers’ Hannah Yeoh. complaints, he acknowlYeoh visited the market on edged that there was a Tuesday in response to comneed to increase awareness plaints by the hawkers. Also of market-goers and stall present were councillors Dr owners about rubbish disLoi Kheng Min and Rajiv posal methods. Rishyakaran, and representaRajiv said there was a tives from MPSJ departments mistake in the market’s deand Alam Flora. sign as they should not have Among the complaints to depend on stall owners to was a malfunctioning shutter maintain their individual door leading to the market’s Food stall operator drain covers. rubbish containment unit, Farida Sahad. “There should be a main which remained ajar and grease trap just before the emitted a foul smell. entrance to the main drain, Yeoh advised solid waste which will be more manmana g ement contractor ageable as the waste conAlam Flora to lift the shutter tractor can clean it from door properly, and suggested there,” he said. that they collect the rubbish He added that redesignearlier if traffic congestion ing the current market was an issue. would be too costly, but “ We have asked Alam they would be applying lesFlora to come earlier because sons learnt from this probif they come after 8am, the lem in the construction of car park would be too confuture markets. gested for trucks to carry out Farida Sahad, operator Vegetable seller Ping rubbish collection properly,” Yow Phai. of a food stall on the secshe said. ond floor of the market, She also called for better coordination said she had been complaining to MPSJ between MPSJ, which is responsible for for for the past three years. cleaning up the area, and Alam Flora, “The roof above our shop leaks whenwhich disposes of the rubbish, to deal ever it rains, which causes our business to with the smell. suffer,” said the 40-year-old. Other complaints included clogged Vegetable seller Ping Yow Phai comdrains caused by the removal of flow trap mended the council for attending to their covers, which are supposed to prevent problems through frequent visits to the solid waste from entering drainage pipes. market. “Some hawkers have taken the easy The 56-year-old, who has been operating way out by removing the covers, causing at the market for 30 years, said the main clogging, which, [once repaired by the problem was the market’s congested parkMPSJ], tends to recur within a few ing lot, which is used by outsiders.

discounts on top of heavily discounted items.

6

NEWS
APRIL 15 — 17, 2011

New centre to recycle for charity
By Basil Foo

SERI KEMBANGAN: The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) has teamed up with charity organisation Tzu Chi Malaysia to launch a recycling centre here. “I urge residents to come and help. If they have anything they don’t need, just send it here,” said Tai Cheng Heng. The MPSJ councillor said the centre, on Jalan Indah 2, would recycle plastic, tin, paper, aluminum, glass and old clothing. The 1200 sq ft centre is large enough to cater to the surrounding 2,000 households in Taman Universiti Indah. Tai said the centre was vacant for six years because it did not meet MPSJ specifications and standards. A week after the issues were rectified by the developer, the council handed over the centre to Tzu Chi so that it would not go unused any longer.  He said further plans by the council to

organise a joint recycling programme with the charity organization in the second half of the year would be announced soon. “A recycling station [like this] is useful as the public can bring their recyclable items here every day,” said Song Quek Khian. The Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia vice-chief executive officer said they had previously carried out monthly recycling campaigns at 160 centres in the Klang Valley. But they felt that was inadequate as people generate rubbish every day and recycling has to be done frequently. “People throw away a lot of rubbish, [of which] up to 90% is still reusable and only 10% is unusable waste,” he said. The foundation’s mission is to reclaim the reusable resources for the benefit of the lessfortunate and for environmental protection. He said volunteers would separate the items for reuse or sale to private recycling contractors and scrap collectors. “We welcome more volunteers and also offers of vacant land or abandoned buildings to be converted into recycling centres,” he added. Also at the launch to hand over the centre’s keys to the foundation was Seri Kembangan

(From left) Azura, Tai, Ean Yong, Song, Tzu Chi volunteer Gladys Leong and Mohd Hafiz.

assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah. Ean Yong said the centre was offered to Tzu Chi after they expressed their wish to acquire another recycling facility, having already operated one in nearby Sri Serdang. “I encourage residents here to support re-

cycling activities to reduce the amount of waste,” he added. Also present were Subang Jaya councillor Loka Ng Sai Kai, Town Services Department assistant director Azura Mohd Don, and Environment Unit officer Mohd Hafiz.

Operafest laments lack of local support
By Brenda Ch’ng

PETALING JAYA: A chorus of voices from the international award-winning Operafest Children’s Choir proclaimed their dismay over the lack of musical recognition and financial support here in Malaysia. “The children and I have been invited to most countries around the world to perform, and we were honored by some countries mayors, governors and presidents. “But when we are back home here, we are nobody, despite obtaining an international choir ranking,” said Kam Sun-Yoke. The founder and artistic director of the group said Operafest is the first local choir group to have won and been ranked at international level. With invitations aplenty from musical affiliates globally,   Kam

said she is still surprised that Operafest receives no funding from the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism. “Twenty years ago, before we achieved international status, I single-handedly coached these children in a garage. “Now, years later and with multiple achievements, my group still does not have the proper support it needs,” said Kam. Kam said Operafest continues to rely on sponsors, but hopes the government will help lessen the burden of international travelling costs as well as expenses for proper training facilities. This non-profit group, which started 1986, propelled into the international circuit following their success in winning both second and third place in choir competitions in Wales and Holland in the 1990s.

Kam emotionally expressed how ashamed she feels every time her foreign counterparts question how much her home country treasures the group. She also lamented on the lack of musical inclination in Malaysians. This year, the Operafest Children’s Choir will be performing at Hong Kong in November, followed by Singapore. Kam added that they are also preparing to perform at Jaya One in Petaling Jaya on Aug 27 and 28. She, however, reiterated that the group is struggling financially and is looking for sponsors. Operafest also performs in Christmas recitals and is looking to recruit more children. Kam can be contacted at operafest@gmail.com or mail@ operafest.net.

The group on tour in India in 2004. Kam is centre, in red.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 15 – 17, 2010 ⁄ 7

News

Residents want green lung, not septic tank

Residents protesting against plans to turn their neighbourhood playground into a sewerage system.

By Alvin Yap

SEKINCHAN: Residents of Taman Sekinchan Damai held a protest on Wednesday against plans to convert a playground here into a septic tank site for a new housing project. “It is not fair to build a sewerage system next to our homes and also to deprive us of the only green lung in the area,” said a resident on Wednesday. The residents claimed that the construction will deprive about 200 families of the green lung. They were also concerned with the negative impact of living with a large sewage tank in their backyard. “We are worried about the foul odour if the septic tank is built,” said another protester. The sewerage system is to accommodate Sekinchan Perdana, a newly built 280-unit condominium. Residents have written to the state and

also to Sekinchan assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim to lodge their protest. However, Sekinchan Perdana project director Yong Choo Kong said the technical plans for the septic tanks had already been approved by the local council in February. He allayed residents’ fears that the septic would emit “stinking smells”. “The septic tanks are built with the latest technology. There will be no smell,” he said. He pointed out that the plan was to widen existing septic tanks and not to construct new ones. Yong explained that the Sabak Bernam District Council (MDSB) had approved plans for the upgrading works. He added that the playground, which will be acquired, was actually on Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) land reserve. Yong, however, added the playground would be relocated to a different location in the vicinity.

Andrew Gopal (fourth from right) with club members.

UKRC seeks end to status limbo
By Brenda Ch’ng

AMPANG: Members of Ulu Klang Recreational Club (UKRC) are pressing authorities for a definite date for a public hearing to finally determine the fate of the club. Hulu Klang assemblyperson Saari Sungib had tabled a motion in the state assembly earlier this month for the land, which was gazetted by then Menteri Besar Dr Khir Toyo in 2004 as “open space”, to be changed to “recreational”. However, a public hearing is needed before this can be done, and for the club to finally get its title. “We need this public hearing soon

because without the title, we can’t repair, renovate or upgrade the club,” said Andrew Gopal. The UKRC president fears that without proper procedures taken, the status of the land will continue to be vague, and controversies that have dogged them for the past 20 years will never end. He pointed out that a public hearing could also help settle the dispute over the land title. “All the community wants [now] is to be able to call the club theirs,” he said. UKRC was established in 1957, but the controversy started in 1994 when its football field was allocated for a primary school and 10 bungalows.

8

NEWS
APRIL 15 — 17, 2011

Fun day with the Bomba
By Gan Pei Ling

SUBANG JAYA: Handling fire extinguishers and learning how fires should be doused were part of the excitement for residents who attended a firefighting awareness programme on Sunday. More than 100 members of the public, including children, learnt first-hand about tackling fires by hanging out with firefighters at the Subang Ria Park. Six-year-old Siti Rania Farha learnt to use a fire extinguisher for the first time at the event organised by Rakan Bomba for the third year running. Siti Rania said she was scared but thrilled as Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) officer Rusli Abu helped her to put out a small fire. Nine-year-old Lee Xuan from SMK USJ 8 also learnt to handle a fire extinguisher for the first time. “I’ve only [previously] learnt about it in a textbook,” said Lee. Rusli also demonstrated to the crowd how to use a 3kg dry-powder fire extinguisher as well as a fire blanket to put out small fires. However, there was a small hiccup when Rusli and his colleague failed to extinguish the blaze using the fire blanket despite several tries. “I think they’ve poured too much petrol.

Let the Bomba put it out,” said a fed-up Rusli to laughter from the crowd. The public also witnessed a display of the Bomba’s skills in water rescue at the Subang Ria Park lake. The K9 unit showcased how dogs are used by the Bomba to assist them in their searchand-rescue operations during emergencies or disasters. With their sharp sense of smell and hearing, dogs can be trained to help detect lifesigns post-calamity, as well as look for the cause of a fire. “It’s good exposure for the kids,” said Liow Kam Sum, 40, who attended the event with his wife and two children. Owen Liow, four, and three-year-old Zoey Liow were very taken by the Bomba mascot, Edie. Children surrounded Edie from time to time to take photos and shake hands with him. Enthusiastic children were also allowed to check out the fire truck and motorcycles under the guidance of the firefighters. “Such activities bring together members of the Bomba and the community,” said Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh. “I wish I had such a chance to mingle with the authorities when I was young.” Certificates were awarded to the children at the end of the event.

Six-year-old Siti Rania Farha during the firefighting demonstration.

Department supports volunteer firefighters
By Gan Pei Ling

Children and parents meeting the Bomba mascot, Edie.

New chief for Subang
By Gan Pei Ling

SUBANG JAYA: The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) has issued a challenge to residents here to step up and establish their own volunteer firefighters. In turn, the department has promised to support the volunteers with specialised training at the SS17 fire station. “The interest that the community has shown in Bomba activities shows that they have the potential to set up a volunteer Fire Brigade in Subang Jaya,” said Ahmad Fisal Ahyat. The Petaling District Fire chief made the observation after speaking at the Rakan Bomba event at the Subang Ria Park. Ahmad Fisal said Bomba was always willing to work together with local communities to help prevent fire that could rob lives and damage properties. He said the voluntary fire brigade could help support Bomba in the event that they are shorthanded at the scene of an emergency, and also during fire-prevention awareness programmes. “They will also become the Bomba’s ambassadors among the Subang Jaya community. We’re ready to help you form the voluntary fire brigade,” said Ahmad Fisal.

The Rakan Bomba event, which offered a chance for the public to mingle freely with the firefighters, was held for the third time running at Subang Ria Park this year. The first was organised at the SS17 fire station in 2009 and the second in Subang Parade, with Bomba personnel abseiling down the roof, in 2010. Participants have increased from 40 in 2009 to more than 100 this year. Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, who attended the event, said she supported the idea of starting a voluntary fire brigade in Subang Jaya. “This provides an avenue for young adults to contribute back to society,” she said. Yeoh said she had written to the Housing and Local Government Ministry to ask for a mobile fire brigade to be stationed at USJ1. She added that there are many factories in USJ, and that the SS17 fire station is the only fire station servicing the Subang Jaya area currently. The mobile fire brigade could help in the event of a fire before the fire truck arrived. She also encouraged residents to equip their homes with a fire extinguisher, and to educate themselves on the correct way to use it.

SUBANG JAYA: Mohd Khairi Daud is the new Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) chief in Subang Jaya. Khairi, who assumed the helm on April 4, said his main focus would be on educating citizens on the correct way to use a fire extinguishers and react in emergencies. He said most people would run away in fear when a fire starts, but they should try to put out the fire when it is still a small blaze. Khairi also hopes to get more citizens to adopt the fire hydrants near their homes. “It’s a simple programme … they just need to make sure the fire hydrant is in good condition and report any faults to the Bomba,” he said. Meanwhile, Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh encouraged the Bomba to educate more senior citizens and children on the correct way to use a fire extinguisher.

Mohd Khairi Daud

“Most of the time, senior citizens and children are left at home while the adults go to work. “It is important that they know how to prevent fire and use an extinguisher,” she said. Khairi and Yeoh were attending a Rakan Bomba event with Petaling district Bomba chief Ahmad Fisal Ahyat in Subang Ria Park on Sunday.

Yeoh and Ahmad Fisal in front of a mobile fire brigade. Yeoh has written to the Housing and Local Government Ministry to ask for one to be stationed in USJ 1.

NEWS
APRIL 15 — 17, 2011

9

Sikh temples get land
By Brenda Ch’ng

Dr Xavier (third from left) tending to land acquisition matters for the Sikh community of Petaling Jaya. Seated second right is Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan.

KLANG: The Gurdwara Sahib Klang Sikh temple is finally getting land to expand their premises to better serve their community after almost a decadelong wait. “For more than nine years I have been fighting for the piece of land behind my temple, but we were rejected without any reason,” said Sardar Jagdev Singh. The president of the Gurdwara Sahib Klang said the temple has been paying for the Temporary Occupational Licence (TOL) for that plot of land for about seven years but had not been allowed to build on it. The state has now approved the temple to acquire the triangular 0.23-acre

plot, which will be used to house classrooms and libraries for Punjabi classes. There are also plans to build prayer rooms and restrooms for foreign worshippers. “With more space now available in the temple, I’m glad we will have a proper hall to pass down our culture and language,” said Jasbir Singh, vice-president of the temple. Further, the state has allocated RM300,000 to all registered Sikh gurdwaras as of last year to help with maintenance. “Apart from Klang, other Sikh communities in Subang Jaya, Ampang, Hulu Selangor and Shah Alam were able to acquire more religious land,” said Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

The state executive councillor, who oversees nonMuslim religious affairs, attended the Gurdwara Sahib Klang’s Vasakhi prayers on Tuesday night. The Sikh community celebrated the harvest festival of Vasakhi on Thursday.

Sardar Jagdev Singh

Dismal recycling rate in Klang
  KLANG: Klang folks are urged to step up their recycling effort as less than 1% of the waste they generate annually is recycled. Klang councillor Lim Lip Suan said on average, 600 tonnes of garbage are thrown out every day. In other words, the town generates about 219,000 tonnes of trash annually, but only 1,900 tonnes (0.87%) are recycled. Lim urged the public to recycle their paper, glasses, plastic containers or any other recyclable items in order to reduce the amount of waste. He said Klang’s garbage is transported to the Jeram landfill, but the landfill is expected to be full and closed within the next five years. Operated by Worldwide Landfills, the Jeram landfill also receives solid waste from Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Ampang Jaya and Kuala Selangor. The 64-hectare landfill was opened in January 2007 to replace the Air Hitam landfill in Puchong, which only lasted 13 years before it was full and had to be closed in December 2006. Lim said Selangor has yet to identify a suitable new site to replace the Jeram landfill as there is limited land. He said the Klang Municipal Council had suggested to the state to build an incinerator but has yet to receive a response.   Recycle for Japan Meanwhile, Beautiful Gate
By Chong Loo Wah

Foundation for the Disabled has launched a recycling drive for Japan earthquake victims. Foundation president pastor Sia Siew Chin said the foundation will donate the income generated from sale of the recyclables to Japan. Sia was speaking to the press after launching a recycling drive with Klang councillor Lim Lip Suan at Taman Rakyat in Seri Andalas on Sunday. He said this is the first time the foundation has started a donation drive for another cause. He added that the Japanese Embassy in Malaysia has continuously provided generous assistance to the foundation. Therefore, they would like to
Branch Contact no.

Lim Lip Suan

take this opportunity to repay their kindness. Interested donors can drop their recyclable items at Beautiful Gate’s recycling bins – blue in colour in Klang, and maroon in Petaling Jaya and Kepong. Alternatively, the public can also bring their recyclable items to the locations below.
Address

Klang Petaling Jaya Kepong

03-33736094 03-78736579 / 78758609 03-62763690

74, Lebuh Turi, Taman Chi Liung, 41200 Klang 29, Jalan SS2/59, 47300 PJ 91 & 92, Persiaran Mergastua ( Jalan 56), Kepong Baru, 52100 KL
Days

Weekly collection

Paramount Garden Residents’ Association, PJ SS2/75, PJ (beside BHP station) Spectrum shopping centre, Ampang

First and third Saturday First Sunday Third Sunday

NEWS 10
APRIL 15 — 17, 2011

Unlicensed hawkers welcome move
(From left) Councillors Ng Sze Han, Loka Ng, Tai and Chong having a discussion before the hawker registration programme.

Hawkers lining up to register for stall lots at the new market.

By Basil Foo

SERI KEMBANGAN: Illegal hawkers operating in Sungai Besi welcome a move by local authorities to legalise and relocate them to a more conducive site. Under the plan by the Subang

Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), hawkers on Jalan SB Indah 1/4 will shift about 300m to Jalan SB 1/21. “It’s a good move; we know there are complaints about rubbish and clogged drains caused by our businesses,” said Chong Piang Wa.

The Hawkers Association chairperson acknowledged that the current location was right in front of residential homes, while the new site is located next to shoplots and a playground. Four MPSJ councillors were on hand at a community hall here on

Plants and green bins to beautify Klang
By William Tan

Monday to register the hawkers for relocation to the new site. “Over 200 hawkers came to apply for the lots today, but we only have a maximum of 144 lots available,” said Loka Ng Sai Kai. The councillor said they had to determine which hawkers were qualified to move. Priority would be given to those from the old market site, he said. Nevertheless, the council would try to fit in all applicants into the new market, Ng added. “To maximise lot usage, we will ask hawkers to alternate business days as some of them only open one to two days a week,” he said. Roads will be closed from 6am

to 10am in order for the new market to be set up, with alternative access roads opened around it. Hawkers at the new morning market will also have to clean up rubbish left over from their business sessions as part of the deal. Ng said there are no other sites available in the zone as it has been filled with residential homes for the past 30 years. “As of now, MPSJ has no further plans to build additional markets. Residents will have to go to this one,” he added. Also at the registration programme were MPSJ councillors Ng Sze Han, Chong Hoon Ming, and Tai Cheng Heng.

KLANG: Over 100 trees and shrubs were planted by the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) and members of community here in an effort to beautify the Royal Town. Mohd Ikhsan Mukri said the two variety of plants, pokok janda merana and bunga tasbih, were donated by the municipality’s contractors. “ The programme is to generate awareness among the public on the importance of maintaining our environment,” said the MPK deputy president.

The programme was also in line with the state’s efforts to clean and rehabilitate the Klang River. Plants were planted along river from Taman Pengkalan Batu to Taman Pengkalan Kampar. Over 200 members of the community and MPK staff participated in the event last Saturday. Also unveiled during the event was the smart bin, made out of 85% recycled material and jointly developed by MPK and the Department of Environment. Mohd Ikhsan said the new bins were smaller and far more practical for rubbish. He added that 50 such bins would be placed throughout the town.

Schools urged to ensure food hygiene

Iskandar visiting a pupil in hospital.

By Brenda Ch’ng

Mohd Ikhsan Mukri (centre in orange) unveiling the smart bin. He is accompanied by Norasiah Bee Mohd Haniff (far left), deputy director of Selangor Country and Town Planning.

AMPANG: Principals are being urged to closely monitor canteen hygiene to avoid a similar outbreak of food poisoning which occurred in  Sekolah Kebangsaan Pandan Indah recently. “Schools have to respond immediately to any complaints by students or parents. No complaint should be taken lightly,” said Iskandar Abdul Samad.

The Cempaka assemblyperson issued the press statement after visiting 16 affected pupils from his constituency last Thursday.  The Standard Two and Four pupils were  admitted to the Ampang Hospital the day before. It was reported that one pupil was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The pupils are believed to have fallen ill with diarrhea and purging after consuming food sold at the canteen. 

The dead have rights, too
M
alaysia is in desperate need of a reliable and trustworthy institute to conduct autopsies, especially in relation to deaths in custody. Last week, the body of customs officer Ahmad Sarbani was found on the grounds of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Federal Territory office. The incident was tragic, but it seemed absolutely ridiculous as this is the second time in three years that a body was found under similar circumstances: interrogation by the MACC, then death from (apparent) fall from height. This brings to mind Shakespeare’s “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark”. Political intrigue, possible cover-ups, and a series of mysterious deaths in the state of Malaysia, perhaps?   Deaths in custody  It is reported that since 2000, at least 147 people died in police custody. Although it is difficult to extract data on the actual number of deaths a year (as official statistics provide varying figures for varying periods of time), it is noted that there were 150 deaths from 1990 till 2004 (10.7 per year), which has increased to 85 deaths between 2003 and 2007 (21.25 per year). (Hector, Aliran, November 2010).   Some cases we can recall. In January 2008, a police constable was charged with causing hurt to extract a confession from A Kugan, 22, who died in police custody. In July that year, P Gunasegaram, 31, was found dead in the Sentul police station. In 2010, sawmill worker P Bapu, 28, was found dead in the Jempol police station.   The statistics above may not even include deaths “outside” the lock-up – for instance, in detention centres due to illnesses or negligence. And they definitely do not include freak incidents such as of Teoh Beng Hock ( July 2010), and Ahmad Sarbani, who both fell from a height at MACC offices. One thing that ties all these deaths together is that the stitute of Forensic Science immediate reaction from the (CIFS) at the Thai Ministry One thing that ties all authorities was to claim at first of Justice. Very public about instance that these were suicide these deaths together is her stand-offs with the Thai cases. It is almost like a that the immediate reaction police, she is nevertheless predictive tool that whenever a from the authorities was to still given the independence death in custody – or now, to carr y out the work at under interrogation – occurs, claim at first instance that CIFS. This is perhaps beauthorities will allude to these were suicide cases.” cause her team is considered suicide, the family calls for a a pioneer in many new methsecond independent autopsy, and Buloh Hospital, representing the ods, including setting up a DNA the government forms an enquiry government of Malaysia, although database for local authorities in the into the matter. This has practically the government was gracious south of Thailand, and actually b e c om e stan dard op erating enough to allow foreign pathologists assisting the police in their work procedure by now. present as observers.  on identifying terrorists.   Human rights activists have Autopsies in Malaysia  What shall we do? long called for the Malaysian govWhat this really highlights is the Malaysians were taken by sur- ernment to act immediately to, in growing distrust of Malaysians to- prise at Dr Porntip Rojanasunan, Dr Porntip’s words, work for the wards an official line taken on the who represented the Selangor gov- “rights of the dead”. These include causes of death. In Malaysia, all au- ernment in the Teoh case. She is urging the government to ratify topsies are conducted entirely by director general of the Central In- the United Nations Convention forensic pathologists representing the government.   There is a list of criteria required to qualify one as a “Forensic Pathologist” under the National Specialist Register (NSR) that must eventually be approved by the Forensic Pathologist Specialty Committee. For instance, medical degrees have to be recognised by the Malaysian Medical Council, and postgraduate degrees in Forensic Pathology recognised by the Malaysian government. There are other detailed requirements that can be found on the NSR website, but as a general rule, all medical practitioners who practise in the country have to be registered with the Malaysian Medical Council, and those working in government hospitals and healthcare facilities must be gazetted by the Ministry of Health.   Even in the cases where a second autopsy took place, this needed to be conducted by a pathologist approved by the government. For example, Teoh’s second autopsy was carried out by Dr Shahidan Md Noor from the Sungai

views 11
april 15 — 17, 2011

Just selangor
Tricia Yeoh

Against Torture, and form an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission. The Malaysian Bar has most recently called on the government to introduce a Coroner’s Act and establish a Coroner’s Court, and “to conduct a comprehensive review of the manner in which inquiries into deaths are undertaken”.  Finally, autopsies conducted by the g overnment and their conclusions which follow after are increasingly seen to be biased. Is it time to think of independent autopsies from an institute that Malaysians can grow to trust? After all, you and I have every right to demand a system of justice we have absolute faith in, a system of justice to protect us in the time we most need it.

Raja Idris is KDEB exec consultant
SHAH ALAM: Selangor has appointed Raja Idris Raja Kamaruddin as executive consultant and adviser to Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB). He replaces Datuk Karim Munisar, who has resigned, and has been tasked with monitoring and overseeing the affairs of the state investment arm and its subsidiaries. His appointment will allow him to sit on the KDEB board of directors and chair all companies under the group. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, speaking after the state executive council meeting, said the appointment was made with the consent of the Selangor Sultan and is effective from April 5. Raja Idris is a member of the Institute of Bankers and the Institute for the Management of Information Systems. He also currently serves as consultant to Rototype International, Significant Technologies Sdn Bhd and the Markfield Institute of Higher Learning in Leicester, England. Raja Idris was previously TDM Bhd group managing director and Siemens Malaysia information and communications network vice-president, among others.

12 April 15 — 17, 2011
By Gan Pei Ling

InsIght

elangor made history when it became the first state in Malaysia to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) Enactment at its state assembly on April 1. The state now joins more than 90 countries, including our neighbours Thailand and Indonesia, with an FOI law that recognises citizens’ right to information. The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) has hailed the passing of this law as a “breakthrough” amid an entrenched culture of secrecy among our government bodies backed by the Official Secrets Act (OSA).  Compared to its original draft tabled last July that was heavily criticised by civil societies, the FOI Enactment passed last Friday has seen several improvements.   Greater transparency and accountability Firstly, civil servants can now be fined up to RM50,000 or sentenced to five years’ jail, or both, if they are convicted of intentionally giving false or misleading information. It is also considered an offence if civil servants intentionally restrict or Saari Sungib: FOI select deny public access to information, committee chairperson unless that information is specifically exempted under the law. Civil serv- have been rejected. ants were not liable to such a penalty Under the law, the State Informain the original draft of the FOI Bill. tion Board must be led by former Secondly, the FOI Enactment legal practitioners and independent now covers not only state depart- members not holding any political ments, but local councils and all office or position in any political party. state-owned or state-controlled CIJ also pointed out other imbodies as well. provements in the law, such as a Thirdly, the Appeals Board has narrower list of exemptions and a 20been replaced by a more independ- year time limit for keeping exempted ent State Information Board to information confidential. review appeals from applicants In addition, information officwhose requests for information ers and civil servants who disclose

S

Greater transp sunshine law
information in good faith are protected from prosecution, sanctions and suits.   Impact on general public  When asked by Selangor Times how the FOI Enactment would benefit the people, CIJ executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah said the law had far-reaching impacts in very practical ways. “If there’s a landslide and the state sets up a committee to inquire into it, under the FOI Enactment, one could argue that the public should have access to reports about the proceedings, including statements recorded from those who testify. “In other words, we don’t have to wait for the Menteri Besar to declassify it,” said Masjaliza. “If the playground near your house is in a bad state, you can ask the local council for the amount spent on maintenance and find out who built it. “Of course, all these are just scenarios; the law will need to be tested,” she said. FOI select committee chairperson Saari Sungib (Hulu Kelang) had told Selangor Times previously that the state expects tremendous requests for information at local councils and land offices once the law is enforced. One can anticipate concerned residents requesting information on the state and local councils’ expenditure, tenders awarded and land transactions, to name just a few. Despite that, it should be noted that filing an application and pursuing it would still take time and energy.   Limitations of the FOI Enactment Nevertheless, Selangor’s FOI Enactment has certain limitations. Information classified as official secrets under the OSA is beyond the state law’s jurisdiction. Individuals’ private information or trade secrets obtained by the state in confidence, as well as information that would “severely jeopardise” the state’s policy implementation or development, can also be kept confidential. However, such information can be disclosed if there is an overriding

public interest or if it is for the investigation of an offence or misconduct. Besides that, a good FOI law should keep the application fees low, but this was not stated in the enactment. “Costs should be kept low. Otherwise, it can become an administrative

Freedom of Information law in Southeast Asian and South Asian countries

NEPAL

The Right to Information (RTI) Act was enacted in 2007, but there are serious weaknesses in the law.

VIETNAM BANGLASDESH INDIA
The Central Government enacted the Indian FOI Act in 2002, which represents an important step towards actualising the right to information, but has been criticised for not going far enough. RTI Act, enacted in 2009, overrides the Official Secrets Act of 1923, while retaining legitimate concerns about security.

THAILAND

Official Information Act passed in 1997.

Ministry of Justice introduced draft Law on Approach to Information at a seminar on July 2, 2009, inviting public comments.

CAMBODIA

Drafting an Access to Government Information law.

PHILIPPINES

An FOI bill was rejected in early June 2010 by the Senate.

MALAYSIA

Selangor passed the FOI Act on April 1, 2011 after tabling the bill on July 14, 2010.

INDONESIA

Parliament passed an RTI Act on April 3, 2008 after eight years of delays, but there exist contradictions that have raised concerns.

Source: Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)

parency with

Freedom of Information FAQ
Compiled by Gan Pei Ling
What is Freedom of Information (FOI) and why do we need laws to ensure it? As tax- and ratepayers – income tax, service tax, road tax, assessment rate tax, quit rent – the public has a right to know how governments use and manage public funds. FOI laws empower the public with access to information, and allow inspection of files and scrutiny of government administration. In other words, a good FOI law helps promote transparency, accountability and reduce graft. Does Malaysia has a FOI law? We do not have a FOI law at the national level, but Selangor passed the FOI Enactment in its state assembly on April 1. It is the first state to do so. Following Selangor’s footsteps, Penang also tabled its FOI bill in November 2010, but the draft has came under fire from civil societies as lacking in substance. The Selangor FOI bill also came under severe criticism when it was first tabled in July 2010. However, the legislature appointed a select committee to consult civil societies and civil servants to improve the bill. An amended version was tabled on March 28 and passed without objection on April 1. When will Selangor’s FOI Enactment come into force? Elizabeth Wong, who is leading the Selangor’s FOI taskforce, said it would take around six months for the state to enforce the law. She said they would need to appoint and train information officers in all relevant bodies to handle information applications, draft the application forms, and set up a fee structure. Selangor also needs to set up the State Information Board, which would review appeals from applicants whose request for information has been rejected. Wong, who is also the executive councillor on tourism, consumer affairs and environment, estimated that Selangor would need to allocate RM1 million to enforce the FOI law. Who will give me information? Is there a fee? An information officer will be trained and appointed in each department to handle public requests for information. The information officer is required to respond in writing to your application within 30 days from the date of acknowledgement of the application. Illiterate or people with disabilities may make a verbal request to the information officer, who will then make a written application on behalf of the applicant and provide a copy of it to the applicant. The fee structure has yet to be ironed out by the state. What is covered under Selangor’s FOI Enactment? Once the FOI law comes into force, you can request for information from any state department, local council, or any entity owned or fully controlled by the Selangor government. For example, you can request for information on the state and local councils’ expenditure, tenders awarded, and land transactions. However, information classified under the federal Official Secrets Act, individuals’ private information, and trade secrets obtained by the state in confidence are exempted under the FOI enactment. Secrets from states or international organisations may also be kept confidential if its disclosure would affect Selangor’s relations with other states or international organisations. The information officer may also refuse to disclose information that is likely to severely affect Selangor’s development. Despite that, information must be provided if there is an overriding public interest that outweighs the risks stated above. The information officer may also allow access to exempted information if it is required for the investigation of an offence or misconduct. However, all exemptions lapse after 20 years. What if my application is rejected, or if I’m not satisfied with the information provided? You can appeal to the State Information Board, made up of former legal practitioners and independent members, within 21 days after you receive the notice from the information officer.
Sources: FOI Enactment (Selangor) www.cijmalaysia.org www.righttoinformation.org

obstacle that denies the public affordable access to information,” CIJ pointed out in its April 1 statement. CIJ also highlighted that the enactment did not specif y the appointment process of the State Information Board. “This must be an open and transparent process where the public can nominate candidates and the shortlist is published. This will strengthen the independence of the board,” CIJ added. The law also does not mandate the periodic publication of information to make information more

accessible to the public. “Routine publication will help to reduce the administrative burden on information officers and increase transparency across all public bodies,” said CIJ in response to the shortcomings in the law. The state’s FOI taskforce chief, Elizabeth Wong, said the FOI Enactment is a “dynamic, living legislation” and the legislature can improve the enactment from time to time. “This is only the beginning of our journey to introduce a culture of openness and transparency in public administration,” said Wong.

Wong: FOI taskforce chief.

Lawmakers listening to the Sultan’s speech during the opening of the Selangor state assembly on March 28.

VIEWS 14
APRIL 15 — 17, 2011

Latin heart-throbs and Royal Commissions
C
an I know why is Latin often quoted and used in law? I only know of one: Liberavi Animam Meam! @ Cunning Linguist, via email  THE average Malaysian probably knows the meaning of a maximum of two Latin phrases. The first would be a school motto, which would have been drilled into one’s head for the better part of the first two decades of one’s life. The second would be the motto of one’s chosen football club. But many Malaysians use a great variety of Latin phrases without knowing their actual meanings. Phrases like alma mater, bona fide, carpe diem, de facto, ex gratia, id est (i.e.), in vitro, inter alia, ipso facto, prima facie, and quid pro quo. There are also many English words that originated from Latin. So you see, Latin isn’t just used by lawyers. However, it is true that lawyers do indulge in some of the more obscure and pompous-sounding Latin phrases.  According to a LoyarBurok theorist, Latin is used simply because it is cool to use a technical language nobody speaks anymore. This cunningly allows lawyers to avail themselves when they are compelled to give an opinion on an issue of law they don’t know much about. For example, “If company X nukes country Y, what is their scope of liability?” An appropriate response could be, “De Bono Umbra Stupent.” It is meaningless, but sounds rather thoughtful and authoritative. An extension of this theory is that people – particularly men – who use Latin often imagine that it makes them sound like some Latin heart-throb like Enrique Iglesias (or his dad Julio, depending on who tickles your fancy). And let’s admit it: using an exotic language does make one sound smarter, does it not? This is the same reason Lord Bobo always advises young footballers to consider choosing sexier names before launching their careers. Someone called Jim Johnson or Fred Smith has a far better chance of being hailed in the headlines with a name like Jimozinho or Fredildo.

Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered!

a spate of other languages. So whoever uses Latin must accept that they are a lusus naturae if not a complete membrum virile for doing so. Since English is the lingua franca of the world, tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis. Dominus illuminatio mea! 

D
Enrique

ear Lord Bobo, if my car is stolen, can I call for a Royal Commission? @abbyshahrin, via Twitter 

Another theory would require approximately 400 pages (not including footnotes) to explain. The short version is that the law often applied in Commonwealth countries is that of common law – i.e. judge-made on a case-by-case basis – which originated sometime in 12th-century England, around the time Roman Law was re-discovered and exerted a powerful influence in Europe. Some of the first common-law scholars and early commonlaw judges were accustomed with Roman law; so its influence was still pervasive because it formed some of the very foundations of common law. Since Classical Latin was the official language of Rome, the concepts of Roman law were expressed in Latin. When these concepts were introduced to the common law, its description in Latin was similarly imported. Quod erat demonstratum.  It should be mentioned that Latin is not often used in Malaysian courts. Lawyers and litigants have enough to contend with: poor English, hardly passable Bahasa, and made-up Manglish for the most part, with a further mix of several Chinese-language dialects, a smattering of Indian dialects, and

ONE would think not. Then again, that “think” part is arguably irrelevant when it comes to goings-on in Malaysia. It has recently been suggested that a Royal Commission can be called to look into a certain video footage of hotel-room shenanigans to find out whether there was an act of prostitution involved, because, after all, we need to find out if a law was broken! We are slightly reluctant to name the source of this flawless logic, having seen a widely used photo of him looking particularly tough, complete with muscly-finger-wagging action – though we have been reliably informed that he was in fact not making some forceful point of law, but was rather insisting that he had specifically mentioned he wanted five types of kuih to nibble on during the interview.  As for a Royal Commission being called to look into the theft of your car, it depends. If the theft was allegedly carried out by a senior opposition politician, then yes. If the theft supposedly took place in the presence of a senior opposition politician, then probably. If there is a chance that the theft took place in the parking lot of a building in which a senior opposition politician was having dinner, then possibly. In short, if you can somehow link the theft to a senior opposition politician member, you’ve got a chance.  Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing asklordbobo@loyarburok. com, stating your full name and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo

Tripping Zero 3
Sharyn Shufiyan

friend of mine always told me of his fishing getaways to Pulau Ketam whenever we meet. It’s amazing that just one and half hours away from Kuala Lumpur sits this quaint little fishing village just off Port Klang. Pulau Ketam was founded circa 1880 by Hainanese fisherfolk who frequented the area to catch crabs. Population on the island gradually increased as more people settled on the island, mostly of Hokkien and Teochew descent. One of the oldest structures on the island is the Hock Leng Keng temple, believed to be as old as the island. I met Koh, 47, a local resident and restaurant owner. Before setting up his restaurant, he was a boat maker. Boat making is still an economic activity on Pulau Ketam, albeit dwindling with the rising price of cengal. But above all, Pulau Ketam is famous for its seafood and infamous for the case of abandoned dogs. Many of us would travel far to satisfy our crustacean cravings. Eating seafood has always been a family affair and incorporated into our culture; for example, shark’s fin soup is a must at Chinese weddings. Over on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, turtle eggs are a delicacy, and people are still selling them openly since there is no proper ban in place to prohibit sale and consumption. Some consume sea life for health benefits, like the seahorse and sea cucumber. But how many of us are aware of the impact our taste buds have on Poseidon’s posse? According to WWF Malaysia, Malaysia is the

A

Our seafood sins
highest consumer of seafood in the Southeast Asia region, and figures in 2007 revealed that there are more than 120,000 licensed fisherfolk. The fisheries industry garnered a total revenue of RM5.8 billion that same year. No doubt, the sea has supplied us with the protein we need and income to sustain economically.

Pulau Ketam

But our sea life is facing immense pressure to meet demands for seafood. Irresponsible fishing methods such as trawling, blast fishing and cyanide fishing are detrimental to the marine ecosystem. Trawling often results in by-catch such as turtles and dolphins, while blast and cyanide fishing are destroying coral reefs. Overfishing is also a worry. Already 90%

of bottom-dwelling species, such as the flounder and grouper, have declined. Shark finning, a very touchy subject, has contributed to the depleting number of sharks off our shores. When something is enculturated, it’s hard to detach oneself and look at the wider picture. I was appalled by one of the comments by a reader regarding shark’s fin: “For me, shark, cows, chicken = food. I have no problem eating them. As for shark’s fin, if you can afford to eat the real thing, why not? It is food.” Perhaps, when chickens become endangered, we will get the message. Perhaps, when chickens become the top predators of the food chain and a healthy population ensures a healthy ecosystem, we would understand the importance of conservation. Perhaps, when hormonal injections no longer work on chickens and they start producing one egg per chicken, we would start paying attention. Perhaps, when sharks become a reared commodity, conservationists would finally shut up. The problem is, we rarely think about where our seafood comes from. Yes, the sea, but what fishing method was used, and what other creatures were sacrificed for this beautifully steamed grouper in soy sauce served in front of us? And because the problem is far from our eyes, on some boat somewhere off the shores of west-coast Malaysia, we don’t think there’s anything wrong. This is not to say we should refrain from eating seafood. I’m working towards shifting my diet to consume more seafood than meat,

source: sxc.hu

but I’m mindful of what kind of seafood I choose to eat. WWF Malaysia, in its bid to create awareness on the impact of fishing and the declining health of the marine ecosystem, has initiated the Save Our Seafood campaign to help guide us make more responsible choices by categorising which species are recommended for consumption and which should be avoided. There are also products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) that could guide you to make the right choices. If you are a lover of tuna, be mindful of the canned tuna you choose to buy. Some tuna cans are branded with a “dolphin-safe” logo, which means that the tuna caught did not harm or kill any dolphins during fishing. Dolphins are often a by-catch for tuna, especially yellowfin tuna, since they often swim together. Of course, not all fish supplies are in the red – some are thriving, and some types are reared in fish farms. But it is imperative that we know where our seafood is sourced from, because if we keep consuming mindlessly, there will come a time when seafood is no longer just a weekend treat but a real luxury.

NEWS 15
APRIL 15 — 17, 2011

Walking blind for charity
By Alvin Yap

PETALING JAYA: It will literally be the blind leading the blind at a charity walk this Sunday to raise funds to eradicate blindness. Expect to be blindfolded and feel what it’s like to walk as the blind do at the event organised by Lions Club Petaling Jaya. Mak Siew Fong said each participant will be led by a member of the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) and a volunteer with sight. “I actually walked blindfolded, with a friend leading me. I cannot describe the sensation, but losing one’s sight is disorienting,” said the Lions Club organising chairperson. The walk on April 17 is aimed at creating awareness of eye diseases and to raise RM250,000 in corporate sponsorship to eradicate blindness. The money will be used for the organisation’s Sight First Programme to fund free cataract surgery at Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital. The international programme has restored sight to some 1.2 million people worldwide. This year, some 6,000 Malaysians from the lower-income group will benefit from the initiative. Most importantly, the programme will educate the public that blindness can be prevented. “Seventy-five percent of blindness is avoidable,” said Mak.

Roads along the route will be closed in stages by police and MBPJ enforcement units. “I encourage people to come for the walk. Understand what the blind go through, and then we appreciate our own sight,” Roslan said. He added that  MBPJ was embarking on creating a disabledfriendly city. New property developments in Petaling Jaya are required to construct “tactile guidance blocks” at footpaths and five-foot ways to aid the blind. “We will not support the developer getting the Certificate of Compliance if they do not build these items that the blind need to find their way around,” said Roslan. He said the aids include Braille lettering on buttons inside lifts, among other things. During the press conference at MBPJ on Monday, Roslan was A Malaysian Association for the Blind trainer leading mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman for a blindfolded and led by a blind perwalk. son from MAB. Participants who complete the 3km walk Mall. From there, they will walk on Jalan “It is very disorienting,” he said, while walkwill receive a voucher for a free eye screening Pantai to Jalan Gasing and back to MBPJ. ing around the briefing room at MBPJ’s office. worth RM160 at the eye hospital. There will There will be a brass band and cheerleaders He also urged MBPJ staff to participate in also be a free health check-up at the event. to encourage participants, and free isotonic the walk, and agreed with Mak that it was a The non-competitive walk starts at 7am drinks and snacks will be available. perfect family-day outing. and flags off at MBPJ car park near the Civic Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman Roslan also met with candidates for the Hall. Participants will proceed to Jalan Yong said MBPJ and police outriders will ensure Lions Club’s First Sight free cataract surgery Shook Lin, then on to Jalan Sultan to Amcorp the safety of participants. programme.

Rainbow Volunteers to improve community

Teng hard at work.

Kampung Tunku roads to be upgraded
The volunteers.

By Chong Loo Wah

By Gan Pei Ling

KLANG: “Out with the brown and in with green” is the objective of the new Rainbow Volunteers, who are working to beautify their neighbourhoods here. Some 80 volunteers rose to the occasion to improve the landscape in a public field in Taman Eng Ann as part of the group’s official launch on Sunday morning. Among those getting their hands dirty was Datuk Teng Chang Khim, who helped set up the group. The Sungai Pinang assemblyperson said the Rainbow Volunteers would also be organising community activities such as paying visits to orphanage and old folks’ homes. Apart from charity, they also hope to train the volunteers to be able to provide support in the event of disasters like floods and fires.

“They can act as a support to government agencies by providing food and water to the victims,” he said. Teng, who is the speaker of Selangor’s assembly, said three traditional Malay villages in the area also have their own volunteers and support groups. He added that the Rainbow Volunteers are open to anyone, regardless of age and race. This means that youths and senior citizens are invited to join, but new volunteers are expected to participate regularly in activities before they will be formally recognised. “This is to make sure they are committed in volunteering for the group,” Teng said. “For those who cannot commit, they can attend our activities as temporary volunteers as and when they are free.” Teng also used his constituency allocations to provide facilities for light exercise and to replace old basketball posts in Taman Eng Ann.

  PETALING JAYA: The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will spend RM200,000 to upgrade Jalan SS1/36 in Kampung Tunku to ease traffic congestion. Kampung Tunku assemblyperson Lau Weng San said MBPJ had recently approved the plan to straighten the winding road as well as widen it to three lanes. Lau said the bottleneck is located at the traffic lights in front of SMK Taman Sea. Due to a sharp corner right before the traffic lights, Lau said the existing two-lane road is effectively reduced to one, re-

sulting in a bottleneck during peak hours. Consequently, those who want to turn left into Taman Bahagia are also stuck at the traffic lights. By adding an additional lane, these cars will be able to turn left into Taman Bahagia without having to wait for the traffic lights. Lau added that Jalan SS1/36 also experienced heavy traffic flow as it is one of the main roads leading to SS2 and Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong. Lau, who visited the site on Monday, said MBPJ had called for tenders for the project. Work is expected to take three months.  

food 16
April 15 — 17, 2011

Grilled to perfection
By Brenda Ch’ng

Sweet and sour grilled fish.

Juicy cuttlefish.

T

ucked away in semi-rural Kampung Jawa about 15 minutes away from Klang Town is the unassuming Hing Ket Grill House. Nestled between two rural Malays villages, the restaurant, which looks more like a hawker eatery,  was surprisingly packed with hungry Chinese patrons, their tables laden with grilled specialties. The first thing that caught my attention wasn’t the sight of the place, but the scent from the smoking grills. While there was nothing spectacular about the layout of the restaurant, the scrumptious food made up for the limited decor.  We tried out their house specialties recommended by the waitress. The first dish that came was the grilled lamb (RM30), which was big enough for three to four people. The succulent, tender lamb was chargrilled to perfection. Every bite brought a sweet flavour to our taste buds. It is preferable to eat the lamb on its own before coating it with

mint sauce to be able to savour the authentic marination of the lamb. The next dish was the grilled devil fish/stingray (RM29), a generous, fleshy portion enough to feed a group of three. To get the most out of the flavour, squeeze the lime provided. This adds a little sourness to the spiciness of the dish. Eaten piping hot, the fish was delicious with a tinge of sweet-and-sourness. The last dish recommended was the grilled cuttlefish (RM12), cut up into tiny pieces and served with a chili-like sauce on the side. The cuttlefish itself was already coated with fragrant spices, grilled in a way that made it neither chewy nor tough. It is advisable to know which portion size to order as the dish comes in three different sizes, each served in a different style. The small portion we ordered was enough for three people. The medium-sized portion is served whole and should preferably be eaten unshared, as there are juices in the cuttlefish. However, the cuttlefish can be cut upon request. All in all, the restaurant is an

Succulent bite-sized chunks of lamb.

adventurous food experience if one is craving for grilled cuisine.  Hing Ket Grill House is located at Lot 3569, Batu 3 1/4 Kampung Jawa. It is open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, and from 5.30pm to 10.30pm.

Fake fish oil supplement
KUALA LUMPUR: A report has been lodged with the police on a fake fish oil supplement posing as an established fish oil brand. Police are investigating claims of imitation Pristine fish oil capsules being sold openly on the market. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has also been informed and is likely to conduct raids on medical halls suspected of carrying the fake fish oil product, according to a media statement. Mediharta Sdn Bhd, the Meditag hologram provider approved by MOH, has confirmed that the hologram on fake Pristine packs do not match those on the authentic product. “From our observation, this problem is currently prevalent in medical halls,” said Datuk Dr Rajen M, Chief Executive Officer of Holista CollTech (Australia) Ltd, the marketer for Pristin in Malaysia. “Pharmacies nationwide have been alerted via emails, [mail] and text messages in order to nip this issue in the bud,” he added. Genuine Pristin Toxin-Free Fish Oil can be distinguished by the Meditag hologram serial number, which starts with either the numerals 05 or 06. The counterfeit product uses Meditag holograms that begin with the letter A followed by a series of numerals. The fake pack also contains a spelling error in the word “Answer” found on the side of the pack.  For further information, call Pristin Info Zone at 1-300-88-2700 or visit www.pristine. com, where a list of authorised pharmacies selling the genuine product is provided along with tips to spot the fake Pristin.

The genuine packaging (left) versus the imitation pack.

FICTION 17
APRIL 15 — 17, 2011

The captivity of Joyce
Fiction by Chua They Hua

S

ince Mrs Lim woke up at 5am, Joyce had to escape by 4am. Mrs Lim had locked Joyce in the room with a pregnant lizard. It hauled its swollen belly – as if it had swallowed a bag of peanuts – across the cracked ceiling. Joyce’s captivity had begun when she had refused Mrs Lim’s offer of free board and lodging. “Please stay. We both like you.” Mrs Lim smiled. In a rattan rocking chair in front of a TV set, 20-year-old Kenny maintained a perpetual backward and forward motion. “Big sister!” Kenny called to Joyce. “Want to play?” “Thank you, Mrs Lim, but I can’t accept,” Joyce said. Joyce had only wanted a cheap and safe room in a block of flats. Mrs Lim, a widow, and her handicapped son seemed safe enough for a single girl looking for a job in Kuala Lumpur. During her first day of imprisonment, Joyce woke in her room with a headache. She remembered last night’s congee tasting bitter, with a powdery white residue at the bottom of the bowl. The lizard chirped from above the bed. The desk

Mrs Lim was a retired kindergarten assistant. She cooked soups for Joyce while Kenny rode his rocking chair.”

Know Your Councillor: Pulanthran Munisamy
By Basil Foo

FOUR-term Sepang Municipal Council (MPS) member Pulanthran Munisamy has bemoaned the abysmal state of cleanliness in his jurisdiction and vowed further action. “As my area has many residential gardens and a few industrial areas, there have been many cases of illegal dumping and open burning of rubbish,” said the 39-year-old. The councillor for Taman Mas and Putra Prima told Selangor Times of an instance when a public complaint ended up in the rubbish contractor’s hands. He said the contractor, appointed by the council to clear rubbish in his area, threatened the complainant for lodging the report. “Because of what they did, their contract with MPS will be terminated,” said Pulanthran, who is also in the council’s Town Beautification Committee. He gave this as an example of how the council can take direct action towards the cleanliness of their jurisdiction, unlike their dependence on Alam Flora. The private solid-waste management company is said to have reduced their rubbish collection in areas from three times a week to twice a week. “Even for collecting used furniture, they have to come once a month, but sometimes they come once in three months, which causes residents to complain,” Pulanthran said. The Selayang Municipal Council reportedly received much flak from the public over waste management issues due to delays in Alam Flora’s operating schedule. Pulanthran, whose service centre is on Jalan Dagang Mas 3 in Taman Mas, said he hoped the council would hire more of their own private contractors to increase waste management efficiency. When not managing the issues of his community, he lives with his wife and child in Taman Puchong Hartamas and works in sales. As he does not have much time for other personal pursuits, Pulanthran says he would enjoy taking an overseas vacation when he gets the chance.

stood bare; her mobile phone, keys, laptop and broadband modem had been confiscated by Mrs Lim. Joyce opened the window. The busy traffic rushed past, and the police pondok stood on the opposite side of the road. She shouted for attention. In response, Mrs. Lim pounded on the room door. “Stop it! You’ll disturb Kenny!” “Unlock this door!” “No,” Mrs Lim said. “Unless you behave.” Joyce tried another tactic. “Give me my phone. I need to call my mother.” “No need. I called her already. I told her that you’re going to live with us.” Joyce screamed and kicked the door. Mrs Lim went to prepare Kenny’s lunch. After lunch, Mrs Lim passed a shiny bedpan and toilet paper over the transom. Joyce scrawled messages on the toilet paper and flung the sheets out of the window. Some landed on the roof of the covered walkway below. She saw the roadsweeper scooping her messages into a rusty bin. She flung open the window, yelling at him. The road sweeper looked up at Joyce and walked away, shaking his head. In the evening , Mrs Lim unlocked the door. “It’s dinnertime. Promise to behave?” Joyce nodded and followed Mrs Lim to the kitchen. Kenny sat at the table, playing with his fried rice. “Make sure he eats properly.” Mrs Lim pushed a big bowl of chickenfeet soup to Joyce. “Here’s your soup.” She went to watch TV. Joyce found the same white powder in the chicken feet. She dumped Kenny’s rice into her soup and he delighted in slurping his dinner from the bowl. Soon he dozed with his head on the table. Joyce found the backdoor padlocked. Mrs Lim returned to the kitchen. Joyce pointed at Kenny. “He’s not feeling well.” Mrs Lim bent over her son. Taking a chance, Joyce rushed to the front door. It was sealed shut with new padlocks. While Mrs Lim hauled Kenny to the bathroom for a wash, Joyce searched the kitchen cupboards. She found two coils of unused nylon laundry line and a pair of rubber gloves. She hid them under her t-shirt and returned to her room. At 3am, Joyce tied the laundry lines together. She secured one end to the foot of the bed and opened the window. After throwing out the line, she was dismayed that it reached a metre above the roof of the covered walkway. The lizard chirped again, as if in encouragement. Wearing the rubber gloves, Joyce gripped the line, tested its strength, and put her legs over the window sill. The line held, although the bed creaked. Her bare feet scuffed the outer

source: sxc.hu

wall as she let herself down. The line wore through the rubber gloves and chafed her palms. Once Joyce reached the end of the line she would jump down on the roof. Breathing hard, she planted one foot after the other on the sheer wall. Settling into a tentative rhythm she descended. “Big sister!” Joyce heard Kenny knocking on the door of her room. He had slept off his dinner and would wake his mother! Joyce slid down and the line seared her palms. She lost her grip and fell onto the zinc-covered roof with a thud. Joyce only felt pain when she rolled off and landed onto a parked Honda. The car alarm sounded. Joyce saw lights switch on in the block. Two police officers emerged from the pondok to inspect the commotion. Before Joyce passed out, she heard Kenny yelling at his mother that ‘“big sister” was playing outside.

TRAVEL 18
april 15 — 17, 2011

Country life beneath the highway
“Take me home, country road”could not be more apt when one travels to Kampung Sungai Penchala. LIN ZHENYUAN pays the village a courtesy call
t would be fair to conclude that the population of Klang Valley today is about seven million, given that about four years ago, the number of people living in the valley was estimated at six million. Presently, it is home to a growing number of migrant workers who come from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Nepal. And a sizeable number of Indonesians of various ethnic communities have made Kampung Sungai Penchala their home. Because of historical, cultural and religious similarities, the diverse Indonesian people like the Javanese, Kerinchi, Bawean and Minangkabau have inroads into rural areas and have blended in with the locals. The Kerinchi people were originally from the eastern coast of Sumatra. Later they moved to Village shops and homes nestled among tall trees and rolling hills. Bukit Barisan, their current location. They are said to have links with the Minangkabau of western Sumatra. The Baweanese or Boyanese came from Alam, Bukit Raja, Klang, Sri Hartamas, the Bawean island or Pulau Puteri somewhere Sungai Buloh, Gombak, Ampang, Cyberjaya in the Java Sea. The literal translation of and Putrajaya. Pulau Puteri is the Island of Women, because Even though the transportation network apparently, there are more women on Pulau has drawn the tiny village closer to its more Puteri than men. Today, there are Bawean developed neighbours,  Kampung Sungai communities in Singapore, Australia, Malay- Penchala continues to hold fast to its idensia, and other regions of Southeast Asia. tity and its way of life. It is relatively serene Kampung Sungai Penchala is a relatively on most days. Traffic is light, but there seems small Malay village. It was gazetted as Malay to be a pulsating rhythm in this village of reserve land in Kuala Lumpur years ago. hardworking people. However, in the last decade, development has Kampung Sungai Penchala can be divided knocked vigorously at its doors because of its into three villages, namely Kampung Penproximity to Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), chala Indah, Kampung Palimbayan and Mutiara Damansara, Bandar Utama and Kampung Palimbayan Indah. There are two Bandar Sri Damansara. mosques in this village, Masjid Al-Hidayah Consequently various highways have and Masjid Jamek Tengku Abdul Aziz Shah. sprung up in recent years leading to KampuDuring a recent foray into the village, I ing Sungai Penchala. These are the Daman- was surprised to find two warung beneath the sara Puchong Expressway (LDP), the Sprint Penchala Link highway. The one that caught Highway, the New Klang Valley Expressway my attention was Warung Cherry, which was (NKVE), and the Damansara-Ulu Klang directly under the highway. Expressway (Duke). These expressways conIt was an amazing sight. Business seemed nect Kampung Sungai Penchala to Shah to be thriving. There was an advertisement A plate of ulam, petai mixed with different curries at Warung Cherry.

I

The entrance of Warung Cherry in Kampung Sungai Penchala.

The other eatery, Apek Corner.

TRAVEL 19
ARPIL 15 — 17, 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.
Business goes on uninterrupted beneath the highway at Kampung Sungai Penchala.

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: ..............................................................................................

that said bubur was free at lunchtime every day. The variety of lunch dishes was impressive. The sight of local residents and visitors from nearby areas having lunch at this warung was an experience worth remembering, and the distant noise of fast-moving vehicles added to the uniqueness of the place. Who would have thought that commercial activity could exist beneath a wide highway in a developed area so close to TTDI and Bandar Utama? Opposite Warung Cherry was its competitor, Apek Corner. Apek Corner wasn’t as structured as Warung Cherry, but it seemed to have its own lunch crowd. From the cemented steps of Warung Cherry, one gets a wide view of the rolling green hills beyond and the rooftops of the houses amid lush tall trees. The warung has orange-coloured table cloths and a TV to keep

customers entertained during meal times. The eatery policy is strictly self service, as clearly stated in English on a prominent signboard. The dishes at Warung Cherry were above average. Whoever thought of free bubur for customers was obviously endowed with exemplary business acumen. There are a couple of well-known restaurants in Kampung Sungai Penchala, among them Sambal Hijau Restaurant, which comes highly recommended because of its range of dishes and affordable prices, and Muhibbah Seafood Restaurant, which used to be located in a shop lot in TTDI. Kampung Sungai Penchala is one of those places that people like me like to “escape” to for a while to get reacquainted with the rustic comfort of a home away from home.

Free bubur at lunchtime only at Warung Cherry.

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

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

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

Call the SS17 BomBa for advise at
Customers have a wide view of the village road beneath the highway.

03-5634 9444

TECHNOLOGY 20
APRIL 15 — 17, 2011

Sleek, easy-to-use Android-powered HTCs
to its next version, Gingerbread 2.3, sometime in June.  One of the best features that struck me when I first set up all three smartphones was the ease with which I could do so. This is especially so when you are already a Google account holder as upon turning on the phone, the software will take you through a series of quick setup menus that help guide you through the process. In a few minutes, you’ll be up and running without much problems.  What’s more impressive is that Android even has the option for you to back up the applications you’ve already downloaded over the air on Google’s servers. So when I switched phones during the review, all applications I’d downloaded on the HTC Desire HD were also immediately available to me on the Desire Z and the Incredible S.  After setting your phone up with your contacts and email synchronised, the next thing to do is to download various applications. Although the application store, called Market, is not as comprehensive as Apple’s App Store, there are quite a few apps for you to choose from.  The common ones range from social media apps, productivity, music and entertainment, location-based services, finance, widgets to news and magazines, and many more.  Some of the apps I would recommend are: Tweetcaster as a Twitter client; Facebook for Android; TuneIn Radio for streaming Internet radio; Tap Tap Revenge for games; and Documents to Go for productivity. Most of these apps are free with some having the option to purchase full versions by paying for them online.  One of the biggest issues faced by Android users is that certain applications run on in the background without your knowing. This basically means that even after you’ve switche d screens, the application you’ve used is running behind the scenes, which could
Ease of setup, use

slow down your smartphone’s performance and consume the battery.   To deal with this, there are applications that specially “kill” the processes that run in the background. One good app to consider is Quick Task Killer, which gives you the option of what you want “killed” in order to save your battery life. That said, the typical usage you’ll get out of smartphones these days is about one day, so that’s the benchmark you should aim for.  Perhaps one of the coolest features that comes with the HTC is their ability to turn them into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot connection for you to share your 3G connection with your friends.   Setting it up is relatively easy: just turn it on in the Settings menu, set a password for your Wi-Fi connection and you’re ready to go. But do note that using your phone as a personal hotspot means you’ll be draining your battery and consuming your data plan.  While all major handset makers use Android as an underlying operating system, each handset maker has the flexibility to put in its own software on top of the core system. In HTC’s case, this includes proprietary software such as HTC Sense.com and HTC Locations.  HTCSense.com is more like a service, to help its users better manage their smartphones. For example, people can easily locate a missing phone by triggering the handset to ring loudly, even if it is set to silent, or to flag its location on a map. If the phone’s been lost or stolen, users can remotely lock the phone, forward calls and texts to another phone, send a message to the phone to arrange its return or even remotely wipe all personal data from it.    It also allows users to access archived mobile content such as contacts, text messages and call history from a PC browser, customise their phones with exclusive HTC content like wallpapers, HTC scenes, sounds or plug-ins.  HTC Locations is a useful tool that stores mapping information onto the phone doing away with the need to have an active mobile connection thereby giving you a faster access to your maps without incurring expensive data charges, especially when abroad.  In my tests, both Locations and HTC Sense.com were easy to use and they work to a tee. At the end of the day, my tests of all HTC smartphones left me with a good impression overall.   HTC has come a long way since its beginning and with some cool extras, this phone is certainly worthy to be considered. 
Add-ons

Pros: Large 4.3-inch screen, good for video and gaming experience, high definition 720p video, 8MP back camera.  Cons: Battery life is poorer than other similar phones due to the large screen and background running processes.  Pros: Good for those who want a virtual and physical keyboard, solid build design.  Cons: Its weight at 180g would be heavy for most people. Keyboard feels stiff and hard to press.  Pros: The right compromise of screen size (4-inch) and weight (135g), 800x480 super LCD screen, high definition 720p video, 8MP back camera, 1.3MP front camera.  Cons: No major flaws.   For more information on all phones, go to http://www.htc.com/sea/product.aspx.
HTC Incredible S HTC Desire Z

HTC Desire HD

HTC Desire HD

By Edwin Yapp

Last issue, I spoke about how Google’s Android software operating system has become so prevalent that it has begun to feature in most major handset manufacturers’ roadmap for the future.  One of the first handset makers that zoomed in on using Android has been HTC. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer has introduced no fewer than a dozen phones based on Android. The latest smartphones in its portfolio include the HTC Desire HD, HTC Desire Z and HTC Incredible S, just out this month.  All three smartphones come equipped with the most up-to-date software, which is Google’s Froyo 2.2, and users can upgrade

HTC Incredible S

HTC Incredible Z

By Alvin Yap

SHAH ALAM: Eignretep Sdn Bhd (ESB) is a logistics provider that has gone the lean, green way in its warehousing operations. The utility savings is fast attracting multinational companies that save on electricity and water bills while operating from ESB’s warehouses. “Our clients like our environmental initiatives as it saves them money,” said group chief executive officer and director Dr Shamsuddin Abdul Rahman. Shamsuddin said ESB’s existing and potential clients are “environmentally responsible” and concerned about low carbon emission. One of its flagship warehouses is

Logistics provider ESB goes lean and green
leased to Panasonic Malaysia as a hub to store its products in the country, and is able to accommodate 2,000 containers at a time. The 385,000 sq ft warehouse here is constructed with environmentally friendly features such as rainwater harvest technology, solar-powered street lighting, translucent roofing to let in natural light, and a heatreflecting roofing system. The height of its roof – one of the highest in any warehouse construction – ensures that fresh air flows throughout the premises. “Our lights outside the warehouse are solar powered and will run for nine hours at night before needing to switch over to Tenaga Nasional’s AC power,” he said. At night, lights inside the warehouse complex switch on when sensors are triggered, before turning off five minutes later. Shamsuddin said the warehouse uses the latest fluorescent system, which gives off 50% more light for half the energy consumed. The gigantic roofing allows rain to be caught and stored in five 500-gallon tanks for a combined capacity of 2,500 gallons.  “Our clients never have to use Syabas water,” said Shamsuddin, who uses the same water catchment system at home. The warehouse, located in Section 23, was constructed with an investment of about RM65 million, including land costs. The rear of the warehouse sits on the bank of Sungai Klang and includes a mini park with a jogging track, gazebos and pergolas. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has pointed to ESB’s commercial venture as an example of how to develop and beautify the Klang river. Shamsuddin said ESB is partnering Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) to construct greentechnology warehouses in the state. “Selangor is poised to retain its lead as a logistics centre in the country, and we want to play our part in ensuring that happens,” he said. ESB also manages warehouses for BSH Home Appliances, Bosch, ICI, Astro and Hasbro toys. The company brings in some RM100 million in revenue from its

Media 21
April 15 — 17, 2011

Group CEO Shamsuddin Ab Rahman.

ESB’s Sec 23 flagship warehouse.

logistics and warehousing operations and employs some 200 permanent staff across the country, with affiliated partnerships with 50 freight forwarders around the world. “We have all the infrastructure and services to be a major logistics provider not only in Malaysia but the world,” Shamsuddin said. ESB is looking to be a public listed company with its IPO float on Bursa Malaysia in two years’ time. “We are restructuring towards that goal, and even further than that as we want to be an international corporation,” Shamsuddin said.

A sanctuary in Melawati
By Alvin Yap

AMPANG: Located in a rolling green valley here at Melawati hills, Rydgeway luxury homes are surrounded by the backdrop of the Quartz Ridge in Klang Gates. The 13.8-acre land next to the Ulu Langat Forest Reserve comprises 40 units of zero-lot bungalows and 30 semi-de- Living room at a bungalow show unit. tached homes. A zero-lot home is a new concept of living day home, with its modern and sleek clubhouse. that has become increasingly popular around the Pebbled walkways line the street in this lowworld. Houses are built with the side wall on the density development, leading to each unit’s porch boundary of the land, allowing for a wider and and patio. The development is based on constructmore open garden on the other side. ing five units per acre. This exclusive gated and guarded community “Rydgeway offers the best of modern contemKitchen with the dining area at a bungalow show unit. feels more like an upmarket resort than a day-toporary homes that is suited for tropical living,” said Sunwaymas sales manager Nicholas Ng. The bungalow unit boasts large living rooms, balconies and an internal courtyard. PETALING JAYA: As a lead-up to the moniker “Singapore Blade Runner”.  The response since the launch in before he decided in April 2008 to start running Energizer Night Race 2011 tomorrow, Au Yong runs for charity by accumulating for his health.  October 2009 has been “overEnergizer Malaysia, together with Gatorade, funds for each kilometre traversed. Dubbed whelming”, said Ng. “I was 45kgs heavier before appearing here held an event with three runners at Tropicana “The Extra-Miler”, Au Yong trains by running today. I didn’t start running until one day I Of the 70 units, only eight are City Mall on April 9. 160-200km each month. In 2009, he ran an overheard my little kid saying a prayer for his dad left, with two tentatively booked. Mohd Shariff Abdullah, Alexander Au Yong 84km ultra-marathon to raise funds for a to lose weight. From then I made a commitment The bungalow units are priced and Joshua Lee shared their inspirational stories community centre called the Dream Village to get fit by running,” he said. from RM3.4 million with a built-up in an hour-long session with other runners and and raised RM32,000.  area of 5,039 to 5,345 sq ft. Au Yong will be attempting the 42km members of the public. They are among the Lee revealed that he had weighed in at 125kg category tomorrow, while Shariff and Lee will The semi-detached units are 10,000 runners participating in the Energizer priced at RM2.4 million with a be participating in the 21km and Night Race 2011. built-up area of 3,600 sq ft. 11km run respectively.  This marks the second time that Energizer Rydgeway is strategically located The Energizer Night Race 2011 has brought the Energizer Night Race format 20 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur will be held at the Sepang Internato Malaysia, which has already seen success in via the Ampang Kuala Lumpur Eltional Circuit, and will also mark the South Korea, Argentina, the Philippines and evated Highway (Akleh). And using start of a night photography contest South Africa.  the Duta-Ulu Kelang (Duke) Exat www.thruthelenz.net, with Mohd Shariff has been wearing an artificial pressway, commuters can reach the RM18,000 in cash prizes and Enerlimb since he was five years old, and became Mont Kiara area in 35 minutes. gizer products up for grabs. inspired to run marathons after watching videos In the vicinity are private schools Apart from the race, there will also of his idol, South African Paralympic runner like International School Kuala be exciting activities such as an inline Oscar Pistorius. Lumpur (ISKL), Sri Inai and TAR skating competition, a carnival, food Since he took up running in 2009, Shariff College. Ampang Puteri Specialist stalls, sponsor stalls, and Transformer has worked his way from 2km runs to 100km hospital and Gleneagles Intan Medmovie screenings during the event. ultra-marathons. His distinctive blade-shaped (From right) Lee, Mohd Shariff and Au Yong with ical Centre are also nearby, as are For more information, visit www. running prosthetic leg has given him the representatives from Energizer and Gatorade. shopping centres like Giant, Jaya energizernightrace.com.my. Jusco, Carrefour and Ampang Point.

Inspiration for the finish line

Gallery 22
April 15 — 17, 2011 Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (centre) accompanied to a state award ceremony on Monday by (from right) Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Regent HRH Tengku Amir Shah, Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim and State Secretary Datuk Khusrin Munawi.

Children were among eighty people who worked hard to improve the landscape of a public field in Taman Eng Ann, Klang on Sunday as part of the official launch of Rainbow Volunteers. Mohd Ikhsan Mukri (left), vicepresident of the Klang Municipal Council, planting a tree in Taman Pengkalan Batu on Saturday as part of an initiative to beautify Klang.

Bomba personnel demonstrating how they save victims from drowning during a water rescue operation held as part of Rakan Bomba in Subang Jaya on Sunday. The event allowed members of the public to meet and greet firefighters, as well as learn about fire safety.

Vegetarian food prepared by the community of Gurdwara Sahib Klang Sikh temple to celebrate the religious festival of Vasakhi on Tuesday.

Culture 23
April 15 — 17, 2011

iNTErViEW
ThoR Kah hoong – former journalist, writer, director, performer, and owner of Skoob Books bookstore in old Town, Petaling Jaya – talks about the conception of his semi-autobiographical theatre show Brickfields Now & Then, and (almost) spills the beans on how Kuala Lumpur’s “Little India” today differs from the place where he grew up. How did Brickfields Now & Then come about? Why was it meaningful or significant for you to present your stories on your life in Brickfields? Brickfields Now & Then first started as a series of features that was going to run in a newspaper. They were eventually published in a monthly magazine, Men’s Review (now extinct). When I thought a performance could be obtained from them, I had to rewrite them for a different medium: the stage. I play myself as a boy; I represent kids of that period, the 50s and 60s; and I am myself today. Brickfields is a particular community with an identity, but I also use it to represent Malaya/ Malaysia. What can audiences expect from the show? And how did people respond to previous stagings? [It’s] just me and a chair on a bare stage. Ultimate challenge for an actor: how to keep people focused and laughing for two hours without anything else or anybody to look at. My two previous seasons and a riot of a dinner show at the Lake Club tells me that it can be scary and exhausting, but it can work. My most memorable reaction was a Norwegian lady who came up to me after the dinner-show at the Lake Club. “Remember me?” “of course, you are back again for more punishment.” (She had seen my first run in the theatre a couple of weeks earlier). “I found it very funny, just like what it was in Norway, and brought two friends to see.” “You grew up in a farmhouse near the Artic Circle. What similarities are there with a little boy in Malaya in the 50s?” “Kids all over the world are the same. Some things and details are different, but so many things are the same.” I also remember at the Lake Club also, there was a table of five young women. When I was performing my piece on a boy trying to find out about the mysteries of sex, [one of the women] got into such a hysterical fit, I couldn’t continue. She had to leave the hall for a few minutes, and we could still hear her laughing outside. What are your thoughts on Brickfields today – the “Bollywoodisation” of the Little India area; the one-way traffic and congestion; its overall development? This question is answered in the introductory piece Brickfields Now & Then 2 – Little India, so I won’t reveal anything. If you were a child living in Brickfields today, how do you think your stories might differ from your existing narratives? Too much of a stretch of imagination to answer this. Stories, particularly those based on experience, need the living and a long mulling and absorption. But since I haven’t lived in Brickfields since 1973...

Compiled by Nick Choo

CAlENDAr

Editor’s Pick
Theatre; April 12-17; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10; RM15/33; 03 21422009/21432009; theactorsstudio.com. my

Brickfields Now & Then 1 &2

ThoR Kah hoong presents a twopart, tickling account of his childhood playground in Brickfields Now & Then 1& 2. First staged as Telling Tales in 1998, Brickfields Now & Then 1 comprises short stories such as Brickfields, the Movie, which centres on Lido Cinema and the influence of film on children, and Brickfields, the Sequel, which compares it with today; Crime and Punishment, on punishment in primary school; Like that Shock Meh?, about a boy trying to understand the mysteries of sex; and I Sent him to Boot hill, on the white man and Independence. Brickfields Now & Then 2 comprises mostly new material, such as My Education Was Destroying the Country; Rats, about wildlife in modern Brickfields; Stalag VI or Crime & Punishment 2, on punishment in secondary school, and tales of gangs and books, God and death. This one-man show will take audiences back to the time where corporal punishment was the norm, fireworks were still legal, and 40 sen went a really long way. Presented by the Actors Studio Theater Rakyat.

De Todo Como en Botica
Art exhibition; April 11-24; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; free admission; www.klpac.org De Todo Como en Botica, a common phrase in Spanish, literally translates into “of everything in the pharmacy” to express “everything you need is here”. Martanoemi Noriega, a visual artist from Panama, uses this phrase to express her feelings of her stay in Malaysia. her exhibition will showcase experimental artwork on the variety of colours, styles and textures that converge in this multicultural country; of different ideas and moods she has experienced and explored in Malaysia.

Two
Dance; April 14-17; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 8:30pm; RM25/50/100; bookings: 010-2215262/03-80700890, dance@ duaspace.com.my
Anthony Meh and Aman Yap, two dance artists/choreographers, share their way of looking at life in their 30s: their experiences of living and learning, struggling with complicated relationships, and how they cope with resisting control and constraints. Two premiered in 1998, toured locally in 1999 and performed overseas in 2000. Presented by Dua Space Dance Theatre.

Songwriters Round 26
Music; April 15 & 16; Alexis Bistro and Wine Bar / Jazz Club; 9:30pm; free admission; 03-42602288; alexis.com.my
Founded and produced by local Pete Teo, the Songwriters’ Round has long been the premium showcase event for singersongwriters in Malaysia. The 26th round features Reza Salleh; Melina William, lead vocalist of rock band Tempered Mental; Japanese indie artist Yohei Miyake; and multiple award-winning artist-producer Pete Teo himself. Free admission, but book early to avoid disappointment.

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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