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April 29 — MAy 1, 2011/ issue 22
Clean-up calvary: the Klang Municipal Council has equipped personnel from its Health Department with motorcycles with sidecars to clean hard-to-reach back alleys. • Story on page 5
petaling Jaya: Restaurant guidelines for Petaling Jaya will now be issued in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal languages. The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) said the measure was being taken due to the influx of foreign workers from these countries. “When you go to a restaurant to storage and serving of food. here, you find many of the food The booklet also includes a flowhandlers are migrant workers,” said chart on the procedures involved in MBPJ assistant health director Dr revoking a restaurant’s licence. V Chithradavi. Dr Chithradavi said food hanThe move to include the guide- dlers and restaurant owners can no lines in foreign and vernacular longer use “I do not understand” as languages is to help workers better an excuse. understand the proper handling She said Mayor Datuk Roslan and storage of both raw as well as Sakiman had suggested the inclucooked food. sion of the foreign languages to The cleanliness and sanitary make the information readily availguidelines list 24 important criteria able to migrant workers. for safe food handling, ranging City councillor Latheefa Koya from personal health and hygiene said the publication should clarify
International ‘flavour’ for guidelines
By Alvin Yap and Gan Pei Ling
questions on the procedures. She pointed out that MBPJ will now strictly enforce the “three strike rule” to shut down eateries found to have flouted cleanliness and sanitation three times within a year. The booklet has received positive feedback from eateries in Petaling Jaya, according to Latheefa. “We have good response from the respective restaurant associations during a soft launch of the booklet,” she said. It lists the departments and ranking officers allowed to sign off on
shutting down dirty restaurants. This is done so that operators will not be taken in by bogus or lowranking MBPJ officers. Latheefa added that the guidelines, with latest amendments to the procedures, take into consideration feedback from restaurant operators. “They (restaurant operators) want more information on the various laws and regulations,” she said. Latheefa said the booklet signals MBPJ’s seriousness in combating food-borne illnesses. She said the council has gone the
extra mile to print the comprehensive booklets, and would not spare dirty eateries. MBPJ health officers said out of some 2,500 restaurants in the Petaling Jaya area, the department has closed or “sealed” 15 errant eateries as of end of April. Furthermore, 42 compounds were issued by MBPJ during fullscale health and sanitation operations so far this year. However, the council could not furnish details on the number of food poisoning cases.
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
SHAH ALAM: One of the catalysts of the 2008 political tsunami will soon regain its prominence following the rebuilding of the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Padang Jawa. The demolished temple is being rebuilt near the Padang Jawa KTM commuter station, which is about 500m from its original location. Demolished just a few days before Deepavali in November 2007, the new temple will be built in a 15,000 sq ft area. Selangor state executive councillors, community leaders, and Indian residents from the former Kampung Rimba Jaya attended the laying of the foundation stone ceremony last Sunday. The ceremony started at 9am with prayers, followed by the laying of the foundation stone in a 4ftdeep hole, over which the main altar of the temple will be built. The temple was demolished by the Shah Alam City Council after the Rimba Jaya village was cleared for development under Barisan Nasional’s zero-squatter programme. However, the demolition drew protests from the Hindu community nationwide, which led to the historic Hindraf rally in 2007 and subsequent loss of support for the BN. Selangor state health, plantation workers, poverty and caring government standing committee chairperson Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the land was donated by Ken Rimba Jaya, the developer. “ The state is contributing RM300,000 to the [temple] building fund as the Pakatan Rakyat wants to resolve an issue that has caused much anguish to the Indian community. “The temple was the catalyst for change, and we want to recognise its significance,” he said at the ceremony.
Destroyed temple being rebuilt
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He acknowledged that there was a delay in the rebuilding because of squabbles among devotees. “But everything has been resolved and there should not be any problem now,” he said. Dr Xavier added that all the land for places of worship in Selangor has been gazetted, and the state has given out land titles to about 70 temples since it took power. “We have done what could not be achieved in 52 years,” he said. During the ceremony, Dr Xavier was honoured with garlands and also accorded the title of “temple saviour”. “We are prepared to do more for the Indian community. Last year, we gave RM2.5 million to [Hindu] temples,” he said. Among those at the ceremony were state executive councillor Ronnie Liu, Bukit Melawati assemblyperson M Muthiah, Port Dickson assemblyperson M Ravi, and Senator M Ramakrishnan.
Dr Xavier (brown shirt) laying the foundation stone while Liu looks on.
Temple building committee chairmperson N Thiagu said the construction would be completed in about a year, provided there was enough funds. The temple is expected to cost about RM700,000. “The state’s allocation has come in handy, and we urge all Indians to help as this is undoubtedly one of the most significant temples now. “We cried when the temple was demolished, and we are also crying now. It’s tears of joy,” he said. He said the temple would not just be a place of worship but a monument for Malaysian Indians. State executive councilor Rodziah Ismail, who was also present, said there was no issue that could not be resolved. “Compromise and acceptance is the solution as Malaysians should recognise different religions and cultures. Using the Pakatan Rakyat approach, many issues can be resolved. I am glad the issue has finally has been resolved,” she said.
State to launch anti-ISA campaign
SHAH ALAM: Selangor will spend RM600,000 to put up billboards in its soon-to-be-launched anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) campaign. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said “Save Malaysia: Abolish ISA” billboards will be installed in all 56 constituencies in the state within the next two months. “This is consistent with Pakatan Rakyat’s promise that it would abolish the ISA within 100 days [if the coalition comes into power at the federal level],” said Khalid after chairing the executive council meeting on Wednesday. Khalid said the funds would come from Tabung Amanah Penswastaan and be distributed by Menteri Besar Incorporation. He added that the installation and construction of the billboards will be done through open tender, and will b e advertised in newspapers. The state will also be organising road shows and inviting former ISA detainees and current assemblypersons like Saari Sungib (Hulu Kelang) and M Manoharan (Kota Alam Shah) to speak to the public. Selangor’s state assembly had passed a motion in March to campaign against the half-a-centuryold law which allows for detention without trial. Besides Saari and Manoharan, who were detained for years, Kinrara assemblyperson Terasa Kok had also been detained for seven days under the ISA in 2008.
Friday Morning Saturday Sunday
Schedule needed for road resurfacing
By Brenda Ch’ng
SUBANG JAYA: Priority to get pothole-riddled roads resurfaced with the municipality’s limited funds resulted in a heated discussion at a full board meeting of the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPS J ) on Wednesday. All 24 councillors insisted that
MPSJ should have a “zero-tolerance policy on potholes”. The councillors also wanted all complaints to be attended to immediately. “MPSJ should have a proper road system to determine the age of the road so it will be easier to prioritise roads which need resurfacing,” said Dr Loi Kheng Min.
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
MPK records RM10m surplus
By Basil Foo
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K L A N G : The Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has made history by recording a RM10 million surplus in their 2010 budget. Among the departments which contributed to the surplus was the Environment Department, which benefited from cost-cutting measures. “Since taking over garbage management from Alam Flora last year, MPK has recorded savings. We managed to save RM5 million in expenses,” said Wan Mohd Sufian at Wednesday’s full board meeting. The MPK Environment Department director expects the council to save another RM2.5 million after taking over
public cleaning services this month. Councillor Lim Lip Suan said the council has also managed to increase its revenue from the collection of assessment fees and arrears for the past three years. “In the past few years, Klang has had a lot of mega housing developments which have increased assessment fees by several million,” he said. However, Lim said the main reason for the surplus was the savings from garbage fees – from RM60 million in 2008 to the current RM40 million. He added that the Environment Department, which used to run deficits, now has enough funds to lend to other departments. Lim congratulated the council for wisely managing its finances.
The councillor said residents should be provided with schedules to determine a definite time frame for all roads that need to be resurfaced. Under MPSJ’s current policy, roads used by heavy vehicles are resurfaced every five years, city roads every seven years, and residential roads every 10 years. “But despite the policy, MPSJ can’t do anything because they do not have enough funds for road resurfacing,” said R Rajiv. The councillor pointed out that patching up potholes was at best a temporary but costly measure. Rajiv said the council’s limited budget for roads would be better spent on resurfacing roads according to a definite schedule. However, MPSJ has only allocated RM4 million for road repairs this year. “The funds will not be enough to repair all roads under the municipality’s jurisdiction. I think more money should be budgeted for roadworks,” said councillor Edward Ling Sieak Meeng. MPSJ deputy president Abdullah Marjunid said he would look into the suggestions.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 29 – MAY 1, 2011 ⁄ 3
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
MIA batik workshop
The Department of Extra-Mural Studies, Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA), will hold a workshop for batik lovers in May. The workshop, which consists of four lessons, is open to everyone aged 13 and above. Participants will be taught how to draft, draw, wax, colour, and also get to know the various techniques needed to create interesting designs with batik tools and dyes. The workshop will be held at the MIA Art Centre, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. For more information, contact the centre at 03-21632337, email email@example.com, or visit the website at www.mia.edu.my.
MB makes surprise visit to Sri Perantau flats
Fundraiser for Japan
Another event to raise funds for victims of the Japan quake will be held at the Saujana Kuala Lumpur poolside on May 2 from 7am. This follows the overwhelming response to the previous event on April 17. The event will be held by Manasa Yoga in collaboration with Saujana Kuala Lumpur. There will be charity stalls and a scrumptious vegetarian lunch sponsored by the hotel. Cheque and cash donations can be handed to Manasa Yoga during or before the event. For more information, call 012-337 5955 (Susan) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learning to coach
Corporate coach Acedemy is providing an opportunity to learn about coaching and how it can empower you to fulfill your goals. The academy is committed to guiding individuals and organisations to boost their performances in key areas. Start by requesting a free copy of the Coaching Standards Handbook, and by attending Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches (MACC) monthly meetings. For more information, contact 03-62054488 or log on to www.corporate-coachacademy.com.
By Brenda Ch’ng
MPSJ strategic planning
A community consultation conference questionaire will be held on the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) website on May 3. This questionnaire is targeted at interested groups like the disabled, children, students, professionals, resident communities and associations, and developers. With this questionaire, MPSJ aims to listen to feedback from the targeted groups. The input will help draw up strategic plans for 2010 to 2016. For details, contact 03-80264465 or 80267408 (Jabatan Perancangan Korporat MPSJ), or visit their website at www.mpsj. gov.my.
A blood donation campaign for the National Blood Bank will be held on Sunday (May 1) from 8.30am to 5.30pm at Kwan Inn Teng Temple at 1-3, Jalan 4/49E, Petaling Jaya. There will be free transport for donors at Kota Raya Kuala Lumpur and Taman Jaya LRT station in Petaling Jaya. For more information, contact the centre at 03-77825108 or 77833323.
The British Council will be having a free information session on May 12 from 7.30pm to 8.30pm for the internationally recognised Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults (Celta) awarded by the University of Cambridge. The session is open to all anyone who is interested in teaching English. Celta will be the initial qualification for people with little or no previous training. The session will be held at the British Council, Ground Floor, West Block, Wisma Selangor Dredging, 142C, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. For more information, contact the council at 03-27237900 or email kualalumpur@ britishcouncil.org.my.
KLANG: Complaints of rampant drug abuse, vandalism and gangsters at the Sri Perantau flats here drew an unexpected visit by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim last Friday. The Menteri Besar stopped over for a site inspection of the 11 blocks of flats after learning about the deplorable conditions there from Selat Kelang assemblyperson Dr Halimah Ali. Khalid, who met residents, promised that funds from the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) and the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) would be allocated to improve the living conditions, including amenities at the flats. “There will be free shuttle bus service five times a day to take residents from the flats to the Port Klang bus station. “Apart from that, we will be repairing lifts and wiring, [replacing] drain covers and providing more bins for rubbish,” said Khalid. The building facilities haven’t been repaired for years because the Joint Management Body ( JMB) was struggling to collect maintenance fees from residents. “Every month I can only collect about 40% of the monthly maintenance
money, and RM55 per family is only enough to pay gardeners, electricity and water bills,” said Ettiappan Raju. The JMB chairperson was also hardpressed to repair damages due to daily vandalism and had appealed for help from the state. “These problems have been going on for at least 10 years, and drastic measures have to be taken now to ensure this flat becomes a conducive environment for our next generation of children to grow up in,” said Dr Halimah. The state executive councillor for education said it was upsetting to see so many poor uneducated youths here who have turned to drugs and violence as a way to vent their problems. She added that the addicts are the hardest to reach out to because they are elusive. Similarly, she said it was hard for authorities to nab the culprits responsible for the thefts of drain covers and wiring, and vandalising the lifts. A G enera si Idaman S elang or (GeMS) centre was set up at the flats by Dr Halimah last year to provide long-term programmes to help the community “Youths and parents alike can come to us for help instead of us blindly reaching out,” said Mohd Ali Jinnah, who helps run the centre.
Ali points them in the right direction by helping them to register for state schemes and programmes such as parenting, leadership and empowerment programmes. The flat comprises 60% Malays and 40% Indians of poor backgrounds who used to live in squatter homes before being moved here by the government 10 years ago.
Reclaimed halls now open to the public
KLANG: Most public multipurpose halls previously monopolised by political parties here will soon be made available to the people. The Klang Municipal Council (MPK) is reclaiming the halls, which will be up for public rental from May 15. “There are 37 hall operators who have agreed to hand them over to us, but the total number [of halls in Klang] is more than that,” said Lim Lip Suan. The MPK councillor said the halls are rightly owned by the council and will be rented out at RM10 per hour. A six-month trial run will start from the middle of next month to determine if the rental price structure is feasible after taking into account upkeep costs. Lim added that posters and logos of political parties will be removed from the halls and replaced with MPK’s logo as a standardised signage. The council is also discussing tenancy terms with those using halls that have yet to be reclaimed. “Once these halls are taken over, those interested, [including political parties,] can rent them from the council,” said Robert Choo Teck Keong. The MPK councillor said the move would go a long way towards helping the council regain control of their assets. He added that the monopoly of halls does not only affect the Klang municipality, but the whole of Selangor as well.
PKNS to repaint low-cost flats
SHAH ALAM: The Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) is repainting its low-cost flats that are more than 15 years old. Executive councillor Iskandar Abdul Samad said the state will spend RM5.2 million to renovate 8,180 units of low-cost flats. “This is to add value to PKNS development schemes in addition to creating a more cheerful and harmonious environment at the apartments,” said Iskandar in a statement on Wednesday. He said PKNS should complete the programme in stages within a year. The state investment arm will start with low-cost flats in Section 20 and Section 24 in Shah Alam.
Zone Shah Alam Kota Damansara Bangi Petaling Jaya Ampang Ulu Klang Units 2,442 2,300 1,942 864 560 8,108 Blocks 35 24 47 19 6 131
The Cyberjaya Photography Contest will be organised by Cyberview Sdn Bhd from now until June 15. The theme is “A Zest For Life in Cyberjaya”. Cash prizes of RM3,500, RM2,000 and RM1,500 will be awarded. For more information, contact 0383156048 (Rozi) or email email@example.com, or visit www.cyberview.com.my or www.cyberjayatv.com.
APRIL 29 — MAY 1, 2011
Motorcycles with sidecars to clean up streets
By Alvin Yap and Basil Foo
Traffic lights need better suppressors
By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: Clean Zones in the royal town will be patrolled by council staff on motorcycles on the lookout for littering. “We want to make sure the Clean Zones are clean,” said Ronnie Liu at a press conference at the State Secretariat in Shah Alam on Tuesday. He said the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has equipped 10 motorcycles with sidecars to do their rounds in Pandamaran, Jalan Meru, Taman Sentosa, Jalan Beringin and Taman Gembira. The teams, consisting of two MPK staff each, will pick up
MPK personnel with their sidecar-equipped motorcycle.
litter like cigarette butts, plastic drink bottles and cans. “They will go and actively search for litter,” the state executive councillor for local government said. Liu said the teams will be on duty during daytimes, including on weekends. The initiative is funded by MPK, with teams to also help out during gotong-royong campaigns in the municipality, Liu said. He said MPK was leaving no stone unturned in its bid to fight littering. “We are determined to carry it out, even if our budget is just enough. We will clean up Klang,” said Liu, who is also assemblyperson for Pandamaran. Liu said the move was inspired by the Chinese city of Xiamen, which was voted by residents and tourists as the cleanest city in China. “Klang will be signing a Friendly City agreement with Xiamen next month. [Therefore] it is important for Klang to rid the streets of litter,” Liu said. T h e m o t o r c y c l e s , c o s ti n g RM7,000 each, were chosen to navigate small back alleys and jammed roads. “They are smaller and more maneuverable than lorries. A lorry will be stationed along the main road and used as a drop-off point for the motorcycles,” said Wan Mohd Sofian. The MPK Environment Department director said the initiative,
SUBANG JAYA: Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) councillors have called for better lightning suppressors to be fixed in traffic lights. “The current suppressors are not strong enough to withstand lightning strikes during thunderstorms,” said R Rajiv. The councillor said the extra current from lightning flowing through the suppressors is causing them to blow up, leading to malfunctioning of traffic lights. He said with better suppressors, the extra current could be diverted into the ground instead. Research by contractors and the engineering team at MPSJ showed that lightning that hits streetlights are de-
flected into traffic lights. Thunderstorms during peak hours are affecting 31 traffic lights in the SubangUSJ area. According to Rajiv, the worst-affected lights are located on Persiaran Kewajipan, Persiaran Tujuan and Persiaran Jengka. “I have already set up a temporary-measure response team on standby every day when there is a thunderstorm,” said Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh. She said one contractor has been assigned for every traffic light in the area to repair the lights immediately after complaints are made to MPSJ. Yeoh added that she is working with the MPSJ engineering department for a permanent solution to the problem.
which has been operating for two weeks, has received encouraging public feedback, especially from shopkeepers in the town centre. He added that the council would buy more motorcycles if the community is satisfied with its service.
Disturb us, say police
By Basil Foo
APRIL 29 — MAY 1, 2011
SERI KEMBANGAN: Residents and shopkeepers here were told during a dialogue session with the police on April 25 to “disturb” the officers in blue and to “make use” of them. “Disturb my men in blue. Call us for a faster response time,” said Serdang police chief Abdul Razak Elias.
The superintendent said even in the case of break-ins where little or no valuables were stolen, a police report could help determine their crime index. A more detailed index would then enable them to consider putting more patrol cars on the road or, in serious cases, calling the police headquarters in Bukit Aman for assistance. “Registering with Rakan Cop is the best way for information to flow,” he said. Abdul Razal further urged residents to send in dates, times, locations, and descriptions of suspicious activity. Restaurant owners Chan Yen Huat, 47, and Jeffrey Chooi, 58, complained about rampant snatch theft in the area. The duo own open-air restaurants in the Seri Kembangan Commercial Centre, and called for an increased police presence to curb the menace. “There have been people coming around here asking for protection money,” said Wong Chee Hem, a 30-year-old salesperson who also works in the area. Karrupayah L Karrupayah, a 35-year-old
Serdang police deputy chief Lam Chien Fei.
manager, claimed it was “frightening” living in an area where there were reportedly many drug addicts and dealers. Addressing the crowd of about 70 residents and business operators after the question session was Serdang police deputy chief Lam Chien Fei. “We will be stepping up our uniformed police presence and increasing patrols in the area,” said the deputy superintendent. He then gave out his phone number to residents, and said the standard response time upon contacting the police is between five and 15 minutes.
Urging residents to call or SMS upon witnessing a crime taking place, Lam also said he noticed a lack of contact between the public and the authorities. “Residents associations or any religious organisations are welcome to call us to give talks about public safety and crime awareness,” he added. Also at the dialogue were Serdang Member of Parliament Teo Nie Ching , Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah, and Subang Jaya councillors Tai Cheng Heng, Chong Hoon Ming, and Ng Sze Han.
Residents learn more Deadline for shops to apply about firefighting to use sidewalks
By Basil Foo
Volunteer Patrol Unit members learning the tricks of the trade.
PETALING JAYA: It was a funfilled morning as residents from Taman Gasing Indah tried their hand at operating fire hoses during a workshop with firefighters last Sunday (April 24). About 50 residents met with personnel from the Petaling Jaya Fire and Rescue Department to learn fire prevention and hydrant maintenance methods. Firefighters also used the opportunity to test hydrants around the neighbourhood to ensure operational readiness and strong water pressure. Children were treated to a tour of the fire trucks to view the sirens and firefighting apparatus while having a go at the fire hoses.
Rukun Tetangga chairperson Alfred Chuah also handed over a map of the neighbourhood and the emergency master key for all backlane gates to the firefighters. Twenty-five members of the Volunteer Patrol Unit also pledged to care for the hydrants in the neighbourhood and to help firefighters during emergencies. Project coordinator Eric Chew expressed hope the event would foster more cooperation among the community and to showcase a shared responsibility between neighbours. He added that Taman Gasing Indah was the first neighborhood in Petaling Jaya to organise such an event with the Fire Department.
SERI KEMBANGAN: Shops under the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) have until the end of June to apply for permits to use five-foot ways and public corridors to display their goods. “They can apply with the licensing committee to use the space in front of their shoplots,” said Pooi Weng Keong during a press conference on Tuesday (April 26). The move is to regulate five-foot ways that are commonly used for commercial purposes, but which pose an inconvenience to pedestrians. The MPSJ councillor said for walkways five feet in length, two feet could be used for display. For corridors more than five feet long, one-third of the space could be used. Open drains will also be allowed to be covered, and the additional space can be utilised by shop owners. However, owners who fail to apply for the permit, which costs RM100 every six months, could be fined up to a maximum of RM1,000. Pooi said permits would be subject to approval by the municipality’s technical task force, which are independent of the councillors. Approval will take between two and four weeks. He pointed out that the new policy, which was
announced last month, doesn’t include restaurants. He reminded restaurant owners who have applied for separate permits to set up tables outside their premises to pay the fees in two weeks or risk facing action. Approval has been granted to 86 restaurants under MPSJ to set up Ean Yong tables on walkways and open spaces, but 40 have yet to pay for the permits. The permit allows restaurants to put tables outside their premises at RM1 per table per day from 6pm to 12am. “If they want to put tables in car parks, we have to check on case-by-case basis,” he said. Also at the press conference were Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah, and Subang Jaya councillors Chong Hoon Ming and Loka Ng Sai Kai. “The purpose of this policy is to help them to do business. I hope this will be an example to other local councils in Selangor to follow MPSJ’s initiative,” said Ean Yong.
Contractor blamed for darkness
By Basil Foo
KLANG: A local councillor has hit out at the contractor of an overhead bridge leading towards Jalan Jambatan Kota over nonfunctioning streetlights. “The streetlights have not been working from last year when the project was completed, [which was about eight months
ago,]” said Yew Boon Lye. The Klang Municipal Council (MPK) member said this after the council’s full board meeting on Wednesday (April 27). Yew said the contractor responsible for the 300-metre stretch did not take adequate measures to resolve the problem. Vandals were blamed for stealing electrical chokes worth
RM80 each from the circuit boxes of the streetlights. He said streetlights at areas before and after the stretch, which are maintained by the MPK, also faced vandalism but could still function at night. MPK wants the problem to be resolved first before it takes over the management of the project from the contractor.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 29 – MAY 1, 2011 ⁄ 7
No more excuses, MBPJ tells departments
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya city council (MBPJ) mayor datuk roslan Sakiman has warned his departments that he will no longer tolerate excuses that they lack contractors to attend to public complaints. “We have given contractors responsibility to maintain the city council infrastructure according to zones,” roslan said after a full board meeting on Wednesday. The mayor said contractors are organised according to Petaling Jaya north and South demarcation zones in order to speed up the response time to complaints. More importantly, he said, each contractor maintains only one specific public infrastructure – namely to replace missing manholes, repair potholes, or maintain traffic lights. “MBPJ has enough contractors to attend to complaints. i do not want to hear of the council taking a week to re-
place a missing manhole cover or repair a traffic light,” he said. To speed up the response time, roslan said MBPJ’s public complaints department should be given the power to hold engineering units accountable for their actions. councillors at the full board meeting agreed to debate the matter at committee level. Earlier, roslan saw red over council me eting minutes which describe d “chronic” failures of traffic lights in Kota damansara and the SS2/24 area, which have led to massive traffic snarls. “repair or replace the traffic lights before a four-way pile up happens,” he told the departments. MBPJ has solved some 3,328 cases out of 5,322 complaints received from January to this month. This month itself, MBPJ received 601 complaints and solved 212 cases. Faulty traffic lights accounted for most of the complaints made by ratepayers, followed by reports of potholes.
JUILYAKE NT INTA KE
Chernobyl: Lessons for Malaysia 25 years later
According to the Health Ministry in Kyiv, more than 2.32 million people, including 452,000 children, have been hospitalised in the Ukraine for illnesses blamed on chernobyl. A recent estimate puts the number of cancer deaths from chernobyl at 27,000 and excess cancers at 53,000 people. The nuclear industry has been at pains to stress that another chernobyl can’t happen again. While it is probably true that an exact copy of the disaster is unlikely to be repeated, this claim is misleading on two counts. one, it is possible for an equal or greater nuclear disaster to take place, as it has in Fukushima. Two, nuclear disasters like chernobyl leave a legacy of radiation pollution that last thousands of years. in this sense, the chernobyl disaster is still ongoing. Several governments have recently pledged up to US$780 million (rM2.3 billion) for a new shelter to replace the crumbling sarcophagus that presently entombs chernobyl. chernobyl is still so radioactive that the new shelter cannot be built directly over the existing one without endangering workers. instead, it is being constructed offsite before being slid into place on rails. Who could imagine that the pursuit of electricity supply could have such terrible consequences? Today, Barisan nasional under the administration of datuk Seri najib razak is aggressively presenting nuclear power as a cheap, safe and reliable electricity option. However, the reality shows it is anything but. The expected cost of the two nuclear plants proposed under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is rM21.3 billion up to 2020. They have not told us about the cost of safely and securely disposing all the nuclear waste the plant will generate. nor have they told us where this waste can be stored. responsible nuclear waste storage requires deep repositories in geologically stable bedrock, free of contact with water. Finland requires the waste to be secure for 100,000 years and they are constructing a 500m-deep waste facility at onkalo will be completed in 100 years’ time, by the 22nd century. Malaysian experts have so far proposed storing waste in old tin mines, in Sarawak, and deep-sea disposal, all of which are inadequately insulated from water and are of questionable geological integrity. By the time the two nuclear plants are planned to come online in 2021, the cost of solar power is expected to be highly cost-competitive. Malaysia’s new renewable Energy Act 2011 has already made it possible to acquire solar power at negative cost over the long term. in 2011, Malaysia stands to be the world’s no. 3 producer of solar cells. nuclear power comes at great cost to the economy and our health. if an accident happens through human error, poor construction, or natural disaster, the costs will be far, far higher. Why expose Malaysians to such a risk when there are renewable energy alternatives that are safer and cheaper in the long run? A responsible government should reduce the problems its people face, not add to them. Malaysia does not need nuclear power. Every ringgit pledged towards nuclear should go instead towards clean and genuinely green energy alternatives. our future and our children’s future is worth it. We cannot let Malaysia join chernobyl and Fukushima as by-words for nuclear disaster. Elizabeth Wong Chairperson of the Selangor Standing Committee for Consumer Affairs, Tourism and Environment
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Residents urged to install individual water meters
By Basil Foo
APRIL 29 — MAY 1, 2011
GOMBAK: Residents of Selayang Height are being urged to switch from bulk water meters to individual meters for units with lower usage to enjoy lower rates. “Each apartment unit should also have different tariffs as the apartment blocks here differ from low-cost to medium-low-cost,” said Mohd Yaman Mohd Zin. The Syabas Gombak general manager said residents would have to set up a Joint Management Body ( JMB) to get 100% approval for all residents to switch meters. He allayed worries about the apartment devel-
oper blocking the move, saying residents have fulfilled most of their payments. “If there are no arrears, usually the deposit [for the bulk meters] will be released by the developer,” he said. He added that the water company could transfer arrears from specific units as deficits into the residents’ accounts once the individual meters have been installed. The switch to individual meters was one of the issues raised during a dialogue session between residents and local authorities last Friday. Rising crime was also hot on the agenda. “There have been almost monthly cases of motorcycle and car thefts at our apartments,” said Shamsul Bakri Padhil. The 33-year-old travel agent, a representative from the Batai apartment block, requested for the installation of close-circuit cameras for better security. He also asked for a bus stop to
be built on the main road outside Selayang Height near the Gombak Land Office to service the large number of residents there. “We also request Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) for a field for sports activities, and to widen the entrance roads, Jalan SH 1/2 and 1/3,” he added. A representative from the Jelutong apartment block, Adnan Ahmad, echoed the request, saying, “Some of the roads around Selayang Height are like kampung dirt roads.” The 39-year-old government employee also pleaded for MPS to intervene with irresponsible residents who bring their motorcycles into apartment lifts and cause breakdowns. “We have confronted some of them before, but they were stubborn and we almost got into a fight,” he said. He also called for road bumps to be installed in front of a surau and playground for pedestrian safety, and asked the council to look into the cracked roof of his apartment.
At the dialogue was an assembly of various department heads from MPS to tackle the various issues raised by about 100 residents in attendance. “We will liaise with the police to check if a camera at the apartment main entrance can identify the thieves who stole the vehicles,” said Azmi Ismail. The MPS enforcement and security director added that the council could not arrest residents who brought their motorcycles into the lifts, but could assist in chastising them at their residences. Spokespersons from the various MPS departments explained that
Selayang MP William Leong
the installation of road bumps would be considered after deliberation with the developers. As for the road entrances and bus stop, issues of land reclamation around the apartments have yet to be settled, pending checks with the Public Works Department. The allocation of a public field would also have to depend on checks by the council as almost all land in Selayang Height has been occupied. “We will ask for the apartment’s JMB to organise another dialogue to explain further on these issues,” said Selayang Member of Parliaent William Leong, who was also at the dialogue. Also present was MPS deputy president Mohd Jaid Ehsan.
First-ever Zero-Fire Community
By William Tan
Ratepayers to ensure contractors perform
By Alvin Yap
KUALA LUMPUR: Desa ParkCity, a residential development, is the country’s first Zero-Fire Community to be recognised by the Fire Prevention Council Malaysia (Fipcom). Last Saturday, Fipcom presented with them a certificate marking their first-year anniversary of having received the recognition. In order to obtain the recognition, the development has adopted the Zero-Fire Community Programme, which is a self-monitoring fire safety and prevention programme undertaken by the members of the community itself. “Zero-fire in this case does not mean the lack of any fire incident, but rather the community has been put into a state of preparedness for the event of one,” said Datuk Dr Soh Chai Hock, national chairperson of Fipcom. Soh believes such preparedness is lacking in Malaysians, and claimed that 97% of all structural fires in the country occur as a direct result of human carelessness. To educate its residents, Desa ParkCity has held seminars conducted by Fipcom and other relevant bodies. One such programme was held last Saturday to teach children what to do in the event of a fire, such as the classic stop, drop and roll should their clothes catch on fire. Security personnel play a huge part in fire prevention. All of them
Peter Cheah (second from left) receiving a certificate to recognise the first-year anniversary of its Zero-Fire Community Programme from Fipcom chairperson Datuk Dr Soh Chai Hock.
have specialised training in preparation for such an event, and, during visits to neighbourhoods, advise residents on possible fire hazards. “We have a maximum response time of 10 minutes. In the event of a fire, we will immediately send out two guards with fire extinguishers while contacting relevant authorities,” said S Baskaran, security manager of Desa ParkCity. They are so efficient that they put out a fire two years ago long before the fire trucks arrived. The development also forbids access by petroleum tankers or similar vehicles carrying hazardous materials to ensure maximum safety. Other points include ensuring accessible roads and nearby fire hy-
drants are available for fire trucks. Resident Pegg y Chong , who attended the fire awareness event for children last Saturday, said this was the first time she has been involved in such awareness activities. She believes that the initiatives are good, and also expressed high confidence in the efficiency of the security personnel. “We are aiming to be the benchmark for other developers, and hope to spread this concept to them,” said Peter Cheah, director of project management for Desa ParkCity. Fipcom is a non-government organisation that was founded in 2007, and has a national agenda to raise awareness and educate the public and organisations on fire safety.
SHAH ALAM: Cleaning contractors engaged by municipalities will have to meet standards of ratepayers who now have the power to sign off or reject the work. “This new initiative will empower residents to monitor and approve the maintenance of drains and grass-cutting work carried out by contractors,” said Ronnie Liu on Tuesday. The executive councillor for local government said residents associations (RA) committee members will “sign off ” if they are satisfied with the work carried out by contractors. “However, the committee member can also refuse to sign off if the quality of work is not satisfying,” Liu said, adding that local councils could then take action on the contractors. Depending on the severity of the complaints, among the action the local councils may take is to deduct the cleaning fees, or not renew the annual contracts when they expire. As such, Liu explained, the contracts will not be extended automatically but based on closely monitored performance both by ratepayers and local governments.
This initiative comes in the wake of the state’s move to hand over cleaning services from Alam Flora to local councils. It removes the solid waste management concessionaire’s role as outsourcing subcontractors. The move is expected to save up to RM20 million annually on commission fees, as announced by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim recently. It will still be responsible for handling solid waste management at all local governments in the state. Liu also allayed concerns that local governments lacked resources to manage the contractors, which could lead to areas left uncleaned. He pointed out that the state has directed local governments to set up its own cleanup crews. “If the contractor does not clean up an area properly, the local ‘Pack Up Teams’ will clean the areas on ad-hoc basis,” Liu said. He added that the “Pack Up Teams” will respond to ratepayers’ complaints, and that the number of teams will be determined by the size of the local government in charge. “For example, Klang Municipal Council, with an area of 573 square kilometers, will need more teams,” said Liu.
By Basil Foo
PUCHONG: Labour shortages are affecting production at Puchong Industrial Park 5 (TPP5) here, and factory owners are lamenting that they are being forced to pick up the slack. “The bosses themselves are lorry drivers and office boys,” claimed Yu Keng Seng. The Puchong Industrial Park Management Committee chairperson explained that the problem was caused by their inability to hire sufficient foreign workers. Furthermore, some of the foreign workers they have often absconded. Kok flagging Yu Keng also pointed out that off lorries for a there are just not enough locals who gotong-royong want to work in factories despite in Puchong government claims that there is sufIndustrial Park 5. ficient local workforce. Looking on are Teresa Kok said factories that are Industrial Park shorthanded and want to hire forManagement eign workers can contact the SelanCommittee gor State Investment Centre (SSIC) (Front, from left) Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee, SMJK Puchong Katholik principal Lee Kim Lai, Fernandez, and Datuk Roslan. for assistance. chairperson Yu Keng Seng, The state executive councillor MPSJ acting pointed out that SSIC is the onepresident stop centre for industries that need Abdullah Indonesian workers, having signed Marjunid, and a memorandum of understanding councillor K with a workers consortium in IndoArumugam. nesia two months ago. Kok, whose portfolio includes chase away immigrants, but we can’t during a gotong-royong to clean up of rubbish were cleared in two trade and industry, agreed with fac- because there are not enough local the industrial park. hours using eight lorries. tory owners that there are labour workers,” she said. Factory owners pitched in volYu said gotong-royong activishortages. The meeting between the factory unteers, money and trucks to clean ties would not be effective if waste “There have been many calls to owners and Kok was held last Friday up their backyard. Some 20 tonnes from the factories was being
Puchong factories facing labour shortages
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
dumped at the 17-year-old industrial zone illegally. “It is unfair for the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to bear the cost of maintenance,” he said. He also asked contractors hired by MPSJ to be more flexible as there can sometimes be discrepancies between residential and industrial waste. MPSJ acting president Abdullah Marjunid, who was also at the gotong-royong , said the illegal dumping has spoiled the image of TPP5 and other factory lots in its municipality. “In 2010, MPSJ collected over 326 tonnes of rubbish. To solve this, we will give incentives to the public to take pictures of illegal dumping,” he said. He said a RM500 incentive has been offered since last year to those whose photos of illegal dumping manage to assist authorities in nabbing the perpetrators.
New tables and benches for parks
SUBANG JAYA: Community parks here are getting new tables and benches as part of an initiative by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ). The latest park to obtain two sets of tables with benches and four individual benches was the community park in USJ 2/4P. “We want these facilities to promote community bonding, a place where residents can gather, relax and talk,” said Rajiv Rishyakaran, the MPSJ councillor who is championing the initiative. The councillor said the idea first came about when he saw some residents in USJ 9 sitting at makeshift tables and benches made from fallen tree trunks, and a table consisting of a glass slab sitting on bricks. All the provided tables and benches are the result of a direct consultation with residents on the design and location where they wish the facilities to be. So far, USJ 3, 6, 9, 11, and 14 have received similar facilities. Rajiv said he intends for the initiative to
Residents of USJ 2 are pleased by their new benches and tables. They were joined by Subang Jaya assembly person Hannah Yeoh (sitting second from left).
Know Your Councillor: R Rajiv
By Brenda Ch’ng
spread throughout Subang Jaya, but at the moment, they are operating on a slow-rotation basis between areas. He added that the public may request for such facilities themselves, as the residents of USJ 2 have done. “It did not take too long, maybe only a few months,” said Vadiveru Arumugam, deputy chairperson of the USJ2 and 6 residents association. He said his main concern now is ensuring that the public facilities are not vandalized or misused. George Wee, a 20-year resident of the area, found the new tables and benches to be a touching and warming act. “It is such a convenience as we have so few benches here. Normally we rest on fallen trees trunks, and those are far and few between,” he said. MPSJ has put the cost of the tables and benches in USJ 2 at RM11,000,under its allocated funds to the Jawatankuasa Penduduk ( JKP) Zon 3, which has RM80, 000 for similar projects.
SUBANG JAYA: Promoting online transactions, including licence renewals and bill payments, in his municipality is among R Rajiv’s top priorities. The two-term councillor of the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) said the only online feature currently available on the municipality’s website is the iResponz for public complaints. “The wait to make complaints and pay all sorts of bills at MPSJ can take hours. I think it is about time to introduce online payments and complaints to the Subang Jaya residents,” said Rajiv. The 30-year-old businessperson became a councillor because he wants to bring new ideas to MPSJ. One of his successful proposals was the one-hour parking system in Taipan USJ, launched in early January last year. Under the system, office workers who park the whole day are now forced to utilise multistorey parking bays, leaving public parking in front of shoplots and banks available to customers. “Regulated time-parking system is something new to this country. Implementing it was a worry at first, but the three-month trial period proved otherwise,” said Rajiv. Being the busiest business centre in USJ, the system reduces double parking and optimises the use of parking spaces. As a resident in USJ himself, Rajiv’s bad experiences with traffic congestion has led him to fight for better traffic management
in the council. “I was surprised when I found out there wasn’t a department in charge of overseeing traffic and finding ways to solve congestion. No wonder there are bad traffic jams around Subang Jaya.” According to him, the department in MPSJ supposedly in charge of traffic only handles the maintenance of traffic lights. This year, MPSJ finally appointed a traffic engineer in charge of coming up with ideas to improve traffic conditions in Subang Jaya. Rajiv, who loves roadside food, also lobbied for the legalisation of 28 vendors in USJ who were operating illegally. Working with MPSJ’s enforcement department, Rajiv got the vendors their licences and even relocated some of them to more suitable sites that were not in the way of traffic. His next plan is for an urban forest in USJ 3C. The plot of recreational land, which is undeveloped at the moment, will be used as a non-commercial educational farm for everyone. “We will be planting different types of flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and forest trees, which will help educate city children on the various plant species.” According to Rajiv, the best thing about being a councillor is that now he can improve and implement new changes to make USJ a more conducive place to live in.
Minimum wage vital for single moms
By Brenda Ch’ng
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
KLANG: A minimum wage is needed now more than ever, due to an increasing number of single mothers who are struggling to cope with higher costs of living. “The majority of these single mothers work either as factory workers or housekeepers and are terribly underpaid,” said Charles Santiago. The Klang MP pointed out that many are paid as little as RM750 a month. To make matter worse, many are taken advantage of. He added that many use up their wages long before they receive the next pay cheque. The state should do more to support single mothers and to ensure they get welfare they need, Santiago said.
Santiago with the participants.
He also expressed hope that there will be better financial security for single-parent families. There are about 26,000 single mothers registered with the state, but it is estimated that there are still thousands out there who remain hidden and are unaware of their rights. “I never knew that there were so many benefits a women can fight for, especially minimum wage. I hope we Santiago addressing the single mothers last Sunday. will get it to help lesson our burden,” Furthermore, fathers who are be devised where the father’s wages said Sarawathy Ramalingam. divorced or are no longer staying are automatically deducted every The 33-year-old from Kamwith their wives should be made month and the money credited into pung Jawa, Klang was among 30 more accountable to financially sup- an account for their children. women who attend a half-day port their children. With these measures, single workshop on empowering women Santiago said a mechanism must mothers will be able to better cope. to fight for their rights at Santia-
go’s service centre. Sarawathy said the workshop had opened her eyes, especially on how easily they are taken advantage of. She also said more similar workshops should be held. “It is hard to locate hidden single mothers due to limited resources, but I’ve been making the effort to identify and bring them for workshops to educate them,” said Santiago. He is working with non-governmental organisations to reach out to more single moms. The workshop last Sunday was held in collaboration with Empower Malaysia, an organisation that champions human rights for women.
Landscape workers from MBPJ pruning the plants and trees in the field.
By Gan Pei Ling
PETALING JAYA: The spirit of neighbourliness is very much alive in SS2. Around 80 residents turned up for a gotong-royong help look after it. jointly organised by the city council and “You can see many people exercising here Rukun Tetangga SS2B on Saturday morning. in the morning and evening. And some of The residents helped to clean up and plant the plants here are planted by the residents,” trees in a field with a basketball court in said Low. SS2/34. Apart from cleaning up the field, residents Betty Lee, 60, said most of the residents in this urban neighbourhood know one another well. “We always jokingly describe our neighbourhood as a kampung. Although we live in a city, everyone knows one another,” said Lee, who has been living there with her husband for 15 years. Her husband, Harry Low, 60, added that the field is Residents being shown how to compost their kitchen well-utilised and residents waste.
Spirit of gotong-royong in SS2
also helped to plant more trees in holes dug by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) prior to the event. MBPJ workers also helped to trim the plants and trees in the field. However, there was a small hiccup during the gotong-royong as breakfast promised for the residents arrived late. Residents were invited to breakfast before the start of the gotong-royong at 8am, but their nasi lemak only arrived more than an hour later. Apart from the gotong-royong, residents also learnt how to compost their kitchen waste like leftover vegetables, fruits and meat. Rukun Tetangga SS2B invited the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development, Malaysia to hold a demonstration for the residents after the gotongroyong on how to turn their organic waste
Nazaruddin (in yellow shirt) receiving a fruit basket as a token of appreciation from Rukun Tetangga SS2B chairperson Lee Kwee Cheng. On Nazaruddin’s left is MBPJ councillor Tony Cheong. The others are committee members from Rukun Tetangga SS2B.
into fertiliser. The gotong-royong is the third in SS2 this year since it was earmarked for Selangor’s Clean Zone programme in January. The previous clean-up activities were held in SS2/60 and SS2/6. Dr V Chithradavi, who is MBPJ assistant health director, said they have received very good response from the public and the residents associations, and Rukun Tetangga in SS2 have been very supportive. She added that the fourth gotong-royong would be held on May 8 in SS2/95, and state representative would visit SS2 in mid-May to access the area’s cleanliness. MBPJ public complaints director Tengku Nazaruddin Zainudin, internal audit director Ainul Adnan Abdul Rahaman, and local councillor Tony Cheong were also present at the event.
Young and Sarawakian/ Malaysian
Lee Lian Kong
By Lee Lian Kong
APRIL 29 — MAY 1, 2011
Sarawak, show us the way
By Fahmi Fadzil
ood things come in pairs. In my case, they came in threes. They came in the form of three close friends from St Joseph, Kuching, who flew across the pond to pursue their A Levels. As fate would have it, we ended up in the same college and class. My best memories of college were with them. They were the ones I went to for help in Physics, bawled to when I had my first heartbreak and had regular mamak sessions with. It didn’t matter that I was from the peninsula and they were from East Malaysia. Politics rarely surfaced in our conversations. Sure, I teased them [a lot] about living in tree houses and they shot back saying they would one day lead Sarawak to independence from Malaysia and leave us broke from lack of revenue from Sarawak. Our political differences ended there. Then came the Sarawak state elections. Things started shaking up a bit. A previously politically apathetic friend starting taking DAP’s Ubah doll (a hornbill bringing change to Sarawak) everywhere. Another posted in his Facebook status update that he was going back to vote. My Facebook News Feed showed a significant increase in the number of Sarawak-related articles. The young have always been politically vocal. In the Malaysian context, and particularly post-2008 political tsunami, young Malaysians found their voice in the Internet, blogs and alternative news portals. However, Carol Y, 25, who is currently studying in the US, remembers the media control in Kuching, where she grew up politically unaware, “the papers made certain of that”. Wen Li (not her real name), 24, a Bintulu girl now studying in the US, said she only
became politically conscious when she went over to the peninsula to further her studies after secondary school. Now, armed with Facebook and the Internet, the communication barriers have certainly been broken down. Young Sarawakians certainly do not want to miss out on all the action. There is even a new independent radio station, Radio Free Sarawak, to broadcast more neutral political news to the less connected, more rural areas. Says Carol, “It is an incredible initiative.” Courageous, too, as it is able to reach places where the Internet cannot reach, she adds. The voice of these young Sarawakians sing the tune of their beloved state. “Most East Malaysians feel more devoted and loyal to their states than the country,” says Wen Li. Despite 48 years together, young Sarawakians call Sarawak home, not Malaysia. Like me and my three Kuching stooges, we may be friends, but we may not be fellow-citizens. When politics is discussed, it is as if we are from different countries. Danny C, 31, thinks it is because of the lack of awareness of East Malaysia in national politics. “The common misconception is that we are rich for our oil and certain businesses such as timber, bird’s nest and other typical tycoon-types ... Hence I feel insulted each time they say I am rich when the oil/timber money is used to build the infrastructure in the west, but only if they push the topic” It is as if the South China Sea is our Berlin Wall, dividing Malaysia into an East Malaysia and another West Malaysia. As Wen Li puts it, “Most East Malaysians have the impression
tries helping each other out with rallies in their respective countries. Tips on how to shield oneself from tear gas, advice to mobilise youths were among those exchanged through Facebook messages. Solidarity prevailed here, not political differences. In Sarawak, the state elections have revealed the youth movement is gaining serious momentum. Voter turnout increased significantly, and the young generation’s call for change of government is overwhelming. Bridget Welsh, a political analyst, estimated in her article that there was a 16% increase in young voter turnout, with overwhelming level of support for Pakatan. Rural or urban, Chinese or Bidayuh, the revolt was across the board. This gives me hope. They were united by their love for their state. They say it’s a shame that it takes a war to inspire people to be politically creative, that maybe if we got off our asses between wars and said something, we can give the next one a miss. Aye to that! Let’s use these elections to be politically united. Those living in tree top jokes can stay but the corruption and the injustices must go. It’s okay to still want to source: sxc.hu remain young and Sarawakian but that, one, West Malaysians do not care about I hope that one day, you will be just as proud East Malaysia. Two, West Malaysians are com- calling yourself young and Malaysian. ing to East Malaysia to get our resources, and Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some three, West Malaysians in general are pretty catching up to do with my Sarawakian ignorant about East Malaysia.” friends. Misconceptions thrive on both sides. Our differences are many and unresolved. But so Leelian finds the Ubah doll adorable was the case in the Middle East revolutions. and kolo mee delicious. She welcomes all That didn’t stop youths from different counfeedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
he recent Sarawak state elections were such a learning experience for many Malaysians. Irrespective of whether we were active participants in the political battles on the ground, or just curious observers reading the news on Twitter, it is clear that Sarawak – and the rest of the country – can never be the same again. First and foremost on my mind is the fact that Malaysians can be denied entry into their own country without having to be properly explained why they were actually denied. The move against people like political activists Steven Ng and Haris Ibrahim, Bersih 2.0 chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan,
political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat, politician Sivarasa Rasiah and many others is quite baffling, and begs the question of a truly sinister undertone to the order “Atas arahan pejabat Ketua Menteri”, as in the case of Datuk Ambiga. I am then reminded that this right of refusal of entry is one of the items in the Eighteen Point Agreement that Sarawak asked of Malaya upon its entry into Malaysia. But these days, when we observe migration patterns within Malaysia, there appears to be more Sarawakians living and working in West Malaysia rather than the other way around (the calls for the Election Commission to enable the thousands of Sarawakians in the peninsula to vote via postal voting is perhaps testament to this, although I concede that more research needs to be made on such migration patterns). Doesn’t this render such a policy
rather obsolete? I was working in Kuching over the course of the campaign period, specifically in the Satok constituency. There, even a cursory trip to the corner Burger Ramly stall gave me a very, very strong reminder of the richness of Sarawakian culture – the fact that I could not fully understand the Bahasa being spoken, and the fact that I was immediately identified as “Orang Semenanjung” truly made me feel an alien in my own country. This made me confront the question of what made Malaysia the country that it is, and what did we really understand about this land ... if any? Are we just a conglomeration of disparate ethnic groupings, “united” under one flag, one national song, one national government? If so, then the idea of Malaysia as held by “West Malaysians” versus that of Sabahans and Sarawakians might be distinctly divergent, wherein those
who live on the peninsula consider the latter two entities as two of fourteen states (although historically speaking Malaysia is a federation of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak). How then do we reconcile these differing views of our Malaysia – ideologically, historically, politically and practicably? Then it became clear to me that we must cease to project an idea of Malaysia that is KL- or Klang Valley-centric. But how is this to be done? To be honest, I don’t have a panacea, any cure-all that would re-balance perceptions and help us understand the realities of such different polities (fact: Sarawak is nearly as large as if not slightly larger than Peninsular Malaysia), and therefore build more meaningful relationships not only between state apparatuses but really between peoples. Nonetheless, I would hazard a
guess that some answers lie through visiting and working in these “other” Malaysias, to bring forth more voices and narratives from East Malaysia through publications and other media, and not to limit such endeavours only during political campaigning periods. At the end of the day, we must be cognizant of the fact that any idea – Malaysia notwithstanding – cannot be supported by spirit or slogan alone; it needs to be succesfully acted out. And so, perhaps the results of the recently concluded polls might serve as a sign that new considerations for Malaysia and its relations with its individual parts need to be better thought through. But as always, it remains to be seen if there will be any political will for real change. Yet as always, it is ordinary Malaysians who will clamour, call and truly force a change. And so, now, Sarawakians, show us the way!
12 April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
By Gan Pei Ling
Community mappers and the challenges
Twenty-three-year-old Petrus (left) and Arok have been working as community mappers since July 2010. Three community mappers have been hired by the state to survey the Orang Asli villages. None of them are professional surveyors, but they were provided training by the state last year. One of them is Petrus Abuh, 23, from Kampung Bukit Tampoi. “One of our main challenges is dealing with suspicious villagers,” Petrus told Selangor Times. Frequently plagued by land woes, some Orang Asli have became distrustful of and guarded towards strangers when dealing with land matters. Petrus said they have been scolded and even chased away by villagers who were uninformed on the state’s community mapping project. To resolve the problem, an Orang Asli representative from the Selangor Orang Asli Land Task Force always visits the villages before Petrus and his two colleagues start mapping. Petrus said the mapping process can be done in one to three days, depending on the size of the village. But prior to that, the team may take weeks to secure the villagers’ trust and cooperation. his colleague rawi Akom, 30, said there sometimes arise disputes on land boundaries between different villages. “That takes time to sort out, too,” said the Temuan from Kampung Bakok in Dengkil. rawi added that the team relies heavily on the elders as they usually know the land boundaries better than the young. After taking down the coordinates of the boundaries and village houses using GPS, they have to key in the coordinates into two separate types of software. The first is for a raw map, while the second is for a more detailed map. In addition, Arok hanong, 23, from Kampung Bukit Dama, said the team has had to conquer steep hills with minimal equipment. Therefore good stamina, patience and commitment are a must for the job, he said. Selangor is currently looking to train more community mappers, preferably young Orang Asli, to speed up its pioneer state-wide community mapping project.
ommunity mapping – a powerful tool in resolving land conflicts – became popular in Southeast Asia, especially among indigenous communities, in the 1990s. Community maps are produced by the indigenous communities themselves with modern technology such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS). The maps can then be presented as evidence in Malaysian courts, except in Sarawak, where it has been banned since 2001. In Selangor, for instance, community maps were used by the Orang Asli community in Bukit Tampoi in the landmark Sagong Tasi case to illustrate their customary land boundaries. The Temuan had in 1996 sued the Selangor government, the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) and construction firm United Engineers for taking their customary land to construct a highway without appropriate compensation. The Orang Asli won the 15-year legal battle after Selangor withdrew its appeal in 2009. The Federal Court in 2010 ordered the MHA and United Engineers to pay the 26 Temuan families RM6.5 million for their lost land. Indigenous areas in Selangor However, Sagong Tasi was just one victory. Many other Orang Asli villages in Selangor are still engaged in land conflicts with corporations, state-linked companies, or the state itself. In an effort to resolve their The Orang land woes, Selangor embarked on a project to map out the Asli won the indigenous peoples’ customary 15-year legal land boundaries in mid-2010, battle after starting with villages in Sepang Selangor and Kuala Langat. The community mapping withdrew its project is the brainchild of the appeal in 2009. Selangor Orang Asli Land Task The Federal Force established by the state in Court in May 2009. 2010 ordered Task force chief Elizabeth Wong said the state would be the MHA gazetting their customary land and United as Orang Asli Reserve, more Engineers commonly known as Abo- to pay the riginal Peoples’ Reserve before 26 Temuan Independence. “This is so that the Orang families RM6.5 Asli no longer have to live in million for their fear and be called squatters on lost land.” their own lands,” said Wong, who is also Selangor executive councillor for tourism, consumer affairs and the environment. At the moment, only around 17% of the customary land claimed by the Temuan and Mahmeri in some 70 villages or settlements in Selangor is gazetted as Orang Asli Reserve. The remaining 83% has yet to be gazetted.
Commun orang a
Orang Asli depend on the forest such as collecting ga Status of customary land claimed by Orang Asli Orang Asli reserve Application approved but not yet gazetted Application received but no decision yet No application Individual land titles TOTAL
Gathered and compiled by the Selangor Orang Asli Land Task Force
Land Area (ha) 1,256 1,388 3,926 914 60 7,544
% 17 18 52 12 1 100
Chung Yi Fan, who is the policy coordinator on Orang Asli affairs, estimated that only a third of the indigenous
Orang Asli welcome mapping
AS their land will finally be gazetted when the community mapping project is completed, most of the Orang Asli have lauded the Selangor government’s pioneer initiative. However, most of them hope the state will be able to expedite the process. “We’ve been waiting for so many years; it’s been more than 50 years since Merdeka,” said Janin Koping, 49, from Kampung Jendaram Hilir in Dengkil. The village development and security committee ( JKKK) member said he heard about the community mapping project about half a year ago from other villages. Selangor Times visited Kampung Jendaram Hilir with the community mappers on April 19. Many of the villagers, who are mostly rubber tappers or farmers, were out working in their kebun. The project team would meet with the villagers later that Mat said the villagnight to seek their coopers were never consulteration in sur veying ed when the developtheir village boundaries. ment projects were apMat Lujan, 46, told proved by the previous Selangor Times he is glad state administration. that decade-old land “Most of the villagconflicts between develers were against it when opers and three villages they found out about it,” said Mat, adding have finally been settled that they wrote objecthanks to the mapping tion letters to former project. Menteri Besar Datuk In March, the state Seri Dr Khir Toyo. cancelled the alienation Mat added that over of two plots of village land for mixed develop- Janin Koping: Waited for the years, the three villages had written sevment in 1999 and an- so many years. eral times to the Orang other for commercial Asli Development Department (foragriculture in 2006. “Now the villagers can have peace of merly known as Orang Asli Affairs mind,” said Mat, who is the JKKK chief Department) asking for their lands to for Kampung Jambu, Kampung Ke- be gazetted as Orang Asli Reserve. But the department has yet to aplingsing and Kampung Bakok.
Arok (left) showing coordinates to Rawi, who records them on a sheet to be keyed into software after they have finished surveying a village.
nity mapping to solve asli land disputes
aharu wood for their livelihood.
Most Orang Asli also rear chickens and ducks in their villages.
villages in Selangor have portions of their customary land gazetted. “The situation of Orang Asli land being gazetted as reserve is very messy,” Chung told Selangor Times. Citing the example of Kampung Sungai Buah in Sepang, he said the village is known to be well organised, and their land was gazetted as Orang Asli Reserve decades ago; yet a significant portion was alienated for a golf resort in the early 1990s. Chung added that substantial Orang Asli ancestral land, including land already gazetted, has made way for development projects since the 1990s. This includes Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, and the location of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. As a result, Orang Asli lands are fragmented in Sepang and Kuala Langat. Furthermore, some settlements are located right next to polluting factories, waste dumps or sand-mining areas.
Resolving long-standing conflicts Since the project began last July, 15 indigenous villages in Kuala Langat and Sepang have been mapped. Chung said the state has spent RM30,000 on the community mapping project so far, and targets to complete the mapping for another 15 high-priority villages by June. “Our priority is not to survey all the villages within the shortest time, but to map out those facing land conflicts first,” said Chung. He said based on the community maps, the state has been conducting investigations of potential land fraud, as well as negotiating with land offices and other stakeholders to resolve land disputes. Already, Selangor has saved 296 acres (119.8 hectares) of indigenous customary land in Sepang thanks to its mapping project. Wong told the state
assembly in March that the state had cancelled the three development projects encroaching on Orang Asli villages. The previous state administrations had approved two plots of the land for mixed development in 1999, and another for commercial agriculture in 2006. As a result, 100 families from three different villages – Kampung Bukit Jambu, Kampung Kelingsing and Kampung Bakok – were relieved of the fear of being evicted. Indeed, community mapping has became a powerful tool in resolving land conflicts involving indigenous communities since it originally began in the 1960s in North America. As Selangor’s pioneer community mapping project progresses, we can expect more long-standing land disputes involving the Orang Asli to finally come to an amicable end. Will other states follow suit?
prove their application, and always asked them to be “patient”. Mat said they have now written directly to Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Many other Orang Asli villages in Selangor are facing similar development pressure. Some have their village boundaries overlapped with forest reserve, or have land bought over by private corporations. Apart from the three villages above, the state has selected 23 other priority villages in their community mapping project to help solve the land disputes. Fifteen in Sepang and Kuala Langat have been surveyed since July 2010, and the remaining are due to be completed by June.
Mat Lujan: Decade-old conflict with developers finally settled. While some Orang Asli farmers continue to plant padi and potatoes, others have turned to cash crops like oil palm and rubber trees to increase their sources of income.
APRIL 29 — MAY 1, 2011
1Malaysia email and squandered money
THE “1Malaysia email” project is simply one of the most daring, dynamic and doo-be-dodo government initiatives Malaysia has undertaken since the BioValley and E-Village initiatives. The only problem is that it is 20 years too late. The way it was announced, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the people behind it thought they were actually inventing email. A bit like how our country rebadged Mitsubishis and made it look like we were designing and manufacturing cars from scratch (oh hang on, we’re still doing that). Amidst the hoopla, these free email folk seem to have forgotten about the nineties and the noughties, and about how free email is, like, so two decades ago. One wonders if these guys have even heard of Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, or Rocketmail? We imagine the group of people behind the idea – and it’s always a group, one rich, bossy person with the idea, and ten others going “brilliant idea Datuk!” – are like Brendan Fraser from Encino Man. They have just awoken from the early 1990s and probably connect to their pop.jaring.my email accounts via a dialup connection. Free email? Revolutionary! You’re a genius! The email account is supposed to allow direct and secure communication between citizen and government. That would be great if only the average citizen did that regularly. Do you really need another email to just deal with government? You definitely need one if you are into email porn, but the government? Jokes aside, there are many mysteries with this deal. First it was a government initiative, then after a backlash, it become a private initiative. Tricubes Berhad, who are supposed to provide this RM50 million project without government funds, is a GN3 company. This 1Malaysia email has been said to be a “lifeline” for the company. Please note that this is different from a bailout, so don’t try to be funny. And guess what? If you want to connect to this fantastic cutting-edge technology, you have to purchase a USB biometric device, which Tricubes will helpfully sell to you. Tricubes are saying they will “sign up” 5.4 million users by year end. How many of these users are civil servants who will be “signed up” involuntarily is anyone’s guess. Of course, the figures are all there to justify it – layers upon layers of complex calculations of selective figures to show that the project will increase Gross National Income of RM39 million by 2015. So, don’t be cynical. This is obviously a noble initiative by a corporation who are not in any way looking to earn money by providing a redundant service. This is necessary. This is backed by statistics. Think of the GNI. Think of Malaysia. And hey, in a few years time, someone will have to pay for it to be upgraded for double the cost.
ear Lord Bobo, what do you think of the proposed “1Malaysia email”? @SSharmila1076, via Twitter
s the Royal Commission of Inquiry effective in resolving an issue, or it is only squandering taxpayers’ money? (translated) @mediakomuniti, via Twitter
APRIL is the month that most of us have to file our tax returns, so His Supreme Eminenceness was expecting an aggravated taxpayer like yourself to couch questions along the lines of “is such-and-such a waste of my tax ringgit?” First, you must know what the RCI is, and isn’t. It certainly isn’t a Royal Circus of Inquiry, though to the average Ali, Ah Chong and Muthu on the street, it may appear that way with the daily news updates on the ongoing Teoh Beng Hock RCI. It doesn’t help when certain politicians demand that RCIs be convened urgently for matters that should be left with the gossip sections of trashy tabloids or salacious blogs (not the blawg, obviously). Perhaps it’s a badge-of-honour thing to have appeared in headline news “calling for an urgent RCI to look into the matter”. The RCI is supposed to be a public inquiry into matters of great importance and controversy. Those who sit in it are called “commissioners”, and are appointed by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. It is also often said due to its inquisitorial nature, an RCI has power greater than those of a court. However, these powers are restricted to the scope of the terms of reference. For example, if the terms of reference of a particular RCI was to, say, find a particular Banana-O-Mega watch, the commissioners would have the power to order for the confistication of all Banana-O-Mega watches (both authentic and those special Petaling Street-only editions), in particular, those found on the wrists of seductive-looking Asian females and potbellied not-so-middle-aged-anymore men. The findings of an RCI are published in volumes and volumes of recommendations, which are not binding on any government officials or implicated parties. Yes, you read that right – not binding. Translation: The implementation of the recommendations is discretionary. Further translation: The general response to an RCI’s findings is: “Interesting. Thanks. Further action ah? See how lah!” Translation in Malaysia courtesy of Lord
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!
Bobo’s Kamus Dewan Banana-hasa: Figure out who a positive implementation will affect, then the most likely action plan will be to announce “we are looking into it” and hope people forget, or just don’t bother doing anything. Is an RCI effective in resolving an issue? No, simply because there is no follow-up action. The concept is premised on the best intentions, but – sadly – without proper, transparent, fair, and effective action, the RCI might as well just be another tabloid or blog. This will continue to be the case until the powersthat-be can be compelled to take appropriate action based on the findings of the RCI – which is where you, dear reader, can play a role. Don’t be distracted by media spin which tries to distract you from the main issue with stories of witnesses crying, arguments, petty insignificant exchanges, and other Chinese-drama-style scenes. Focus on the issues. When the RCI delivers its findings, find out what the conclusions are. And then pressure the powers-that-be, via your ADUN, MP, or the online and print media to do something about it. After all, all this is done using your tax ringgit which you could’ve used to buy yourself a nice Banana-O-Mega watch. Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing email@example.com, stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. The first 100 questions published will receive monkey-riffic LoyarBurok merchandise courtesy of Selangor Times. What are you waiting for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!
Encino Man. Monkey-riffic!
ARPIL 29 — MAY 1, 2011
Students walk for green values
school teachers to convince me that this walk was an extremely important and KLANG: Chants of “Go green!” echoed good cause,” said Kiribanath Ganesh along a 3.5km stretch as school students of all from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan ages took part in groundbreaking walk for Tengku Ampuan Rahimah. Earth Day last Sunday morning. The 19-year-old student council The Go Green walk began from the Giant president is an aspiring environmentalBukit Tinggi 1 car park and took a U-shaped ist who managed to gather about 400 route towards the nearby low-cost flats before students from his school in two days to returning to the starting point. join the walk. He said his school is turning green with the implementation of recycling boxes around the school compound to instill the habit in youths. Sixteen-year-old Subashini Raman Methodist Girl’s School jumped at the chance to be the Students from Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Tamil Highland Bukit Tinggi. school’s mascot by dressing up as a tree. SSBC chairperson Prem “I love anything to do with Menon explained that it saving the environment, and was to educate the peoI’m really excited that 500 of ple living in the low-cost my other friends are here with flats to not litter the me today in support of creat- streets with rubbish. ing a healthier future,” said According to Prem, Matthias Gelber (third from left) next to Charles Subashini. the low-cost flats are Santiago flagging off the walk. Klang Member of Parlia- among the dirtiest unkept A total of 3,600 participants from 15 ment Charles Santiago and Matthias Gelber buildings in the area, and schools in Klang participated in the event from Germany flagged off the walk. Gelber he hoped the students organised by the Sathya Sai Baba Centre was awarded Greenest Person on the Planet would help create aware(SSBC) Klang, with support from the Klang award in 2009, and came all to Malaysia to ness among the residents. municipal council and the Public Works show his support for the event. He also said this will Department. He received applause from the students be the first of many Students came clad in matching green at- gathered an hour before the walk, who walks in Klang to create tires with banners, mascots, and some even pledged to make full efforts to go green awareness on Earth Day, with their school bands. every day. which was celebrated on Children aged six to eight from the Sathya Sai Baba “All it took was a pamphlet from one of my When asked on the route of the event, April 22. Education in Human Values class.
By Brenda Ch’ng
MPS holds futsal tournament
By Alvin Yap
GOMBAK: The Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) held its qualifiers of the Selangor Futsal Journey Challenge here on Saturday. The event saw runners-up Ocik Babai and champion Redbob going to the finals in Teluk Pulai on May 28. Ocik Babai and Redbob beat 46 other teams to earn a place to represent MPS in the futsal championship organised by the Selangor Sports Council (MSNS).
Ocik Babai and Redbob are from MPS Zones 13 and 24 respectively . “They will do MPS proud, and we hope they will bring back the trophy,” said MPS communications officer Mazurah Mohamed after the prizegiving ceremony. This is the third year the Selangor Futsal Journey Challenge has been organised. It is open to all zones of the 13 local governments. The initiative is set up to encourage youths in Selangor to participate in sports, said MSNS corporate head Rohaya Yahya.
MSNS roped in the Football Association of Selangor (FAS) to provide technical support like refereeing and setting match fixtures. Five local governments have yet to hold their qualifiers. They are Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Ampang Jaya and Kajang. The age limit for each player to join a team is between 18 and 35. There is no limit as to how many teams a zone may send. However, funding is deducted from the zone’s yearly allocation.
Poster of the Selayang Council Futsal qualifiers.
Knockout-stage matches to see which team will represent MPS.
Leukaemia patients seeking public donations
By Brenda Ch’ng
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
Hannah Yeoh presenting the cheque to Vinese Lim’s family.
SUBANG JAYA: Twelve-yearold Nurul Izzatul Baariah, who is suffering from leukaemia, is hoping to get financial support from the public to help pay her growing medical bills. Izzatul was diagnosed six months ago with long-term cancer of the blood/bone marrow. Her treatment includes chemotherapy sessions, which require hospitalisation of up to two weeks just to finish one dose of medication. “I’m now a housewife so I can be there with my daughter every step of the way. Each chemotherapy session varies in length, so it is hard to get a job,” said mother Norhaslinda Sulaiman. She said caring for her daughter goes beyond hospital visits and chemotherapy sessions. Izzatul suffers from the side effects of the medication, which include fluctuation of body temperature, blue hands, and uncontrollable shivering which can last for up to three days.
Her doctor at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital has asked her to remain indoors, away from sunlight and people due to her low immune system. Izzatul has a Central Venous Line (CVL) tube surgically inserted into one of the large veins leading to her heart. This CVL is used to take blood samples, and serves as an intravenous line (IV ) for her chemo medication to flow straight to her heart. “The surgery already cost us a few thousand, and with her monthly expenses of RM1,000, excluding hospital bills, my husband’s salary is not enough for my other two kids too,” Norhaslinda added. The parent-teacher association in Izzatul’s school, Sekolah Kebangsaan Subang Jaya SS14, has been helping by paying her hospital bills. Another seven-year-old girl from the same school, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of two, is currently in remission. When she was diagnosed, her
mrt pr reside oject: disapp nts ointed
parents took loans from people close to them to pay her hospital bills. Vinese Lim, who has also undergone chemotherapy, stopped treatment in 2009 but is still going for monthly check-ups. “We spent more than RM100,000 and we are glad that she responded well to the treatment,” said Joanne Ooi Bee Hoon. The mother of four added that their financial burden is not over yet because they have loans to repay, as well as outstanding medical bills. To help ease their burden, state assemblypersons Hannah Yeoh and Nik Nazmi have pledged to give RM2,000 to each family from their allocated funds. Yeoh presented the cheque to Lim’s family and Nazmi presented the cheque to Izzatul’s family. Both families are accepting donations from the public, and cheques can be sent to the respective service centres. For Lim, call the Subang Jaya service centre at 03-56312768; and for Izzatul, call the Seri Setia service centre at 03-78063660.
Nik Nazmi presenting the cheque to Nurul Izzatul’s family.
Where to get
lrT Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning Ampang – Sentul Timur Ampang Cahaya Cempaka Pandan Indah Pandan Jaya Sentul Timur Sentul Kelana Jaya – Terminal Putra Kelana Jaya Taman Bahagia Taman Paramount Asia Jaya Taman Jaya Universiti Sri Rampai Wangsa Maju Sri Petaling – Sentul Timur Taman Melati Sri Petaling Bukit Jalil Bandar Tasik Selatan Salak Selatan Shopping Malls (From Saturday noon) 1 UTAMA Tropicana Mall Sunway Pyramid The Curve IOI Mall IOI Business Park Ikano Power Centre Empire Subang Amcorp Mall Klang Centro
Greater transp From ar with FO ency comm I bill to gh unities ettos p 4
More greenery, better landscaping with new directive
2011/ issue 16
18 — 20,
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By Alvin Yap
Hypermarkets (From Saturday noon) Tesco (Puchong, Kajang, Mutiara, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Ampang, Extra Shah Alam, Kepong) Giant (Puchong, Kajang, Subang Jaya, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Kota Kumuning) Carrefour (Bukit Rimau) Jusco (Bukit Tinggi) Metro Point, Kajang GM Klang Commuter Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning Sentul – Port Klang Port Klang Bukit Badak Shah Alam Subang Jaya Jalan Templer Petaling Rawang – Seremban Kuala Kubu Baru Sungai Buloh Kepong Sentral Kepong
By Gan Pei Ling su Ba ng films, liter jaYa: The dedicate ature and even re are eat dog d to the old sayin song s ”, g of “dog swoop by but in an inno a cil, the “dog local municip vative by a mos ” will soon be al counquit replaced In a pilo o. taken soon t project to be Municip between the Sub underal versiti Sain Council (MP ang Jaya SJ), Ban k Bhd s Malaysia and UniCIMB soon be , mosquito larvae will used The larv to combat Mosquit ae of the Toxo deng ue. species of oe, which prey rchynchites mos feed on be employe quito larva s on other hum d to redu e, will soon The loca an blood but threat. ce the deng gether with l council is wornectar. ue The pilo king to- USM , which the univ project “mosqui t project to ersity on cost fully spon relea mosquit to release Toxorhy a pilot sored by RM60,000, is mosquit to eater” to redu se the oes If CIMB Ban oes this mon USJ 1 to at an abandon nchites coun the trial is succ the MPSJ. is being carr ce Aedes k. ied out mosquit th by monitoring populat see if it can ed area in othe cil plans to appl essful, the loca by o pop A Toxorhyn the redu l don y the met r areas with effectivelion of Aedes mos ce the ed area ulation at the Aedes up to 158 chites larv hod y. However in its municipa to represen abanquitoes ae can to 400 Later, in USJ 1. , Ada Asked whe dur ing lity. out that Aed es larveat with MPtatives during its life 600 Toxo they will relea ther the Toxorhyn nan also poin mosquit a brie SJ tim e, said ae Unlike officials on Mar fing USM oes would distu release of the can only thrive chites mosquit ted the area rhynchites mos se around USM , in areas tion, so Toxorhyn other mosquit ch 11. said science officer rb ecosystem with vegeoes females inwith 100 malesquitoes in the met s, chites mos oes, Adanan it wou taand 100 each batc quitoes adult mosquit ld not as Toxo Che Rus in flats and apar hod cannot be used The enti h. do not tments. oes is a natu re trial will rhynchite “This is six mon only one s help This proj ral take arou ths to com curb of the ect betw specie. nd plet een MP Adanan the spread of deng tools to in Adanan, who visit e. SJ and . January ed Sub ue,” said He said tions to to identify suita ang Jaya they will cond begin the area in USJ uct the trial ble locatrial 1 was chos , said the en because • Turn To pag it e6
MPSJ to “mosqu unleash ito eater ”
Morning Wet Markets (Saturday morning) Jalan SS2/62 Taman Medan Jalan 17/27 Taman Kuchai Lama Taman OUG Pasar Taman Megah Pasar Jalan Othman Pasar Jalan 17/2 Pasar Sek 14 Pasar Seri Setia SS9A/1 Pasar Kg Chempaka Taman Tun Dr. Ismail Hospital Forrest Medical Centre Colleges Help Institute College Bandar Utama (KBU) Universiti Kebangsan Malaysia
SHAH ALAM: Residents and owners of new housing estates and commercial developments can expect more trees and improved landscaping under fresh guidelines by the state. Under the new rules, developers are duty-bound to plant more trees and better landscape their developments to get approval from local councils. “Before handing over, the developer must make sure trees are planted and landscaping has been carried out,” said Ronnie Liu during a press conference here on Tuesday. The executive councillor said the new measures are being enforced with immediate effect because the state feels that the local council should be empowered with more muscle to ensure better developments. “The state wants more trees along road-
sides as well as more flowers and shrubs on road dividers,” said Liu, whose portfolio includes local government. Liu added that developers must also construct wider road dividers to accommodate the planting of shrubs and flowers. Plant nurseries in all 12 local authorities are also being upgraded to provide more varieties of flowers and trees. The Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation has also been roped in to assist local governments to plant and manage the flora, while the Selangor Forestry Department will lead the move due to their expertise. Liu said the state is currently looking to convert land in the Klang Valley into a nursery for trees. He pointed out that the state has been successful in landscaping public areas, including in Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam, as well as areas in Sunway.
MPS: Pay your overdue taxes
SELAYANG: The Selayang Municipal Council has reminded 65,050 ratepayers to pay their overdue taxes or face action. Its newly appointed president, Datuk Zainal Abidin Aala, said they will issue warning letters to those who failed to pay up by the deadline on April 15. Zainal said they have collected RM33.1 million as of March out of the RM54.4 million they are supposed to receive. He added that MPS has allocated RM29.8 million for development, administration and other expenditure. The council had on April 16 auctioned off the items they confiscated when recovering taxes.
SHAH ALAM: Twenty business partners and 11 employees of Sunway Pyramid were recognised for their outstanding performance in the shopping mall since the mall opened in 1997 till the end of 2010. In a recent dinner themed A Celebration of Success, the shopping mall celebrated the milestones achieved throughout the past year. Sunway Pyramid garnered a total of eight awards in 2010, the most awards achieved by the mall in a single year. Sunway Pyramid won the FIABCI Malaysia Property Award for Best Retail Development Project last year, in addition to other major awards such as the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival for Best Thematic and Best Promotions and Events by the Ministry of Tourism; Most Supportive Shopping Mall by the MalaysiaRetailer Chains Association; Best Brands in Leisure – Shopping Mall by The BrandLaureate; and the Excellent Child Contributor Award by the Association of Professional Early Childhood Providers. “We cannot deny that the shopping mall’s success is partly due to our great business partners and dedicated employees. Hence we decided to have a celebration to show our appreciation and thank them, in addition to recognising those who had contributed the
Top Sunway Pyramid partners, employees lauded
Top employees of Sunway Pyramid.
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
most,” said Sunway Pyramid marketing director Phang Sau Lian. The top 20 business partners awarded were Poh Kong, A Cut Above, eclipse, MAC, Starbucks, MPH Bookstore, A-Look, Focus Point, Esprit, Tomei, G NC, Fotokem, Sasa, The Manhattan Fish Market, Padini, Timberland, Nokia, Levi’s, Top Shop and PK Time. “It wasn’t easy for us to pick these
20 business partners, but we had set a strict judging criteria, and these are those who have journeyed with the mall since the beginning, have outstanding business records, exceptional customer service, good financial management, excellent sales records, beautiful window display, and superb compliance to operations rules,” said Sunway Pyramid chief executive officer HC Chan.
On the other hand, the top 11 employees on the other hand, were judged based on the Sunway Group’s six core values. One of the recipients include a security guard who had returne d a clutch b a g with RMB25,000 (RM12,000) to its rightful owner last August. Over 1,000 business partners and Sunway Pyramid employees attended the dinner, including Sunway
Group Exco Puan Sri Dr Susan Cheah, Federation of Chinese Association Malaysia honorary president Tan Sri Ng Teck Fong, Malaysia Retailer-Chains Association vicepresident Datuk Garry Chua, Sunway City Berhad managing director (property investment) Datuk Ngeow Voon Yean, and Suncity director of strategic and corporate development Sarena Cheah.
The harmony of Sunhor’s Tigaman Square
The development will showcase the state and Shah Alam City Council’s (MBSA) BUKIT KEMUNING: Sunhor Group’s emphasis on proper town planning to minimise flagship development Tigaman Square will environmental impact. become the focal point for the community here “The retail and office blocks are designed in when it is ready by early 2013. the latest modern st yle with the best It aims to become the social and business environmental and green features,” Lim said at heart of Bukit Kemuning by offering the latest the site office at Bukit Kemuning. in contemporary design in al fresco and open-air Tigaman is a connection of the Bahasa dining and trendy offices. Malaysia words “tiga” and “aman”, meaning three “It is going to be a new and completely and peace. refreshing development for the area,” said Lim said it was a tribute to the Chinese Sunhor Group’s board of directors during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. marketing manager Alex Lim at the event. philosophy of heaven, earth and man. “We want to achieve harmony Issam (left) between man – at work and leisure presenting a – with nature,” Lim explained. donation to Tigaman square will consist of Yap (right) last four blocks of six-storey retail and Friday. office lots for a total retail space of 420,000 square feet, with 950,000 PETALING JAYA: Mother awareness and appreciation for the R ef ug e and Child square feet of built up space. Earth had good reason to smile environment. It will also have close to 1,000 Care Centre,” said Yap. when Colgate-Palmolive Marketparking bays to accommodate office “We are committed to reducing On top of the recying Sdn Bhd (Colgate-Palmolive) our company’s environmental cling drive, Colgateworkers, shoppers and diners. celebrated Earth Day 2011 with a impact, especially in regards to Palmolive employees Sunhor aims to make Tigaman recycling-driven donation to the water, energy, and waste, not only received daily pop-up square a catalyst for the Bukit Women’s Aid Org anisation because it is the right thing to do, reminders on their Kemuning area, Lim said. (WAO) last Friday. He pointed out that the area was but also because it makes good computers to remind them of the Company Performance were highIn the week leading up to Earth business sense,” Colgate-Palmolive week’s activities. untapped, offering a lot of potential lighted. Day, Colgate-Palmolive employees m a n a g i n g d i r e c t o r I s s a m for high growth. These included practical, enviThe company’s Global Sustainpooled together old newspapers, Bachaalani said. Tigaman Square is accessible via ronment-friendly habits such as ability Strategies are renewed evboxes, bottles and other recyclable the Klang-Shah Alam Expressway WAO project executive Vivian switching off lights and equipment ery five years and adopted by opitems, which went towards a dona- Yap received the donation cheque when not in use, printing only erations worldwide. (LKSA) and other surrounding tion of RM5,000 to WAO. highways. from Isaam in a simple ceremony. when needed, carpooling to reduce “Our sustainability strateg y WAO is a non-governmental Some 100 guests and well wishers “I would like to thank Colgate- carbon emissions, avoiding the use was created to ensure that we grow organisation committed in fight- Palmolive for choosing WAO as of plastic bags, and even eating our business consistently and reattended the event, and were treated ing violence against women. to a selection of fine wines as well as the recipient of this donation. more vegetables instead of meat. sponsibly in the years to come. As part of its global initiative, a buffet lunch of local and Taiwanese “This year, WAO will need to The Earth Day celebration also “Meeting these key objectives Colg ate-Palmolive Malaysia raise RM1.2 million to sustain its saw the unveiling of Colgate-Pal- will allow us to serve our consumdelicacies. joined other offices around the efforts. Your contribution will molive’s 2011-2015 Global Sus- ers, customers and partners effiA lion dance troupe ushered in world in celebrating Earth Day, help with the expenses for staffing, tainability Strateg y, where the ciently and give future generations the event before the ribbon-cutting held on April 22 every year. ceremony attended by Sunhor food, medical needs, rent, trans- importance of Respect for Our reasons to smile in the world they Earth Day is aimed at inspiring port, utilities and upkeep of the Planet, Respect for People and live in,” said Isaam. Group’s board of directors.
By Alvin Yap
Colgate-Palmolive recycles for a good cause
APRIL 29 — MAY 1, 2011
For businesses on the go
Lenovo’s new range of laptops designed for SMBs and enterprises
By Edwin Yapp
PC-maker Lenovo has introduced a new range of products for the year, and the whole line is catered to small and medium businesses (SMBs) as well as enterprises. For those not so familiar with the brand, China-based Lenovo was first incorporated in 1998 as Legend Computers, and in a short time grew to become one of the largest players in the business. Its biggest coup came in 2005 when it acquired IBM’s PC division, which marketed the famed IBM ThinkPad line of products, for about US$1.75 billion. At a recent media briefing, Khoo Hung Chuan, Malaysia general manager for Lenovo noted that the new Think PCs are built upon a platform of new Lenovo innovations that respond to key business needs including video and voice calling, smart PC features for power and performance management, all-day battery life, enterprise management, and an intuitive, and easy-to-use computing experience. Sporting what the company calls the Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 for Windows 7, the proprietary feature touts specialised optimisation procedures to deliver faster start-up and shutdown times. For example, with RapidBoot technology, Lenovo PCs start up on average 20 seconds faster than a typical Windows 7 PC and offer 28% faster shutdown speeds, according to Lenovo.
Khoo also says Think-branded PCs offer rich web conferencing and robust security features including a fingerprint reader that can be used to power-on the PC, optional selfencrypting hard drives, BIOS port lock settings, and a hardware password manager for deploying security features across a fleet of PCs. On display during the demonstration were two interesting models specially designed for SMBs. The ThinkPad Edge
For the SMBs
E220s and E420s both feature metal accents that frame the black, soft-matte exterior, complementing the infinity screen inside for a TV-like appearance. To power multitasking business activities and personal entertainment, both notebooks come in choices of the secondgeneration Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. The E220 measures less than one inch thick, weighs less than 1.6kg, and sports a 12.5-inch screen; while the oneinch-thick E420 comes with a 14-inch screen and weighs in at 1.8kgs. It also comes equipped with Dolby Home Theatre audio and supports Lenovo’s enhanced video-conferencing technologies. These include high-definition web camera, noise-cancelling keyboard, software, high-performance microphones and speakers, and an HDMI port to show presentations to clients or to relax and watch on a PC monitor or flat-screen TV. For the business road warrior, Lenovo’s ThinkPad T420 is something you may want to consider. Built upon a platform of advanced industry technologies, including the performance and energy efficiency of the secondgeneration Intel Core and Core vPro processors, the T420 notebook offers enterprise IT managers high reliability, easy deployment and manageability. The T420 incorporates self-aware and adaptive technologies to sense where power is needed most to ensure priority components receive power for improved overall performance and battery life. With its standard nine-cell battery, the T420 claims to deliver up to 15 hours of battery life. For extreme battery-life needs, the T420, with its standard nine-cell battery and optional nine-cell slice battery, can provide up to 30 hours of computing power. The T420 also features NVIDIA Optimus automatic graphic switching technology, which provides 33% better battery performance over previous discrete graphics models. For improved enterprise-class security, the T420 offers multiple layers of security throughout the hardware, software and BIOS, with options including encrypted hard drives with remote management support, a fingerprint reader with one-touch swipe for power on and authentication, and Intel Anti-Theft Technology
Classic T series
– a notebook theft deterrence mechanism that disables the notebook, preventing unauthorised data access. For those businesses looking at ultra portability as their key feature, you can consider the ThinkPad X220 and X120e. Equipped with second-generation IntelTM Core i7 processors, Lenovo claims that the 12.5-inch HD screen X220 runs up to 75% faster than ultraportable competitors that use lowpowered CPUs, and it features smart PC technologies for incredibly long battery life up to 24 hours. Additionally, durability is improved with wider drain-holes in the spill-resistant keyboard and a 50% improvement in drop-test performance. The X120e, on the other hand, comes equipped with the integrated AMD Fusion E-Series APU, which gives users faster graphics performance for faster web searches, page loads and running business applications. At the same time, the 11.6-inch screen, 1.4kg X120e claims to give users up to 30% longer battery life, meets certifications such as Energy Star 5.0 specifications, and carries an EPEAT Gold rating for its environmental attributes. All of Lenovo’s products will be available from authorised dealers beginning April. The ThinkPad Edge E220s starts from RM3,499, while the ThinkPad Edge E420s from RM3,299. The ThinkPad T420 starts from RM4,199, and the ThinkPad X220 will be available from RM4,199.
Portability that counts
Fiction by Norman Yusoff
APRIL 29 — MAY 1, 2011
OR Amran, the experience seemed magical. He sat again in the darkened hall, transfixed by the flickering images before him. He witnessed the beam of light being projected over his head onto the screen, punctuated with the whirr of the movie projector. All this added to his excitement. Amran was only seven when his father took him to the cinema to watch a Malay movie called Anita Dunia Ajaib in the early 80s. At his age, there were things that he couldn’t fathom himself. For instance, while watching Anita, he was curious as to why his father sighed and shook his head from time to time. Perhaps it was the atrocious acting by the leading actress. Or it could be the preposterous storyline: a woman gave birth to a baby after only a month of pregnancy? Amran and his father were seated somewhere in the middle of the seating rows. While
his father’s eyes remained glued to the screen, he was struggling to finish up the chewy dried squid, while gulping down the rest of his Coca-Cola. Throughout, he could discern the continuous crunching of kuaci. No wonder the hall’s floor was strewn with an avalanche of sunflower seed hulls. Behind him, there were two ladies who had been eating from the beginning of the movie. In the beginning, as Amran once wriggled and glanced up quickly, he found that they were munching on some prawn crackers, accompanied earlier by the gentle crackling of the snack wrappers being ripped open. Towards the end, he surmised that it had been the asam jeruk due to the pungent vinegary smell that permeated the hall. In the right corner of one of the few front rows, there were a couple busy consoling and pacifying their crying baby. When their baby’s tantrum intensified, they would alternately carry him out of the hall. “Stupid parents!” the two ladies behind him murmured, while crunching their snacks noisily. Sitting in the same row with Amran and his father was a middle-aged man who fell asleep ; though he was half-awake at times, he looked pretty much somnolent. Behind the two ladies, there was another man, perhaps in his early thirties, falling into deep slumber. Everyone in the hall seemed dragged to listen to his snores.
The seats in the last few back rows seemed occupied. Though jam-packed with romantic couples, things were a tad hushed towards the back of the hall; perhaps they were the sort of serious audiences. There were a young man and his girlfriend who sat in front of Amran. The man who seemed to have a cold couldn’t stop sniffing and sneezing. To Amran’s chagrin, when the man got up and headed to the bathroom, his body figure swiftly obstructed his view of the screen. When the film was approaching its climax, his father smirked and chuckled more frequently. Amran still couldn’t quite grasp it; perhaps his father found the sequence amusing or something. In the sequence, Ana, a housemaid, attempted to escape with her employer’s newborn baby, Anita. In the midst of the sequence, a small slide with a handwritten inscription in Malay, English and Chinese, was flashed up on the screen, reminding the audience not to leave his/her belongings once the show ends. Amran knew that when the screen conjured up such an inscription, it meant that the movie was going to end very soon. The scene shifted, showing the exterior of an ominous cave. Ana, carrying the baby in her arms, was besieged by armed policemen who stood absolutely motionless. Her employer, Asmah, sobbing uncontrollably, pathetically urged her husband and the police to help get Anita back. Then the superimposed slide disappeared. In the background, on a hill inside the cave, emerged a man in futuristic “superhero” costume, replete with the cape and headgear that
were reminiscent of those characters that Amran had seen in the movie Flash Gordon, or the TV series Battlestar Galactica. Then, the man generated a greenish laserlike lightning that flashed across Ana’s body. She was transformed from an eerie-looking rustic damsel into a Wonder-Woman-like figure. He grabbed and raised his cape over his body, vanishing into the air; in the blink of an eye, he reappeared next to Ana. In his horrifyingly grating voice, he declared that Anita was their baby and Ana his wife, while claiming that they came from outer space called the Fifth Dimension. The man moved towards the camera and suddenly walked out of the screen, appearing before the audience. While addressing the astonished audience, he advised that they focused on the movie: “Wahai para penonton, tolonglah beri sepenuh tumpuan dan perhatian pada filem ini yang sudah hampir selesai!” The entire hall morphed into sheer silence. The man who had been snoring awoke from his deep sleep, the baby stopped crying, and all of the munching activities seemed to cease. Amran and his father stared at each other in stunned disbelief. Amran’s eyes bulged in shock, his mouth agape.
A successful ‘MD’ at only 17
bangsaan Jalan Kebun, Shah Alam. The group won the Best Company 2010 award and walked away with a trophy and RM1,000 cash. Nurul said her success illustrated that girls can be successful at running companies, and future female contestants of the programme should take heart. Nurul, who is preparing for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), was among 1,275 students aged between 14 and 16 who took part in the programme from February to October last year. The students, from 51 schools, were rewarded for completing the course at the closing ceremony at the Shah Alam Convention Centre on Wednesday. Preference was given to semi-rural and rural schools in all districts in Selangor. The programme was started in 1998 by the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development (MECD) to mould students from rural schools into budding entrepreneurs. In Selangor, it was administered by MECD together with the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) and the Selangor Education Department. Under the programme, participants attended business courses and entrepreneur camps, with trips to companies to learn about business practices. All companies, which were registered under the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), were dissolved at the end of the programme. “The knowledge and experience gained [from this programme] will be invaluable for participants who can now face future global challenges,” said Othman Omar. The PKNS general manager gave away prizes to the winners at the ceremony.
PKNS secretary Norita Sidek (second right) presenting the mock cheque to Sekolah Agama Menengah Hulu Langat representatives.
By Brenda Ch’ng
SHAH ALAM: For 17-year-old Nurul Afiqah, the Young Entrepreneur Programme has been a “profitable venture”. The Form Five student, who founded Jagat Kencana Sdn Bhd last year, attributed her company’s success to the programme. “I’ve learnt a lot from this, and it isn’t easy
at all when I have to be disciplined, with so much responsibility to bear.” she said. The “managing director”, together with her team of five who were all 16 at the time, made profits from selling food in their school compound and in booths outside during a ninemonth period last year. They were guided by two teachers chosen by their principal at Sekolah Menengah Ke-
Nurul beat more than 1,000 other contestants to win the Young Entrepreneur Programme award.
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
visit to a relative’s residence in Taman Danau Desa can bring unexpected surprises. My relative, a retired engineer, was all pumped up about treating us to lunch when we arrived. So like all juniors with good manners, I did not want to spoil his fun about playing the role of big spender. We all graciously allowed him to lead us to the choice spot for lunch. After a few turns around the neighbourhood, we ended up in a corner shop which had a big sign proclaiming “Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles”. Like some not-so-well-travelled residents of Petaling Jaya, the name was unfamiliar to me. But it turned out that I was in the ignorant minority. Woo Pin Restaurant was filled to its gills. It was about 1.30pm and there was hardly an empty table. In our group were a couple of aunties who were well into their 70s and 80s. We knew this place was suitable for their lifestyle because it was just fish-head noodles. Nothing too greasy or disagreeable with their lunch preferences was sold on the premises. My relative disclosed that Woo Pin has a rock-solid reputation and it has been doing roaring business for years. My first impression of the place confirmed its prestige and prominence. The restaurant workers were practically running as they attended to the constant flow of customers. Curiosity got the better of me because the size of the crowd was clear testimony that the masses could not be wrong about the quality of the cuisine. Before long, each one of us had our own bowl of fish-head noodles. head noodle restaurant is a bit of a The bowl did look bigger than the task. However, I got lucky because ordinary ones sold in other restau- a food bon vivant was kind enough to share his “secret” with me. rants. A big problem for first-time After a few mouthfuls, it was no longer hearsay. Woo Pin did serve customers here is parking space. great fish-head noodles. The only During lunchtime, it was like lookminor drawback is that the deep- ing for gold nuggets on the cement fried fish cutlets came with lots of pavement. The commercial area was packed with cars and other tiny bones. I had been forewarned that din- vehicles when we got there. After circling the area for about ers had to be careful that they did not inadvertently swallow some of 15 minutes, I almost gave up trying these irritating bones. But other to find a parking bay. Finally, I than that, the smooth-textured made a detour to some nearby noodles and the distinctively deli- apartment blocks and found a few cious soup was a culinary experi- parking spaces further up the road. The price of the noodles, at beence to remember and cherish. There was a side-dish of fish tween RM7 and RM8.50 per bowl, paste or what the Cantonese call are not exactly the cheapest in yu wat. The bowl of yu wat was town. Side orders will cost you accompanied by vegetables. It was extra, but customers like me were not worried because we were “speanother epicurean experience. Fish-head noodles, or yu tau cial” guests. I was a bit surprised that Woo mai, are quite common in Klang Valley, but to find a really fine fish- Pin had escaped my attention for
Mouth-watering fish-head noodles
There are some fine places for lunch outside Petaling Jaya. LIN ZHENYUAN is escorted to a restaurant that is bursting at its seams with customers, and lives to tell about it
so long. My friends of the unofficial club of gluttons usually clue me in on places like Woo Pin. Perhaps they unconsciously neglected to add Woo Pin to my list of “must-try” places. After Young and old eating with great gusto. all, for those who live on the other side of Damansara, Ta- head noodle is the major draw. man Danau Desa would seem so Even if it is not your favourite dish, far away. And if you don’t have the you will find little to quarrel with right company, which simply at this restaurant. means good lunchtime partners, it The kitchen staff seemed to be might not be worth the trouble Myanmar nationals. Myanmar making the trip to this far side of workers have already earned a fine Old Klang Road. reputation for being hardworking Woo Pin Restaurant, like all and obedient. So it is not surprisChinese eateries, is not immune to ingly that some of the busiest resnoise. The lunch crowd is as noisy taurants in the city have their share as it gets in any place that does of Myanmar people as workers. great business. If you do not like Apparently, the original Woo places that suffer from noise pollu- Pin Fish Head Noodle restaurant tion, you may want to consider is in Cheras, but some people say another option. the feng shui in Taman Danau But Woo Pin’s excellent fish- Desa is unbeatable.
Meanwhile, we took our time with our fish head and noodles. We wouldn’t be passing by this place again that soon, so we took our time to enjoy the bowl of noodles to its last drop of goodness. The address of the restaurant is A37, Plaza Danau 2, Jalan 109F, Taman Danau Desa. Phone nos: 012-2255365 or 012-3595518. Business hours are from 7.30am to 10pm. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. Try to go before noon, otherwise you and your friends will be searching high and low for tables and chairs inside the restaurant.
A kitchen worker preparing the bowls of fishhead noodles.
The size of the bowls is an indicator of what a customer can expect.
The ingredients that go into making a tasty bowl of fishhead noodles.
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
Famous Woo Pin fish head noodles.
The garnishing is what make the noodles extra special.
Safety first at Plaza Perangsang
By Basil Foo
SHAH ALAM: Plaza Perangsang is carrying out measures to enable the building to obtain the Occupational Safety and Health Assessment System (Ohsas) certification next year. “These programmes should receive the commitment of all staff for the safety of their surroundings,” said Raja Idris Raja Kamarudin at a press conference on April 20. The Selangor Perangsang Group chairperson said the programmes would start next month. The measures will involve the estimated 800 people who work Raja Idris at the 24-floor plaza, which houses offices on the lower levels and Quality Hotel on higher levels. Included in the programmes are safety awareness training , first-aid and CPR training, personal protective equipment training , and fire drills. “Although the programmes are in conjunction with World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28, [these] ac- Selvarajan tivities should be carried out regularly,” said Raja Idris. Safety consultant Selvarajan Visvalingam, who was hired by the group to establish and carry out the programmes, said a proactive culture should be started. “Anyone can react and give first aid after an accident happens, but what’s more important is to be proactive to report any risk of accidents and to take precautions,” he said. Selangor Perangsang Group business development general manager Mohamad Johari Kamsari was also present at the launch.
Raja Idris unfurling a bunting to launch the Perangsang Plaza Health and Safety Programme on April 20. On the right is Mohamad Johari.
Raja Idris observing how a smoke detector works while Mohamad Johari looks on.
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
Residents from Taman Gasing Indah, including children, tried their hand at operating fire hoses during a workshop with firefighters last Sunday. Children were also treated to a tour of fire trucks to check out the sirens and firefighting apparatus.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim paying a surprise visit to Sri Perantau flats in Klang last Friday, following complaints of rampant drug abuse, vandalism and gangsterism at the residence. The Menteri Besar met with reisdents and promised that funds from the Klang Municipal Council and the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) would be allocated to improve living conditions.
Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh (centre) officiating the new tables and benches at the community park in USJ 2 last Saturday. She is joined by Vadiveru Arumugam, deputy chairperson of the USJ 2 and 6 residents association (on her left) and Subang Jaya Municipal councillor Rajiv Rishyakaran (fifth from right).
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) public complaints director Tengku Nazaruddin Zainudin (left) and local councillor Tony Cheong planting a damar minyak tree in a field in SS2 during a gotong-royong exercise last Saturday morning.
During a workshop in Desa ParkCity, Kuala Lumpur conducted by the Fire Prevention Council Malaysia (Fipcom) last Saturday, children were taught the classic stop, drop and roll should their clothes catch on fire.
Children from Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Tamil Highland Bukit Tinggi during an Earth Day walk last Sunday morning at Giant Bukit Tinggi 1 in Klang.
April 29 — MAy 1, 2011
Compiled by Nick Choo
Caipifruta Go Graz, Austria!
Music; April 28-30; KLPac; RM40; 03-40479000; www.klpac.org
Join singers Tracy Wong, Lai Suk Yin, Aaron Teoh, Joel Wong and jazz pianist Wei Zhong for a tongue-in-cheek, colourful evening of musical exploration. Like the cocktail drink which inspired their name, Caipifruta! aims to tantalise and relax your senses with splashes of jazz, a dash of pop and even a slice of Broadway, all shaken together with a twist of humour and a few surprises. All proceeds from this concert go towards funding Caipifruta!’s trip to represent Malaysia in the Jazz and Pop categories of the World Youth Choir Championships in Graz, Austria. More information at caipifrua.tumblr.com.
Love Journey 2
Music/Theatre; April 27-May 1; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; RM43/RM23; 03-40479000; www.klpac.org Love Journey 2 features Joanna Bessey in an evening of comedic suspense, jazz, love and blues with the Michael Veerapen Trio, Junji Delfino and Malik Taufiq. Having recovered from the blues of the first Love Journey, Bessey’s Lily M La Rue is optimistic, in love and pregnant! Just when she thinks she has finally found happiness, she is faced with new (and growing) bumps in her road to love, including her jazz singing rival, Bianca Devereaux. “A journey back in time with music from the 1930s through to the 1950s in this unique performance marring the magical world of the theatre and a snazzy jazz club, with classics like Give Me the Simple Life, Cheek to Cheek, All Or Nothing At All, Lover Man and Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby.”
Peter Ong is a multitalented singerdancer-actor who has recently turned to producing. Comprising the “P” in PAN Productions (the “A” and “N” are for fellow producers Alizakri Alias and Cabaret director Nell Ng respectively), he has travelled internationally performing in operas and musical works. In an email interview with Selangor Times, he talks more about Cabaret, in which he also plays the character of the Emcee, and the difference between being on stage and working behind the scenes. Why did PAN decide on producing Cabaret, which is one of the most wellknown musicals in the world? How much do you draw on from other stagings and the movie? [We chose it] precisely because it is one of the most iconic musicals of all time! Thoroughly underrated and overshadowed by its successor Chicago, we thought it would be nice to dust it off the shelf and present it to the public. Most Malaysians are probably only familiar with the Liza Minelli/ Joel Grey/Bob Fosse movie, which deviated somewhat from the original [in that there were characters created specifically for the film]; so we are sticking pretty faithfully to the original stage script, while maintaining Sally Bowles as American [as in the movie] and Clifford Bradshaw as English. Cabaret has morphed from staging to restaging. It’s just one of those works in constant progress. What are some of the challenges of producing a show that is set in Berlin during the time of the Nazis? Were there wary considerations that had to be made in presenting it for a Malaysian audience? Although it’s set in the 1930s, the implications are still current and indeed universal. Berlin in the 1930s was the capital of liberalism and progressive
Musical theatre; May 6-15; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; RM125/RM105/ RM85; 03-4047900; www.klpac.org; presented by PAN Productions
BERLIN, 1931 – the capital of divine decadence, liberal thought and cultural transformation, while the shadow of the Nazis threatens to engulf all of Europe. Cabaret is the iconic musical created by John Kander and Fred Ebb, which revolves around the seedy happenings of the Kit Kat Klub and its regulars. Step inside the world of Sally Bowles, a cabaret performer, as she embarks on a torrid love affair with Clifford Bradshaw, a young Englishman who has come to Berlin to seek inspiration for his new novel. Set amidst the political and social upheaval of pre-Nazi Germany, this musical will allow you to indulge yourself in the unbridled sensuality of the club, revel among its morally ambiguous inhabitants, and plunge into its glitz and glamour. Cabaret debuted on stage since 1966 to over 3,000 performances in Broadway and in the West End, and has been performed in Europe, Mexico, Australia and Singapore. It was adapted for the big screen in 1972 with an Oscar-winning performance by Liza Minelli in the role of Sally Bowles. Its Malaysian premiere features the talents of Stephanie Van Driesen, Peter Davis, Trudy Ganendra, Alizakri Alias, Aaron Khaled, Peter Ong, Bernie Chan, Judimar Hernandez, Sabrina Hassan, Suhaili Micheline, Hunny Madu, Davina Goh, Sarah Loh, Alfred Choo and Paul Wong. Directed by Nell Ng, with musical direction by Nish Tham. show. It is presented as a window to the past. We purposely chose to stage it in Pentas 2 in KLPac, a small and intimate venue. We hope to recreate the ambience of a cabaret of years gone by. No glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but the raw sensuousness of the seedy yet vibrant cabaret scenes of the period. The lessons are universal and transcend time and culture. You are a stage performer yourself. What is the challenge of going behind the scenes and being a producer? Being a performer is very different from being a producer. For one, there is the complication of staying organised! It has been a steep learning curve for us, but we are so grateful to be given the chance. We would like to shout a huge thank you to all our sponsors and supporters, especially Berjaya Corporation, as well as AmPrivate Banking and Citta Mall for their unflinching support of local arts. It is difficult being a producer in Malaysia because of the lack of support. Without these corporations stepping in, there would be no show. Being a producer has definitely improved my perspective as an artist and performer, with a greater appreciation of what has to go on behind the scenes to bring a show to fruition.
God of Carnage
Theatre; April 28-May 8; PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One; RM60; 03-79600439, www. pjla.com.my
The second annual PJ Laugh Festival at PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One opens with this 2009 Tony Award-winning comedy play, which premiered in New York in 2009 with Hollywood bigwigs Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden. Malaysia’s version features Will Quah, Maya Tan, Megat Sharizal and former Ms Malaysia World Lina Teoh, directed by David Lim. God of Carnage is a tale of two couples who meet to discuss the misdemeanours of their sons. “The evening begins quite amicably with the four parents intending to resolve the situation diplomatically. However, as their hopes begin to splinter and disillusionment sets in, the evening deteriorates from one of mild unease and discomfort into a deluge of accusations, recriminations, jealousy and rage.”
The List Operators For Kids: More Fun Than A Wii!
Theatre; May 5-22; PJ Live Arts & Jaya One; RM44-77; 03-79600439, www.pjla.com.
Australians Matt Kelly and Richard Higgins are veterans of children’s theatre, who devised and first performed in The List Operators for Kids: More Fun Than a Wii! in September 2009. It has received a prestigious Barry Nomination for Best Show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, played to thousands of children in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney, and received multiple five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “The award-winning List Operators are heading to Kuala Lumpur, fart machine in tow, with their raw, raucous and ridiculously cool show … for anyone aged five to 500 million (dinosaurs allowed).” Presented by Garner & Wife Theatre.
thought of the world. Producing such artists and thinkers such as Marlene Dietrich, Albert Einstein and Rudolf von Laban, it swung to the far-right of extremism represented by the Nazis in just 10 years. From celebrating tolerance and progressive thought, it transformed into a regime of conformity and racial superiority. Much of the challenge in presenting it to Malaysian audiences is that most Malaysians have forgotten all about the Second World War, consigning it to the archives of history. It begun only 70 years ago – still pretty recent, and the ripples from it are still felt even till today. We wanted to present it in Malaysia also as a reminder of the consequences of our actions as a society. Hitler and the Nazis were voted into power. How did a nation that was at the forefront of liberalism fall into the hands of such extremists? It is a lesson we need to constantly remind ourselves of. What makes this production uniquely Malaysian? Are there any changes to the material, or deliberate “hints” that have been incorporated into show – “winks” at the audience, as it were, to indicate that this is a local production? We are not Malaysianising this
Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones
Theatre; May 10-15; PJ Live Arts & Jaya One; RM60; 03-79600439, www.pjla.com.my
A wordless, shadow puppet comedy from Montreal, Canada. Monkeys in the jungle, UFO abductions, brain transplants and flying Ninjas … don’t miss Jeff Achtem’s amazingly playful vision of wonder and nonsense as he transforms bits of junk into surreal shadow puppets. In each scene, the audience is invited behind the visual trickery to witness the making of these amazing puppet melodramas. Winner for Best Puppetry in the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2011, and Spirit of the Fringe and Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010. Suitable for all ages. Presented by Garner & Wife Theatre.
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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