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Appeals Board upholds Telekom's rights p 2
Kelab SyabaS returnS to former glory p
May 6 — May 8, 2011/ issue 23
By Gan Pei Ling
Kuala Selangor: Selangor is moving to save its dwindling population of fireflies by setting up a breeding nursery along Sungai Selangor next month. “We will set up artificial breeding grounds for the fireflies,” said Dr Ang Lai Hoe at the Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park last Friday. Ang, a senior research officer from the biotechnology division in Forest Research Institute Malaysia (Frim), said the fireflies’ natural spawning grounds have been disturbed due to plantations and other developments along the river. “The breeding ground has become too hot and dry, and lacks organic material,” he said. Indigenous tree species like sago will be planted, and artificial shade will be set up in a one-hectare plot in Tanjung Beluntas to help rehabilitate the area by the riverside. He said sago trees are the natural habitat for firefly larvae as the plants provide sufficient moisture and shade. “If the project is successful, we will replicate it in other areas,” said Ang. Selangor has acquired and gazetted 95 hectares of land as a firefly sanctuary along Sungai Selangor in 2009 to preserve the species. Ang said that previously, around 60% of the 95 hectares were converted into plantations and other land use, according to satellite im-
OPS PAYUNG: In an effort to combat crime, police have set up mobile beat bases under umbrellas in crime hotspots, such as this one located at Klang Parade.
• STory on page 6
Keeping the home fireflies burning
ages. Only the remaining 40% are forests. Frim experts will be working together with the state to carry out the three-year breeding project sponsored by Aeon, a Japanese retailer. The company donated RM390,450 to the project and signed a memorandum with the state last Friday. Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) acting director Norzamri Sondor said they also plan to invite villagers to help plant trees along the riverbank. “We must get the community involved to help protect the fireflies,” Norzamri told Selangor Times. He said fireflies can be found along a 20km stretch of Sungai Selangor and its buffer zone of around 2,000 hectares. Around 60% to 70% of the 2,000 hectares are private lands, with some converted into plantations and other residential areas. He said the Luas enforcement • Turn To page 6
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RM50m relief fund for Selangor
By Alvin Yap
Yeoh (right) and USJ 6 residents speaking to the press after the Appeals Board delivered its decision.
SHAH ALAM: Selangor will boost its ability to prepare for natural disasters with the creation of a RM50 million relief fund. “The executive council has decided to set up a Natural Disaster Relief Fund (TWBA) worth RM50 million for the people during times of disaster,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Wednesday. He said an initial grant of RM10 million will be allocated this year, and RM10 million will be allocated every year from 2012 to 2015 for the remaining RM40 million. The fund is set up according to financing and accounting laws to enable it to generate profits by investing in equities. It can also receive donations from individuals, as well as from companies wanting to discharge their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). “The fund will be accorded tax-exemption status for this purpose,” said Khalid. Khalid said the fund can only be utilised in 2016 because it needs time to invest and generate acceptable returns to assist relief efforts. The administration will seek approval at the second state assembly sitting in July to legislate an enactment for the creation of the fund. It will also ask the assembly to approve allocations for the initial funding of RM10 million. The fund will be administered by top state civil service officials who will report to the state executive council. Currently, the state has the Natural Disaster Trust Fund to provide for victims, but it has only RM8 million in allocations and cannot be invested.
Appeals Board upholds Telekom’s rights
By Gan Pei Ling
Friday Morning Saturday Sunday
SHAH ALAM: It was a bittersweet day for residents of USJ 6 when the Selangor Appeals Board decided to uphold Telekom Bhd’s right to develop its 0.35-hectare utility reserve land yesterday. While the telecommunications company is now allowed to continue with its development, three conditions imposed upon them will reduce the size and nature of the development to ensure that traffic conditions in the area will not be severely impacted. Telekom had initially proposed to construct a nine-storey commercial tower in a development undertaken by TM Facilities and Pujangga Budiman in a joint venture. But conditions set by the board have ensured that the development is no higher than the existing five-storey Telekom building located in the same area. “The building shall not be higher than the existing Telekom building [in USJ 6],” said board member Ho Khong Ming. The board ruled that the developer must also reduce the size and height of the building as traffic on most roads in USJ 6 is already congested, according to a 2008 Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) report. In addition, Ho said: “The develop-
ment shall only be for offices, and no part of the development can be used for commercial purposes that would attract more traffic than offices.” He said retail outlets, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and cinemas are not permitted. Thirdly, the developer must adopt the TIA’s suggestions to improve traffic conditions in the area and adhere to any additional conditions imposed by the local council. Two other Appeals Board members, Datuk Abu Bakar Awang and Datuk Azmeer Rashid, were also present. The board also said the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) should issue a public apology over its blunder in designating the land as a field in its draft local plan before changing the land’s status to “commercial” without public consultation. Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh said they will consult Gobind Singh Deo, who is the lawyer representing the residents, to consider the possibility of a judicial review. MPSJ had twice rejected the developer’s application to sub-divide the utility reserve land for development in its full board meetings in November
2005 and February 2006. However, the local council gave conditional approval for the project in 2008 before the TIA was completed. The residents filed an appeal against the project in 2009. Due to public protest, MPSJ revoked its development order in 2009, but the revocation is legally void as it was never endorsed by the State Planning Committee. Subsequently, MPSJ councillors and its then president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan cancelled the revocation in an ad-hoc meeting in April 2010. However, the Appeals Board’s decision to allow commercial development on utility reserve land is expected to have far-reaching consequences for similar cases in Selangor. Yeoh said the precedent would now apply to other cases in Petaling Jaya, Serdang and other areas. Meanwhile, residents who were present yesterday expressed their disappointment over the Appeals Board’s decision. “We’re the ones who will be directly affected by the development and the worsening traffic conditions,” said resident Philip Song, 49.
PKPS records RM1.8m profit
KAJANG: The Selangor Agriculture Development Corporation (PKPS) recorded a profit of RM1.8 million and reduced operating costs by RM2 million last year. “The profits are due to increased palm oil production, which surged to 14,000 tonnes in 2010 compared with 9,200 tonnes the year before,” said Ali Ahmad. The PKPS group general manager added that the state subsidiary managed to reduce operation costs through a transparent system of governance since 2008. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who visited the farm in Sungai Long, said profits should see an increase this year. “Their profits are expected to increase [this year] with close monitoring and systematic management carried out by PKPS,” he said. Khalid visited additional areas for oil palm cultivation and flood-prone sections of the PKPS field.
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
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Signing the plaque: Khalid at the PKPS farm in Sungai Long.
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He also opened the Jelutong Jati farm on Jalan Tanjung Maling, which houses a dairy and poultry farm using the latest technology. The farm’s technology was the result of co-operation between PKPS and the Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) from Thailand.
Khalid said CP Group will train PKPS staff to use the latest technology. The Menteri Besar also had the honour of reaping the first harvest of chickens which were bred on the farm for 39 days. The farm has 200 Friesian cows, and PKPS is targeting a production of about 1,000 litres of milk per cow.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ MAY 6 – 8, 2011 ⁄ 3
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
Pay less for books
Pay Less Books’ warehouse sale is back. Malaysia’s largest provider for quality used English books is selling rare out-of-print titles at cheap prices. Also available are fiction and non-fiction genres. Sales start today (May 6) until Sunday (May 8) from 10am to 7pm on the first floor of the Lee Kong Chian Hall, YMCA Kuala Lumpur, 95, Jalan Padang Belia, 50470 Kuala Lumpur. For more information, visit www.paylessbooks.com.my.
State addresses grave concerns
Liu talking to MPK senior assistant engineer Rosmala Paiman during a visit to Bukit Raja for burial grounds allocation.
Montfort open day
Come and join Montfort Boys’ open day on Sunday (May 8) from 9am to 5pm on Jalan Montfort, Shah Alam. Expect games, entertainment and joyrides. For more information, contact the centre at 0355191735 or 03-55191736.
Tai chi for beginners
The Association of Tai Chi Huang Malaysia in Klang will start a new tai chi class for beginners this month. Anyone who is looking to keep a relaxed and healthy lifestyle is welcome. Classes will be held twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 8pm to 9pm at 92-C, Lebuh Tapah, Klang (opposite Pin Hwa High School). For more information, call 017-6028770 (Ong), 012-6741922 (Ng) or 019-6640956 (Koh).
Liu inspecting incinerators at the crematorium during a visit on Tuesday.
By Basil Foo
Japanese film treat
The Japan Foundation of Kuala Lumpur will be having a film screening tomorrow (May 7). The film, titled The Place Promised in Our Early Days, features an alternate timeline in post-World War II Japan that has been divided and occupied by two rival powers. The screening will begin at 3pm at Pawagam Mini P Ramlee, National Film Development Corporation Malaysia, Jalan Hulu Kelang, Ampang. Admission is free.
Preserving Bukit Gasing
A family day to raise awareness about the campaign to save Bukit Gasing from developers will be held tomorrow (May 7). It is a chance for the community to come together and help keep this hill safe from environmentally damaging development on the steep hill slopes. There will be activities like balloon sculpting, art and colouring competitions for children and adults, lucky draws and more. The gathering will be held at the Gasing Indah playground from 2.30pm to 4pm. For details, visit http://savebukitgasing.wordpress.com.
Learn sign language
A sign-language course will be conducted by YMCA Kuala Lumpur together with Pusat Majurdiri Y on May 10. This course will be held for eight weeks, every Tuesday and Thursday, from 7.30pm to 9pm. Registration is now open. For more details, contact 03-22741439 (Chee Huay Woon / Morley Ng) or email them at email@example.com.
Hatha yoga lessons
Divine Life Society will be conducting Hatha Yoga lessons from May 8 to June 26. The classes will be conducted at the Vivekananda Ashram Hall, Brickfields. It will cover over 30 essential yogic exercises and five breathing techniques. For more information, contact 03-40214657 (Nesa) or 0379560875 (Param).
KLANG: The spiralling cost of burying the dead is being addressed by the state, which is moving to allocate more land for public cemeteries. Two sites here, amounting to 303 hectares, are being considered in Johan Setia and Bukit Raja. “We are doing this to address shortages of burial grounds due to the increasing amount of residential developments here,” said Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew. The state executive councillor, whose portfolio includes local government, said cemeteries will be managed by non-governmental organisations and not private companies. He told Selangor Times during a site visit on May 3 that this is to reduce costs for the public, who need burial plots but cannot afford private-owned cemeteries. “The land in Johan Setia has been gazetted as a Muslim burial ground and will be maintained by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS),” said Liu. Situated about 3km from the main road, parts of the 22-hectare land have been used as an illegal pineapple plantation by nearby farmers. Requests have been made by the
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) to the state government for RM3 million to prepare the burial grounds and upgrade the access road. The land will be developed in stages, with the first 10 acres estimated to be completed within three months upon the approval for funds, and will meet the community’s needs for the next five years. The rest of the unused land will be opened for agricultural purposes, the developers of which will be charged a nominal fee. The 242-hectare plot, which is in Bukit Raja, lies between MPK’s and Shah Alam City Council (MBSA)’s jurisdiction. “I will speak with the mayor of MBSA to carve out a piece of land. This area is more suitable for non-Muslims, especially the Chinese,” said Liu. He explained that the Chinese community preferred undulating and hilly land to be used as burial grounds. If approved, the burial grounds here will be managed by organisations like
the Hokkien or Guangdong associations of Malaysia. Allocating land for cemeteries is a requirement that developers are reluctant to adhere to when constructing residential areas as they affect house prices. “The local council allows developers to combine plots of land for cemeteries which are situated on the outskirts,” said Datuk Mislan Tugiu. The MPK president said a shortage of burial sites has spiked in recent years due to rapid development in Klang like Bukit Tinggi, Bandar Botanik, Andalas, and Bandar Puteri. To assist with the shortage of burial grounds, a crematorium in Simpang Lima will be refurbished and relaunched within a month.
Iskandar cries foul over ‘illegal’ voters
SHAH ALAM: Assemblyperson Iskandar Samad is seeing red over the latest electoral roll, which shows voters illegally transferred to his constituency. Latest Election Commission (EC) records for January to March show some 19 new voters transferred from the neighbouring Teratai constituency to Iskandar’s Cempaka constituency. Iskandar alleged that the voters are commitee members from a certain political party. He said they are still residing in Teratai, but have now registered to vote in Cempaka. “The number is small, but it is part of a larger strategy to wrest back control [of Selangor] from Pakatan Rakyat,” said Iskandar at a press conference on Tuesday. The Pas politician said the party’s election workers had detected some 484 voters who have transferred themselves across Selangor constituencies, based on the latest electoral roll. He said they were filing objections on the illegal transfers to the EC. Iskandar, who is state executive councillor for housing and squatters, had previously contested in the Lembah Jaya state seat (1999) and Pandan parliamentary seat (2004) before winning his present seat in the 2008 General Election.
The Department of Extra-Mural Studies, Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA), will hold a workshop for batik lovers this month. The workshop, which consists of four lessons, is open to anyone 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 conducted at MIA Art Centre, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. For more information, contact the centre at 03-21632337, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.mia.edu.my. Iskandar with records that show names of illegal voters.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ MAY 6 – MAY 8, 2011 ⁄ 5
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
World needs press freedom more than ever
By Alvin Yap
Shukor (left) showing how the umbrella stand can be converted into a roadblock barrier.
Police doubles ‘mobile’ stations in North Klang
By Basil Foo
KLANG: Satisfied with the success of Ops Payung 1, the North Klang police district has decided to double the number of “mobile” police stations. Under Ops Payung 2, the number of three-police-officer units will be increased to 18 from the current six in northern Klang. Besides monitoring crime activities in housing estates, the mobile police stations can also take complaints from the public. “These umbrella stands are a more practical approach to combating crime as they allow us to respond quicker with greater flexibility,” said Superintendent Shukor Sulong yesterday. The North Klang district police chief said the additional 12 um-
brella stands will be deployed immediately, and can also act as counters for the community to tip off the police about possible crimes. Police officers have been told to interact with members of the public under a new Citizens Focused Policy, to understand their needs and address them better, he said. “I encourage the public to approach the umbrella stands if they have any information or questions. The police are now friendlier compared with the 60s,” Shukor said during the launch in Klang Parade. During the launch, Shukor demonstrated how the umbrella stands could be modified on the spot into barriers for setting up roadblocks. The umbrella stands come equipped with flashing lights, and Shukor said that they have proven
to be effective in improving police response time to major crimes like bank robberies. “We can carry out traffic inspections [more quickly] now, too, instead of returning to the police station to get the roadblock equipment,” he added. The first phase of Ops Payung, which was launched last December, received encouraging response from the public, some of whom contributed food and drinks to the officers on duty. Penny Yeo, from the Taman Klang Residents Assocation, supported the initiative as crime in the area has decreased since the implementation of Ops Payung. “Since the deployment of the umbrella beats, there have been no complaints from the residents here,” said Yeo.
SHAH ALAM: Selangor has pledged to ensure greater freedom of information to ensure the public and journalists get access to information on issues that affect them. “The state passed the Freedom of Information (FOI) Enactment on April 1 [this year] to ensure transparency and accountability,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim during a speech commemorating World Press Freedom Day. The speech, which was read out by executive councillor Dr Halimah Ali at a forum organised by Universiti Selangor on Tuesday, said the enactment would enable civil society and democracy to advance. The Menteri Besar said Selangor would persist in giving people unfettered access to government administration. He pointed out that the demand for greater freedom is increasing, citing the ongoing events in the Middle East. “The upheaval and revolution across Northern Africa and the Middle East demonstrated that as the world changes, the need for a free press is becoming all the more important,” he said at the forum titled 21st Century Media, New Frontiers, New Barriers.
Referring to Malaysia, he said the country was shackled by censorship in the print media, and online news portals have been under attack recently. He pointed to Sin Chew reporter Tan Choon Heng, who was arrested under the Internal Security Act for 16 hours in September 2008 for reporting that a politician had made racist remarks during a ceramah. Khalid said the internet was becoming a tool for citizen journalists to report stories. He also painted a grim figure of 861 journalists killed on duty, with 16 deaths so far for the year. There are 145 journalists detained in prisons worldwide, with more declared missing. Most importantly, he said a recent Press Freedom Index showed a serious “regression” of press freedom in the country. Malaysia has dropped to 141st place, down 10 places over the previous year. “We are now worse than Russia, Venezuela and Zimbabwe,” said Khalid. He also paid tribute to journalists and those “who dared to tell their story," pointing out that they had gone the extra mile to provide balanced and objective news.
Selangor to build affordable houses
By Alvin Yap
Ensuring no big-scale development threatens colony
• From page one
team would monitor the river and its buffer zone from time to time with Frim and the land office to ensure there is no big-scale development that would threaten the firefly colony. “Villagers will inform us whenever there are encroachments,” said Norzamri, adding that the highest penalty for encroachment is a fine of RM50,000 and imprisonment for two years. Frim entomologist Nada Badrud-
din said fireflies can be found worldwide, but the special behaviour of fireflies that congregate, as seen in Kuala Selangor, is only limited to Southeast Asia. “Kuala Selangor is special because the location is strategic; other areas are not as accessible to humans,” she told Selangor Times. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the popular eco-tourism site attracts around 3,500 visitors a month. Visitors usually take a boat tour via Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park
or Kampung Belimbing to view the fireflies at night. Also present at last Friday’s memorandum signing ceremony were Aeon president Datuk Abdullah Yusof, state secretary Datuk Khusrin Munawi, executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar, and assistant executive councillor Edward Lee. They took a boat tour to witness the beauty of the fireflies after the signing the memorandum. Kuala Selangor district council officials and councillors were also present.
SHAH ALAM: In a bid to resolve the lack of affordable housing for those earning a minimum of RM2,500, the state plans to build houses priced at RM100,000. “It will be homes that are more comfortable and spacious at 850 sq ft, compared with 650 sq ft for lowcost homes,” said state executive councillor Iskandar Samad on Wednesday. He said the Affordable Ownership Homes project will cater for th o s e e a rn i n g R M 2 , 5 0 0 t o RM5,000, adding that 30% of the purchasers will be below 35 years of age. “We do not want a large section of society who cannot afford to buy houses,” Iskandar said after a state executive meeting. He said the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) will approve the design and specifications as well as build the houses. Iskandar said a panel of architects will act as consultants on the design. An initial 2,000 units will be built around the Bandar Baru Bangi area. An earth-breaking ceremony officiated by the Menteri Besar will be
held on May 29. The announcement by Iskandar, who is councillor for housing , comes on the heels of the National House Buyers Association’s (HBA) warning that young adults are unable to purchase property due to spiralling house prices. HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong had said the inflated prices are putting ownership beyond the reach of young adults. “The price increases are not commensurate with salary increases. How are young adults going to catch up [with house prices]?” The average price of a residential property in the Klang Valley – especially in the greater Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya area – is now estimated at RM485,000. The figure is nine times the annual average urban household income of RM54,000. Earlier, Iskandar announced that the state would hold a seminar on June 14 at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) to brief the public on the housing programme. The event will give the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the shortlisted designs, he added. The state is also starting a contest to give suitable names for the project.
Yoga fundraiser for Japan
By William Tan
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
SHAH ALAM: Yoga students opened their hearts, minds and wallets during a fundraiser for quake-hit Japan at Hotel Saujana Kuala Lumpur on May 2. Yoga instructor Manoj Kaimar led a class of 70 students in releasing the tensions of their daily lives, and explained how each yoga movement or stretch was aimed at opening their hearts and minds. “We are always so caught up in life, but with yoga I can take away the frustrations and fears of one’s life and grant pure awareness, which opens [one’s] eyes to the plight of others,” Manoj said. He also explained yoga principles of compassion, and lectured the class on how they could make a difference in the lives of others. The event, organised by Manasa Yoga, charged a minimum contribution of RM25, with the proceeds going to Red Cross Japan. To help bolster the fund, stalls selling second-hand and yoga-related goods were Performance by senior yoga students held at Hotel Saujana Kuala Lumpur. also set up. Manoj said this was the second event Selvarajah were happy to help out for a good Ima Mohamed and Rowena Baker said the that had been held for the Japanese cause cause, and get some exercise at the same time. event demonstrated that people could do within the last two months. Selvam, who has been practising yoga for something collectively. “At Manasa Yoga, we try to do this every two the past seven years, said the event was really “Yoga teaches numerous good traits such as months even if there is no major crisis,” he said. effective, and also served as an opportunity to being charitable, and it is something that spills He said they usually contributed the pro- meet new friends. over into your daily life,” said Rowena. ceeds to an orphanage in India. He has been practising yoga for the past Both Ima and Rowena have been practisStudents like property developer Selvam seven years. ing yoga for the past eight years. They used
Yoga instructor Manoj Kaimar.
to jog, but injuries forced them to make a switch. Among the beginners in the class was sales and marketing officer Marisa Saud. She found the class quite challenging but said it was very different from other activities she had tried, such as pilates. Marisa added that the class made a difference to her physically and spiritually, and she felt more empathy for the Japanese people. The event closed with lunch and performances by senior students, as well as another performance by the Shudokan Institute of Aikido. Manasa Yoga collected about RM12,000 for the day, but they are keeping the fund open to donations until May 15. They will later hand over the donations to the Japanese Chamber Trade and Industry, which will then present it to Red Cross Japan. For more information on how to contribute to the fund, visit Manasa Yoga’s website at www.manasa-yoga.com.
Ampang council under fire
By Basil Foo
may 6 — 8, 2011
aMPang: The municipal council here has been taken to task by residents for failing to heed warnings about trees which fell on cars on Monday evening. “We lodged a report with them three months ago but no action was taken,” Chua Yew Choong told reporters. The assistant to Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee said three cars were damaged on Jalan Maju 3/1 as a result of Ampang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPAJ) failure to act on his complaint. The trees had looked like they were in danger of collapse for months, and Chua’s worst fears
were realised when violent thunderstorms uprooted them on Labour Day. The Pandan Action Team head brought reporters to the site on Wednesday before lashing out at MPAJ. Chua said MPAJ assured him that work was in progress, and that the council was “waiting for funds” when he called to check on the complaint. Residents had repeatedly expressed fears to him about the trees which were growing precariously on an elevated slope near parking lots there. To make matters worse, Chua said MPAJ has yet to clear the area of the fallen trees.
Chua (right) showing the fallen trees with Pandan Action Team members.
Fallen trees on Jalan Maju 3/1 in Taman Lembah Maju which damaged three cars on Monday.
Chua also pointed out that MPAJ had failed to act against garbage trucks parked in an open area along Jalan Bunga Mawar and Jalan Maju 2 since the end of March. He said the foul stench has been affecting residents less than 50 metres away. Chua claimed MPAJ was dragging its feet by moving the case from the council’s Town Planning Department to the Land Office and then
back to the Building Department. “Till today, [rubbish] contractors are still operating despite complaints from residents,” he said. When contacted, MPAJ said there were eight cases of fallen trees in Taman Lembah Maju, including the latest one, and they were working to clear the debris. MPAJ said they would also need to refer to their records before commenting on Chua’s allegations that the
council had failed to heed warnings. “We will also be monitoring the trees in the area and action will be taken before more fall over,” said MPAJ public relations officer Norhayati Ahmad. Norhayati added that MPAJ would also be sending out notices to operators who parked their garbage trucks in the area. She also acknowledged that the lorries were illegally parked.
Bikers feted by Khalid
By Alvin Yap
Children undo damage on Labour Day
By Brenda Ch’ng
shah alaM: A convoy of 130 bikers who rode to Terengganu’s coastal town of Dungun under the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) Jom Konvoi programme were feted by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim upon their return here on Monday. “I’m glad that the participants got a chance to live with foster families in Terengganu,” said the Menteri Besar. The bikers, aged between 18 and 35, took part in the seventh edition of the annual event. The programme was opened Bikers reaching the of State to bikers with motorcycles Secretariat from 100cc to 150cc and was building. flagged off at MPSJ on April 29. The group travelled some 800km and took part in gotong royong activities at a beach as well as a turtle conservation programme. Government agencies like Pemadam and the state sports council (MSNS) helped organise the teambuilding events. Khalid said he was happy that the participants had an opportunity to visit and see the East Coast, adding that Malaysia was different regionally and had its own characteristics. He said events such as Jom Konvoi gave an opportunity for participants to travel in a group and do charity. “I hope Jom Konvoi will come together next year to repair and even build houses for the poor at the planned destination,” said Khalid. Tired but happy participants taking a break after their ride.
subang jaya: Some were as young as 10, but age did not stop children from USJ 3 from pitching in to repaint a hut in their park on Monday. Marred by graffiti, the hut – which served as a shelter – was in dire need of a new coat of paint. The paint was supplied by resident KW Tan, and the children spent their Labour Day holiday hard at work to make the hut clean again. “ The children wanted to get people to take better care of public places, so they formed an informal ‘Gogreenkidz’ club among themselves to do something for the community,” said Tan. The 49-yearold resident, who was touched by their eagerness, said he was moved to help them. “They were from all races, and they should be recognised for the efforts,” said Tan, who contacted Selangor Times. The pillars of the hut were painted green by the nine primary schoolchildren, but their parents played their part in painting the higher sections of the shelter. Parents have stepped in to support the enthusiasm of their children by looking out for other community projects they could take on. Tan’s own 10-year-old daughter is part of the Gogreenkidz club.
No compensation for victims of falling barrel
Badrul off the hook, lawyer in hot soup
SHAH ALAM: Port Klang assemblyperson Badrul Hisham Abdullah was let off the hook on April 29 as the House Rights and Privileges Committee found him not guilty of insulting the assembly. However, the committee recommended that the state assembly fine Badrul’s lawyer, Datuk Hafarizam Harun, RM20,000 for not attending the hearing. “He (Badrul) has apologised profusely,” said M Manoharan (Kota Alam Shah) after the committee’s closed-door hearing. Manoharan said Badrul had told the three-man panel that he had not instructed Hafarizam to issue a letter dated March 29 that allegedly insulted the state assembly. The three-panel committee, including Hannah Yeoh (Subang Jaya) and Dr Shafie Abu Bakar (Bangi), unanimously decided to acquit him. Badrul and Hafarizam were referred to the committee by the Selangor assembly for writing a letter that was deemed “obscene, rude and threatening” to Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim. The letter demanded that Teng pay RM40,000 in costs to Badrul or his lawyer as ordered by the Shah Alam High Court or face a bankruptcy charge. Hafarizam had sought a court injunction against the hearing,
may 6 — 8, 2011
which he did not attend. Manoharan said they only found out about the court injunction after the hearing. “He can easily explain to us. What is he afraid of ?” said Manoharan, who is also a lawyer. Manoharan chaired the hearing in place of Teng, who is the Rights and Privileges Committee chairperson, to prevent a conflict of interest. He said under the constitution, the legislature has the power to haul up any member of the public to appear before it for contempt of the house. Meanwhile, Teng described Hafarizam’s court injunction as “unconstitutional”, saying only the Sultan has the power to stop proceedings in the house according to the state constitution. “I’ll discuss with my legal adviser before we take the next course of action,” he said. Teng had declared Badrul’s seat vacant on Jan 16 for failing to attend assembly sittings for six months without any reasonable excuse. Badrul subsequently challenged the Speaker’s decision in court, and the Shah Alam High Court ruled against Teng on Feb 18 without Teng’s lawyer’s presence. Teng then appealed to the Court of Appeals.
Know Your Councillor: Ng Sze Han
Lee (left) with the injured couple Kum (right) and Chen during the press conference on Monday.
By Brenda Ch’ng
AMPANG: While admitting that a barrel fell out of his truck and injured a couple, a lorry driver is refusing to take responsibility or pay them compensation. “The barrel rolled across the road, but I didn’t cause the accident to happen. The motorist should have avoided the oncoming barrel instead of driving right into it,” he said. The driver’s remarks stunned both Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee and reporters, who were listening to the conversation via speakerphone during a press conference on Monday. Electrician Kum Chee Wai suffered multiple injuries, while his wife Chen Chow Hwa nearly had her left foot amputated when they fell off their motorcycles as a result of the April 14 accident. With three young children to look after and their inability to work, the couple turned to Lee for financial aid. During the phone conversation, the driver also claimed it was not his place to pay compensation to the family, and added that he would only pay the police summons.
The hardware store owner said that he had lodged a police report on the day of the accident and therefore had already done his part, before ending the telephone conversation. “I will be sending out a letter to the driver asking for compensation, but in the meantime I’ve given them RM1,000,” said Lee. She said if the driver fails to respond in two days, she would help the couple get legal assistance. As a last resort, Lee said she would also help the couple lodge a complaint with the Road Transport Department against the driver for failing to secure the barrels properly. Kum and Chen are facing mounting medical bills in addition to the cost of repairing their motorcycle. “He refused to speak to us, visit us in the hospital, or even apologise to my husband and me,” said Chen. The 26-year-old real estate agent said the driver spoke to her brother at the hospital and initially agreed to pay RM1,000 in compensation, but the promise was not honoured. “My wife is still traumatised by the accident … and I’m shocked we didn’t at least get a visit or apology from the driver,” said Kum. The 44-year-old said there was no
way they could have avoided the barrel because there were oncoming cars on their right and a downhill slope on their left. Their motorbike collided with the barrel and flipped over, flinging the couple off their vehicle. Kum said he was thankful both he and his wife had remained conscious after the incident, although they sustained multiple injuries. Kum managed to call his friend, who arrived just in time to notice a lorry stopped beside the road. “I ran towards him and persuaded him to help get them to the hospital. But he kept denying it was his fault, and said he didn’t stop to help them but to collect the fallen barrel,” said Tan Chee Chong. Kum was hospitalised due to blood loss and multiple injuries on his body while his wife received 13 stitches on her injured foot. And when the swelling failed to heal after a week, another visit to the clinic in Taman Putra confirmed embedded glass fragments. The X-ray was picked up by her doctor just in time to avoid amputating the foot. Now she has to get treatment for her wound on a daily basis, which costs RM300 per visit.
SubANG jAyA: Making Sri Kembangan roads safer and reducing accidents are among the top priorities for Ng Sze Han (pic). “Traffic conditions in my area are getting more hazardous because of poor management and insufficient traffic lights,” said the local councillor. Having served with the Subang Jaya Municipal Council for three terms, Ng said the majority of complaints he has received are about accidents and traffic. Ng has been working with the Public Works Department (JKR) to come up with a plan to improved traffic conditions. The 40-year-old retail business manager took up the challenge to become a councillor knowing he could make a difference. Since 2008, he has been making full use of the opportunity to implement changes for the community. Among his initiatives was to help shop owners get licences to display their products on five-foot ways. Now, retailers in Sri Kembangan are allowed to occupy one-third of the five-foot way in front of their stores. He has also ensured that at least 90% of parks in his area are well-lit to ensure the safety of residents. Previously, the dimly lit parks were inconvenient for joggers in the evenings as well as children who use the playground. Ng also took care of the needs of dialysis patients by letting St John’s Ambulance (Selangor) use the Serdang Raya community centre to help patients. The community centre has not been utilised for years, and Ng believes that this joint project will benefit dialysis patients who do not have the means to travel far for treatment. Being a non-profit organisation, the community centre is free for St John’s to use. St John’s, however, will charge dialysis patients a minimum amount to help cover the cost of the treatment provided. Before his term ends this year, Ng hopes he will at least be able to install more traffic lights on the Serdang Raya main road. The request sent to JKR for traffic lights on the densely packed main road has been dragging on for years. He said JKR has not responded to his requests yet. According to Ng, he will not stop until he gets full corporation from JKR to improve road safety.
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
‘Diversity should be a strength’
could have been avoided if organisers had found a Malaysian fluent in Mandarin rather then used an online translation programme. The banner was used as a backdrop during a welcome ceremony for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his entourage in Putrajaya last Thursday. “That is how differences in language can be made beneficial for society. Diversity should be a strength,” said the special officer to state executive councillor Elizathe polarities of some youths who were tired of racial issues and others who propagated it. He has seen university students advertise for roommates of a particular race, or how other students protested against the opening of UiTM to non-Bumiputeras. “That leaves me with some confusion because I thought youths were supposed to be the more progressive members of society,” he said. Film director Shahili Abdan also related his experiences of violence during his school days due to differences in race and culture. The co-director of Gadoh pointed out that his personal experiences were used to form the storyline of his film. But he advised the audience not to assume others experienced the same amount of racial tension he did. “My good friend in theatre (after he left school) was a Chinese who showed me things I’ve never seen before – there are poor and suffering people from all races,” said Shahili. He spoke after a 15-minute clip of Gadoh, about racial violence in secondary school, was screened. Also at the forum was Malaysian Islamic Students Federation (Gamis) vice president Muhammad Zaki Sukery and Senator Mumtaz Nawi. “The differences among us is lessened when we open our minds and think on a global scale,” said Mumtaz. She explained how in the global arena, people from different countries would come to the support of those afflicted by natural disasters by providing funds or aid services. The forum was the second in a series of four to be held in Bangi, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, and Shah Alam over the course of several weeks. “Hopefully through the speakers and the discourse, we are able to create awareness in the students and start making changes for the better,” said Arfa’eza Aziz. The press secretary to the Selangor Menteri Besar said awards are also being handed out during the course of the forums to youthbased non-governmental organisations to recognise their efforts.
Mumtaz speaking on race relations at the forum while Yap, Muhammad, and the moderator look on.
By Basil Foo
PETALING JAYA: A paradigm shift to see Malaysia’s diversity as a strength rather than a weakness was among calls by youths at a race relations forum on Saturday. “The road forward is not to make everyone alike, but to create a mindset that differences are not some-
thing bad,” said Brian Yap Jee Kit. Yap, who was a panellist at the state-organised Program Jelajah Belia Selangor, pointed out that differences among Malaysians should be utilised for the benefit A participant receiving a lucky-draw prize from Mumtaz. of society. He said the recent translation beth Wong. blunder on a banner when the Previously working in the media Chinese premier visited Malaysia and theatre industry, Yap has seen
Neighbours to resolve Kristal Heights buyers receive keys barricade dispute
By Brenda Ch’ng
SUBANG JAYA: Two residents association ssociations (RA) which are locked in a two-year feud over a blocked access road in USJ 5/4 have agreed to resolve the issue. “I [have] managed to get the RA representatives from the bungalow and terrace sections to come up with a solution to this problem,” said Hannah Yeoh. The Subang Jaya assemblyperson said representatives from both RAs have agreed to resolve the issue. Both RAs are in USJ 5, but the terrace residents are angry that their bungalow neighbours have barricaded the internal
road leading out to USJ 6. During a dialogue on Wednesday (April 27), Yeoh listened to grouses from the terrace homeowners. “Everyone here has to make a big detour around the housing area to get to USJ 6,” said Chai Wee Han. He said another access road is guarded with a boom gate that closes at 11pm every night. Chai pointed out that the road is shared property and should not be barricaded permanently. The barricaded road has also inconvenienced visitors to USJ 5 because they have to make a U-turn when they enter through USJ5/4.
By Basil Foo
Siti handing the apartment keys to Azrul while Idris looks on.
Yeoh listening to grouses from USJ 5 terrace residents.
SHAH ALAM: In an attempt to foster closer community relations, 10 buyers of Kristal Heights apartment units were invited to a key-presenting ceremony last Saturday morning. “We hope that these new owners will have closer relationships through this ceremony,” said Siti Zubaidah Abd Jabar. The Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) development controller said the key handing was an ongoing process, and that other keys should be ready by the following week. The 10 new owners were invited to the ceremony to give them a chance to get to know their future neigh-
bours and to view the apartment facilities. “Kristal Heights has an in-house gym, swimming pool, multipurpose hall, and a playground for children,” said Siti. The apartment units, totaling 300, are 1,300 square feet each, and were completed in two years after construction began in May 2008. The units, which cost between RM263,000 and RM275,000, were completely snapped up by eager buyers within two weeks of the soft launch last July. “This has been a longawaited moment for me. I feel proud getting them today,” said Azrul Hisham. The 38-year old father of three said he bought a unit due to its suitable location
and price for investment purposes. Esyam Aizam, 37, and Noor Faizah, 36, both engineers, chose the apartment because of its attractive design and location. “The view from here is beautiful. This is also accessible as it is near shops and other residential communities in the area,” said Esyam. PKNS Senior Officers Association president Idris Ishak, who helped present the keys to the buyers, thanked them for their support in purchasing the apartment units. He said a keen reception was also seen at PKNS development Ayu Prima in Alam Nusantara, which saw buyers queuing overnight to purchase the units.
y the time you read this the good folks in the little red dot, Singapore, would have been to the polls and either a) elected the almost all-powerful PAP again as their government of choice, or b) elected a much younger, more change-oriented government from one of the opposition parties like The Workers Party or the Singapore Democratic Party. Of course, if you are a realistic Singaporean or an interested Malaysian, you would put your money on the PAP retaining their stronghold on the reins of government in one of the most successful countries in the world. Now, the reason why I decided to start this column by writing about Singapore? A few days ago I received a message from a Singaporean senior citizen who was quite amused that for the first time in election history the PAP dished out free nasi lemak to all the attendees at one of the PAP rallies. This caused me to reflect that things were beginning to feel quite similar to what our election tactics are like here in Malaysia. You know, freebies given out during run-ups to elections. Although we seem to be able to do it with much better style la. They only give out free nasi lemak. We give out free Tupperware and fully loaded goodie bags that are said to contain large ang-pows, depending which constituency you’re in. Oh and don’t forget the new community halls and elections here in Bolehland were all copied from THEM! What? How can? What tokking you man? No meh? the Singaporean asked. Take a look at what your leaders do. You think we copied this “give them stuff only when elections are near” system from you? No la. You copied from us. You see ah, I give you one example. If my HDB flat is in a PAPcontrolled area, I get regular upgrading works. New lifts, new paint jobs, improved void-deck facilities etc. But if it was in an oppositioncontrolled area I don’t get lor. Also, opposition-area HDB prices will be just so slightly lower than PAP ones. Even if they are just across the road from each other. You all also same, right? Opposition states don’t get federal funds for building schools, roads, water treatment plants etc.
Who copied who?
And then now I notice that your leaders always threaten you flers, right? Recently, your prime minister even said that you Chinese flers if don’t vote for BN will have no representation in government. And then you all sure die one. Over here we have been threatened so often by you-know-who that we are quite used to it now. Even recently he said if we vote opposition we will have five years to suffer and then we shall surely repent one. Ya la, he used the word repent some more. Your YBs also like that right? But maybe they don’t say REPENT la cos your English not so good, right? But same thing lor. But I suppose there is something that maybe our PAP flers learn from you all la. I remember reading somewhere that during elections, general elections or by-elections, your BN people provide transport for supporters one, right? Like they bus in people from all over the place. Even when they are not voters in that area. Just to make show and intimidate (this a big word I know and learn from young. I am Singaporean ma) the other flers. And then I am told that sometimes your flers even recruit supporters from beyond the grave hor? That one I must tabik you all la. We have not learn that one yet. But this time our PAP flers also provide transport for supporters leh. Last time, when they more confident time – okay la I wanted to say arrogant but they might be keeping tab on me lor – they all say, “Ha? Want to come to rally ah? Take MRT la.” But this time they say, “Come, come we have air-con coach for you. Never mind you from Ang Mo Kio and this coach is going to Alju-
may 6 — 8, 2011
Nasi lemak diplomacy is practised in the south too.
Real issues behind ethnic representation
MAN IN BLACK
wong chin huat
neid, come la. Show support. Some more got free nasi lemak.” I am told that your flers always want to play race card during election time, right? That one also you learn from us one what. Ya what. You think you all invent one ah? It’s from our Senile … I mean Senior Minister one last time. The fler tell us if Chinese don’t have enough hor, then Singapore sure cannot tahan one. You flers use the same tactic right? Only different race lor. Another thing that we are same is the big money that all our YBs (of course we don’t call them that la) earn. Did you know that our PM earns eight times more than the president of the USA ah? Your YBs don’t earn that kind of salary la, but we all know they all also damn rich, right? We are told that our flers get paid big money because it keeps them away from corruption lor. I think your people tell you that they are rich because their family members, sons, daughters, wives all damn good business peo-
ple ma. Just because they are in politics doesn’t mean their talented family members cannot do business ma. Can right? Actually hor, we all are so same same in so many ways la. Our young flers all want to see change. They say the old flers have had it their way for too long already and that things are not fair in this little red dot. So they go out and campaign and hope to win for change. But our older people are just like yours. We all every time say, “Hiyah! Waffor want to change? Waffor rock the boat. Ok what. Can earn living. Some more got no earthquakes and tornadoes. And the food here is damn good ma.” And I think just like in your place, the old flers outnumber the younger ones or are about the same. So the old flers vote to stay same same and then they also convince some of the young ones to say WAFFOR. And so the results also same-same lor. Or like you say, sama-sama. (The above was written while totally under the influence of non-alcoholic beverages)
fter the Sarawa k state elections, Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians of all sizes and shapes talked about ethnic representation. The messag e targeting ethnic minority is simple: if you abandon us before everyone else, you will be abandoned. This message is perhaps the art of political enslavement at its best, and not aiming at only the minority. “No Representation If You Vote Opposition!” If ethnic minority voters dare not vote for change unless they know the majority group would do the same, the minority group becomes captive by the status quo. Case in point was the Penang Chinese voters after 1990. DAP was expected to take Penang with its “two-coalition system”, but Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s Semangat 46 did badly outside Kelantan and Terengganu, resulting in major defeats in Penang. The Penang Chinese voters found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place – DAP, which won 14 seats, were three seats away from forming the state government, while the Chinese representation in the state government was seriously weakened. To avoid losing the only chief-
ministership in the hands of the non-Malays, they swung back to BN in a big way for the next three elections, leaving only one seat for DAP. Now, if the minority group becomes too scared to demand for change, then unless and until the majority group unanimously opt for change, no change is possible. That’s what happened in 1999. When more than half of the Malays wanted to make Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad the parliamentary opposition leader, the Chinese voters who had chosen to maintain Chinese representation in the government after 1990 saved Umno. So, if this “no representation if you vote opposition” threat by Umno, MCA and SUPP works, no party alternation is possible until things go so bad that all ethnic groups in unison. Multiparty democracy But where is democracy if all groups have to vote together? Many “idealists” lament about ethnic voting, but in reality there can
be no multiparty democracy without division. In fact, the word “party” comes from the word “part”, which means “factions” and “divisions”. If there are no rival social groups, there won’t be a firm basis for political parties. Hence, every group – be it on the basis of ethnicity, faith, economic class, geographical region, lifestyle, etc – must be allowed to vote differently from other groups if their members wish so. Three levels of ethnic exclusion Ethnic exclusion from the political system can happen at three levels. At the first level, an ethnic group is denied franchise or the right to stand in elections. At the next level, thanks to the electoral system, the ethnic group cannot win any representation in legislature even though they can and do participate in elections. Finally, at the third level, the ethnic group wins representation in the legislature but is excluded from the executive. The more powerful the executive is vis-à-vis the legislative, the more important it is for the executive to be inclusive. Now, for ethnic exclusion to be really effective, it must happen at all
levels of governments: national, state and local. Unless an ethnic minority group is too dispersed geographically, and the electoral system is too unfair to deny it some effective remedy, an ethnic group should be able to win at least some legislative representation at lower-level governments. Imagine in 2008, if the non-Malay voters had swung so decisively that MCA, MIC and Gerakan lost the 20 parliamentary seats they have, would the non-Malays be unrepresented in the country’s political system? Pakatan Rakyat, which would represent the vast majority of the non-Malays and a significant number of Malays, would have 102 seats against BN’s 120 seats, making it a really powerful opposition to check on the federal government. The non-Malays would also win strong representation in the administration of Penang, Selangor, Perak and Kedah. How can they be marginalised? Not unless both our Parliament and federalism fail miserably. Now, look back at Sarawak. Why should the urban and Chinese voters worry about their exclusion from state executive power? By giving solid support to Paka-
tan Rakyat, they would have been able to control their own municipal governments in Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Bintulu and Sarikei. Their legitimate interests would have been well taken care of by these municipal governments. And if the constituencies are partitioned fairly, Pakatan Rakyat should have won around 40% of the seats in Sarawak state legislature, making it a formidable opposition. How could the White-haired Rajah bully or ignore these voters? The threat of ethnic exclusion by Umno and its satellite parties therefore is a reminder of three things we desperately need: Decentralisation (including local elections), parliamentary reform (to allow more meaningful role of the opposition), and electoral reform (to ensure fair distribution of seats). Succumbing to the blackmailing tactics of electoral politics means that we allow all Malaysians to be politically enslaved. To be a free nation, we must have decentralisation, parliamentary reform and electoral reform to ensure no group should ever be intimidated. And we must demand all these not only from the BN, but also Pakatan, which has promised us local elections.
12 MAY 6 — 8, 2011
MiniMuM wa debate rag
Pensioner Matiros Abd Rahim says workers need a minimum wage to survive.
Productivity is key, says MEF
SeT UP in 1959, the Malaysian employers Federation (MeF) represents the interests of privatesector employers in the country. The MeF is pushing the government to set up the National Wag e Consultative Council (NWCC), but has made it clear that a minimum wage is not the way forward for the country’s workforce and economy. “MeF instead recommends that the government set up a policy for tax-deductible incentives to reward companies that pay their workers bonuses based on productivity. “This will be an incentive for companies to pay their workers bonuses based on their hard work,” explained MeF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan. Higher productivity levels will be rewarded by higher bonuses, which are then tax deductible under the proposed policy, he said. He said if the government were to enact a minimum wage, it must be be determined by productivity – and is opposed to trade unions and labour activists that want productivity “concerns” removed. “employers want the discussion on minimum wage to be centred on productivity,” he said. “We think it is a recipe for disaster if we do not include productivity. Can an employer become competitive if he [or she] has to pay minimum wages [but] on low revenue or profit?” He said businesses may close down if they feel they are pressured to pay minimum wages, when in reality, they cannot afford to do so. He pointed out that in the case of security guards, employers were still hardpressed to pay them minimum wages of between RM500 and RM700 (depending on location) as guaranteed under a cabinet directive released last year. The policy, in effect since Jan 1, has seen some security services companies unable to pay their staff minimum wages, Shamsuddin said. Security guards are the only sector that has a minimum wage in Malaysia. He said if a minimum wage law was enacted, it should be adjusted for fluctuations in cost of living. “We should be looking at the Singaporean model, where salary levels are adjustable, flexible, and reflect market conditions,” he said. Furthermore, he said wages should be reviewed based on food prices and inflation. As such, wages will be raised to offset higher cost of living, but also be lowered when cost of living goes down. Shamsuddin said the debate on minimum wage should be put aside, and pointed out that a discussion on driving the Malaysian economy into high gear was more important. “Why the talk about minimum wage when we should talk about driving the economy upwards?” he asked.
Workers organising themselves on Labour Day for workers’ rights.
By Alvin Yap
ayayah Abdul Hamid, 47, works as a factory operator in Kajang. After 18 years of service, and with small increments, she is currently earning RM920. She brought her elder daughter to a Labour Day rally in Kuala Lumpur on May 1 to commemorate Workers Day and also to support a campaign to seek a minimum wage. “I suppose you are going to say that I am being irresponsible for bringing my child here,” she said. She was not apologetic about it, saying she wanted the public to know that minimum wage is more about helping her to provide for her family than for her own value or worth as a worker. The RM920 she brings home every month is not enough for rental and food expenses. Her husband works as canteen operator at another factory, earning less than RM1,200. However, she pointed out that their combined salaries are not enough to tide them over until the end of the month as they recently bought a car. Labour activists and economists agree that wages should reflect the rising cost of living, and pointed out that wages have only increased 2.6% across the work sectors for the past 15 years. They are sceptical of the government’s plan to move into the ranks of high-income nations by 2020, which would require the average annual income to touch RM45,000 from its current RM24,000. “Wages have stagnated across the board during those years while cost of living has gone up. Profits in the private sector have gone up, but people still earn the same as they did some 15 years ago,” said Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago at a roundtable discussion on minimum wage attended by academics and labour activists recently. A 2009 study of 1.3 million workers by the Ministry of Human Resources showed that almost 34% earned less
than RM700 a month. That amount is below the official poverty line of RM and increasingly, households are falling further into because of borrowing to sustain food purchases and house rentals. The way forward is to legislate a Minimum Wage Act in Parliament, and to set an amount that can set a figure higher than these low wages, according to Santiago. T h e g o v e rnm e nt ha s pledged to submit legislation to the Dewan Rakyat by next month, and plans to establish a National Wages Consultative Council (NWCC) to study several factors and options in giving minimum wages to workers. The issue of minimum wage is pitting its supporters against employers who say a “wage quantity” is tied to productivity, among other factors. The Malaysian Trades Union Cong ress (MT U C), which represents 600,000 workers, has flatly refused to link minimum wage to productivity, saying that it is about “wages for a person to live” over “financial- or profit- Jayayah Abdul Hamid
Lee Hwok Aun giving a briefing.
related concerns”. Labour activists say productivity is too dependent on other factors outside of both workers’ and employers’ control, pointing out that labour output was a factor of the condition and quality of machinery and tools, among other things. “RM550 paid by some big companies in Shah Alam (the premier industrial location in the country) is not enough for anyone to live on,” said MTUC secretary-general G Rajasekaran. More importantly, he said the wages paid to workers are “scandalous” and not enough to provide a person four meals a day. MTUC wants to see a minimum month ly wa g e of RM900 for all domestic and foreign workers, supplemented by a cost-of-living allowance that will vary by location. Rajasekaran also questioned employers who say a minimum wage will drive out investors, claiming that India has attracted investors after giving minimum wages. TNB Junior Officers Union president Mohd Roszeli Majid said the reluctance to d with her daughter.
give minimum wages is also endemic in government-linked companies (GLCs). Roszeli, also a MTUC vice-president, lamented that GLCs make billions of dollars annually, but their workers are paid low salaries. “In Pos Malaysia, the minimum wage is RM635 a month. For TNB, it is RM750. At Petronas, it is RM1,050, and Telekom Malaysia, RM800,” Roszeli said. He claimed the huge profits the GLCs are reaping could easily sustain a wage increase. “The government keeps on talking about becoming a high-income nation. GLCs are earning billions of ringgit, but what about the workers?” he asked. What, then, is the acceptable amount for a minimum wage? The figure varies. The MTUC’s minimum wage of RM900 level supplemented by a cost-of-living allowance is nowhere near the RM1,500 that Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) wants. The debate is important. At the heart of the issue is the amount – and that debate is influenced by the “definition and purpose”. Santiago is disappointed with the Human Resources Ministry for saying that a miniworried that the NWCC would be one of social justice. mum wage is not “about solving poverty”. University of Malaya economics Non-government organisation leader and dominated by “political appointees” activist Irene Fernandez says the government or employers’ federations who will lecturer Dr Lee Hwok Aun said wants to justify its eventual decision to give get to influence the debate and even- minimum wages would not solve tual policy. poverty, but it would contribute a low minimum wage. “In the Malaysian context, our towards addressing working poverty. Fernandez is worried that the government He said companies that have been may enact a minimum wage that may only commissions and fact-finding missatisfy the legal terminology and not award a sions are political appointees. Will paying low wages to their workers for salary that can address the increasing costs of the NWCC be filled with the former their fulltime work in the past and food, rental and transportation, especially in director-general of the Labour De- present to increase profits should give partment?” Santiago asked. them better remuneration. the Klang Valley. He pointe d out that repre“If we accept that these compaShe said the correct term would be the International Labour Organisation’s “De- sentatives on the council should nies have been paying too low wages cent Living Wage” framework, which calls include academics and civil soci- and their staff have been affected by for wages that guarantee security for social ety players who represent public it, then minimum wage should be protection for families and better prospects interests, saying that the topic is the answer,” he said. for personal development. “It must be decent living wage,” she said. National Union of Bank Employees secretary-general J Solomon said an organised campaign among trade unions and civil society would pressure the government to accede to a higher minimum wage amount. However, he said Pakatan Rakyat-held states should conduct studies on minimum wages with the aim of implementing it if the federal government is seen to be against it. Santiago said the debate is also shaping up to be a political issue. This is because labour activists and trade unions on one side and employers on the other are clamouring to have their voices heard at the NWCC. Activists and unionists are Students and workers side by side at the Suhakam office in Kuala Lumpur to
hand over a minimum wage memorandum.
UNIVERSITI Malaya economics lecturer Dr Lee Hwok Aun sees minimum wage as a move to sustain workers’ right to maintain a decent standard of living. Lee emphasised that minimum wage is legislated, and explained that the enforcement of minimum wage with legislation underscores the business community’s reluctance to accede to a minimum wage. “It is enforced by law. It is imposed on the premise that if employers could get away with paying lower wages, they would,” he said, pointing out that it was “natural” for employers to want to maintain their profit margins. However, he said employers would have to choose the values and message they want to give society if they continue to pay their workers lower than a minimum wage. “Do we want to pay our workers wages that still keep them at poverty level?” he asked. Lee said studies have shown that low wages are linked to absenteeism and high turnover. On the other hand, there is evidence that employers who pay their staff higher wages will have a reliable and loyal workforce, he said. However, Lee, who received his doctorate from University of Massachusetts Amherst, said the business community is also right when they say their bottom line will be affected by a minimum wage. Lee said a minimum wage system is a “social project” that should be
A decent standard of living
shared between the private sector and the public. He explained that the public should also bear the cost of giving minimum wage as some companies could not afford to absorb the extra overhead. In this case, tax proceeds could be used to fund a subsidy system for those companies to sustain paying minimum wages to their workers, but companies would have to disclose their financial and payroll records to qualify for the subsidies. Lee said workers had, in the past, borne a tremendous cost in creating wealth for the country, and that it was the private sector’s turn to provide for workers. If minimum wage primarily benefits blue-collar workers, should white-collar employees care about the debate? “Yes, white-collar workers should care if they want a more just and equitable society,” Lee answered. “It would be callous of anyone to disregard the need for minimum wage if a section of society is earning RM350 per month, for example.” He was also disappointed with the government for saying that minimum wage was not about lifting workers out of poverty. Lee explained that minimum wage would be a first step toward addressing poverty. “A person earning RM350 a month is [living ] in poverty. A minimum wage will help address the problem,” he said.
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
ear Lord Bobo, what is the effect of the five emergency declarations that have not been abrogated? @izmil_amri, via Twitter
Emergencies, politics, freedom, and Osama
this year. After the results were announced, the consensus is that – er, there is no consensus. So, nothing to be learnt there then. Anyway, we can’t expect political analysts to come to certain conclusions. If they did, they’d have nothing else to write about for the rest of the year. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column The most important conclusion by LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok. then? BN won.
com) where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurusdescribed queries are answered!
THE effect of not abolishing the Emergency Declarations is simply that we are, from a legal point of view, still in a State of Emergency. So we should really go about our work and lives more anxiously in fear of our lives than we do. We should have more checkpoints than those occasional ones that the traffic police set up for speedsters or the drinking fraternity. Domestic fashion should also revert to the sensibilities of the 1950s to 1960s with thick, dark-rimmed glasses, dull grey suits and grainy black-and-white photography. This also explains why we should listen to our grandparents when they say, “Don’t take the trunk roads just to avoid the long-weekend jams”, or “Don’t go to Fraser’s Hill, it’s dangerous” because hey, they’re probably right when they say that Communists could jump out of them bushes/oil palm estates/jungles at any time.
ord B ob o, I ’m a lmost completely disinterested in politics, but have noticed a lot of noise being made about it in the past few weeks. Anyway, after all the dust has settled, what is the most important conclusion from the results of the Sarawak state elections? @A Political, via email WE think we are right in saying that this is the first time the Sarawak state elections have been lavished so
much attention by Orang Semenanjung (Peninsular Folk). Some say this was because of Pakatan Rakyat hyping up its significance. Some say this was because of the online media portals and social media like Twitter and Facebook. Whatever it was, it’s undeniable that for the first time in history, the Peninsular Folk seemed to realise that these East Malaysians had separate state elections which were pretty significant in terms of the balance of political power at the national level. His Supreme Eminenceness won’t go into the political intricacies of the results. Those have been analysed (or was it spun?) to death in the past couple of weeks anyway. The bottom line is that BN won, retained their two-thirds majority, but saw their share of the popular vote drop from 63% to 55%. Which one of these facts is more significant will depend on whether you are a BN or Pakatan supporter. Political analysts were saying in the lead-up to the elections that the results would tell us whether or not a general election would be called
ow is Selangor’s Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act) useful to the ordinary ape on the street? @adriene, via Twitter THE importance of freedom of information as a fundamental right is beyond question. It is a right enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom of information is an important component of a transparent and accountable government. It plays a key role in enabling the great apes to know how government/ public agencies are being run, and helps expose abuses of power, corruption, and mismanagement. In general, the FOI Act provides access and rights to request for publicly available information from any government/public agencies; in this case, information in the state government/public agencies of Selangor. An ordinary ape can now request for information vital to his or her well-being as a Selangor citizen, such as how many acres of land have been earmarked to be developed as banana plantations, the costs involved, and how much banana yield it is expected to produce.
This access to information vital as these g overnment/public agencies are there to make decisions and utilise our tax ringgit on our behalf to provide the ser vices that we need. The fact that we can have access to this information, which will then enable us to hold our government/public agencies to account is a very important part of democracy. Democracy is bound to fail if government/public agencies operate in secrecy, regardless of how much discussion and open debate is allowed. Without quality information from public authorities, the nature and quality of public discussion would be significantly impoverished. The FOI Act should result in an increased level of transparency, and make public servants more accountable for their actions, which should in turn encourage responsibility and lead to a reduction in instances of abuses of power and corruption. The ideal end result of the FOI Act is an increase in public confidence in government/public agencies, as these agencies can show that they have nothing to hide from the ordinary ape on the street.
source: Mike Kline@Flickr
the world’s most sophisticated military, with the world’s most intricate intelligence network and equipment, almost nine years to find one man would be more embarrassing than impressive. Then again, we must remember that “getting Osama” has been an obsession in the US, so much so that we read about 10-year-olds talking about how they “finally got the guy they’ve been after my whole life”. But still, nine years? Perhaps their “intelligence” isn’t that smart – after all, if they wanted to know where he was, all they had to do was Ask Lord Bobo. Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing asklordbobo@ loyarburok.com, stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. 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!
ear Lord Bobo, so, they finally got that Osama guy, eh? @About Time, via email
IT’S amazing that killing this one guy has caused so much celebration in the US. The scenes in Times Square were really quite astonishing. We would think that the fact it took
People must reclaim media
WORLD Press Freedom Day, which fell on Tuesday, is an occasion to remember the challenges that journalists face in doing their job. Although the theme this year is 21st-century media: New frontiers, new barriers, in Malaysia, the old barriers still loom large, especially repressive laws that have been so successful in taming print media that they are also used, or are being considered, for new media. The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) is one such law that has been so effective in muzzling the traditional media that the federal government is reportedly considering to expand its scope to include new media. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s statement that discussions are still in the early stages is hardly reassuring given the federal government’s record of amending laws without public consultation. The PPPA is also a fine example of this. The clause which imposes a licensing regime for all serial publications was amended to remove any prospects of judicial challenge, giving the minister the final and absolute decision. The PPPA not only tethers newspapers that are already controlled by the ruling party through direct or indirect ownership, but also opposition party organs, whose applications for a new annual permit are constantly delayed. Suara Keadilan, the monthly organ of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, has not received its permit since it expired on 30 June 2010, and has had to resort to creatively changing the name slightly every month, so as not to violate the law. The consequences of the PPPA over the years have been dire. Mainstream press editors who have been held “hostage” by the law now accept the executive-assigned” position of the press as publicist – or worse, propaganda arm – of the federal government. The newspapers report as a matter of fact the executive’s intentions and initiatives, such as the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) updates and first year report, as well as the New Key Results Area (NKRA) Media Blitz campaign by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry. What’s more, top editors can be held “responsible” for coverage of a crucial issue that results in an unfavourable outcome to the authorities, as The Star was over the Al-Kitab coverage. A hostile environment for press freedom can only make it difficult for conscientious journalists to practise ethics in their daily work. It increases the prevalence of selfcensorship, resulting in important issues of public interest being suppressed and executive powers dangerously unchecked. And if before, journalists could barely make an unequivocal stand for press freedom, they are silence d now more than ever following the recent sacking of their union president, Mohamed Ha’ta Wahari, for daring to criticise the editors of the newspaper he was working for. There is another threat looming – the federal government has raised yet again the proposal for a media council. Although it seems an ideal solution to addressing unethical reporting in a free environment – and may even be welcomed after the recent lows descended to by some mainstream media in a politically motivated attempt to implicate Federal Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in yet another sex scandal – a media council in the current restrictive setting in Malaysia would essentially act as another level of control. On World Press Freedom Day, we call on citizens and residents of Malaysia to speak up and reclaim the mainstream media. Call for a parliamentary caucus on freedom of expression to conduct a comprehensive review of existing laws to ensure that they are consistent with the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes press freedom. Demand for media plurality, so that the public will have access to a wide variety of sources of information and can choose the media that practises ethical reporting. It is time for the people to reclaim the mainstream media and help them restore the dignity and respect they once commanded, which will also ensure that journalists are able to do their job – safely, unhindered and ethically. C e n t r e f o r In d e p e n d e n t Journalism Malaysia
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
By Brenda Ch’ng
AMPANG: A trek up Bukit Saga was marked by 200 hikers in a bid to promote the hill as a recreational destination on Labour Day. The steep jungle treks, which start at Taman Bukit Saga, were discovered about a decade ago. But the trails remain mostly unknown except to the initiated. “City people should be aware that there is a well-maintained hill in Selangor open to the public for jungle-trekking activities,” said Alex Ng Boon Chiang. The Taman Muda resident said he only knew about the hill a year ago, and was surprised by how challenging the climb was. The trails were made by a group of “uncles” who live in the area. According to Ng, the men have been maintaining the routes and ensuring the paths are safe and clear of grass or rocks where snakes Trekkers washing at the waterfall. might hide. He added that the hill’s pristine condition is due to the civic-consciousness of residents and hikers alike, who want to see hill maintained for future generations. The start of the hill forks into three different tracks – A, B and C. ers of the hill would organise events said she will be allocating some All three are labelled with a sign- and camp-outs by the waterfall. money to fund their project. board at the start of each track, with She said during Merdeka and “I’m really glad to see how coninformation advising the public on New Year’s Eve, the founders even scious the public are about the enthe best route to take. brought fireworks up to the peak. vironment, and the cleanliness of The 3km track A, which was Though this hill sounds well fa- this hill is a good example for the climbed on Labour Day, is the cilitated, unfamiliar trekkers might public to follow,” said Lee, who shortest but steepest track. The get lost halfway up the peak due to joined the climb on Labour Day. hour-long climb proved to be a the lack of signage. Lee added that the strenuous challenge of stamina for some. For tighter safety precaution, climb helped her determine what “I’ve been trekking here every residents are seeking for a registra- improvements can be done to make weekend with my family for the tion hub at the bottom of the hill, the hill a more conducive hike for past year, and it makes for really to make sure that everyone who people of all ages and experience. good exercise,” said Wendy Wong. signs in finds their way back down The money and material sponThe 47-year-old hiker said she safely. sored by Lee will be given to the sometimes even brings food up to The hub would also help moni- residents to erect more signboards, the waterfall and cooks breakfast tor the daily flow of trekkers and as well as build rest huts, swings for there. distinguish where trekkers are com- children by the waterfall, and a Wong added that the pioneer ing from. picnic area. climbers are often seen up there To help with the funding of betThe hill gets about 600 trekkers cooking bah kut teh with firewood. ter facilities for the hill, Teratai as- every Sunday, some of whom come On special occasions, the found- semblyperson Jenice Lee Ying Ha as early as 6.30 in the morning.
Map of the hill.
A Saga hidden to the uninitiated
Jenice Lee (in green) with some of the participants.
Kelab Syabas returns to former glory as PJ Palms
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Refurbishment work on an iconic landmark here is almost ready – Kelab Syabas is back, and better than ever. The pride of the club, the eightlaned 50-metre swimming pool, is already taking in paying guests, who are amazed at the crystal-clear water thanks to a state-of-the-art filtration system from Australia.
“We have more than a thousand patrons who have used the pool,” said Sepang Mekar Sdn Bhd managing director David Solomon recently. He pointed out that the pool – in operation since early last month – has had swimmers raving. “They tell me the water is crystal clear, both to the eyes and the skin,” Solomon said, explaining that the newly installed filtration system, which cost RM1 million,
auto ma tically balances the pH levels in the pool. In May 2010, Sepang Mekar was awarded a three-year tenancy by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to develop Kelab Syabas. Kelab Syabas is now renamed PJ Palms Sports Centre, with new management under Solomon. Besides the pool, the two squash courts next to it will be upgraded, and a new indoor cricket pitch as well as a futsal court are expected to be ready in a few months. Solomon said the pool area will be lit at night, giving it a cozy “resort”
Crystal-clear waters of the swimming pool.
atmosphere, which wood-fired pizza or h e d e s cri b e d a s a steak dinner after perfect for outdoor a swim, or a beer dining. after a strenuous Solomon, who workout at FitWorx operates the Out of gym,” he said. Africa Restaurant Solomon said and Kudu Bar at PJ he could not wait Palms Sports Cenfor PJ Palms to be tre, wants to turn fully operational the place into a with all tenants on family- and sportsboard as he wants oriented club, and the public to enjoy has even brought in Sepang Mekar director the new amenities a wellness spa and a David Solomon. and services. chiropractor as “I want to see tenants. the people enjoy themselves between “It is a one-stop place to have swims with a beer or snack at poolside bar,” he explained. Seven years ago, Kelab Syabas was vacant, which Solomon described as the “worst years”. “I remember being sad at witnessing the then Kelab Syabas derelict and almost abandoned, while my own restaurant was still operating,” he said. Solomon, who remembers the “hustle and bustle” of the patrons, described Kelab Syabas as the focal point of Petaling Jaya. Sepang Mekar has invested some RM4 million to refurbish, upgrade and to beautify the club. The indoor cricket pitch, which will be ready soon.
may 6 — 8, 2011
The Sun Came Up Over the Rocks
Fiction by Angeline Woon
THE sun came up over the rocks where the boy sat with his back propped against a tree. He had an upturned box over his head, the flaps falling over his shoulders. He forgot to cut holes in it and could not see. “Mission control, this is Angkasawan Bob … squeee … squeee. Mission control, do you copy?” the boy said into his box. “Oi Angkasawan Bob. This is Mission Control,” the boy heard a voice from outside the box. “The chickens are eating your breakfast.” Bob hurriedly pushed the box from his head. His grandmother passed a bowl of rice to him, amusement dancing in her eyes. “That’s for the chickens,” she said. “Yours has sambal ikan bilis in it. Don’t get confused like the last time, ok? Otherwise you’ll be eating nasi putih again.” “Awww, Mama. The chickens didn’t mind a bit of change.” “They didn’t, but you did! Your head’s always in space, Bob.” “One day I’ll find space, Mama! You’ll see.” “I’m sure you will. You’re a clever boy,” Bob’s grandmother said, smiling proudly. Despite his daydreaming, her grandson always came out number one in village class, even doing better than the older boys. She hoped that Bob would be able to head for the city on a scholarship. That very morning, Bob devised a plan to get into space. He headed for the sandy area where the chickens had done their worst to the grass. Picking up a stick, he consulted the rooster. “Admiral, I believe that with the proper search perimeter, we can find our way into space.” Bob started drawing patterns in the sand, detailing the locations of buildings in his village. The rooster cocked his head and chuckled in agreement of the map, making some scratches to help.
“Oh yeah, forgot the rice granaries. Thank you, Admiral. Now, whenever people come into the village, they come from this direction, wouldn’t you agree?” Another chuckle of agreement. “They usually don’t have any supplies with them, so they must have either a base nearby. Perhaps they parked their ship and walked, not wanting to scare the natives. That’s us, by the way. “So, the plan, as I was saying, would be to do a very systematic search of this area.” Bob tapped out a spot on the sand, whereupon the rooster crowed in support. Putting his plan into action, Bob upturned stones, knocked on every knot in trees, and even moved branches in the hope that they were hiding spaceships, to no avail. Despondent, he returned home for lunch. “You’ve only just started, Bob. You can’t give up now,” his grandmother said, when he explained his sour mood. “It wouldn’t be much of a hiding place if you could find it so easily.” His grandmother made sense, Bob thought, so he decided to stay on his quest. The second day went like the first, and on the third and fourth days, it rained heavily. The fifth day, the sun came up over the rocks again, and Bob took to his search with renewed vigour. Again, he tapped on a rock here, moved a branch there, pushed and pulled on knots in trees. He was in the final quadrant of his search perimeter, pulling at a mushroom stuck at the side of a tree, when an opening appeared, revealing a small chamber within the tree. “Well,” said the boy. He stepped into the chamber. Inside was a box with buttons showing arrows pointing upwards and downwards. He pressed the arrow pointing upwards. Nothing happened. So he pressed the other button. The door slid shut with a whoosh. Bob felt a movement in the lift, for that was what it was. And when it slid open,
he found himself in a b i g ro o m w i th plenty of buttons like the one in the lift, except shinier and more complicated. There was a big picture of space on one of the walls. One of the men standing around turned and addressed him. “Hello, Bob. I’m the Admiral. I was wondering when you’d find the hidden door.” Bob was confused because the Admiral was, to him, the rooster. So he said, “That’s a nice picture of space, Admiral.” “Thank you, Bob, but I’ll have to tell you the truth. That is not a picture. That is a window. You’re in the navigation deck of a space ship. The place that you think is your village is actually one of our farm decks.” “So all the clever boys who left the village for the city...” “Trained as crew.” “And the sun that comes up over the rocks in the morning...” The Admiral sighed. “You’ll find out soon enough.” Yes, I will, thought Bob. He was, after all, the small village boy who found space.
SACC parties with Upin and Ipin
Selection of cakes sold at SACC’s Westside Bistro.
Celebrating the birthday of Asyiela Putri, who voices Upin and Ipin.
By William Tan
SHAH ALAM: Upin and Ipin were celebrated at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) to mark the company’s merchandising
rights to the cartoon characters. The colourful characters came out on the day to entertain guests, which included children from Rumah Penyayan Hembusan Kasturi orphanage.
They also helped celebrate the birthday of Asyiela Putri, 11, who is the voice of Upin and Ipin. “I thank you for the support SACC has shown, and hope everyone continues to support us,”
she said. The deals include a shop within the convention centre selling Upin & Ipin merchandise, and another deal allowing the making and selling of cakes with the images of the characters. “This is part of our efforts to rebrand SACC as a destination for the family, and we hope the unique cakes combined with our event packages will make it hub for family celebrations,” said SACC Chief
Executive Officer Datuk Zulkifli Mohamed. The cakes have interesting names such as Kek Harimau Malaysia, Injit-Injit Semut, and Rumah Opah. They are priced between RM40 and RM120 depending on their size and ingredients, and can be purchased from SACC’s Westside Bistro. A delivery service is also available. For bookings and inquiries, call 03-55118858 or 55118824.
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
Entrance from the car park.
Rich chocolaty Louisiana Mud Pie.
Lovely Louisiana nights
By Brenda Ch’ng
verlooking the waters of Tasik Kelana is the alfresco dining Louisiana Restau rant at Plaza Kelana Jaya. This picturesque restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic stargazing date or a lovely night out with the family. Hungry with a craving for sea food, we dived in without hesita tion and ordered two seafood dishes that stood out on the menu. First up was the appetizer, sea food gumbo (RM 20.90), which came piping hot in an oval porce lain dish with parsley and four slices of garlic toast on the side. The uniqueness of this dish lies in the gumbo, a sauce which origi nated from South Louisiana, where the seed from the gumbo plant is used to create the starchi ness seen in stews or broths. The starchiness of the seafood gumbo blended perfectly with the cream, creating a light and slightly stringy orangecoloured texture that resembled cheese. The starchy effect held the mix ture of choppedup crabmeat, prawn, fish and squid together, enabling us to use the gumbo as a solid topping for the garlic bread. The blend of sweet seafood and salty salsa and cream resulted in the orangecoloured sauce. It was thick and creamy, its smoothness not affected by the jampacked chunkiness of the seafood filling. To top it off, the dish was deco rated with parsley and drizzled with fragrant Italian herbs. It is best if the gumbo is eaten with the garlic bread that accom panied the dish: the garlic flavour from the crunchy toast added more bite to the already chunky dish. The seafood gumbo can be eaten as a standalone dish, or shared as an entree so that its creaminess
doesn’t fill you up too quickly. was just right. For a spicier option, you can This mouthwatering savoury also top the gumbo with chilli dish can be eaten with the special flakes. Louisiana tabascolike chilli sauce Next was the Cajun seafood found on every table. pizza (RM29.90), which came Lastly came the dessert, the topped with clams and an abun Louisiana Mud Pie (RM16.90), dance of mozzarella cheese. which was full of chocolaty richness The best part about this pizza covered in vanilla icecream topped was not the tomato based sauce or the gen erous amount of sea fo o d , but the thin, crunchy pizza dough. Th i s o venb a ke d pizza lived up to the authentic Italian piz zadoug h texture, espe cially when com pared with other thin crust pizzas available elsewhere. This thin yet supple dough allowed us to taste the bread with out taking away from the tomato based sauce. The amount of topping on the pizza Alfresco dining by the lake.
This oven-baked pizza lived up to the authentic Italian pizza-dough texture, especially when compared with with other thin-crust pizzas available elsewhere.”
This threecourse meal was splendid as it did not make us feel as if we had overindulged. The restaurant has a “Eat all You Can” promotion during weekday lunch hours (11.30am3.30pm). For only RM14.80, patrons can get a free flow of pastas and enjoy a neverending supply of soup, sal ads, desserts and drinks. This family restaurant also al lows children below the age of eight to eat for free with every main entree ordered. Operating hours are from Mon days to Saturdays from 11.30am to 3.30pm (lunch), and from 5.30pm to 1am (dinner). It is closed on Sundays during lunchtime, but is open from 6pm to midnight for dinner. The restaurant is housed at Block D0101, Jalan SS7/13A, Plaza Kelana Jaya, 47301 Kelana Jaya, and can be contacted at 03 78755230.
with a single red pitted cherry. This dessert is a must for all chocolate lovers. It is packed with chopped walnuts and almonds, giving it a crunch to every bite. The smooth, creamy chocolate icing literally melts in your mouth along with the icecream. Compared to a brownie, this mud pie is definitely richer, creamier, smoother and softer. It would be rec ommended to ap portion every bite of the mud pie with a spoonful of ice cream . The warm chocolate mixed with the cool icecream is a heavenly blend.
Authentic Italian-doughed seafood pizza.
The must-try seafood gumbo.
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
There must be hundreds of eateries in KL and PJ, but nothing beats this place that has dust, noise and heat, as LIN ZHENYUAN finds out
epong has about 22 housing estates and 16 schools. But these bits of information are irrelevant as far as food is concerned. There must be scores of coffee shops and restaurants spread throughout the sprawling district. And when it comes to hawker stalls, there are so many of them that you will be in hospital sooner than you can try them all. There is one place that’s close to my heart, or in this case, my stomach. I am a Johnny-come-lately, so I only discovered this place about two years ago. Why talk about this place only now ? I was simply too busy sampling its dishes and the nearby eating joints within the vicinity. It has
Eat to your heart’s content at KTZ
issues resulting from their lack of consideration. I have been to KTZ at least seven times over two years. Personally, I am a little surprised that I have put up with all the inconvenience. But the food items at KTZ are so tempting that I yield to temptation and set a bad example for the others. When there are visiting relatives or ignorant friends, I like to bring them to KTZ. The idea is to give them a little culinary surprise and bring joy to their hearts. Some of my friends who are not used to eating under such circumstances will keep their opinions to themselves, but after they have had their share of the food at KTZ, they become willing participants of a
The KTZ outlet is packed in the late hours of the afternoon.
This tray of dim sum went straight past our table.
been 24 months, and I haven’t even gone halfway down the list yet. KTZ, or Kei Tuck Sek (Cantonese for “remember to eat”), is one of the most popular eating places in Kepong Baru. No need to have that nugget of information verified. Just check out the crowd at 4pm. That’s the time it officially opens. Purportedly, business hours continue till 1am. There about 42 items on its long list of food items. Unfortunately if you don’t read Chinese, you will be in a spot. So the most practical thing to do is to point at what you like on the long table in front of you. The workers are fast and efficient. They will mark on a little piece of paper what is delivered to your table. Therefore, even if you don’t know a single word of Cantonese, you can still dine with the hungry hordes around you. Sometimes at 5pm, there are so many people that cars are parked indiscriminately on the road, right at the junction traffic lights. Yes, it is a nuisance to the other motorists who are trying to get home in the area, but the customers at KTZ are oblivious to other pressing social
sinful activity: gluttony. Some of the more popular KTZ items are the stuffed crab shell, or baked crab, radish and yam cakes, fried spring rolls, fried pancakes and the various types of “tong shui”. KTZ’s peanut butter tong shui is almost as famous as the Kuan Yin statue at the Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang. If you are feeling a bit greedy, you may add the “tong yun with black sesame”, which costs RM1.10 each. The peanut butter tong shui is quite filling and definitely satisfying. One bowl is sufficient for most people, but if you can consume two, you have earned my respect. There is an iced fruitti stall right next to the main stall of sinful delights. The most popular item apparently is the “mango lolo”. On top of the little mounta in of smooth shaved ice is a generous topping of mango puree with embedded sago. The heap of ice is fortified by cubes of fresh mango. After you have had your lion’s share of the tasty and savoury dim sum and related items, the mango lolo will come as a welcome relief.
Baked crab shells will trigger your saliva ducts.
KTZ is not a place for those who are faint-hearted about what they eat. My only advice to these longevitydriven folks is to stay away from this place. It is an eatery for the stouthearted with a gung-ho attitude – in other words, foodies who want to have some of the most memorable gastronomical memories before they move on to God’s green acres. I like my dim sum to be fresh from the wok. Thank goodness, that’s the policy of KTZ. The cooks behind the woks happily and willingly deep fry all the items you have picked. When the dishes arrive, they are as fresh as the flowers in your garden early in the morning. The aroma of the dishes alone will make you fall in love all over again – with food! Life should always be like that: eat, slurp, burp and be merry. Everything in moderation, of course. By the way, the address is 66, Jalan 7, Kepong Baru. Tel: 03-62529451.
Mango lolo and all its wonderful ingredients.
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
Mind your PQRS, bloggers told
Take 5 minutes to fill this form up and drop it off at the nearest police station to have regular checks at your house while you are away. Ibu pejabat polIs Daerah subang jaya
Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815
Borang maklumaT Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk bercuti. Kepada Kawasan pentadbiran balai polis ..............................................................................................
(From left) Amri, Chuah, Lee, Tourism Selangor general manager Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din, and Tourism Selangor events and marketing manager Fazly Razally.
BuTiran penduduk: nama: .................................................................................. alamat: ................................................................................. .............................................................................................. .............................................................................................. nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................ nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................ .............................................................................................. tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................ tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ........................................... Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar kenderaan). 1. .......................................................................................... 2. .......................................................................................... 3. .......................................................................................... lain-lain maklumat: ..............................................................................................
by Basil Foo
AMPANG: Bloggers interested in writing food reviews of their favourite eateries were advised to keep a simple formula in mind: PQRS. “The Personality, Quality, Reader-friendly, and Serviceability factors will help bloggers write more interesting and useful blog posts,” said Chuah Guat Eng. The Selangorlicious! Foodster Blogging Competition chief judge addressed bloggers and the press during the competition launch on April 28. The competition is expected to draw 5,000 submissions from bloggers who will vie for RM12,000 in cash prizes, holiday packages, and digital cameras. “The reviews have to be attrac-
tive, easy to read, and bloggers have to remember the purpose is to draw readers to eat there,” said Chuah. As such, she said, not only should the food be reviewed but the restaurant’s surroundings and even the condition of their washrooms. Language quality and grammar are not as important as the main point of the competition is for people to have fun. “There are no restrictions for the food outlets reviewed – small stalls to five-star restaurants, halal or nonhalal,” said Amri Rohayat. The Storm Studio managing director is part of the competition’s organizing team, together with creative agency Bright Lights After Midnight and Tourism Selangor. Submissions must be between 200 and 400 words, in English or
Bahasa Malaysia, and submitted from May 1 to 31. “Each write up must be accompanied by 10 photographs, of which two are of the eatery exterior, two of the interior, and six of the food or participants,” said Amri. Also at the launch was Selangor assistant executive councillor for tourism Edward Lee Poh Lin, who said this competition was also to identify Selangor’s trademark cuisine. This would assist Tourism Selangor’s efforts in marketing the state at international level through a food-tourism initiative. “Penang is well known for nasi kandar and char koay teow. Melaka is well known for nyonya cuisine.We want to know what food is Selangor famous for,” he added.
Have you cHecked your electrical switcHes before leaving Home?
Before ieaving your home for a holoday, have you checked all your electrical switches and turned off your gas tanks?
Selangor assistant executive councillor for tourism Edward Lee Poh Lin and Tourism Selangor general manager Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din watching a cooking demonstration by chef Anis Nabilah at Bora Ombak restaurant, Ampang.
Call the SS17 BomBa for advise at
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
Challenges of national selection and representation
By Peter Long
Get smart! Play chess!
By Peter Long email@example.com
n a much gentler time, representing your country in chess was rather uncomplicated. Like Malaysia, most countries did not have professional players. If they had any, they were a handful of players who had international ratings, with some having the prestige of being an International or FIDE master. The centrepiece in Malaysia was the annual National Closed Championship, where one qualified via state representation. It was a prestigious event, often with a game played a day, and sometimes lasting for almost two weeks! Every two years, there was also the World Chess Olympiad, and in alternate years the Asian Chess Team Championship. With very few exceptions, the top five players would be selected to make up the national team, with the National Junior Champion also given a place. The teams then comprised of four players, with one or two reserves. To save money, the sixth place would be given to the manager. Besides these team events, there was really only the Zonal Chess Championship, the first step towards qualifying for the World Chess Championship, which was the official right of the national champion. For junior players, it was even simpler. The Malaysian Chess Federation recognised the MSSM Individual Chess Champion as the national junior champion. He – and later she when they had a girls equivalent – had the right to play in the Asian Junior Chess Cham-
pionship held every year. If they could afford it, they could also play in the World Junior Chess Championship. The only other major event was the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship. The honour of representing Malaysia went to the state that emerged victorious at the National Interstate Chess Team Championship. Chess today is very different, starting with the reality that modern living is at a much quicker pace, with time a premium with competing priorities and choices. And as a result of the World Chess Federation’s (FIDE) success in popularising the game, players are freer to compete in many official events. You can qualify for the World Championship not just through the zonals, but by doing well in the continental championships, or by having a high international rating and the FIDE president has wildcards to give away. For juniors, it has become a case of everyone being a national player. Because if you don’t qualify, you can still join in the party by paying a higher entry fee. You are not limited to the formerly exclusive and prestigious Asian and World Juniors, but can also choose the ASEAN Age Groups, the Asian Youth and Asian Schools, the World Youth and World Schools. I helped start the annual MalaysiaSingapore Match, which comprises two teams with more than 40 players in categories from Under-8 to veterans, boys and girls, men and women. You get to become
mrt pr reside oject: disapp nts ointed
Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nehayan, president of the Asian Chess Federation, presenting the Dubai Cup to the convincing winners Shi Jiazhuang City from China. On the right is a legendary grandmaster, Senator Utut Adanto, chairperson of the organising committee.
Where to get
LRT Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning Ampang – Sentul Timur Ampang Cahaya Cempaka Pandan Indah Pandan Jaya Sentul Timur Sentul Kelana Jaya – Terminal Putra Kelana Jaya Taman Bahagia Taman Paramount Asia Jaya Taman Jaya Universiti Sri Rampai Wangsa Maju Sri Petaling – Sentul Timur Taman Melati Sri Petaling Bukit Jalil Bandar Tasik Selatan Salak Selatan Shopping Malls (From Saturday noon) 1 UTAMA Tropicana Mall Sunway Pyramid The Curve IOI Mall IOI Business Park Ikano Power Centre Empire Subang Amcorp Mall Klang Centro
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a full international! While such events have helped reinforce cross-border friendships, many take part without understanding chess as a sport. The sad outcome is country representation can now be obtained with sufficient funds, and organisers have taken the advantage by marking up the rates at the official hotels. Next time around, I will provide an
analysis of the ongoing National Selections for the SEA Games. But I can report that Penang, representing Malaysia at the recently concluded Asian Cities Chess Team Championship held in Jakarta from April 22-28, finished credibly with four wins, one draw, and four losses of its nine matches to finish in 12-15th place (14th after tie-breaks) in a field of 24 teams.
18 — 20,
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MPSJ donates natural fence
By William Tan
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
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 t project project “mosqui ersity on cost fully spon to 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 Aedes reduce ion of Aed l y the met r areas with effectivel up to 158 chites larv hod to doned area in ulation at the aban es mosquit the in y. represen USJ 1. ae can to 400 oes outHowever, Ada its municipality. Later, Asked whe dur ing Aed es larveat with MPtatives during nan also that Toxo its life 600 Toxo they will relea ther the mosquit poin a brie SJ tim e, said rhyn 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 , with in areas quitoes tion, so oes fem Toxorhyn other mosquit ch 11. said science officer rb ecosystem with vege the met ales in each 100 males and in s, chites mos oes, Adanan it wou ta100 batch. quitoes adult mosquit ld not as Toxo Che Rus in flats and apar hod cannot be used The enti do not tments. oes is a natu rhynchite “Th six mon re trial will take s help is is only one This proj ral ths to com around curb of the ect betw specie. 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
SERI KEMBANGAN: The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) donated 100 shrubs to the residential community of Serdang Raya SR 8/7 to be planted as a natural fence. The shrubs are provided upon request of the residents association (RA) of Section 8, who are continuing efforts to enhance the security of their area. “Just as with the security in our guarded community, the entire community will be paying for the upkeep of these shrubs,” said RA head Tan See Meng. He s a i d t h e y only had to wait for one to two months to get the shrubs. MPSJ councillor Ng Sze Han said each each shr ub Tan See Meng costs about RM15 and could grow up to six feet. He said MPSJ encourages such resident initiatives, and that the local council intends to support them as best as it can. “We will, of course, review each request
carefully as we don’t intend to waste taxpayers’ money,” said the councillor. R e s i d ent s a r e thankful for the contribution as the shrubs also serve to beautify the area. Professor Adel Ng Sze Han Algriani, who has been residing in the area for the last three years, said apart from security, the shrubs will demonstrate the residents’ love for the environment. The professor of Islamic histor y said he was re a l l y g e t ti n g more value than th e R M 6 0 h e pays per month to the local RA. Adel Algriani Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean Yong Hiah Wah and Member of Parliament for Serdang Teo Nie Ching were on site last Saturday to help plant the first trees and to encourage the RA’s future efforts.
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Rescued cats and dogs won the hearts of many at a charity event sponsored by online pet adoption group Petfinder at Sunway Pyramid recently. Hai-Ling, a Rottwelier mix with jet black coat, and Johnny, a Siberian Husky with dreamy blue eyes, wowed shoppers who patted, hugged and kissed them for a fundraising charity drive. “We knew a shopping mall would be the perfect place to hold the event, [especially] to raise awareness of issues related to animal care and adoption,” said Petfinder’s founder and chief officer Andy Koh. Koh said the proceeds from the charity drive would be disbursed equally to all seven animal welfare groups that had participated in the event. The groups are SPCA Selangor, Paws, Save A Stray, Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB), Hope, Paws Mission and AnimalCare. Petfinder is an online “matchmaking” website where people can find rescued cats and dogs to adopt. He said Petfinder has successfully found homes for some 6,300 rescued canines and felines. The event was organised to address problems facing animal welfare groups, like overbreeding and aban-
Rescued cats and dogs steal the show
Vincent Leong with his adopted puppy. Paws animal shelter manager Edward Lim
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
donment of pets by owners. Jacqueline Tsang, from pet rescue group Save-A-Stray, said the event was an opportunity to showcase her organisation’s work with saving stray
cats and dogs. She pointed out that they are going all out to rescue and even treat the animals, but stressed that they need funding to keep the work going. “We have a mobile clinic based in SS18 Subang Jaya that goes from site to site to treat abandoned cats and dogs,” Tsang said. Save-A-Stray targets youths to run its volunteer programmes, especially f undraising events. Edward Lim, manager of Paws Animal Welfare Society Malaysia, echoed the need for more funding if animal shelters are to survive. He said Paws, located along the old Subang Airport road, requires
RM45,000 a month to house, feed and treat the 400 cats and dogs under its care. Cats and dogs caught by the city councils of Petaling Jaya (MBPJ), Shah Alam (MBSA) and Subang Jaya (MPSJ) are placed at Paws. People who surrender or adopt the cats and dogs pay a small fee to Paws to do so, but the amount is not enough to care for all the animals. Lim said there was not enough financial resources to care for all the animals at their shelter, and explained that some animals had to be put to sleep to make way for the others. “The very sick animals, the old ones, and the aggressive ones will be put to sleep,” Lim said. Animal welfare groups say the main concern is to stop cats and dogs from breeding freely, and it is every owner’s responsibility to
neuter their pets. “Never abandon them because they become wild and feral, and most of all, they breed more offspring,” Lim pointed out. Earlier, it all ended well for a puppy found abandoned near UITM Shah Alam days before the event, when it was adopted by sales manager Vincent Leong. Leong, 37, who lost his dog to bone cancer on Christmas eve last year, responded to the adoption request on the MDDB website. “I have not given her a name yet. I’m just happy to be able to give her a home,” Leong said.
Bringing good hygiene to schools
SHAH ALAM: Good hygiene b e g ins at a young a g e, and a c c l a im e d enter ta in er Amy Mastura kicked off a six-week campaign by going to schools to share tips with students. Some 1,200 students of SK Taman Tun Dr Ismail 1 (SK TTDI 1) recently took part in the Lifebuoy Little Doctors’ Challenge as Amy demonstrated proper handwashing techniques. The Lifebuoy celebrity ambassador taught the students that inculcating a habit to wash with soap during five key occasions in a day, namely when bathing, after using the toilet, and before breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is very important as it helps eliminate germs and bacteria on their hands. Amy said, “It is promising to see these students learning good hygiene habits, especially at a young age. “It is particularly meaningful for me as my daughter is also one of the students from SK TTDI 1 benefiting from this challenge. “As a mother, I really enjoy being a part of this programme and getting to spend time with all these students. Hopefully in time, good hygiene habits will be second nature to them.” Things turned livelier when Amy taught the students to sing th e L i f e b u oy j ing l e , wh i c h encourages and reminds them to wash daily with soap during the five critical occasions. The Lifebuoy Little Doctors’ Challenge was launched on Feb 28, and is a six-week nationwide interschool competition that will see p ar ticip ating scho o ls b eing evaluated on how well their entire student population is able to embrace good hygiene habits thanks to the efforts of their “little doctors”. The school with the most noticeable change in habit, judged on a pre-determined list of criteria, will see its toilets and hand-washing facilities renovated at the cost of up to RM20,000, and a one year’s supply of Lifebuoy soap for its toilets. In addition, two other schools will receive a one-year supply of Lifebuoy soap for its toilets as consolation prize.
Amy Mastura demonstrating proper hand-washing techniques during the Lifebuoy Little Doctors’ Challenge.
TV9 wins bowling match
K L A N G : T V9 won the Friendly Bowling Media Match organised by the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) at Klang Parade recently. They won a trophy and cash prize of RM 2000, followed by Sinar Harian and Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM), who finished second and third respectively. This tournament is an annual event aimed at bringing together members of the press, MPK councillors and council department heads. Thirteen teams took part. “This [media bowling competition] is also a way of showing my appreciation to the media world, who have never failed to keep the public informed with good quality news,” said MPK president Datuk Mislan Tugiu. He said the event would help foster better ties between the council and media. Also present were executive councillor Ronnie Liu and Mislan (right) and Liu (second from right) with the TV9 team. MPK councillors.
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim during a visit to a Selangor Agriculture Development Corporation (PKPS) in Sungai Long, Kajang.
Children from USJ 3 in Subang Jaya hard at work painting a shelter in their park that had been marred by vandals. The children, some as young as 10, were part of an informal GoGreenKidz club formed to get them involved in community projects.
Six-year-old twins Daniel and Danish Farhan, looking like their favourite cartoon characters Upin and Ipin, at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) last Saturday to celebrate SACC’s merchandising rights of the popular television characters.
Asyiela Putri, the voice of popular cartoon characters Upin and Ipin, cutting a cake on April 30 to celebrate a deal allowing the sale of Upin & Ipin-themed cakes at the Shah Alam Convention Centre’s Westside Bistro.
About 70 participants practising yoga during a special class organised by Manasa Yoga. The event was held at Hotel Saujana Kuala Lumpur on May 2 to raise funds for Japan quake victims.
Member of Parliament for Serdang Teo Nie Ching(on left with shovel) and Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean Yong Hiah Wah planting a tree with residents of Serdang Raya SR 8 last Saturday.
MAY 6 — 8, 2011
God of Carnage
Compiled by Nick Choo
Musical theatre May 6-15, KLPac RM125/RM105/RM85 03-4047900 www.klpac.org
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 on stage since 1966 to over 3,000 performances in Broadway and the West End, and has been performed in Europe, Mexico, Australia and Singapore. It was also adapted for the big screen with an Oscar-winning performance by Liza Minelli in the iconic role of Sally Bowles. Its debut in Malaysia 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; musical direction by Nish Tham.
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 Awardwinning 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.”
Women: 100 Photography Exhibition
Exhibition; April 28-May 8 Sky Bridge, Pavillion, Kuala Lumpur; free admission www.kakiseni.com
Pictures from 100 hours of shows presented as part of Kakiseni’s Women:100 festival throughout the month of March. Featuring photography by Evelyn Lam Lip Lin, Naomi Aw Shui Ching, Sharon Lam and Visithra Manikam.
Exhibition; May 9-29 Pentas 2 Foyer, KLPac 03-7958 2175, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.shaliniganendra.com
Land of God & Shadows The List Operators For Kids: More Fun Than A Wii!
Pictures by photojournalist Rahman Roslan, taken during frequent visits to Bali in 2010. “As a frequent stranger to this land, Bali offers many surprises. On my second visit, I was able, due to familiarity, to capture images, people met, and landscapes touched, and the feeling of the breeze. What I see has more meaning now and grows from the image, because from the visual I explore the multiple layers beneath. Sometimes a beautiful marriage occurs between the ancient and contemporary, or the obvious and the subtle. These relationships, shadows, and realisation brought the mesmerising energy for this series.” Presented by Shalini Ganendra’s Fine Art.
Theatre; May 5-22 PJ Live Arts & Jaya One; RM44-77 03-79600439, www.pjla.com.my
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 (dinosaur allowed).” Presented by Garner & Wife Theatre.
Theatre; May 10-15 PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One; RM60 03-79600439, www.pjla.com.my
Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones
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 & Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010. Suitable for all ages. Presented by Garner & Wife Theatre.
Theatre; May 12-15 MAP KL @ Solaris Dutamas RM20/RM10 03 6207 9732
A physical theatre piece inspired by the makyung epic Dewa Muda. “A young man is haunted by the dream of a woman and the journey that takes him into the sky to find her. A physical theatre piece fusing Malaysian and American traditions … a play about flight, fate and what happens when we get what we want.” Presented by the reTheatre Company.
The Fulfillment of Solitude
Exhibition; May 10-31; EQ Fine Arts 03-62010985/019-2809985, email: email@example.com Free admission
A selection of sphotographs by HRH Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah (1907-79). “The 25 photographs carefully chosen for this exhibition are some of his most celebrated, and also several that were never before printed. These are pictures that reveal the true character of the photographer, who also happened to be a Malay Sultan. They also reveal his relationship with the human element of his subjects, as well as the countryside that he belonged to.” Viewing by appointment only.
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.