service centres: HelPing tHe Public

p

12 & 13

Alam Flora Poor surrenders solid resPonse to waste contract free bicycle
p

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Parking p

16

Chinese firms keen on river rehab project
By gan Pei ling

community

September 23 — 25, 2011/ issue 41

sHaH alaM: Chinese companies keen on the RM10 billion Klang River Rehabilitation project are scheduled to make a second visit to Selangor next month. The delegations, which include representatives from China State Construction Engineering Corp, will discuss potential partnerships with the state. Teresa Kok said the delegation had visited Selangor last month to survey the Klang River and study the feasibility of the project. “They’re preparing a proposal and will return to Selangor next month to discuss details of a joint venture with us,” said the executive councillor for investment, industry and trade. China State Construction Engineering Corp, one of the largest companies in China, was responsible for the construction of the 2008 Olympic facilities in Beijing apart from rehabilitating the SuZhou Creek in Shanghai. Kok said the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) under the Prime Minister’s Department had also met the Chinese delegation during their August visit. She said Pemandu has agreed to work with Selangor to clean up the Klang River, particularly its source

His Majesty the Yang di-pertuan agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal abidin and raja permaisuri agong Tuanku nur Zahirah accompanied by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on their visit to the Sultan abdul aziz royal gallery in Klang on Wednesday.

in Ampang. She added that around 100 families living near the river source in Ampang were dumping domestic waste and polluting the river. Consequently, Pemandu allocated RM3 million to relocate the

families. Kok said 80km of the Klang River is in Selangor while the remaining 40km is in Kuala Lumpur. She said Putrajaya had set aside RM1 billion for river beautification and RM3 billion for river

cleaning jobs for the 40km Kuala Lumpur stretch under its “River of Life” project. However, no federal funds were allocated to Selangor to rehabilitate its 80km stretch of Klang River. • Turn To page 6

2

news

September 23 — 25, 2011

By Selangor Times team

KLANG: Alam Flora Sdn Bhd’s sudden decision to end their solid waste contract in Selangor is expected to cause a stink, but the state already has plans to minimise the problem. The solid waste management concessionaire had originally agreed to hand over garbage collection services to local authorities next January, but said last week that they would end their contract on Oct 15. Local governments have only been given a month’s notice to prepare to take over garbage collection services. “There might be some disruption in services, but I appeal to the public to be patient during this transition period. The local councils have set up urgent response teams and will respond to public complaints immediately,” executive councillor in charge

Alam Flora surrenders solid waste contract in Selangor
of local government affairs Ronnie Liu told Selangor Times. Liu said the sudden move to terminate the contract on such short notice could be politically motivated. “Some parties may be hoping to turn this into an election issue. If local councils fail to perform, if there are major glitches in garbage collection during the transition period, the people would blame the state,” he said. However, Liu said the state had instructed local governments to proceed to take over the garbage collection services as the move will ultimately benefit ratepayers’ pockets. “Local governments used to pay Alam Flora RM400 million annually for public cleaning and garbage collection services. Now we can save RM100 million every year,” said the Pandamaran assemblyperson. He explained that the savings would come from cuts in sub-contractors’ profits via open tender, and from the RM40 million annual management fees paid to Alam Flora. He added that the savings would be used by local councils to buy machinery and employ staff to take over garbage and cleaning duties handled by Alam Flora’s internal staff. As for outsourced garbage collection jobs, Liu said local councils would retain current sub-contractors until the local authorities complete the open tender process to appoint new sub-contractors. Only the Hulu Selangor District Council will not be affected by this debacle as it has always handled its own public cleaning and garbage collection duties. The remaining 11 local authorities took over public cleaning duties from Alam Flora on Aug 1. “These services used to be handled by local councils before it was privatised 14 years ago. “The local councils are experienced, so I’m confident they will be able to pick up the slack soon,” said Liu, who urged the public to report to their respective local councils if their garbage is not collected.

Councils scramble to take over
SHAH ALAM: Local councils are already preparing to take over garbage collection services from Alam Flora Sdn Bhd. Selangor Times spoke to seven local authorities and found that while some are still waiting for the state directive, others have already purchased machinery and begun the open tender process to appoint new sub-contractors. The local authorities have also set up backup teams to respond to public complaints on garbage collection promptly. Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is retaining its existing solid waste contractors temporarily and increasing the number of “standby” contractors, who will replace current ones if they are found to be underperforming. Councillor Latheefa Koya said the

may face some glitches. Another councillor, Tan Ah Kow @ Tan Sie Wai, said the city council has already begun its open tender process Contact Timothy Loh 019-267 4488, to appoint 170 new garbage collection contractors. Ivan Looi 014-936 6698 He said the tender process is divided into three phases, city council is also auditing these contractors to ensure they have and the first phase will see 50 jobs proper equipment such as trash being given to the most competitive compactors to collect garbage more contractors. Subang Jaya Municipal Council efficiently. Latheefa, who also chairs the (MPSJ) foresees no trouble in getting Health and Sanitation board, said contractors as the local council MBPJ will monitor its contractors already has a list of contractors to to ensure a smooth transition and work with. Councillors revealed that MPSJ minimal inconvenience to the pubis identifying contractors that are lic. Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) underperforming and have warned councillor Kamarulzaman Sanusi them to improve or risk being said areas where garbage collection is terminated. Councillor Loka Ng said the local handled by Alam Flora’s internal staff

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council is expected to save at least RM2 million once it takes back garbage collection duties. Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has already purchased 18 additional garbage trucks in preparation to handle solid waste removal on its own, said councillor Yeo Boon Lye. The councillors received a briefing yesterday on the matter. Councillor Lim Lip Suan said 40 contracts are currently handled by outsourced contractors, while 18 are managed by Alam Flora staff. Lim said MPK is likely to retain the existing 40 outsourced contractors temporarily, while the Selangor WeaTHer local council takes over the garbage collection Friday Saturday Sunday duties for the remaining 18. Morning Members of the public can contact MPK’s Jabatan Perkhidmatan Persekitaran at 03afternoon 33726781 / 4820 to report problems on garbage collection. Ampang Jaya night Municipa l Council (MPAJ) public relation officer Norhayati Ahmad Source: Malaysian meteorological department said the council is waiting

for the state’s directive on the matter. She said MPAJ is considering retaining existing contractors to ensure garbage collection is not disrupted despite the change. Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) had instructed present contractors to temporarily take care of the 20% of areas that are handled by Alam Flora. Councillor Ng Tien Chee said MPKj will start the open tender process and appoint new contractors within three months. “We’ll also reduce the number of contracts to 67 instead of 102 so that one contractor can take care of one zone each,” said Ng. Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) public relations director Mohamad Zin Masoad is confident that MPS will be able to manage the transition in garbage collection, as only 5-10% of the municipality’s solid waste removal is managed by Alam Flora’s internal staff, while the rest are by sub-contractors. He added that the open-tender process to appoint sub-contractors had been conducted by MPS over the years, and Alam Flora only had to monitor the sub-contractors’ work.

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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ September 23 – 25, 2011 ⁄ 3

4

Selangor’s Malaysia EvEnts Day gift to the people
Annual Dogathon
The Students’ Society of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Veternak) and Zoologico Club University Putra Malaysia (UPM) will hold their 15th annual Dogathon on Oct 2. The aim is to raise funds for a welfare project called “Pro-Kasih” to raise awareness of neglected animals. The event will be held at Bukit Ekspo UPM from 6.30am2pm. Activities include a 2.5 kilometre dog and master run, catch-and-fetch and hide-and-seek for owners and dogs. For details, call 013-3792124 (Nur Afiqah) or 012-3205065 (Ms Lee) or email dogathonpublicity@gmail.com or dogathon@vet.upm.edu.my or visit www.vet.upm.edu/~dogathon.

News

SEPTEMBER 23 — 25, 2011

By Alvin Yap

Art exhibition
The Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) will organise an illustration diploma show from Sept 28-Oct 19 at the MIA Art Gallery, 294-299, Jalan Bandar 11, Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday from 11am-5pm and Saturday from 11am-1pm except on Sundays and public holidays. For details, call 03-41088100 (MIA) or visit www.mia. edu.my.

Wilde and Shaw on film
Kuala Lumpur performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) will hold free screenings of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw’s films at Indicine KLPAC. Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband” will be shown on Sunday (Sept 25) while Shaw’s “Major Barbara” will be on Oct 2, both at 3pm.

SHAH AlAm: Selangorku, a three-year socioeconomic programme aimed at addressing the concerns of the people, was launched by the state on Sept 16. The Selangorku slogan and its Action Plan and Three-Year Vision policy seek to address five key points garnered from public feedback and meetings with Selangor residents. “The Selangorku agenda is created from a process of consultation and receiving feedback from communities and private industries held at 12 local government areas recently,” said Tan Sri Kahlid Ibrahim during the launch event at Dataran Kemerdekaan on Malaysia Day. The policy will see a return of local elections in Petaling Jaya, and a lowering of the crime rate through the installation of RM3 million worth of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. The Menteri Besar also said local councils and new villages will receive larger allocations to maintain and improve infrastructure under its jurisdiction. Khalid also unveiled state plans to implement a minimum wage of RM1,500 for staff at state subsidiaries effective Jan 1, 2012. He also said Selangor is committed to providing affordable homes to the people and will build 11,000 units of 850-1000 sq

Khalid (file pic)

ft houses yearly. Khalid said the policy is a reflection of its Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor and Hasil Negeri Untuk Rakyat programmes. “As such, we must share the proceeds the state is receiving with the people. Selangor’s revenue is for the people,” he said in front of high-level civil service officials and elected representatives during his Malaysia Day speech. He further said Selangor contributes 20% to the national economy and registered surplus revenue of RM1.1 billion as of June 2011.

The figure, he added, is at its 28-year highest level. However, Khalid said there is income disparity among Selangor’s citizens. He added that nationwide, 40% of Malaysians are getting poorer or are living in poverty. Khalid said the state administration is running Selangor “in trust” as a mandate from its residents. “The state is constantly striving to administer Selangor with trust and responsibility,” he concluded.

Study smart seminar
Brahma Kumaris Malaysia will organise a “Study Smart Seminar” on Sunday (Sept 25) for PMR, SPM and STPM students at 10, Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Park, Kuala Lumpur. Call 012-9243959 (Agnita) or 016-3012302 (Sherly) to register and confirm seats. Admission is free. For details, visit www.bkwsu.org/my.

Five key points of Selangorku
1. Minimum wage The policy aims for a monthly minimum wage floor of RM1,500 to be implemented at state subsidiaries beginning Jan 1, 2012. According to Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, poverty still exists as workers receive wages that are below levels that can sustain “decent living” standards for a family of four. “The amount does not reflect the highly industrialised and advanced economy in Selangor,” he said. The policy proposal is also aimed at convincing Putrajaya to formulate and pass its own minimum wage legislation in the near future. 2. Local elections The policy will see a return of the “third vote”, through a local government election that is planned for Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) for 2012. The MBPJ polls will serve as a testing ground for more local government elections in the state. Presently, the state is finalising and finetuning the running of local government elections in order to hold MBPJ local elections by 2012. “Any level of government must be accountable to the people they serve, and local governments must be elected in, and responsible to ratepayers,” Khalid said. 3. Security Local governments will have increased capacity to combat the crime rate by installing CCTVs in hotspots. The state will allocate RM3 million towards the purchase of CCTVs for its 12 local governments. Additionally, it will also consider streaming the CCTV feed to the public via the internet so that residents can participate in monitoring the areas. 4. Infrastructure The state has allocated RM5 million for the maintenance and construction of new roads in new villages, while traditional villages will receive RM4 million for maintenance. This is on top of RM1 million already allocated to state constituencies for the maintenance of rods, drains and bridges under local council supervision. 5. Housing The state will prioritise the construction of affordable homes priced around RM100,000 (for families earning between RM2,500 and RM5,000). The houses will have an area of between 850 and 1,000 sq ft, and 11,000 units will be built each year in areas such as Bangi, Ulu Selangor, Gombak, Kota Kemuning, Hulu Langat, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam.

Heart talk
A public forum on cardiac emergencies will be held tomorrow (Sept 24) in conjunction with World Heart Day. The talk will be held on the 7th floor of Tropicana Medical Centre’s auditorium in Kota Damansara from 10.30am1.30pm. Call 03-62871106 or 0182116789 for registration. Lunch will be provided and admission is free. Details at tropicanamedicalcentre.com.

Buddhism course
The Subang Jaya Buddhist Association will conduct an intermediate course on Buddhism every Friday, starting from today (Sept 23) to Oct 21. The course will cover Buddhist views on contemporary issues and Buddhist living. Each session is from 8.30pm to 10pm. Contact 03-5634 8181 (Lily) for details.

Sunshine law to be carried out next year
SHAH AlAm: Selangor’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Enactment is likely to come into force next year, executive councillor Elizabeth Wong told Selangor Times. Wong said the FOI Enactment has been gazetted as law after the bill was passed in the state assembly on April 1. “The cost of its implementation will be included in the state’s budget [to be announced] in early November,” Wong said. She said the cost would include expenses to train civil servants to handle public requests for information. The FOI Enactment allows the public to access information from state departments and local councils, as well as all state-owned and statecontrolled bodies. Civil servants who are found intentionally giving false or misleading information to the public can be subjected to a maximum of RM50,000 fine or five-year imprisonment under the FOI Enactment. Media watchdog The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) has described Selangor’s FOI as a “breakthrough” amid an entrenched culture of secrecy among government bodies backed by the Official Secrets Act. Penang also tabled its FOI Enactment last November but the bill has yet to be passed. Currently, over 90 countries worldwide, including Thailand, Indonesia and India, have an FOI law to protect and uphold citizens’ right to information.

Gathering of Georgians
The Old Georgians Association of St George’s Institute (Selangor branch) will hold their annual dinner and dance at Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur, on Oct 8 at 7.30pm. Call 012-2087819 (Fabian Pereira) or 016-3682633 (Hardeep Singh) before Oct 4 for details.

Wong

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ September 23 – 25, 2011 ⁄ 5

HIS MAJESTY THE YANG DI-PERTUAN AGONG AL-WATHIQU BILLAH TUANKU MIZAN ZAINAL ABIDIN IBNI ALMARHUM SULTAN MAHMUD AL-MUKTAFI BILLAH SHAH

AND

HER MAJESTY THE RAJA PERMAISURI AGONG TUANKU NUR ZAHIRAH On Their Majesties’ Official Visit
to

The State Of Selangor Darul Ehsan
on

21 - 23 September 2011
With Utmost Sincerity From

THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN

6

news

September 23 — 25, 2011

Wrecks outside police stations an eyesore
By Basil Foo

PUCHONG: Car wrecks left in plain sight outside police stations have caused a stir among residents and business owners who allege a drop in business and property prices. “Members of the public have complained that these cars are taking up parking space besides being an eyesore,” said Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo. He said car owners near the Bukit Puchong police station are forced to double-park on the street as a result of the wrecks. At a press conference on Wednesday, Gobind told reporters that the vehicles that were impounded by the police for investigation should have been kept in a storage area. “Efforts should be taken to find storage places for these items. They should not be left out in public to be a burden to the people,” he added. He said the Puchong Jaya and Putra Heights police stations also

had many vehicles left in parking lots and along road curbs. He welcomed increased police presence in Puchong, but felt there should be better planning to provide sufficient space for police storage in new townships. “I will be bringing up this issue in Parliament the next time it convenes,” Gobind said. When contacted, Serdang district police chief Superintendant Abdul Razak Elias said the wrecks will be moved as soon as possible. The Puchong Jaya police station falls under the Serdang district. Subang Jaya district police chief Assistant Commissioner Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar, when contacted, said the complaint of car wrecks is an old issue. “This issue was raised last year. We have since moved the wrecks and are keeping them in the Subang Jaya police headquarters,” he said. He added that the cars outside of the Bukit Puchong and Putra Heights police stations now belong to police officers.

gobind gesturing to several wrecks outside the puchong Jaya police station on Jalan Kenari 12.

Shock-andawe tactics to tackle errant motorists
By Brenda Ch’ng

Screenshot from the video.

Sections of NPE to close for run
By Alvin Yap

SUBANG JAYA: The New Pantai Expressway (NPE) from the PJS 5 toll to SS15 here will be closed to traffic on Oct 2 for the qualifying leg of the Adidas King of the Road Run. The closure will commence at 3am on race day for the run, which will start outside Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall. There will be full closure along the Bangsar-Subang side from 3am to 10.30am. Traffic from Subang-Bangsar will be fully closed from 5am to 10.30am. The Adidas King of the Road 2011 is held in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, with each country hosting a qualifying leg. The winners of the Men’s Closed and Women’s Closed 16.8km category will win an all-expense

paid trip to the Philippines to compete with top marathon runners from Southeast Asia in the finals on Oct 23. Runners are reminded to reach the venue early on race day, preferably before 5am to avoid traffic jams and parking problems. The run is expected to attract more than 7,000 participants. The route will take runners from the shopping mall to SS14, Subang, near the Jengka intersection at SS15 before making a U-turn near Metropolitan College. Competitors will then run along the NPE heading towards PJS and U-turn at the PJS 5 toll before heading back towards Sunway Pyramid for the finishing line. Co-sponsors Tiger Airways and Sennheiser will present prizes to the winners. Prizes include cash, Adidas cash vouchers and medals.

SUBANG JAYA: Shamming double-parked vehicle owners by announcing their car registration number via loudspeaker is the latest tactic being used by the council to reduce congestion on roads here. Going by an online video posting on Facebook by Teoh T Hoong on Sept 19, the strategy by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) seems to be working. The video shows shocked vehicle owners scrambling out of shops in USJ Taipan to move their vehicles as the team drove up to announce that tow trucks would soon follow if they didn’t move their cars immediately. The footage was captured from inside a new Proton Inspira, equipped with loudspeakers, acquired by MPSJ to carry out the “shock and awe” campaign

against errant motorists in busy commercial areas.  “This is a pilot project to test if this method is more effective than issuing summonses,” said MPSJ public relations senior assistant director Azfarizal Abd Rashid. He said double-parkers will only be warned once by the patrol unit before summonses are issued and tow-truck operators notified. Cars will be towed away almost immediately. Apart from USJ10, the team patrols other busy commercial areas in USJ9, SS16, SS16, SS17, Puchong Jaya, and Pekan Sri Kembangan. “There is no fixed time for their rounds. The patrol unit will visit random commercial areas so residents won’t know when they are coming,” Azfarizal said. To date, MPSJ has already issued 82,992 summonses to traffic offenders.

Attracting private investors from China, Hong Kong to finance project
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Therefore, Selangor is banking on attracting private investors from China, Hong Kong and Malaysia to finance the RM10 billion rehabilitation project that is expected to transform the Klang River into a thriving property hub. Chris Hong, managing director of Hong Kong-based Far East Consortium International, had expressed interest in developing a sustainable business model for the river rehabilitation project. Hong had been part of the visiting Chinese delegation in August, Meanwhile, environmental scientist Prof Dr Li Fengting, who was also part of the visiting delegation in August, said Klang River is not as polluted as the SuZhou Creek in Shanghai before it was rehabilitated. “The SuZhou Creek used to be black and its stench was unbearable

rubbish that has piled up along the Klang riverbank.

[in the 1970s and 1980s],” said Li, associate dean of College of Environmental Science and Engineering from Tong Ji University. He added that it took China 20 years to clean up the 53km-long SuZhou Creek, but it should take only around 10 to 15 years to clean up

the 120km-long Klang River with current technology. The Klang River rehabilitation project is part of Selangor’s economic stimulus package, while the federal-led River of Life project is an Entry Point Project under the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley Plan.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ September 23 – 25, 2011 ⁄ 7

8 ⁄ september 23 – 25,2010 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES

news

Dirasmikan:

Sekinchan to be touted as tourism spot
By Basil Foo

YB Teresa Kok Pengerusi J/Kuasa Penganjuran Seminar

YAB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim

Dato’ Stapa bin Hj Omar Junaidah Tarjo
Usahawan Ejen Hartanah terkenal Pengasas dan CEO, DCL Group of Companies

Dato’ Hussamuddin Yaacub

CEO Kumpulan Media Karangkraf

Kenapakah Usahawan bumiputera ini begitu

berjaya?

SABAK BERNAM: Sekinchan’s lush paddy fields and quaint fishing villages will be promoted in a guidebook produced by local lawmaker Ng Suee Lim. The Sekinchan assemblyperson said the guidebook to draw tourists will be released in November. “It will direct tourists on places to eat, stay and travel to,” Ng told Selangor Times. GPS codes will be featured alongside the places of interest in Ng (right) with a Sekinchan t-shirt design aimed at promoting the g uidebook to the village as a tourist destination. make it easier for tourists to find the locations. Ng said many newlyweds are taking wedThe guidebook will cater to an increasing ding photos amidst the paddy fields. number of tourists who make their way to “The seafood here is also popular as it is the village every week. cooked fresh from the sea and is also very “There is currently a high number of cheap,” he added. foreign tourists in Sekinchan. Every weekTo make the most out of the tourist end, there will be more than 30 buses com- turnout, Ng’s office has come up with a ing here,” Ng said. mascot for Sekinchan, and has even begun He attributes the influx partly to a televi- selling a line of t-shirts with 16 different sion series called The Seeds of Life, which was designs. shot in Sekinchan and is shown locally and The shirts and other Sekinchan merchanin Singapore. dise can be found at the Lau Tong Hai Sekinchan’s vast paddy fields, which souvenir shop on the main road. boast modern planting methods resulting Those interested can also visit the Sein one of the highest productivity per acre KinChan page on Facebook and browse the rates in the country, are also an attraction. photo gallery for more t-shirt designs.

Avoid and report scams, public urged
Dato’ Kamal Zaharin Tengku Rozidar Tengku Zainol Abidin Puan Che Muna Din
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Hubungi kami: kunci.kejayaan2011@yahoo.com Facebook: http://on. .me/kuncikejayaan
Penganjur: Dengan kerjasama:

KLANG: Do not be tricked into giving donations to people who claim to work for welfare organisations as these might possibly be scams. “These people use children, old people and the disabled to gain money and sympathy from the public,” said Klang Municipal Council (MPK) secretary Ikhsan Mukri in a statement recently. MPK together with the Social Welfare Department ( JKM) conducted a joint anti-beggar operation last Tuesday following complaints from residents. According to residents and surveillance

done by MPK officers, these beggars are seen almost every day, especially in the evenings. During the operation, six beggars accompanied by people who were blind or disabled as well as foreigners were arrested by JKM. “This anti-beggar operation will take place more frequently to stop these unethical acts of using children and disabled people to earn money,” said Ikhsan. He urged the public to be on the lookout for such scams and to alert the council immediately if they witness them.

MPK and JKM officers conducting checks during the anti-beggar operation.

www.ssic.com.my

Multiracial crowd attend joint celebration
By Brenda Ch’ng

september 23 — 25, 2011

news

9

SUBANG JAYA: Some 2,000 residents lighted up USJ 1 with lanterns during the Malaysia Day-cumLantern Festival celebrations at the sports centre here last Friday. The event, organised by the office of Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, was aimed at bringing children of all races and ages together. “It is wonderful to see our young leaders of tomorrow play harmoniously as one, regardless of race and age,” said Yeoh. The children even performed multicultural performances to entertain the crowd, said Yeoh. Among the performances were dances from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) Children Creativity and Community Centre (3C), and Fo Guang Malaysia’s 24 Seasons Drum troupe. Another highlight was a solo Indian classical dance by a student at SJK(C) Chee Wen. Residents were also entertained by lantern riddle games and a float procession around USJ 1 decorated with Malaysian flags and lanterns. Following that were three trishaw rides, specially decorated in line with Malaysia Day, Lantern Festival and Hari Raya themes. “That was one of the main attractions that night, as there was a long line of children queuing up for the ride,” said event director Loka Ng Sai Kai. Ng, who is an MPSJ councillor, said the celebration helped foster closer relations between residents and enhanced patriotism among the people.

Children were also seen carrying lanterns made from discarded tin cans of various sizes, which were fitted with rollers. These allowed the lanterns to be rolled on the ground without fear of getting burnt. The main highlight of the event was a 45cm-diameter mooncake that weighed more than 10kg. It was jointly cut by Yeoh, Ng, Puchong MP Gobind Singh, Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne and organising chairperson Ng Chai Hing (pic). Meanwhile, each resident was given a goodie bag filled with mooncakes, paper lanterns, a box of candles and a Children admiring the lanterns. bottle of water.

NEWS 10

Tamil school seeks state intervention
By Alvin Yap

SEPTEMBER 23 — 25, 2011

SUBANG JAYA: A vernacular Tamil school that stands to lose part of its land to Light Rail Transit (LRT) concessionaire Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd is turning to the state for help. SJK (T) Castlefield, which was established as an estate school in 1928 but relocated to the present site in 1988, will lose a portion of its field to accommodate the LRT tracks. “According to plans submitted to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) and to the school board, one of the pillars for the tracks will be inside our school compound,” said school Governor P Nagamuthu during a press conference on Tuesday. Nagamuthu claimed that Prasarana had ignored the school board’s repeated requests for meetings with MPSJ engineers, technical department staff and councillors. He said the Department of Environment (DOE) had already classified the existing noise pollution level at the 478-student school as “unhealthy”. “The report came out in 2006, when the concessionaire Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (Litrak) conducted a noise study of the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP),” said Nagamuthu.

Students have complained of distraction due to the noise level from vehicles on the LDP, and there are concerns that this will get worse if the LRT track encroaches upon school land. The school board had contingency plans to relocate and has been eyeing a 2.4-hectare land nearby at Persiaran Indera, Pusat Bandar Puchong. Nagamuthu said it is suitable for relocation as it can serve the Tamil popula- Nagamuthu pointing to LRT plans while Kok (right) looks on. tion in the area. However, a Chinese vernacular State executive councillor Teresa Kok said the dispute beschool,  SJK (C) Kheng Chee, also wants to construct a new tween SJK Castlefield and Prasarana would be addressed in an school there and have sent consulting engineers to conduct upcoming State Economic Action Council (MTES) meeting. soil testing at the site. “We will have a meeting with MPSJ, the school board comThis has raised the ire of Nagamuthu and his fellow board mittee, and also Prasarana,” said Kok. members, who said they should be given priority over SJK The Kinrara assemblyperson also promised the school board Kheng Chee. that Selangor would meet with officials from the Ministry of “We have to contend with noise pollution at this existing Education over the Persiaran Indera land. location, and we have asked the state government since 2008 Kok said there qre other pieces of land the state could hand about the land at Persiaran Indera,” said Nagamuthu. over to SJK Kheng Chee to build its school premises.

Know Your Councillor: Norhesmi Ismail
By Brenda Ch’ng

SUBANG JAYA: Addressing the concerns of residents living in over 30 low-cost flats in Puchong is an uphill task for local councillor Norhesmi Ismail. “I receive complaints from residents almost every day, and I’m determined to find solutions to their problems to put them out of their misery,” she said. The 39-year-old said the problems raised are uncollected rubbish, financial difficulties, the absence of joint-management bodies ( JMB), and disagreements among residents. “Some flats are so disorderly that the residents can’t even work together to form a JMB to oversee maintenance, rubbish collection and other repairs,” said Norhesmi. The three-term councillor is on a mission to make sure all low-cost flats have a JMB formed, to foster closer ties among residents. Recently, Norhesmi organised a Kacau Dodol event for low-cost flat residents to help create togetherness and end feuding among the people. The event, which lasted for about seven hours, was joined by more than 150 residents, who were seen taking turns stir-

ring the pot of dodol mixture. “I was surprised to see youths trying their best to make the best dodol mixture of the evening. Some even danced to entertain the elderly while awaiting their turn to stir,” said Norhesmi. Due to its success, she is planning to organise a bigger Kacau Dodol event next year, in the hopes that more residents will come. Meanwhile, the JMB matter has been brought to the attention of Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi. He has proposed for a JMB committee to be formed to help assist the council’s Commissioner of Building (CoB) department and also to oversee all JMB matters. This was approved in the council’s monthly full board meeting last month. “I was overjoyed when it was approved as I can finally address all the problems directly in the committee,” Norhesmi said. Norhesmi also wants to rid her area of all illegal banners, including Ah Long stickers. Once every two months for two hours, 20 residents accompanied by police officers and MPSJ enforcement officers

go around ripping off all illegal advertising on the streets. Equipped with sickles, torchlights, luminous vests and other tools sponsored by MPSJ, residents tear down at least 500 illegal banners, buntings and stickers a night. “We started this project in January. By now, we’ve taken down thousands of illegal advertisements,” she said. In the future, she is hoping to engage councillors and residents in other areas to organise a bigger-scale clean-up event. Next year, she wants to push the council to build a multipurpose hall for residents of Puchong Permai. “I hope the council will include this proposal in their budget next year, as residents have been complaining about the lack of multipurpose halls in the area,” she said. Currently, the only available hall is in Puchong Indah, but is not available for rent or use as activities are held there every night. Consequently, residents at Puchong Permai have nowhere else to hold their own activities or play sports.

Facelift for Taman Rakyat
KLANG: Families can now enjoy upgraded facilities recently completed at the 13-year-old Taman Rakyat here last month. “This four-month project, which started in May, cost the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) about RM198,327,” said the council’s Park and Recreational Department director, Muhammad Hijjaz Sanusi. Among the upgrades were 70 additional park benches, 30 rubbish bins, 10 picnic tables and chairs, and five new fitness station units. Existing facilities were also refurbished, including the replacement of stair railings, broken concrete floors, old interlocking pavements, and reflexology platforms. He said improvements at the 81-acre park were made so that more people would be encouraged to exercise and use the facilities. Hijjaz urged the public to maintain the cleanliness of the park and to report cases of vandalism. Taman Rakyat won Selangor’s Best Landscape Award for 2002.

Newly added bins and picnic tables.

The right answers or the right questions?
D
id you hear a collective groan last week, emitting from the likes of Pantai Dalam, Serdang and Bangi? It’s back to the semester grind for students at Universiti Malaya, Universiti Putra, Universiti Kebangsaan, and Malaysia’s public universities and their now synchronised calendars. I’m sure there was concerted laughter, too, zesty chatter, and some sighs of anticipation for the year ahead. Academic staff for the next ten months will have to juggle research, teaching, and filling out the cancerously growing heap of paperwork. The cycle repeats. We probably groaned the most. For me, opening week was a big question mark. The course I am teaching, for the first time, is foremost about asking questions. Well, it’s called research methodology and the textbook introduction would explain that at the end of the course students are supposed to know how to write a research proposal, do a literature review, state a hypothesis, get data, interpret findings, cite references properly and reach some conclusion. Nothing wrong with that answer, but had I rushed to feed it to my students, I would have perpetrated our national fetish for having the “right answer”. And that answer is found in the handouts, or the downloadable Powerpoint slides, which can be memorised and recited on demand. The more I teach, the more I am convinced

september 23 — 25, 2011

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wit pleasure
Lee Hwok Aun

that the fundamental problem with our education system is we have lost the art of asking good questions. Students are barely interested, not encouraged and often not permitted, to enquire openly and critically. I asked my students: Which is better, to give the right answer, or to ask a good question? That’s a leading question, I admit, and maybe caused all who bothered to put up their hands to rank questioning skills above answering skills. (Perhaps the others were waiting for me to give the right answer?) But some replies were illuminating. One student put things in sequential perspective. Questions come before answers, so to get good answers we must ask good questions. Good point. Another student, referring to exams, said what’s the point of having the right answer when it does not even answer the question? That seems nonsensical – how can the right answer essentially be wrong? But he made an astute observation about student habits and teaching modes. Having uploaded notes, pastyear questions and model answers in their brains, students offload all that stuff at the

slightest trigger, whether or not it’s relevant. The fear of writing something the teacher did not say is greater than the risk of not answering the question. Many students obviously can think for themselves and know the importance of asking questions, but are not given the chance. Teaching the techniques of research is ultimately futile unless we also inculcate enquiring minds. I hope my class can make a small contribution. A related and not small matter concerns the cheers resonating from Angkasapuri on the night of Sept 15. If you didn’t hear it then, you’ve read about it or been told by now. Yes, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivered his big Malaysia Day eve speech from public broadcasting headquarters, promising ISA abolition and replacement, cancellation of decades-old emergency declarations, and partial review of repressive laws like the Printing Presses and Publications Act. He did so in the usual manner of giving all the “right answers”, such that questioning these moves shows ungratefulness or an unpatriotic spirit. The national ruling party expresses a newfound desire for our “dynamic democracy” to be “on par with other democracies in the world”. Many of us have held that desire for long, and some have sacrificed enormously for

the cause. We should be grateful to the patriots who have fought against the ISA and obnoxious laws and those who have been detained without trial. Just one question then, a soft, clarifying one: What motivated this promise to repeal the ISA? Najib answered at his Aidilfitri open house on Sept 18, it is “not due to pressure from any quarter”. Excuse me, I cannot resist one more: I thought the basic thing about democracy is that government responds to (positive) pressure from the rakyat and our representatives or organisations. Now the government declares Malaysia will democratise but not in any way respond to public demands. Huh? No wonder the flood of questions. To sample a few that are out there: · What exactly will replace the ISA? · So the need to annually renew PPPA licence will go, but government will retain power to revoke licences. Will such power be discretionary or restricted to very specific and extraordinary circumstances? Can revoked licences be challenged in court? · Where is the freedom of information act? · And let me add, what about the archaic Statistics Act, which constricts research? It looks like the Prime Minister’s “right answers” are not answering the good, important and burning questions about our nation’s future. 

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12 September 23 — 25, 2011

InsIght
By Brenda Ch’ng

Abd Rani attending to complainants at his service centre.

Lau attending to Chong’s ATM fraud complaint.

Bahrom Basiron (Abd Rani’s PA) handing out an Anak Masuk University form to 21-year-old Khai’zarul Aqmar.

man in his mid-fifties was recently denied a full reimbursement from a bank, despite showing proof that the automated teller machine (ATM) had failed to dispense his withdrawal of RM3,000. He made countless calls to the bank, wrote letters demanding a refund, and even viewed recorded footage on the bank’s closed-circuit television (CCTV). The months of pleading to the bank, which fell on deaf ears, resulted in Chong Kim Seng turning to his assemblyperson for help.  “I didn’t know where else to go, so I decided to go to the politician’s service centre, hoping they can help me,” said Chong. The 55-year-old said he made the right decision in seeking help and support from the service centre as the bank is now taking his case more seriously. Chong’s dilemma was attended to immediately, following a letter written by the assemblyperson to expedite the case. “This was one of the easier cases to handle. We get numerous complaints a day, some easy, some tough, some so ridiculous that even we cannot help,” said Kampung Tungku assemblyperson Lau Weng San. The complaints that Lau has turned down involve settling Ah Long debts, or moderating family rivalries over inheritance – and even a resident who had asked him to perform an exorcism. “In my three years of running the Abd Rani (left) and Lau centre, the most memorable case was when a resident came and told operative,” said Lau. Now, he can easily tackle issues me he was possessed and wanted me and tries his best to find a direct to extricate the ghost. “How can I do that? The ghost solution by referring the complaints even entered his body and spoke directly to the respective officers in to me in a weird language which I government agencies. couldn’t understand,” said Lau. A perturbed Lau directed the Malay villages Meru assemblyperson Dr Abd resident to a spiritual leader before Rani Osman sees a different set of sending him home. Lau’s service centre also sees daily complaints and issues at his service complaints about resident disputes centre in Pekan Meru. “My area is made up of six Malay with other government agencies, developer issues, local council mat- villages, and the complaints we get are mostly about natural disasters ters and welfare cases. According to Lau, his service like floods, fire and destroyed centre receives about a hundred homes,” said Abd Rani. When there are no natural discomplaints, 30% about local council issues, and the other 60% about asters, villagers tend to criticise land, welfare and miscellaneous the road and drain conditions and rubbish collection services. matters. “It’s really busy during the day, “Handling complaints is so much easier now compared to when I just but villagers don’t complain a lot. started three years ago. I did not All they want is welfare aid. Reknow anyone in the government cently the latest demand is to be agencies and people weren’t as co- part of the Selangor government’s

A

Servic Helping

initiative, Jom Shopping,” he said. Due to the need for welfare aid, Abd Rani initiated an outreach programme to cater to terminally ill patients who are bedridden and in need of medical help. He visits about 20 houses twice a week to supply the needy with medical necessities, and offers to assist with the medical bills for three months.  These are paid for with his yearly state allocation of RM500,000, which is divided equally for welfare expenses, donations to organisations and places of worship, dialogue sessions, and festivals. “I’m thankful for the help and friendly service I got from the centre when I went to them with my financial problems,” said villager Nor Ziani M Razali. She went to the service centre to obtain financial aid for her son, who has been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect or hole in the heart.

• Handling public complaints, ranging from local council issues like potholes and blocked drains to state matters like land affairs.

Services offered

• Giving welfare aid, advice and monetary help to the less fortunate, disabled, ill and old. • H e l p i n g w i t h p ro b l e m s b e t w e e n government agencies and ratepayers. • Assisting with registration for state programmes.

Golden Age Friendly Scheme / Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE): This scheme is a grant for families of the elderly, where the state gives them RM2,500 to help with funeral expenses. Requirements for application: • Selangor citizens aged 60 and above, or • Seniors living in the state for at least 15 years. To apply, bring applicant’s Mykad, documented proof which shows one has been living here for 15 years or more (if not born in Selangor), photocopy of caretakers’ Mykad and photocopy of beneficiaries’ Mykad. Grant for University Students / Hadiah Anak Masuk Universiti: This grant of RM1,000 is given to all Selangor students who have been accepted to further their studies in a university.

Requirements for application: • Only open to families earning less then RM1,500 a month; • Applicant must be born in Selangor; • Applicant has been offered a place in the university; • The courses offered are full-time and must only be either a diploma or degree course; • Applicant must be registered in the course. Urban Microcredit programmes for the poor / Program Mikrokredit Miskin Bandar (Mimbar): Launched in March this year with an allocation of RM20 million. It was initiated to help low-income residents increase their income by managing their own small businesses. Mimbar gives successful applicants a small loan of up

to RM5,000 (without interest), to start their own businesses like food stalls, flower shops etc. The loan can then be paid back when their business takes off, after a year. Requirements for application: • Must be Selangor resident aged between 21 and 60, who has been living here for more then 10 years; • Owns assets less then RM50,000; • Must also attend training courses by Mimbar on how to start businesses. Mammogram: All women aged 35 and above can benefit from the mammogram programme initiated by the state. This programme is aimed at creating awareness on the dangers of breast cancer,especially for women aged 40 and above. The state targets to give free breast cancer screening to one million women.

State programmes
Selangor Children Heritage Fund / Tabung Warisah Anak Selangor (Tawas): Tawas, launched in August 2008, is a trust fund set up by the government for all Selangor babies born after the year 2008. This trust fund worth RM1,500 can be claimed by the child when he/she turns 18.

ce centres: g the public
Thaifor Noor, who helps out at Abd Rani’s centre.

Lau’s service centre.

“It is the first time I’m coming here, and I think it is effective; [the] response is much quicker than welfare departments,” she said. Nor Ziani was given some financial aid, and her case has also been forwarded to the welfare department and Lembaga Zakat. Also stationed at the service centre to solve problems is one of the six village heads, Thaifor Noor, who helps Abd Rani tend to councilrelated issues. “I get infrastructure complaints from at least two villagers a day. Nothing major, just minor complaints about drains, roads and landscape issues,” said Thaifor. He gets a daily repetition of complaints about uncut grass around the village, which are about three feet high, and uncollected rubbish. “Villagers do not know where to lodge their complaints, so they come to me, and I liaise with the councillor and attempt to solve the problems immediately,” he said. Infrastructure and welfare Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei tends to many complaints on infrastructure, land and neighbourhood security issues. “The complaints we receive vary from time to time. Sometimes there will me many infrastructure issues, and other times mainly welfare

Household neccessities given by the state to be handed out to the poor. Rawang Cost of operation per year RM15,200 Kampung Tungku RM25,000 Meru RM24,000

Number of service centres

Only one

2008-2010: Two centres, one in Sungai Way, the other in Kampung Tungku; 2011: One centre in Kampung Tungku Two: one in charge of state welfare schemes and complaints, and his political aide

Only one

Gan

Number of staff

cases,” said Gan. Recently, Gan has been tending to many welfare cases where poor families come into the service centre asking for monetary assistance due to inflation. Apart from running an orderly service centre with four staff, Gan wants to improve services to the public. The first-term assemblyperson also encourages the public to provide feedback about the quality of services at her centre and other government agencies. With the collected data, Gan and her staff will feed the information to the respective government agencies and let them know how they can improve their services.

Four: one chief of staff who manages her schedule, process fund allocation claims and follows up on land matters; one in charge of state schemes and welfare cases; one to manage public complaints and documentation; and one to deal with Islamic and Malay issues 80

Three: for welfare schemes, to help handle complaints, and his political aide

Number of complaints per month Operation hours

100

30

Monday-Friday 10am-6pm Wednesday 10am-8pm Funds managed and divided equally for welfare, donations to local non-governmental organisations (NGO), religious bodies, residential associations and office events

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm

How state’s RM500,000 allocation is spent

RM350,000 for welfare aid, donations to places of worship, and non-governmental organisational (NGO); RM150,000 for festivals, events, and other dialogue sessions

50% spent on the disabled, seniors, gotong-royong, and welfare cases; 50% on other projects and events

VIEWS 14

Santa Najib’s ISA gift, and sucky Bosses
ord Bobo, what is your view of the Prime Minister’s “gift to the nation” in his big announcement on the eve of Malaysia Day? Fear No More, via email Firstly, the very notion of these being “gifts” to the rakyat is an affront to all of us. The Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO) are laws that curtail the liberty of citizens and strike fear into our souls, rendering many of us afraid and worried at speaking up. How does putting a yoke on each of us, abusing it, and then purportedly removing it amount to a gift? The way it was all set up made Lord Bobo very uneasy: widespread hoopla about a “big announcement”, live telecast with a live studio audience of people dressed in bad batik, the strange grin-smirk on the PM’s face, and the stiff flag-waving and patriotic ditty at the end. One almost expected the PM to take this “Malaysia Day gift” thing all the way and don a red suit and white beard, taking flight in a Proton sleigh pulled by tiny mousedeer. Secondly, the Barisan Nasional government has never hesitated to use these laws whenever it suited their political purpose. The ISA has been used to detain more than 10,000 people, and there are currently 37 individuals held in its evil grip. In fact, the EO was just used against six members of Parti Sosialis Malaysia in July 2011 for reasons (or more accurately, lame excuses) that kept changing. Now, three months later, the PM announces that it will be repealed. Where is the government white paper on this? What is the rationale for its repeal after years of BN claiming that the ISA is necessary to maintain the political stability in Malaysia? How serious is the PM when he says, “Don’t anyone try to claim credit, saying that my announcement (on the ISA) is due to their efforts. It is not due to their struggle but a decision made by BN after listening to the desires of the rakyat”? So is this about creating a more mature Malaysia or just to make BN look good for the forthcoming general election? Thirdly, these laws are merely the tools of oppression – not oppression itself. Though the repeal of those laws are laudable, they do nothing to arrest the more immediate problems of racism, religious imperialism, corruption or the brain drain that is ravaging this country. They do not address the political, economic and social mismanagement of Malaysia. In the same announcement, the PM mentioned that two new laws will be created to replace those repealed, offering no further details. If these laws are as oppressive as the laws that they are replacing, then the change is obviously pointless. Finally, that was merely an announcement. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. All the rakyat have received so far is the announcement of the pudding. And yet, although there is nothing to taste, there’s already the smell of sourness in the air. And who can blame us for such pessimism, if all that we have tasted from the BN kitchen for decades is sour pudding? hy are we afraid to tell Bosses they suck when we resign from a job? Won’t the truth be good for those who are still working there? C4, via email You sound positively explosive, and His Supreme Eminenceness must presume you’re fed up with the unforgiving corporate world. Bosses are Lions that have fought their way up the top of the food chain, and when you’re at the top, it’s easy to plunge down to a messy career death. Some power-hungry Philistine might push you. Or you may even trip over your own tail because your head’s grown so big you can’t see what’s on the ground anymore. As such, these Lions have no reason to say “good morning” (because every morning is a potential last morning there), but plenty of reasons to be defensive about everything (“What are you staring at? You think I’m wearing a toupee, don’t you?”). While most bosses are highly strung, they’ve no excuse for being evil. And if evil Lions are affecting your job performance with tactics that could automatically turn on Darth Vader’s light sabre, common sense dictates that you should confront them. That’s assuming your common sense is still intact after all those months or years of abuse. The core reason employees resist the urge to “sock it to their Bosses” is this: deep down in their prefrontal lobe, they rightly know causing physical injury equals lawsuits. Asians, especially, also shy away from verbal confrontation because (i) “What if he calls every other Boss in the industry and has me blacklisted?”; and (ii) “What if she hops around the industry and ends up in the office I next move to?” These fears are valid, yet His Justiceship advises that you stick to the side of right. Why? While they can snatch away your promotion, leave, and even Facebooking privileges, they shouldn’t be able to sodomise your integrity. Of course, there’s a way of telling someone bad news. “You’re

SEPTEMBER 23 — 25, 2011

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

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a retarded, diseased jellyfish and you need a good mouthwash” is not it. Try phrasing your complaint without emotion or judgment. Show him or her how your problems are ultimately going to be their problems – e.g “Sir/Madam, your inertia in decision-making and incessant verbal assault on my character is sinking my self-esteem to an all-new low, stalling my output, as a result, in a manner unfavourable to my EQ and your KPI.” You may think that these overpowering-yet-vague words may not compute with your Boss if you work for a cardboard box manufacturer, but you’ll be surprised – they get fed this jargon and management speak at all those fancy expensive seminars that their management “consultants” line up for them. Many bosses don’t get enough of the Truth Treatment and continue their daily rampage thinking they’re God’s gift to Paradigm-Shifting Leadership. Telling your Bosses their shortfalls is giving them a chance to change. And you should be doing it for yourself, not other people, because many of these “other people” feel they’re paid to stomach crap, which is not only untrue but a clear sign of psychological devastation. However, if the only things your Boss has to offer after your honest session is a finger and a fart, you then know you’re better off somewhere else. And you’ll be fine even if Hitler the Sequel has made some calls around town about you because you’ll have recorded his glorious meltdown on your smartphone. Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing ask lordbobo@loyarburok.com, stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. What the hell 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!
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may 13 recoll: reconcections & 12 & iliation

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TI-M he ad disputes Christia state cl n aim

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Wesak a time Day: giving for
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Where to get your
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 Taman Melati 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 Plaza Damas Ikano Power Centre Empire Subang MetroPoint Centro Mall, Klang Bangsar Shopping Complex Hypermarkets (From Saturday noon) Giant (Puchong, Kajang, Bandar Kinrara, Klang, Pandamaran, Bandar Selayang, Kota Damansara, Taman Setiawangsa, Putra Heights, Taman Connaught, Kelana Jaya, Bukit Antarabangsa, Subang Jaya, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Kota Kemuning) Sentul – Port Klang Port Klang Bukit Badak Shah Alam Subang Jaya Jalan Templer Petaling Rawang – Seremban Kuala Kubu Baru Sungai Buloh Kepong Sentral Kepong Morning Wet Markets (Saturday morning) Jalan SS2/62 Taman Medan Jalan 17/27 SS15 Subang Jaya Taman Kuchai Lama Taman OUG Pasar Taman Megah Pasar Jalan Othman Pasar Jalan 17/2 Pasar Sek 14

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May 20

— 22, 2011

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By Will iam Tan Petal ed low- ing Jaya: cost Dila angor may flats through pidata pilot progget a new lease out Selsuch hom ramme to rehaof life if es The amb is successful. bilitate kind proj itious and first the Peta ect is being carr -of-itsied out by ling Jaya Keeping (MBPJ) City in safe: Faizabandoned tas Design collaboration Council bab demons ah Mohd Tahi ies pan y, and Group, a privwith Veritrati baby hatc ng the use r (left) commun Rum ah Air ate comof the Datin Sofi h as local ity-b Pan as, celebrity a The sing ased charity. a • STory Jane looks on. Maju Jaya le block at on pag the  houses 59 apartments here Taman e 10 fam , which to und ergo ilies, will be the first which inclu the tran sfor furb ishm des renovatio mation, ns physical ents whi le keep and reaspe ing the "All wor cts intact. sions mad ks are based on social active by the resid the decients," said ist Won Wong, g Hay pointed who mooted Cheong. out dents were that many the idea , of flats whe forced to mov the resie demolishn squatter settleme into the facilities ed, but the buil nts were were hard dings and ly adeq “The Gro up, entr y of Veritasuate. RM100 whi ch has con Design ,000 and architect the skill trib uted Wong said change,” s], means that s [of their ryin the priv is going said Won to Cor g out the proj ate firm is carg. As man ect as part porate Their relocate y as 50,000 fam Social of its (CS d technolo architects, usin 2000 and to low-cost flats ilies were last R) programme, Resp onsibilit g the gies y teri Besa 2008 under formbetween for two years layin having spent the rem ode l the and techniqu latest arch itect Iska g the grou es, the proj Squatter r Dr Khi r Toy er Menect. ndwork budget, whic buil ding on a will Iskandar ndar Razak. The tight than RM h is estimated LB_24  added that icised for policy which has o's Zer o with company 6391_ 500 to be less difficult to has been creating Sun_m14.ai  critbeen obta the fam “It is very ,000. high-rise liaising 1 from vario obta in comit was very busi in what they feed ghettos.5/12/11 back on ilies regularly chal need from ness cont 9:56 the proj us parties at mitments to get ever ything need leng ing; alm them deci PM their need acts.   their ect, with the “De wiring is ost s to be redo s and de on prac funding start of port spite it all, tical solu help and the horrible, the roof ne. The ous issue. this is still a seriant proj tions. septic tank The succ is leaking, that a city ect for us as a very imstench,” ess of the emit spon should not we believe said Ver itas Des s an awful nent sorships for the project rests on by the wea be ign Gro various com s, such as strata of lthy only, but inhabited up part s, and the the supply of po- juvenati society. In a way, by ever y metal ng the city,” compan we are rey hopes If the pilo said to t is successfu Iskandar. l, the com • Turn To pag e2

Facelift for old

flats

Carrefour (Bukit Rimau, Subang Jaya, Wangsa Maju, Sri Petaling, Kepong, Puchong, Ampang, Jalan Peel, Jalan Kapar, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, S23 Shah Alam) Jusco (Bukit Tinggi, Tmn Maluri, Wangsa Maju, Bandar Baru Klang, Mahkota Cheras) Commuter Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning

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

Tesco (Puchong, Kajang, Mutiara Damansara, Rawang, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Ampang, Extra Shah Alam, Kepong)

Forest walkway for the disabled

September 23 — 25, 2011

News 15

By Gan Pei Ling

KOTA DAMANSARA: Environmental group the Friends of Kota Damansara (FOKD) is raising funds to build a disabled-friendly walkway into the Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve. Its chairperson, Jeffrey Phang, said FOKD aims to raise between RM50,000 and RM60,000 to build the 1km pathway so that people with disabilities can enjoy nature as well. “Now they can only see the forest from the outside but cannot enter as there is no proper pathway [for people in wheelchairs],” Phang told the press during a Malaysia Day celebration at the community forest on Sunday. He said the pathway would also benefit senior citizens by making the forest more accessible to them. Phang said FOKD hopes to start building the pathway early next year. The news was well received by Petaling Jaya city councillor T AnPhang (right) and other volunteers at the herbal garden in front of the Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve.

thony, who is also the chairperson of the city council’s Technical Team on Disability. He said people with disabilities rarely receive invitations to visit places such as forest reserves due to the lack of disabled-friendly facilities. “People with disabilities also want [and should have] the opportunity to appreciate the forest,” said Anthony at the same event. The gathering at the Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve was attended by around 80 youths and people with disabilities from Public Housing Project flats in Kota Damansara. According to Phang, the Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve is the first urban forest to be managed by the community in close cooperation with the Selangor Forestry Department and Petaling Jaya city council (MBPJ). He said the community forest is a frequent venue for green events, and also serves as a research area for local institutions such as Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia. Those interested to contribute to the walkway fund can contact Phang at jfkphang@gmail.com.

Shopping with the seniors
SUBANG JAYA: Some 186 senior citizens were treated to a RM100 shopping spree at Giant Kelana Jaya last Saturday, thanks to the state’s Jom Shopping programme. “This is a great programme which should be initiated throughout the country. Prices are going up, and subsidies is what we seniors need right now,” said resident SK Kulasingam. The 80-year-old, who went shopping with his wife, said the one-off RM100 voucher could help many seniors offset at least a few months of shopping. Kulasingam added that hypermarkets like Giant are a good choice for household necessities due to discount specials and promotional prices. Joining him on the shopping spree was 66-year-old Chia KF, who brought with him a list of things to buy. “There is quite a lot that can be bought with RM100. This shopping can last me for at least a month,” he said. Chia, who spends RM45 on household necessities weekly, said this shopping programme is also a good platform for seniors to socialise with old and new friends. However, he thinks it would be better if they are not bound to shop at just one specific hypermarket on the day. “The vouchers should be made valid for at least a week, so we can shop in other Giant outlets during the weekday ourselves,” said Chia. The shopping programme was held here as Kelana Jaya Giant is the closest to Subang, Subang assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh explained. “We were assigned to shop at this hypermarket by the state as there aren’t any other closer ones nearby,” she said. Yeoh, who was  helping seniors load their trolleys with their purchases, said seniors were happy that the state was giving something back to the residents. “The response for this event has been overwhelming. My office is now always packed with seniors who wants to be registered for Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE),” said Yeoh. This shopping programme will be organised once every month for 200 senior citizens registered under the SMUE state scheme. The scheme also entitles seniors to receive RM2,500, which will be given to beneficiaries for funeral expenses in the future. All Selangor citizens aged 60 and above are entitled for the scheme, while those born in other states will have to prove that they have been living here for at least 15 years.

Kulasingam and his wife.

For enquiries, call Yeoh’s service centre at 03-56312768 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1pm to 7pm, and Thursdays from 8pm to 10pm.

Chia: Seniors should have the option of shopping at other outlets.

Day out for Puchong residents
SUBANG JAYA: A hundred seniors took part in the state’s Jom Shopping programme at Giant Seri Kembangan with Gobind Singh Deo recently. “The participants each received RM100 vouchers and were taken to the hypermarket to shop for food essentials by staff and volunteers from the Puchong MP’s Seri Serdang service centre. “The programme is one of the state initiatives that aims to assist the lowincome group, and also citizens in their golden years,” said Gobind. The participants are registered with the Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) initiative. The Puchong MP added that Selangor was on the right track with its social responsiblity and welfare programmes such as the Urban Poor Microcredit Scheme, and the setting up of a people’s dialysis centre for the poor. “The state is investing its revenue by giving back to ratepayers with these social programmes,” he said.

Gobind with participants and volunteers at Giant Seri Kembangan.

16 September 23 — 25, 2011
By Basil Foo

News

Motorcycles in the free bicycle parking lots at an LRT station in Petaling Jaya.

Poor response to free bicycle parking
By Alvin Yap and Gan Pei Ling

PETALING JAYA: There were virtually no takers for free  bicycle parking lots at Light Rail Transport (LRT) stations built in conjunction with World Car-Free Day yesterday. Banners and signs have been put up by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) to encourage the public to leave cars at home and cycle to the LRT stations. But a visit by Selangor Times to some of the stations showed that the message has, for now, gone unheeded, as motorists prefer to drive to the station or directly to work. To date, Prasarana has provided  bicycle parking facilities at 17 LRT stations along the Kelana JayaAmpang line. At the Kelana Jaya station, the parking lot with individual stands specifically built for cyclists to chain their bicycles remained empty. Other stations – Taman Bahagia, Taman Jaya and Paramount – saw only motorcycles but no bicycles parked at the mixed bicycle and motorcycle parking lots. According to public feedback on the poor response, commuters said travel time is reduced when using private transport. Other respondents said the LRT coverage is not extensive enough for them to consider using on daily basis. The move to provide the free bicycle parking lots was announced by Prasarana  on Tuesday to encourage members of the public to cycle instead of drive to the stations. “This will reduce the use of motor vehicles and environmental pollution,” said Prasarana president Tan Sri Ismail Adam at a press conference. He added that members of the public with a foldable bike can bring them aboard the LRT from 9am to 4.30pm and from 7pm onwards. However, foldable bikes are not allowed on board during peak hours to avoid adding to the congestion. The stations providing bicycle

parking spaces are Kelana Jaya, Taman Bahagia, Taman Paramount, Asia Jaya, Taman Jaya, Universiti, Abdullah Hukum, Kampung Baru, Damai, Dato’ Keramat, Jelatek, Setiawangsa, Wangsa Maju, Taman Melati and Gombak station on the Kelana Jaya Line; and Salak Selatan and Sentul Timur station on the Ampang Line. In a bid to boost public transport usage, Prasarana also distributed some 150,000 free coupons for the public to use the LRT, Monorail and RapidKL buses. Prasarana Group Director of Rail Khairani Mohamed said the company will also introduce price cuts to LRT and Monorail fees from January to September next year. In addition, Prasarana will be organising a year-long “Spot the Sticker” contest. Owners whose cars are spotted with the contest sticker stand to win a Rapidpass worth RM100. Khairani further said 1,200 additional car parking spaces will be provided at Gombak station on the Kelana Jaya Line near the end of 2011. On the Ampang Line, another 1,100 parking spaces will be added to the Ampang station, the upgrade of which is expected to be completed by 2012. Another 10,300 parking spaces will be provided at the LRT extension along Kelana Jaya Line and Ampang Line. Six of 13 new stations along the 17km-long Kelana Jaya Line extension, and six out of 12 new stations along the 17.7km-long Ampang Line extension will have park-and-ride facilities. However, with the increasing number of cars on the road, Khairani said Prasarana is encouraging the public to turn to cycling to the station as it is more eco-friendly and will help reduce carbon emission. World Car-Free Day is aimed at promoting the use and improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking to workplaces and shopping centres.

SHAH ALAM: Annual film festival Komas Freedom Film Fest (FFF) aims to open the minds of Malaysians to current issues affecting their country this October. “This will be a chance for Malaysians to watch rarely seen films and increase their knowledge on Malaysian issues,” said FFF director Anna Har. The screenings will feature 20 local and international films touching on issues of human rights, the environment, women’s rights, interreligious relations and elections. Har, in a press conference on Tuesday, said the first stop of the film festival will be at the Wisma Bentley auditorium in Mutiara Damansara on Oct 1 and 2. “There will also be discussion segments for those who just watched the films to reflect on and express what they just saw,” she added. Also at the press conference was state executive councillor Rodziah Ismail, who was one of the discussion panelists for last year’s FFF. She said those attending the festival would not only be entertained by the films, but will be encouraged to share their points of view on current issues. “There was a discussion last year on a film portraying the cow-head incident in Shah Alam which garnered different viewpoints,” she said. According to Rodziah, this is the second year the state government has supported and promoted the eight-year-long film festival, which has seen an increasing turnout. FFF assistant coordinator Yow Chong Lee said a local film to look

Film fest to highlight local issues

(From left) Yow, Rodziah and Har at the press conference in the state secretariat on Tuesday.

forward to is Huruf J, which is about the challenges faced by divorcees in Malaysia. Another film, Lot, umah am, is about the indigenous Orang Seletar who have called the Straits of Johor their home for generations. Yow said a film called Senyap… Tersentak, which is about eight demands for free and fair elections,

has also been endorsed by an elections coalition. Those wishing to catch these films, and others of international acclaim, may make their reservations for free tickets at freedomfilmfest.komas.org. Screentimes and synopses for the 20 films can also be found on the website.

Council holds successful youth dance competition
Kuan and her fellow PeBt organising chair Jason Wong, Rishyakaran and winner Zhin Crew.

By Alvin Yap

SUBANG JAYA: Individual and group dancers flaunted their moves to win a competition organised by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) Local Youth Initiator (PeBt) programme here recently. “We organised the Dance It competition so that youths can participate and express themselves in dance,” said co-organiser Vivian Kuan. She said this during the opening speech of the event at Sunway Pyramid shopping mall, which drew the afternoon crowd. Dance duo Zhin Crew won the top prize of RM3,000 for their hip-

hop performance. “It was a great performance, you guys are energetic in your dance,” said judge Michael Xavier Voon, who was the choreographer on the dance reality show So You Think You Can Dance (Malaysia). Freshype, which came in second place and won RM2,000 cash, received praise for their modern dance. “I like your dance, it had very well-executed moves,” said professional dancer and So You Think You Can Dance judge Judimar Hernandez to the dance duo. Her fellow judge, Amanda Tay of dance academy Urban Groove, said the group portrayed great showmanship.

Third place went to five-member dance group Swaggerrific, while the all-girl group Chique De luxe won the Crowd Favourite category with their cabaret dance style. Kuan said the teams that participated in the finalists line-up were from the Subang Jaya area, and had been selected from a long list of hopefuls. The PeBt programme is a Selangor-government initiative to spur leadership and organisational skills among youths in their respective local government zones. MPSJ Councillor Rajiv Rishyakaran said the council will organise more cultural and dance competitions to promote the performing arts.

SHAH ALAM: Due for completion in 2013, upcoming retail and commercial development Tigaman Square will offer retail lots, office suites and recreational facilities. ”This will act as a regional mall to cater to the surrounding community of about half a million people within a 5km radius,” said Sunhor Property Bhd general manager Albert Kuay. The 2.8-hectare development, located in Bukit Kemuning, aims to be a commercial centre to nurture businesses and shape social lives through its many facilities. Tigaman Square will consist of four six-level blocks connected via sky bridges. Kuay said the connectivity will cut down the walking distance for patrons, who can then spend more time in places that they need to be. “Anybody from Block A can travel horizontally to Block D rather than having to go down to the ground floor, walk over to another block, and go up again,” he said. Some 416 retail units such as food and beverage outlets, boutiques, bistros and specialty stores will be located on the first three floors of the blocks. The ground floor will have 224 open-air parking bays, with an additional 764 covered parking bays on the third and fourth floors for have clubhouse facilities like a karatenants and patrons alike. oke and spa,” Kuay said. A wide expanse of landscaped Patrons of the 44 semi-furnished open space on the rooftops of the office suites on Block C and D will blocks will see a restaurant, gymna- be serviced by a food court convesium, and roof gardens, adding to niently located on the second floor the variety of services available. of Block B. “The fifth floor on Block B will Kuay said Block C and D have

Food and retail hub in Bukit Kemuning
Sunhor Group group managing director CT Lim (third right) digging ‘gold soil’ during the Tigaman Square groundbreaking ceremony on Sept 10. Looking on are Malaysian RetailerChains Association (MRCA) deputy president Datuk Nelson Kwok TT, MRCA president Datuk Tay Sim Kim, and LBS Bina Group Bhd executive director Datuk Daniel Lim Hock Sing.

September 23 — 25, 2011

Media 17

Father and daughter looking at a model of Tigaman Square at the Tigaman Sales Gallery in Bukit Kemuning.

already acquired an occupancy rate of about 60%, while Block A has just opened for sale and Block B will be used by Sunhor themselves. “Typical office suite units at 1,197 square feet are going for RM375 per square foot. Prices for normal retail lots range from

RM573 to RM647 per square foot,” he said. Tigaman Square will provide ease of movement for shoppers and those seeking quick meals with its eight lifts and 19 escalators. The Square is also aiming to be an irresistible people-magnet and a

future food and beverage heartland with its alfresco dining concept on the first floor. Travelling is expected to be a breeze as the Square is located less than half an hour from Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Port Klang, and Shah Alam town via various highways.

Andaman Group to hold fundraising concerts
SUBANG JAYA: Andaman Group will be organising two charity concerts this year to raise funds and awareness for SMJK(C) Sam Tet and Yayasan Pendidikan John Moh as part of its corporate social responsibility to the community. As an alumnus, Datuk Patrick Teoh, who is also executive chairperson of Andaman Group, is extending a helping hand by contributing toward these causes. All funds gathered from the two concerts will be shared equally between the two beneficiaries. The funds will be used for school maintenance, school activities, upgrading of educational facilities, as well as helping underprivileged students in need. SMJK (C) Sam Tet is an allboys’ national school located in Ipoh, Perak, and was built in 1934. Yayasan Pendidikan John Moh is a private foundation formed by the alumni of Sam Tet in 1995. The foundation was formed in recognition of Rev Brother John Moh’s tireless efforts towards bettering the school and its education standards. The charity concert in KL will be held on Oct 14 at Bentley Music Auditorium in Mutiara Damansara at 8.30pm. The two -hour concert is themed The Jazzy Sounds of Teresa Teng, and will be led by pianist and music director Tay Cher Siang, who will be aided by famed guitarist Roger Wang and Winnie Ho, a distinguished vocalist. The next concert, themed In the Mood for Love, will be held at The Syuen Hotel, Ipoh on Nov 25 at 8pm, led by vocalists Lydia Chew and Z Yan. Ticket prices for The Jazzy Sounds of Teresa Teng are RM138 and RM188, while ticket prices for In the Mood for Love are RM118 and RM168. For more details, call 0122083790 or go to www.airasiaredtix.com. Andaman Property Management Sdn Bhd is a privately owned company specialising in property development. Projects include Cova Square, Cova Villa and Cova Suites in Kota Damansara, as well as Casa Subang Service Apartments in Subang Jaya.
The grand ballroom.

Première Hotel’s first anniversary deals
KLANG: Première Hotel, the newest business-class hotel in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, will celebrate its first anniversary on Oct 1. D“In opening the hotel on Oct 10, 2010, we sought to raise the bar in standards of comfort and service for both Malaysians and international guests and help propel the tourism sector,” said WCT subsidiary BBT Hotel Sdn Bhd director Eddie Tan. “We have had an eventful year and are very grateful to the media, local community, guests, all associates, many of whom are from the original opening team. “We will continue to implement our core mission – to remain one of the preferred hotels in Klang in each segment that we serve for our associates, guests and owners,” said Tan. Since its opening, Première has gained reputation as one of the most popular spots for wedding banquets and corporate events in Klang. To celebrate its first anniversary, Première is offering the Birthday Anniversary pack filled with special offers and discounts on accommodation and food and drinks. From Oct 1 to 31, one guest will get the chance to

stay for just RM1 for the first night. One room will be given out for RM1 each day for the month of October. Guests can also enjoy a night stay in the Executive Floor accommodation for RM230 per room per night, and pay only RM1 for daily buffet breakfast, internet and mini bar for one person. It is valid for booking from Oct 1 to 31, with hotel stay from Oct 10 to 31. Terms and conditions apply. Prices are subject to 10% service charge and prevailing government taxes. In honour of the special occasion, guests dining in the hotel’s restaurants with a minimum spending of RM100 in a single receipt will also stand a chance to win a host of prizes throughout October. Featured items include a hotel stay and dining vouchers. The 18-storey, four-star business hotel has 250 guest rooms. Recreational amenities include a fitness centre equipped with high-tech work-out equipment, and an outdoor swimming pool and a spa, all located on Level 1. For more details about Première Hotel’s birthday celebrations, visit www.premiere-hotels.com.

media 18

By Brenda Ch’ng

Uni places still available at Unisel
Dr Anuar

september 23 — 25, 2011

SHAH ALAM: University Selangor (Unisel), which takes pride in providing affordable tertiary education, is offering 2,000 places for its current intake, which ends on Sept 28. “Though we are a private university, we have the lowest fees compared with other institutes. Even so, we strive to provide topquality education and facilities for the students,” said Unisel’s acting vice-chancellor, Professor Dr Anuar Ahmad. Each of the university’s campuses in Bestari Jaya, Kuala Selangor and Shah Alam will accommodate 1,000 students when courses commence in October. Among courses offered for this intake are Foundation programmes for Management, Information Technology, English as a Second Language and Science. Diploma courses include Electric and Electronic Engineering, Mekatronics and Mechanical Engineering, Information Technology, Aquaculture, Biotechnology, Biomedicine, Business and Mass Communications. Bachelor degree courses available are Engineering, Applied Mathematical Science and Statistics, Computer Science, Biomedicine, Business and Mass Communications. Those interested in Art and Design and

Diploma in Photography can also enrol in courses during December’s intake. “Unisel has over 40 doctorate-level lecturers, hired to provide quality education. Students are without a doubt getting the best quality education there is,” said Anuar. He also pointed out that Unisel has the most doctorate lecturers compared with other universities in Malaysia. Unisel has produced outstanding students who have won a number of competitions and awards. Among them is the engineering club, which emerged in first place in the CubPrix AAM Malaysia Petronas competition last March for producing the best motorbike en-

Communications building of Unisel.

gine, which was also used to win the race. Unisel also conducts several exchange programmes to Fatih University in Turkey annually. This year, 80 communications students gained valuable experience and knowledge in Turkey. “We are now looking to expanding the student exchange programme to include other faculties like nursing,” said Anuar. He said plans are already being drawn up to allow nursing students to study in Turkey next year. Anuar added that students with financial

difficulties can apply for a loan from Yayasan Selangor, for foundation, degree and diploma programmes. “Yayasan Selangor has agreed to offer a full loan for Foundation students, which can be paid back after they start working. Students should take advantage of this,” he said. In addition, the media group Karangkraf is also offering full scholarships to students, which can be applied for directly to them. Inquiries can be addressed to Unisel’s Shah Alam campus at 03-55223435 / 3436 / 3573 / 3575 or email septintake@unisel.edu.my.

Job training, placement for grads
SHAH ALAM: Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd is set to organise job training courses for Selangor graduates next month as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  The state-linked company will hold a series of courses to assist some 1,500 Selangor graduates secure employment in the job market or start their own businesses. “The main objective of the programme is to increase the knowledge, self worth and confidence of our graduates to secure jobs or to become entrepreneurs,” said Perangsang’s chief executive officer during a briefing to Members of Parliament, state lawmakers and representatives from public institutes of higher learning. Raja Idris Raja Kamarudin said the programmme, called Rangsangan Kerjaya Untuk Siswazah Selangor, aims to reduce the unemployment rate among graduates in the state. He said the courses include job placement in companies, where participants will receive on-job training during their internship period. Participants who successfully follow and complete the course will be recommended for full-time employment at the companies. For the entrepreneurial training course, there will be incentives for participants to start their own businesses upon completion. The training programme is open to all graduate- and diploma-level holders in Selangor. Training is slated to start in October and will take between two weeks and two months to complete, depending on the course. Those interested should contact Perangsang Selangor’s CSR Implementation Unit at Plaza Perangsang here, or call 03-55103999 extension 244 or 260. Alternatively they can attend the official launch of the programme, which will be officiated by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim at the SACC Convention Centre here on Sept 30.

Virtual points for real gifts at Carrefour

(From left) Ngai, with models Poo and Chia.

By Alvin Yap

Raja Idris

PETALING JAYA: Carrefour Malaysia recently launched an Apple iPhone interactive game that allows players to redeem virtual points for real gifts at their stores nationwide. “This is a natural progression of retailing,” said Carrefour marketing and communications director Ngai Yuen Low at the launch here recently. She said the WHOlah game is highly addictive and challenges players with a test on how well they know their Facebook friends. The game links to players’ Facebook pages and flashes their friends’ profile pictures. Players have to match the correct names in under 60 seconds. Players gain points that can be redeemed for

prizes at customer service counters if they correctly guess the names. Ngai said participants can redeem the prizes by showing the accumulated scores on the iPhone screen to Carrefour staff at the redemption counters. “It’s not difficult, but not that easy also, as some of our friends may change their Facebook profile pictures 20 times a day,” Ngai said. During the launch, some 40 participants played the game as part of the launch event. Malaysian supermodels Amber Chia and Chermaine Poo graced the event and also participated in the interactive game on their iPhones. The game application is free and can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/wholah.

Mexican fare at Las Carretas
By Basil Foo

SEPTEMBER 23 — 25, 2011

FOOD 19

T

he allure of exotic and spicy food drew us to try a Mexican joint in USJ Taipan one Monday night. Upon entering Las Carretas, staff ushered us to our seats and waited patiently while we read the menus – a welcome change from the usual bustle of restaurant dining. We attributed the thoughtful service to the lack of customers: there were still several occupied tables, with one birthday celebration serenaded by staff with maracas. Las Carretas looks to cater to groups of families and parties with large joinable tables and loops of old cartoons playing on television sets. The restaurant’s smoking and non-smoking sections are divided into the first and ground floors of the shop lot. As soon as we plopped ourselves into our seats surrounded by an- Complimentary tique car number plates, guitars, and nachos with salsa. cacti, a bowl of nachos with salsa on the side appeared on our table. We munched on the complimentary appetiser while perusing the menus, which were informative with descriptions of dishes, while a waiter was on hand to interpret Mexican words for us. We started our dinner proper with Benji’s Skins (RM12.50), which was two pieces of potato skin stuffed with South American lamb stew and gratinated with cheese. The browned and melted cheese complemented the potato skins in a salty mix, while the lamb stew provided the dish with some substance. But the portion seemed too small for more than two diners as the potato Costilla skins were basically two halves of a single potato. de Cordero. Spoilt for choice with a multitude of Mexican tortilla dishes like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, we settled on the quesadillas (RM24.90). slightly chewy at parts where streaks of lamb The large baked and folded flour tortilla stuffed with fat outweighed the meat. Monterey Jack cheese, onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos was However, lamb lovers would be delighted topped with salsa, sour cream and guacamole. with the heady taste of the meat, which, with Perhaps the heat of the jalapenos had dissipated when its perfect combo of savoury and juicy, temptcooking – or our Malaysian palates had been dulled by con- ed one to dive in sans cutleries. suming too much spicy food too often – but the famed chili While our bill for the night came up higher dish, however, failed to impress. than most other places we have been to, the Billed as one of several vegetarian options available, the Mexican cuisine was well worth a try and posguacamole and sour cream lent a smidgeon of flavour to the sibly a second visit to taste the other offerings Decor at Las Carretas. healthy-tasting, pancake-like dish. on the menu. Customers were given options to add minced chicken, beef or sautéed mushrooms, priced at between RM3 and RM4. We also ordered the Chili Con Carne (RM20.90), hoping to try the restaurant’s take on the Mexican rice dish. It turned out to be the night’s hit, with minced beef and kidney beans producing a miasma of earthy flavours resembling a thick satay sauce. We would recommend this to diners hankering for something more filling and wanting to try something other than the standard tortilla dishes. The other item on our list was Costilla de Cordero (RM29.90) – New Zealand lamb loin chops served with chimmi-churri dip, a South American sauce used to marinate meats. Diners being serenaded by staff. A shelf full of knick knacks. We settled for a medium-done chop, which turned out

The ground floor dining area.

Benji’s Skins.

Quesadillas.

Chili Con Carne.

travel 20

september 23 — 25, 2011 Pulau Ketam – island of floating wooden houses.

If you thought making a visit to Pulau Ketam allows for excellent adventure, think again: the real action takes place during the return journey. LIN ZHENYUAN lives – just barely – to tell the tale

I

t usually takes a lot to frighten me, but my return from Pulau Ketam (see last issue for the hair-raising details of our trip there!) left me with shaky legs. What should have been an easy departure from the island of floating houses on stilts turned out to be a nightmare. We had learnt from the “boat conductress” earlier upon our arrival that she would return with the boat at 6pm and that we should not be late. As it turned out, we were not the only ones trying to escape from the island. At 5:30pm, there were at least 250 to 300 people waiting for the ferry. The number of mainlanders trying to make their way home before the sun set was a ludicrous sight. Like before, no one was controlling the crowd. We had assumed that since Crab Island was a popular local island destination, there would be some jetty officials or authorities to put matters in order. But no – the situation turned out to be every man (and woman and child) for himself. Some stood close to the edge of the water. Others even stood on the cement steps as the waves lapped at their feet. It would have been a frightening scene had it not also been funny. Private boats and local ferries eventually showed up to pick up passengers. Some of the returnees howled in merriment at their approach, and the crowd surged forward. It was a miracle that nobody was accidentally pushed into the water. I truly feared for the children. Parents, too, pushed their way to the front of the jetty, where there was a glaring absence of any barrier to prevent an accident. The boats docked in very close quarters to each other. At one point, three wooden vessels were docked unsteadily side by side while the waves rocked them gently with mere inches between them. Our aim of returning to Port Klang on the official ferry was dashed by the pressing crowd. Moments later, we saw from a distance the same green private ferry that had brought us to the island. Some passengers who had taken the same boat ride with us spotted the “karaoke woman”, who still holding on to that hailer with a broken horn. We began shouting, laughing and waving at her. She must have felt like a celebrity: in most likelihood she had never been so popular. As the green ferry slid gently to our side of the jetty, we realised that the edge of the ferry platform and the jetty floor

Escape from Crab Island
were not level. In fact, the gap was about 12 inches, and the boat was rocking rather turbulently because of its running engine. But none of us really cared. We just wanted to get off the island. Two men who were part of the ferry crew came to pull passengers down into the boat. Fortunately, they had strong hands – but it was nevertheless a ridiculous sight. Less-thanagile middle-aged women struggled to plant their feet firmly on the floor of the vessel. When it was my turn, I wasn’t even sure I could make it, but what little courage I had left helped me to get on the boat – just barely. At least one woman froze at the edge. From her expression, it was obvious that her bravery had taken flight. She yelled amid the commotion and quickly retrieved her child from the boat. She decided she had had enough and would take her chances

with other more stable boats. Within 15 minutes, the green ferry was jam-packed. Some brave young lads forged their way to the bow, in front of the captain’s cabin. They wanted to feel the surging winds as the ferry headed back to the mainland. I was quite relieved that the entire boarding procedure, under such precarious circumstances, did not result in a single tragedy. It was a touch-and-go situation – we literally touched the boat and went. Thankfully, it was a rather leisurely cruise back to Port Klang. The superfast ferry with its powerful engines overtook us again, but I didn’t care. I was weatherbeaten, had a full belly, and fell asleep on the journey. Our escape from Crab Island was truly something to write about – so here I am, filling you in with all the sorry details.

Passengers disembarking at the Port Klang jetty after a 60-minute journey from Pulau Ketam.

One last look at the seafront view on Pulau Ketam near the jetty.

A boat pulls up near the Pulau Ketam jetty as people wait for their turn to leave the island.

The railway track at Port Klang where the commuter train takes passengers back to the city.

SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ september 23 – 25, 2011 ⁄ 21

1. LOCAL ELECTIONS
Local government should be fully responsible to the people. Should local government fail to uphold public trust, the rakyat should have the right to elect new leadership. The first local elections are planned to be in MBPJ in 2012.

2. HOUSING
The State prioritises adequate housing at reasonable prices for the people of Selangor. 140 housing projects were abandoned under the previous government. Since the current state government took over, 23 projects have been completed involving 9179 homes. Under the Estate Workers Housing Scheme, RM2 million has been allocated to build a hostel for estate workers’ children. The State Government is committed to develop affordable homes (850 - 1000 sq ft) priced around RM100,000 for families earning between RM2,500 & RM5,000. A total of 11,000 units will be built each year in areas like Bangi, Ulu Selangor, Gombak, Kota Kemuning, Hulu Langat, Subang and Shah Alam.

4. MINIMUM WAGE
People who work are entitled to wages which are sufficient and appropriate to the increasing cost of daily needs. In accordance with the Pakatan Rakyat policy on minimum wage, the state will implement a minimum wage of RM 1,500 for all state subsidiaries effective January 1, 2012.

5. INFRASTRUCTURE
Functioning and well maintained infrastructure is a basic right of all. A total of RM1 million was allocated to the each state constituency for the maintenance of roads, drains, and bridges under local council supervision. RM5 million has been allocated for the development and improvement of streets in new villages while another RM 4 million has been allocated for maintenance of roads in traditional villages.

3. SECURITY
The State Government will facilitate collaboration with residents and the private sector to finance private security. The pilot project will be held in Subang Jaya. The State Government will continue to offer auxilliary police to assist the police to provide safety of the people in Selangor A total of RM 3 million has been allocated for the installation of CCTVs.

Agenda Selangorku Was officiated by the Dato’ Menteri Besar, YAB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim on Sept 16, 2011, in conjunction with the state’s National Day n Malaysia Day Celebration.

Gallery 22
September 23 — 25, 2011

Food galore at state executive councillor Iskandar Samad’s open house last Sunday.

Executive councillor and Sri Andalas assemblyperson Dr Xavier Jayakumar handing out 500 packets of duit raya to children during a Hari Raya open house at Taman Teluk Menegon in Klang on Sunday.

Executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah (centre with green lantern) at a Lantern Festival celebration at Pusat Perdagangan Seri Kembangan on Sept 10.

Children performing a dance during a Lantern Festival celebration attended by 2,000 residents in USJ 1 last Friday.

Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh helping a senior citizen with his purchases at Giant Kelang Jaya last Saturday, during a shopping expedition organised as part of the state’s Jom Shopping programme.

Youths and people with disabilities were invited to attend a Malaysia Day gathering at the Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve last Sunday. Among those present were Friends of Kota Damansara chair Jeffrey Phang (seated in green) and local councillor T Anthony (seated in red).

Culture 23
September 23 — 25, 2011

Editor’s Pick
Musical; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; Sept 28-Oct 1; 03-40479000, www.klpac.org; RM28
SHORT + Sweet Theatre was founded at the Newtown Theatre in Sydney, Australia in January 2002 by Mark Cleary, beginning with the first ever Short + Sweet Theatre festival. Now into its 10th year, it is touted as the biggest festival of ten-minute theatre in the world, held annually in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Auckland, Singapore, and, of course, Kuala Lumpur. Here, the festival is hosted by the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, and this year’s event kicks off next week with Short + Sweet Musical, now into its second year following its successful inaugural run in 2010. This will be followed by Short + Sweet Dance and Short + Sweet Theatre, which run from Oct 5-16 and Oct 19-30 respectively. Short + Sweet Musical will feature ten musicals – written, composed and performed by local artistes and performers – that each run for ten minutes or less. Participants stand a chance to win prizes in a host of categories – Best Libretto, Best Composition, Best Lead Actor (Male), Best Lead Actor (Female), Best Supporting Actor (Male), Best Supporting Actor (Female), Best Overall Production, Audience’s Choice, and a new category, Best Glitz and Glamour – as well as the People’s Choice award, which allows audiences to vote for their favourite musical. Here’s the line-up for this year’s event: 1) Remember Me – Music by Jun Ishida, lyrics by Catherine Ooi; directed by Nicole Allison Ng: “If I’m out of sight, does that mean I’m out of mind? If I pay the price, will I get a second chance? How long will you remember me – a day, a year, or until I’m free?” 2) A Taste of Love – Music and lyrics by Aaron Lo; directed by Eugene Ng: “In the pursuit of their usual (not to mention morbid) gastronomical choice, one widowed woman and her daughter discover that there is nothing quite like the taste of love.” 3) Late: As Usual-Lah – MJ music re-arranged by Joanna Marie Gough, lyrics by Andre Dynesh D’Cruz & Joanna Marie Gough; directed by Kathleen Kang: “Revolves around the reasons Malaysians are always late, using MJ music to groove towards the momentum.”

Short+Sweet Musical 2011

CALeNDAr

Compiled by Nick Choo Send your events to: nick@selangortimes.com

Just a Dream – The Green Play
4) My Prince Will Come – Music by Fatihah Yaacob, lyrics by Terence Toh; directed by BB Ostella Adam: “A lovely princess, a brave hero, an evil villain. But, just because you’re a fairytale character, it doesn’t mean that you have to act like one!” 5) (I Guess) I Do – Music and lyrics by Sergio Camacho; directed by Melinya Sarah DeRich: “Sorry, I am the Worst Man to write a synopsis… it is about a wedding, a groom, a bride, oh, yes, and about me. I think he loves her (who wouldn’t!). Well, I guess, I also do… (Signed: the Best Man).” 6) Meanwhile… – Music by Hana Mazlan, lyrics by Jit Yang & Banun Atina; directed by Jit Yang & Banun Atina. 7) The Moment After – Music by Kamahlaan Thiagarajan, lyrics by Jude James; directed by Jude James. 8) Oriental Takeout – Music by Clarence Chua, lyrics by Freddy Tan; directed by Kimmy Khiew: “In the path of looking for love and companionship, a Sheldon Cooper-like genius (a.k.a SuperGeek) has decided to call in an Oriental escort. Hmmm…” 9) Tweet About It! – Music by Bahar Royaee & Natasha Ejaz, lyrics by Natasha Ejaz; directed by Natasha Ejaz. “A paranoid girlfriend finds questionable comments on her boyfriend’s Facebook wall, wrecking havoc in the realm of her imagination. Watch modern relationships unfold their many nuances in 10 insane minutes.” 10) Float N’Sync: The Rise N’Fall of the Bad Streak Boys – Music and lyrics by Nick Choo; directed by Nicole-Ann Thomas; choreography by Judimar Hernandez. “They’re the quintessential boy band with a smash track record – until one of them decides to put them all in jeopardy by taking a big, bold step…”

Theatre; 15-24 Sept; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; www.klpac. org, 03-40479000; RM63/RM38
Presented by Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company in association with Adventure Theatre Washington DC. When it comes to the environment, young Walter is far from enlightened. He’s a litterbug who believes sorting trash is a big waste of time. But one night, Walter dreams about a very different future. Filled with humour and fantasy, Walter’s dream is a wake-up call for him – and all of us – about what we need to do to protect and preserve the future of our planet. This original eco-play uses magical stage effects and lush soundscapes to create a theatrical version of Chris Van Allsburg’s beautiful illustrations, author of The Polar Express and Jumanji. All production materials (costumes, props and sets) will be made of earth-friendly and recycled materials. Recommended for fourto 10-year-olds.

The Children’s Theatre
Theatre; 26-30 Sept; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10; www. theactorsstudio.com.my, 03-2142 2009; RM10 Double bill of Little Red Riding Hood and Jack & The Beanstalk – an interactive theatre experience to give children an introduction to the performing arts. Featuring colourful visuals, energetic action and lots of pantomime. Directed by Sham Sunder Binwani.

Much Ado About Nothing
Theatre; 22-25 Sept; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10; www. theactorsstudio.com. my, 03-2142 2009; RM23/RM13
The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre’s T4YP 2011 ensemble presents its last performance for the season, paying tribute to the Bard. “Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero are deeply in love. Beatrice and Benedick are deeply in denial. All is well. Then Claudio humiliates Hero. Hero has a fainting attack and pretends to die. And Beatrice and Benedick join forces with a vengeance.” Christopher Ling directs Shakespeare’s sharp, smart comedy about men and women and what it takes to make love happen.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim presenting the mock cheques to the winners.

In Perfect Harmony

By Basil Foo

Aswara dancers win big at Young Talent awards

SHAH ALAM: Two dancers from the Aswara Dance Company managed a clean sweep at the Selangor Young Talents Awards Ceremony 2011. Mohd Yunus Ismail and Norbaizura Abdul Ghani raked in all three awards in their category, including Category winner, Special Jury award and Grant awards. They came away with cash prizes amounting to RM3,000 for Category winner, and RM5,000 for the Special Jury Award. Their talent was further recognised as a grant of up to RM20,000 was awarded for their production activi-

ties, education, and other related costs. The awards ceremony was judged by a panel of artists, curators and activists, including Eddin Khoo, Hishamuddin Rais, Leng Poh Gee, and Uthayasuria. The awards were divided into four sections – Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Music (Vocal), and Performing Arts, which includes Dance, Theatre, and Music. The Selangor Youth Talents Awards were initiated in 2010 with the aim of recognising young talented Malaysians from across the country and those practicing their art overseas. This year’s ceremony was held at the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) hall on Sept 17.

Theatre/Music; 6-23 Oct; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; www. klpac.org, 03-40479000, www.damaorchestra.com; RM93-RM303
Set against the backdrop of a radio broadcasting station, this musical concert production pays homage to the multitude of popular music that tugged at our heart strings in the last four decades. It’s a showcase of fabulous songs and dances. Exquisite vocals. Great music. Superb fun and entertainment all the way. Featuring Chang Fang Chyi, Tria Aziz and Tan Soo Suan, with special guest appearances by Zainal Abidin (6-9 Oct), Sean Ghazi (12-16 Oct), David Arumugam (19-23 Oct) and The Seasons 4 (12, 16, 19, 23 Oct). Presented by Dama Orchestra.

Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor

KENYATAAN TENDER TERBUKA
CADANGAN PEMBANGUNAN KOMPLEKS PEJABAT 4 - 8 TINGKAT BERSERTA 1 TINGKAT TEMPAT LETAK KERETA SUB-BESMEN YANG MENGANDUNGI :
i) ii) iii) iv) v) BLOK A - 8 TINGKAT RUANG PEJABAT BERSERTA RUANG PAMERAN DI ARAS TANAH, AUDITORIUM DAN RUANG LEGAR DI ARAS 2, DEWAN BANKUASI DAN RUANG LEGAR DI ARAS 4 DAN SURAU DI ARAS 7. BLOK B - 8 TINGKAT RUANG PEJABAT BERSERTA RUANG KOMERSIAL DI ARAS TANAH BLOK C - 6 TINGKAT RUANG PEJABAT BERSERTA RUANG KOMERSIAL DI ARAS TANAH BLOK D - 4 TINGKAT RUANG PEJABAT BERSERTA RUANG KOMERSIAL DI ARAS TANAH, GIMNASIUM DI ARAS 2 DAN SURAU DI ARAS 1 1 UNIT PENCAWANG ELEKTRIK DAN RUMAH SAMPAH DI ARAS TANAH DI ATAS PT 43, PRECINCT 8.8 JALAN INDAH, SEKSYEN 14, 40000 SHAH ALAM, DAERAH PETALING, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN UNTUK TETUAN PERBADANAN KEMAJUAN NEGERI SELANGOR. - KERJA-KERJA BANGUNAN DAN KERJA-KERJA INFRASTRUKTUR Tender adalah dipelawa dan terbuka kepada Kontraktor-kontraktor yang berdaftar dengan Pusat Khidmat Kontraktor (PKK) dan Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan Malaysia (LPIPM/CIDB) dalam kelas dan gred pendaftaran yang berkaitan serta masih dibenarkan membuat tawaran pada masa ini bagi kerja-kerja berikut:-

BUTIR-BUTIR TAWARAN No. Kontrak PKNS/IP/SA/KON9/2011

HARGA DOKUMEN TAWARAN RM3,000.00

TEMPAT DAN TARIKH DOKUMEN DIJUAL BAHAGIAN PEROLEHAN, TINGKAT 7, MENARA HPAIC, SEKSYEN 13, SHAH ALAM Pada : 15 September 2011 Hingga 29 September 2011

SYARAT PENDAFTARAN PKK : Kelas A Kepala I Sub Kepala 1 Kepala II Sub Kepala 2b Kepala III Sub Kepala 3, 4 CIDB : Gred G7

TARIKH DAN TEMPAT LAWATAN TAPAK Berkumpul Di : BILIK GERAKAN, TINGKAT 9, MENARA HPAIC, SEKSYEN 13, SHAH ALAM Pada : 15 September 2011 (Selepas Taklimat)

TARIKH TENDER DITUTUP 06 Oktober 2011 Jam 12.00 Tengahari

Taklimat akan diadakan pada 15 September 2011 jam 10.30 pagi bertempat di BILIK GERAKAN, TINGKAT 9, MENARA HPAIC, LAMAN SERI BUSINESS PARK, NO. 7, PERSIARAN SUKAN, SEKSYEN 13, 40100 SHAH ALAM. Kehadiran adalah DIWAJIBKAN. Naskah meja tawaran boleh disemak di Bahagian Perolehan, Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor pada waktu pejabat bermula 15 September 2011. Bayaran Dokumen Tawaran hendaklah dibuat dalam bentuk Draf Bank atau Kiriman Wang di atas nama Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (bayaran ini tidak akan dikembalikan). Kontraktor dikehendaki membawa Sijil Pendaftaran Asal Pusat Khidmat Kontraktor (PKK) dan Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan Malaysia (CIDB) dan satu salinan bagi kedua-dua Sijil tersebut semasa membeli dokumen tender. Dokumen Tawaran Tender yang telah lengkap diisi hendaklah dimasukkan ke dalam sampul surat bermeteri dan dimasukkan ke dalam Peti Tender di alamat:BAHAGIAN PEROLEHAN PERBADANAN KEMAJUAN NEGERI SELANGOR TINGKAT 7, MENARA HPAIC LAMAN SERI BUSINESS PARK NO. 7, PERSIARAN SUKAN SEKSYEN 13 40100 SHAH ALAM, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN

Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.

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