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Fisherfolk falling prey to pirates
The sTruggle for academic freedom
12 & 13
November 18 — 20, 2011/ issue 49
Land flip exposed
By gan Pei ling
shah alam: Opposition leader Datuk Satim Diman and a private developer made millions in profit via questionable land deals in 2006, the state assembly was told this week. Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the state had allocated 80 acres of land for the solar valley Science Park II at no cost to the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS). “PKPS then sold the land to Nikmat Inai Sdn Bhd, where Satim is a shareholder and director. But before the company had even completed payment to PKPS, the land was re-sold to PKNS (Selangor Development Corporation),” said the Menteri Besar. PKPS sold the land for RM6.5 million to Nikmat Inai, who in turn sold the land at more than double the original price to PKNS. According to the sales and purchase agreement dated Aug 10, 2006, Nikmat Inai sold the land for over RM19.2 million to PKNS. In the process, Nikmat Inai made at least RM12.7 million. “PKNS could have bought the
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Seri Setia assemblyperson Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (third right), Glenmarie Court Homeowners Association president David Ting (far left), and residents within their housing area looking at a proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) line to be built only 40m away from their homes. Story on Page 16.
Fisherfolk falling prey to pirates
M-16 weapons, could be members of Indonesian maritime authorities. The pirates raid local fishing boats before taking them over to the Indonesian border. The victims face death and their trawlers destroyed unless ransoms are paid, while some are killed and their bodies tossed overboard. Ng said although police reports have been lodged, the fisherfolk are still living in fear. “What is the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) doing about this? Why aren’t they at the scene protecting our fisher[folk]?” asked Ng. He said the MMEA have claim they are short-staffed and lack proper equipment to tackle the problem. As a result, fisherfolk have resorted to paying protection money to ply their trade safely. “I was told that this monthly fee paid sums up to hundreds of thousands each,” said Ng. He urged Putrajaya must engage their Indonesian counterpart to put a stop to the problem. He also called on the government to provide the MMEA with better equipment to keep local waters safe for fisherfolk.
November 18 — 20, 2011
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By Brenda Ch’ng
SHAH ALAM: Modern-day pirates in the Straits of Malacca are proving to be a scourge to fisherfolk, and state lawmakers are calling for action. A motion for the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protect the fisherfolk was tabled by Ng Suee Lim (pic) and passed by the House. “I received at least 12 cases of extortion a year from fisher[folk] in Sekinchan, who claim they have to pay ransom of RM80,000 to RM120,000 to the pirates just to save themselves,” said the Sekinchan lawmaker. Ng believes the pirates, whom he said are fully equipped with
No state elections before June 2012
By Gan Pei Ling
Friday Morning Saturday Sunday
ov 26, Come N Times will r Selango ng its first rati be celeb . We invite our ry n ersa ith us arenivers to write in swons ive ad G e ti as, sugg r views their idoenstructive feedback you d, and c the would like he Goo on how mmyunity paper to –t co to the Bad their Email your thoughts be. @ and the newsdeosrkimes.com. t selang gly
SHAH ALAM: Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim yesterday said Selangor's state assembly will not be dissolved before June next year. “We don’t want to shortchange the rakyat; we want to fulfill the promises made in the budget,” said the Menteri Besar after the state assembly sitting (pic above). He added that the state needed at least six months to implement measures under the state’s 2012 Budget. A total of RM1.9 billion has been allocated, with RM1 billion for operating expenditure and another RM600 million for development. A further RM300 million for social programmes will be funded by dividends from state-linked companies. Selangor also became the first state to introduce RM1,500 minimum wage for employees of state-owned companies.
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
State has lost millions in land premium
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land directly from PKPS,” said Khalid’s political secretary, Faekah Husin. She urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the case. At that time, Satim held a 30% share in Nikmat Inai while developer Talam Corporation Bhd’s subsidiary Supreme Precious Sdn Bhd owned the remaining 70%. Based on documents shown to Selangor Times, Nikmat Inai then had three members sitting on its board of directors – Satim, Jasni Othman and Theong Meow Nam. Khalid described the episode as “shameful” while winding up the budget. When contacted by Selangor Times, Satim declined to
comment on the disclosures, saying the expose was merely an attempt by Khalid to “provoke” him. In another case, a former Menteri Besar, a wife of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister and local political leaders are alleged to have received land in Alam Perdana during the Revolusi Hijau policy. “The land was sold to Barisan Elit (Sdn Bhd) to build an industrial park even though the land status remained agricultural. The project went ahead while the state lost millions in land premium,” said Khalid at the Selangor state assembly. The current state administration finally compelled Barisan Elit to change its land status from agriculture to industrial in accordance to law and paid RM29 million in land premium.
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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ 3
November 18 — 20, 2011
Dengue cases, deaths down
SHAH ALAM: A 52% decrease in dengue cases (6,515) have been reported so far in Selangor this year compared with 15,199 cases last year. “Deaths due to the disease has also dropped 82%, from 42 deaths in 2010 to only eight so far. “There is a decrease thanks to improved implementation of various prevention strategies to combat dengue here,” said state executive councillor for health Dr Xavier Jayakumar. These include anti-dengue campaigns especially at hotspots in Hulu Langat and Klang. The state is also coordinating efforts between local councils and district health officers during monthly meetings to contain dengue. Dr Xavier Jayakumar (PKR-Sri Andalas) was speaking during his winding-up speech at the state assembly on Tuesday. “The four major districts with the most dengue cases recorded this year is at Petaling with 1,674 cases, Hulu Langat with 1,649, Gombak 1,334, and Klang with 1,116 cases,” he said. He also urged the public to make sure their house compound is clean and clear of stagnant water. As a preventive measure, residents should organise more frequent group clean-up sessions in their neighbourhoods to ensure their areas are free of Aedes mosquitoes.
State to curb property speculation
By Chong Loo Wah and Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Selangor is exploring ways to control property prices and punish unethical developers who reap huge profits from buyers. “The state is very concerned as we have received many complaints. Rising housing prices are burdening the people,” said Iskandar Samad at the state assembly on Wednesday. The executive councillor for housing said some unscrupulous developers claim their units are sold out to drive up prices. “We cannot limit property prices except for low- to medium-cost houses, but we’re looking into blacklisting such developers,” said the Cempaka assemblyperson. Iskandar said the Menteri Besar, in his budget speech, had mentioned that Selangor was trying to find a mechanism to act against errant developers. Iskandar was responding to a question from Dr Shafie Abu Bakar (Bangi-Pas) on the state’s plan to help ordinary people buy houses. Shafie mentioned that due to speculation, a shophouse worth RM800,000 may cost RM1.2 million within a short period of time. Iskandar added that the state also has a policy mandating property
developers in the Klang Valley to reserve 50% of the construction for low- to medium-cost houses for projects comprising more than 10 acres. For projects in an area of two to 10 acres with in the Klang Valley, 30% of the development must be for medium-cost housing. Development on more than 10 acres outside the Klang Valley must reserve 40% of homes for low- to medium-cost units.
Areas Within Klang Valley (city or municipality)
Housing 20% low-cost 20% medium low-cost 10% medium-cost Others
Price limit (RM) 42,000 72,000 100,000 N/A 35,000 60,000 85,000 N/A 30,000 50,000 70,000 N/A
Within Klang Valley (districts)
20% low-cost 20% medium low-cost 10% medium-cost Others
Outside Klang Valley
20% low-cost 10% medium low-cost 10% medium cost Others
Improved income Funds for entrepreneurs for needy
SHAH ALAM: Some 2,917 entrepreneurs who were part of the state’s Business Empowerment Programme have successfully doubled their salary to over RM10,000 a month. “ T h e e m p o w e rm e nt p r o gramme, targeted at businesspersons involved in retail, eateries, services and development, is designed to improve their services and production quality. “According to data from the programme, about 80% of the participants are now earning an income up to RM10,000 a month; 15% earning up to RM20,000 a month ; and 5% g etting over
Councils MPAJ MPK MPSe MPKj MDKL MBPJ MBSA MDSB MDKS MPSJ MDHS MPS Date April 12 April 12 April 12 May 4 May 5 May 7 May 12 May 19 May 24 May 30 June 2 June 16 Venue MPAJ’s auditorium Dewan Hamzah Dewan Serbaguna, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi Dewan Bandaran Kajang Dewan Sri Jugra Dewan Sivik Wisma MBSA Dewan Sri Bernam Stadium Tertutup Dewan Serbaguna Batu 14, Puchong Dewan Dato’ Abdul Hamid, Batang Kali Dewan Beringin, Taman Seri Gombak
RM20,000,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (pic). Most are getting an increase between 40% and 130% as compared with their previous salary, said Khalid (PKR-Ijok), responding to a question by Datuk Raja Ideris Raja Ahmad (BN-Sungai Air Tawar). He said the increased monhtly income they generate is from sales revenue. The state has been working with local councils to provide courses such as business management, marketing, financial planning , and business planing for entrepreneurs.
Particpants 299 120 220 310 152 248 180 305 320 216 287 260
SHAH ALAM: Some 22,960 first-year university students from lower-income families have to date received RM1,000 each from the state under a scheme to help them cope with their tertiary education. “The scheme, Hadiah Anak Masuk Universiti, is open to students from families earning a monthly household income of RM1,500 or less. “As of Sept 30, we received 30,651 applications, but not all received the funds because some have incomplete documents, while some applicants were not eligible,” said state executive councillor for education Dr Halimah Ali. A total of 725 applications were rejected because forms were incomplete, while 7,830 other applications were rejected because they didn’t fulfill the requirements. Among the requirements are that the applicant must be a fulltime, first-year Malaysian student of an approved course, and both parents must be from Selangor. Dr Halimah (PAS-Selat Klang) said no applicant was rejected because of race, in response to a question from Yap Ee Wah (MCASungai Pelek), who also wanted to know how many applicants were rejected in his area. “Seventy applicants were rejected because they didn’t fulfill requirements,” said Dr Halimah.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ 5
november 18 — 20, 2011
More burial grounds for all races
By Brenda Ch’ng
Councils MBSA MBPJ MPSJ MPK MPAJ MPS MPSpg MPKj MDSB MDKS MDKL MDHS Total
SHAH ALAM: Four plots have been identified in Selangor as possible sites for integrated cemeteries for all races. The sites, in Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya and Kajang, may be earmarked to cater to demands for burial land until 2050. “This proposal will be further discussed in the state executive councillor meeting to determine if it is suitable,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (PKR-Ijok) in reply to a question by Lee Ying Ha (DAP-Teratai). A plot in Sungai Buloh will cater to Petaling Jaya, two plots in Sepang for Subang Jaya, and another in Hulu Semenyih for Kajang. Khalid said these areas are selected based on the Cemetery Inventory Report until 2050 prepared by the state, which lists all cemeteries in Selangor. According to the report, 1,798.54 acres of land were gazetted as burial grounds in 2010.
Another 2,314.25 acres of land will be gazetted as burial grounds and divided based on the inventory report and the total population in each zone. The size of burial grounds in each area is calculated based the size of development in the area. For example, for every 250 acres of development, there has to be at least eight acres of gazetted burial ground. For developments less then 250 acres, developers can choose not to allocate land for burial grounds, but have to pay a fee to the state’s burial trust fund. This fee will be used to source and fund an alternative burial ground away from the development. As of November 2010, the state burial fund has been revised, and developers are now charged RM500 per house in Petaling, Klang, Gombak, Hulu Langat, Sepang and Kuala Langat. Developers in the Kuala Selangor, Sabak Bernam and Hulu Selangor districts will be charged RM300 per house.
Gazetted land To be gazetted (acres) (acres) 132.51 175.37 6.00 98.40 21.978 79.325 265.40 148.48 5.053 67.88 123.14 256.32 145.86 191.59 145.86 648.59 154.13 63.05 335.90 111 182.73 99.85 279.99 374.42 1,798.54 2,314.25
Alam Flora contractors retained until year end
SHAH ALAM: All local authorities in Selangor will retain existing Alam Flora Sdn Bhd contractors until Dec 31 before new selection is made via open tenders. “Open-tender process will be used to select contractors next year, so it’s easier to monitor them and fire underperforming ones,” said Ronnie Liu. The state executive councillor for local government said solid-waste management contractors will no longer be allowed to subcontract the work. Liu pointed out that it was harder to monitor the sub-contractors’ performance and contact them in the event of a complaint. Sub-contractors, as used by Alam Flora previously, are third parties that only answer to the main contractors hired by local councils. “This applies to all cleaning and rubbish collecting services undertaken by the council,” he said, responding to questions raised by Datuk Amiruddin Setro (BN-Jeram) and Hannah Yeoh (DAP Subang Jaya). Liu also assured Datuk Mohd Shamsudin Lias (BN-Sungai Burong) and Datuk Abdul Rahman Palil (BN-Sementa) that the councils are coping well with rubbish collection and cleaning services. “Some councils in the urban area are even extending their rubbish-collection services in both commercial and residential areas,” he said. For example, the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has scheduled their rubbish collection to three times a week in residential areas and six times a week in commercial areas. Liu further assured them that the councils have sufficient rubbish-collection and cleaning facilities to take over from the solid-waste concessionaire. MPK, for instance, has about 50 rubbish collection and cleaning staff, multiple onetonne, five-tonne and seven-tonne lorries, and 10 motorcycles with sidecars to carry out the task, he said. “The state will always look for ways to improve rubbish collection in both the urban and rural areas like Hulu Selangor and Sabak Bernam,” Liu added. These methods include constant monitoring by the council, and having more frequent schedules for rubbish collection.
Federal GLC yet to pay for forest reserve destruction
SHAH ALAM: Government-linked company North West Integrated Agricultural Development Agency (IADA) has been urged to settle fines issued last year for encroaching on forest reserve land. State executive councillor Elizabeth Wong informed the state assembly that the project, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries (MOA), had an outstanding compound of RM650,000. The fines were issued when IADA was found to have trespassed into two forest reserves in Hulu Selangor and Pantai Klang. This resulted in the felling of trees, as well as habitat loss and death of wildlife at the reserves when the land was cleared for agriculture. “In total, they encroached on 108.8 hectares of forest which had been gazetted as a permanent forest reserve,” said Elizabeth Wong (PKR-Bukit Lanjan). She was responding to a question by Lee Kim Sin (PKR-Kajang). The intrusion was detected by the State Forestry Department, and a decision was made by the state to seize all equipment and machinery used by IADA. To date, IADA has only paid to get their their machinery back, but has not settled the compound. To prevent further encroachment, the state Forestry Department will be enhancing their monitoring process to prevent illegal logging. This includes surveillance from the air, and collaboration with state agencies. The state is also striving to protect forest animals that are nearing extinction. “To protect the endangered species, the state has worked with the state’s
Wong: Selangor has allocated RM5 million to protect and conserve the environment.
Department of Wildlife and National Park and banned all pet shops and restaurants from selling endangered animals,” said Wong. Among endangered species found in forests are sambar deer, flying foxes, bearded pigs, tapirs and gibbons. “The state has also recently allocated RM5 million, under the Selangorku budget, to be used for protecting and conserving the environment,” Wong said. This fund will further help the respective environmental department conduct a biodiversity audit and carry out projects to identify all wildlife species found in the forest.
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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ 7
8 ⁄ November 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES
THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT ON LOT PT7, SECTION 14, BANDAR SHAH ALAM, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN
Yayasan Selangor (Yayasan) is a wholly-owned Selangor State Government body in Malaysia solely formed in November, 1970 to cater for the need of education for rural students to bring them on par with their counterparts in the urban areas. To this end the Yayasan has always been maximising the potentials of their properties and fixed assets to generate income to fund the running of their educational facilities as well as the students’sustenance. Yayasan owns a piece of land on Lot PT 7, Section 14, Bandar Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan. This 1.14 acre (498,48S.F) land sits within a residential, education and commercial area with huge potential for development within the Shah Alam city. Yayasan realise the natural ever increasing demand for high end convention/function halls for, inter alia, weddings, social events, conventions and seminars to serve the various needs of the above mentioned mixed social make up of this community. A state of the art Convention/ Multi Functions Center is the only solution. The Yayasan is inviting creative and financially sound developers to cash in in this practically endemic social need by bidding for financing, building and operating (BOT) the Convention/ Multi Functions Center. Essentially, the proposed design shall adopt the podium and a single tower block concept; the tower block to accomodate patrons/guests of functions held as well as sufficient car parks to match. Bid documents shall be obtained from: Yayasan Selangor, Tingkat 16, Menara Yayasan Selangor, 18A, Persiaran Barat, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan 03 – 79551212 www.yayasanselangor.org.my from Tuesday 22nd November, 2011. Completed Bid Documents are to be submitted to the Yayasan Selangor Bidding Box on the 18th Floor of the Menara Yayasan Selangor by 12.00 noon on Tuesday 3rd January 2012. Bidders shall be charged a documentation fee of Ringgit Malaysia: Two Thousand Five Hundred only (RM2,500.00) in the form of a banker’s draft in favour of Yayasan Selangor which shall be non-refundable. A Tender Briefing is to be conducted on Tuesday 29th November 2011 at 10.00 a.m. at the Yayasan Selangor Meeting Room on the 18th Floor , Menara Yayasan Selangor.
Klang MP: Student handouts premature
By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: Putrajaya’s rush to hand out RM100 aid to each student from funds allocated for next year’s budget is unconstitutional, according to Charles Santiago. The Klang Member of Parliament said on Wednesday the 2012 Budget has not even been passed by Parliament. “The debate is still going on in Parliament today (Wednesday), but some schools are already giving out the RM100 to students since yesterday (Tuesday),” he said at a press conference at his office here. Santiago claimed the federal government was acting prematurely, apart from criticising the move to allow students to use the money as they wish. “The RM100 should have been a cash voucher for school necessities,” he said. Putrajaya had proposed to allocate RM530 million for the one-off payout to 5.3 million students. “Where is the money coming from since the budget is not approved yet?” he asked.
Santiago has also been receiving complaints from residents claiming that they are not being paid monthly allowances by the Social Welfare Department. “Some residents say they are only being paid half, while some are not being paid at all. When recipients asked why, they were told the money was being used for something else,” he said. Santiago did not discount the possibility of Putrajaya using money meant for welfare to pay students. Since Tuesday, police have been asked to escort school heads to banks to collect the money for their students. “The government is actually encouraging the public to break the law,” he said. Santiago said he supported the idea of helping students, but the proper procedures have to be followed. Joining him at the press conference were Klang councillors Yew Boon Lye, Nalan M Muniandy and V Raju along with residents.
More land for non-Muslim places of worship
Liu (centre) presenting mock cheques to members of Buddhist, Hindu and Christian associations.
SHAH ALAM: A total of 190 plots of state land have been approved by Selangor to relocate dilapidated non-Muslim places of worship since 2008. “We’ve decided to give them new land because their buildings are decrepit and it will take a lot of money to repair them,” said state executive councillor for local councils Ronnie Liu. Liu is also pushing for a RM6 million allocation for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades at these places. This year, the state has allocated only RM4 million to aid Chinese and Hindu temples and churches. “The money will be given and divided according to priority,” said Liu at a press
conference. For example, he said, RM50,000 would given to temples that are rebuilding on new land; RM10,000 to RM30,000 for repairs and upgrades; and RM5,000 to RM7,000 for activities and festivals. On Tuesday, Liu gave out RM292,500 from the RM4 million allocation to 19 temples and churches at the state secretariat. Sixteen cheques were given to Chinese temples and associations, one for a church and two for Hindu temples in Kuala Langat, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Rawang and Dengkil. Liu urged other temples and churches to apply for the funds if they need financial help.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ 9
Urban jungle among USJ homes
By Brenda Ch’ng
november 18 — 20, 2011
SUBANG JAYA: A fresh patch of green is emerging among residential homes in USJ3A thanks to a push by locals for an urban jungle in their backyards. Last Friday, residents and students planted 1,111 trees during the soft launch of the state’s first urban forest at Persiaran Setia. The saplings will fill part of the 7.861 acres of green lung, the size of eight football fields, which has been gazetted as a green recreational land called the Urban Community Forest. The unused plot, owned by Subang Jaya Municipal Council, sits between residential homes in USJ3A and USJ3C. “This jungle will be both recreational and educational for children to learn about forest trees and rare species,” said MPSJ president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi. The RM3 million project will be completed in phases next year, and will include facilities such as a jogging track, gazebo and a picnic area. “We are targeting to plant up to 10,000 trees in the forest by next year, to fill the land and to reduce carbon footprint,” said Asmawi. Each sapling costs RM100 and was donated by various organisations. MPSJ has also engaged the State Forestry Department,
Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and Malaysian Institute of Planers (MIP) to be advisers for this project. The urban forest, mooted by the USJ residents committee, has now been included in MPSJ’s 2011-2012 strategic plan, which calls for more trees to be planted in the municipality. The site was chosen by the residents who wanted to prevent overdevelopment. “The [residents committee] has fought real hard over the years to preserve any green land they see in their neighbourhood and have been pushing for it,” said MPSJ councillor R Rajiv. Rajiv, who is the chairperson of the residents committee in his area, commended MPSJ for cooperating with the community. Joining them at the tree-planting event was Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, who hoped that other councils would similarly set aside land for an urban forest in their area. “It is important for a developed city to have an urban jungle as children do not even know what a forest is anymore,” she said. Yeoh said to make that happen, communities should fight hard for sustainable development to preserve land and gazette it as a green area. “Other councils can even add animals or fruit trees in their urban jungle,” she said.
MPSJ president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi (second right) planting a tree with MPSJ councillor R Rajiv (beside Asmawi) with Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne (standing second right), Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh (third right) and USJ residents.
Subang residents, schools seek aid after freak storm
By Basil Foo
SUBANG JAYA: Residents of the USJ 1 Angsana low-cost flats and the USJ 15 Sekolah Wawasan are seeking help after a recent freak storm blew the tops off buildings. “We found 16 cars and 18 flat units damaged by the storm so far. There may be more as we are still checking,” said Rosli Mohd. The Zone 4 residents committee member spoke to reporters at the flats on Monday morning. The flats experienced heavy rain and strong winds on Sunday afternoon, which flung tiles off 12-storey roofs and smashed them onto vehicles parked below. “The rain poured through the tile-less roof and damaged a bed, shelf, and television set in my home,” said Misry Bugiman. The 35-year-old car technician was out for work when the storm hit his unit on the top floor, which sent his wife and two children scrambling for buckets to contain the deluge. Rosimah Pilus, who lives a few doors away, told of discovering a flood in her home several inches high upon returning from work. “I hope action will be taken to repair the roof quickly as I’m scared it will rain again,” said the 36-yearold accounts clerk. Tiles lifted off roofs were sent crashing through two windows and the ceiling of a community kindergarten on the ground floor. Kindergarten helper Yuswita Yusof said roof tiles broke through windows in the main hall and bathroom, and the ceiling of a classroom. “Parents were notified of the damage, and classes might have to be halted until repair work is completed,” she added. Also at the flats were Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) officers and Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, who pledged to facilitate help for the residents. Yeoh urged the flat’s Joint Management Body ( JMB) to compile a report on the repair costs for her to forward to the MPSJ and Land Office. “I will speak to the MPSJ president and the Natural Disaster Taskforce in the Land Office to see how they
Storm damage at SJK(C) Tun Tan Cheng Lock.
Gated community steps up security after break-in
Storm damage at the kindergarten in the USJ 1 Angsana low-cost flats.
can help,” she said. Meanwhile, the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the USJ 15 Sekolah Wawasan is also seeking help as their school was badly hit by the storm. The Sekolah Wawasan is made up of three schools: SK Dato Onn Jaafar, SJK(T) Tun Sambanthan, and SJK(C) Tun Tan Cheng Lock. “We were worse hit on the top floor with seven classrooms damaged. Classes are now conducted in the multipurpose hall for safety reasons,” said Wong Kuan Yu. Wong, who is the SJK(C) Tun Tan Cheng Lock (TTCL) PTA president, said he hoped the Ministry of Education would help with repairs. He said they needed the classrooms to be useable again as they are expecting the new intake in January to see a greater influx of students. “We are not receiving any special allocation as Sekolah Wawasan,” said TTCL PTA member Victor Ho. As such, he said, the storm damage sustained by the school is but one of a long list of problems faced by the school over the years. Apart from fixing broken roofs and punctured ceilings, Ho hopes the school’s longstanding problem of leaky underground pipes will be looked into.
PUCHONG: Police have as- through a sliding door at the back sured residents of the Lake Edge between 8.10pm and 9.10pm gated community that security when the occupants were out for will be stepped up following a dinner in the Oct 7 robbery. break-in last month. The victims lost handbags, “To prevent further break-ins, watches and an iPad worth we will deploy officers at the secu- RM200,000. rity post,” Inspector Rosli Oth“We managed to trace the iPad man told about 30 residents at a to a location in Johor. The suspects dialogue last Sunday. have yet to be identified or apThey will also inspect cars exit- prehended,” said Inspector Lai ing Lake Edge since in-house se- Anak Masir. curity guards are not authorised Lake Edge Residents Associato do so. tion chairperson Gerard Yuen Non-residents were previously advised residents to watch out for allowed to enter the area to fish at suspicious persons in the area. the lake in the morning, but this Rosli (right) and Lai is no longer allowed. Lake Edge security manager Mohd Abdullah Yazid said burglars entered one o f th e h o m e s
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ 11
Landing softly, hardly taking off
o the teaching of maths and science in English, and acronym of the year PPSMI, has been piloted to a soft landing. There’s a bit for all interested parties in the final give and take. Schoolchildren who started with PPSMI will continue until they complete secondary school; families will be relieved that their progress is not linguistically disrupted. Teaching science and mathematics in Malay will be phased in, to the satisfaction of its proponents, under agenda MBM-MBI (soon enough, if not already, you will know what this stands for). And schools may determine for themselves whether to teach science and maths in English or Malay. Many parents, especially urbanites, will welcome this overture – albeit cautiously – since their stake in schools’ deliberations has not been guaranteed. The government’s decision to abolish PPSMI and the backlash over the past few years stirred up many issues, which now seem to be put aside in the spirit of moving on. Maybe every side got enough of what they wanted. Two ideas have taken hold of the public mindset. First, reverting to Malay instruction will boost maths and science achievement in rural areas. Second, retaining PPSMI will move us up the technological ladder. Both are questionable, desirable as the objectives may be. Indeed, a fundamental flaw of the PPSMI process, from conception to decommission, is that the government and society have not examined the problems with enough breadth and depth. Take the measures we have used to gauge the outcomes of PPSMI. National exam results are a popular, and easily accessible, reference point. Pass rates for SPM maths and science have steadily risen in recent years. In November 2008, then Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was quoted extolling these results as evidence of PPSMI’s success. However, the credibility of SPM scores hinges on the extent the syllabus, level of difficulty and impartiality in setting cut-off points have remained constant. On these matters, we have not received assurance, and it is safe to say many doubts linger. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), a standard test across various countries of 13- and 14-year-olds, presents a more reliable, consistent and internationally recognised benchmark. According to this, Malaysia’s achievements declined. In 2007, Malaysia scored 474 for mathematics and 471 for science, down from 508 and 510 respectively in 2003. Irony won the day when Hishammuddin’s successor and current education
Lee Hwok Aun
minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, referred to the TIMSS results in July 2009 as proof that PPSMI was faltering. No one can be too sure. TIMSS was administered in English in 2007, Malay in 2003. Perhaps it was the language switch; perhaps it was truly a decline in Malaysian students’ aptitude that played a role. Between 1999 and 2003, our mathematics score declined, while our science score rose. An academic study published in 2010 by Parmjit Singh, Arba Abdul Rahman and Teoh Sian Hoon of UiTM sheds interesting, and somewhat surprising, light. They conducted mathematics tests on Standard Four children in Maran – one in English and another, of identical content, in English with Malay translation. They found that in rural areas, there is no significant difference between the two tests. The potential aid of Malay translation did not improve scores as one might expect. In contrast, urban participants did better with the bilingual format. In other words, rural students did as poorly in maths in English as in Malay. Such studies demand further enquiry to be more broadly applied. But its central finding must be noted: deficiency in mathematical achievement in rural schools is due primarily to lack of mathematical knowledge, not language difficulties. To be fair and apologetic, various countries have also seen the TIMSS performance dip recently. To be fair and dynamic, top performers like South Korea sustained high points across 1999-2007. Incidentally, in 2007 a South Korean teacher with 15 years of experience earned on average 2.2 times GDP per capita – the highest among the OECD club of highincome countries. I am not suggesting that we need only pump teachers’ salaries – yet there could be something to it, and related issues that we ought to probe. Is it about language of instruction, or highly capable, well-remunerated and presumably self-motivated teachers? Can we aspire to be technologically advanced like South Korea without more in common with its education system? It looks to me that we have switched from Malay textbooks and canned answers, to English textbooks and canned answers, to Malay or English textbooks and canned answers. A gradual phasing out of PPSMI softens the landing, but I struggle to see if and where we are truly taking off.
12 November 18 — 20, 2011
Poster of Fahmi Reza’s ‘Student Power’.
When Dr Syed husin Ali was a lecturer at University of Malaya (UM) in the 1960s, students had their own unions and took care of their own affairs with minimal supervision and interference from the administration. “The unions bought buses to resolve transportation problems around campus, ran their own newspaper and helped fellow students to address housing issues,” the former anthropology and sociology professor tells Selangor Times. University students were independent, mature and trusted to govern themselves. however, since the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) was enacted in 1971, students have been stripped of their right to form unions. Instead, Students’ Representative Councils (SRC) were formed. “now the SRCs are controlled by the university administration and have to ask permission from heP (Students’ Affairs Department) to organise any activity,” says Syed husin, 75, now a PKR senator. In addition, Fahmi Reza, who has documented the vibrant students’ movement history in the 1960s in his Student Power lecture series, was repeatedly banned from presenting his
Who’s afraid of student freed
multimedia lecture in UM and UiTM last year. The heP in both universities had ordered Fahmi’s lecture to be cancelled at the eleventh hour, to the disappointment of the students who had invited him. Fortunately, the students could still attend Fahmi’s lecture if they wanted to, as the artistactivist held the lecture in public spaces such as PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One in Petaling Jaya. nevertheless, the episode demonstrates yet again how the UUCA continue to curb students’ organisations’ independence and autonomy, apart from their political freedom. The UUCA has curbed student organisations’ independence and autonomy apart from their political freedom. UM law professor Azmi Sharom says students are treated like “children” these days and are only allowed to organise “academic” activities. “Take my law students for example: many of them are smart, earnest and hardworking young people, but they don’t have the opportunities to explore and govern themselves, to make mistakes [in university] and be the masters of their own destinies. “They’re not allowed to think for themselves.
how do you expect them to says, adding that the definitio is ambiguous. he pointed out that in fore students are free to govern treated as grown-ups. “The three to four years st university can be very influenti where they are transitioning to should be trained to be indepen Local student movements society groups such as the Ma long lobbied for the UUCA t even abolished. Deputy Prime Minister and ister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin government will only amend students are “ready”. The government has yet to it will amend the UUCA des Court of Appeal ruling on Oct Section 15(5)(a) of the Act as as it violates students’ freedom One of the three Court of hishamuddin Yunus, said th “counterproductive and repres it hampered the development o
The struggle for academic freedom and autonomy
By Gan Pei Ling
uch attention has been drawn to the state of academic freedom in Malaysia due to the suspension of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) law professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari last month. Aziz was investigated by IIUM and the police under the Sedition Act for questioning the Selangor Sultan’s decision on the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s ( Jais) raid on Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) in August. Aziz also received a bullet and an anonymous death threat note at his Bandar Baru Selayang home on Oct 29. Around 700 students protested against the suspension on Oct 21 while academic staff unions from IIUM and University of Malaya backed him. The controversy over Aziz has once again put universities in the spotlight. Universities should be a place where diverse ideas are celebrated and intellectual independence and autonomy revered. However, apart from Aziz, many other academics
Dr Azmi Sharom: Academic staff are not allowed to criticise the university.
and varsity students have also been penalised by authorities for challenging the status quo or being critical of the powers that be over the years. Stifling dissenting ideas The Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) and respective university regulations have been used to curb academic freedom and silence dissent. The limelight is now on Section 15 of the Act, which restricts students’ political freedom after the Court of Appeal declared it to be unconstitutional in a landmark decision on Oct 31. But that’s not the only section in the UUCA that needs to be repealed, says Prof Dr Azmi Sharom,
grow up?” Azmi on of “academic”
eign universities, themselves and
tudents spend in ial; it’s the period o adulthood and ndent,” says Azmi. s as well as civil alaysian Bar have to be amended,
d Education Minn says the federal the UUCA if the
o decide whether spite a landmark 31 that declared unconstitutional m of expression. f Appeal judges, he section was ssive in nature” as of a critical mind.
“Universities should be the breeding ground of reformers and thinkers, not institutions to produce students trained as robots,” said Justice Hishamuddin in the landmark judgment. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin had argued that allowing varsity students to get involve in political Hishamuddin: It is activities may affect irrational and ironic to prohibit students from their studies. However, Justice supporting or opposing Hishamuddin highlight- a political party. ed that it is irrational and ironic to prohibit students from supporting Khairy Jamaluddin, have urged the government or opposing a political party when they are al- to abolish Section 15(5)(a) of the UUCA. Syed Husin adds that students studying lowed to vote, marry and enter into contracts abroad are encouraged and allowed to form by the age of 21. Young politicians from the government, political groups like Umno or MCA clubs in including Deputy Education Minister Datuk foreign universities. “If our students abroad can get involved in Saifuddin Abdullah, Deputy Youth and Sports politics, local students should be accorded the Minister Gan Ping Sieu and Umno Youth chief same rights too,” he says.
Azmi thinks it is time to go a step further, to study the entire Act and amend the sections that curb the fundamental liberties of students and academic staff. “These three values, autonomy, freedom and diversity, underpin the philosophy of universities. “Any law that goes against them should be done away with,” he says.
The vibrant students’ movement history in the 1960s on ‘Student Power’ was documented.
Syed Husin: Academics who do not kowtow to the government are unlikely to be promoted.
Dr Abdul Aziz received a bullet and an anonymous death threat note.
who started teaching in UM in 1990 and is now an associate professor at the Law Faculty. “I don’t think the entire Act has to be scrapped as many parts are administrative in nature, but there is a need to review the law in its entirety to single out [and abolish] the parts that violate the fundamental liberties and academic freedom of students and lecturers,” says Azmi. For instance, academic staff are not allowed to criticise the university without the vice-chancellor’s permission. “So if I feel the university is being run badly, I cannot criticise [the university management or administration] openly,” says the UM Academic Staff Union president. Furthermore, the vice-chancellor (chief executive and academic officer in a university) and the university’s highest policymaking body – the Board of Directors – are all appointed by the higher education minister. In foreign universities that are autonomous and independent, the search for a vice-chancellor is conducted by the university council via its search committee. The government does not interfere.
“There should be a distance between a higher learning institution and the government. Ideally, the minister shouldn’t be involved in the appointment and selection of the vice-chancellor,” says Azmi. And that was how it used to be before the UUCA was enacted in 1971. Dr Syed Husin Ali, 75, who served as an anthropology and sociology professor at UM from 1963 to 1990, has sat in the University Council and Senate. “The University Council was made up of a ruler and state representatives and a good number of alumni who are elected by the alumni themselves,” says Syed Husin, who is now a senator and PKR politician.
Post-UUCA, the University Council was replaced by the Board of Directors, which is made up of a chairperson, the vice-chancellor, two government representatives, and four other directors appointed by the government. Meanwhile, the academic body senate, comprising deans and heads of departments, are directly appointed by the vice-chancellor instead of being elected by their own faculty or department academic staff. “Now we’ve the two most important bodies in the university under the control of the government, their members no longer democratically elected,” says Syed Husin. In addition, the Board of Directors’ salaries and allowances are determined by the Higher Education Ministry. Consequently, independent and critical academics who do not kowtow to the government are unlikely to be promoted and given due recognition in local academia, says Syed Husin. He added that university syllabi had to be approved by the Higher Education Ministry and the Cabinet, most of whom, unlike the Uni-
versity Senate, are not academics or public intellectuals. What makes a good university? Syed Husin thinks the UUCA and its regulations have stifled the intellectual development of local universities. “That’s why we see the drop in standards in our universities,” he says, adding that the entire Act should be scrapped. “The universities can govern themselves, based on their own university charter [or constitution],” says Syed Husin. Besides universities in advanced countries, Syed Husin and Azmi highlight that universities in rising developing countries like India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines have far more autonomy and academic freedom than ours. “Academic freedom and autonomy are central to creating a good university where original thoughts and leadership qualities can be developed organically within an atmosphere of freedom,” says Azmi. He argues that currently, our universities focus too much on evaluating quality-based on rankings created by private companies such as the Times Higher Education World Universities Rankings.
“There are tricks that universities can use to improve their rankings, such as hiring more foreign lecturers and accepting more foreign students, but these will only boost rankings in the short term. “In the long run, it is freedom and autonomy that breed creativity and excellence [among the university’s academic staff and students],” says Azmi. He adds that universities are not training or vocational colleges. Lecturers must encourage their students to question, to think on their feet in order to develop their leadership potential and a critical mind. “Creativity and innovation – these qualities take years to nurture, and we need vibrant campuses to develop them,” says Azmi. At the end of the day, a thorough study by law experts and consultations with various stakeholders, including academics and students, will be required before it can be decided whether the UUCA ought to be scrapped or amendments are sufficient. Nevertheless, it is clear that the UUCA requires an overhaul to restore academic freedom and university autonomy, especially if the country is serious in nurturing independent intellectuals and thinking graduates.
November 18 — 20, 2011
irst, it was Prof Abdul Aziz Bari of International Islamic University Malaysia. He was suspended and even prevented from entering the campus by his university simply because he commented unfavourably on a certain practice of a constitutional monarch. His suspension was lifted only after students protested against it. He is still under investigation for sedition. What is Prof Aziz Bari’s field of expertise? Constitution! So, why can’t a professor comment on his own discipline? What is left of our universities when our professors cannot even speak freely on their own specialisation? Then, it was Seksualiti Merdeka, wong chin huat an annual event since 2008 for the sexual minorities to learn about their rights. It was first labelled by a few What right does any government groups as a threat to morality and have to arrest someone for a crime the nation. Not long after, it was of thought or feeling? banned. And its organiser, Pang These two nonsensical and outKhee Teik, supporters, and the spe- rageous incidents ironically reveal cial guest for the opening ceremony, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, were questioned by police. The mainstream media goes around the town painting the event as a free-sex party when it was merely an affirmation of human rights. Now, Malacca wants to list homosexuality as “deviant teaching” (ajaran sesat). You need not agree with Prof Aziz Bari’s constitutional opinion or the “sexual minorities” lifestyle. By all means, challeng e them with logic and facts. But who are we to silence them?
Merdeka: A crime of thought and feeling
MAN IN BLACK
the emperor’s new clothes in our politics of slogan. Suppressing academic freedom is denying one’s right to have an independent mind. It’s denying one’s right to think. Suppressing sexual orientation is denying one’s right to have a free soul. It’s denying the right, of some if not all, to love. What is 1Malaysia when you are not allowed to think independently and love freely? I dread to recall a Lite FM DJ’s irritating propaganda: “No, no, 1Malaysia is not a dream… it’s what we were and can be again.” Was Malaysia 40-50 years ago a pathological society that tried to force everyone into the same mould? I am not old enough to haved live through that, but it could hardly have been if it was like the laidback and relaxed society in P Ramlee’s movies. To me, independ-
Suppressing academic freedom is denying one’s right to have an independent mind. It’s denying one’s right to think. Suppressing sexual orientation is denying one’s right to have a free soul. It’s denying the right, of some if not all, to love”
ence is not about overthrowing a political class that is foreign in origin. It’s about us being the masters of our destiny. This means not only must we have the right to elect our government, but we must also have some rights beyond the reach of the government we elect. Our government must not dictate to us who to love or who not to love. In short, our government must not be an Orwellian Big Brother. To me, colonisation starts when a government becomes a Big Brother that invades and tries to control our hearts and minds. We become slaves when our hearts and minds are occupied and controlled by others. Put simply, white men are not a necessary condition for colonialism. And political independence is not a finished business with just the departure of white men. It is constantly renewed every minute we exercise our rights as a free person. It is reversed and needs renewal when our rights are infringed. Prof Aziz Bari and Pang Khee Teik are my Merdeka heroes. They are fighting not for their personal professional freedom or personal passion, but our rights as free humans. I long for the day they can think and love freely, and everyone else can also criticise them freely. The crime that Prof Aziz Bari has committed is one of thought. The crime that the sexual minorities have committed is one of feeling. They are both crimes of conscience. These crimes have a common name: Merdeka. Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!
Carnival raises RM100k for less fortunate
By Basil Foo
PETALING JAYA: A total of RM100,000 was raised for the education of underprivileged children at the inaugural Community Care Carnival here last Sunday. “Some of the key areas of funding will include maintenance of tuition centres,” said carnival organising chairperson Erica Lam. The carnival was held from 10am to 4pm at the car park of the Tropicana Medical Centre (TMC) here, and saw a crowd of more than 3,000. Guests, who were feted with performances and enjoyed food stalls, games, bike rides, and colouring contests, helped with the fundraising by purchasing RM10 coupon booklets. Lam, who is also TMC chief operating officer, said they were encouraged by the turnout of youth from a People’s Housing Project in Section 8. “The youth from the (Section 8) flats helped set up the Cooking for Charity programme and the entertainment booths,” she said. The Section 8 project residents are to be the beneficiaries of the
Lam, Roslan and organising committee members during a booth visitation.
Children reciting ‘Xiao’ (filial piety), one of the classic texts in Confucianism.
funds raised. Flat resident Zarina Mansor, who has seven children, thanked the organisers for helping the community. “I feel relieved and happy that my children will have a quality environment to foster constructive activities of learning, including tuition and music classes,” she said. Also at the carnival was the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman.
“MBPJ applauds the organisers for the collective efforts and pioneering an initiative like this carnival, which is a positive step towards uplifting the society,” he said. The carnival was jointly organised by TMC, Friends of Kota Damansara, Rotary Club Gombak, and MBPJ in accordance with Local Agenda 21, a programme advocating partnerships between local authorities and the community in pursuing sustainable development.
By Gan Pei Ling
Popular mascots made appearances to the delight of children.
SHAH ALAM: Over 1,000 parents and children celebrated the traditional Confucian ideal of filial piety (Xiao) through theatre performances and songs last Saturday at the state’s Dewan Jubli Perak. “We hold these special performances every year, celebrating different Confucian ideals,” said Kuala Lumpur Confucian Chung De Association spokesperson Mok Hua Hing. The association holds free weekly classes on Confucianism for children aged six and above, as well as teenagers and adults. “This year’s theme – filial piety – encourages the students to pay tribute to their parents through their performances,” said Mok. Jointly organised by the Kuala Lumpur and Klang branches of Confucian Chung De Association, this year’s performance saw over 400 children and teenagers on stage.
Children pay tribute to parents
Filial piety, which means respect for parents and ancestors, is upheld as the most important virtue in Confucianism. The state sponsored the venue for the cultural event, attended by executive councillors Teresa Kok, Rodziah Ismail, Yaakob Sapari and Ronnie Liu. Liu donated an additional RM5,000 to the organisers on behalf of the state during his speech at the event’s closing. Also present were Confucianism Culture and Education Foundation chairperson Tan Kean Huat, and Klang Chung Hui Association committee member Chan Ah Kok.
november 18 — 20, 2011
KGNS members up in arms over club acquisition
SHAH ALAM: Putrajaya’s move to acquire the iconic Kelab Golf Negara Subang (KGNS), which was mooted and built during former Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s tenure, is raising more than a few eyebrows. Faced with an uncertain future, members are indignant over the move. “The club has been very well run. There have been no issues. All the activities here are healthy. My son and daughter are also members,” said Kevin Sugumaran. The 59-year-old publisher, who has been a member since 1984, described KGNS as a family club as it appeals to both golfers and non-golfers. Recreational facilities, which include a gym, swimming pool and badminton, tennis and squash courts, have been well maintained since the club’s opening in September 1968. If acquired, KGNS stands to lose 133.5 hectares of prime land worth an estimated RM5 billion that is currently leased from t h e Fe d e r a l L a n d Commission. A task force comprising club members reportedly allowed a caveat to protect the club’s interest in the land to lapse in June.
An extraordinary general meeting will be held on Sunday to resolve the issue. “The members want to review the task force and tell the government that this (gaining control of KGNS land) is not a good move,” said P Krishnasamy. The 60-year-old, who works in construction, said the club is a reflection Entrance of the golf club. of its multiracial surroundings, hosting various events like InHe added that the club should not be dian, Chinese and Malay weddings. taken away from the community it has served Having been a member since 1978, he for over four decades. underscored the importance of the club and Businessperson Pattis Naidu, who has been its facilities to members. a member since 1986, said members enjoy “The golf club is not just for a privileged close comradeship with one another. few. The other sports facilities get the whole The 61-year-old said the club is a good community involved,” he said. meeting point and possesses a good mix of Krishnasamy said the club has been part of members. the lives of members since its founding by the “If you want to see the spirit of 1Malaysia, country’s first prime minister. it is here in Subang,” he said.
Empire reopens with added safety features
SUBANG JAYA: Empire Shopping Gallery reopened its doors on Tuesday with a slew of safety and visual upgrades. “We have successfully reinstated the mall to its original condition, but with value-added features in the landscaping, façade, and car parks,” said Datuk Danny Cheah. The Mammoth Empire Holding Sdn Bhd group executive director spoke during a press conference at the Starbucks outlet of the mall on opening day. New safety measures have been taken in the wake of a gas explosion at the mall, forcing Empire to close on Sept 28. These include a system that would automatically shut off the gas pipeline after hours. “The automatic shut-off will be controlled by a centralised timer. A second checkpoint will be at the tenants’ lots, [and they] can shut it off there,” he added. A third precaution in place is a centralised gas line control room. “The centralised control room can remotely shut off (gas supply) if tenants forget to shut it off,” said Cheah. The mall’s Standard Operating Procedures on safety has also been enhanced, with daily checks on the gas pipelines of kitchens in food outlets. Cheah estimated that physical damage and upgrading works at the mall would amount to RM20 million. Also at the event was general manager Woo May Foong, who said about 90% of tenants reopened their stores on Tuesday, while a few Exterior of the reopened Empire Shopping Gallery. remained closed for upgrading works. All outlets are expected to be fully operational in two 3 Hours inspiring talk on how you weeks.
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november 18 — 20, 2011
LRT too close for comfort, say residents
Getting more people to use public transport
IT is great to hear that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) doesn’t regard the MRT as the sole factor in improving public transport in the Klang Valley, and that the solution has to be an integration of multiple modes, including the LRT and buses (see http://etpb l o g . p e m a n d u . g o v. m y / posts/2011/11/03/mrt-is-integrated-with-lrt-ktm-monorailand-bus-systems). However, we need to return to the core question: with an increasing population, how do we get Klang Valley residents to abandon private cars for public transport? Towards this goal, much more must and can be done, such as: Increasing the number of buses beyond 1,450 (versus our projected Klang Valley population of 10 million by 2020). For example, London, a city with an extensive rail network and a population of over seven million, has 6,800 buses. Buses are so important to complement rail travel. Bus stops have been refurbished and some new ones built, but an important element is still missing: guides/journey planners. Unless you are a regular public transport user, it is very difficult to get around without proper guides. Journey planners help users to get from one point to another. These planners are common in Singapore (www.transitlink. com.sg) and Chicago (www.goroo.com). We need similar planners that cover all modes of transport and all operators, not just RapidKL. The bit up, bit down system for RapidKL should be made compulsory for all public transport operators. Also, like Singapore, a discount should be given to users of electronic payment to speed up boarding of buses/trains and to get important information on where people are travelling. We need to recruit more bus drivers as the industry is facing a severe shortage of drivers, as well as provide incentives like bus driving school scholarships. We know there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed to improve public transport. We are only too glad to work with Pemandu and the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) to resolve the issues. We just hope equal emphasis will be given to other aspects of public transport, not just the MRT. Rajiv Rishyakaran, Transit
Ting (second left), Khoo (third right), Nik Nazmi (third left) and Glenmarie Court residents at a press conference to object to a proposed LRT line.
By Basil Foo
SHAH ALAM: Residents of Glenmarie Court here are objecting to a proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) line, which they say cuts too close to their homes. “At the closest point, the line is only 40m away from our homes,” said Glenmarie Court Homeowners Association (GCHA) president David Ting. The association has started a petition to object to the LRT line, and has so far collected 210 signatures. Resident Khoo Khay Chye said they have suggested for the proposed line to be pushed back another 30m away to create a 70m buffer between homes and the track. “The LRT line should be built on the median of
Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang, which runs behind our homes,” added the 65-year-old. He said an LRT station has been planned to be built over the road median itself, and questioned why the line could not continue to run along the road. Khoo, a resident there since 1998, pointed out that the buffer was necessary so homes will be less affected by the noise. Yesterday (Thursday), residents brought their grouses to Seri Setia assemblyperson Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who said the people’s welfare should not be brushed aside for development. “I will be writing letters to the relevant authorities. This issue must be brought to the discussion table, and not just bulldozed through,” he said.
Bury the hatchet
Fiction by Wan Roslina Wan Rosli
he book looked worn out. The wh ite c over wa s yellowed with age. It was plain, save a faded gold inscription. It appears to be a name, written in a flowing cursive font. The shrivelled pages felt coarse, like it was drenched in water before being dried in the sun. Reading the first page, it became apparent that it was a biography of some kind. It showcased everything: feelings, thoughts, perception, experiences, and actions. It was like the essence of another. It was like being in another person’s skin, page by page. I heard the sound of a faint rustle. Looking around guiltily around the desolate library, I expected the librarian to spring out from behind the heavy bookshelves and shout, “Hoi!” I held my breath and counted. Two seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds passed. Nothing. I was relieved to see nobody there. Sweating, I shifted in an effort to look natural. Maybe it’s better to close the book and go. But curiosity killed the cat. Plus, there were thousands more similar gold-inscribed books lined up on the shelves. A peek at just one won’t hurt, right? Right. I shoved those nagging doubts to the farthest depths of my mind. With the book in hand and standing silently between the shelves, I eyed the nerdy girl sitting at the table up front, trying to ascertain whether she suspected anything. She looked
tired, nursing a steamy coffee. Glancing at the book again, I left through it to the end. The back pages were empty. That was curious. Yearning for privacy, I inched towards the back of the room. At a private desk on the far corner, I gingerly opened the pages and read. The narration painted scenes so close to my heart with details so intimate that it made me blush. I initially enjoyed this recollection of another life, feeling superior because I felt I could’ve done better in everything. I could’ve loved better, fought better, held on longer. But as I progressed, every story seemed to stroke a chord,and the deja vu feeling was overwhelming. Is it possible to be reading a book of my own life? Was I already dead? My head started spinning, all my blood drained. I felt a sudden chill. Hastily, I put the book down. Controlled my steps but took great strides towards the girl, half-afraid my heart would leap out of my chest. “Hey, where did you get that coffee?” I asked tremulously. She shrugged and pulled her brown cardigans tighter because of the cold. “There’s a canteen down the hallway.” “Okay, thanks.” I turned around. A great relief swept over me. At least, I thought, I’m not a goner yet. I walked back to the book. I took a while to stare at it, steeling my resolve. Flipping to the last written page, wondering where I would end. But then, the last written paragraph was only up until the moment I validated my existence with a simple request for coffee. The rest were all blank pages.
Suddenly anything and everything became a possibility. I reached for a pencil and scribbled. It didn’t leave a mark. I tried my favourite ball point pen. That disappeared too. I rummaged through my case and found an ink pen. I drew a big line across the page. Astonishingly the ink faded, slowly drowning in a sea of white. I was beyond frustration. Without hesitation I spread the book open. Took a deep breath and tore. The book was not even crumpled. Eyes white with desperation, I reached for my lighter. The dancing fire gave promise. Let it all burn in hell. Let those books lined up on the shelves be meaningless ashes. Suddenly the book was violently grabbed from me. I lost my footing and fell. Gaining my bearings I saw the menacing figure of the librarian, glaring at me like the scorned devil. In the haze of the moment I felt a dragging at my arms, hauling me out of the library as I struggled. Once out of the door, the girl let go. My head thudded on the floor. The cold spray of rain on my face in the dark of the night offered solace. My heart was heavy, my feet leaden. “You lucky fool. Not many people get to read their book and live. No use destroying it. What was done can never be undone.” I kept silent. Still bitter that she intervened. “You do what you want to do, I don’t care. But it’s best to leave the past behind. The book and all that was in it don’t matter. You still can change how this story would end. Don’t let those blank pages go to waste.” I felt uncomfortable. I got up and smoothed my clothes and bruised ego. “You just wait and keep an eye on that book. This is not the last of me yet.” Then I sprinted. I ran like a thousand dogs were upon me. I never looked back. It was after all, already in my past. I know now to just let it be and focus on rewriting the future instead.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 18 – 20, 2011 ⁄ 17
KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR
1. Tender adalah dipelawa daripada kontraktor-kontraktor di Malaysia sahaja yang berdaftar dengan Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan (CIdb), Pusat Khidmat Kontraktor (PKK), Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN) dan Kerajaan Negeri Selangor dalam kelas dan jenis pendaftaran yang berkaitan dan yang masih dibenarkan membuat tawaran buat masa ini bagi Projek Menaik Taraf Skim Sungai Selangor Fasa 1 Sebagai Projek Mitigasi Kekurangan Bekalan Air Di Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Dan Putrajaya berikut :-
Perfect getaway in Sepang
Fancy a vacation home fronting the Straits of Malacca that is close to the heart of Klang Valley without forking out millions of ringgit? For those who are in constant search for peace of mind on the outskirts of a busy city, look no further: the Iconic Vacation club (IVc) by Sepang Goldcoast is a worthy investment. IVc allows its members to enjoy annual holidays at the Golden Palm Tree sea villas that are 1.5 kilometres out in the sea, or its 4,000 affiliate locations in almost 100 countries worldwide. Golden Palm Tree resort stretches out from the Sepang coastline into the sheltered waters of the Straits of Malacca, with 392 luxuriously appointed sea villas that shape a palm tree. The membership allows the staff of IVc to plan and serve guests better by being able to predict the flow of guests and anticipate their needs. Membership packages are for one year, 20 years for the Gold Membership, and 25 years for the Platinum Membership. For the one-year membership, members are entitled for eight days, seven nights stay for four persons at a two-bedroom villa with two bathrooms, breakfast included, and also discount vouchers for spa and dining. Membership is for two or four persons at RM3,880 or RM7,880 respectively. The Gold Membership allocates an annual eight days, seven nights stay at Golden Palm Tree Travellers Villa, or guests can go for the RcI Exchange Programme. For the first two years, members are eligible for free stay at the one-bedroom Studio Villa; complimentary meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner; two teatime snacks; unlimited drinks; various water and land sporting activities; and access to the clubhouse facilities. Membership for 20 years is just RM28,800. The Platinum Membership sees an annual eight days, seven nights stay at Golden Palm Tree canary Villa, or the option of the RcI Exchange Programme. an all-inclusive package for four persons is eligible for the first two years of membership, which includes a two-bedroom villa accommodation; three meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner; two teatime snacks; unlimited drinks; activities like water and land sports; and access to clubhouse facilities. The Platinum Membership fee is RM44,800. all sea villas are available in five distinctive villa types. Each is raised on stilts, with exposed alang-alang roofing and tall wooden panelled glass doors opening out to a private deck, and range from 52sqm to 232sqm in size. With its blend of abundant natural beauty, rich culture, and family-friendly activities, there is something for everybody, be it a family vacation, romantic retreat or business trip – all within convenient proximity of the Kuala Lumpur International airport (KLIa). The membership card also acts as a privilege discount card. Shop and save with lifestyle brands such as Bimba & Lola, Serum Skincare, Bumbu Desa Restaurant, Svenson, S2 Slimming centre, celebrity Fitness and many more. all membership packages are transferable, and easy payment schemes are available. For more info, call 03-31823636 or visit www.iconicvacationclub.com. Register at the IVc website and stand a chance to win RM100 F&B voucher and lucky draw.
tajuk Package 1: Upgrading of Pumping Plant, Treatment Plant and Chemical Plant
No. tender Pakej 1 – 1863/82. 1/2
tarak/Jenis Syarikat terbuka #
Syarat-syarat Pendaftaran PKK Kelas A, Kepala III, Sub-Kepala 4 Dan Sub-Kepala 6 CIDB Gred G7 SPAN Permit IPA Jenis C1 Berdaftar dengan Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Selangor
Harga dokumen RM1,000.00 (Tidak akan dikembalikan)
tarikh dan Masa taklimat dan Lawatan tapak
Selesa 22hb November 2011 10.00 pagi RM1,000.00 (Tidak akan dikembalikan) bilik Mesyuarat, Loji Air Sg. Selangor Fasa 1 Kg. bukit badong bestari Jaya Selangor (WAJIb)
Package 2: Construction and Completion of Raw Water Pumping Main and Interconnection at Matang Pagar Reservior
Pakej 2 – 1863/82. 1/3
PKK Kelas A, Kepala I, Sub-Kepala 1 Kepala IV, Sub-Kepala I dan Sub-Kepala 6(a) CIDB Gred G7 SPAN Permit IPA Jenis C1 Berdaftar dengan Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Selangor
2. Petender adalah diwajibkan menyertai taklimat dan lawatan ke tapak bina yang akan diadakan pada 22hb November 2011. Petender dikehendaki untuk melaporkan diri dan menghadiri taklimat yang akan diadakan di bilik Mesyuarat, Loji Air Sg. Selangor Fasa 1, Kg. bukit badong, bestari Jaya, Selangor darul Ehsan. Petender-petender yang tidak menghadiri taklimat dan lawatan tapak tidak layak untuk membeli Dokumen Tender. 3. Dokumen Meja Tender boleh disemak pada waktu pejabat di PEJAbAt SEtIAuSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, Seksyen Makro & Penswastaan, unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri, tingkat 16, bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, 40503 Shah Alam, Selangor darul Ehsan bermula pada 23 November 2011. 4. Dokumen Tender boleh dibeli bermula pada 23 November 2011 pada waktu pejabat di alamat: PEJAbAt SEtIAuSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, Seksyen Makro & Penswastaan, unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri, tingkat 16, bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, 40503 Shah Alam, Selangor darul Ehsan 5. Tarikh akhir penjualan Dokumen Tender adalah pada 15 disember 2011. Dokumen Tender tidak akan dikeluarkan selepas dari tarikh tersebut. 6. Petender terlebih dahulu dikehendaki mendaftar secara On-Line di laman web hhtp://tender.selangor.gov.my sebelum membeli dokumen tender. Petender dikehendaki mengemukakan Resit bayaran Pendaftaran sebagai bukti kontraktor telah berdaftar secara On-Line semasa membuat urusan pembelian dokumen tender. 7. Petender perlu mematuhi syarat-syarat yang terdapat dalam Arahan Kepada Petender. Kegagalan pihak petender untuk mematuhi syarat-syarat tersebut akan menyebabkan dokumen tender tidak akan dipertimbangkan. 8. Dokumen Tender akan dikeluarkan kepada wakil-wakil kontraktor yang sah sahaja. Untuk maksud ini, wakil-wakil kontraktor hendaklah membawa Perakuan Pendaftaran Asal atau Kad Perakuan Permohonan Pendaftaran Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan, Sijil Pendaftaran Pusat Khidmat Kontraktor Asal, Sijil Pendaftaran Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara Asal dan Resit bayaran Pendaftaran dengan unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Selangor semasa membeli dokumen tender. Salinan Sijil Pendaftaran boleh diterima jika disahkan oleh Agensi berkaitan. 9. Bayaran untuk Dokumen Tender hendaklah dibuat dalam bentuk draft bank atau Kiriman Wang atas nama bendahari Negeri Selangor. 10. Dokumen Tender yang telah lengkap diisi hendaklah dihantar dalam sampul surat berlakri dan bertanda dengan tajuk kerja dan nombor tender berkenaan pada sebelah atas kiri sampul dan dimasukkan ke dalam Peti Tender sebelum atau pada pukul 12.00 tengahari 22hb disember 2011, di alamat : PEJAbAt SEtIAuSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR Seksyen Makro & Penswastaan, unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri tingkat 16, bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah 40503 Shah Alam SELANGOR dARuL EHSAN 11. Dokumen Tender yang lewat diterima dari tarikh dan masa yang ditetapkan tidak akan dipertimbangkan. Dokumen Tender yang diserahkan selepas tarikh dan masa yang ditetapkan berbangkit dari apa jua sebab tidak akan dilayan. # Tawaran Terbuka kepada: (i). Syarikat seratus peratus (100%) milik warganegara; atau (ii). Syarikat tempatan yang disenaraikan di Bursa Malaysia, iaitu syarikat-syarikat yang ditubuhkan dan diperbadankan di Malaysia oleh warganegara dengan syarat pegangan saham individu asing tidak melebihi tiga puluh peratus (30%) dan Lembaga Pengarah, pengurusan dan pekerja dianggotai seratus peratus (100%) oleh warganegara.
Mines Wellness deploys cab campaign
SHAH ALAM: Mines Wellness Hotel approached and deployed a total of 300 taxis for three days to reach popular areas such as Central Market, KL Sentral, Petaling Street, KLIA, and even Putrajaya, in an attempt to make things easier for travellers and tourists. The participating taxis were fitted with stickers that highlighted the hotel, and also an info guide on Mines Wellness Hotel and the surrounding attractions, to make it more appealing to local and foreign visitors. Taxis were approached by the hotel staff guerilla-style, where the team targeted certain areas with high traffic Lim, finance manager, giving a food pack flow of taxis. to a driver in Pudu Raya. Participating taxi drivers were given an info guide, some packed food consisting of fried mee, fried “We really apprecichicken, a brownie, an apple and a bottle of water, and a re- ate the taxi drivers demption “passport” that was used to keep track of the taxi who participated with Chef Saiful with two taxi drivers on Petaling Street before they headed for their lunch. drivers to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign. our campaign. They Five stamps in the “passport” would get them a complimen- were not only friendly but fun to work with as well,” said Mines passengers,” he added. tary foot bath; 10 stamps would get them an F&B voucher at Wellness Hotel general manager Eusebius Samm. A total of 24 staff from management did their bit and went the hotel; and 20 stamps would get them a complimentary “We chose to launch this campaign at this time due to the to various parts of the city to approach taxis to make the room stay. school holiday period that would affect the frequency of taxi campaign a success.
november 18 — 20, 2011
Early Christmas for financial Temporary road closure to The Curve planner thanks to Caltex
SHAH ALAM: The main road bet we en The Cur ve and Ikano Power Centre, Jalan PJU 7/2, will be temporarily closed from 11pm on Nov 18 to midnight of Nov 20 to accommodate Crime Awareness Day, a public event being organised by the Selangor police. Detour signage and traffic police will be available to help redirect traffic on Saturday, Nov 19, the event day. Visitors to Mutiara Damansara can still access The Curve’s car park via three alternative routes. From Persiaran Surian, turn right onto Jalan PJU 7/8 and take the first left onto Jalan PJU 7/2. Continue to the roundabout, take the second exit, and stay on Jalan PJU 7/2. Take the first or second left to enter the car park at e@Curve. Alternatively, from Ja lan PJU 7 / 1 , t ur n right onto Ja lan PJU 7/7 and turn right at Ja lan PJU 7/2. F r o m Lebuhraya DamansaraPuchong (LDP), continue straight towards the Kepong toll and exit left at Damansara Perdana. Keep left at the junction to continue towards Jalan PJU 7/9 and turn right onto Jalan PJU 7/9. Take the first left onto Jalan PJU 7/2. Crime Awareness Day is being held to raise public awareness and co-operation with the police to reduce crime rates. Joining forces with the IPD Selangor as part of The Curve’s corporate social responsibility program, The Curve hopes to help educate and create awareness of crime prevention among its shoppers and the public. The event is open to the public from 9am to 11pm. For more information, contact The Curve’s customers care officers at 03-77106868.
Chevron Marketing Support Manager Faizah Abdul Samad with RM75,000 winner Judy Leong.
SHAH ALAM: Financial planner Judy Leong Yin Mei, 43, from Malacca beat 60 other Caltex customers to bag RM75,000. The grand finale was the culmination of the 75-day nationwide contest that took place at participating Caltex service stations and workshops from Aug 18 to Oct 31. The grand finale offered the chance to win RM1 million. Describing the cash windfall as early Christmas gift, Leong said her strategy to win involved calculations using the number 75 to pick her lucky envelopes since it was Caltex’s 75th anniversary. According to Chevron marketing support manager (Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia) Faizah Abdul Samad, the contest was in appreciation of customers’ strong support of the brand. “A milestone like a diamond anniversary only comes once in a lifetime, so we wanted to incorporate a life-changing surprise – a chance to win RM1 million. Our heartiest congratulations to all our winners,” said Faizah.
More than 100,000 SMS entries were received, and a total of 189,500 prizes were awarded throughout the duration of the contest. Daily prizes were also given on the spot at participating service stations, while monthly prizes and shortlisted finalists were selected randomly by computer from correct SMS entries submitted. To determine the grand finalist who would have the chance to win RM1 million, the 6,074 shortlisted customers underwent a knockout round involving 15 groups of five that had to solve individual puzzles. Those with the fastest time proceeded to the final challenge, where luck determined the person to walk away a millionaire. In the grand finale, Leong was given 15 picks from a set of 100 envelopes containing 96 cash giveaways worth RM5,000, and four envelopes containing Caltex logos. The remaining 7,359 participants were awarded RM500 Caltex StarCash cards for their efforts.
PKNS rewards lucky customers
SHAH ALAM: A young architect won a Proton Persona when two property buyers, who were originally picked as the winners, failed to show up at Selangor Development Corporation’s (PKNS) lucky draw last Saturday. Saiful Azri Husain, 32, was the third name to be picked for the grand prize. “I’m really grateful… When the emcee mentioned that the winner’s house address is in Pahang, I was the only one who raised my hand among the crowd. “I knew then [it was probably me],” Winners of the Proton Persona, two RM5,000 cash prizes, and five iPads with a beaming Saiful told the press after Norazlina (centre in gold) and PKNS controller Haji Lokman Abd Kadir (fifth the prize-giving ceremony. right) at the prize-giving ceremony. Held at the Shah Alam Convention Centre, the lucky draw was attended The crowd cheered every time a “winner” was found to be by around 500 PKNS buyers. absent. Saiful bought an apartment for RM237,000 at Banjaria The final winners for the second prize of RM5,000 were Court, Gombak recently, which would serve as his new home Kamarul Azmir Abd Karim, 30, who bought a house in Secwhen he gets married next February. tion 7 Shah Alam; and Ilyas Ibrahim, 35, who bought a house He drives a Proton Kenari and is glad to have won a new at Setia Alam. car prior to his wedding. The five iPads were won by Nor Asri Mohamad, Marlia At least 10 names were called before the two prizes of Ramli, Muhammad Firdaus Dzulkurnain, Mohd Haidir Abdul RM5,000 and five iPad prizes found their respective winners. Qadri and Yeoh Mooi Boay.
november 18 — 20, 2011
Saiful and his new Proton Persona.
PKNS deputy general manager (corporate communication) Datin Paduka Norazlina Zakaria selected the winners. The lucky draw was open to 736 buyers who purchased residential or commercial PKNS property, except low-cost residences, from July 31, 2010 to Dec 31, 2010. The state investment arm is launching its Crystal View Condominium in Section 7 Shah Alam at the Shah Alam Convention Centre on Nov 19 (Saturday). All members of the public are invited to the launch. Two types of condominiums ranging from 1,100 to 1,200 sq feet and priced from RM330,000 will be for sale. Bumiputera are entitled to a 7% discount, while a further 5% discount is available for civil servants.
Two-year-old bags Stylish waterfront apartments RM100k education fund in Puchong
PUCHONG: Overlooking the 200-acre Tasik Prima, the first of the three blocks of Bolton Bhd’s The Wharf Residence apartments – Tower 8 – was officially launched last Saturday. Seventy percent of the 334 units available at Tower 8 have already been snapped up, Bolton executive chairperson Datuk Azman Yahya announced during the launch. “There are still around 100 units left,” Azman told potential buyers and reporters at Bolton Studio sales gallery on Jalan Taman Tasik Prima. Priced from RM275,130, the units’ built-up area ranges from 795 to 1,173 sq ft and features two or 3+1 bedrooms as well as an external storage room. Condominium facilities will include swimming pool, gymnasium, playground, yoga zone, jogging track and landscaped garden. “We’re targeting young professionals, couples and young families,” said Bolton executive director Chan Wing Kwong. He said the three apartment towers are expected to be completed within the next 36 to 42 months. Located at the growing suburb of Taman Tasik Prima, residents staying at The Wharf will have access to the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) and Kesas Highway. The Wharf will also feature a shopping complex, boutique showroom offices and flexi suites. An integrated 3-in-1 lifestyle development, The Wharf won the Best Mixed Use category for Malaysia at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2011 in Shanghai, China. The shopping mall is expected to be completed by 2013, and there will be a link bridge connecting the apartments to the mall. “The mall will cater to communities from Puchong, USJ and Cyberjaya. Our engineering team has also designed a special system to use the lake water to cool the building, to pump it up to the building top as a thermal shield, and finally to flush the toilets in order to reduce the mall’s chemical footprint,” said Chan. Besides that, 32 units of the boutique showroom offices, which make up The Wharf ’s BizWalk and are priced at RM2.2 million each, were launched in August 2010 and have almost sold out. The flexi suites, which are specially designed and can be used either as an office, a home or both, are expected to be launched next. Formerly a tin mine, Taman Tasik Prima has grown into a thriving suburb in Puchong over the decade, with a gross development value of over RM1 billion. Interested buyers can visit The Wharf Residence show unit seven days a week from 9am to 6pm at the Bolton Studio sales gallery in Taman Tasik Prima. The Wharf Residence buyers are eligible to receive a 3% early bird discount, zero interest, and waiver for legal fees for sales and purchase and loan agreements until completion.
Quicey Ter and her parents being presented with the grand prize of a RM100,000 education fund by Chandan Ghosh, as group brand manager Yeoh She Shiang looks on.
PETALING JAYA: Two-yearold Quincey Ter Chye Yeen clinched the grand prize of a RM100,000 education fund recently in a contest by Nestle Nutrition. The education fund comes in the form of an investment link insurance policy. Quincey was picked as the grand winner of the NAN Grow 3 Immunity Week’s How & Why Series “Great Tummies, Great Minds” contest, which included thousands of other entries nationwide. Her mother, Isabella Teoh said she was surprised when she was informed about the winning entry. Teoh said the grand prize will enable her family to provide a solid foundation for her daughter’s education. The stay-at-home described her eldest daughter as a very active and inquisitive child who is at least one head taller than the other children of her age. Nutrition was one of the main topics of discussion during the Immunity Week campaign, a series of
educational activities that were undertaken by NAN Grow 3 to educate parents on how and why immunity is important to a child’s development. “Immunity Week was a key milestone for us as it enabled us to work closely with healthcare providers and to provide an educational platform for parents. “It also provided an opportunity for healthcare experts to connect and share about what is important to a child’s well being and development,” said Nestle Nutrition country business manager Chandan Ghosh. “We believe that a child with a healthy immune system has the ability to develop [his or her] mind to the fullest potential.” NAN Grow 3 will be extending its education initiative to reach out to even more families and communities in Malaysia, Chandran added. To find out more about the NAN Grow 3 How & Why series, call 03-62011858 or visit the website www.weaning.com.my.
Azman shoots the balloons to launch The Wharf Residence’s first block of apartments, Tower 8, last Saturday.
The Way of the Wise Shopper
Rising food prices around the world is no longer a small issue. LIN ZHENYUAN tells how you can surf the riding tide of a worrisome global phenomenon
ising food prices around the world is no longer a topic that is discussed in high government circles and consumer groups. If you come from a suburban home anywhere in Malaysia, chances are you and your spouse are getting increasingly concerned and frustrated by the eyebrow-raising increases in prices of food items that you think will remain affordable within the next five years. Even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has been quoted as saying that higher food prices are threatening to impede efforts to wipe out poverty and put a halt to global growth. According to the Australia Centre for International Agricultural Research, there’s an “overall increase of food prices of about 75% since 2000”. Early this year, World Bank president Robert Zoellick commented that millions of people around the world have been pushed into poverty by the escalating food prices. The people who are most affected by this global phenomenon are from households that spend more than half their income on food every month. Some scientists have alluded to the dramatic changes in weather patterns that caused and are causing droughts and floods in food-producing nations. The most glaring example is the current floods in Thailand. A global food crisis is becoming an issue of real concern among world leaders. Thus, given the situation, what’s an ordinary Malaysian with a family going to tackle the problem of hefty grocery bills? There are several ways, and it all involves patience and some common sense. Nowadays, people with families tend to gravitate towards hypermarkets, not only because it is a one-stop centre for shopping for everything that a family needs, but also because the prices for food items are generally lower than the neighbourhood grocery shop. About 20 years ago, there was a clear difference in prices between hypermarket and your ordinary grocery shop. But these days, the gap is closing. Some hypermarkets are obviously beginning to feel the squeeze in sourcing for their products and the prices that their suppliers are levelling on them. Thus, the prices of a lot of items at some hypermarkets are no different from your kedai runcit.So it pays to take a closer look at the display board of hypermarkets. There are some days when there are special offers. Even supermarkets have resorted to lowering prices on certain items on special occasions to entice shoppers to pay a visit. With more shoppers, there is a big chance that sales will go up. Shoppers seldom buy one or two items. If they are pushing a trolley around, the temptation to add a few more items to the shopping list is almost irresistible. Right now, there are at least five hypermarkets competing with one another for the mass of shoppers around the country. Newspapers are the messengers of weekend specials. A number of supermarkets, hypermarkets and shopping complexes make it their duty to advertise their promotional offers in the newspapers on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. These places are aware that the social network, particularly those that concern families replenishing their refrigerators for the week, tend to scan the advertisements in newspapers beginning from Friday. Hence, it would be wise to have a up-close-and-personal relationship with grocery ads when the weekend approaches. If you are going to spend more than RM150, it would be wise to save a few ringgit here and there. In the end, the savings add up to quite a bit. If you tally up your grocery bills over the weeks and months, you will be surprised by how much you can save over the course of a year through wise shopping. It may be advisable not to be pennywise and pound foolish. This involves travelling by car or the LRT to a distant shopping centre just because the prices for certain items cost
Distance and parking Newspapers Hypermarkets
november 18 — 20, 2011
Carrefour hypermarket in Kepong.
Pasaraya Taman Tun operates from morning till late in the evening for after-office-hours professionals.
A kedai runcit in Kampung Sungai Penchala.
According to the Australia Centre for International Agricultural Research, there’s an ‘overall increase of food prices of about 75% since 2000’ ”
a ringgit less than the complex nearer to home. If you stay in Petaling Jaya, and you find out that there is a “mega sale” at a Puchong shopping complex, it may not be financially prudent to travel such a long way. The kilometres and the amount of petrol your car consumes to and from that particular place will only add to your imagined savings. Compounded by the fact that the roads leading to the distant complex may be congested and the parking charges involved, a shopper can actually incur higher costs at the end of the shopping trip. Some shoppers who are consumed by a desire to save RM10 actually end up wasting time on the road, paying higher parking fees and spending more on petrol during their weekend fits of shopping adventures.
Don’t buy what you don’t need
One of the many grocery shops in the fishing village of Pulau Ketam.
Human beings are weak by nature, especially shoppers. If
you enter a swanky, sparkling new supermarket, there is a good chance you will end up with a number of items that you really don’t need. Why do you think there are candy bars, chocolate and mints sold on the shelves at the cashier’s counters? Parents with little ones tend to give in when their children stretch
november 18 — 20, 2011
Take 5 minutes to fill this form up and drop it off at the nearest police station to have regular checks at your house while you are away. Ibu pejabat polIs Daerah subang jaya
One of the several smaller grocery shops located in an apartment block.
Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815
Borang maklumaT Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk bercuti. Kepada Kawasan pentadbiran balai polis .............................................................................................. BuTiran penduduk: nama: .................................................................................. alamat: ................................................................................. .............................................................................................. .............................................................................................. nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................ nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................ .............................................................................................. tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................ tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ........................................... Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar kenderaan). 1. .......................................................................................... 2. .......................................................................................... 3. .......................................................................................... lain-lain maklumat: ..............................................................................................
out their hands while sitting in the trolleys towards these colourful and delicious items. Unless you are a professional working for a multinational firm with a living expenses account of not less than RM5,000, then these shopping misdemeanours won’t affect your lifestyle. But like most ordinary mortals with a highly vulnerable grocery expense account, you need to avoid temptations and resort to guerilla-styled shopping to stay afloat in these difficult times. The best advice for an aimless shopper is to avoid the edibles section. If you don’t need anything there, don’t go where poor shoppers fear to tread. It is just like alcohol: if you are an alcoholic, don’t stare at those bottles! There is a select group of iron-willed shoppers who are determined to stick to their budget. Unfortunately, we don’t have many of this kind in our society. If you think you can survive on a family grocery budget of RM400 a month, then please make some efforts to hang on to that figure. There are always temptations lurking around in newspapers, TV advertisements and postbox pamphlets that will entice you to spend a little more this coming weekend. In the months to come, the escalating food prices will begin to eat into your monthly salary. If you have a couple of college students under your care, you may want to think seriously about not fooling around with that trolley or making unplanned trips to the supermarket or hypermarket near your house.
Stick to your budget
There are ways to change your eating habits to tackle a rising food price situation. If you are used to eating certain vegetables or branded cereals, or even fragrant, basmati or Calrose rice, you may want to change your ways. Dietary habits can still be adhered to without compromising on the nutritional value of food. There are many cheaper alternatives as far as vegetables are concerned. Ask your grandmother or mother about the value of ulam in their younger days. Take another look at some of those local vegetables that you may have ignored over the years. Many of these local greens have greater nutritional value than those expensive, organic greens that you are used to. You really don’t have to eat white cod fish or Norwegian salmon all the time. Perhaps kembong may be to your liking. In the old days, people didn’t turn their noses on kembong. These days, some families buy kembong to feed their cats. But ordinary suburban families have to be more practical and wise. Many of local varieties of food are actually cheaper and just as nutritious. Pumpkin, yam, spinach, long beans, local potatoes and kacang botol are actually quite good for the family, if you know how to cook them. It’s time to stare long and hard at the food bill, before the bank sends you a warning letter. The Way of the Wise Shopper can be learned by everybody. All it takes is common sense and adopting a mindset not to succumb to the social disease of filling up the refrigerator with expensive items you really don’t need.
Getting more for less
Have you cHecked your electrical switcHes before leaving Home?
Before leaving your home for a holoday, have you checked all your electrical switches and turned off your gas tanks?
Call the SS17 BomBa for advise at
Pasar Mini 99 Speedmart in Kampung Sungai Ara serves the needs of nearby residents.
November 18 — 20, 2011
MBPJ Mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman with organisers and participants of a carnival held at the Tropicana Medical Centre in Petaling Jaya last Sunday. The fundraising event resulted in RM100,000 being raised for the education of underprivileged children from a People’s Housing Project in Section 8. USJ 15 Sekolah Wawasan students on Monday morning, eating at their canteen that was damaged by a recent freak storm in Subang.
Children playing with sand art while their parents check out The Wharf Residence apartment show unit at the sales gallery last Saturday.
Children and teenagers singing a song for their parents at Selangor’s Dewan Jubli Perak last Saturday. Over 1,000 parents and children celebrated the traditional Confucian ideal of filial piety through theatre performances and music during the event.
Children enjoying themselves at the Community Care Carnival held in Petaling Jaya last Sunday.
Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh (second right) with teacher helpers inspecting the damage at a kindergarten in USJ1 following a freak storm on Sunday afternoon.
Chung Hua Independent High School students performing at their school’s 100th anniversary celebration in Klang on Nov 5.
November 18 — 20, 2011
Compiled by Nick Choo Send your events to: nick@selangortimes.
Tapestry… Inspired by the Animal Kingdom
Dance; 22-26 Nov; Experimental Theatre, Aswara Campus, Kuala Lumpur; 03-26971777; RM20
The Faculty of Dance of Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan announces its last production of the year, a showcase of traditional folk and classical dance. The title of show refers to the colourful collage of dance cultures that make Malaysia what it is, and how many traditional dances have drawn inspiration from the animal kingdom. From Johor and Kelantan to Sarawak, it is fascinating to note that a common source of ideas for choreographers is nature, keeping the idea that folk traditions can be fun, too. Featuring around 60 dancers; dance restaging and reconstruction based on original choreography by Norsafini Jafar, Shafirul Azmi Suhaimi, Mohd Firdaus Mustapha Kamal, Wong Kit Yaw, and Seth Hamzah, among others.
Theatre; until 19 Nov; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur; 03-21422009, www.theactorsstudio.com.my; RM30 / RM15
Six short plays about the secrets we keep from ourselves, the lengths we go to on a “maybe”, and that strange moment in love when violence seems perfectly reasonable. From a post-apocalyptic western to a cramped confessional in a dusty abbey; from the future where the Mars colony is no longer a dream, to the locked confines of a man’s past.
Singing in harmony
By Dominic Luk
THE Young KL Singers, fondly referred to as YKLS, recently staged another inspiring performance: Together As One. This hour-long show was held at The Actors Studio at Lot 10 from Nov 9-13, and featured Susanna Saw and Tracy Wong as musical directors for the multiple awardwinning choir that also presented Through The Barricades in 2003 and Move It in 2007. The combined efforts of the musical directors and overall direction by Joe Hasham and Faridah Merican resulted in a delightful choral performance of sacred music. Opening with the Azan and followed by a Hindu mantra, the evening went on with songs in languages like Latin, French, Sanskrit, English, and Mandarin. The tagline of the concert was “faiths united through choral music”, and staying true to this, it was a great way to unite the cultural and religious diversities throughout the world. The songs included Om Jai Jagdish Hare (O Lord of the whole universe), a Hindu devotional composed in the 1870s. Another memorable number was Tala al Badru Alayna, a Muslim song used to welcome Prophet Muhammad after the completion of his journey from Makkah to Madinah.
Although the songs were in languages that were not always familiar, it was the expressiveness of the singers that brought these songs to life. It would have created a better visual impact if all the performers had similar energy levels; at most times, only a handful of performers had more elaborate expressions on their faces compared with the others. Choreographer Lex Balakrishnan did a fantastic job in leading this choir of about 30 singers on a small stage, and indeed, the singers did a great job at remembering all the movements while singing and staying focused. The blocking and choreography were very simple, yet it was artistically
meaningful. The singers were constantly moving from one formation to another. And despite so much movement going on, it was not distracting. Instead, it cleverly emphasised the meanings of the songs. For example, during the final song We Are One, the choir was always in a formation that symbolised unity: holding hands, forming circles, and reaching out their hands to one another. Most songs were performed a capella (without musical accompaniment), except for a few that were accompanied by the piano, guitar, and percussion. It wasn’t extremely fancy at all, and with that, the feeling of sincerity and respect was evident. Indeed, it was simplicity at its best. The only thing that distracted slightly was that I could not always tell what religion some of the songs were representing as there was no narration at all. Some were more obvious than others; I surmised that Kyrie and Gloria, for example, was from a Catholic mass. Nevertheless, Together As One was an evening that reminded us of the importance of living together in one spirit, and that love and peace can truly thrive through music and arts. Together as One will be presented in Penang at the Penang Performing Arts Centre on 18 and 20 Nov. Contact 04-8991722 for more details
Dummyland Take 2
Theatre; until 19 Nov; PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One; 03-79600439, 0126832099, www.pjla.com.my; RM29
Monti and Logi have done a DNA analysis on the citizens of Dummyland (formerly known as Bolehland). They have come to the irrefutable conclusions that the citizens of Dummyland must have in their DN, a dummy gene. It is the only logical explanation when everything is successfully bulldozed past the dumb citizen. Monti and Logi’s social comedy will take you on a journey of situations through the eyes of the citizen of Dummyland.
Theatre; until 20 Nov; Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur; 03-41498600, www. ticket2u.biz; RM30-RM300
Mazni, the daughter of a household maid who works for a rich family, attracts the attention of her rich employer’s son, the flamboyant Karim, who sets out to woo her despite resentment from his family. The theatre production follows the young couple in the twists and turns of their ill-fated love story, as they deal with discrimination from their families, gossip from neighbours, and relationship complications. Starring Erra Fazira, Aaron Aziz and Fizz Fairuz.
As You Like It
Concert; 26 & 27 Nov; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 03-40479000, www.klpac.org; RM30 / RM25
Featuring jazz standards, popular songs, movie themes, and showstoppers from musical theatre; presented by the members of Kuala Lumpur Children’s Choir and the Subang Jaya Children’s Choir.
Theatre; 24 Nov; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur; 03-2142 2009, www. theactorsstudio. com.my; RM30 / RM20
A monologue by Benny Lim. On his last day alive, a prisoner on death row seems oddly calm. He recounts a part of his life that seems highly deluded, yet blatantly truthful. As he finally realises the truth about the human condition, he walks towards his predetermined death. A story based on false realities and ironies. Audience will be brought on an emotional roller coaster ride.
Jim West Puppets’ Dinosaurs
Theatre; 23 Nov-11 Dec; PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One, www.pjla.com.my, www. gardnerandwife.com; RM48RM78
Watch as Jim West and Jeremy Wiggle help Fossil, the Dinosaur Detective, search for his identity and unearth new and exciting dino facts. The show is broken down into four parts: building a Tyrannosaurus Rex; a shadow tale about the Overaptor; a story about a little Brachiosaurus; and the finale, the construction of a huge Apatorsaurus – all performed with a rich musical score by Mozart, Beethozen, Mahler, Stravinsky and Prokofiev. There will also be two performances in Malacca on 20 & 21 Nov, which is Universal Children’s Day, at Cheng Ho Cultural Museum. Presented by Garder & Wife Theatre.
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