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Barrier down, fear up
looking at nuke option
12 – 14
February 24 — 26, 2012/ issue 62
Pakatan MBs, CM snubbed
By brenda Ch'ng
More anti-Lynas rallies planned
sial RM2.5 billion Lynas Advance Material Plant (LAMP) fear that the plant will produce massive amounts of radioactive waste and pose a danger to Malaysians. During an anti-Lynas press conference on Wednesday, National Indian Advancement Team (NIAT) chairman Thasleem Ibrahim claimed that only a handful of Malaysians are aware of the issue. “Only one in four people outside Kuantan has actually heard of the issue. This is a blatant abuse of power and the mainstream media has a role in speaking the truth about Lynas. “Are we going to welcome the devil that is waiting to kill us slowly but surely?” he asked. He also pointed out that this is a national issue which will affect all Malaysians in future. Thasleem urged the public to protest the building of LAMP and unite to stop other future nuclear plants. Among the supporters at the press conference were representatives from Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement, People's Green Coalition, Parti Rakyat Malaysia and LLG Cultural Development Centre. To create more awareness of Lynas before the rally, a forum on the dangers of the plant will be held tomorrow (Feb 25) from 9amnoon at Dewan Jubli Perak in Shah Alam. Key speakers are Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) chairman Tan Bun Teet, nuclear physicist Ahmad Bongsu and other non-governmental organisations representatives. Ahmad Bongsu had previously warned that the impact of any disaster at the Lynas plants could be as severe as the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan.. "When the Chernobyl disaster (nuclear accident in Ukraine) took place, the radioactive particles were carried by winds all the way to Scotland. "The rain water that was infused by those particles fell onto fields and livestock," said Ahmad. He said that radioactive particles from toxic dumps in Gebang, Kuantan, could be carried by winds and monsoon rains across West Malaysia. "So don't think you're safe just because you don't live in Kuantan," he said. Meanwhile, the state expects 300 participants, including representatives from local authorities, to attend Saturday's forum. "We want councillors and council staff to be aware of Lynas and the dangers they bring to the community," said executive councillor Ronnie Liu. He said at a press conference on Thursday that the rare earth plant would emit high levels of radioactivity and cause wide-ranging negative implications for the country.
Shah alaM: Datuk Seri Najib Razak is being asked to explain why heads of Pakatan Rakyat-administered states were not invited to the 114th Meeting of Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers in Putrajaya on Tuesday. “It is extremely unprofessional for the Prime Minister to exclude Pakatan menteris besar and chief minister from a meeting to discus the people’s welfare,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (pic). Khalid, in a statement on Thursday, said the move was unfair as the people of Selangor, Penang, Kedah, and Kelantan contribute more than half of Malaysia’s economy. He said this did not reflect well on the much-heralded 1Malaysia concept and the transformation process of the government. "The state urges the Prime Minister to explain to the media that the meeting was in fact the Meeting of Barisan Nasional Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers," said Khalid Khalid's political secretary, Faekah Husin, said the move to exclude state leaders shouldn't happen in a democratic country. "The media portrayed the snub as if Pakatan leaders declined to attend when we did not get invitations," she added. The meeting , chaired by Najib, was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin, the chief secretary to the government, cabinet ministers along with MBs from Perak, Negri Sembilan, Pahang and Perlis and chief ministers from Malacca, Sarawak and Sabah.
kuala luMpur: Four more rallies around the country will be held on Sunday in solidarity with the Anti-Lynas gathering in Kuantan. “Himpunan Hijau is everyone’s platform to prevent Kuantan from becoming uninhabitable. If Lynas is allowed to operate then the door is open to more such plants in the future,” said Himpunan Hijau public relations steering committee member Clement Chin. Himpunan Hijau 2.0 is scheduled to be held at the Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) field between 9.30am and noon. Similar rallies will also be held at Maju Junction, Jalan TAR Kuala Lumpur (9.30am-noon), Speakers Square, Penang Esplanade (from 6pm), Bukit Merah in front of ARE old site, Perak (11am) and Tanjung Aru Beach (near the Yacht Club) in Sabah (4pm). Opponents of the controver-
Kajang state assemblyperson Lee Kim Sin, Global Environment Centre director Faizal Parish,and Kuala Selangor District Council president Noraini Roslan planting a tree at the Raja Musa forest reserve last Saturday. See page 10 to find out if they have turned to farming!.
Residents lash out at Syabas
By Alvin Yap
February 24 — 26, 2012
AMPANG JAYA: Apartment residents, whose water supply is disconnected due to their errant developer, have hit out at Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) for being inhumane. “Your action is heartless. You want to wait for the cheques to clear first (before reconnecting the water supply)?” asked Mohd Azam Meor, from Pandan Utama Housing Project (Phase II), at a meeting with Syabas on Monday night. Some 70 families have had dry taps since Feb 14 after supply was disconnected when it was discovered that the developer of the two-year-old apartment had been stealing from a water main. The water was piped into an illegal water tank before being supplied to residents at the five-storey walk-up apartment in Jalan Cempaka 1, Pandan Utama. Mohd Azam, 55, was among residents who pleaded for water to be reconnected immediately to ease the plight of children, pregnant women and senior citizens who have to carry pails of water up flights of stairs. But Syabas corporate communica-
tions and public affairs manager Mohd Sufian Sahran, who met residents, defended the company's actions, saying the utility company had to prevent water theft from reoccurring. “You must understand that we have to stop the illegal connection of water,” he told residents during a tense 90-minute meeting which saw consumers venting their frustrations on him and his team. Mohd Sufian said the developer would have to satisfy a raft of requirements set by Syabas and the National Water Services Commission (Span) before reconnection could take place. The company must first install a bulk meter at the apartment before Syabas will turn the water on again from the illegal connection. “We want to know how much water is being consumed,” Mohd Sufian told the crowd. However, his explanation failed to quell the anger of residents who wanted water supply restored immediately. “Reconnect the water. Tonight, if possible,” said resident Mohd Rahman Junid, 66. Another resident, Iskandar Abu Hatan, 44, laid the blame squarely on Syabas for
putting financial matters above ratepayers’ concerns. He said the water concessionaire should reconnect the water supply without delay if it had the residents’ welfare in mind. Syabas, he said, could install the bulk water meter and start charging the residents for their usage immediately. “We will pay whatever amount that comes up. We need the water for flushing toilets, for bathing and doing our laundry,” the office administrator said. Apart from the requirement that the developer install the bulk meter, Syabas also wants the company to settle RM185,000 for stealing water. The company had issued a post-dated cheque on Feb 15 during a meeting with Syabas representatives for RM40,000 and hammered out a deal to pay the rest in four instalments. However, yesterday (Thursday), Syabas slapped the developer with an additional demand of a bank guarantee for RM1.9 million before water is reconnected. The amount is to ensure that the company completes the stalled water supply infrastructure, which includes building a new water tank, water pump and also laying a
main pipe to a nearby reservoir. The concessionaire wants the developer to agree in writing that the infrastructure be completed within a year. When contacted by Selangor Times, Mohd Sufian said water supply could be restored by 1pm tomorrow (Feb 25) provided a bulk meter is installed today (Friday). Meanwhile Cempaka state lawmaker Iskandar Samad, who has been involved in talks to get water supply restored, said Syabas was only complicating matters by imposing new conditions on the developer. “I’m shocked that Syabas is asking for a bank guarantee of RM1.9 million. Syabas is complicating matters. What are they trying to do?” asked the state housing executive councillor. Iskandar earlier pointed out that the state would blacklist the company if it failed to act immediately. At the same time, he said Syabas should not delay reconnecting the supply on humanitarian grounds. “Presently, residents have to carry pails of water up five floors, and there’s a possibility accidents can happen if the situation persists any longer,” he said.
Paradigm shift needed to achieve fair elections
By Lee Choon Fai
Wong says citizens must take proactive action.
Friday Morning Saturday Sunday
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
phone (603) 5510 4566 fax (603) 5523 1188 email firstname.lastname@example.org
CHIEF EDITOR COMMUNITY EDITOR
KL Chan C Gunasegaran
PRODUCTION EDITOR WRITERS
Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng COPY EDITOR James Ang
Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
Timothy Loh, Samantha Sim, Ivan Looi, Tony Kee, Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
SUBANG JAYA: A collective change in mindset about allowing politicians to have free rein is needed before Malaysia can ever get free and fair elections, says an election rights pressure group. “ Tindak Malaysia founder Wong Piang Yow said on Wednesday that politicians are also also human, driven primarily by greed and fear. “If we let the politicians take care of our lives, they will take care of it, 'good and proper',” he quipped at the launch of Tindak Malaysia's education programme for voters as well as election polling, counting and booth agents (Pacaga) at Sunway University. Wong pointed out that politicians, left unchecked, could become corrupt, citing the saying “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. But he admitted that changing the public mindset is an uphill task as many have grown too comfortable with the status quo, especially youngsters who treat the political situation in Malaysia with apathy. “The majority of the population like to remain the way they are, change is painful, but we will still do whatever we can to help,” he said. He lamented the indifference towards the political situation, claiming that laws have been distorted so much that the country could face bankruptcy soon. “We cannot violate the laws of economics and refuse to pay the
price for it,” said Wong. He likened the people's entrenchment in the system to the movie The Matrix where people live in virtual reality, forming a rat-race-like situation where nothing is achieved. The self-funded non-governmental organisation, which comprises volunteers, hopes to promote free and fair elections, encourage a two-party system, empower Malaysians to assert their political rights, encourage proactive action and reduce corruption through their educational programmes. The programmes include basic theoretical lectures that educate people on election laws. For example, the public will learn the 31 ways that their ballot papers can be disputed and voided in the Elections Act. Participants will also be taught practical ways to ensure that their vote is not wasted, like requesting a random piece of ballot to ensure the voter's anonymity. “Basically we want everyone to have a chance to win the election, a free and fair election,” said Wong. The next Pacaba programme will be held at the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council headquarters at 9am on Sunday (Feb 26). There are also similar programmes in other states like Penang, Malacca, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. Although not part of the Bersih 2.0 coalition, Tindak Malaysia has worked with them to come up with proposals for amendments to the Federal Constitution and the Elec-
tions Act to ensure free and fair elections. Tindak Malaysia has also been attending the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms, and is currently working on a proposal to address gerrymandering and disproportionate distribution of voters in Selangor. He cited the discrepancy between Putrajaya and Kapar, where there is a vast difference between voter numbers, with Kapar having 112,224 and Putrajaya having only 6,608. The average number of voters per constituency in Malaysia is 49,199. This would mean that a member of Parliament elected in Kapar would be equal to 17 MPs elected in Putrajaya, effectively diluting the worth of a person's vote in Kapar. “By design, you only need 1.85 million out of 10.9 million votes, or 15 percent of votes, to secure a 51 percent simple majority in Parliament,” said Wong. He also said the Election Commission (EC) is far from independent as it is filled with retired civil servants, raising fears of conflict of interest. He compared the situation to having a referee preside a match involving a team which he supports. But he said the EC itself is not to blame for the current situation as it is only following the law that has been amended many times to suit the ruling government's needs. For the EC to be independent, the law must first change.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ February 24 – 26, 2012 ⁄ 3
Dengue cases on the rise in Selangor
last year. “The districts with the most number of reported cases are Petaling (479), Hulu Langat (430), Klang (328) and Gombak (173),” said the Seri Andalas assemblyperson on Wednesday. He said checks on premises found that empty land lots (65 percent) and construction sites (52 percent) were major aedes mosquito breeding sites. Dr Jayakumar said construction sites found spreading the deadly disease would be told to stop work. “We’ve closed two construction sites this year and issued 419 compounds,” he said, adding that the maximum fine for a compound is RM500. He advised houseowners and commercial centres to keep their premises clean and free of stagnant water. He also urged anyone showing symptoms of dengue such as fever, headache and body pain to seek medical help immediately. The Health Ministry said six deaths have been recorded in Selangor as of Feb 11.
February 24 — 26, 2012
Toddler’s Gym Class
The Institute of Play (IOP) TumbleTots Ara Damansara will be conducting a complimentary gymbabes class for toddlers next month. Register your children and enjoy challenging, fun and exciting sessions in a safe, caring environment. New term begins in March, but registration is now open. For details, call 0176606285 or email learning.gallery@iop-united. com.
By Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Dengue cases recorded a 40 percent jump from January to Feb 18 compared to the same period last year. Executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar (pic) said 1,581 cases have been reported in Selangor compared to 1,126
Speech and Drama
Blubricks Speech and Drama Academy will be having a free trial class on Feb 25 at the Little Fairy Music and Art Centre for those interested in speech and drama. The class, which begins in March, is only open to children aged between four and 10. It will be conducted at 9-1-8, Jalan 3/109F, Danau Business Centre, Taman Danau Desa, Kuala Lumpur. Registration is open now. For details, call 016-9563778, 012-3709330 or email email@example.com.
Task force to investigate land fraud
SHAH ALAM: Evidence of power abuse has been detected over the way 40 plots meant for Kampung Perepat settlers in Kapar were allocated to outsiders. “We’ll set up an independent taskforce. Letters will be sent to the 40 landowners to either surrender their land or face investigations,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. He said the taskforce would investigate the validity of the 40 landowners’ claim to the land. In 1981, hundreds of Kampung Perepat settlers were moved to Kapar under the Green Revolution Programme and promised titles for cultivating the land. However, they were told by the Klang Land Office that their land had been allocated to others in 1996. The state recently identified and confirmed over 300 settlers’ ownership to the land after a three-decade wait for the urban pioneers. Khalid said they would ensure that the land is only given to original settlers or their rightful descendents.
Health package promotions
TAGS Spine and Joint Specialists will be having a two-day promotion on Feb 25-26 from 10am6pm at all their centres nationwide. Great discounts, offers and free consultations await you. Other highlights include free gifts with purchases and lucky draws. For details, call 1-300-80SPINE or surf www.tags.my.
MAJLIS PERBANDARAN SUBANG JAYA
Dengan ini dimaklumkan bahawa kenderaan-kenderaan buruk seperti yang disenaraikan dibawah ini telah ditarik oleh MPSJ. Tuan/ Puan diminta menghubungi pihak Majlis di talian 03-80681240 atau datang terus ke Pejabat Cawangan Puchong, Jalan Utama 2/5, Taman Perindustrian Maju Jaya Batu 14, 47100 Puchong Selangor Darul Ehsan. Tuan-tuan punya kenderaan tersebut dikehendaki mengambil balik kenderaan-kenderaan berkenaan dalam tempoh 14 hari daripada tarikh notis ini di mana selepas tamat tempoh, kenderaan-kenderaan tersebut akan dilupuskan. Tuan-tuan punya kenderaan juga adalah dikehendaki membawa bersama-sama kad pendaftaran atau lain-lain dokumen yang sah sebagai bukti bahawa kenderaankenderaan tersebut adalah milik masing-masing. Senarai kenderaan adalah seperti berikut:-
Langat 2’s costly burden on people
SHAH ALAM: Selangor has slammed Putrajaya for pressuring the state to approve the construction of the costly Langat 2 water treatment plant, which processes water channelled from Pahang. “The RM8 billion can be better spent .... to rehabilitate the Klang River to ensure we’ve unlimited water supply in Selangor,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim He said the Pahang-Selangor raw water transfer project would only burden the public and result in water tariff hikes. “Selangor will have to pay Pahang for the raw water transferred,” said the Menteri Besar on Wednesday. He said Selangor currently has sufficient raw water sources to cater to demand. He added that a proper restructuring of the water services industry which the state had attempted to carry out since 2008 would better benefit the public. “The privatisation and fragmentation of the water services have benefited private companies at the public’s expense,” said Khalid.
Learn to Make Bread
Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (CETDEM) will be organising a basic organic bread-making class on Feb 26 from 10am to noon. Those interested do join them at the Cetdem Organic Farming Community Centre at 29, Jalan 19/15, Petaling Jaya. Also, there will be a Bin Composting Class on the same day from 2pm to 4pm at the same place. For details, call 03-78757767, 0162195826 or visit www.cetdem.org.my.
BIL 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. NO. PENDAFTARAN JAA 904 WLH 8622 MAL 7602 WBQ 2061 WND 694 WHH 519 WBS 6462 PAY 2320 JHY 9029 WCG 9189 JBG 822 BAN 5682 WHW 3437 AFM 6672 JGT 476 AQ 6800 BFC 2842 MAB 5662 BDE 8526 ABS 3206 JAR 4952 BDM 2373 WGB 9733 BDC 295 BDT 9142 NAF 4789 NAB 259 ABR 2197 HWC 953 BEV 6152 AEC 2548 WNH 2218 WBG 8923 SA 4136 D ABX 427 BEE 1688 WBX 7080 DS 8156 WFY 7074 MJ 7731 KV 7488 JENIS DATSUN KIA SPORTAGE PROTON ISWARA MAZDA FAMALIA PERODUA KELISA PERODUA KANCIL HONDA ACCORD TOYOTA COROLLA LE PROTON WIRA PROTON SAGA HONDA CIVIC AK542E MITSUBISHI GALANT PROTON WIRA AEROBACK PROTON SAVY MODENAS ( MOTOSIKAL ) HONDA ( MOTOSIKAL ) SUZUKI ( MOTOSIKAL ) YAMAHA ( MOTOSIKAL ) YAMAHA ( MOTOSIKAL ) PROTON SAGA DATSUN PROTON SAGA RENAULT DAIHATSU CHARADE TOYOTA CORONA PROTON SAGA SUZUKI ( MOTOSIKAL ) HONDA ( MOTOSIKAL ) PROTON ISWARA PROTON ISWARA PROTON WIRA NISSAN SENTRA DATSUN TOYOTA CORONA FORD ( VAN ) AUDI PROTON SAGA PROTON SAGA OPEL FRONTERA TOYOTA COROLLA TOYOTA COROLLA BIL 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. NO. PENDAFTARAN BDV 893 WMU 7823 ADK 900 WHB 8729 JGT 476 NAK 4282 WCX 9191 WCC 8974 KAQ 9722 BFQ 7168 KQ 7355 WKA 3456 BGR 4963 NBM 7724 BCA 8353 BDB 6453 BEV 7628 WGL 2659 WHH 4267 WBS 4401 CAK 8181 NAX 7732 WFG 2284 PCX 7472 WAS 7530 JBN 7016 WHM 4937 WFR 5962 PW 3089 WFS 5426 WGB 2771 TG 8872 BFB 5672 WCU 8266 JFV 1992 WKJ 4127 WGB 4831 BDE 9494 WLK 3752 CV 3522 SUKOM 1003 JENIS PROTON SAGA RENAULT PROTON TIARA PROTON TIARA MODENAS ( MOTOSIKAL) DAIHATSU TOYOTA CORONA SUZUKI ( MOTOSIKAL) PROTON TIARA PROTON WIRA TOYOTA COROLLA NISSAN VANETTE PROTON ISWARA PROTON WIRA MITSUBISHI TREDIA DATSUN PROTON ISWARA PROTON TIARA PROTON WIRA MAZDA NISSAN SUNNY PERODUA RUSA PROTON TIARA RENAULT NISSAN SUNNY FORD TELSTAR PROTON ISWARA PROTON ISWARA FORD PROTON TIARA PROTON TIARA DAIHATSU PROTON TIARA PROTON SAGA PERODUA KANCIL PROTON WIRA PROTON ISWARA NISSAN SUNNY TOYOTA UNSER DATSUN ( VAN ) COMEL ( MOTOSIKAL )
The Rotary Club of Melawati together with Sathya Sai Baba Central Council will be conducting a six-week Parentcare Programme from Feb 25. This programme is open to all parents interested. For details, call 0123276555 (Sudhaharan Nair).
For those who are seeking to enjoy fast-paced adventure and competitive tresure hunts, join Publika Shopping Gallery in their first motor hunt on March 3. If you are a stranger to motor hunts, don’t worry as there will be a beginner category. Other categories are media and nonbeginner. This hunt will take participants on a half-day adventure around the Klang Valley, ending at Publika. Participants can win prizes and vouchers up to RM2,000. Sign up now and be the first 75 cars to register and get a goodie bag. This treasure hunt requires a minimum three and maximum four participants to a team. For details, call 016-2772909 (Captain Black Hawk) or 016-6861107 (Captain Tiger Swan) or visit www.trailblazers.com.my.
MAIS & JAIS to probe Hasan Ali’s claim
SHAH ALAM: The state has instructed the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) and Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) to investigate apostasy claims made by Dr Hasan Ali and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs). “It’s clear that their unfounded claims have created discontent among the people,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Khalid said it was “very important” for the two religious authorities to conduct a detailed investigation into the allegations and act fairly to all parties. Hasan, who was the former Selangor executive councillor for Islamic Affairs before he was sacked by PAS, had claimed that Christians were using solar-powered talking Bibles in an attempt to convert Muslims. The Gombak Setia assemblyperson had also alleged that Christian missionaries were entering mosques and baptising Muslims. Khalid said the allegations were made in an attempt to divide Muslims and non-Muslims in Selangor. He added that the state would discuss with MAIS and JAIS if such baseless claims can be allowed to spread unchecked.
2/21/2012 1:18:29 PM
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ february 24 – 26, 2012 ⁄ 5
Residents fear for safety after barrier removed
By Basil Foo
february 24 — 26, 2012
PETALING JAYA: Residents were left fuming when officers from the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) tore down a security barrier in their neighbourhood on Jan 12. “Certain areas can (set up barriers), and certain areas can’t. People are putting it up everywhere, why pick on us?” asked SS20 resident Datuk Dr Vincent Ng. The barrier, made of steel drums welded together, and chained and locked, was placed across Jalan SS20/17 by the SS20 Rukun Tetangga in 2009. The 61-year-old retiree said he had every cause for concern as a few days after the barrier was removed, a theft occurred when thieves climbed over the gate to steal shoes. “If the government wants to fight crime, we are helping. Don’t go and sabotage our efforts,” he added. Ng said before the barrier was put up, his house was broken into by thieves who stole goods worth about RM20,000. Under gated community regulations, boom gates must be manned at all times and barriers can only be placed across roads from midnight to 6am. “Transforming a neighbourhood from open to gated, semigated, manned, or semi-manned depends on the residents’ decision,” he insisted. He explained that the central zone in SS20 which he lives in has
seven entrances and employing guards to man all the openings takes a financial toll on them. Ng said before the barrier was demolished last month, the system most of the residents agreed on was the blocking of two access roads into the neighbourhood. The other entrances only had boom gates, left open at all times, which according to resident Hui Seng Kit, could deter casual thieves. “The barriers and boom gates are there to make it inconvenient for thieves. Even so, hardcore Residents protesting the removal of the road barrier along Jalan SS20/17 on Jan 12. thieves could still come in,” he said. The 53-year-old consultant said in the two years before the barriers were put up, he was the victim of two robberies. Long-time resident Andrew Chong, who has stayed in SS20 for SEVERE birth defects, eight leukemia cases over five concerned about the 35 years, recalled how his neighyears in a community of 11,000, tears and anguish of possible radiation leaks, bour’s sister was slashed on the the poor people from a largely shoe-making commu- health hazards, birth neck by two youths on a motorcynity - these are not news headlines. Neither is it a defects, lead poisoning and other complications? cle. movie plot. These are the consequences of carelessly 4 Shouldn’t this in itself raise a red flag with the “They used a retractable blade allowing the Asian Rare Earth factory to be built in Malaysian authorities? knife in broad daylight. They Bukit Merah, Perak, in 1982. When Mitsubishi 5 Is the RM700 million in foreign investment more wanted her handbag. We had to Chemical started operating its rare earth factory, vil- important to the Malaysian government than the lives call the ambulance and the hospital lagers complained about choking sensations, pungent of its citizens? fees came up to RM7,000,” he said. smells, coughs and colds. Can we, as a safety measure, relocate residents close The residents urged the auThe community also saw a sharp rise in infant to the Lynas rare earth factory to a safer place? No we thorities to allow the neighbourdeaths, congenital diseases, leukemia and lead poison- cannot because when the ore containing the rare earth hood to block certain roads for the ing. While US$100 million was spent on cleaning up is crushed to remove the thorium, it releases a gas called security of their area. the factory and dump site, the largest in the rare earth radon. Radon can travel thousands of miles, as public When contacted, MBPJ counindustry, it has not wiped out the memories and heart- safety expert Dr T Jayabalan once said: “You are not cillor Mak Khuin Weng said the ache of the villagers who lost their children and loved protected anywhere in Malaysia because the wind will council had been put in a no-win ones. blow it across the nation”. situation. “The legal way to reThirty years on, the federal government has again One of the five conditions attached to the recent solve this is to tear down all barallowed a rare earth factory to be set up by Lynas in approval of Lynas’s temporary operating licence is that ricades, but that will only incur Gebeng, Kuantan. This means the government has it must take full responsibility for waste management, the wrath of residents,” he acwaved the green flag with full knowledge of the pos- including returning the waste to the source, if necesknowledged. sible consequences and deadly effects. sary. In a media briefing last week, AELB directorThe Lynas Advanced Material project will produce general Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan gave his 20,000 tones of radioactive waste, which is 10 times assurance that the board would insist on a letter of more than the Asian Rare Earth factory in Bukit Merah. undertaking from Lynas Australia that it would adhere This is typical of the Malaysian government. It to this condition. operates on the “we would never learn from tragedies” But in a recent development, the Australian governmode - be it landslides, haze or setting-up of factories ment reiterated that it will not accept responsibility which could claim lives, leading to birth defects and for any waste material produced by Lynas. In an official severe lead poisoning. The government simply does statement to online news portal Free Malaysia Today, not care. Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum What makes me sick is the rhetoric of the ruling Norman Moore asserted that “Australia does not supleaders who have jumped on the bandwagon to parrot port the importation and storage of other countries’ Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s assurance radioactive waste”. that the factory is safe. This, once again, proves that the government and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lynas have not been transparent in the details involvSeri Mustapa Mohamed says their policy is based on ing the plant’s operations and procedures. laws, policies and the decision of the Atomic Energy On its Facebook, Lynas says that the plant will cause Licensing Board (AELB). It’s about time the learned zero radiation exposure and it remains committed to minister acknowledged that the lives of millions of its core values of creating a safe environment for all. people cannot be based on procedures. If Lynas could not convince the authorities in Exposure to radiation at any level is unsafe. Both Western Australia, why should we be convinced by Lynas and the AELB say the exposure to radiation will this public relations exercise? be low. This cannot be accepted as radiation levels build In 1985, eight men - a shoe maker, pensioner, craneup according to the volume of waste piled together. operator, cancer patient, welder, general worker, barber Both Lynas and AELB have agreed that the rare and tractor driver - sued the Asian Rare Earth factory. earth factory would produce thorium, a waste by- Thousands walked from Bukit Merah to the High product from the plant’s operations. And while they Court in Ipoh. After years of struggle, the factory was have stressed that thorium is low in radiation, any shut down and decommissioned. It’s inspiring to note prolonged exposure to radiation levels is hazardous. that a community of uneducated, poor people could Let us do a check list here: take on a giant corporation and clinch victory. 1 Why didn’t Lynas set up the rare earth plant near In the same spirit, I pledge solidarity with all the its source of extraction in Western Australia as it would protesters who will turn up in Kuantan on Sunday to have saved a huge amount of money in shipping costs? demand the shutting down of the Lynas rare earth plant. 2 Why didn’t Lynas obtain an approval from the authorities in Western Australia to set up the plant? Charles Santiago 3. Could the authorities in Western Australia be Klang member of Parliament
Another tragedy waiting to happen
di atas penganugerahan Commandeur de la Legion d’ Honneur , anugerah penghormatan tertinggi oleh Kerajaan Perancis
Merafak Sembah Setinggi Ucapan Tahniah
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ february 24 – 26, 2012 ⁄ 7
DULI YANG MAHA MULIA SULTAN SHARAFUDDIN IDRIS SHAH ALHAJ IBNI ALMARHUM SULTAN SALAHUDDIN ABDUL AZIZ SHAH ALHAJ
D.K.,D.M.N.,D.K.(Terengganu).,D.K.(Kelantan).,D.K.(Perak).,D.K.(Perlis)., D.K.(Negeri Sembilan)., D.K.(Kedah).,D.K (Johor).,S.P.M.S.,S.S.I.S.,S.P.M.J.
Sultan dan Yang Dipertuan Negeri Selangor Darul Ehsan Serta Segala Daerah Takluknya
Sembah Takzim Daripada
TAN SRI DATO’ SERI ABDUL KHALID IBRAHIM YAB Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor
P.S.M, S.P.M.S, D.S.A.P
February 24 — 26, 2011
By Basil Foo
no choice,” he told residents. He said they discourage the PETALING JAYA: Persistent usage of cars, especially singletraffic congestion was one of the occupancy vehicles, and instead hot topics at a dialogue on the encourage the use of public transPetaling Jaya Special Area Draft port. Plan 2020 with residents on TuesIncluded in the plan are sugday. gestions for high frequency transit “The most serious problem is the buses which arrive every five minDamansara-Puchong Highway utes or less to ferry commuters to (LDP). We suffer everyday due to Leow bus transit points. traffic and pollution,” said SS4 Also planned are feeder bus resident Peter Leow. systems which employ the use of He was among 30 residents who smaller buses, not unlike the old discussed their problems with PetBas Mini, for better maneuveraling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) ability. officers and consultants at the Ta“We will also encourage people man Mayang Jaya Residents Assoto walk or cycle. This plan is not ciation hall. about increasing the number of Leow also complained about the parking lots as we are not encourlack of parking space at the Kelana aging people to drive,” Ihsan said. Jaya LRT station which causes com- Raja Noriza Having more people travelling muters to park their cars along the on foot would mean an increase roadside. in the number and size of walk“The LDP is congested. How do ways which the plan addresses in we prevent more cars from parking a segment on reclaiming the on the roadside. More highways in streets as living spaces for the comPJ? We don’t want that,” said Liew munity. Wei Beng. University of Malaya senior The 54-year old businessman, lecturer Raja Noriza Raja Ariffin, who has lived in SS26 for the past an adviser to the plan, said the 24 years, called for the city’s transplan is for buses to be at most 200 port system to be improved instead metres away from every home in of building more highways. the city. Consu ltant Ihsan Z a ina l Ihsan “As PJ has an increasingly aging Mokhtar, who advises the MBPJ on the urban society who eventually may not drive anyplanning aspect of the draft plan, said they more, it is better for us to promote the use of were looking into improving public transport public transport,” she said facilities. Among those who attended the dialogue “A study has concluded that all roads in PJ were MBPJ councillor Tiew Way Keng and have reached maximum capacity. That’s why MBPJ Town Planning senior assistant director we have to look at public transport. We have Faiwos Abdul Hamid.
Residents tell of rush hour woes
Worshippers at the 160-year-old temple want the SUKE highway to be realigned.
Devotees want 160-year-old temple saved
By Alvin Yap
A M PA N G J AYA : D e vo te e s o f the 160-year-old Ampang Amitabha temple are appealing to the authorities to realign the proposed route of a highway to preserve their house of worship. The Buddhist temple, one of the country’s oldest, is earmarked for demolition to make way for the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang (SUKE) highway project. “It’s not too late to look into the plans and spare the temple,” said temple chairperson Fan Fui Siong on Sunday. A signature campaign is under way to get SUKE’s concessionaire and the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) to realign the route. The temple, located next to the Ampang Light Rail Transport (LRT) station at Taman Dagang, serves almost 2,000 worshippers a day during Chinese New Year and other Chinese religious festivals. However, Fan said the temple should also be preserved for its historical significance, adding that the Chinese-majority area of Pekan Ampang was built around the temple. According to British Colonial Grant records, the colonial government gave the one and half acre land to the first committee members a century ago. Fan said, besides being a house of worship, the temple has also been a community centre since the 1900s.
“My grandparents recalled their childhood when they came to the temple to play and to learn history and Chinese calligraphy,” added the temple employee. He said the villagers at Pekan Ampang want the proposed SUKE highway to cut through the LRT station carpark located behind the temple. Construction of the SUKE, slated to begin in June, is aimed at easing congestion at the Middle Ring Road II which has seen traffic triple in volume since its opening in 1997. Temple committee members have garnered some 250 signatures to petition the concessionaire and LLM to realign the highway. Meanwhile, head temple caretaker See Bee Gan, 67, said the demolition of the temple would be a cultural loss to the country. The event was launched by Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee who briefed the public on the highway project. She said villagers were sceptical that the highway would solve the traffic jam on the MRR II. “The opinion of the villagers here is that the SUKE highway will not do much to ease the traffic congestion at the MRR II.” She said federal government officials should visit the temple site and intervene to save the temple.
Mother tongue languages need safeguarding
By Alvin Yap
february 24 — 26, 2012
PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya is being urged to get students to master their own mother tongues in order to safeguard the country’s unique heritage. “The government should pursue a path towards a multicultural and multi-linguistic society in Malaysia,” said Dr Toh Kin Woon at a International Mother Tongue Day 2012 forum at University Malaya on Tuesday. To h , a f o r m e r three-term Penang state assemblyperson, was among civil society leaders who adopted a resolution calling for Putrajaya to recognise and promote the multi-racial identity in the country. Toh pointed out that there were groups who chose to ignore the cultural diversity in Malaysia which he described as an asset to nation building. The former state executive councillor Toh says it’s everyone’s right said Putrajaya has to to be schooled in their mother reverse its policy of tongue.
sidelining vernacular schools. He said Chinese language independent schools continued to thrive even without government aid as parents want their children to have an education in their first language. “I’m not chauvinistic. But many, and I included, feel that it’s the right of everyone to receive mother tongue language schooling,” he told a packed crowd. Fellow-speaker Zaid Kamaruddin agreed with Toh, saying that the government had a huge role to play in keeping Malay dialects from the Malay archipelago alive in the face of globalisation. The Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) chairperson said the Mandailing dialect from east and north Sumatra could have been his first language if not for his grandmother’s death while Zaid was in his teens. “She taught me the dialect when I was a child, but after she died, no one else spoke it fluently and I lost the language skill as I had no one to talk to,” said the Bersih 2.0 steering committee member, who is also president of Jamaah Islah Malaysia ( JIM). He said the government should ensure that there is no discrimination in the usage of mother tongue languages as they usually belong to minority ethnic groups. Tamil Foundation president S Pasupathy said being educated in the mother tongue does not make one less Malaysian. “Speaking Tamil or Mandarin doesn’t lessen my loyalty and pride of being a Malaysian,” he said. The other speakers included Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall president Tan Yew Sing and Te-
muan tribal leader Soeb Miah. They later went on stage to adopt a resolution calling for the government to g ive fair and equal treatment to the languages and cultures of ethnic groups. The coalition also called for the prestigious National Laureate (Sasterawan Negara) award to include entries Pasupathy says speaking Tamil or Mandarin doesn’t reduce a from minority lanperson’s loyalty. guages as well. They also called for federal funds to be allocated for the performing arts that showcase the language and ethnic backgrounds of minority groups. International Mother Tongue Day is promoted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco). Unesco also holds the event to remember University of Dhaka students who were killed in 1952 when protesting against the imposition of Urdu as the sole national language policy in Bangladesh.
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Villagers to the rescue of peat forest
By Basil Foo
february 24 — 26, 2012
K U A L A S E L A N G O R : Villagers whose livelihood is linked to the Raja Musa Forest Reserve have agreed to work together with the authorities to safeguard the area. “We will be keeping an eye on the forest and will report any encroachment to the authorities,” said Sungai Sireh Home Stay manager Abu Bakar Moin. Abu Bakar, whose business includes providing guided tours into the reserve, pointed out the villagers’ rice bowl would be affected if the peat and mangrove forest were destroyed. The change in mindset among the villagers came about through the efforts of the Global Environment Centre (GEC) which has been working with villages and the Selangor Forestry Department. The Malaysian non-profit organisation had been holding awareness campaigns on the importance of protecting the biodiversity of the area since 2008. Two programmes, Friends of the Peatland Forest and Peatlands Forest Ranger, were initiated here by GEC last Saturday in conjunction with World Wetlands Day 2012. Some 200 villagers and students from Kampung Raja Musa, Kampung Bestari Jaya, Kampung Seri Tiram and Kampung Sungai Sireh took part in the programmes. “Since 2008, about 4,000 volunteers have
helped replant trees and monitor the area,” said GEC director Faizal Parish. Four separate teams have also been set up among the villagers here to combat peat fires caused by illegal land clearing. The move has received the thumbs-up from Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS) president Noraini Roslan. She said villagers could be instrumental in preventing illegal logging and peat fires caused by burning, which has been one of the root causes of haze. Students from SK Teknik Kuala Selangor planting tree seedlings at the Raja Musa forest reserve last “While it’s easy to clear Saturday. land by burning, it takes a long time to replant trees to of peat land are important as they help to “This is an opportunity for the public return the forest to its former state,” said Sel- prevent floods. to get involved and hopefully more groups angor Forestry Department director Yusoff “The peat land acts like a sponge which will lend their support to this project,” said Muda. absorbs rainwater. It is also one of the main Parish. He said participation of local villagers and water sources for padi fields in Sekinchan and The event was attended by Kajang state asstudents in the two GEC programmes was vital. Sabak Bernam,” he said. semblyperson Lee Kim Sin who is also the depThey will be educated on the importance Over 1,000 tree seedlings were planted uty executive councillor for Environment . of peat land forest conservation and trained during the event as part of GEC’s move to reHe said the state has allocated RM20 milto report to the authorities cases of intrusion habilitate over 1,000 hectares of forest de- lion for rehabilitation of peat land forests like by outsiders into the forest reserve. stroyed over the past decade due to illegal the Raja Musa Forest Reserve under the SelYusoff pointed out that the 80,000 hectares agricultural activities. angorku grants.
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What the Debate says about the Chinese
February 24 — 26, 2012
he much hyped-up debate between Lim Guan Eng and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek last weekend took place with as much drama as there was in the days leading up to it. Organised by the Asian Strateg y and Leadership Institute (ASLI), the debate themed as “Chinese at a Crossroads: Is the 2-Party System Becoming a 2-Race System?” pitted the leaders of political parties DAP and MCA against each other, both considered the de-facto ‘Chinese’ parties within their respective coalitions, i.e. Pakatan R akyat and Barisan Nasional. There is some value in conducting political debates, and we have seen brilliant examples taking place during the American presidential campaigns, amongst others. Such debates are useful for voters to hear for themselves positions taken by election candidates on key subjects. It is also an opportunity for the public to come into close contact with political leaders, and raise pertinent questions from the floor. This interaction allows for some real face time between politicians and
the electorate. Having said that, this particular “Chinese” debate did not come anywhere close to having achieved such a standard, for several reasons – not to mention the crowd’s overenthusiastic antics. First, a quality debate requires an extremely experienced moderator, not just a chairperson who introduces the speaker and calls for questions at the end (in the Malaysian-style forum we are so accustomed to today). The moderator ought to plan out his questions according to the most important issues of the day. Much thought needs to go into crafting the questions succinctly and sharply enough to challenge the speaker, summarising his points and moving quickly on to his opponent. Topics covered in this case could have taken on a much broader scope: education, the economy, healthcare, social policy, crime and
security, urban development, and numerous others. This perhaps may have had to do with the limiting subject provided, which brings me to my second point. The fact that the entire conference was founded upon the ‘future of the Chinese’, and that the debate was framed in racial terms, is an indictment on Malaysians. Or rather, on the inability to see the world in lenses other than that coloured by race. This is not a new problem – but that it is being perpetuated (and greatly encouraged by public response, no less) sends a signal that nothing much has really changed. Reports of the debate stated that each side blamed the other for not being able to ‘stand up’ to their respective Malay-Muslim partner political parties. For example, MCA challenged DAP saying it would not b e a b l e t o s t o p PA S f r o m implementing its Islamic state agenda. The DAP leader also scoffed at MCA for not being able to stand up to the corrupt ways of Umno. To be fair, the Penang Chief Minister did articulate a host of policy
successes of his state, to prove that Pakatan Rakyat’s policies would be viable. Although there was therefore an attempt to speak on policy terms, it was the theme of the debate, couched in ethnic language, that defined the boundaries of what the speakers were then expected to touch on. One might argue that it is a fair concern of the Chinese community, that their various “rights” are under threat under the looming possibility of “Malay supremacy”, such as Chinese schools, Chinese culture, and so on. But, let’s be clear. The future of Malaysia cannot continue to be built upon a foundation that is, put simply, divisive. Is this not the same reason for which the likes of another race-based organisation (read: Perkasa) is criticised? Can we not imagine a similar conference o n t h e “ Fut ur e o f Ma l a y s : Preser ving our R ac e” b eing o r g a n i s e d ? If t h e C h i n e s e community considers the latter a racist movement, should it not look at itself squarely in the face when it, too, is thoroughly excited about
a debate that is centred purely on its own future (and not on any other)? Many have applauded this advent of a debating culture, which does bring out issues into the open. More such live televised debates would certainly keep politicians on their toes. But for now, what this debate says about the Chinese in Malaysia is that this community still views its concerns as separate and distinct from the rest. This is the unfortunate result of more than 50 years of playing the game of ethnic politics. Shaping a debate along ‘Chinese’ terms today is reflective of a system that has not adapted to its changing environment. Where once the country may have needed such an arrangement, this only reasserts an old paradigm that is narrow, regressive and dismissive of the plurality of identities that has collectively gained political traction. Despite efforts to move toward an era where needs and demands are shared and justice dispensed regardless of race, we have shamefully little to show for it.
Absurd cost of … everything
ell, Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Along with the perennial, prere qu isite ho o -ha h that accompanies it. Which happens annually so that members of some religious groups can have their own brand of excitement celebrating their own brand of chaste, celibate activities. Like snooping and pontificating about this and that sin. For me Valentine’s Day is a day to reflect on how silly some things have become in this beloved country of ours, Malaysia. But I think that enough has been said and debated about Valentine’s Day before this so I shall leave it with this one thought which came from a radio listener caller who apparently is heading for a career in stand-up comedy. He said that although everyone complains about the ridiculous prices of roses and other flowers and also dining out on Valentine’s Day, he is very glad that condoms were still at the same price! Yay! Wait a minute! Shouldn’t someone in some religious department insist that condoms be priced up too? So that it will discourage illicit sex, baby dumping and other immoral fun activities. Right or not? Someone screwed up and missed this perfect opportunity to get into the media. Wait! Did I just say ‘screwed’? Sorry. I didn’t mean to put thoughts of fornication in your minds. Which of course would result in baby-dumping since illegal babies are…… well, illegal. Which leads me to this part of the column which is about what I actually started to write about, the rising cost of everything. There was a time, which now feels like soooooo long ago, when the family and I could afford to spend long holidays at a certain beachside hotel in Batu Ferringhi. Then they decided to “upgrade” and renovate. Now we can no longer afford the almost doubled up prices. (Actually, this has nothing to do with anything but I was upset when I found out and needed to vent it on someone. So I thought you’re as good as anyone. You’re getting the paper for free what!) There was a time when I could turn on the tap and drink the water. Without having to pass it through an expensive filter. And without having to deflate my wallet for a plastic bottle containing water from someone else’s tap. And there was actually a time when my monthly salary could comfortably feed and house and clothe my small family. And still have some left over for a few beers and maybe a trip out to watch a movie. With popcorn. These days I pay much more for what I used to take for granted. Like water for instance. And now I hear that some flers are charging up to RM1.50 for a glass of water with a meal. And that cup of teh tarik with that shrinking roti canai costs more than it did last year. And now they tell me that my salary is going to be cut further by the deduction of 10% to go towards a revamped health-care system. I wasn’t even aware that there was something wrong with our healthcare system to warrant revamping. Did you? But we are on the verge of taking home 10% less money than we used to do. It’s all for our own good they tell us. So that they can tell us which doctor to see for whatever illness we are suffering from at the time. That is of course assuming that we can survive long enough to get sick and require medical assistance la. On that 80+% salary that we will be left with to buy rice, books for the kids, water and other essentials
that most of the politicians who make rules and laws they do not have to worry about. I know I might be stretching it a bit la. But there was a time, I think, that I could almost believe most of what my government tells me. That seems to have disappeared too. How to believe in transformation this and that when there is a daily struggle to put food on the table? How to believe that there are billions of foreign investments coming into our economy when it takes 30 years to pay off a sub-standard house and nine years to pay off a car whose power windows stop working half a mile out of the showroom? How to believe that our country is a harmonious, cross-cultural melting pot of happy contented citizens when our government itself openly supports racebased policies? And finally, how to believe that there is actually anyone managing the affairs of the country when on a daily basis I see photos of the prime minister shaking hands with professionally-posed people, kissing appropriate-looking babies, going on walkabouts in areas full of smiling , contented citizens. Nothing better to do issit?.
12 February 24 — 26, 2012
GOING AN OPTION?
By Gan Pei Ling
egardless of public fears and concerns, when rather than if Malaysia goes nuclear seems to be already the case. In May 2010, Malaysia had announced plans to build two 1GW nuclear power plants. Five potential sites were identified in Johor, Pahang and Terengganu. But due to public opposition, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was careful to stress in June 2011 that nothing was set in stone and nuclear energy remains an “option” for the country. Public fear has centred on the dire consequences of a potential nuclear meltdown in Malaysia such as the scale of Fukushima (2011), Chernobyl (1986) and Three Mile Island (1979). The ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which started last March, had displaced thousands of people and is expected to cost the Japanese government up to US$257 billion (RM670b) in clean-up and compensation costs. Countries like Germany and Switzerland had since renounced nuclear energy and would gradually phase out their nuclear plants but major powers like China and India have merely deferred their plans to build new reactors. Closer to home, Asean countries have been flirting with the idea to go nuclear since the 1960s. The Philippines was the first to build one in 1976 but the project turned into a white elephant after the plant was found to be constructed near major earthquake fault lines. Tenaga Nasional Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, during a forum at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday, argued that nuclear energy was an attractive option. Why nuclear? Che Khalib said Peninsular Malaysia was currently highly reliant on fossil fuel sources, particularly local natural gas (45 per cent) and imported coal (44 per cent), to generate power. He noted that the c ountr y consume d 15,475 MW of power at its peak last year and the peak demand is projected to increase 60 per cent to 24,770 MW by Che Khalib 2030. But our local gas fields are depleting, he said. TNB has not built any new gas plants since 2003. Instead, it is expanding and commissioning more coal plants as we become increasingly reliant on coal imported from Australia, Indonesia and South Africa to produce power. “Nuclear energy can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and (mitigate) global warming,” said Che Khalib, adding that the cost of importing coal would increase in future. He appealed to the 200-odd audience to set aside their prejudices against nuclear power and re-evaluate the energy option objectively. However, Indian anti-nuclear activist Praful Bidwai said it was a myth that nuclear power can help to resolve the climate crisis as scientists have warned that global carbon emission must start falling between 2015 and 2020. “(Nuclear power) is too slow to deploy and too expensive. In comparison, renewable energy sources like solar and wind are safer, cheaper and can be deployed quickly,” said the author
of The Politics of Climate Change and Global Crisis: Mortgaging Our Future. But Che Khalib argued that the combination of solar, biomass, hydro and other renewable energy sources was insufficient to cater to Malaysia’s rising power demand as a
developing country. He said nuclear power should be part of the country’s energy mix: “Renewable energy sources have their limitations: solar farms require huge amount of land and the installation cost is high, the wind in our country isn’t as strong compared to
The audience at the forum.
European countries. “We’ve also almost fully utilised the hydro potential in Peninsular Malaysia…(We need) nuclear plants to provide us base load power (continuous, non-fluctuating, energy supply),” he said. Nuclear: Cheap or expensive? The construction of the two nuclear plants, expected to cost RM21.3 billion, Zamzam has been identified as one of the Entry Point Projects in Putrajaya’s Economic Transformation Programme. Set up in January 2011, the Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) has completed its preliminary feasibility study on nuclear power last July. “(But) there is no final decision by the cabinet yet. The government will decide in 2013 or early 2014,” said MNPC chief executive officer Dr Mohd Zamzam Jaafar. He said the government wanted to ensure public acceptance of the project. In addition, Malaysia would have to ratify relevant international treaties, put in place national regulations as well as obtain approvals for the plant sites, including from the local communities. If everything goes according to plan, the first of the twin units should be up and running in 2021. Despite the costly capital expenditure, both Zamzam and Che Khalib claimed that nuclear energy was cheap in the long run compared to fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. While we would have to import uranium, Zamzam said its price was low and has remained stable for the past decade. However, Australian environmental expert Dr Mark Diesendorf dismissed the claim that nuclear power was cheap compared to renewable sources of energy
The University of New South Wales Institute of Environmental Studies deputy director pointed out the nuclear industry often played down its costs by assuming a low-interest rate loan, ignoring huge government subsidies and insurance costs. “Without government subsidies, no country would have nuclear energy. It’s not financially viable in a free market,” he said. Indian activist Bidwai also highlighted that the nuclear industry was notorious for cost overruns and construction delays. A new generation reactor in Finland, which was supposed to be completed in 2009, has been delayed due to safety issues. Its original price tag of Euro 2.5 billion (RM100b) is escalating by the year. “When you factor in the decommissioning and waste storage costs, nuclear power’s capital costs become astronomical. The industry has only survived (over the past few decades) because of state support,” said Bidwai. What about nuclear meltdown and radioactive waste? Bidwai added that while the probability of nuclear ac-
cidents occurring was low, they are “inevitable” and its consequences catastrophic. Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear disaster before Fukushima, resulted in the death of 30 workers and fire fighters, and exposed thousands to radiation and cancer-related deaths. Despite that, Che Khalib argued that Malaysia’s nuclear reactors will be safe and operated in adherence to stringent international standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Describing the Fukushima nuclear disaster as an “act of God”, Che Khalib highlighted that nuclear reactors usually have several safety features to prevent catastrophic accidents. “I’m not a nuclear expert…But I was told (by the experts) that in an aircraft, they’ve 3.5 times (of safety features), if one fails, another would kick in. For nuclear reactors, it’s up to seven times,” he said. “If you don’t trust local engineers, then stop flying. Our aircrafts are maintained by Malaysian engineers,” he said in response to doubts raised by the audience on the country’s poor maintenance record. Besides safety concerns of reactors is the contentious issue of disposal of radioactive waste generated from nuclear plants. Even the TNB chief admitted that “there’s no solution yet to dispose of the waste (permanently)”. Radioactive waste - Plutonium-239 - has a half-life of 24,100 years. In other words, hundreds of thousands of years would have to pass before the element becomes nonradioactive. Scientists have yet to find a way to safely dispose of this waste that is likely to outlive human civilisations. Most of the world’s nuclear waste, some 300,000 tonnes, are temporarily sealed and stored next to their reactors. “Yes, we know there’s no solution yet, but we could contain the problem for the time being…in 100 years’ time, there could be a solution…at least we could defer the problem (now). That’s what we’re good at, anyway,” quipped Che Khalib. His remark drew a cheeky response from Bidwai. “Building a nuclear plant without (a permanent waste management plan) is like building a house without a toilet, hoping you’ll never need it,” said the founder-member of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace in India. Should Malaysia continue to press forward? Is it ethical for us to harness nuclear energy to fulfil our current needs and leave future generations to find a way to deal with our waste? Like other countries mulling to go nuclear, these are the questions that need to be answered. • turn to PAGE 14
The panellists (from left): Zamzam, moderator Datuk Khor Eng Hee, Che Khalib and Bidwai.
february 24 — 26, 2012
• FROM PAGE 13
March 2011 A magnitude 8.9 earthquake hits Japan’s northeastern coast on March 11, causing a devastating tsunami and strong aftershocks. A state of emergency is declared on March 12 and around 170,000 people are evacuated from a 20km zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant, after an explosion in one of its reactors. The next day, around 190 people are treated in hospital for radiation exposure. Helicopters are deployed to pour tonnes of water over the Fukushima plant to cool the overheating nuclear reactors over fears of a meltdown. On March 22, abnormal radiation levels are detected in tap water, vegetables, milk and fish. Japan extends the exclusion zone around the plant on March 25 and urges a further 130,000 residents to evacuate. Levels of radioactive iodine in the sea near the plant are found to be 1,250 times higher than the safety limit on March 26. June 2011 Japanese citizen group The Fukushima Network to Save Children from Radiation finds radiation contamination in 10 children’s urine samples. July 2011 Beef transported from Fukushima is banned but it was later discovered that meat from cattle that had fed on contaminated hay had already been distributed nationally. September 2011 The Japan Atomic Energy Agency says a total of 15,000 terabecquerels (TBq) of radiation was released into the sea from the Fukushima plant. Core temperatures at the three damaged reactors drop below 100 Celsius for the first time on Sept 29. October 2011 The Norwegian Institute for Air Research finds that the Fukushima plant is releasing twice as much radioactive Caesium-137 into the atmosphere, 36,000 TBq, rather than the original estimate of 15,000 TBq. January 2012 It is revealed that the Japanese government had secretly planned to evacuate everyone living within 250km of the Fukushima plant, including Tokyo, if the situation had spiraled out of control. Tokyo is home to 30 million people.
Renewable energy alternative
alaysia has been slow to adopt renewable energy options compared to regional counterparts Thailand and the Philippines. Putrajaya only implemented the feed-intariff system last December in a bid to boost the renewable energy industries in Malaysia. Pioneered in Germany, the feed-in tariff scheme allows individuals and companies to sell energy produced from renewable sources such as solar photovoltaic, biogas, biomass and mini-hydro at a higher rate to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB). Currently, renewable energy sources contribute less than one per cent to our energy mix, with only 62.3MW capacity in 2010. Malaysia targets to increase renewable energy sources’ contribution to 5.5 per cent in 2015, 11 per cent in 2020 and 25 per cent by 2050. However by 2050, advanced countries like Denmark and Germany are aiming to source energy mostly, if not entirely, from renewable sources. A recent report published in international journal Energy Policy claimed that the world can achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 if proper measures are taken. Australian environmental expert Dr Mark Diesendorf, speaking at a public forum in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday, pointed out that Malaysia has huge potential to develop renewable energy. “You receive more sunlight than Germany (where solar photovoltaic contributes to 3.5 per cent of its electricity production),” observed the associate professor and deputy director of the Institute of Environmental Studies, University of New South Wales. He said Malaysia should hire independent energy experts to conduct a comprehensive study on the country’s renewable energy potential. TNB chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh had told the 200odd audience earlier that renewable energy options have limitations in Malaysia. He cited cloud cover and high capital costs for solar energy, sparse location of palm oil mills for biomass, high installation cost for biogas, and remote locations for mini-hydro. In addition, the energy supply from these sources fluctuates. Therefore, nuclear power is needed to produce stable and constant baseload electricity. New way of thinking But Indian activist and author Praful Bid-
The cost generating electricity using renewable energy sources is expected to become cheaper and comparable to using fossil fuel and nuclear in future.
wai argues that the world ergy sources can be used to needs to move away from meet electricity demand by the model of a centralised the hour, with higher proelectricity production sysduction during the day and tem. lower production at night. “We need a much more In addition, Diesendorf flexible, de-centralised highlighted that Malaysia power production system could explore its geotherthat can adapt according to mal potential if it wants a changing demand,” said base-load power provider to Bidwai. support its renewable enHe added that it was ergy systems. more efficient to install inMeanwhile, Dr Feroz dependent solar panels or Kabir Kazi from the UniDr Feroz Kabir Kazi from micro-hydro system to sup- University of Nottingham versity of Nottingham Maply electricity to remote Malaysia. laysia also highlighted our areas, compared to connectcountry’s biomass potential ing them to the national grid to receive via his case study. power produced miles away at a power plant. Our country produces around 18 million His remark was echoed by Diesendorf, who tonnes of palm oil per year and oil palm plandescribed the concept of base-load power tations cover 15 per cent of our land – 4.7 plants as “redundant”. million hectares. The empty fruit bunches, He said a combination of renewable en- tree fronds, trunks, fibres and shell can be
burned to generate power. His 10MW case study showed that biomass is profitable in the long-term with the introduction of the feed-in tariff system. “Demo projects are essential. Renewable energy has a bright future in Malaysia and its growth provides opportunities for local employment,” said the Associate Professor from the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department. Finally, Diesendorf also commented that Malaysia should strengthen its electricity conservation and energ y efficiency programmes. With the use of efficient electrical appliance and mindful consumption habit, Malaysians can reduce our demand for electricity. TNB’s Che Khalib noted that Malaysians usually take their electricity for granted as it is still subsidised and cheap, for now, but the country must find a way to stabilise power demand as the cost of power production is likely to rise in future.
Inter-religious competition and anti-trust?
Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thaesaurus-described queries are answered!
february 24 — 26, 2012
ord Bobo, do you think that Malaysians need guidelines for inter-faith relations? In Faith, via email
Malaysia is suddenly developing into a very strange place. For decades, it was hailed as the one true multi-racial nation, where people of different races and religions co-existed in a harmonious blend of costumes, colours, food, and smiles. But now, one cannot go more than a couple of days without reading about “racial tension” or “sensitive issues” or arguments on the basis of “religion” or “faith”. What has happened? Could it be that the country really is falling apart? That the people have suddenly decided to be intolerant? Or perhaps it is because the media and the political and religious leaders keep giving prominence to such discussions ? In the past week, we have been hearing about the need for guidelines for relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. The debate about the race relationslaw is still quietly rumbling on behind the scenes too. This must stop. No such guidelines are necessary. And any efforts to introduce laws highlighting race or religion should be shoo-ed away as quickly as possible. The longer we allow these issues to be a part of our national debate, the more we give prominence to race and religion as factors that differentiate us. Malaysians do not, and should not, need religious authorities or the state to regulate our interaction. This is not a boarding school. Enforcing “unity” by legislation will only lead to a false unity – one that is brought about artificially because of fear of punishment, rather than a true unity, which results from love and mutual respect.
simple, as brain explosions are never pretty. There are three major no-nos. The first no-no is getting involved in agreements or practices that are deemed to stand in the way of free trade and open competition between competitors. The most common practice that falls foul of this no-no is forming a cartel. As a simple example, companies that are in the same business cannot sit down and agree to fix prices. That would remove the competitive nature of the market, which would hurt consumers. The second no-no is what is called an abuse of dominant position. As kinky as this sounds, there is no sado-masochism involved here. This focuses on the big boys, the dominant players in any particular market. The intention is to prohibit the Big Kahuna from engaging in practices that would eliminate any small competitors. For example, if there is a new emerging competitor in the same market, a Big Kahuna could sell his product at a significantly cheaper price. By being willing to make a loss, the Big Kahuna would ensure that no one would buy the product from the new boy in town, and it won’t be long before the newbie is out of business. This is called “predatory pricing”, and is not allowed. The third no-no is when it comes to a joint-venture or merger-and-acquisition that is deemed to result in the di-
minishing of a competitive environment. Despite seeming new, competition law is actually very old. From the early days of major organised trading, there have been anti-competitive practices, and laws against them. In ancient Rome, some anticompetition laws even carried the death penalty. And despite the differing names and often differing policy statements, almost all competition regimes have the same general prohibitions and intentions. In Malaysia, the enforcement and development of competition law will be spearheaded by something called MyCC – the Malaysian Competition Commission. It is early days yet, so MyCC have mostly been busy holding public consultations, holding talks and roadshows and issuing some basic guidelines. Hopefully they have been encouraging competition in the overly-sweet-hot-drinks, local kuih and currypuff market for the many meetings that they have undoubtedly been having. Time will tell how competition law develops in Malaysia. Lord Bobo really must end this now. If you want to know more about competition law, go and read LoyarBurok – who knows, there may be some articles on the topic! There is so much more to learn, Lord Bobo didn’t even mention vertical and horizontal agreements (not the horizontal transactions that are caught by vice laws).
hat is the Competition Act? I heard that it has been in force effective January 2012, but have not heard much about it since. Is this some law that intends to make us more competitive with each other? I asked some lawyer friends, and they gave a very long speech about how it is the same as “fair trade law” and “antitrust law” – but those don’t sound the same as “competition law”. Anyway, I think they just didn’t know the answer and just tried to sound smart like all these lawyer types do (no offence). Competitor, via email The Competition Act 2010 came into force on Jan 1 this year. Competition law is really quite complex, and not many jurisdictions have managed to come up with a balance between enforcing fair business practices, protecting consumers, and not stifling innovation and competition. The two most mature and influential jurisdictions for competition regulation are the United States (where it is known as antitrust law), and the European Union (where it is known as competition law). As your lawyer friends pointed out, it is also known as fair trade law, though this is quite rare. Whatever name is used, the basic intention is the same – the regulation of anti-competitive conduct by companies. What is anti-competitive conduct? As you would expect, this is a very simple question with a very complex answer. Entire books have been written just in response to this question. His Supreme Eminenceness will keep it
By Basil Foo
February 24 — 26, 2012
SHAH ALAM: An open invitation has been extended to Datuk Seri Noh Omar to present any evidence he has on the alleged sandmining scandal in the state. “(He) is invited to a public hearing session to present proof of alleged graft in Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB),” said Faekah Husin, political secretary to Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. She said in a statement on Tuesday that the presence of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister at the hearing will demonstrate his sincerity in eradicating corruption. Noh was reported to have said he was prepared to provide evidence if the Selangor government conducts
Tanjung Karang MP welcome to show proof
a public inquiry into the alleged sand mining scandal in the state. KSSB, a state government-linked company (GLC) established to spearhead the Selangor’s sandmining industry, has come under fire recently over allegations of graft. Noh claimed he had proof of graft in the awarding of sand-mining permits in Selangor, in the form of receipts and statutory declarations from sand-mining contractors. “We have proof. Khalid (Ibrahim) wants proof, we can give it to him,” said the Selangor Umno liaison committee deputy chairperson. The public hearing of the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) on the sand-mining issue will resume for three days from March 5. Selcat chairperson Datuk Teng Chang Khim said the decision to resume the public hearing, after it was postponed earlier, was made after the committee met on Feb 16. The public hearing will be held on two other cases including Yayasan Selangor on its 2010 audit report. The hearing will also probe two Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS) companies, PKPS Agro Industries Sdn Bhd and Premium Agro Product Industries Sdn Bhd, on the purchase of machinery. “The Selcat hearing will disperse any bad reputation that is being levied by certain parties towards those state GLCs,” Faekah said. She added that if the allegations were true, appropriate action will be taken against those responsible.
Residents urged to voice objections
SUBANG JAYA: Residents in SS19 are being urged to write in to the municipality if they want a vacant lot in their neighbourhood retained for recreational use. The land, owned by Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS), is categorised as residential but has been mistakenly listed as recreational in the Subang Jaya Municipal Chin Council (MPSJ) local plan. The council is now rectifying the mistake and changing the land status in its latest local draft plan on display at its building. “I hope the land will remain as a green area because SS19 is already overdeveloped. There is a shortage of recreational space here,” said SS19 residents’ association representative Chin Fook Khiang. He explained that new developments in the area will also cause more traffic congestion. Currently, SS19 is already packed with a few residential developments like Subang Park Homes and Subang Soho. “I’ve already sent in my objection to MPSJ and I hope those who want to keep the green area do so too,” said Chin. According to the council, PKNS ners will be put up to alert residents of conhas not put in any application to struction works going on. develop the area yet. Banners with Prasarana’s contact details and “I hope residents will put in hotline numbers will also be hung around the their objections now and not get a area for residents to call if they have any comshock later when the land usage is plaints to make. changed to residential,” said Sub“Residents should take note of the numbers ang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah and call Prasarana directly if they have any queYeoh. ries or complaints during the construction,” said She urged residents to study the Yeoh. changes to the local draft plan and In addition, Prasarana will try to close only write in their comments and objecone lane during construction and leave at least tions to MPSJ. two lanes open. “There are lots of changes espe“We’ll try to keep all lanes open along Percially in Putra Heights and even in siaran Kewajipan but for some areas one lane Subang area, so do take note of it has to be closed,” said Prasarana’s Kelana Jaya and object now before it’s too late.” line extension project head Faudzilah Razali. Other major changes to land During the press conference, Yeoh also usage in Subang include the 19 urged the works minister to expedite upgradacres, which were initially coming works at the Summit-Kesas Interchange to mercial land, at Taman Subang ease traffic congestions and help LRT construcRia. tion work to proceed smoothly. MPSJ changed the usage from “According to the works minister, upgradcommercial to recreational following works were supposed to begin end of last ing the decision made by the Menyear, but nothing has happened so far. teri Besar in March last year. “I hope these upgrades will be carried out Now the entire 72-acre land at hand in hand with the LRT construction so as Taman Subang Ria can only be used to reduce traffic congestion,” she said. for recreational purposes.
Residents viewing the local draft plan at the lobby of MPSJ’s building.
LRT works to begin in Subang
SUBANG JAYA: Some 135 trees along Persiaran Kewajipan will be felled and a pedestrian bridge at USJ6 relocated to make way for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) construction next week. “Chopping down trees is inevitable as it’s in the way of the LRT tracks. But do not worry because the council will ensure new trees are planted,” said Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh. Construction work along the 3.2 km stretch between the Summit-Kesas Interchange until USJ 21 will start on Feb 27. The changes were announced last Tuesday, during a press conference with the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) and Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad. MPSJ has imposed a condition for Prasarana to plant 10 new trees for each felled for the project. “These new trees have to be at least two metres tall and planted in replacement of those cut down,” said Yeoh. Meanwhile, the pedestrian bridge connecting USJ6 to Goodyear Court 3 will be relocated further down the road to make way for the LRT tracks. Yeoh assured residents that the safety of pedestrians will not be affected as the new bridge will be built immediately after the current one is dismantled. Prasarana further reiterated that the new pedestrian bridge will be up before any construction works can begin. Two other pedestrian bridges along Persiaran Kewajipan, opposite Summit shopping centre and at Sekolah Wawasan (USJ15), will not be affected. “Prasarana has also agreed to replace street lights and resurface service roads which are damaged during the construction,” said Yeoh. Service roads will be resurfaced or patched after construction is completed while street lights will be replaced immediately. Also, Prasarana will be monitoring traffic lights during the construction period, to ensure they don’t break down and cause more traffic congestion along Persiaran Kewajipan. “For those worried about the possible noise disruption in future, Prasarana will be putting up sound barriers if necessary,” said Yeoh. She explained that Prasarana will only be testing the noise level once the LRT is up and running to have a more accurate measurement of sound from both vehicles and trains. In addition, numerous signboards and ban-
Meatless Mondays at council canteens
By Alvin Yap
february 24 — 26, 2012
ing on a vegetarian diet. The strict vegetarian refuted claims PETALING JAYA: Council canteens that meatless diets lacked proteins and across the city have started to serve vegetarian caused tiredness. meals every Monday to promote a healthy diet “It’s a myth that you don’t get enough among staff. proteins from a non-meat, all vegetarian Mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman said the diet,” said the head of Trauma and Emerstate-wide programme, which kicked off at the gency at UMMC. Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) this week, Dr Rishya said vegetarian meals had is aimed at getting more greens into staff dur- benefits of being low in fat while being ing their working hour meals. cheaper to purchase. “MBPJ is glad to be chosen to lead the He lauded MBPJ’s initiative to make campaign to get more people to adopt a veg- its staff eat a vegetarian meal once a etarian diet,” said Roslan during the campaign week. launch at D’Kelana community hall at SS7 Meanwhile, Tzu Chi Foundation hall on Monday. spokesperson Tey Siong He said MBPJ canteens Chew said keeping to a will serve full vegetarian vegetarian diet was the meals consisting of vegetables quickest way to reduce or soy-based meatless alternathe carbon footprint and tives, adding the health and save the earth from polwellbeing of council staff lution. would improve with the new “A given number of weekly diet. lifestock produces more “I call it Meatless Monday, green house gas in a year (From left): Deputy Mayor Puasa Mohd Taib, Liu, Roslan, Hee and Loh at the launch of the and hope that staff will rethan a fleet of cars,” he Green Monday Project. frain from having meat which claimed when giving a has a lot saturated fat,” he video presentation on having a Liu said the Green Monday Project would meals during state or local government funcsaid. green diet. spur the public in adopting a vegetarian diet tions. The Monday meals would Dr Rishya says He cited a United Nations and would be a shot in the arm for the agri“These companies want to do their part to be prepared by cooks who vegetarians get enough Environment Programme’s culture sector in Selangor. promote a healthy diet,” he said. have undergone training in proteins and vitamins (UNEP) international panel of He said other local governments would also However, he declined to name the sponhandling and cooking vegeta- from nuts and leafy green sustainable resource manage- adopt the initiative and added he was glad sors, adding that the state would announce bles without losing the nutri- vegetables. ment report which said that civil service staff once again led the way in the identity of the corporate good Samaritans ents. lesser consumption of animal adopting healthy practices. soon. Earlier, Dr Rishya Manikam, from the products was necessary to save the world from On a related matter, Liu said the state had The event was also attended by Petaling Univerity Malaya Medical Centre (UUMC), the impact of climate change. identified corporate sponsors interested in Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian and Kelana Jaya also gave a talk on the health benefits of goLater, state executive councillor Ronnie paying for 200 boxes of take-away vegetarian MP Loh Gwo Burne.
MBPJ gets tough on illegal ‘baby shop’
By Alvin Yap
Postal voting for army wives raising eyebrows
Building safety Enforcement officers tearing down the illegal signages.
PETALING JAYA: An illegal baby boutique in SS2 was raided and had its prams and baby supplies seized in a raid last Thursday. “The shop has been operating for 40 days without a business licence and it has illegal building extensions,”said MBPJ Building Supervision Department assistant director Ismathinoon Abd Rahman The road shoulder outside the premises at SS2/72 had also been converted into a carpark for patrons. Ismathinoon also pointed out that the owner had not submitted an application for a trading licence despite two warnings last month to stop operating. The council officers hauled away 35 baby strollers and 35 boxes containing other items from the shop. Ismathinoon said the items would be used as evidence and would be impounded for seven days before being released to the owner. Enforcement officers also tore down signs from the
front of the shop before serving the owner with a summons. The proprietor, who wanted to be known as Wong, said he was renting the premises, and had been informed by the landlord that he did not ‘need a business licence from the city council.
SHAH ALAM: Categorising spouses of army personnel as postal voters in Kuala Kubu Baru is raising concerns of possible election fraud in the coming polls. Kampung Tunku state lawmaker Lau Weng San on Monday said objections had been lodged with the Election Commission (EC) over the move which was detected recently. “It’s unacceptable for the spouses to be listed as postal voters because they are not on duty like their husbands and should go through the normal voting process,” he said. Lau, Pakatan Rakyat’s coordinator for the BN-held state constituency, said 33 army wives were listed as postal voters in the latest electoral roll. He pointed out that spouses of those in the armed forces should vote at polling stations on election day. “I hope the EC takes this more seriously and clean up the electoral roll by ensuring they are not listed as postal voters,” said Lau. In addition, he added that an additional 400 postal voters had been added to the KKB electoral roll in the fourth quarter of 2011. All 400 postal voters are from the Taman Seruling army quarters. “Though this is a small figure, the influx of postal voters in such a small seat is very worrying,” he said. Lau explained that this might affect their chances of wining the seat. “In 2008, we lost by 448 votes,” he said. Lau also urged the EC to ensure all army personnel listed in the roll are based there and not transferred from other camps. Also present at the press conference was Kuala Kubu Baru coordinator for new villages Chng Boon Lai and Hulu Selangor district councillor (MDHS) Law Suet Peng.
18 ⁄ february 24 – 26,2012 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES
Exciting expo in store for adventurers
February 24 — 26, 2012
By Brenda Ch’ng
Zulkifli and Ness exchanging the MOU while SACC and Asia Events representatives look on.
Unique shopping experience at Markets @ Jaya One
PETALING JAYA: Markets @ Jaya One aims to offer a unique shopping experience with the support of independent businesses in its first session of the year this Mar 3. Collectibles, trinkets, clothing, handcrafted goods, homemade food, stationery and home furnishings are some of the items on offer by 100 specially-selected vendors. While shoppers can expect a broader cross-section of items than in anywhere else, they can also participate along with their community in various social causes. SPCA will be holding an adoption drive to find homes for their rescued animals, and shoppers can also bring recyclable items to the entrance of Palm Square. Items collected will be donated to Community Recycle for CYBERJAYA: Banking on its ability to adapt to market demands quickly, Crystalville Sdn Bhd plans to offer buyers a one-of-a-kind living experience in their upcoming developments here. Their MyDiva line of homes and Vita commercial centre will include a unique take on design and standard of living that will set them apart from other developments. “As we are a medium-sized company, we are more nimble and can adjust very fast to meet market demands,” said Crystalville director Datuk Azman Mahmood. One of the ways in which market demand dictates their developments is the addition of two open-air terraces in their MyDiva Tropez semi-detached homes. The two-and-a-half-storey semidetached houses will feature a large, covered terrace on its first floor and a semi-covered terrace on its second floor. “As people nowadays tend to spend more time at home, these terraces can be used for relaxing, parties, or even as a home gym if Charity Malaysia, a non-profit organisation There will also be a Mitsubishi Car Boot Sale Challenge. Six vendors - Things Eye Made, AZORIAS, Pestle & Mortar, Vintage 1988, Reveries and The Click Shop - will use the Mitsubishi Crossover ASX as their retail space and decorate their cars to represent their brand image. The public can then vote for the best display after the event via the Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia Facebook page. Markets @ Jaya One is open to the public and will run from 11am-6pm. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own shopping bags. For details, visit markets.my and facebook.com/themrkts or follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/marketsmy.
S H A H A L A M : Thrill-seekers and X-games enthusiasts should head over to the Adventure World Expo 2012 at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) from March 2-4. From indoor rock climbing to scuba diving pools, visitors can look forward to three days of activities from 11am-8pm. “There will be over 100 exhibitors present to showcase the latest land, sea, air and eco tourism adventure sports-related products,” said Asia Events Exsic director Ness Puvanes. Asia Events Exsic, a company specialising in events and exhibitions, will organise their first ever Adventure World Expo to promote the sport and bring together adventure enthusiasts. “The event will provide the perfect platform to expose the public to a wide range of activities available at the expo,” she said at a press conference last Friday. The expo will also enable adventure businesspeople to make new contacts, trade and find new support services.. She hopes visitors will get to learn more about the exciting range of sports activities, products and services. Participants are encouraged to try out scuba diving in their pool, which will be set up in the SACC hall. “We will be charging a nominal fee to cover expenses for equipment and gas tanks. This is a good opportunity for everyone to try out scuba diving,” said Ness. However, admission to other activities like paint ball, archery and rock climbing will be free. Among the highlights are lucky draws, dialogues with the Biker’s Club and talks on travel adventure experiences. Power boats, speed boats and 4-wheel drives will also be on display. “Admission is free and we are targeting over 5,000 participants for the event,” said Asia Events Exsic director Thayalan Kennedy. He hopes more youths will come to the expo and pick up a sport or two as a hobby or even as a career choice. “The business world of adventure sports is blooming and fresh graduates should venture into this business. It might make them a lot of money,” he said. Also present at the press conference was SACC’s chief executive Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad, who signed a memorandum of understanding between Asia Events and SACC. Under the memorandum, SACC will co-host the event with Asia Events for the next five years. “Through this memorandum of understanding, we’ve agreed to help them promote adventure sports and ensure the success of the expo,” said Zulkifli.
Crystalville’s X-Factor in Cyberjaya
going out again is a hassle,” said Azman. Residents of these homes will also enjoy a lakeside view of the Putrajaya Lake and an exclusive guarded development with a single entry-exit point. The 14 MyDiva Tropez units, each with a built-up area of 4,409 square feet, are set to be launched in May with a show house at the project site along Persiaran Tasik. Another way in which Crystalville has come up with innovative features to its products is by providing ramps to the secondstorey of their Vita commercial development. “Using these ramps, customers who loathe walking can drive straight up to the shops on the second floor and park there, saving them time,” Azman explained. He said this unique concept was intended to give the same value and advantage for buyers of the second floor shop-offices as the buyers of He said, with the Soho in place, it guarantees the project a core market of an estimated 1,650 residents who will shop for their essentials in the area. The project will also further tap into the Cyberjaya market and be the focal point of the surrounding community with its location which is very near a bus terminal. Vita’s double-storey shop-offices will be launched end-March while the Soho building will be launched in June. Crystalville’s earlier residential homes launch included the twostorey MyDiva Ibiza semi-Ds with a build-up area of 3,856 square feet. “Special financing packages are also available for buyers who approach us,” said Azman. To enquire about Crystalville’s developments in Cyberjaya, call 038318 5668 for its MyDiva range of homes, and 03-8318 8680 for the Vita commercial centre.
Azman with a model of Vita.
the lots on the first floor. This concept was introduced successfully in Crystalville’s previous development at Plaza Damas in Hartamas and he expects it to be well accepted here too. Apart from the 98 units of double-storey shop-offices, the Vita
commercial development will include 1,280 elevated, basement, and ground-floor car park lots. “We are also planning to build a 15-storey small-office home-office (Soho) building with 345 units sized an average of 450 square feet,” he said.
February 24 — 26, 2011
PJ and KL are home to thousands of restaurants and boutique eateries. LIN ZHENYUAN is enthralled by a new house of food in SS2.
y sister, who has an admirable pastime of eating well in all kinds of exotic and sometimes faraway places, tipped me off on a new eatery along the main SS2 road in Petaling Jaya. Since my diary was relatively free of engagements during the recent Chinese festive season, it seemed logical and reasonable to agree on a lunch date. When I learnt that Tang Pin Kitchen was our destination, it suddenly dawned on me that it was linked to the Tang fishball restaurants that have somehow captured the imagination of a portion of the Chinese community in PJ. The headquarters of the Tang House of Fishball is in Sea Park, PJ. I have been there a number of times. The fishball and its related items are actually quite tasty. Michael Tang is the big boss of House of Tang. Currently, there are 10 outlets. He is the sole proprietor and he is so busy that he sleeps only about four and a half hours each day. Tang Pin Kitchen is very proud of its fried porridge as evident from the poster (top left). Ordinary people like us would balk at his personal schedule because his sleeping time normally stretches from 2.30am to 6.30am. The rest of the time, he is on his feet and on the move. At 60 and single, his work schedule is demanding but like most high achievers who have set their sights on a goal, Michael has the tenacity of a prized bulldog and the stamina of an Arabian stallion. Michael said originally he had 13 outlets, but three were closed down due to operational issues. There is one Tang fishball outlet in Kajang. The Chinese believe that if the Tang Pin’s menu and settled on mee Although I am not unfamiliar ing agenda when I walked into the feng shui of a place is excellent, good poke, sweet and sour spicy meat, with Tang House of Fishball, I was premises. The ambience of Tang Pin business is assured. With its present fried fish noodle, fishball soup, radmost curious about Tang Pin Kitchen which has been open for business Kitchen is simply superb. I have a location, I have no doubt business is ish cake and golden noodles. For habit of feeling the vibes of a place good because the restaurant was drinks, we ordered one of the house for about one and a half years. The fried porridge at this place which serves food. After 10 minutes three-quarters full on a public holi- specialties, barley fu chuk. Barley fu chuk is popular among comes highly recommended, so of being inside Tang Pin, I could feel day at 2pm. The three of us breezed through Chinese customers because it works naturally it was at the top of my din- my body relaxing. well with the digestive system. Michael disclosed that his restaurant is also well known for “tau fu fa” which his chefs have taken great pains to maintain quality and consistency. Right now, there are two factories in Old Klang Road making all the necessary ingredients for the 10 Tang eateries. Each day, the Tang factories supply 230-250kg of fishballs to the outlets. Even though the Tang eateries are famous for their fishballs, and to a certain extent the celery noodles, more items are in the pipeline. According to Michael, about 40 more new items will be offered to customers in due course. In fact, Michael and a business partner are planning to open a new outlet tentatively called “Just Five Noodle House”. Michael said nothing in the new outlet will cost more than RM5. Frankly, it sounds like a pretty good idea to me, considering the escalating cost of an ordinary meal these days. Bamboo plants help soothe the image of this busy section of SS2.
Much ado about cock-a-doodle-doo!
House of Tang aims to please
Michael will be making trips to Hong Kong and China soon to discover new culinary items which would be suitable for Malaysians. Right now, the House of Tang boss is looking for a suitable location for his Just Five Noodle House. He is thinking of a restaurant which has a seating capacity of about 100-120 people. That means the restaurant would probably occupy two shoplots. Most of Michael’s workers are from Myanmar. His 130-plus workers are very diligent because they are paid well. Michael is proud that his fishball soup does not contain any MSG because of its unique recipe. Responding to a query whether the rest of the items are also MSG-free, Michael candidly said: “It is impossible not to use any MSG when you run a restaurant but we make sure the food overall is well received.” The eight items that appeared on our table were better than average. The fried porridge has an interesting taste. It is not your normal kind of porridge. Diners trying it for the first time will definitely have positive comments, as I did. As for the mee pok, I thought it was good enough to justify a second visit to Tang Pin Kitchen. The fishball soup was excellent as usual. No
February 24 — 26, 2012
MSG-free fishball soup with bitter gourd.
Golden noodles that have earned top marks from customers.
Take five minutes to fill this form up and drop it off at the nearest police station to have regular checks at your house while you are away. Ibu pejabat polIs Daerah subang jaya
Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815
Borang maklumaT Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk bercuti. Kepada Kawasan pentadbiran balai polis ..............................................................................................
The fried porridge that makes many sit up and take notice. Fishball soup with vegetables complements the other items.
BuTiran penduduk: nama: .................................................................................. alamat: ................................................................................. .............................................................................................. .............................................................................................. nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................ nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................ ..............................................................................................
fishy smell or aftertaste. But it was the ambience of the place that made my lunchtime meal complete. There were big pots of bamboo strategically placed on the verandah which created an oriental atmosphere that would certainly please a lot of diners. There is actually another Tang outlet in the back row of shops behind Tang Pin Kitchen. The outlet is called Restaurant Tien Pin. It was originally one of those “char chan teng” eateries that the Cantonesespeaking people are familiar with. Later, Michael changed the name to Tien Pin to give it an original flavour and its own identity. Michael has been operating his restaurants for the past seven years. Michael has a full calendar, but his tight schedule does not keep him away from his three constant companions, two Rottweilers and a Golden Retriever. His three “close buddies” help him to relax and keep an even keel on the business and private sides of his life. He is clearly very proud of his canine friends because there is a big picture of Michael and his Rottweilers at the main entrance of Tang Pin Kitchen. Tang Pin Kitchen is located at 24, Jalan SS2/24, Petaling Jaya. Telephone: 03-7877-2376.
Spicy dry noodles for those who prefer it this way.
The radish cake side-dish that is pretty and tasty.
tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................ tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ........................................... Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar kenderaan). 1. .......................................................................................... 2. .......................................................................................... 3. .......................................................................................... lain-lain maklumat: ..............................................................................................
Have you cHecked your electrical switcHes before leaving Home?
The curry mee selections are reasonably priced.
Before leaving your home for a holiday, did you check all your electrical switches and turn off your gas tanks?
Call the SS17 BomBa for adviCe at
February 24 — 26, 2012
(From left) Selangor Water Management Authority information officer Ishak Kamaruddin, Hulu Kelang assemblyperson Saari Sungib, Melawati Bazaar Entrepreneurs’ Club representative Mohd Nor Md Dom and other traders pouring used oil into the collection bin to launch a recycling cooking oil campaign at Melawati Bazaar last Saturday.
SS18 resident Mukhtiar Singh, 69, received a lime tree sapling for paying his assessment via the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) payment kiosk, on Tuesday. The council is currently giving away tree saplings to those who pay their assessment using the kiosk situated in the lobby of MPSJ’s building.
Ampang Amitabha temple chairperson Fan Fui Siong, head temple caretaker See Bee Gan and Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee holding up a Chinese calligraphy written by child petitioners asking for the temple to be spared demolition due to the construction of the SUKE highway. The devotees of the 160-year-old temple hope the authorities will consider a realignment of the highway to save their place of worship.
Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei (second from left), Bukit Rawang Jaya Residents’ Association president Yap Koon Leong (third from right), a Gombak Public Works Department (JKR) engineer, and Bukit Rawang Jaya residents visiting traffic lights along Jalan FT001. Road accidents were reduced dramatically after the lights were installed three months ago. What remains to be overcome is the issue of prevalent floods at the road intersection.
Children and residents of Taman Subang Baru, Shah Alam, can enjoy their playground again after Kota Damansara assemblyperson Dr Nasir Hashim (centre) provided the funds to repair the damaged facilities. Dr Nasir said the youths can play badminton and sepak takraw at night now that the street lights have been fixed.
Boom! You’re Stuck Underground!
By Dominic Luk
‘BOOM’, the story of the end of the world, and maybe even the beginning of it, is being shown at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre from Feb 17-26. This Asian premier of ‘Boom’ is directed by David Lim, and the cast features Jon Chew as Jules, Sharon Lam as Jo, and B. B. Ostella as Barbara. The script was written by American playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. The story’s complexities and sci-fi theme were probably attractive enough to keep the audience intrigued with a million and one questions on what was really happening. After all, how often do we get to watch a play about fish, the survival of humankind, two strangers trying to have sex, and a mysterious woman standing at the side in front of a huge machine and banging the timpani every so often? wants to have “sex to change the course of the world”. The only one who bravely responded to his ad was Jo, a journalism student, and that’s where the story expands. Both of them debate on whether the world will really end soon as Jules insists that the fish in his aquarium show signs that a disaster is about to hit the earth. All Jo wanted was to get a story for her journalism class; she surely did not expect to be locked underground to make babies. The initial juicy part of the story starts when Jules tries to get Jo to agree to procreate with him, despite his homosexual tendencies. Only later on in the story do we find out who Barbara, the woman hidden at the side of the stage, is. She appears to be some kind of guide in a museum who pulls levers and pushes buttons to control Jules and Jo. Her monologues and sudden interruptions make things more interesting. In the end, it still isn’t clear who she really is and why she controls these two people. Having said all that, the script was well written. The delivery of it in this particular production, though, seemed to have done the script very little justice. The two main actors on stage appeared uncomfortable playing their roles, which was a shame since these two characters have so much to offer to the storyline. Their lack of chemistry as actors was evident, and more exercises and work should have been done to help them be more grounded and absorbed into their characters. Chew had some good moments playing the dorky Jules, but sadly that wasn’t enough to tighten the whole show. O s t e l l a ’ s performance was comical enough to make everyone laugh, but more confidence and conviction could have made a whole lot of difference. Lam was clearly not comfortable with her character: a journalist starting off as a strong girl who knows what she wants but gets stuck in a situation out of her control. There was a lack of clear direction throughout the play, and lines were often lost because the actors spoke too fast at times. The story intrigued me very much, but sadly that was all that caught my attention. I’d love to see this restaged after more work is put into building a stronger relationship among the actors, the script, and the overall direction of the entire story.
february 24 — 26, 2012
Basically this doomsday comedy begins with Jules, a marine biology graduate student, in his underground lab. Jules has posted an online advertisement looking for a hookup with no real catch except that he
Shakespeare on Film
Film: Feb 12-Mar 18; Indicine, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, KL; 03-40479000; www.klpac.org; Free.
Paul Loosley’s Shakespeare on Film is back for the sixth series and after more than 30 movies adaptations of the Bard’s works are still flowing. Among the offerings this series are Julie Taymor’s The Tempest (Feb 12), George Cukor’s Romeo and Juliet (Feb 19) and John Farrell’s Richard the Second.
Art: Feb 27-Mar 11; Pentas 2 Lobby, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, KL; 03-40479000; www.klpac.org; Free.
Faizal Sidik focuses on collective conscience, an idea he investigates using a variety of mediums. His earliest works, the War Series, use traditional techniques of drawing to comment on war and dissent, victimization and silence. The pathos of the images is intense, with figures skillfully enhanced by dark colour combinations.
Theatre: Feb 27 (8.30pm); The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 Roof Top; www. nose2nose.org/n2n/; 03-79576088; RM25. Space is an internationally acclaimed one-man show from Timothy Mann, directed by Neil Farrelly of Nose2Nose. What is Space? This infinite question is answered through an American psychic, an army general, a science professor and other characters. There are no props, sets, costume changes as lone performer Mann uses only his body and voice to tell the story.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ December 30, 2011 – January 1, 2012 ⁄ 3
Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.