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May 13 — 15, 2011/ issue 24

community

Mild improvement in air quality after yesterday's evening shower. Inset picture was taken on Wednesday afternoon. Story on Page 2.

By Gan Pei Ling

Tussle over bridal biz

PETALING JAYA: Legalising SS2's unlicensed bridal shops could boost the industry here, but some residents are far from keen to see more wedding dresses in what was once their neighbours' leries and studios, become a top homes. bridal centre equalling Jalan Ipoh in Apart from the bridal galleries on Kuala Lumpur. Jalan SS2/24, the rest of the shops He has proposed to the mayor to along three other main streets sur- legalise the shops by converting the rounding SS2’s commercial centre three main streets into “limited are unlicensed as they have yet to commercial” areas under a special convert their residential land status area plan of the PJ Local Plan. into commercial use. “These houses are no longer suitCouncillor Tony Cheong is able for residential use. The roads among advocates who want to1 see5/6/11 ( Jalan SS2/55, Jalan SS2/72 and LB_246384_Sun_m14.ai 11:01 PM SS2, which has 30 such shops, gal- Jalan SS2/75) are busy and there is

a lot of noise and dust pollution,” said Cheong. He added that an ongoing survey conducted by the Town Planning Department since April revealed that most property owners do not stay in the houses, but rent them out to residential or commercial tenants. “The landlords enjoy higher rental rates if they lease the houses to business tenants,” Cheong said. Cheong said since it would take

a few years to convert the land status of the three main streets from residential to limited commercial, MBPJ should issue temporary business permits to the shopowners so that they can continue operating during the legal process. He said usually the landlord must convert the property to commercial before the business operator can apply and secure a business licence. Cheong noted that it had taken

around two years for the city council to change the street’s status of SS2/24 in the local plan in 2008 to “limited commercial”. The process may be delayed further should there be opposition from SS2 residents. Currently, property owners could face a fine of between RM10,000 and RM15,000 for renting out residential units for commercial use. • Turn to page 6


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news May 13 — 15, 2011

API improves after showers By Basil Foo

shah alam: After several days of hazy conditions and deteriorating air quality, the air pollutant index saw a mild drop after yesterday’s evening shower. According to the monitoring of air quality carried out by the Department of Environment (DOE) at 5pm Thursday, Port Klang citizens can now breathe a little easier. Port Klang recorded an “unhealthy” level; with its air pollutant index (API) reaching 104 at 11am Thursday, but was reduced to an API of 99 after a downpour in the afternoon. API numbers also fell across the other four areas recorded for Selangor by DOE with Kuala Selangor and Petaling Jaya recording the largest drop from 85 to 76 and 82 to 73 respectively. However, the API for Banting (94) and Shah Alam (84) only saw a minor fall of two points. Air quality is considered “good” by the DOE if its API levels are below 51, “moderate” if between 51-100, “unhealthy” if 101-200, “very unhealthy” if 201-300, and “hazardous” if above 300. Twenty-one other monitoring stations throughout the country also recorded “good” quality of air at that time while 31 areas recorded “moderate” quality. Meanwhile, DOE has advised the public against conducting open burning to not aggravate the haze situation which has worsened recently. “Although there has been a dry spell, the public should not take this as an opportunity to conduct open burning,” said Selangor DOE director Datin Paduka Che Asmah Ibrahim yesterday. Che Asmah added that there were no major burnings in the state which contributed to the haze, but said there were minor one here and there.

Action against encroaching ‘settlers’ By Alvin Yap

shah alam: Selangor will name and shame individuals who have obtained Temporary Occupational Licences (TOL) and encroached on the Bukit Tarek forest reserve in Ulu Selangor. Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said many of those who were given the TOL titles in Kampung Keradang are not even staying there, but have rented out the land to third parties for the purpose of turning it into plantations. “The land in the village is part of [the forest reserve], but the previous administration had closed one eye and issued TOL titles on the pretext that it was only temporary,” said the Menteri Besar in a press release on Tuesday. In October 2010, Hulu Selangor

district officers reported the encroachment of some 8,000ha of the Rantau Panjang and Bukit Tarek forest reserves. The state executive council then decided to ban any form of development in the area. Khalid said TOL holders are not settlers, and would not be deprived of housing if the state were to demolish their settlement. He said certain parties were taking advantage of state policy that ensures every resident has the right to own land. But he pointed out that the Kampung Keradang issue involved land misuse and serious encroachment of a forest reserve. He added that the settlement and the oil palm plantations were having a negative effect on water catchment in

the area. “We will not compromise with those who encroach on the forest reserve or cause damage to the water catchment there,” he said. Khalid said the state has decided to draw the village boundary next to the forest reserve, and also study the extent of encroachment. But he said the state would not demolish genuine homes. The state is also planning to meet the genuine settlers to resolve the issue. “They will not be thrown out of their homes,” he said. He also said the state has issued more than 100,000 land grants to TOL holders who have occupied land there for more than 15 years. “This is provided they follow the law on land use,” he said.

To place your Advert in Contact Timothy Loh 019-2674488, Ivan Looi 014-9366698, or Vincent Boon 012-8902033 Selangor WEATHER Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Morning

Afternoon

(From left) MBPJ councillors Richard Yeoh, Terence Tan, Khairul and Cynthia Gabriel (third from right), and Gurmit (centre) during the launch of the Green Personality Award.

PJ looking for ‘Green Personality’

Night

Source: Malaysian meteorological department

phone (603) 5510 4566 fax (603) 5523 1188 email editor@selangortimes.com

EDITORIAL CHIEF EDITOR COMMUNITY EDITOR

KL Chan

Neville Spykerman

Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng COPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang

WRITERS

DESIGNERS

Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen

ADVERTISING ADVISORS

Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi

Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz

PETALING JAYA: If you practise environmental sustainability and care for the conservation of a greener city, you could be the one Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is looking for. “MBPJ wants to honour the person who cares for the environment and creates awareness about it,” said councillor Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainudin at the launch of the Green Personality Award. The person need not be a “guru” of green technology, but a simple practitioner of green habits daily, he said. “The nominee could be a housewife who uses natural compost for fertilisers, and teaches and motivates others in the neighbourhood to do the same,” he said on Wednesday. The winner will receive a plaque, certificate and RM2,000. Nominations opened on Wednesday and will close on June 10. The winner will be announced in the first week of July. The award is organised by the Green Team City Petaling Jaya committee chaired by Khairul. The newly-formed committee will oversee plans that will

see carbon emission levels reduced in the city in two to three years’ time. Nomination forms are available online from MBPJ’s website or at its office here in New Town. Environmental activist Gurmit Singh praised the council for acknowledging the importance of environmental sustainability and conservation. “Petaling Jaya is the first city to give an award to someone who cares and protects the environment. We appreciate that very much,” he said. MBPJ planning and development head Noraini Roslan said the council was embarking on lowering “carbon footprint” in the city. She said the award should inspire ratepayers to get involved in caring for the environment. Noraini pointed out that Petaling Jaya would always grow, but environmental damage could be lessened by residents who do their part to practise sustainable living. “Recycling, installing simple water catchment and also using natural fertilisers are all sustainable living,” she added.


SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ MAY 13 – 15, 2011 ⁄ 3


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news May 13 — 15, 2011

Events Career wear sale Metrojaya Mid Valley is having a career wear promotion this month. The promotion began yesterday (May 12) and will end on May 22. Shoppers will receive free vouchers worth RM30 with every purchase of RM150 from participating career wear brands. Shoppers who spend RM100 and above in a single receipt from now till June 30 will also stand a chance to win Malaysia’s first lithium-powered electric bicycle. For more information, contact customer service at 1 800 88 8865, or visit www.metrojaya.com.my.

Charity fun fair Junior Chamber International Petaling Jaya (JCIPJ) will be having a hot air balloon fun fair to raise funds for leukemia patients. The event will be held tomorrow (May 14) from 8am to noon at Padang Timur, Petaling Jaya. Among the activities will be hot air balloon rides, free health checks and a photo contest. For more information, call 012-311 2559 (Nurul-Huda), or e-mail jcnurul@gmail.com, or visit www. jcipj.org.

Sendai fundraiser Loyar Buruk and JuneWow will hold a fundraiser for tsunami-hit Sendai on Sunday (May 15) at Pusat Rakyat Loyar Burok. Among the highlights are a photo exhibition and a concert titled “Sending Love to Sendai”, which start at 5pm. Other activities include lucky draws, origami and Japanese calligraphy, sumo wrestling and haiku writing. Admission is free. For details, visit www.junewow.com.

Fashion high tea Get a free makeover compete with a giant high tea photo shoot set this month at Sunway Pyramid. The shopping centre will be celebrating May Fashion Month with the theme “High Fashion High Tea”. Stand a chance to go on a RM20 000 shopping spree by spending RM100 in a single receipt from May 6-19. To get the complete free makeover, spend RM300 or more in a maximum of three accumulated receipts. Shoppers can also enjoy high tea at selected outlets along with a preview of the latest fashion. For more information, contact Sunway Pyramid at 0374943100 or visit www.sunwaypyramid.com.

Wesak candlelight procession Klang Ti-Ratana Buddhist Society will hold a candlelight procession in conjunction with Wesak on May 16 at 7pm. Everyone is invited to be blessed by monks on that day. You can also offer food to the monks at their breakfast dana session at 7.30am and lunch dana session at 11.30am on May 17. A vegetarian lunch will also be prepared for devotees at noon followed by evening blessings and chanting at 8pm. For more information, contact 016-278 2962 (Foo).

Hospice treasure hunt Come join Hospice Klang’s Charity Treasure Hunt on June 12. The one-day hunt will be held in Klang town at 8am. Get a team of three to four people and join the hunt to raise funds for the hospice. Entry forms are available now. Each participant will be charged RM85. High tea will be provided after the event. For more information, call 03-33244740 or 016-274 1178 (Hong).

Photography creativity Cyberview is holding a photography contest until June 15 in Cyberjaya. The theme is “A Zest for Life”. Cash prizes of RM3,500, RM2,000 and RM1,500 will be awarded to the top three contestants. For more information, contact 03-83156048 (Rozi), or email rozi@ cyberview.com.my, or visit www.cyberview. com.my/www.cyberjaya-tv.com.

We look after Indians, says Khalid By Basil Foo

KLANG: The Indian community has not been neglected and their needs are being looked into by the state. “Selangor has approved land for a [record] number of non-Muslim places of worship, and has not demolished any Hindu temple since 2008,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim during a talk at Dewan Hamzah last Saturday. The Menteri Besar said land applications for 62 non-Muslim places of worship have been approved since 2009. Speaking to more than 1,500 people, he said the most number of temples that were approved previously was only about 10 a year. Malaysian Indian Voice (MIV) advisor V Ganabatirau said protecting the religions of the minority in the country should be one of the priorities of the government. Ganabatirau praised the state for releasing funds and granting land for temple use.  He welcomed continued assistance from the state, but acknowledged that approvals for land should be monitored

Khalid receiving a floral wreath from MIV leaders at the talk last Saturday.

to avoid haphazard construction.  He added that the talk was a series of events planned to highlight issues affecting the Indian community with another talk planned for Nibong Tebal soon. “Politicians are generally not aware of Indian issues because they are not close to the ground,” he said. Although they were working together with politicians, he said MIV was trying

Controversial road set to remain closed By Chong Loo Wah

CHERAS: A traffic expert has recommended that Jalan Pakis remain closed, with other roads upgraded to accommodate traffic in the area. The move is good news for Taman Fern Groves residents, who have been at loggerheads with motorists from nearby housing estates who want the road reopened. The road was closed last September by Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) following complaints of traffic congestion and noise pollution from the Taman Fern Groves Residents’ Association. However, 300 residents from neighbouring areas signed a petition to protest the closure as it restricted their access to the Cheras-Kajang Highway. Consequently, MPKj hired traffic planner Goh Bok Yen to conduct a holistic traffic study on the entire area stretching from Taman Kobena to Taman Suntex covering several residential neighbourhoods. On Sunday, Goh presented to residents

the 12 proposed measures to improve traffic at the increasingly-developed area, which has seven new development projects in the pipeline. “Some of the [existing] roads and junctions are operating beyond their current capacity, thus causing traffic delay,” said Goh in his report. Among the four short-term measures include widening the road from the Police General Operation Force Base in Cheras to Taman Mudun and turning the Persiaran Awana to Jalan Alam Jaya 2A intersection into a T-junction. Meanwhile, the council is also expected to spend RM22 million to upgrade 8.8km of roads in the area from 2013 to 2017 in three phases. Other medium-term traffic solutions include the implementation of the Taman Suntex MRT station and road improvements proposed by MPKj in its local plan. Goh highlighted that with seven more development projects forthcoming, the area is expected to have an additional 1,100 residential houses and 1.2 million square feet of commercial lots. He e s ti mat e d that 100,000 cars will be travelling to and from the area once the projects are completed. Goh said MPKj needs to carry out the 12 proposed measures and strike a balance between development and maintaining smooth traffic to ensure a decent quality of life for the people. Goh (left) discussing the plans with residents.

to maintain an apolitical stand to avoid being used as a political tool. Also at the talk were Selangor state economic advisor Anwar Ibrahim, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy, Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran, and Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo.

Santiago: Subsidise the poor to help them cope By Brenda Ch’ng

KLANG: Spiralling food costs along with Putrajaya’s hints of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) are spurring calls for subsidies for the poor. “The state government should help the poor by working with hypermarkets to subsidise the cost of daily household items,” said Charles Santiago. The Klang Member of Parliament pointed out that the 20 sen increase in sugar prices may seem like a small amount, but to the poor it is a big deal as it also leads to an increase of most beverages and food prices. Santiago said the state government could pay the hypermarkets directly to make it easier for the poor to enjoy the benefits. He added that hypermarkets could also look into selling more items in bulk to make them more affordable. “The working class need subsidies urgently because they can no longer survive on their wages,” said Santiago. According to Santiago, a study of food prices showed an increase of 40%60% from September 2010 to April 2011. The current wages of RM500-RM750 earned by lower income groups are hardly enough to raise a family. He said a minimum wage of RM1,500RM2,000 is needed for all workers. The federal government is considering setting a minimum wage, but nothing concrete is expected in the immediate future.


SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ MAY 13 – MAY 15, 2011 ⁄ 5


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News May 13 — 15, 2011

By William Tan

Disabled being denied their basic rights

PETALING JAYA: Despite existing laws and regulations, the disabled community still find themselves at the short end of the stick because of poor enforcement. “We do have the Persons with Disability Act 2008, but it is a toothless law. In reality, I have no protection, no power. I can’t even stop a perfectly fine person from parking in a handicapped spot,” said Stanislaus Anthony. The 63-year-old wheelchairbound resident highlighted the plight of the community during the  Constitutional Rights for the Disabled seminar held last Saturday at  the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ). The seminar, held in collaboration with the Malaysian Bar Council’s Constitutional Law Committee, saw an attendance of 40  participants, including the visually impaired and physically  handicapped. Stanislaus, however, pointed out Syahredzan Johan Stanislaus Anthony Anthony Sivabalan S Ramakrishnan that without strict enforcement, such seminars are rather pointless mented at a ministerial level … everyone is afraid, frightened that Yam Tong Woo, who represented because the voices of the disabled but  never properly brought into they themselves will be disabled. the visually impaired, said the probare still not heard.  Parliament, which means it is rarely, They’d rather ignore the problem lem lies in what he calls selective MBPJ councillor Anthony Siv- if  ever, enforced, and never at the than accommodate us,” sa id discrimination. abalan Thanasayan, who spear- scale needed for it to be effective. the councillor, who is himself wheelHe explained to the seminar atheads much of the MBPJ’s special He believes that the problem is chair-bound. tendees and reporters that in Malayinitiatives for the disabled, agreed not given due attention, and is comHe suggested that it may take a sia, the banks have decided not to that  the existing laws are just not pounded by a lack of participation person being sued before anyone issue ATM cards to the visually adequate. by the public. takes them seriously. impaired – a huge inconvenience to He said the law has been imple“I find there is a denial syndrome If denial is not the issue, then their daily lives.

Wesak preparations under way By Basil Foo

PETALING JAYA: Spiritual preparations for Wesak Day are underway at the Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple here, which saw a steady stream of devotees offering prayers on Wednesday. “Coming here to pray has been a tradition in my family for many generations,” said Stewart Leong. The 41-year-old manager, a devotee of the temple on Jalan Gasing, said he would be volunteering to cook food for the festival next Tuesday. Hindu devotees Kaminidevi Velantham and Tinagaraj Arumugam were also seen praying in the main hall in the lead-up to Wesak Day. “We have been coming here every month for prayers. Hindus sometimes come to Buddhist temples because we used to worship Buddha also,” Kaminidevi explained. She said the both of them would

be coming on the day itself to participate in the candlelight procession and to pray for blessings. Students Jack Chua and Tracy Lim, who came for prayers before the festival, said this would be their first time observing Wesak Day at this temple. “We used to frequent a temple in Jenjarom but decided to come here this year because the events here sounded interesting,” said Chua, 19. Apart from prayer, devotees are to follow a set of rules in preparation for the festival, a day marked to commemorate Buddha’s birth and death.  “Usually one week before the festival, devotees may observe the five precepts of no killing, no stealing, no misconduct like adultery, no lying, and to avoid alcohol,” said Rev Woon. The 39-year-old resident monk said Buddhists may choose to observe these rules in their daily ac-

Showing reverence... Devotees at the Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple praying for blessings.

tivities, but in rare cases, some may stay in the temple a week before the festival. Other practices that the temple devotees observe are abstaining from solid food after 12pm, avoiding forms of entertainment like music or television, and sleeping on the floor. “All these practices of abstinence are a form of living without luxury,” said the monk, who is one of 11 who tend to the 54-year-old temple.

Lim (left) and Chua.

He added that other crucial public amenities such as web accessibility and communication facilities are all severely lacking or nonexistent. “I have friends from overseas who come in and are just shocked at how little we are cared for,” said Yam. Francis Siva, who represented the physically handicapped, said the problems are aplenty: they have no healthcare, can’t get jobs, and are denied even the right to an education due to inadequate facilities. Worst of all, he said, is the lack of respect towards their plight. He told a story in which he found a handicapped toilet stall being used as a storeroom. “I’ve even heard of people criticising the MBPJ when it provides disabled parking spots,” said Senator S Ramakrishnan. Ramakrishnan, who officiated the seminar, said local governments must take the initiative to educate the disabled on their own rights. The Malaysian  Bar Council’s Constitutional Law Committee, established two years ago, runs national campaigns on raising awareness of  constitutional rights. But this is the first time it has run a workshop for the disabled. “We all have rights, basic rights as human beings, constitutional rights as citizens of Malaysia, and I want everyone to know them, especially the disabled. "I want them to be aware, to be educated, and assert their rights,” said Syahredzan Johan, chairperson of the committee. He, however, added that for true change to occur, a cultural change must occur among the public, and laws have to be properly enforced. MBPJ estimates that one in 10 people in this city is disabled.

Businesses can face action for operating illegally • From page One

On the other hand, the business operators can face action for illegal trading, advertising or obstructing five-foot ways. The city council had issued 65 compounds involving the three offences as of April 30, MBPJ public relation officer Zainon Zakaria told Selangor Times. She said each compound costs the shop owners RM250. Some owners admitted that they would rather pay MBPJ officers a token amount of duit kopi rather than being fined repeatedly. The bridal houses are not the only ones involved. Other businesses like clinics, florists and furniture stores that have emerged along the residential premises during the past few years have also suffer the same fate. Mo s t o p e r a t o r s w e l c o m e Cheong’s proposal to legalise their businesses and hoped the process could be sped up. However, SS2 Utara Residents’

Tony Cheong

Association chairperson Magirin Haron is concerned with worsening traffic conditions as more businesses spring up. “How are they going to accommodate the customers? Will they provide more parking spaces? If not, the customers will come and park in our area,” said Magirin. He said customers from Jalan SS2/75 would often park their cars

on Jalan SS2/80, which is a residential area. He agreed that the houses are no longer suitable for residential use, but stressed that the city council must provide a solution to their parking woes as SS2 becomes increasingly developed. A long-time resident of SS2 expressed concern that the move would open the floodgates. The retiree pointed out that SS2 already had its commercial centre, and businesses should be kept separate from homes. "This is a residential area, and we don't want more businesses to disrupt our quality of life," he said. But Rukun Tetangga SS2B chairperson Lee Kwee Cheng said it would not make much of a difference as the bridal houses would not attract  much traffic. "The houses are changed to limited commercial status only … Some of the owners are just waiting for the right buyer to sell [their houses]," said Lee.


NEWS

Councillors: Allocations not ours to spend By Alvin Yap

PETALING JAYA: Councillors criticised for failing to spend millions of ringgit for development have claimed the allegations are unfounded because they cannot use the allocations.  “As a councillor, I can only suggest projects to the mayor and engineering department. They will decide whether to approve it or not, and how much money it should receive,” said R Selvarajan. The Petaling Jaya city councillor was among four councillors who were criticised  in an online news portal on April 30. The portal, quoting unnamed sources, reported that  Selvarajan was allocated RM4.4 million while  Latheefa Koya received RM5.4 million, Anthony Siva Balan RM4.9 million, and Richard Yeoh Yong Woi RM3.99 million. It also reported that upon checking, there were no projects in the councillors’ zone. Selvarajan pointed out that MBPJ had used allocations to upgrade the old drainage system in Section 8 and also to maintain roadworks in the Kampung Baiduri area near Section 51.   Yeoh said councillors do not “physically”

handle the money. The allocations are put into an MBPJ trust and deducted when infrastructure work is carried out. “MBPJ’s engineering department implements the projects, and they go through the costs with a fine-toothed comb,” said Yeoh.   He pointed out that infrastructure projects are awarded by MBPJ’s tender board chaired by mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman.  Yeoh said the report was not true, adding that that projects which he had suggested in Section 11, 12 and 13 had been carried out. They included upgrading the median road divider pavements along the stretch of Jalan Kemajuan as well as the traffic lights.  Anthony asserted that he had no control over the allocations.  “If [the report], I am very happy indeed. I have been asking for more allocations to build more facilities for the disabled, for example,” said the wheelchairbound councillor.  “[As they say], show me the money, as I have been asking for more to fund infrastructure projects for the disabled,” he said. Latheefa, a lawyer, slammed the report as inaccurate and misleading, adding that she was not ruling out taking legal action against the writer.

MAY 13 — 15, 2011

Drainage at last for village By Brenda Ch’ng

KAJANG: Villagers of Kampung Melayu Bukit Dukung will be getting a proper drainage system after a decade-long wait. “Their main problem is floods,” said Kajang state assemblyperson Lee Kim Sin. Currently, villagers have to make do with ditches to fend off floods. There are are no proper outlets for water to flow during heavy rain, and this often leads to flash floods. Lee said he met Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) officials on Monday and proposed a proper drainage system for the village. The proposal has been approved, and the DID will be visiting the village this

month to do a survey and draw up a plan. Lee said he would monitor the progress of the project to ensure there are no delays. The plight of the 200 families was brought to his attention when he visited the village last weekend. During his visit, Lee also handed over 20 pieces of zinc to a family to replace their leaking roof. Lee said a 60-year-old woman who lives with her mother asked him for help with the roof about a month ago. He also helped the villagers sign up for state government schemes and welfare programmes during his house-to-house visit.

Lee getting to know one of the villagers during his visit.

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NEWS MAY 13 — 15, 2011

New barrier proposed at Mines

Teo, Ean Yong and Subang Jaya Municipal Councillor Loka Ng Sai Kai discussing the proposed barrier.

By Brenda Ch’ng

SERI KEMBANGAN: A 300m-long barrier has been proposed by Besraya (M) Sdn Bhd to stop cars from weaving in and out on the hazardous road leading into the Mines shopping centre.  The barrier will be located on the Sungai Besi Highway to separate cars coming off the Seri Kembangan ramp and the Kuala Lumpur highway route. “Currently the road leading to Mines splits into two, with the left lane going towards Balakong and the right lane towards Mines,” said Ean Yong Hian Wah. The Selangor executive councillor said with the Mines building on the left, it is natural for drivers who want to go to the Mines to keep to the left lane. However, drivers often end up hitting the divider at the end of the short curvy stretch of road while switching lanes. With the news barrier in place, cars exiting Seri Kembangan will have no choice but to take the Balakong route,

and cars from Kuala Lumpur will take the Mines route. “Both lanes can get you to the Mines. Drivers in the Balakong lane have to make a U-turn further down before driving back Deadly divider: Accidents that have occurred on the road leading to the to Mines,” said Teo Nie Ching. The Serdang Member of Parliament was shopping centre. concerned over the number of accidents taking place here each month. are not allowed to open it to the public because Besraya has She said the developer of the new Mines 2 has catered for not approved it,” said Chew. a left-side exit leading straight to the shopping mall, which He said the new road was not approved as it had failed the stems from the Balakong road. road and safety audit. Teo said while there is likely to be an initial bout of confuAccording to the audit report, the alternate access road sion, 90% of drivers who use this road are shoppers, so the side gradient leading up to Mines 2 was too steep, and there is no exit and barriers will eventually prove useful. proper barricade at the end of the access road. The auditor Meanwhile, Mines 2 general manager (project and opera- appointed by Mines 2 deemed the road unsafe. tions) Michael Chew said there is an existing side road leading Chew said Mines 2 should have been given a chance to to Mines which has not been opened yet. experiment with the access road first, and would have gladly “The side road is completed and ready to be used, but we closed it if it caused more accidents to happen.

Increased bounty to Setup of shelter for curb illegal banners youths a group effort By Alvin Yap

PETALING JAYA: Information leading to the conviction of culprits responsible for putting up illegal and unsightly banners in the city will now earn residents hard cash. “Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will now pay those that tip us off RM200 if the information leads to conviction in court,” said Mohd Fauzi Maarop. The city council enforcement head said the new incentive comes on the heels of the old scheme, where MBPJ gave RM100 in cash for every report made on illegal banners. He pointed out there were a few takers under the old scheme, and the council hopes the increased bounty would spur more to do so. He said this latest move is part of MBPJ’s effort to tackle illegal banners advertising money lenders, sex toys and services, along with aphrodisiacs.  At present, MBPJ is offering a 70 sen bounty on every illegal banner the public surrenders to their residents associations

or Rukun Tetangga. Mohd Fauzi pointed out that enforcement officers have removed some 56,303 illegal banners in Petaling Jaya, and have issued RM33,500 in compoundable fines. He said the majority of illegal banners were placed in public, commercial areas in the city, and named Section 14, Section 52, SS 2 and SS21 Damansara Jaya as the places with the most obscene signage. In December last year, irate councillors Derek Fernandez and Tiew Way Keng had called for firmer steps to be taken to rid the city of the illegal advertisements. Tiew said MBPJ by-laws only gave the city council power to issue fines, payable on the spot, to those caught putting up the illegal banners, but the city council does not have the power to arrest the culprits. “To arrest them and bring them to court for trial, we have to work with the police,” said Tiew on the sidelines of a road show on illegal banners in Damansara Damai on May 6. Tiew, a lawyer, said MBPJ will conduct joint operations with the police at a later date.

SHAH ALAM: Rumah Puteri Arafiah, which was slated to begin operations on May 1, is in need of funding to run its operations. The shelter home for teenage rape victims was set up by the Selangor Women’s Welfare and Charity Organisation  (Pekawanis) together with the Committee on Welfare and Women’s Affairs, the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), and Raudhatus Sakinah. Pekawanis will be holding a collection drive and high tea on June 4 at the Shah Alam Convention Centre and aims to collect RM200,000, which will be used to manage the pool of trainers and volunteers in the shelter for the current year. “The state Social Welfare Department has said it is not able to sustain the expenses incurred in running the shelter, and underscores the need for private and public donations,” said Pekawanis president Salbiah Tunut. Salbiah, who sits on the director’s board of Rumah Puteri Arafiah, said the responsibility of running the shelter should not sit squarely on the department’s shoulders, but should be a concerted effort by all parties to address

social ills in the state. The initiative is timely as the department has cited an alarming rise in rape and incest cases. Salbiah pointed out that the home is aimed at providing shelter and care to traumatised rape victims, and will be a sanctuary for them to regain their dignity and self-image. The shelter home is open to youth of all ethnicities aged 12 to 21 years. They must be Malaysian and willing to undergo counselling for the two-year period. Pekawanis has identified a PKNS house in Section 7 Shah Alam for the initiative. Salbiah said PKNS was an example of a company that was doing its best to fulfill its Corporate Social Responsbility, and hoped more companies in the private and public sectors would follow in its footsteps. Earlier, Salbiah said the high-tea event will be highlighted by a Top Chef cooking competition, which will see chefs from hotels in Selangor battle it out to win top prizes. Enquiries on the high tea can be directed to Puan Norhayati or Cik Syafikah at 0355191248.


NEWS

Hawkers told to move or face further action

Cheong (second left) talking to residents at the Pandan Perdana hawker and futsal centre. Looking on is Govindersamy (in green).

By Basil Foo

AMPANG: The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) is standing firm on its decision to relocate illegal hawkers on Jalan 9/10 despite their protest last Sunday. “They have been operating for more than

10 years without licences. If they don’t move, we will keep issuing summonses and seizing their wares,” said Dorothy Cheong. The MPAJ councillor told reporters during a site visit on Tuesday that the hawkers were informed about the relocation to a nearby hawker centre over a year ago.

The centre, with a capacity for 20 stalls, is largely vacant and sits about 100 metres away from the current illegal stalls situated in an open space beside the Pandan Perdana flats. “We have been receiving complaints from the flats residents for many years due to cleanliness, safety, and pollution issues caused by the illegal stalls,” she said. She referred to a poll carried out by residents of the low-cost flats in 2008, where out of 143 households, 101 voted to move the stalls, while 42 rejected the move. Some of the hawkers who oppose the relocation staged a protest in front of Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee’s office to voice their anger at having their stalls being demolished in January. “Most of those who protested are outsiders … and there remain only two or three illegal hawkers left who refuse to move to the centre,” said Cheong. There were initially 14 illegal stalls. Several hawkers have since decided to close their businesses, while others are wary of dwindling sales should they agree to the move. Hawkers who rejected the move claimed their proximity to the flats offered them a guaranteed stream of customers. They were also worried that they could not afford the rent at the centre. During the site visit, some residents told Cheong not to move the stalls as they

Know Your Councillor: Chong Hoon Ming By Brenda Ch’ng

SUBANG JAYA: Longterm educational planning for the children in Kampung Baru Seri Kembangan is what local councillor Chong Hoon Ming is looking into. “Since there is only one school in the area, I hope my plans for free tuition centres will be realised soon,” said Chong. The two-term councillor said Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Serdang Baru 1 is the only school in the area. He believes that education is the key to moulding the young to be leaders, and it is also the first step to be taken before the village can be developed. The 43-year-old said most of the villagers are not educated enough to demand for more facilities or stand up for their rights. Chong hopes the next generation will be able to step up to the plate and take the lead towards transforming the village. The electrical engineer, who used to be a councillor in Taman Sungai Besi Indah, was

transferred to Kampung Baru last August at the request of Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah. “When I [was] transferred, most infrastructure problems were already tackled, but there was still a lot to do. The complaints never end,” said Chong. He said the villagers are more concerned about getting their broken drains repaired and their potholes patched rather then asking for new facilities. When he moved to Kampung Baru, complaints about drains were so overwhelming that it pushed him to ask for funds. He managed to get RM200,000 from the state to repair the drains. Apart from meeting their basic needs, Chong took the extra step to build a roof extension at the school. The schoolchildren now have a shady place to wait for their parents to pick them up. Another major task is solving problems among houseowners. While helping the villagers apply for land titles, Chong came across disputes among

neighbours who demanded a fair share of the land surrounding their houses. He said most villagers are unhappy about illegal extensions that encroach on one another’s land. Villagers want the land around their compounds to be divided equally. “All they want is a fair share of their land, but it is hard to satisfy the parties and give them what they want when it isn’t even clear how much land belongs to whom,” said Chong He has called for a surveyor to resolve the issue, but some cases have to be referred to the land office for further help. Chong hopes these issues can be resolved quickly so that he can start introducing more modern facilities to the village.

MAY 13 — 15, 2011

9

claimed there was also a strong sewerag e smell at the centre. “As a poll has been done, we will take action based on the wants of the majorit y. We have contacted Indah Water to look into the Cheong nearby sewerage treatment plant,” Cheong said. She added that the offer of the vacant lots to the illegal stall operators had expired at the end of last year, and are now open to be bid upon by other hawkers. Sundry shop owner Govindersamy Maniam was one of the stall operators who moved to the hawker centre three months ago. While his profits neither rose nor dropped after the move, he is still uncertain about the future of his shop. “I don’t know the future and whether my business will improve just because I have moved here,” said the 46-year-old. He pays a monthly rental of RM860 for two lots, and isn’t charged for the use of water and electricity.

Essentials handed out on Mother’s Day RAWANG: State-sponsored food donations were handed out to 50 needy families here last Sunday to ease their burden and to help them celebrate Mother’s Day. “The contribution and sacrifices from mothers are priceless and invaluable. Their roles are not just to care, nurture and teach; they are also the breadwinner of their families,” said  Gan Pei Nei. The Rawang assemblyperson was at the Sri Bayu Rawang flats with Selayang Municipal councillor Mohd Sabri Mohd Taib to distribute rice and essential foods.  

Gan pointed out to the participants that the state had initiated a host of social economic programmes for the benefit of the public. She urged them to register at her service centre for the senior citizens’ scheme, the Selangor Childrens Welfare Fund, and the Selangor women’s mammogram scheme. Also present was Selayang MP William Leong, who said Selangor had many low-income households who still need the aid.  Gan also cut with a cake with mothers who were present at the event.

(From left) Gan, Leong and Mohd Sabri.


News 10 May 13 — 15, 2011

Fresh coat for Taman Sri Manja flats Painting work underway at two 10-storey lowcost apartment blocks in Taman Sri Manja.

Santiago with the participants.

Hee presenting a bucket of paint to Taman Sri Manja apartment surau manager Mohamad Zamin Hassan. Looking on are Susunan Baru building supervisor Sahrul Nizam, resident Mohd Safri Mohd Eksan, Maharul, and MBPJ Building Control Department director Hamidah Ariffin.

By Basil Foo

PETALING JAYA: Far from the surrounding main roads and hidden from public view, a low-cost apartment in Taman Sri Manja will receive fresh coats of paint from the city council. “Three hundred buckets of paint were contributed by the council, [while] the developer, Susunan Baru Sdn Bhd, will be contributing the labour,” said Maharul Ismail. “The job of repainting the apartments should take about two

months,” he added. The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillor told this to about 100 residents of the 10-storey Taman Sri Manja apartments during a paint presentation ceremony on May 7. He explained that MBPJ wanted to dispel the myth that low-cost housing does not receive the same standard of care as other areas. “As this area is secluded from the nearby North Pantai Expressway (NPE) and the Old Klang Road, less attention is given here,” he said.

The council’s contribution is part of a project to improve the quality of life. Flats in Taman Dato Harun were the first beneficiaries in 2009. The second recipients were residents of an apartment project on Jalan Medan, across Klang River from the Taman Sri Manja apartments. The council has budgeted RM1.7 million this year for painting old low-cost flats in all 24 zones within Petaling Jaya. “The priority for this project is towards the more dilapidated flats which have not been repainted for

many years,” said Hee Loy Sian. The Petaling Jaya (South) Member of Parliament, who was at the ceremony to present the paint to the residents committee, said problems arose due to the current laws governing high-rise buildings. He said the maintenance of these buildings depended too much on maintenance fees from residents which complicated matters when poorer residents cannot afford to pay. “If only 20-30% can afford to pay, not much upkeep can be done on the buildings – only payment of utilities

can be carried out,” Hee said. He insisted there should be a law to force developers to use their sinking funds, a pool of money they are required by law to set aside, to maintain their buildings. Also at the ceremony was Taman Medan assemblyperson Haniza Talha, who hailed the project as a good move to provide the residents with a sense of belonging. “One of the reasons there was a racial clash here back in 2000 was because the standard of living here was poor and small tensions would spark fights,” she added.

A tribute to mothers S U B A N G J AYA : Fatimah Mahmmod’s husband passed away more than 30 years ago. Illiterate but hardworking, the single mother from Kampar, Perak successfully raised her four children by working as a cleaner. Fatimah, 67, now lives with her youngest daughter Zaimah Mustafa, 31, who is also a mother of three, in Sunway PJS 7. Zaimah’s childhood friend K Kaladevi, 37, is also raising five children aged three to 14, with the help of her mother since her husband left the family three years ago. The three women were among the 300 mothers honoured by Sub-

Free lunch was served for the 300 mothers from Subang Jaya.

ang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh on Sunday in conjunction with Mother’s Day. The mothers were treated to a buffet lunch and performances by local singers Juwita Suwito and Shaun Isaacs. Apart from working class women, the event also saw a gathering of mothers across different faiths and ethnicities. Yeoh said they invited women from Hindu temples, Budd h ist a sso ciations, churches, mosques, the Subang Jaya Senior Citizens Club, and various residential Zaimah and her mother Fatimah. areas in Subang Jaya.

Regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds, the 300 women were celebrated for their contribution to their families and society. Female volunteers from the churches also helped to distribute carnations to the mothers. “This is the first time we’ve brought them together,” said Yeoh, who is expected to be a mother next month. Since taking office in 2008, Yeoh would visit the flats and celebrate with Mother’s Day with the women, but this year she decided to hold a bigger-scale celebration for the mothers. Yeoh also invited Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Dr

Members of the public taking the opportunity to take photos with Dr Wan Azizah (seated left) and Yeoh (seated right).

Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to share her experience as a mother with the women. Dr Wan Azizah spoke about learning to deal with her children who would grow up to have a will of their own. Zaimah, who works as a supermarket cashier, told Selangor Times she has to deal with the same prob-

lem as her oldest daughter is very stubborn. “She is a good child but very degil,” said Zaimah while shaking her head. Her daughter, 13, wants to be a police officer. Zaimah said she would support her children to achieve their ambitions as best as she could.


Let’s start talking to one another as a nation I

t seems to be a worldwide phenomenon that people are driven by insecurity TRICIA YEOH and fear, especially of what they do not understand or know. When news of Osama bin Laden’s death came in, Americans rejoiced on the streets. In this tit-for-tat world, a murder was cleverly orchestrated and celebrated, in the end boosting the public perception of US President Obama, whose ratings had been previously falling. For the less bloodthirsty of us, it was discomforting to note the level of enthusiasm displayed. Sure, the man was instrumental in the deaths of so many, but, as some have pointed out, the modus operandi was distasteful. He was unarmed and did not fire any weapon when the killing took place, a decision the US embarked upon unilaterally without international consultation. The celebratory response was only too telling of people’s ignorance. Surely this would not stop “terrorists” from detesting the West’s arrogance. But the ignorance runs deeper, not knowing what Islam truly stands for, and thereby creating a culture of fearing Muslims among many conservative Christians – the worst sort of generalisation, which national leaders take advantage of for political gain. But they are not the only ones guilty of politicising fear and insecurity. I witnessed the same being cultivated in the recent run-up to the Singapore elections, where the PAP (People���s Action Party) government used stability and economic wealth to woo voters, threatening that the opposition parties would fail to deliver and hence jeopardise Singaporeans’ quality of life.

JUST SELANGOR

Fear and insecurity at home Back home, we are probably the worst lot. The human race is already prone to bouts of fear and insecurity as a natural instinct, but in Malaysia it is made worse by the multitude of subcultural groupings of ethnicity and religion. The mantra is true that political parties have capitalised on both race and religion for their own personal gains at the expense of national unity. How so? Most recently, following the success of the DAP in the Sarawak state elections (winning 12 out of its 15 contested seats), there was some concern that its dominance in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition would juxtapose a Chinese-strong opposition against a Malay-strong Barisan Nasional coalition (where Umno calls the shots and other parties meekly comply).

This has culminated in a rather bizarre chain of events. A Christian meeting in Penang organised by the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship with other partners was accused by pro-Umno bloggers of conspiring with the DAP to firstly replace Islam with Christianity as the country’s official religion, and secondly to put a Christian prime minister in office. Christian leaders denied that these calls were part of the session, which they say was an ethical seminar organised to “discuss and address the issue of bribery and corruption in the marketplace and the Christians’ contribution in addressing such issues”. Just preceding this, Pembela, a coalition of 20 Muslim bodies, issued a statement expressing concern that Islam’s position in Malaysia is under siege. The Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism responded with their own statement, in which they say Muslims’ position would never be threatened in Malaysia as they would still possess political control, being in the majority. Thus began the domino effect, the seemingly unending downward spiral. The DAP, the Bar Council, and a group of non-governmental organisations, which includes the Centre for Independent Journalism, responded in uproar, essentially implying that no verification was done to prove the accusation against the DAP was true. Perkasa demanded punishment imposed on those challenging Islam as the country’s official religion; a police report was made on the Bar Council’s constitutional committee lawyer who said there was “no official religion” in Malaysia. The verbal banter goes back and forth – it is like watching a badminton game live on court. Shutting out the noise and thinking All that is taking place in our country is not new. New incidents, perhaps. But these are merely manifestations of a deeply rooted problem. They stem from age-old sentiments of ignorance of “the other”, which are for years and years never corrected – prejudices that stick like cling-wrap, which teachers, parents, and mentors never bother to change. And this is the real indictment on our leaders and elders: that the generations to follow will adopt these false notions of people outside our respective comfort zones. The noise that has been churning around for the last week are symptomatic of the problems, yes; but they are also being made by groups intentionally stoking the fire. In the debate that revolves around race and religion, for the rest of us who are by-standers, it is not good enough to passively allow these extreme views to represent that of our own. That is not innocence. The

VIEWS 11 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

critical mind must shut out the noise and stop to think. Christians have to realise that Muslims are genuinely fearful of evangelical Christians. Under such circumstances, Christians must address this fear first and foremost, or risk further suspicion and anger. Muslims, on the other hand, require some soul searching to rid themselves of any false insecurity and fear on their part. With the instruments of the law, the Federal Constitution, government, and religious institutions at their disposal, there should be adequate security that their faiths are not, in fact, being threatened. The wishy-washy answer is to “start talking to one another”. Friendships abound between adherents of different faiths. But this is not enough. Conversations have to dig deeper into unveiling the prejudices against the other, which can be a painful process. Perhaps false misconceptions can then be corrected. A preference, of course, would be to see each other as humans first – never mind which god one prays to, resisting the temptation to save the person opposite you from the doom of Hell, and treating the person as if he or she were someone whose views and conversations you would perfectly enjoy in a regular Malaysian mamak stall because of his or her humanity and dignity. A player in this merry mess put it aptly: “Allowing the debate over which race or religion wielded precedence in the matter of who is qualified to become a holder of high office … diverts from what is more important … a person’s intellectual and moral fibre for high office.” We criticise the West for their foolhardy reactions against the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the like. But the real question is, do we not feed ignorance, fear and insecurity on home ground itself ? And the ugliest of them all is that the ruthless game of politics has reared its vicious head to capitalise on this. Creating divisions for selfish gain. The only way out is for us, the people, to stop fearing and start learning. About each other. Properly. For real. We have to do this. To save our souls from the eternal damnation of politics.

Latest RON97 hike unreasonable

IT is regrettable that our government has raised the price of RON97 petrol by 20 sen again, from RM2.70 to a new record high of RM2.90, without taking into consideration the escalating cost of living endured by the public. It is ridiculous to increase the price of a widely consumed good by 35% in less than six months, from RM2.15 in November last year to the current level. This is the fourth time our government has the raised the price of RON97 petrol this year. Back in July 2008, when the crude oil was at USD140 per barrel, the

price of RON97 in our country was RM2.70. It is perplexing that with the current crude oil price barely above USD100 per barrel, our government has raised the petrol price beyond RM2.70. As an oil-exporting country, when the price of crude oil increases, Malaysians should benefit from the higher export earnings from our crude oil. As Malaysia produces very high-quality crude oil, the export earnings should be even higher. There is no reason for the government to increase the price of petrol.    Why should the petrol price soar to record level of RM2.90? The government should provide an explanation to the

public, even though RON97 is generally consumed by the higher-income group. Is it because our export earnings from crude oil are not sufficient to cover the expenditure due to higher crude oil prices? The repeated hike in the price of RON97 petrol portends the imminent price hike for RON95 petrol. The recent price hike of RON97 is just to test the public reaction, a strategic move by the government to prepare for the upcoming national election. Though RON97 is perceived to be not commonly consumed by the public, it will still result in cost pressure along the industrial value chain and exert inflationary

pressure on a wide variety of goods and services, especially the food items. This will further increase the burden of the public. The price hike of RON97 by the government is not the result of the higher international crude oil prices. It only shows that our government desperately needs additional incomes due to its irresponsible spending on unproductive projects that cause escalating budget deficits in Malaysia.       Hee Loy Sian Member of Parliament,  Petaling Jaya Selatan


Insight

12 May 13 — 15, 2011

Evolution of Neighbourhood Watch-Community Policing 1975 

• Neighbourhood Watch, or more popularly known as Rukun Tetangga, was first introduced by the Malaysian government with the intentions of ensuring neighbourhood safety. • I t w a s f o r m e d u n d e r t h e Neighbourhood Watch Essential Regulations Act 1975.

1970s

• Neighbourhood Watch focused on mandatory night patrols by all parties. • Their sole purpose was to serve as peacekeepers.

1980s

• Their mission switched from patrolling to breaking multiracial barriers in all neighbourhoods. • They had the idea that neighbourhood unity would strengthen bonds in the community.

1990s  • Neighbourhood unity carried on, and soon the individual groups started promoting national unity and social interaction among other groups. 2001

• With globalisation, the group’s vision shifted yet again towards community development. • This is to help with empowering individuals to bring change within their community/neighbourhood.

2003

• Neighbourhood Watch reintroduced voluntary patrolling by forming either a Neighbourhood Committee or Volunteer Patrol Scheme.  • Groups with 20 patrollers or more have to register with the National Unity and Intergration Department. • Training is provided upon registration of each group with the department, and RM 2,500 funding is given.

2007

• In April, Inspector-General police Tan Sri Musa Hassan introduced community policing as part of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) Five-Year Strategic Plan for 2007-2011. • Musa Hassan made it compulsory for all police stations to have a community policing team. • The community policing team is made out of residents associations (RAs), Neighbourhood Watch, other voluntary members of the public, and police inspectors.

2008

• Community policing teams are increasing. • More RAs are registering with their local police stations to be part of community policing.

2009

• With the growing number of community policing teams in Selangor, Kuan Chee Heng founded the online community policing website. • This website acts as a platform for the police and public in Selangor to interact and exchange crime experiences and information.

By Brenda Ch’ng

P

icture yourself picking up the phone and dialling 999 during a theft or burglary. You would expect to talk to a police officer, or someone who can help you. Instead, you end up having to spend those critical minutes explaining the situation to a random operator who is manning the phone. You panic and get frustrated because you are not getting the help you want. During that time, the criminal might already have injured someone or run away. This situation is an example the police would like to share with the public on why they end up arriving at crime scenes a little too late. To help ensure they are there on time, the police want the public to be part of community policing. Contrary to popular belief, community policing is not a replacement for Neighbourhood Watch, or Rukun Tetangga (RT). Instead, it is a personalised policing system where residents and police officers come together to combat crimes. “With the help of residents informing us directly about crime happenings in their Police in training at the Subang Jaya police head area, we can personally go down to the scene faster and perhaps apprehend the suspects faster,” said Deputy Superintendent Ng Thean Leng. The chief of commercial crime at the Subang Jaya police headquarters said crimefighting would be more effective if tackled at the roots. He added that crime rates in Subang Jaya have dropped since residents there got involved in community policing. “There has been a 12.3% drop in crimes residents and their state assem for the period of January to April 2011 to police inspectors. compared with the same period last year,” The tasks performed by the RAs and discuss issues in the neighbo Another community p said Ng. inspectors are similar, but their methods which operates the same way Community policing was introduced by differ. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa The most common approach in com- police station in Petaling Jay Like the team in Bandar Hassan in April 2007 as part of the police’s munity policing are the monthly meetings Five-Year Strategic Plan. between police and representatives from too have monthly meetings w representatives give crime up He introduced community policing resident associations. with the hope that crimefighting would be “The meetings give the police and resi- cuss with police ways to solv “Working closely with the more effective if both police personnel and dents a chance to voice out their opinions members of the community joined forces. and ideas on how best to tackle crimes in tor in charge is a very good ste When launched, Hassan made it com- the neighbourhood,” said Inspector Muni- RA,” said Section 21 Sea Park Cassian Baptist. pulsory for all police stations to set up their andy Rethiah. Baptist said right after the own community policing teams.  The chief police of Bandar Sunway says Such teams are made up of representa- it is hard to identify neighbourhood crimes RA in 2008, they joined th policing team. tives from resident associations (RAs), RT without the help of residents. He added that contacts and police officers from different departHe gets calls on his mobile phone from ments, and are spearheaded by inspectors residents reporting crimes and suspicious police personnel come in ver of police stations in the area. Community activities at all hours of the day and night. he needs to report a crime. “We [residents] will do o policing also serves to improve bonding “I would personally go to the scene of between the police and the community. the crime to assess the situation and make porting crime to the police a will do their part to tackle th Another reason why community po- arrests if necessary,” said Muniandy. licing is important is that the Apart from the monthly meetings, the they can,” said Baptist. Unlike the other two team community can see the risks Bandar Sunway community policing team and methods police personnel also organises events like gotong-royong, Bukit Tinggi police station erates differently, carrying undertake to fight crime. festivals, and functions like Hari Polis. Residents can also monitor These events are open to the public and patrolling three to four time A team of residents will the progress in a criminal case. allow the police to educate the public about from 9pm to midnight accom crime awareness. How does community “The events are very useful to us because or more policemen. “It is crucial we go on patro policing work? we can communicate directly with the RAs that are involved in com- residents. We also give them our mobile because the crime rate is very munity policing have a social numbers [so that they can] reach us directly arrest criminals and be there said Sergeant Manogaran M responsibility to report crimes in cases of emergencies,” said Muniandy. Muniandy, who is in char in their neighbourhood directly He also attends regular dialogues with

Partnerin to reduc

Community policing Balai Polis Bandar Sunway mon meeting with the residents and police officers.

2010

• Crime mapping done by Kuan with statistics given by police inspectors showed a decrease in crime rates and an increase in police successes. • Community policing also involves social events and frequent get-to-know-you sessions between the public and their police inspectors.

2011

• The community policing team has reached approximately 30,000 members, excluding police officers. • More people are encouraged to join and form their own community policing team in their neighbourhood.

Community Policing cabin for police in various areas sponsored by committee members in the neighbourhood.


Muniandy (left) and Ng (centre) during one of the meetings with RAs.

dquarters.

ng police ce crime

Community policing volunteers at the scene of a crime.

mblypersons to ourhood. policing team y is the Sea Park ya. r Sunway, they where resident pdates and disve issues. e police inspecep taken by the k RA chairman

e revival of the he community

s with various ry handy when

our part in reand the police he issues as best

ms, the Bandar n in Klang opout voluntary es a week. l go on patrol mpanied by two

ol [in this area] y high. We can e on the scene,” Muniandy. rge of the Bukit

nthly

Police and community policing members talking to hawker stall owners about crime in their area.

Tinggi police station, said they have managed to arrest several burglars. “Working with the residents has its advantages because they are the only ones who would be able to tell you the exact location of these crimes,” he said. He added that without the residents’ help, they would be clueless as to where the hotspots are. Community policing may vary in different areas, but the objective of reaching

out to the community stays the same. How to form a community policing team in your neighbourhood There are several steps to take before a community policing team can be formed. As the police stations only recognise RAs as a proper group, the chairman will have to submit a list of names to the neighbourhood police station.

Once the list is verified and approved by police, inspectors will contact the residents. RAs and individuals who are interested in forming a community policing team can also obtain information from the police directly. Alternatively, individuals can also register at the community policing website. You do not need to be a member of a RA to become a member online. All you have to do is fill in a form, an-

swer a brief questionnaire, and you will be contacted for community policing events. This online registration also enlists you in a crime watch team, where notices will be sent to you either via short-messagingsystem (SMS) or e-mail. As a community policing member, you are encouraged to help report crime, spread crime awareness to other members of the community, take part in patrols and build closer rapport with police.


VIEWS 14 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

Wither minimum wage bill? wit pleasure Lee Hwok Aun

I

n my last column I wrote about our rush to meet grandiose targets and end up with partial or delusional solutions. Right on cue, Datuk Seri Idris Jala disclosed on April 26 that Pemandu is expecting do deliver a modus operandi and quantum of minimum wage by the end of this year. Nothing was reported about how the wage floor would be deliberated now and reviewed in years to come, and how the compliance will be monitored and enforced. But a deliverable outcome in the form of a minimum wage rate will be rendered in a few months. In my February article, in anticipation of the government’s then commitment to deliver a minimum wage bill in Parliament in March, I noted this is a vital national objective that demands robust parliamentary debate. I should be more specific, especially since that bill has still not arrived: we need a comprehensive new law that establishes minimum wage determination, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. A few days before Pemandu publicised its foray into minimum wage, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) issued a press release calling for a national wage council to be set up quickly, without passing a new law. These statements by the MEF and Pemandu undermine the establishment of a minimum wage system consistent with and worthy of Malaysia’s aspirations to be a highincome and developed nation. The existing law – the Wages Councils Act (WCA) of 1947 – is grossly inadequate for a full, effective and sustained implementation of minimum wage. The scope of the WCA is too limited for the requirements of a national minimum wage system. The plural form in its title makes clear that the Act sets out the terms for various councils overseeing designated areas, sectors or industries,

Protest in Kuala Lumpur on Labour Day.

not a single national wage council which is a far larger and more complex programme of action. The WCA also severely lacks elements crucial for the effective monitoring and enforcement of minimum wage. Its lack of clear procedures for monitoring compliance, designation of authority and functions to government agencies, and protection for whistleblowers underscores the need for it to be replaced, not amended. Overall, the WCA is oriented towards specific and impermanent mechanisms, whereas we need a comprehensive and permanent new system. Instead of ad hoc commissions of enquiry to study the prospects for sectoral wage

floors, which the WCA provides for, our national minimum wage legislation must establish mechanisms for continuous and rigorous analysis of labour market and wage data, review of minimum wage levels, and other relevant information. Aside from Pemandu’s murky jurisdiction over setting minimum wage, we should also be concerned that deliberations in the labs that serve as its source of authority have not benefited from the rigorous labour market analysis and formal tripartite representation that would transpire from new laws and a new national wage council and ancillary agencies. Moreover, the Ministry of Human Resources also conducted a minimum wage lab in Putrajaya in February 2011, where international consultants presented empirical findings and facilitated discussion across the

range of stakeholders. Does Pemandu’s lab override the Ministry of Human Resource’s lab? The best way to clear the air is to table comprehensive new minimum wage legislation as the government has promised for this June. Parliament owes workers a vigorous debate over this bill, so that the wage council to be established is safeguarded sufficient autonomy, authority and resources to determine and implement minimum wage. And amid this debate, let’s not be distracted by a propagated but basically irrelevant objection: that we should leave minimum wage to be determined by “productivity”. This argument boils down to faulting low wage earners for being less productive, and is often advanced by the MEF. But it hardly applies to wages at the bottom end. First, in many cases of low-paid workers, the amount of work is assigned by bosses. Think about this. You tell a person they will be paid according to how much they work, then you tell them how much they get to work. Who is responsible if they earn low wages? Second, it is difficult to precisely determine one worker’s contribution in a production line. This problem applies to productivity-linked wages at all levels, but is more severe for the lowestearning workers, who are more likely to be one of many performing the same repetitive, elementary tasks. Third, in some sectors, technically possible measures of productivity make for redundant or meaningless requirements if we are to truly abide to a productivity-linked system. Take a person who cleans toilets. According to this argument, he or she is paid poorly because of low productivity – he or she cleans the toilet only twice a day. It follows that this person will receive higher wages if he or she cleans the toilet three times per day, four times per day. Very soon, though, it becomes pointless (once every hour?). Which is why janitors are not paid according to productivity; they are paid as low as possible because the system allows it. It’s also because our culture generally demeans such labour, which reinforces the case for minimum wage – it lends dignity to lowly work.


NEWS 15 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

Youths raise funds for tuition centre RM80,000 for the construction of the new building. Logan said they have managed to secure RM10,000 from the Youth and Sports Ministry, as well as donations from corporations like Nestle Malaysia. He told Selangor Times that they have also raised around RM4,000 from the coupon sales for the carnival. The carnival event manager was responsible for the opening and closing ceremony. Logan, who is an aspiring teacher, had heard of the three-month youth empowerment programme for SPM leavers from his brother. From February to April, Logan was one of the 14 selected youths who were trained in various aspects of leadership at the camp. Their adviser, S Arikrishnan, said the young leaders came up with the idea of the carnival on their own. “ The y de cided to call the carnival Boom Boom,” he said. Arikrishnan added that the (Fourth from left) Jayakumar, Siti Mariah and food stalls, Santiago with the youth leaders. By Gan Pei Ling

  KLANG: After a three-month leadership stint, 14 young leaders put their skills to the test and organised a carnival for 4,000 people at Seri Andalas on Sunday. From securing sponsorships to publicising the event, the 10 girls and four boys learnt how to cope with pressure under strict deadlines while organising the Boom Boom carnival. “We’re fundraising for the Port Klang branch of the Malaysian Hindu Youth Council to build a new community tuition centre,” said S Logan, 18, formerly from SMK Perantau Damai, Pahang. Their objective was to raise

game booths, blood donation drive, free health check-ups and performances at the carnival were organised by the youths themselves. Arikrishnan said he and other older leaders merely acted as advisers to guide the youths. K Shaarmeni, 18, from Kedah was in charge of logistics. “I’ve to make sure there are always people manning the booths, and that there are sufficient utensils available for the public,” she said. The former student of SMK Convent Father Barre had heard about the three-month leadership camp from her uncle, who was a member of the Malaysian Hindu Youth Council. “It was tough for me in the beginning of the camp because it’s the first time I was away for such a long period from home,” said Shaarmeni. But she managed to overcome her homesickness and enjoyed the camp in the end. M Mohana, 32, from Sha h Alam, who attended the carnival with her three young children, praised the young leaders for the wellorganised event. “This is excellent,” said Mohana.

Ten different game booths, including mini-football penalty scoring and basketball shooting, were available at the carnival.

Her six-year-old daughter was there for a performance and a colouring contest. The carnival was launched by Selangor executive councillor Dr

Xavier Jayakumar on Sunday morning. Kota Raja Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud and Klang MP Charles Santiago were also present at the launch.

Electric scooters up for grabs

Tapping the potential of the young By Brenda Ch’ng

SUBANG JAYA: Young leaders gathered at Taylor’s Lakeside Campus over the weekend to share their stories with the young to inspire them into becoming leaders of tomorrow. The Selangor government project was organised by Merdeka Research Centre, which aims to build bridges between Malaysians and leading members of society. “This is the first year we are doing it, and we hope that after this session the participants will be more vocal in expressing their views and ideas,” said Lee Lih Qing. The Merdeka Centre research associate said the talk was a platform for young leaders to share their personal stories on how to reach their full potential in life. Lee said this was the third forum, where the first and second had been held in Bangi and Petaling Jaya respectively. The fourth and last

one for the year will be held in Shah Alam. “Intimate talks like this will help youths realise their role in the future. This forum also helps create a platform and space for youths in Selangor to hear stories and ask questions first-hand,” said the founder of Asian Youth Ambassadors, Kenneth Chin. Chin said he wants youths who are serious about making changes to understand the importance of racial integration when it comes to nation building. Fellow speaker Dr Maszlee Malik reckoned that youths should be given more opportunities to question, and to voice their thoughts freely. “I hope the youths know that the scope for change in this country is very wide. They can always make changes in different fields,” said Nurul Izzah Anwar. The Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament added that youths have to be more wary about issues involving them.

(Second from left) Malik, Nurul Izzah, Eddin Khoo and Chin.

By Basil Foo

KUALA LUMPUR: Shoppers can look forward to winning an electric scooter when they shop in any of the seven Metrojaya stores in the country from now until June. “All they have to do is spend at least RM100, answer three simple questions, and write a slogan of why they want the scooter,” said the retail group’s executive director, Pel Loh. Competition entry forms and a single receipt containing at least RM100 should be submitted to any Customer Service Centre in Metrojaya stores by June 30. The Eclimo Es 11 electric scooter, a product of Eclimo Sdn Bhd, is powered by Lithium-Ion batteries and has the power equivalent of a 125cc petrolpowered motorcycle. The scooter has a top speed of 110km/h, and a three-and-a-half hour charge from any home power socket will give it about a 100km driving range. “It is cheaper than conventional bikes as a total charging session costs about 69 sen from a home socket, following TNB tariffs,” said Eclimo director Woo Kok Boon. Woo explained that filling the fuel

tank of a conventional motorcycle would cost as much as RM12 and give a driving range of 100 to 200km. He also said customers would save on maintenance fees with the electric scooter as it is engineless and uses maintenance-free batteries. “Servicing it is also not messy. I tell my customers if they want, I can service their bike in my own bedroom. That’s how clean it is,” he added. The electric scooter has also received a Green Certificate from the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation for being a certified eco-friendly product. The corporation’s chief executive officer, Dr Nazily Mohd Noor, said they have evaluated the product and awarded the certificate in March. “The use of fully electric vehicles on Malaysian roads should be authorised by June after a few planning procedures by JPJ,” added Dr Nazily. This competition is a part of a nature conservation campaign launched by Metrojaya in May and June as a company that cares for the environment. The store also has on offer clothing products made of natural fibres and ecofriendly home appliances to support the government’s effort in promoting green technology.


FOOD 16 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

Balinese adventure at Waterlily

By Basil Foo

W

ith the proliferation of food outlets offering Balinese cuisine around town, it has become much easier to sate one’s hankering for Indonesian food. The Waterlily Bistro, which calls itself a contemporary Balinese bistro, serves up a variety of exotic foods with familiar tastes in a cozy resort setting. It is one of several outlets serving similar fare, such as Bumbubali in Bandar Puteri Puchong, and Ole-ole Bali in Sunway, Subang, and Mont Kiara. We visited this particular restaurant one evening after spotting its eye-catching design and well-decorated interior from along Jalan Mutiara Tropicana 3. The bottom floor, dimly lit to evoke a mysterious mood and decorated from wall to wall with wood carvings, was initially vacant when we were seated by the attentive staff. The dishes arrived soon after we ordered, and the place began to bustle with activity as a sizable dinner crowd, given that it was a weekday night, started to fill in. The Sup Buntut (RM14) was first to arrive and came with a side of fried shallots, spring onions, half a lime, and a slice of The Waterlily Bistro has a calm spa-like environment. toasted baguette. The various condiments could be added into the soup for meats, and eggs to complete the dish. taste, while the clear soup had tomatoes, rice cubes, and chunks We would not have been caught off-guard if we of oxtail in it. were privy to the fact that the Indonesian word “tipat” Splendid for a cold rainy night, the warm and tangy is related to our own term for rice cubes, the ketupat. “Indonesian oxtail soup”, as it were, was enough for a single Included in it was tempeh, which is an Indonesian serving. delicacy of fermented soybeans, and a side of peanut Under the appetizer section, the Tipat Cantuk (RM15) sauce – reminiscent of our own local satay nut sauce. was a salad of mixed vegetables, so we expected a side dish of The dish in itself made for good eating, but its taste healthy greens at most. was otherwise unremarkable and did not seem to As it turns out, the bowl of mixed vegetables was large correspond with the apparent Balinese trend of enough to be a meal on its own, with rice cubes, fried tofu, blending strong flavours together. Next up was the Sate Lilit (RM15), a form of minced seafood wrapped around Sate Lilit sticks of lemongrass and grilled with oil and spices for an added kick. The main dish for the night, Nasi Cumi (RM29), was a From the first bite, the impression was that it basic rice dish with a side of squid, spinach, sambal terasi and resembled otak-otak, which is a Nyonya dish of sambal matah. fish meat wrapped in leaves and grilled. Sambal terasi was something we were more familiar with The meat came easily off the lemongrass stems, as it is basically a form of chili sauce with dried shrimp, readily an ingenious method of combining flavour and available in restaurants the country over. functionality, and was increasingly addictive However, the sambal matah, a condiment made of raw with every stick we ate. shallots and lemongrass, tasted more foreign as it was less spicy This dish is highly recommended for anyone and was served to make the dish more aromatic. wanting a quick snack, or if you are a fan of The overall dining experience had its hits and misses, with Balinese wanting to convince the uninitiated to some dishes standing out more than others, but we would give the cuisine a try. definitely go back, if only to pick our favourites.

Sup Buntut

Tipat Cantuk

Nasi Cumi


Look At Us Now! Fiction by Shivani Siva

I

t was obvious the country was turning older. Flags, advertisements, posters, banners indicated celebration: twisting bodies with faces shouting through orange-stained mouths, “Look at Us Now!” Reika liked that poster best, the Fanta one where bottles of orange, purple and red beverages lit up the expressions of ordinary citizens. All citizens are ordinary, she thought. The moment you’re called “citizen”, you merge into a cluster of People. It was nice to have that certainty as she left the medical college and returned to her mother in Petaling Jaya, where she would become an Individual again, de-clustered. Her mother was sitting in her afternoon spot by the window, concentrating on the cracking of kuaci shells. “Back,” Reika said, audibly enough for herself and her mother. That was all that was necessary. Everything had to be just enough for two: the lovers’ seat, two dinner plates, a pair of spoons, a pair of forks, a cow mug, a “Best Mummy In The World” mug. “Can’t wait till you become a doctor,” her mother said, repeating her daily 2pm words. And Reika nodded, still by the front door, unseen, biting her lips from saying, “I wish you would at least try to move a toe”. Her mother’s accident five years ago had left her bedridden, not for life, but it was something her mother clearly wanted: an existence in a wheelchair, being tipped over onto bed where half of her days were spent dreaming, cursing at newspapers, eating milk appams and inhaling rasam. “You’ll be very successful one day, I just know it,” her mother was fond of saying, usually at dinner when they sat in front of the TV watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. “Thanks, Ma,” Reika would reply, censoring the rest of her sentence: “It’s okay if you want to succeed too, you know. And why the hell must we watch this every night? And why must you get excited when some stranger wins 20,000 dollars?” But that was her mother, she ended up concluding in her head, and that was that.

“I hope you’ve eaten,” she said, eyeing the copy of Science Monthly that lay on the dashboard by the entrance. On the cover was a picture of a beast-man on which the words “Are We Part Neanderthal?” were printed in bold red. “Yes,” her mother replied. Reika took the magazine, impatient now to find out if we were indeed impure Homo Sapiens,

but her mother continued, “Come here a while. I know you’ve had a long day. Let’s watch The Sound of Music.” Again? What more could we possibly get out of Julie Andrews and that brood of benign children? But they belonged to Ma’s ritual, so she brought the magazine with her to the hall where the TV was already featuring an exasperat-

FICTION 17 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

ingly enchanted Ms Andrews running around the hills, alive with music. “I like How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?,” her mother said. Yes, Reika thought, it’s a big question. How does anyone solve the problem of a person’s personality? She flicked through Science Monthly as Ms Andrews was being compared to a moonbeam in the hand. Well, would you look at that? We may be part Neanderthal! Which meant that we may have the instinct to only eat meat, to be violent, to eat each other. That’s where our gung-ho must come from. “She has so much energy, that Julie Andrews. Look how she dances and skips,” her mother said, beaming at the TV. “She’s gung-ho. Everyone can be that. Even you. It’s in our blood,” Reika said. But the Neanderthals were too large, too inflexible to survive. Still, their will to live on might just have come true in us. Their little strength succeeded in our big strength. Ms Andrews was now full of confidence as she headed towards the mansion where she will fall in love. Something about that scene made Reika want to talk. “Ma,” she said, loudly enough for at least four people to hear. Her mother looked at her, startled. “Ma,” she said again, “we may be part Neanderthal.” “So what?” “We don’t even know what we’re made of. I mean, what we can do. If we don’t even know what we are, how do we know what talents we have?” “So what?” “Move a toe”. Her mother pretended not to hear her. “You cannot keep thinking that you’re unlike other people. We all don’t know what’s in our blood. Even Julie Andrews. That’s why she can skip like that. Mother? I want to be an ordinary citizen. Look, Independence Day is coming soon. Why don’t we go out? Celebrate? You haven’t left the house in five years.” “There is no such thing as independence. We all need something.” “There is independence from oneself.” But raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens had intruded upon them.

Free tuition centre making good in Subang catch up with lessons in school. lower-income families are affected the most “My target is to get 5As in the UPSR as their parents, faced with a rising cost of [examinations],” said the Standard 6 pupil. living, cannot afford tuition fees,” said HanAbout 25 children turn up regularly for nah Yeoh. the 10am classes, which run for one and a The Subang Jaya assemblyperson said the half hours, and are taught English and Math- centre aims to help the children, who cannot ematics after being separated into their re- catch up in school. spective Standards. Her office pays for the utilities and upBefore accepting the students, the tui- keep of the centre, while the furniture and tion centre conducts background checks on books were donated by private schools. the families to ensure only the poorer The venue for the tuition centre, a comfamilies, some of which are hawkers, ben- munity hall on the ground floor of apartefit from the free service. ment block V, was offered by the Subang Jaya “Children of higher earners will be put Senior Citizens Club, who were initially on the waiting list if there is not enough renting it. room, but so far we’ve managed to accept Yeoh also thanked the management of the 100% of the applicants,” said Ang Peng apartments for helping to promote the tuiHoe. tion programme to the residents. The AYA coordinator explained that the student-teacher ratio is now one volunte er to a b o ut Yeoh speaking to primary schoolchildren. Looking on are Subang Jaya councillor Rajiv three children, with Rishyakaran (second right), and centre representatives and volunteers. a total of 40 volunteers being rotated By Basil Foo “As we are based in Subang, we just wanted every two weeks. to give back to the society in our area,” said He said they were SUBANG JAYA: A free tuition centre the 27-year-old, who is a member of the Asian trying to reduce the for underprivileged children in Subang Youth Ambassadors (AYA). ratio to give students Perdana Goodyear Court 2 has registered Mohd Faez Samion, a 12-year-old pupil, more direct coaching 40 pupils since its inception in February. said his parents would send him from their as they have identified “The response was better than we expected. home a few blocks away to the weekly some children who do We thought they would trickle in, but we got classes. not even know how to to 40 students after the first two weeks,” said Having attended the tuition classes for read yet. Jade E, a volunteer at the centre. three months, he said it had helped him to “Children from A volunteer teaching English to the children.


TRAVEL 18 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

Mother Nature reigns supreme The green hills may not always be alive with the sound of music, but LIN ZHENYUAN finds out that trees, bushes and even grass can combine to be an elixir of life

The garden has many paths that lead to wonderful discoveries.

T

he human instinct to seek communion with Mother Nature is inherent in all of us. Now and then, the urge becomes irresistible, and we jump into the car and head for the hills. In this case, the nearest such place for Petaling Jaya residents is the botanical garden in the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (Frim), Kepong. Frim has been around since 1920, when it began as an extensive green lung for forestry research. What the public sees today is the result of many long years of painstaking work carried out by dedicated staff who have invested untold time and immeasurable effort into the study of plants, herbs, flowers and trees for our benefit. Frim covers a mature area of 1,319 hectares. The botanical garden covers 80 hectares. The sprawling landscaped garden has lakes, ponds, secondary forest and lots of plants. In the mornings and evenings, joggers and health enthusiasts can been seen scattered all over the place taking in lungfuls of fresh air and indulging in various forms of exercise. The forestry research institute, among other duties, fo-

Nature’s reflection in the calm waters of a garden lake.

cuses on botany, landscaping, nursery, medicinal plants and The perfect place to pause and reflect on the purpose of urban forestry. These fields of study contribute in a significant life. way to the development of the botanical garden. The recreational facilities in the garden are for enjoyment The main aims of the botanical garden at Frim are to of the people who reside nearby and for those who come promote the importance of plant life and forests, provide from a distance away. It is a place where children can run technical help to colleges and companies, and provide trainfreely on the undulating land and the adults can sit, enjoy ing to students of colleges and universities. It is also to extend the sights, and partake  of meaningful conversation with knowledge and technical know-how to those who desire to family and friends. manage nurseries properly. Not many people know that the garden has themes that On the aesthetic front, the botanical garden is a real sight have led to a deeper understanding of plantlife and their for sore eyes. Anyone who enters the garden and is oblivious habitats. The areas of study include common garden plants to the beauty and importance of the landscaped slopes and and medicinal plants. hills needs to have his or her eyes examined. The places where these plants originally thrive or survive Most of us city residents will welcome this garden as include limestone, mangrove and unbeaten wild areas. The therapy for our tired bodies and stressed minds. A few hours growth habits of many tropical species are closely studied in in the botanical garden are enough to soothe the soul and the garden. calm restless spirits. The pollution-free atmosphere acts as a Plant groups like ferns, orchids, ginger palms and interest- balm for people of all ages. It would seem that the forest has ing botanical lifeforms are given special attention. Results a positive force of its own. of extensive researches are later offered to institutions of The Frim ethno-botanic garden was established in 1995. learning for educational purposes. The attention given to the aromatic and medicinal plants has


TRAVEL 19 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

✂ Take 5 minutes to fill this form up and drop it off at the nearest police station to have regular checks at your house while you are away. Ibu pejabat Polis Daerah Subang Jaya

Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815 A little bridge that leads somewhere in the sprawling garden.

brought forth information and knowledge that made the public appreciate the significance and worth of botanic lifeforms like spices, herbs, climbers, ginger, citruses and fruit trees. In its 16 years of research and study, special focus was also given to species that were used by aboriginal communities in their daily lives. Those species that have proven to be beneficial were collected from Kelantan, Kedah, Pahang, Perlis and Perak by the aboriginal people themselves. The plants were later transferred to the botanical garden grounds for nurturing and study. Today, the research carried out over the years has proven to be invaluable in terms of knowledge and awareness of the growth patterns and Climber plants and the landscaped garden offer a rustic setting. ecological behaviour of the medicinal and aromatic plants. the green lungs that exist now. The botanical garden is one of the few pristine With the passage of years, developers, residents, controlled environments where people, plants and botanists and environmentalists will have to help one trees co-exist in perfect harmony as Mother Nature another to preserve places like the Frim botanical originally intended it to be. garden. There will come a time in society’s march to the There are other gardens elsewhere in Selangor at drumbeat of progress when secondary forests become present, and hopefully there will be new gardens to be a rarity and gardens will shrink in size. cultivated in the future. But whatever the outcome, it But over at Frim, especially the botanical garden, is the responsibility of the relevant authorities and the objective remains the same: to promote the im- concerned citizens to ensure that we do not lose sight portance of nature, our living environment, and how of the paramount importance of Mother Nature in all future generations will reap the benefits of caring for our lives.

Borang maklumat Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk bercuti. Kepada Kawasan Pentadbiran Balai Polis .............................................................................................. Butiran penduduk: Nama: .................................................................................. Alamat: ................................................................................. .............................................................................................. .............................................................................................. Nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................ Nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................ .............................................................................................. Tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................ Tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ........................................... Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar kenderaan). 1. .......................................................................................... 2. .......................................................................................... 3. .......................................................................................... Lain-lain maklumat: ..............................................................................................

............................................... Tandatangan

....................................... Tarikh

Have you checked your electrical switches before leaving home? Before leaving your home for a holoday, have you checked all your electrical switches and turned off your gas tanks?

Call the SS17 Bomba for advise at The lush greenery is testament to the great efforts of the caretakers.

03-5634 9444


TECHNOLOGY 20 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

Is this your Streak?

Dubbed a mini tablet, Dell has launched its latest five-inch smartphone-cum-tablet computer The Streak is available at a suggested retail price of RM2,099.

By Edwin Yapp

A

s tablet computers ramp up in popularity, one vendor has chosen to brave a new world by launching something smaller than the standard seven- or 10-inch tablets. Dubbed the Dell Streak, the five-inch device was launched by Dell in association with its partner, Dynamics Distribution, and is the latest to be launched on our shores. Speaking at the event last month, Varinderjit Singh, managing director, CSMB Malaysia and Singapore, Dell, said the Streak 5 is designed for people who are constantly interacting online and want to expand their ability to access their digital lives on the go. Varinderjit said Dell is banking on the Streak 5’s portability as the appealing factor to what he called a “mini tablet.” “We believe we have a product that is well-positioned to have a good reach into the market,” Varinderjit said at the launch. “Five inches is the right size as it’s the perfect spot for phone and a tablet device.” Varinderjit noted that the spacious five-inch screen is ideal for an optimised web-browsing experience with less squinting and pinching. Users, he added, can play games, watch high-definition videos, e-mail, send instant messaging, listen to music, update their social networking status and, not forgetting, make calls. Powered by Google’s Android operating system, the Dell Streak 5 also comes with Dell’s new user interface called Stage, which provides users with instant access to their favourite content. Specifications

The Dell Streak 5 weighs in at 220g and measures 153 x 79 x 10 mm. It runs on Android’s 2.2 platform and has a WVGA screen resolution of 800 x 480. The screen also supports a capacitive multitouch feature and comes equipped with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. Complementing this is a 5MP auto-focus camera with dual LED flash for still photo/video capture, front-facing VGA

Impressions

Dell Streak 5

webcam for video calls, built-n Wi-Fi, 3G HSUPA and Bluetooth connectivity. It easily integrates with social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and also has an integrated Google Maps with turn-by-turn navigation and street and satellite views. The Streak 5 is powered by a Snapdragon mobile processor, which makes multitasking easy, and allows users to talk on the phone and browse the web at the same time, or listen to music while using the Google Navigation app. It sports a 2GB internal memory, as well as a micro SD expandable memory of up to 32GB.

My brief experience with the Streak 5 during the launch was fairly pleasant. While preferring a seven-inch tablet, I could see that a five-inch one can be appealing if you want to browse the web. The current crop of smartphones maxes out at 4.3 inches. To fully accept the concept of a mini-tablet, you’ll still have to tell your mind that it’s a cross between a small tablet and a large smartphone. If you’re able to accept an all-in-one device that is designed to give you the best of both worlds, then the Streak 5 may be for you. The Streak 5 is quite solid and well built. I especially liked the fact that it comes equipped with Corning scratch-resistant glass, as that is not what you normally get on devices like these. Although I didn’t get to really put it to a real scratch test, I could see that it was pretty solid and will be able to handle the thrills and spills of everyday usage. An added point is that you don’t have to put a film screen protector on your device. But the five-inch size and the Corning glass do kind of make the device a tad heavier (220g) than regular smartphones. This was what I found to be a drawback. Apart from this, the user interface has the familiar feel of the Android 2.2 software and is quick, easy and slick to use. I can’t attest for battery life as I wasn’t really reviewing the unit, but with normal business usage, it should provide you with about a day’s worth of battery life, which is common for smartphones. So what’s the verdict?

The Streak 5 might appeal to a section of people who wants a cross between a full-sized tablet and something larger than your usual smartphone. This, I believe, will appeal to a smaller segment of the market compared with the more mainstream smartphones and tablets. Still, it could be worth considering if you’re one in that category, as there is currently no vendor in this market.

New takaful products through Hong Leong partnership By Basil Foo

KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Financial Group (HLFG) is looking to offer new Islamic insurance products mid-2011 following a partnership expansion with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (MSI). It was announced during a press conference on Wednesday that MSI had acquired a 35% stake in Hong Leong’s takaful unit for RM33.64 million. With this expanded partnership, Hong Leong and MSI are now common strategic partners in all their Malaysian insurance businesses – life, general, and takaful. “It is through the partnership with a global insurance player like MSI that we believe will provide us a competitive edge to offer more compelling products and services,” said Raymond Choong. The HLFG president and chief executive officer told reporters that their Islamic insurance arm has adopted a new name, Hong Leong MSIG Takaful Bhd. He also expressed optimism with the Malaysian takaful industry, which recorded a compound average growth rate of 27% in net contributions between 2005 and last year. “The synergistic activities, training and product development are in place, and we are looking forward to roll out a series of compelling products from July,” said Loh

Guat Lan. The chief executive officer of Hong Leong Assurance (HLA), the life insurance arm of HLFG, said they would be focusing on three core areas through this partnership. “The spotlight will be on modernising our distribution channels, increasing innovation of insurance solutions, and rolling out a series of training programmes for our agents,” said Loh. HLFG entered into a strategic alliance with MSI after the latter acquired 30% in HLA for RM940 million last June to expand into Malaysia’s life insurance business. HLA has since achieved its initial goals with new business annualised premium growth tripling from RM81 Choong (second left) shaking hands with Masaaki after fixing the takaful million in 2007 to RM245 million puzzle piece. Looking on are Loh (left) and Chua. last year. “Our partnership with Hong Leong, in both the gen- they saw Malaysia as an important market, and takaful is eral and life insurance businesses, has progressed very well,” the final piece of their insurance ventures outside Japan. said Masaaki Nishikata. He added that the partnership was an important mileThe MSI director and managing executive officer said stone as it marked their first foray into Islamic insurance.


MEDIA 21 MAY 13 — 15, 2011

Good response to Centro Klang Run SHAH ALAM: For the first time in its three-year history, the Centro Klang Run has received a very good response. More than 2,500 runners have already registered themselves for the event as at May 3. According to Joanne Teh, Centro’s advertising and promotion senior executive, the run is one of Centro Mall’s community projects that aims to promote a healthy lifestyle among the people of Klang. “With the overwhelming response from Selangor and also participants from as far as Johor and Terengganu, I

am sure that many people will enjoy the run whether they are taking part for fun or for health and fitness,” said Teh. Organised by the Klang Pacers Athletic Club (KPAC), this year’s Centro Klang Run is themed “Klang Historical Run”. The route will be passing through several historical places like Little India, the Klang museum, railway station, stadium and power station, and many more. Despite the fun nature of the run, KPAC president John Heng said the safety of the participants will be their

top priority. As such, there will be sufficient drinking stations for the runners, and Rela and police traffic personnel will also be on standby at designated areas of high traffic. As for the distribution of goodies bag and finishing medals, this year there will be more experienced people on standby to ensure that every runner is given the items accordingly. For further enquiries, contact Centro Mall’s customer ser vice at 0333433011 (10am-10pm) or Heng at 012-3233777.

RM100,000 up for grabs in pasta contest SHAH ALAM: Fancy mixing pasta with the chance to win RM100,000 in cash? San Remo, Malaysia’s leading pasta brand, is offering you the chance to do just that with its latest Pasta-Ria Contest. To be in the running, contestants simply need to rank their top 10 pasta moments from the 12 moments provided on the entry form and complete the slogan “My family loves San Remo because…” in 10 words or less. Contestants are allowed to mail in as many entry forms as they want during the contest period, which runs from May 15 to July 15, 2011, as long as each form comes with an empty San Remo dry pasta pack as proof of purchase. Entry forms are available at www.gbaglobal.com. On top of the grand prize, other exciting prizes up for grabs include a Noritake dinnerware set worth RM3,000; a Tefal cookware set valued at RM2,000; and three Tupperware sets worth RM1,000 each. The consolation prizes are also not to be missed: a total of 10 hampers, each containing RM300 worth of San Remo products along with a pasta pot. “Whether it is watching TV with a yummy bowl of pasta in your hands or sharing a delicious pasta meal during a family occasion, we all have our special moments when enjoying our pasta meals. “We wanted to strike a chord among pasta lovers nationwide through this contest that allows them to rank their favourite pasta moments,” said Mohan Alagappar, GBA Corporation Sdn Bhd general manager. Pasta meals are a staple comfort food for families, treasured by gastronomes, recommended by nutritionists and popular all over the world. San Remo offers two wholesome types of dry pasta, long and short, plus lasagna. Established in 1936 by Louis Crotti in Australia,

San Remo is the largest dry pasta manufacturer and leading pasta company in Australia.

Heng and Teh.

Fundraiser held for orphanages, shelter homes

SHAH ALAM: KPJ Selangor Specialist Hospital and the Orphans Welfare Darul Ehsan Malaysia (PYAKDEM) recently held a fundraising dinner to raise funds for orphanages and shelter homes. The event on May 6 created awareness and instilled responsibility in the public towards giving to the less fortunate, said organisers. “I hope this event will be repeated next year. It has contributed towards caring for those in need and has brought all walks of life together for the noble cause,” said KPJ Selangor Specialist Hospital executive director Roslan Ahmad. The dinner, which was attended by some 500 guests at Shah Alam

Convention Centre, saw a cheque for RM50,000 being handed over to the Sungai Manggis Orphanage under PKAYDEM’s management. Roslan said the event created rapport between staff and the community. “This event is an opportunity for both KPJ Selangor Specialist Hospital staff and the public to get to know one another,” said Roslan. KPJ Selangor Specialist Hospital is a private hospital offering comprehensive medical care under its One Stop Health Care Centre. It has 167 beds offered in choices of one, two or four beds to a room, as well as a VIP ward which has a butler service.

Earth Day at Mines Wellness

Children making artwork out of eco-friendly items.

SERI KEMBANGAN: In conjunction with Earth Day last month, the Mines Wellness Hotel celebrated the occasion with the children of Tadika Dragonfly in a fun-filled day of exciting activities on April 28. “As part of our corporate social responsibility under Mines Green Circle, the main objective of the event is to educate young children on the importance of preserving nature, and to show them what

they can do at home to play their part in contributing to the sustainability of our Earth,” said Mines Wellness Hotel resident manager Eusebius Sam. Upon arrival, the children were treated to light refreshments at the Sunset Lounge and were shown a video presentation on recycling and protecting the environment. Following the welcome speech by Sam, the children were ushered to the Organic Garden to plant

vegetable seeds. “By showing them how to seed plants, we hope to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment, and hopefully nurture a habit of things they can plant at home,” said Sam. After learning how to plant seeds, the children had their creativity challenged when they had to use items such as leaves, stones, rocks and used paper to create eco-friendly artwork.


Gallery 22 May 13 — 15, 2011

A free health check-up was provided during a carnival held in Sri Andalas, Klang last Sunday. The event was organised by 14 young people after a three-month leadership stint, to raise funds to build a new community tuition centre in Port Klang.

Batu Member of Parliament Tian Chua (right) in the Sentul market parking lot, which allows shoppers to park for free while they do their marketing. The Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief officially opened the parking lot provided by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) last Sunday.

Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei cutting a cake with mothers during a Mother’s Day event last Sunday, which also saw state-sponsored food items being donated to 50 needy families.

Sand painting was a hit among children during the carnival in Sri Andalas, Klang, last Sunday.

A volunteer teacher at a free tuition centre for underprivileged children in Subang. The centre in Subang Perdana Goodyear Court 2 has registered 40 pupils since its inception in February.

A child making artwork out of eco-friendly items during an Earth Day event at Mines Wellness Hotel on April 28.


Culture 23 May 13 — 15, 2011

INTERVIEW

CALENDAR Cabaret

By Terence Toh

Musical; May 6-15; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; RM125/ RM105/RM85; 03-4047900; www.klpac.org

MONTREAL-based puppeteer and street performer Jeff Achtem has performed as his silent clown character, Mr Bunk, in arts festivals, variety theatres and cabarets worldwide. His shows have taken him to places as diverse as Belgium, New Zealand, Spain and Macedonia. The winner of many prestigious theatre awards, Achtem now brings his lauded shadowpuppet piece Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones to our shores. In this email interview with Selangor Times, Achtem talks about his inspirations and experiences, and teases us on what to expect from his shows. How did you first get involved in this art? I travelled for many years as a street performer, learning clowning and audience improvisation techniques. Over time, I developed a greater interest in other areas of theatrical performance, and wanted to create material that would be suited for an indoor theatre audience. Shadow puppetry is particularly fascinating for me, as it requires a study of many artistic disciplines. There is the puppet creation and knowledge of materials, theatrical techniques and clown performance, as well as an understanding of the electrical technology that gives light to make sharp shadows. Each area is a fascinating challenge. Your shows feature objects and characters brought to life through shadow. Of these characters, which do you most enjoy bringing to life, and which tend to get the most audience reaction? There are 12 different characters in Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones. They each tell a short, simple story or feature in an interaction between several. Each story is designed to appeal to a different genre, so along the length of the show, the audience experiences a wide range of character interactions. Many people tell me that the ninja scene is their favourite, but I don’t want to give too much away before the show! All the

Compiled by Nick Choo

The iconic musical created by John Kander and Fred Ebb, which revolves around the seedy happenings of the Kit Kat Klub and its regulars. Set amidst the political and social upheaval of pre-Nazi Germany – indulge yourself in the unbridled sensuality of the club, revel among its morally ambiguous inhabitants, and plunge into its glitz and glamour. Featuring, among others, Stephanie Van Driesen, Peter Ong, Peter Davis, Trudy Ganendra, Alizakri Alias and Aaron Khaled; directed by Nell Ng, with musical direction by Nish Tham. Produced by Pan Productions.

Editor’s Pick

Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones

Theatre; May 10-15; PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One; RM60; 03-79600439; www.pjla.com.my

A wordless, shadow puppet comedy from Montreal, Canada. Monkeys in the jungle, UFO abductions, brain transplants and flying ninjas … don’t miss Jeff Achtem’s amazingly playful vision of wonder and nonsense as he transforms bits of junk into surreal shadow puppets. The audience is invited to witness the making of these amazing puppet melodramas. Winner for Best Puppetry in the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2011 and Spirit of the Fringe and Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010. Suitable for all ages. Presented by Gardner & Wife Theatre.

shadow puppets are created from bits of rubbish and garbage, and the puppetry is performed in front of the screen. So the audience has a special view of how each of the visuals is created.  How challenging is it to perform to an audience that comprises mostly children? Actually, in performing the show in many countries, we have found that there is actually a wide range of ages that come to the performance. We were at the Edinburgh festival for a month last year, and in each audience of 120 people, there were about 20 kids. So the show has a wide appeal for adults as well, and we like to make sure that adults without children feel welcome to come and enjoy a puppet show.  For me, the ideal audience is a wide mix of ages, old and young.  Since there is very little dialogue in the show, it’s important to point out that you don’t even really need to speak English to enjoy the

performance. At the Melbourne Comedy festival last year, a signlanguage interpreter came to assist during one performance, and she ended up just sitting on the chair! What would you say to anyone interested in pursuing this art? Whether you are interested in acting, filmmaking, animation, puppetry or another creative pursuit that involves interaction between the presenter and the public, the main challenge is to create a strong relationship. The audience needs to feel like they are connecting with the story being told, and invited to take part in a world of fantasy.  You need to create a world, and make them happy to leap into the unknown with you. Finally, what can audiences expect from Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones? Memorable puppets, flying ninja dreams, and a new view on rubbish around the house!

The Moon Speaks For My Heart: Teresa Teng, Her Life, Her Songs Musical; May 19-29; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; RM60RM255; 03-62019107/62019108, email: dama@damaorchestra.com; www.damaorchestra.com Dama Orchestra’s latest concert is a tribute to the legendary Teresa Teng. Savour the sweet melodious music and songs that made Teng a truly international icon. Featuring Tan Soo Suan, Evelyn Toh, and Chang Fang Chyi, with narration in English by Sam Tseu.

The List Operators For Kids: More Fun Than A Wii! Theatre; May 5-22; PJ Live Arts & Jaya One; RM44-77; 03-79600439, www.pjla.com. Australians Matt Kelly and Richard Higgins, veterans of children’s theatre, devised and first performed this show in September 2009. It has received a prestigious Barry Nomination for Best Show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, played to thousands of children in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney, and received multiple five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “For anyone aged five to 500 million (dinosaur allowed).” Presented by Gardner & Wife Theatre.

A History of Falling Things Theatre; May 19-22; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; RM13/ RM23; 03-4047900; www.klpac.org A phobia-filled comedic love story written by British playwright James Graham. This 21st-century love story is themed around the fear of falling satellites, known as keraunothnetophobia, where phobic cyberspace lovebirds, Jacqui and Robin, communicate solely via webcam. Their neurosis keeps them indoors, but they foster their adoration on the net. The biggest question remains – will the thing that brought them together be the thing that keeps them apart? Directed by Christopher Ling, presented by the Theatre For Young People (T4YP) Ensemble 2011.

After Waking Theatre; May 12-15; MAP KL @ Solaris Dutamas; RM20/RM10; 03 6207 9732 A physical theatre piece inspired by the makyung epic Dewa Muda. “A young man is haunted by the dream of a woman and the journey that takes him into the sky to find her. A physical theatre piece fusing Malaysian and American traditions … a play about flight, fate and what happens when we get what we want.” Presented by the reTheatre Company.

Land of Gods & Shadows Exhibition; May 9-29; Pentas 2 Foyer, KLPac; 03-7958 2175, email: stag@tm.net.my; www.shaliniganendra.com Pictures by photojournalist Rahman Roslan, taken during frequent visits to Bali in 2010. “As a frequent stranger to this land, Bali offers many surprises. On my second visit, I was able, due to familiarity, to capture images, people met, and landscapes touched, and the feeling of the breeze. What I see has more meaning now and grows from the image, because from the visual I explore the multiple layers beneath. Sometimes a beautiful marriage occurs between the ancient and contemporary, or the obvious and the subtle. These relationships, shadows, and realisation brought the mesmerising energy for this series.” Presented by Shalini Ganendra’s Fine Art.


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.


Selangor Times - 13-15-May 2011