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RM6.5bil Learning water bailout disabilities not a barrier criticised

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June 3 — 5, 2011/ issue 27

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Owners of leasehold properties in older parts of Petaling Jaya are set to benefit from the new state scheme on premiums.

By Gan Pei Ling

SHAH ALAM: Owners of leasehold properties, holders of Temporary Occupation of Land (TOL) licences and those who have just converted the status of their land are set to benefit from the state government's latest scheme. In a bid to lighten the financial burden of such landowners, Selangor has introduced the Private Residential Ownership Scheme for property owners to pay RM1,000 first to renew their leases instead of the normal hefty premiums. The balance of the premium, however, will have to be paid up when the properties are sold or transferred at a later date. Property transfers resulting from inheritances are also exempted from paying the balance of premiums if they choose to keep the properties. The scheme is limited to residential properties. “Starting June 1, they no longer need to pay full premiums to secure land titles or extend their leases,” Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said after chairing an executive council meeting on Wednesday.

Premium relief for landowners Owners of expiring leasehold properties, such as those in Petaling Jaya Old Town or Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, now need to pay RM1,000 first to extend their leases instead of the RM100,000 premium to keep their properties. Owners who have just converted the status of their properties from agricultural to residential will also benefit from this arrangement. For TOL licence holders, the owners can now obtain leasehold status instead of yearly renewals. Owners of 60-year leases are also set to benefit as the scheme will allow them to convert the leases to 99 years. The scheme, however, does not affect owners of properties where the status is still in limbo, such as

squatters. “We’ve identified those who have been living on TOL land for more than 10 years. They will receive land titles with certain conditions,” Khalid said. He added that due to rising land prices in Selangor, the premium to secure a land title could come up to RM10,000 or more. “Under the scheme, they only need to pay RM1,000 to get the land title. When they sell the house [in future], they can use the money from the sale to pay the remaining premium,” he said. Khalid said the scheme is part the state’s initiative to ease the process of granting land titles to deserving applicants as well as to reduce the people’s financial burden.

As for leasehold property owners, Khalid said residents in older townships like Petaling Jaya who want to extend their expiring leases to 99 years will benefit from the scheme. “The premium to extend the lease is a quarter of the property’s market price. For a 10,000 sq ft house, the premium may come up to RM250,000. “This scheme allows them to pay RM1,000 and continue living there until they sell it,” said Khalid. He said the scheme aims to encourage people to retain ownership of their leases. He added that the scheme is a result of the research by land and district offices and the state secretary’s office.

The scheme will also benefit people who are living on non-residential lands as they will be allowed to change their status by paying just RM1,000. Khalid said this would benefit many of the villages who are staying on lands designated for agricultural use. “We want to help them legalise their land status,” he said. Meanwhile, for those who can afford to pay their premium in full within six months of application, the state will grant them a 30% discount of their premium. Khalid said the state is also setting up an integrated information centre to would allow landowners to check and update their status or other related land matters.


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news june 3 — 5, 2011

Village polls kick off next month

By Gan Pei Ling

SHAH ALAM: Residents from three New Villages will go to the polls next month to elect their leaders for the first time. The move to allow Chinese villagers to select their own Village Security and Development Committee ( JKKK) chiefs is the first step towards restoring local government elections.  “Once elected, the state will formally appoint them [as JKKK chiefs],” said executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah in an exclusive interview with Selangor Times yesterday. The first election will kick off in Jenjarom

with nomination day on July 24 and polls on July 31, followed by Pulau Ketam and Pandamaran. Nomination day is set for July 31 and voting day on Aug 7 in Pulau Ketam while Pandamaran’s nomination day will be on Aug 7 and polls on Aug 14. Ean Yong, whose portfolio includes New Villages, said the election dates are set on Sundays for voters’ convenience. All  candidates must be above 21 years of age and must stay at the villages for at least two years. “This is to ensure that the candidates are familiar with local issues which will help them serve the villagers more effectively,” said

Ean Yong. He said eligible candidates would have to pay a RM500 deposit and submit their nomination forms between 9am and 10am on nomination day. Candidates must contest in their personal capacity and not under any political party banner. Ean Yong added that villagers can cast their votes between 8am and 4pm. All registered voters included in the latest electoral roll as of Oct 27 last year are eligible to vote. Jenjarom’s polling stations will be at its community and multipurpose halls, Pulau Ketam at its community hall on the main street and Pandamaran at the JKKK centre

Welcome relief for leasehold owners

By Alvin Yap

SHAH ALAM: Residents with leasehold titles, which are fast expiring, are welcoming the RM1,000 policy that allows them to extend their leases for another 99 years. Michael Muniandy was among those who were overjoyed to hear the news announced on Wednesday. “It’s very good news indeed, especially for retirees like me,” said the former engineer with the Land and Mines Department. The 78-year-old pensioner had just 20 years left on his lease for his home in one of PJ’s oldest neigbourhoods,  Section 1, Jalan Carey.  He pointed out that the RM1,000 premium would be less of a financial burden on his savings and pension. Similarly, music teacher Raymond Pragasam, 46, said the move would encourage more home ownership as prospective housebuyers have balked at having to pay hefty premiums to extend the leases. “Our house in Section 4 has 55 years remaining [on our lease], but our neighbours around us have less than 10 years. This is good news for them,” Raymond said when met at Taman Shamsuddin was shocked when he heard the news. Petaling here. Former public school teacher Ng Sik Poon, 81, said the Petaling Jaya. “Even if you are short of money, you would borrow RM1,000 amount was within the means of every resident in the amount to secure the lease,” he said. He pointed out that the move by the state government would assist middle-income families. Ng added that he expects a “rush” at the Land Office as ratepayers would clamour to extend their leases. phone (603) 5510 4566 “Too bad I just extended my lease a few years ago, fax (603) 5523 1188 and I paid quite a hefty sum based on the land size,” email editor@selangortimes.com he said, who could not recall the amount offhand. Pragas Marimuthu admits that he is lucky to stay EDITORIAL on freehold land in Puchong. Nevertheless, he said CHIEF EDITOR KL Chan it was very good news for leasehold landowners in COMMUNITY EDITOR Neville Spykerman Selangor. WRITERS Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, The 50-year-old businessperson said the move Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng would encourage citizens to own residential propCOPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang erty. DESIGNERS Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen “A lot of prospective housebuyers put off buying ADVERTISING Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi, Vincent Boon property around the Old Town and New Town housADVISORS Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz ing area,” said Pragas.

and sports complex. Ean Yong said the state has allocated RM60,000 for each election. As the Election Commission has refused to help, local councils and district offices will run the elections. If the polls are successfully carried out in the three pioneering villages, the model may be used to elect other JKKK chiefs in Selangor. Local government elections in Malaysia were suspended in 1964 after the IndonesiaMalaysia confrontation, and the state’s move to have them restored has been rejected by both Putrajaya and Election Commission.

He pointed out that when it came to the renewal of leases, buyers would be saddled with large amounts. Pragas added that the unprecedented initiative showed that the government was “caring” towards the middle-income group. Siti Hanim Mohd Nasir, 38, said the announcement was “very good news” as her home on Jalan 3/60 here has only nine years remaining. According to her land title documents, the lease is at RM12.50 per sq ft, and the total area of her bungalow lot is around 3,400sq ft. “I’d have to pay at least RM40,000 to renew the lease,” she said. Section 3 residents association (RA) head Shamsuddin Hassansaid he was “shocked” upon receiving the news from Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee. “When I told my residents this morning, they told me to stop joking,” he said when met at the RA office here in Section 3, Old Town. The 61-year-old retiree said the residents had bought all the daily newspapers in order to confirm the announcement. He pointed out that many of the houses, some of them the oldest here in Petaling Jaya, have their leases expiring within 10 years. Shamsuddin said it would have cost some of the residents between RM40,000 and RM50,000 to renew their leases. “We are not earning very much, and many of us are pensioners,” he pointed out. He said he would be accompanying the residents as soon as possible to the Land Office to take full use of the state’s initiative. “On behalf of the residents here in Section 3, I want  to say thank you very much to the state administration,” he concluded. Pragas (top) said more citizens will want to own residential property while Siti Hanim said she can now renew her lease.

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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 3 – 5, 2011 ⁄ 3


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news june 3 — 5, 2011

Events Transformers live  

Fans of the movie Transformers are in for a treat as a meet-and-greet session with its characters will be held during the school holidays. Popular Autobots and Decepticons like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Sideswipe and many more will appear at The Curve in Mutiara Damansara. The sessions will be from noon to 1pm on Sunday (June 5) and from 2pm to 5pm on June 10. They will be held ahead of the screening of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. A Transformers Speed challenge will be held with special edition Autobots to be given out as prizes. For details, call The Curve customer care at 03-77106868 or visit www.thecurve.com.my.

Pet-grooming talk A pet-grooming talk will be held on June 12 from 8.30am to noon. Yuri Professional Grooming Training Centre founder Yuri Lim will speak about household pet cleanliness besides educating the public on basic grooming skills. The talk will be held at Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee’s service centre on Jalan Bunga Tanjung 10, Ampang. Admission fee is RM20. All proceeds will go to non-governmental organisations. For more information, call 012-2669639.  

Audit ordered on irregular spending By Brenda Ch’ng

klang: Discrepancies in the awarding of contracts worth RM1.8 million have led the municipal council to order an internal audit on its Engineering Department. Between January and April this year, more then 90 projects costing RM20,000 or less each were awarded to Klang Municipal Council (MPK) contractors for drainage and road repairs without approval. “I was shocked when I saw that RM1.8 million was used for projects which I didn’t even know about in the past four months,” said council-

lor Lim Lip Suan. The MPK’s finance oversight committee member discovered discrepancies from internal records that showed the money had been spent between January and April. Lim said all proposals for small projects must be disclosed to the respective councillors. However, Lim and his fellowcouncillor’s efforts to get the department to justify their expenses have failed because officials say the expenditure is “confidential”. “I have the right to see what projects have been approved, but I can’t believe we were all turned down,”

said Lim. On Tuesday, Lim proposed that internal auditors check on the department’s expenditure and records of the council’s full board meeting. The move was approved unanimously, and the results of the report will be tabled at the full board upon completion of the audit.  Lim pointed out that the councillors were  unhappy that the huge amount was spent by the engineering department without consulting them.  He added that the huge expenditure could result in more urgent projects in Klang having to be put on hold due to budget constraints.

Fashion design show

The Textile and Fashion Design Diploma Show 2011 featuring selected artworks by students of the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) will be held from June 11 to July 7 at the MIA Art Gallery on Jalan Bandar 11 in Taman Melawati. The gallery is open from Mondays to Fridays from 11am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 1pm. Admission is free. For more details, call MIA at 03-41088100 or visit www.mia.edu.my.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Raja Muda Perak Dr Nazrin Shah paying their last respects to the mother of the Sultan of Selangor, Raja Saidatul Ihsan Tengku Badar Shah, on Tuesday.

Cyberjaya cycling race The first Cyberjaya Green Ride will traverse the city’s streets with 10 different categories for cyclists of all ages on June 18 from 8am to 6pm. More than RM14,000 worth of prizes are up for grabs. The race will start at the Kelab Komuniti Taman Tasik Cyberjaya, off Persiaran Semarak Api. For more information, call Elli at 017-3346469 or Nuraihana at 012-6794565. Email them at ellie@cyberview.com.my and nuraihana. ramlan@totalsportsasia.com.  

Hats off to record seekers

An attempt to break a record in the Malaysia Book of Records by having the largest number of people to walk in fancy hats will he held on June 11. The attempt, organised by the Junior Chamber International Petaling Jaya (JCI PJ), will be held from 4pm to 11pm at I-City, Shah Alam. A registration fee of RM25 will go to the JCI PJ leukemia fund. Register at jcipjfancyhats@gmail. com or call 019-3197383 or 012-3995495.  

USJ Family Day

The second USJ Family Day will be held on June 11 from 5pm to 10pm at the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) field in USJ 5. The event is expected to attract about 100,000 residents from USJ2 to USJ15. The attractions include goodie bags for the first 500 visitors. There will also be a lucky draw every hour with laptops and mobile phones up for grabs. Remember to register before 7pm to be eligible for the lucky draw!  

Dumpling-making contest

A “bak chang”, or dumpling-making, competition and a children’s colouring contest will be held at the Bukit Tinggi 2 Burger King (Jakes Stations) tomorrow (June 4). The competitions will run from 10am to 12.30pm. Food will be served. For registration, call 03-33232122, 012-2113003 or 012-2339544.  

Video-shooting workshop

A video-shooting-technique workshop will be held on June 17, 18 and 19 at Klang MP Charles Santiago’s office. Organised by his office in collaboration with Malaysiakini, the workshop will be held from 10am to 5pm. Registration fee is RM100 for all three days. For details, call Revathy at 03-33232122.

Sultan’s mother laid to rest SHAH ALAM: The Sultan of Selangor’s mother, Raja Saidatul Ihsan Tengku Badar Shah, was laid to rest at the Shah Alam Royal Mausoleum at 3pm on Tuesday.  The first wife and cousin of the late Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, died at the age of 88

on Tuesday at the Ampang Puteri Hospital. Her body was then taken to Istana Alam Shah in Klang for mourners to pay their last respects. Among those who paid their respects were Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, state executive councillors and

Community library for flats port klang: A new community library has been launched in the Seri Perantau flats here to make it easier for residents to start reading.   The library was launched by Dr Halimah Ali together with Selangor Public Library Corporation (PPAS) director Mastura Mohammad on Tuesday. “The theme of the library is ‘Your Library is Your Second Home’, and I want the residents to take advantage of the library which is in such close vicinity to their units,” said Halimah. The executive councillor for education hopes the youths and children will use the library and its facilities to conduct research or to complete their schoolwork. She said the library is part of the measures

political leaders. Special prayers were also held at the newly opened Masjid Istana Sultan Alam Shah. Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has requested for flags in the state to be flown at half-mast and members of the Selangor royalty to mourn for a week. 

Dr Halimah (third from right) with residents at the opening of the library.

the state is taking to promote Selangor as an educational and informative hub. Halimah pointed out that knowledge is an asset that must be acquired by youths if they aspire to become better leaders of tomorrow. The library is fully equipped with

free wi-fi services, computers, a reading room, and educational activity sets for children. The community library is set up right beside the Generasi Idaman Selangor centre, which is set up to handle social problems among youths.


NEWS

Crime woes in Puchong By Basil Foo

PUCHONG: Frequent burglaries are causing alarm among Taman Puchong Utama Phase 3 residents who want an increased police presence.  “Our area has had one to two break-ins a month since late last year. We are also afraid of being harmed as the robbers carry parangs,” said T Selvam. The 47-year-old, who has been living in the housing estate for the past five years, had his home broken into on Dec 27. He lost jewellery, a television set, cameras, and other portable electronic devices during the home invasion by four men who climbed over the walls of his home. “We found footprints on the walls outside my house where they climbed in. They left two parangs on my bed. I sent them to the police station, but the fingerprints couldn’t be identified,” he said. He has since installed metal spikes on the top of his walls to prevent further intrusion into his home. Selvam blamed the increase in crime to the many entrances into the residential area, with several main roads and small paths leading from a neighbouring industrial park. Reverend Rani Phillip, who manages a

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home for underprivileged, abused, and orphaned children in the area, also expressed worry at the recent crime spree. “We sometimes see fully tinted cars with three or four men driving slowly around the area as if looking for potential targets,” said the home supervisor.  She said while the home has not been robbed, it was risky for her children to walk to the nearby school or to an adjacent field for activities. Manager M Devaraj had his house broken into on May 2, when four men with parangs entered his home and tied up his wife and children.
 “I rushed home after receiving a call that my house has been robbed at about 10pm. I lost laptops, cash, and jewellery,” said the 54-year-old.
 He said they seldom see police patrol cars in the area, and hoped the relevant authorities would look into the matter quickly to avoid Selvam showing Gobind the spot where he suspects the robbers climbed in. further crime.
 Surau chairperson Sulaiman Yusof also aired his complaints about cars parked along been cut down by unknown individuals with “We will set a date for a Saturday evening or roads in the residential area that have been wire cutters,” he said. night after the school holidays so that most of stolen or had their tyres removed.  Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, who the residents here will be able to make it,” he said.
 “There was a fencing previously set up to visited the area last Saturday, suggested that He reassured residents that he would conblock the access of small walkways leading residents hold a dialogue with the police and tact the authorities to attend the meeting, from the nearby industrial area. It has since local council.
 which he hoped would address the problem.

Community helps Bomba give hydrants a makeover By Gan Pei Ling

JUNE 3 — 5, 2011

  SUBANG JAYA: Residents and members of the SS17 fire station came together in good spirits to clean and repaint fire hydrants in USJ 2 last Saturday morning. Several residents also signed up on the spot to “adopt” the fire hydrants in front of their houses. “The residents just need to make sure the hydrants are in good condition and alert us if they are faulty,” said SS17 fire station chief Deputy Superintendent Khairi Daud. Khairi, who was transferred from Alor Gajah to Subang Jaya recently, said it is crucial to ensure that the fire hydrants are in working condition to prevent any delay in the event of a fire. “Timing is everything in firefighting,” said Khairi, adding that sometimes unaware residents may plant trees or flowers next to a USJ 2 resident Ramli Chik adopts the fire hydrant hydrant, blocking firefighters’ ac- in front of his house and submits the form to a cess to it. firefighter. He said there are 108 fire hydrants in USJ 2 and over 5,000 in ield’s Fire and Rescue Cadets volunteered Subang Jaya. and helped the residents and Bomba The Fire and Rescue Department members.  (Bomba) aims to service all fire hydrants The event was sponsored by the Subang in Subang Jaya by the end of the year. Jaya Municipal Council and Subang AvLast Saturday’s event was jointly organ- enue. ised by the SS17 fire station and Rukun Other community groups interested in Tetangga USJ 2 and USJ 6, and was launched organising similar joint initiatives with the by local councillor R Rajiv. Bomba are welcome to contact the SS17 fire Around 15 students from SMK Seaf- station at 03-56349444.

Education fund aims to top RM200 million By Brenda Ch’ng

PETALING JAYA: Tiger Beer and Sin Chew Daily are aiming to break the RM200 million mark in their 18th year of fundraising with the Chinese Education Charity Concert (CECC).  CECC has so far successfully raised more than RM189 million through charity concerts held in schools across Malaysia. This partnership between Tiger Beer and Sin Chew Daily was initiated in 1994 to financially help with the development of Chinese schools. “All proceeds helped fund additional classrooms, computer labs and indoor sports halls for schools,” said Yap Swee Leng, marketing director of Guinness Anchor Berhad. Yap said that over the years, the funds raised have benefited 361Chinese primary and 80 Chinese secondary schools throughout the country. The fundraiser concerts are done at various schools, and tickets are sold by respective schools directly to the community.  Ticket prices vary from school to school

and are regulated by their principals. The cost of organising, getting the artists and managing publicity are fully sponsored by Tiger Beer. Sin Chew Daily is the event’s official media partner. These concerts showcase performances by local budding artists and are held on weekends. Yap said the charity concerts also serve as a platform for local artists to showcase their talents and kickstart their musical careers. Since the charity concerts are done on a wide scale across the country, it is broken up into four phases. The first phase for 2011 was launched on May 18 by Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung. The second phase will be launched this month.  These two phases will showcase 11 different concert performances in 11 different schools. The third and fourth phases will begin in October and November with a total of 20 more performances in other schools. 

(From left) Koo Cheng, executive director of Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad, Chor and Yap.


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News June 3 — 5, 2011

RM6.5b water bailout criticised By Gan Pei Ling

  SHAH ALAM: Several parties have criticised the federal government’s move to bail out the four troubled water companies in Selangor. “If this is not a bailout, what is it?” Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (Awer) president S Piarapakaran asked. Putrajaya has offered RM6.5 billion to take over the water concessionaires’ downgraded bonds, but Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin denied it was a bailout. Piarapakaran pointed out that the concessionaires are not required to relinquish their stakes despite defaulting on their bonds.

“[We understand that the bailout is being done to] prevent deterioration of market confidence, but the concession agreement should be made null and void at the end of the deal,” said the engineer. He said Putrajaya should have seized the opportunity to take control of the four companies and work together with Selangor to complete the state’s water-restructuring exercise that has been in a deadlock since 2008. The four troubled concessionaires are water distribution company Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) and water treatment companies Puncak Niaga, Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Sungai Selangor (Splash) and Konsortium Abass. Piarapakaran also questioned the federal government’s move to set up a new special

purpose vehicle called Acqua SPV Bhd to take over the bonds when Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) could have done so itself. “[This] will incur additional costs unnecessarily,” said Piarapakaran. Meanwhile, Selangor Water Review Panel member Tony Pua said the RM6.5 billion offer is 73% higher than the bonds’ market value, describing it as “outrageous and an abuse of taxpayers’ money”. He urged the federal government to be transparent about the bailout. Pua said the bailout effectively killed off the Selangor government’s remaining hope of striking a deal to take over these companies. Selangor had made a third offer to take over these companies and their debts at

RM6.3 billion. “[Had] no bailout been offered, the companies would have no choice but to negotiate the terms of restructuring with Selangor or other parties which have offered to acquire their businesses and assets,” he said in a statement on May 28. Pua said there is no longer any urgency for the companies to agree to any form of restructuring as they are relieved of their cash flow problems, adding that they now have the upper hand at the negotiating table. “[This] is clearly a loss for the people of Selangor, for they have lost an opportunity for the privatised water industry to be restructured to ensure quality water is provided at the lowest possible prices,” said the member of Parliament.

MPK identifies heritage trees to be preserved By Brenda Ch’ng

  KLANG: The municipality has earmarked 20 trees, some as old as 70 years, in the Royal Town which will be preserved and protected. These “herita g e tre es”, worth an estimated RM5 million, will soon be gazetted by the Klang Municipal Council (MPK). “These trees are historical landmarks and should be saved,” said MPK deputy president Mohd Ikhsan Mukri, who added that he wanted to see a greener town.  The move to gazette the trees was tabled by MPK’s Parks and Recreational Department during the council’s full board meeting on Tuesday.  The motion was unanimously approved.  Mohd Ikhsan added that he  would not be surprised if there are many more trees that are older and are worth protecting. According to Mohd Ikhsan, the 20 heritage trees are located in Taman Bandar DiRaja Klang (12), MPK (5) and Taman Seratus (3). They are valued by MPK’s Tree Doctors at between RM440,000 and RM200,000 based on species, uniqueness, physique and age. A 70-year-old rain tree in  Taman Bandar DiR aja Klang has been valued at RM440,000.

From left: Telok Datok assemblyperson Philip Tan and Dr Xavier Jayakumar officiating the Caring Government housing scheme in Kampung Bukit Perah in Banting last Friday.

Orang Asli families get keys to new homes By Alvin Yap

  KLANG: Six Orang Asli families at Kampung Bukit Perah in Banting received keys to their new homes under the Caring Government housing scheme. State executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar, who handed over the keys, later went on a walking tour of the housing scheme. The houses built on Orang Asli reserve land cost RM30,000 per unit and was paid for by state government-linked companies. Dr Xavier, who holds the caring government position, was accompanied by Kuala Langat Land Officer Datuk Asmawi Kasbi, assemblyperson for Sikangjang Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi, and Telok Datok assemblyperson Philip Tan Chong Swee. They were also accompanied by officers from the state civil service.

Dr Xavier handing over a mock key to a resident during the handing over ceremony.


NEWS JUNE 3 — 5, 2011

Of inflation, power tariffs and ‘Super June’ By Brenda Ch’ng

KLANG: The spiralling costs of living, compounded by an increase in electricity tariffs from Wednesday, have led the Klang Member of Parliament to cynically describe the month as “Super June”.   “Today, June 1, is also known as Super June because everything is increasing except wages. How is that even acceptable in today’s day and age?” asked Charles Santiago. Electricity prices have risen at an average of 7.1% this month. Santiago is urging both the state and federal governments to work with hypermarkets and subsidise daily essentials. He also wants direct cash handouts or vouchers to be given directly to the poor  Santiago also reiterated his earlier call to Putrajaya to  implement a minimum wage policy of RM1,500 to RM,2000 without further delay. “Something has to be done now. The people can’t wait any longer, especially with the expected rise in inflation [this month],” he said. He said apart from power tariffs, the price of natural gas would also rise by RM3 per million metric BTU every six months until it reaches the market level. In addition, the Association of Malaysian Hauliers will raise its haulage tariff guidelines by 20%. These tariff hikes will not help trim the growing subsidy bill and reduce the budget deficit as an-

nounced by the government, but instead add more burden on the people, Santiago said. He pointed out that the billions of ringgit which Putrajaya subsidies Independent Power Producers (IPPs) would result in 5.49 milCharles Santiago lion households paying more once suppliers and food manufacturers pass on the burden of the increased tariffs to the public. “Food prices [in the country] have gone up more than twice the rate of global food prices in the first four months of 2011,” said Santiago. He said there was an increase of 40-60% in food prices between September 2010 and April this year.  However, while prices have gone up, wages have stagnated for the past decade, with only an increase of 2.6% between 2000 and 2010. Santiago said daily necessities are expected to have a drastic increase of 70-80%. “This is not fair because the government should be subsidising the public, not the IPPs and [Selangor] water bond holders,” said Santiago. “This increase [in prices] will continue to push thousands into poverty,” he said.

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Tariff hikes unfair to Malaysians THE federal government’s decision to pass the burden of the increased gas prices from Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to Malaysian consumers is an abdication of its responsibility to the people.  The cause of the increased in the tariff, which is about 7% higher from this month and increased every six months until 2015, is due to the government’s unwillingness to review the grossly unfair contracts entered into by the government with the IPPs, and the manifestly improper long-term gas supply agreements between Petronas and the IPPs. The unfair power purchase agreements require TNB to purchase all electricity produced by the IPPs, regardless of TNB’s requirements, and at a cost that is more expensive than the power produced by TNB itself.  As a result, TNB pays the IPPs a capacity charge, which is payment for power produced by the IPPs and not required by TNB.  There is a 40% excess capacity, for which TNB has been paying capacity charges to the IPPs since 1993.  Under the gas supply agreements, the IPPs purchased gas from Petronas at the price of RM6.40 per Million Metric British Thermal unit (MMBtu), when the production cost was RM15 per MMBtu. This was reviewed in 2009 to

RM10.70 per MMBtu. It is now increased by RM3 to RM13.70 per MMBtu. The government has agreed with TNB and the power companies for the increased cost of gas to be passed through to the consumers. By reason of the grossly unfair power purchase agreements and the highly improper use of Petronas to sell its gas production below cost to the IPPs, the IPPs have been making super profits since 1993. In 2008, the Barisan Nasional government backed down from reviewing these unfair contracts, and also surrendered to the IPPs’ demand by not proceeding with the imposition of windfall taxes in 2008.  In backing down from the review of the unfair contracts and not proceeding with the windfall tax, the Barisan Nasional government has therefore chosen to protect the profits of the IPPs over the people.  I call upon the government to immediately declassify and make public the power purchase agreements and the gas supply agreements.  The public has a right to know the terms of these agreements and to take action to correct the wrongs. William Leong Member of Parliament Selayang


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News June 3 — 5, 2011

Breaking racial barriers through football

By Basil Foo

SUBANG JAYA: A  football league, organised by parents wanting to spend quality time with their children, is successfully breaking racial barriers on and off the pitch. “This is a brilliant experience in bringing together children and their parents to mingle in a multiracial environment,” said Desmond Teh, who coaches Team Rhino, one of 24 teams. Teh said the Subang Jaya Community Youth Football League was a good experience for his two sons, aged 10 and 13 years old. He  described the tournament, which has been held for the past 11 years, as the best reflection of Malaysia and the kind of environment that Teh himself grew up in. “If you talk about unity, this is where it begins,” said the 47-yearold general manager, who took over coaching duties of his team at the start of this year.  “When this idea was mooted, we wanted to do something for the kids, to spend time with them over the weekend,” explained the league’s coordinator, Dr Mohd Nazir Abu Bakar. He said the tournament had One of the children’s football team tents. moved beyond football into an endeavour that built community in the committee, there are others 10), Senior League (Under 12) and spirit among participants. who help with refereeing, photog- Premier League (Under 14). Parents and children from vari- raphy, becoming team managers and This year’s tournament saw the ous races and localities have taken other responsibilities, Mohd Nazir biggest turnout in its history, with part in the tournament over the said. 265 children from 24 football teams years, with many having volunteered The children’s football divisions playing in four divisions. to help out. are made up of the Junior League Mohd Nazir, whose 13-year-old Apart from six parents who are (Under 8), Major League (Under son has been playing in the tourna-

ment for seven years, said the league was assisted by the local council and the developer for the area. “The tournament is always held at the USJ 4 school field, which Sime Darby has renovated and the Subang Jaya Municipal Council is maintaining monthly,” said Mohd Nazir. The knockout matches were held

on May 28 and 29, and culminated in the finals last Sunday, ending this year’s tournament season which began in January. Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, who attended the tournament on Saturday morning, said sports events like these were important to bring together various communities. “Children have to be brought together at an early stage. The friends I had when I was young remain my close friends to this day,” he said.

Parents helping with refereeing during their children’s football tournament.

New environment-friendly bins for Klang By Brenda Ch’ng

KLANG: New metal rubbish bins that can be drilled directly into the ground will be used by the municipality to encourage the public to keep the town clean. The Klang Municipal Council (MPK) said the new receptacles would replace the smart bins, which cost the council RM100,000 annually but were found to be ineffective because of its small size. The  new enviro bins, which are produced by MPK from 50% recycled metal, only cost RM90 each. “Our aim is to provide [environmentally friendly] rubbish bins for

the public, and at the same time reduce costs,” said Wan Mohd Sofian Wan Husain. The MPK environment director said the annual budget for bins is now only RM25,000. A total of 250 bins will be placed in busy areas in Klang Utara and Selatan, Bukit Tinggi and Bandar Baru Klang. He said 90% of 100 shop owners like the huge bins, which are placed near their shops. The bin’s large opening easily allows rubbish of all sizes to be thrown in.  The 10kg bin comes in three different colours – silver, blue and orange. The enviro bin was launched at MPK’s full board meeting on Tuesday. Wan Mohd presenting the enviro bins.

Petition over delayed Shah Alam hospital By Basil Foo

SHAH ALAM: Khalid Samad is launching a petition to get residents in this city to express their disappointment over the delay in the construction of the Shah Alam Hospital. “Currently people seeking affordable medical treatment have to travel to Klang,” said the Shah Alam Member of Parliament. Khalid pointed out that there are no public hospitals in Shah Alam, a major inconvenience especially for residents who need emergency medical attention. The project was halted in the middle of last year due to legal problems. Legal suits between the main contractor and its subcontractors

Khalid

caused the project’s completion to be rescheduled to November last year, and again to this month. The project was awarded to a company in 2007 via direct negotiations for RM482 million, and was slated for completion last August. “Should the project face further delays again, the hospital might be completed only by the end of 2014,” said Khalid.

Distinguished Police competition SHAH ALAM: The Distinguished Police-My Vision competition is being held to promote better relations between the officers in blue and the public. The  public will stand a chance to win cash prizes by writing on their experiences with the police and nominating personnel. “The competition is open to Shah Alam residents to write about their experiences or qualities that police personnel must have,” said Khalid Samad. The Shah Alam MP said submissions should be in an essay format of not more than 1,500 words, and can either be based on real experiences or consist of fictional creative writing. The essay entries, which can be in Bahasa Malaysia or English, will be judged based on writing style, storyline, and overall message. “Participants can write as many

essays about [as many] different experiences as they want, as long as they submit their entries by July 31,” he said. Khalid, who spoke during a press conference on June 1, said the stories should be of good conduct and exceptional treatment received by the participants. “This is to counter recent negative reports on police personnel with bad conduct with stories of those who did good jobs without acknowledgement,” he explained. The prizes for both language categories include RM1,000 for first place, RM750 for second, and RM500 for third. Those who have received good service from any Shah Alam police officer can also nominate him or her for the Distinguished Police Award. “These nominations must be reports of true experiences of excel-

lent service by a police officer,” Khalid said. In nominating their selected police officer, participants are allowed to write on different experiences in multiple reports. Families of police personnel are not eligible to participate. A RM2,500 cash prize comes with the award presented to the first-placed police officer, while the participant who submitted the report will receive RM500. The second- and third-placed police officers will receive RM1,500 and RM1,000, while the two participants will receive RM350 and RM150 for their reports respectively. Entry forms and other contest guidelines can be found at www. khalidsamad.com. Participants can also get more information by calling 03-55111066 or 03551198117.


SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ JUNE 3 – 5,2010 ⁄ 9

news

Hefty fine for apathetic developers By Chong Loo Wah

  AMPANG: Developers who fail  to monitor and  maintain their hill slopes and flood mitigation ponds here will face up to RM250,000 in fines. The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) said  two warnings have already been issue to developers and land owners of risk-prone hills after heavy rains last month. “We’ve identified and are focusing on five sensitive areas, [namely] Kampung Baru Cheras, Kampung Bukit Seputeh, Kampung Ampang Indah, Kampung Datuk Mutif and Kampung Kemensah,” said Datuk Mohammad Yacob. The MPAJ president, speaking after the council’s full board meeting on Monday, said all five sites are located on agricultural land.  He said the council will be conducting a survey on the ar-

eas to ensure there are no landslides or problems of soil erosion. Mohammad Yacob said MPAJ has its own hill slope unit under the engineering department, which has been actively monitoring over 600 slopes within the municipality. He said there are eight members in the unit, and the members work together with other local departments to supervise hill slopes and repair them swiftly if soil erosion is detected. The local council received 35 landslide-related complaints last month and spent RM300,000 in repair costs. According to Mohammad Yacob, the majority of slopes are private properties, with fewer than 10 belonging to the state. As private hill slopes are really the responsibility of their respective developers or landowners, the local council ex-

pects them to cover the cost for repair. Mohammad Yacob also said the Public Works Department has yet to inform MPAJ of 39 residential areas they have identified that are located in landslide-prone regions.  He said any development on Class 3 slopes must be approved by a state-level committee. Since the implementation of Selangor’s hill slope development guidelines, four out of six development projects on Class 3 slopes have been approved, while the remaining two are still being reviewed. Slopes can be divided into four classes: Class 1 for slopes below 15 degrees, Class 2 between 15 and 25 degrees, Class 3 between 25 and 35, and Class 4 above 35 degrees. Development is totally forbidden on Class 4 slopes as they are classified as environmentally sensitive areas.

Concert to go on as planned By Basil Foo

SHAH ALAM: The upcoming MTV World Stage concert, slated to be held at I-City on July 24, has been given the go-ahead, albeit with certain rules in place. “Approvals for the concert were given early last year. To me, there is no problem with the event although they must observe some restrictions,” said

Khalid Samad

Khalid Ibrahim. The Menteri Besar, who spoke to reporters after chairing the weekly state executive council meeting, said restrictions include ending the event before midnight, observing decent dress codes and ensuring minimum noise levels. The concert, organised by I-City, has been criticised by Pas lawmaker Khalid Samad for its potential to cause traffic congestion and noise pollution. “The entrance roads at the technology park pass through housing areas which will inconvenience residents during large events,” said the Shah Alam Member of Parliament. He said the area is not suited for big events as it is an MSC (Multimedia Super Cor-

ridor) entity whose purpose is for technology expansion. “If the concert is held [there], an overflow of traffic will occur from I-City all the way out to the Federal Highway,” he said. Khalid, during a meeting at his office on Wednesday ( June 1), claimed that massive traffic jams were caused by previous events. He said he would have no problem with the concert if it was held in stadiums that are equipped to handle big crowds. “The concert should instead be held at larger venues like the Bukit Jalil stadium,” he said, adding that a petition would be launched against the concert. When contacted, I-City did not respond.

New MPSJ president clocks in By Brenda Ch’ng

SUBANG JAYA: Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) officially welcomed the arrival of their new president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi on Wednesday June 1. The newly appointed president paid a visit to all the departments in MPSJ on Wednesday to greet all staff, and at the same time familiarise himself with the building. Asmawi has been working with the government for 30 years. The first half of that period was with the federal government, and the other half with the state government. His latest position as the Kuala Langat District Land officer ended in May after he was appointed president of MPSJ. Asmawi had held the previous position since 2005.

Though he already clocked in for duty at 8am on Wednesday, he is still waiting for his swearing-in date to be announced. Meanwhile, council acting president Abdullah Marjunid resumed his post as council deputy presiDatuk Asmawi Kasbi dent as of June 1. Marjunid stepped in to be acting president after former president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan was promoted as the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing deputy secretary-general in February. Asmawi will step in to replace Adnan, who had served as MPSJ president since 2006.


news 10 June 3 — 5, 2011

Religious leaders: Ignore provocation, stand united

Over 150 Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims attended the interfaith dinner organised by the state in Shah Alam last Saturday night.

By Gan Pei Ling

  SHAH ALAM: Various religious leaders were united in their call for peace and respect among their followers of different faiths in a dinner gathering last Saturday night. “We must reject any form of manipulation and exploitation of religion [by unscrupulous people]

for their own personal gains,” said Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who is the president of Southeast Asian Interfaith Networking for Peace. The Parit Buntar Member of Parliament called on Malaysians to respect each other regardless of religion, so that everyone can live together peacefully. The message comes at a time

when interfaith relations in this nation have been strained by several incidents in the past few years, including the 2009 cow-head protest and Molotov cocktails attack on churches over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims. Recently, a Malay daily also published unfounded allegations by two bloggers that certain par-

ties were plotting to change the religion of the federation from Islam to Christianity. Mujahid’s call for peace was echoed by another Muslim academic, Prof Sharil Harahap from Indonesia. “Islam and other religions [have always] emphasised the importance of [cultivating] peaceful interfaith relationships among various religious communities,” said Sharil at the dinner at Quality Hotel, Shah Alam. The Al-Washliyah University rector also cited the city of Madinah during Prophet Mohamad’s time as a perfect model of harmonious living among different religious communities. Malaysian Council of Churches general secretary Reverend Dr Hermen Shastri noted that some people are frightened to interact with people of different faiths as a result of the narrowing of space, and the wrong ideas of religions and stereotypes that are being perpetuated. “Good interfaith relations can only be sustained if we are willing to look inward and accept every other person as a human being. Respect, love and treat each other with compassion,” said Shastri.

He added that it is crucial to create safe spaces for inter-religious dialogues and for Malaysians to share their lives. Malaysia Hindu Sangam Selangor chairperson Ganesh Babu Rao also called on Malaysians of diverse religious backgrounds to focus on the similarities among Malaysians, rather than the differences. Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hindu, Sikh and Tao honorary secretary Prematilaka Serisena also reminded the 150 attendees to stand united as Malaysians regardless of faith. Prematilaka cited memorable quotes from first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, who stated his wish to see a diverse yet united Malaysia. The interfaith dinner was organised by the Selangor government. Executive councillors Dr Halimah Ali, Dr Xavier Jayakumar and Ronnie Liu were present. Halimah concluded the night by expressing the state’s wish to strengthen inter-religious relationships among different communities in Selangor. “ We hope Selangor can become a model for other states,” she said.

An open book for public Running for charity views By Alvin Yap

By Basil Foo

SHAH ALAM: An avenue for voicing out suggestions, hopes and discontent has been made available with a “mega book” which is open for contributions by the general public. Contributions to the book will be managed by the Selangor Public Library Corporation (PPAS), which welcomes the public to submit their contributions in essay form. Halimah Ali cutting the ribbon to launch “The involvement of all levels of Dr the Selangor Book Fest. Looking on are PPAS society is encouraged, from commu- director Mastura Muhamad and SACC chief nity leaders, working professionals executive officer Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad. and labourers to government employees,” said Dr Halimah Ali. meeting last Thursday (May 26), said this The state executive councillor, whose was to inculcate a culture of reading in both portfolio includes education, said this pro- the old and young. gramme is part of an initiative to inculcate On the same day, a writer’s forum will a culture of knowledge in society. also be held, bringing together prominent “Professional or amateur writers like authors and aspiring writers to develop the novelists, freelance writers, columnists and nation’s writing industry. bloggers are expected to be the main con“We plan to tap the talent of young writtributors to the book,” said Halimah. ers, give them advice on the writing industry, This programme is meant to coincide and address the perception that writing is with the second annual Selangor Knowl- not a profitable career choice,” said Sarwani edge Day organised by PPAS, which will be Abdul Jalal. held at the Shah Alam Convention Centre The PPAS Research and Information (SACC) on June 26. Services Department head said both aspects Other programmes include a state-wide of writing and reading should be equally 15-minute “reading break” planned from focused on to develop a generation of young 10.45am to 11am on that day. intellectuals. “All Selangor residents are encouraged to Running concurrently with these prostop wherever they are and pick up a book to grammes is the Selangor Book Fest, which read on the appointed time and date,” she said. will be held at the convention centre from Halimah, who spoke to the press at a June 24 to July 3.

KLANG: A run for charity is being organised by wealth planners who are setting out to make a difference.  The Admiral 5A Charity Run 2011 will be held on July 31 at Stadium Padang Sulaiman here, and aims to raise funds for two organisations. 5A Lifestyle & Wealth Planner Sdn Bhd executive director Kho Chui Ing said proceeds will be channelled to the Handicapped and Disabled Children’s Association of Klang, and Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled. The inaugural race will flag off at 11am and will see seven categories for the 10km and 6km runs, according to age and gender.  For the 10km run, the entry fee is RM30 and qualifying time is two hours. It is divided into the Men’s Open (13 to 19), Men’s Veteran (40 to 49), Men’s Senior Veteran (50 and

above), Women’s Open (13 to 34) and Women’s Veteran (35 and above). The 6km run entry fee is RM25, and qualifying time is one hour. It is divided into Men’s Open (10 and above) and Women’s Open (10 and above). Registration is open at all New Balance/ Admiral outlets at 1Utama, Sunway Pyramid, Jusco Bukit Tinggi, Cheras Leisure Mall, IOI Mall, and The Gardens MidValley. Participants can also register by calling SP Wong (012-3101379), SH Teh (0173024882), Michelle Yong (017-5580212) or Jensen Chong (010- 2424254). The closing date is 12 June or upon the registration of 2,500 entries. Top 10 winners will receive a pewter trophy and other prizes. All runners who finish the race will also receive goody bags. Also at the event was  Stream Enterprise general manager Wei Chong Hwa, whose company is providing the t-shirts for the run.

5A Lifestyle & Wealth Planner executive directors Tan Yan Kok (left) and Kho (centre) announcing the run last Friday with Stream Enterprise general manager Wei.


VIEWS 11 JUNE 3 — 5, 2011

Presumptions and Malaysia, a Jedi nation? D

ear Lord Bobo, what is a presumption of innocence? Is it truly applicable in Malaysia? @christan_yh, via Twitter

THE presumption of innocence is a fundamental legal principle of criminal trials. This simply means that you are presumed innocent until you have been convicted in a court of law. So from the moment you are arrested by the police, right through your trial and until the court hands down a verdict of “guilty”, the law assumes you are innocent of the charge against you. There are important repercussions to this. For one, the police are not supposed to treat you like a criminal, i.e. someone who has already been found guilty of a crime in court. They should not handcuff you when you are brought to or are in court. Bail should be readily given and a lenient conditions set (unless the offence is so serious i.e. murder, terrorism). Even if you held in a lockup, you should be given access to facilities, as much and as reasonably as possible, as any normal citizen. To do otherwise would be to punish you before you have been found guilty. To do those things is to infringe against this presumption. While the principle exists in Malaysia as it does in any civilized system of law, it suffers the same fate as many fine legal principles and government policies – a lack of application, borne out of a lack of appreciation of the principle itself.

ambiguous and way cheaper than A glaring example of this is Scientology. That’s totally underwhen you see people accused of a standable. Wandering around crime being treated shabbily by town in a full hooded robe with a the police – handcuffed, dressed lightsaber is way cool. You could in crappy clothing, held firmly by hire a midget and dress him up as a big cop or surrounded by a few a boxy droid and call him 12FU to police personnel, treated accompany you. roughly and then held in The Federal Constitution does lockup. Why should not limit the types of religions to you be treated this way until and unless you Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by tether your faith to, unless it is have been convicted of LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) some deviant Muslim sect as clasa crime? where all your profound, abstruse, sified by the government. Article 11(1) clearly states that you have The presumption principle very erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurusthe right to profess and practise strongly applies in Malaysia – the described queries are answered! your religion. presumption of guilt. You are If you are a Muslim, though, treated as a criminal simply because propagating Islam is subject to you were caught by the police. innovations. It’s not their fault that Such attitudes often lead to abuse of their experiments sometimes go state law and federal law. That suspects and witnesses. awry. The most recent innovation is means the government can only It makes the job of a police inves- the presumption of flight. Out of regulate the religion of Islam, but tigator a hell of a lot easier to pre- windows. They’re still working on not other religions. They are free to propagate their faith, unshackled sume guilt; if a suspect is innocent, that one. and untouched by the sticky tentathey’d have to start from square one an I legally change my cles of some Jabatan or other crack and find someone else to bang up r e l i g i o n t o Je d i ? @ taskforce. for the crime. j un w 3 n , v i a Tw i tte r Luckily for you (and would-be Like all legal principles, there are Jedis across the nation), there are exceptions, and the Malaysian-style no laws that limit what “other presumption of guilt is the same. If GREETINGS Young Padawan, May the force be with you and religions” are under the Federal you’re a VIP or well-connected individual, then you are exempted thank you for your timely and im- Constitution. There are also no portant question. His Supreme from the presumption of guilt. If you’re unfortunate enough that Eminenceness is aware that the Jedi news of the allegations against you religion is growing in popularity have become known to the public worldwide, asserting itself through (damn those nosy independent organisations such as the The Temmedia folk!), you unfortunately will ple of the Jedi Order and Temple of have to be charged, and the charges the Jedi Force. In 2001, it was officially recogmade public. But don’t worry, as there is an endless stream of scandal nized as a religion in the United and hoopla in Bolehland, your mat- Kingdom. Ten years later, based on ter will soon fall off the radar, and your question, it seems to now be the charges be wrapped up in old making its way to Malaysian shores, nasi lemak wax paper and not be buzzing into people’s skulls and spirits like the sound of a good ol’ heard of again. Let’s not be too hard on the Ma- lightsaber. You obviously feel a strong need laysian authorities. They are at the forefront of investigative procedure, to drop your old boring beliefs and and are responsible for cutting-edge crank it up with one that is snazzier,

C

court decisions that have interpreted the phrase to pronounce its scope. This suggests that you can leave your former religion and embrace the spirit of Jediism and the ways of Yoda. And if you do manage to start up the Temple of the Jedi in the Klang Valley somewhere, give us a call – we’d love to learn the Jedi mind trick. Oh, hang on, you’re not a Muslim are you? We assumed from your Twitter profile picture that you’re not. If you are, then sorry, your road to Jedi-dom may be headed towards a dead end. You’re likely to be labelled things like “traitor to your race/religion”. You may even be accused by a certain prominent someone (he doesn’t seem qualified to be called a “politician” – which says a lot) of starting some sort of crusade, or wanting to change Malaysia into a Jedi nation, and you don’t wanna be messin’ with that dude. The Force against the Farce, that would be compelling. Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing asklordbobo@ loyarburok.com, stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. The first 100 questions published will receive monkey-riffic LoyarBurok merchandise courtesy of Selangor Times . What the hell are you waiting for ? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!

Times of change Kthxbai! Fahmi Fadzil

O

f late, we’ve been inundated with talk about withdrawal of subsidies and subsequently the change in the price of sugar, RON95, gas, electricity, etc – some of which has happened, and some of which ( f o r w ha t e v er e c o n o m i c o r political reason) has not. And of course, all this talk has helped fuel the rakyat’s imagination that something big is rolling our way, in the form of the ever-looming 13th General Election. Again, much about the date of 13GE is speculative, something which only Datuk Seri Najib Razak is privy to – or at least, that’s what

we’ve been made to understand. Yet it seems impossible to talk about changes happening around us right now without recalling the days, weeks, and months preceding the 12th General Election, and the resultant mood or climate surrounding public sentiment. I still remember the heated talk of “ubah gaya hidup” back then – particularly vivid is my recollection of this YouTube video done by Youth4Change which parodied the BN administration’s sentiment that when the going gets tough, the rakyat gets changing (if petrol prices skyrocket, just change from a car to a motorbike, to a bicycle, to...??). This time round, the BN administration has been a bit more savvy in laying the ground for potential change in basic goods. For instance, when it came to sugar, they floated

the “healthy lifestyle” and “antidiabetes” campaign. Very smart, which kind of reveals that there are sharp public relations operators walking the hallways of Putrajaya these days, and obviously sharper (or more sensitive) than during the times of the previous tenants of the fourth floor. But what about the petrol and gas prices? Well, the “performance” of Umno Youth in fighting to stay the price of RON95 should suffice to lower any temporary negative public sentiments. “At least someone spoke up for us” might be the perceived public’s response. In any case, there are no changes in these prices for now at least, even if the total amount spent on subsidies balloons to somewhere closer towards the RM20 billion mark. The Najib administration is literally biting the bullet.

And so, going forward, are we going to expect no change at all? Of course not. These are sensitive times. The 13GE is near, so there shouldn’t be too much rocking of the rakyat’s boat. But would this discussion be different post13GE? Maybe. But that’s speculative, and it all depends on who sits in Putrajaya then! But an observation: any government operating in these “postArab spring” times are becoming more sensitive to rumblings of the populace. Perhaps, within the Malaysian context, the days of being quiet and just accepting orders from above are over. Perhaps the popular mandate is not so obviously within reach of any particular group, and thus all who vie for it must appeal more exhaustively for the rakyat’s ears. Perhaps these days, the people

are more easily roused, organised, galvanised, becoming a somewhat not-too-silent threat hanging by the bedsides of those who sleep with power. Whatever the case may be, the days leading up to the 13GE will be very exciting indeed. We can already see the ratcheting-up of sentiments by all sides, which is a double-edged sword that must never be allowed to be raised above our heads. In fact, we must do what we can to allay such negative sentiments and work together to maintain peace and calm in the country. Come 13GE, no matter what kind of change takes place, no matter who walks the hallways in Putrajaya, we can only hope and pray that change happens democratically, under peaceful circumstances, and with our national dignity, sanctity, and sanity intact.


Insight

12 June 3 — 5, 2011

How to support the needs of a child who has learning disabilities

By Alvin Yap

I

Learn disabi not a barrie

magine having a world of ideas to share, communicate, and, most importantly, learn and explore. Now imagine your world falling apart when “neurological” disabilities or injuries make it difficult for you to process information, to learn and to interact and communicate. Learning disability, sometimes called learning disorder, does not involve physical handicaps like paralysis or blindness, but instead affects learning skills that others take for granted, such as writing, speech, reading and comprehension, and mathematical skills. If you think your child has a learning disability, send him/her It is a disease caused by illness, disease or brain injury, and afflicts for clinical assessment and diagnosis. some 116,000 Malaysians. The figure could be higher, as many have yet to be registered Clinical assessment and diagnosis with the Welfare Department. Government hospitals such as Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, Selayang Hospital and Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan “Learning disability is caused by Down’s syndrome, autism, Malaysia can run tests to determine if your child is learningAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and cerebral disabled. The Psychology departments at Sunway University palsy. It is also caused by meningitis, or accidents that cause and Help University College can also conduct tests. traumatic brain injuries,” said Wendy Yeong Moh Foong, a public relations manager at United Voice (UV), a learning disability Basic assessment advocacy group. The following organisations can also carry out basic assessment She pointed out that these disorders can hinder a person’s of your child: Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation, Nasom ability to learn, and prevent them from (National Autistic Society of Malaysia), Emmanuel Care Centre mastering simple skills or completing tasks (primary school age) and Malaysian Care (below six years of age). on their own. “People with learning disabilities have The next step is to enrol your child in a learning disabilities intervention programme. difficulties with spoken and written language, coordination, self-control or focusIntervention programmes ing attention on specific tasks,” she added. What is Early Intervention Programme (EIP)? This includes physical movements that may be erratic or uncoordinated. • Early Intervention is a concept that promotes help at the earliest possible age so that learning potential can be fully As learning disability is caused by brain developed. disorders, it cannot be cured. However, • It equips parents to teach and manage their child better and victims can alleviate their predicament if enable them to prepare for their child’s future. they are sent to support groups that provide • It helps prevent secondary complications such as intervention programmes and training. behavioural problems Yeong pointed out that in the past, the public was fixated on Down’s syndrome Why EIP? and other disorders, rather than the overall • Early and intensive intervention can have a profound impact big picture that learning disorders can be on the quality of life for both children at risk and their families. overcome with intervention, training and • With proper intervention, a child can overcome a wide range of developmental, behavioural and learning problems. the right support. • EIP should begin from birth to six years old. Yeong said the public is more aware of UV’s art gallery, which showcases members’ artwork. learning disabilities now compared with 20 EIP may be conducted once or twice a week for two to three She said there is no stigma associated with found jobs for its unemploye years ago, when having a child with Down’s hours. The project, which began syndrome or autism, or even talking about learning disability, but job prospects remain • Activities carried out may include individual work, group eight employees, now has low due to misconceptions that these people the subject, was considered taboo. work, computer access, physical activities, art and craft, They receive monthly salari Yeong pointed out that there are now are slow learners. roleplaying, story time, singing and music. The graduate-turned-social worker said bonuses apart from being cov more special schools in the country that • The programme should seek to stimulate all areas of a child’s serve people with learning disabilities, and there are comprehensive programmes for the social security organisat development such as normal and fine motor skills, cognitive skills, social and communication skills, and behavioural Part of the project involv there are also charity and welfare clubs like these people to master basic to intermedimanagement. Gallery, which showcases so Kiwanis Malaysia that conduct basic to ate skills. She said UV’s Employment Project has paintings and sculptures. intermediate learning courses. Some of the paintings have Wendy Yeong joined disabled up by art collectors, while ot learning advocacy group United Voice bought by corporations as pa (UV) in 2005, and was later offered a porate Social Responsibility supervisor’s  post at the Employment Some paintings have fet of RM3,000.     Project. Yeong said other groups li “I have a learning disability,” said Utama Methodist Church Yeong, who thought she was a slow tensive and comprehensive c learner at an early age as she had trou- her parents advised her to go and look Yeong to sign up for the people with learning disab ble keeping up with her class. for a job. Employment Project. working skills. “From [Standard Six] onwards, I “I told them I did not know how to Yeong said working at the However, there is still so was having problems understanding find work, especially with my learning Employment Project probefore these people can be f the teacher during lessons,” said Yeo- disability,” she said matter-of-factly. vided her with the responsiinto the workforce, said Yeo ng, 30, who hails from Perak. In 2004, Yeong enrolled at the Day bility and space to develop She pointed out that these She was frustrated with her inabil- Training Centre for slow learners and her leadership skills. only be fully accepted into th ity to follow lessons, and began to hate St Paul’s Anglican Church in Petaling In 2009, she was offered the government commits to school as a result. Jaya, for those with mild learning a super visor’s post. She tional schools for them to lea Luckily, a teacher of her Form One disabilities. oversees the arts and crafts “Among the skills we know class recognised that she was showing She was taught intermediate living department, where some 26 learning disabilities] have signs of learning disability, and rec- and basic work skills by her trainer. members are employed to housekeeping, baking, sew ommended to her parents that she be Most importantly, the trainer got her make greeting cards, fridge dressing,” said Yeong. sent for further checks. a job at a packing line in a factory. magnets and other items. One of the reasons emplo Yeong’s father sent her to a child However, due to her disability, she Yeong guides and gives from employing disabled psychologist, who confirmed that she quit and went to work at a college advice to the members in a perception that they fare bad had a learning disability. He told her library. “quiet and teaching” mansonal relationships. she could only learn and keep up with Yeong pointed out that her former ner whenever they struggle Yeong acknowledged tha lessons taught in a special class. employers did not know how to deal with a task. and UV’s support group. However, she was still going to a with her condition. “I’m happy working at [UV]. I She pointed out that learning dis- abilities cause problems in co normal school, and later sat for her  “I quit that job and was looking for think I [would not have obtained] this ability programmes can assist those and those with the conditio PMR examination, which she failed. work when I came to [UV’s] office to supervisor’s position in other compa- with such disability to overcome their problems expressing thems due to their limited vocabul “I stayed at home after that, and sign up as a member,” she said. nies,” she said. handicaps. However, she pointing o never went back to school. I told my She approached the owner of the Yeong has also been invited as guest Asked about her future plans, parents I did not want to study,” restaurant below UV’s office here in- speaker at institutes of higher learning Yeong said she is content to stay on attend speech and commun to improve themselves. Yeong said. Section 17/12 to ask for work, but as to talk about learning disability.  with her organisation.   As such, sustainable em She spent a few years at home, chance would have it, another member She is thankful for the support, love “I am taking life one day at a time,” concern to learning disabi helping out with house chores, but overheard her conversation and told and care she receives from her family she said.

Yeong’s long and winding road to self-confidence


ning ilities

UV members working to complete handicraft items at the Employment Project.

er

ed members. n in 2003 with s 26 workers. ies and annual vered by Socso, tion. ves the UV Art ome impressive

e been snapped thers have been art of their Cory programme. tched upward

ike Damansara operate an incourse that help ilities to learn

ome way to go fully absorbed ong. e people would he workforce if o opening vocaarn trade skills. w people [with mastered are wing and hair-

Yeong

Fine ink and pencil drawing of the Petronas twin towers and Tanjung Karang pier.

like UV and other groups. There is a higher rate of job turnovers with employees with learning disabilities, and groups like UV are embarking on job coaching to ensure that they are employable. Under this programme, a suitably qualified volunteer guides a disabled employee through job tasks with after-work tutoring, teaching of interpersonal skills and counselling. A report card from the employers is closely monitored by the job coach, who can then take necessary action to guide and teach the disabled person. “It is done so that an employee with learning disabilities is suitable to the employer’s specifications and stays employable at the workplace,” said Yeong. She said people with learning disabili-

oyers shy away people is the dly in interper-

at learning disommunication, on might have selves at work lary. out that many nication classes

mployment is a ility advocates

Some of the members’ paintings.

ties should assert their rights, but more importantly, must be given the opportunity to lead and to join the workforce. Yeong said that learning disabled groups must speak out for themselves with the concept of self-advocacy. She said that given the right to be heard, learning disabled people can and will advocate their needs and demands. “A person with mild learning disability self-advocates by voicing [his or her] views. A person with severe learning disability self-advocates by [his or her] presence in a public meeting.” She said our part would be to listen and to champion that right. “At the end of the day, we must acknowledge their inherent right to be in and part of society, and we must see that it is upheld together,” Yeong said.

Leading a normal, contented life Izzudin Nordin, 23, shows up for work here at the Employment Project. His father sends him to United Voice’s office from their home in Kelana Jaya. Others may not see Izzudin as “normal”, but he is like any other person. He likes his work, he has friends, and he ruminates over life. He has Down’s syndrome, and the features that are associated with the condition are visible on his face. “I like my work here. I get to do things that I like,” he said, as he went back to making greeting cards at his workstation. Izzudin knows he is special, different from others. He said it does not bother him that others may think less of him because of his learning disabilities, and especially his Down’s syndrome. “I have gained independence,” he pointed out. He said he is thankful for life as he is healthy, and can work to support himself. Izzudin gives a part of salary to his parents for groceries and other household expenses. “I have shown to people that I can be independent,” he said. The work is simple by “normal” people’s standards, but advocates at United Voice say it gives these people a “worthwhile” job that they might not otherwise be able to secure in other places. The diligence Izzudin and his friends show at work reaps benefits when they are also paid yearly bonuses. However, the best acclaim they get is when their clients visit the gift shop and are amazed at the quality of work that goes into the art and handicraft items. The procurement manager of a

Izzudin: “I have shown to people that I can be independent.”

multinational company was visiting United Voice on the day Izzudin and others were being interviewed. The manager said her company was thinking of getting a thousand pieces of greeting cards, and options for another few thousand pieces of refrigerator magnets. “The quality of work is really fine,” the manager said. Izzudin wondered what the fuss was about as people crowded around his workstation. He excused himself and went back to his job. “Okay, thank you, I have to get back to work now,” he said. As he sat down, his features melted into a contented smile, happy that he and his colleagues were appreciated by others.


NEWS 14 JUNE 3 — 5, 2011

New crematorium for Puchong by November By Basil Foo

PUCHONG:  Construction of a new crematorium to cater to the needs of the growing township has started at Bandar Puchong Utama.
 “There have been many requests for additional crematoriums in Selangor. The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) will be the fourth local council to have one,” said Ronnie Liu.
 The state executive councillor, whose portfolio includes local government, said the new facility will help ease demands on other crematoriums in Klang, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam. The crematorium is scheduled to be completed in November, and will cost RM1.2 million, inclusive of construction and the purchase of an incinerator.
 Liu said his office and MPSJ will allocate a further RM100,000 and RM300,000 respectively for a second incinerator. Liu, who spoke at the project’s groundbreaking ceremony last Saturday, said it was necessary to buy another unit to keep the crematorium running in the event that the main incinerator broke down.
 He said the payment for families to use the

facility would be set at a reasonable price, as the state was not looking to profit from the crematorium. A fifth crematorium is slated to be built in Kajang, but not enough funds have been accumulated for the project yet.  “The state is looking to add more crematoriums to cut travel time for people from rural areas who need to use them,” said Dr Xavier Jeyakumar.   The state executive councillor, whose portfolio includes caring government, said those from poorer families wanting to use the facility could apply to use it for free.  Putra Heights Buddhist Society president Chua Teck Seong thanked the authorities for this public service initiative. “Puchong has grown massively over the years to reach about 600,000 people. Half of that is estimated to be Buddhist. This facility would be beneficial for many families,” said Chua. Arumugam (right) explaining details of the building plan. Looking on are Loka Ng Coalition of Malaysian Indian NGOs (left, in background), Liu, Michael Tamilarason, Dr Xavier (with sunglasses) and secretary G Gunaraj also thanked the state Abdullah Marjunid (with cap). government and MPSJ for the project.
Also present were officials from the Serdang Bud- son Hannah Yeoh, and MPSJ deputy presi- Ng Sai Kai, Edward Ling Sieak Meeng, Kesdhist association and a Sikh temple. dent Abdullah Marjunid.
 hminder Singh, Chin Sou Bong and Michael Officiating the event were Puchong MP Also present were  MPSJ councillors K Tamilarason, along with Sepang Municipal Gobind Singh Deo, Subang Jaya assemblyper- Arumugam, Pooi Weng Keong, R Rajiv, Loka Council member M Pulanthran.

Microcredit workshop for stall owners By Basil Foo

PUCHONG:  Small traders from all over Selangor took part in a basic training workshop held on May 26 on how to utilise Selangor’s Urban Poor Microcredit (Mimbar) programme. “For those with no money, their plans remain just dreams. But once they have money, those plans become achievable ambitions,” said Mohamad Noor Mahmud. The Selangor Mimbar senior marketing manager fielded questions from 150 stall owners during the workshop, which was held at Puchong Indah’s multipurpose hall. Mohamad Noor said the microcredit scheme, applicable for those earning less than RM1,500, is intended to be an easier alternative to applying for a bank loan. “We don’t ask for your business permit or bank account number. This is meant to help poor families to work and sustain themselves,” he said. On whether stall owners could repay their loans before the predetermined due date, Mohamad Noor said they should hold on to their money. “Instead of facing shortage of finances and applying for a loan again next time, use your money to expand your business further,” he suggested.

Halim

Abdul Halim Khusairi, who runs a burger and fried chicken stall in Taman Tun Perak, Cheras, brought up the concerns of Mimbar applicants from his part of town. The 44-year-old residents’ committee chairperson said he had been asked by residents to find out the status of their microcredit applications. “Many have applied for the loans months ago but do not know the status of their applications,” he said. Halim, who has been operating his stall for the past three years, received a RM3,000 loan from the microcredit scheme after applying for RM5,000. Hasnah Abd Manap, who sells nasi lemak in Puchong, asked if she could sell dishes that were not included in her initial loan application form. “What if we find that the de-

mand for our products was decreasing? Can we sell nasi ayam in addition to nasi lemak?” asked the 41-year-old. She was told that stall owners are encouraged to diversify if it could bring in more profits, as the goal of the loan is to help them succeed in business. Hasnah, who has been working at her present stall for the past two years, applied for a RM2,000 loan but has yet to receive it. Mimbar public relations manager Nor’Ain Eusoff said 104 small business owners received their loan offer letters on May 26, and would receive the money within two weeks. Officiating the event was Subang Municipal Council 3C Complex senior director Haini Mohd Salleh, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, Taman Medan assemblyperson Hanizah Talha, and Meru assemblyperson Dr Abdul Rani Osman.

Hasnah

Unity still strong among the races By William Tan

GOMBAK: Over a hundred people of all races gathered for a dinner a t D e w a n Mu h i b b a h i n Ta man  Bolton last Saturday to celebrate unity and foster relationships among one another. “This is a great way to celebrate unity and a great way to meet all our friends. I only wish it was bigger,” said Akrun Mathajar, 52. The Kampung Sri Gombak Residents Association member said  notions of racial divisional are merely political, and he never found it to be an issue on the ground. He believes that any indication of racial segmentation should be  removed, such as the declaration needed for one’s IC application. Lim Boon Dak, 68, was of the same opinion, saying he always finds that most people, regardless of race, tend to be friendly. “I do admit that we are drifting apart these days compared to 20, 30 years before, [but] I believe it has to do with unfair policies, and I don’t think the right policies are properly implemented,” he said. He added that Malaysians in general are united, and that in most situations, it simply boils down to tolerance, compromise, and pure civic sense. These are values and essentially a way of life that young people should be cultivated into in order to truly promote unity and harmony, Lim added. Youth, therefore, are the agents of

Akrun Mathajar: Racial segmentation should be eliminated.

change, says Khoo Kim Suan, 37. The representative of Triumphant Christian Centre believes that more youth-oriented activities encouraging unity should be carried out. “We need focused activities with a clear and consistent purpose, in order to truly bring people together,” she said, citing the example of youth leadership training seminars, where people of all races can come together and pass on useful skills and experiences. She believes there should be fewer speeches made and more action taken by leaders to demonstrate themselves as role models. Resident Gobula Krishnan, 50, said the change in state government has been the main catalyst for racial unity. He said while there was clear segmentation before, a greater mixing of the races has been more obvious since the government took over the state. The event was officiated by Sri Andalas assemblyperson Dr Xavier Jayakumar.


Features15 June 3 — 5, 2011

Know Your Councillor: Tai Cheng Heng SUBANG JAYA: Making sure municipality contractors repair potholes promptly to avert accidents is a major concern for Tai Cheng Heng. “It is their job to identity the potholes, prioritise the ones that need urgent attention, and take action immediately,” said the Subang Jaya Municipal (MPSJ) councillor. Tai, 49, wants the council to be more proactive in dealing with public concerns, especially those that pose a hazard to health and safety. The three-term councillor said he frequ entl y g e ts c omplaints on dead trees, clogged drains and rubbish. He pointed out that many such complaints are repetitive because of the poor or slow response by the municipality.  Tai and his fellow councillors are trying to come up with a system that enables them to monitor the efficiency of the respective MPSJ departments and their contractors. This would help them oversee contractors who have been assigned jobs by the council and make sure they complete their projects without delay. The civil-engineering graduate said this system is urgently needed because residents have started to lament that some contractors are negligent in carrying out their work.  Tai is also looking into improving the traffic conditions in Seri Kembangan. “Most traffic congestion in Seri Kembangan stems from narrow roads and illegal double parking,” he said.

T

According to Tai, many parking spaces in Seri Kembangan are occupied by illegal hawkers and street traders. Customers of the stalls double park along the road, causing massive traffic congestion all day long. “What used to be a proper two-lane road lined with parallel parking is now a one-lane road with no space for cars to park,” he said. As a so lution, MPSJ has approved a project to shift all these illegal traders to a ne w market where they will all be issued licences to trade legally. The relocating will take between three and four months. Tai hopes that with the illegal traders and hawkers out of the way, traffic will improve in his area. For the future, Tai is hoping to help generate more revenue for MPSJ to help them increase their budgets and enable more funding of projects requested by the residents. “One way of generating profits for MPSJ is to charge advertisers who advertise on the council’s billboards in their area,” he said. In the past, advertisers have been using the billboards without paying anything to MPSJ. Now, they will have to pay a fee to the council before they are allowed to put up banners. Any advertisement left unpaid will be deemed illegal. Tai is on the hunt to get more advertisers and direct them to MPSJ to help them get their advertisements up on the council’s billboards.

Dragon Boat Festival celebration

Source: penangdragonboat.gov.my

By Brenda Ch’ng

K L A N G : Klang MP Charles Santiago wants the Dragon Boat Festival to be recognised as part of Malaysian heritage and be celebrated by all races. The Dragon Boat Festival, or more commonly known as the Dumpling Festival, is celebrated annually on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.  “My office is going to promote the festival this year so that everyone can be enlightened about how and why this festival is celebrated,” said Santiago. Santiago will be organising this festival, which falls on June 4, with Klang Municipal (MPK) Councillors, residents associations in Bukit Tinggi, and the state government. There will be a colouring competition open to children aged four to seven, and a “bak chang” wrapping competition open to all ages and races. Winners will be rewarded with cash prizes, certificates and trophies on that day.

The “bak chang”, made of glutinous rice filled with meat, bean paste or egg yolk, will be judged based on how nicely the dumplings are wrapped and presented. The “bak chang” (pic) is usually wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied with string. “Bak” means “meat” in Hokkien, and “chang” means “dumpling”. According to Chinese history, this festival commemorates the minister of the state of Chu, who drowned while fighting corruption in China. Following his death, the people sailed the river in boats bearing the head and tail of a dragon in search of their minister’s body. After failing to retrieve the body, they started throwing dumplings into the river to ensure that his corpse would not be eaten by fishes. The festival has since been a colourful event, featuring dragon boat races with audiences cheering them on with dumplings. The Dumpling Festival organised by Santiago will be held on Saturday, June 4, at Jakes Station in Bukit Tinggi 2, Klang from 10am to 12.30pm.

Roshan shows his mettle

he Asian Youth Championship is the perfect event for Malaysia to benchmark our talent. This year, with the delegation almost completely made up of our best young players, I took particular interest in the final standings and their rating performance. Taking that into account, it is only with those 14 years and above that we can consider the results to be stable and indicative. Teh De Zen, who finished fourth in the U-10 By Peter Long Girls, and Roshan Ajeet Singh, who performed best peterlong@aol.asia at 1829 and gained a whopping 17.8 rating points, were the standouts. You can judge for yourself from the featured game. India and China are the superthe strong Mongolian players, powers of Asian chess and fight on 1. d4 f5 2. Bg5 g6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. together with his draw against f3 d5 5.e3 Bg7 6. Bd3 0-0 7. Nge2 equal terms on the world stage. It is another highly ranked Indian and a Be6 8. Qd2 c6 9. Nf4 Bf7 10. h4 not often that a young Malaysian is Filipino talent. able to dismantle a significantly Qc8 11. h5 Nxh5 12. Nxh5 gxh5 higher-rated and much better13. 0-0-0 e6 14. g4 hxg4 15. fxg4 Roshan Ajeet Singh (MAS – Bg6 16. Rdg1 Nd7 17. gxf5 exf5 trained opponent from the land of 1856)–Nayak R akesh Kumar 18. Qh2 Nf6 19. Ne2 Nh5 20. Ng3 World Chess Champions (India (IND – 2021) took a clean sweep of the medals at Nxg3 21. Rxg3 Rf7 22. Rh3 Bf8 Asian Youth Championship 23. Be2 Qe6 24. Bf4 Bg7 25. Bh5 the Asian Youth!). (U-14) – Round 5 This game, which shows Roshan’s Rff8 26. Bxg6 hxg6 27. Rh7 Bf6 strongest side, was published in 28. Qh6 Qe8 Subic, Philippines 2011 several local chess blogs, but no less impressive was his two wins against 29.Bg5 Qf7 30.Rh8+ 1-0

Get smart! Play chess!


media 16 June 3 — 5, 2011

Attractions aplenty Sunway Pyramid bags for racing fans retail development award SHAH ALAM: Sunway Pyramid did Malaysia proud when it recently clinched the prestigious Prix d’Excellence Award 2011 award at the recent FIABCI World Congress 2011 in Cyprus. The Malaysian development was named the overall winner in the retail development category, which saw worldwide entries judged by a panel of international real estate professionals and experts from the US, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and many other countries. The mall, with four million square feet and 800 outlets, excelled ahead of other entries in the areas of concept, architecture, engineering, profitability, marketing results, environmental impact and benefits to the society. Continuing its signature Egyptian-inspired architecture, the mall differentiate d its entr y through its thematic shopping precincts – Shopping Central, Oasis Boulevard, Asian Avenue and Marrakesh. Sunway Pyramid also made significant breakthroughs in the implementation of various systems

By Basil Foo

Ngeow receiving the award from (centre) Lakis Tofarides, president of Cyprus Land and Building Developers Association. Looking on is Enrico Campagnoli.

in the shopping mall industry. Among the notable innovations are the Car Park Guiding System, which allows motorists to locate vacant carpark bay quickly through indicators on the ceiling; waterless urinals, which eliminate the need for water flushing ; dual access ramps from both sides of the highway; and an auxiliary police force as part of its security. Sunway Pyramid managing di-

rector Datuk Ngeow Voon Yean received the award from Cyprus Land and Building Developers’ Association president Lakis Tofarides at the award presentation ceremony. Also present were FIABCI World President Enrico Campagnoli, FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards 2011 president Laszlo Gonczi, and FIABCI Cyprus president Dinos Michaelidas.

SUBANG JAYA: A dance mob kicked off the Super GT International Series Malaysia leg during its launch at the Empire Shopping Gallery here last Saturday. The Super GT International Series Malaysia leg, which will be held on June 18 and 19 at the Sepang International Circuit, will have a carnival-like atmosphere with many side events planned. “It will be the first time that two major rave parties are held the night before the race – Velocita and Femme Fatale,” said Chin Jit Pyng.  The JPM Motorsports founder, who spoke to a crowd of race enthusiasts and mall-goers at the launch, said the rave parties would consist of R&B and trance music, with celebrities and top international DJs.  He said the race would also host the first rock concert to be held on the track itself, which will feature local bands like Hujan, Azlan and the Typewriter, and Indonesian band Radja. The race will also offer a Touch and Go special-edition Super GT card, which comes with every grand-

Al-Fatihah

Our Deepest and Heartfelt Condolences to His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj

D.K. D.M.N., D.K. (Terengganu).,D.K. (Kelantan)., D.K. (Perak)., D.K. (Perlis)., D.K. (Negeri Sembilan)., D.K. (Kedah)., D.K. (Johor).,S.P.M.S., S.S.I.S., S.P.M.J.

and

THe SelAngoR RoyAl FAmIly on the demise of

HIS RoyAl HIgHneSS’ beloved moTHeR yAng mAHA mulIA PAdukA bondA RAjA SelAngoR RAjA SAIdATul IHSAn bInTI Tengku bAdAR SHAH on

31`st may 2011 (27 jamadilAkhir 1432 H) “Semoga Allah SWT mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya” from

The management & Staff of

stand ticket purchase.  “These cards will allow visitors to shop cashless on that day. Don’t forget to use it after the event for tolls,” Chin said. The race is being heralded as the only leg of the Super GT to be held outside of Japan, with GT queens and Japanese drummers brought into the country to liven up the scene.  Race-goers can expect meetand-greet sessions with famous racers, a flea market with 60 stalls, and a kid’s zone with painting competitions and clowns.  The event will be carried by main broadcasters RTM, with all nine rounds of the race available for public viewing on national television. Tourism S elang or will b e assisting the advertising of the event as the state’s official tourism board and will be promoting the race in their capacity.  The trophy this year was designed and sponsored by Temasek Pewter, who will also be giving away a duplicate trophy to one lucky winner during the race. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.supergt.com.my.


SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 3 – 5, 2011 ⁄ 17

Al-Fatihah

Our Deepest and Heartfelt Condolences to His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj D.K. D.M.N., D.K. (Terengganu).,D.K. (Kelantan)., D.K. (Perak)., D.K. (Perlis)., D.K. (Negeri Sembilan)., D.K. (Kedah)., D.K. (Johor).,S.P.M.S., S.S.I.S., S.P.M.J.

and

The Selangor Royal Family on the demise of

His Royal Highness’ beloved mother yang Maha Mulia Paduka Bonda Raja Selangor Raja Saidatul Ihsan BINTI Tengku Badar Shah on 31`st May 2011 (27 JamadilAkhir 1432 H) “Semoga Allah SWT mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya” from

The Menteri Besar of Selangor Tan Sri Dato Seri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim & members of State Executive Council, the state government and the people of Selangor


18 ⁄ June 3 – 5, 2011 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES

Al-Fatihah

Our Deepest and Heartfelt Condolences to His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj D.K. D.M.N., D.K. (Terengganu).,D.K. (Kelantan)., D.K. (Perak)., D.K. (Perlis)., D.K. (Negeri Sembilan)., D.K. (Kedah)., D.K. (Johor).,S.P.M.S., S.S.I.S., S.P.M.J.

and

The Selangor Royal Family on the demise of

His Royal Highness’ beloved mother yang Maha Mulia Paduka Bonda Raja Selangor Raja Saidatul Ihsan BINTI Tengku Badar Shah on 31`st May 2011 (27 JamadilAkhir 1432 H) “Semoga Allah SWT mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya” from

The Chairman, Board of Directors, Subsidiaries Group, Management & Staff of


SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 3 – 5, 2011 ⁄ 19

Al-Fatihah

Our Deepest and Heartfelt Condolences to His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj D.K. D.M.N., D.K. (Terengganu).,D.K. (Kelantan)., D.K. (Perak)., D.K. (Perlis)., D.K. (Negeri Sembilan)., D.K. (Kedah)., D.K. (Johor).,S.P.M.S., S.S.I.S., S.P.M.J.

and

The Selangor Royal Family on the demise of

His Royal Highness’ beloved mother yang Maha Mulia Paduka Bonda Raja Selangor Raja Saidatul Ihsan binti Tengku Badar Shah on 31`st May 2011 (27 JamadilAkhir 1432 H) “Semoga Allah SWT mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya” from

The Management & Staff of


20 ⁄ June 3 – 5, 2011 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES

Al-Fatihah

Our Deepest and Heartfelt Condolences to His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj D.K. D.M.N., D.K. (Terengganu).,D.K. (Kelantan)., D.K. (Perak)., D.K. (Perlis)., D.K. (Negeri Sembilan)., D.K. (Kedah)., D.K. (Johor).,S.P.M.S., S.S.I.S., S.P.M.J.

and

The Selangor Royal Family on the demise of

His Royal Highness’ beloved mother yang Maha Mulia Paduka Bonda Raja Selangor Raja Saidatul Ihsan binti Tengku Badar Shah on 31`st May 2011 (27 JamadilAkhir 1432 H) “Semoga Allah SWT mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya” from

The Management & Staff of Yayasan Selangor


SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 3 – 5, 2011 ⁄ 21

Al-Fatihah

Our Deepest and Heartfelt Condolences to His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj D.K. D.M.N., D.K. (Terengganu).,D.K. (Kelantan)., D.K. (Perak)., D.K. (Perlis)., D.K. (Negeri Sembilan)., D.K. (Kedah)., D.K. (Johor).,S.P.M.S., S.S.I.S., S.P.M.J.

and

The Selangor Royal Family on the demise of

His Royal Highness’ beloved mother yang Maha Mulia Paduka Bonda Raja Selangor Raja Saidatul Ihsan BINTI Tengku Badar Shah on 31`st May 2011 (27 JamadilAkhir 1432 H) “Semoga Allah SWT mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya” from

The Chairman, Board of Directors, Management & Staff of Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad

Tingkat 25, Wisma MBSA, Persiaran Perbandaran, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor. Tel: 03-5510 7105 / 7233 / 7234

Faks: 03-5510 7232 / 5512 9528

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Gallery 22 JUNE 3 — 5, 2011

Desmond Teh coaching his children's football team, Team Rhinos, who are part of the Subang Jaya Community Youth Football League.

Construction begins on a new crematorium in Bandar Puchong Utama. State executive councillor Ronnie Liu sits in the driver’s seat accompanied by fellow exco Dr Xavier Jeyakumar on his left, Puchong MP Gobind Singh and Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh (standing), and other councillors. Councillor R Rajiv painting a fire hydrant during the joint initiative between SS17, Subang Jaya residents and the Bomba last Saturday. On Rajiv’s right is Rukun Tetangga USJ 2 and USJ 6 president Ang How Chuan, and on his left is SS17 fire station chief Deputy Superintendent Khairi Daud. Surrounding them are residents and students from SMK Seafield’s Fire and Rescue Cadets.

Models looking classy in the French colours of the Salabianca collection at Sunway Pyramid, which concluded its fashion month of May with an exclusive fashion preview finale last Thursday (May 26).

A dance mob kicking off the Super GT International Series Malaysia leg during its launch at the Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya last Saturday.


A dazzling, top-notch Cabaret

CULTURE 23 JUNE 3 — 5, 2011

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

Buto 3: 3 Performers, 3 Solos, 3 Interpretations Dance; June 3 & 4; Annexe Gallery @ Central Market KL; 0320701137, www.annexegallery.com; RM20 “Buto is usually heavy and intense, but this time Nyoba Kan tries to be casual and easy. Is that easier or harder? Who cares, as long as it is weird, wonderful and wired.” Nyoba Kan presents three solo pieces by Jess, Lai Chee & Kuan Nam. With sharings by artistic director Lee Swee Keong, and Q&A after each piece.

Shelah says Life’s A Drag Comedy; June 3-5; PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One; 03-79600439, www.pjla. com.my; RM60/RM30

(Above) Stephanie Van Driesen shone as Sally Bowles. (Below) Scenes from the musical.

By Terence Toh  What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Life is a Cabaret, old chum, Come to the Cabaret!  – Sally Bowles, Cabaret 

Unmasked.Ed Exhibition; June 7-19; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 03-40479000, www.klpac.org; free admission

J

ohn Kander and Fred Ebb’s Cabaret, one of the most beloved and influential musicals in history, was staged by PAN Productions at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre from May 6 to 15. This musical, like its main characters, is a strange marriage of odd contrasts: juxtaposing tongue-incheek, humorous musical numbers with dark themes such as decadence, prejudice and the disillusionment from false dreams. In less capable hands, the show could have felt awkward and jarring, its extreme tone changes causing its audience to disconnect. Thankfully, due to a spirited cast and capable directing, PAN’s Cabaret succeeded. The most notable aspect of this production was its extremely inspired staging: every inch of the relatively small stage space of KLPAC’s Pentas 2 was effectively used. Backdrops, moving scenery, overhead railings, and set pieces were all put into play, serving very well in establishing the musical’s many settings. Whether it was the tense atmosphere of a wedding party that slowly turns wrong, the intimate chambers of protagonist Clifford Bradshaw’s room, or the glitz of the stage at the Kit Kat Club, space was utilised fantastically in this production, with scenes dramatised and transitioned to and from, capably. The cast did a wonderful job. One of the best things about this staging of Cabaret was its effective balancing of both the stage band and its performer’s vocals, thus avoiding the problem faced by many local musicals: that of the performer being drowned out by music. Every lyric of every song was clear throughout, which is truly commendable. Peter Davis did a decent job as Clifford Bradshaw, his serious, controlled demeanor an effective foil to the larger-than-life personalities of the other characters. Stephanie Van Driesen shone as the promiscuous, emotional cabaret performer Sally Bowles, her rich, mellow voice proving to be mesmerising on numbers such as the hopeful Maybe This Time and the soaring title song. While her character’s over-the-top mannerisms can occasionally grate, Van Driesen succeeded in her performance, bringing Sally Bowles to life as a frivolous, selfish attention seeker very well aware of her own faults, desperately retreating into her façade of a carefree, seductive performer as escapism. Alizakri Alias and Zalina Lee performed wonderfully as unlikely couple Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider, their unexpected, tragic romance forming the emotional heart of Cabaret. The undisputed star, however, was Peter Ong, who was simply fantastic as the flamboyant, androgynous Emcee, stealing the show with his outrageous outfits

Shelah, the fiercest Glamazonian Drag Queen in KL and star of her own radio show on BFM, share her views on life as we know it. Everything she’s been banned from saying on radio, she’s going to tell you live on stage. No censor button. Featuring Edwin Sumun; part of the PJ Laugh Fest 2011.

An art exhibition presented by Malay Singaporean artist Syahidah Osman Cawley. “The works cover about a 10-year period in her life. Many of the pieces are of the people closest to her, particularly her husband and eldest son, Ainan. This reflects the composition of the family … she has striven to speak of the inner quality of her subjects in each piece.”

Rock Scissors Shadow Boxer Dance; June 15 & 16; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 03-40479000, www.klpac.org; RM35/RM20

and wild behaviour. Managing to be both likeable as well as menacing, Ong’s performances – particularly in The Money Song and If You Could See Her – were a delight, often serving as sharp commentary on human behavior as well as the events of the play. The supporting cast also gave good performances, with Bernie Chan in particular delivering a memorable performance as sailor-crazy lodger Fraulein Kost. Cabaret’s ensemble performed well together, and their big number at the end of Act One, the dark anthem Tomorrow Belongs To Me, was the highlight of the show. Dancing, while not fantastic or particularly memorable, was done well. My only nitpick with Cabaret would be its storyline, which was incredibly dark and ended on a heavy, somewhat abrupt note. While this was remaining true to the subject matter and original material, and therefore was no fault of the production team, one cannot help but think that Cabaret’s story folded rather prematurely, with a resolution that might come across as unsatisfying. Regardless, Cabaret was one of the more accomplished musical productions to be staged here, and the team at PAN Productions, particularly director Nell Ng, should be commended for their efforts. A true testament to what local theatre can be capable of.

“Three choreographic works about a game that cannot be won.” Featuring Noord Nederlandse Dans, a contemporary dance company based in Groningen, the Netherlands. Rock is choreographed by Roy Asaaf; Scissors and Shadow Boxer by Noord Nederlandse Dans artistic director Stephen Shropshire.

Ri Yue Chu Yin: The Birth of Hands Percussion Gamelan

Concert; June 9-12; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 0340479000, www.klpac.org; RM48-RM128 Eight Mallets Percussion, a world-class percussion group from Beijing, joins Hands Percussion as special guest artiste in this collaborative concert. “An exciting journey to celebrate the unity of Armour and Skin.”



Selangor Times 3 June 2011