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Towering CCTVs keeping streets clean p
June 17 — 19, 2011/ issue 29
State executive councillors Iskandar Samad and Dr Xavier Jeyakumar telling PJS 1 longhouse residents in Taman Petaling Utama that they will soon be provided with low-cost housing.
• Story on page 2
By Alvin Yap
Tender exercise hits a snag
SHAH ALAM: Local councils seeking to reduce their expenditure on cleaning services by tendering contracts to other operators have hit a legal snag. Waste management concessionaire Alam Flora Sdn Bhd has obtained a stay pending a court decision on its application to stop local governments from selecting their own contractors for street cleaning jobs The company, which handles solid waste management in the central and eastern regions of West Malaysia, wants the Shah Alam High Court to review the state government’s plan to return the power of choosing contractors for cleaning services to councils and municipalities. The review also seeks to challenge the power of local governments to carry out the state’s directive. The leave for the judicial review for a hearing was filed on June 10, while the stay notices were served on the 11 local governments in SeLegal Adviser on Tuesday to decide langor last Monday. Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) and Shah on the state's response. Alam Flora’s move to seek a court Alam (MBSA) as well as the municipal councils of Subang Jaya review comes after Khalid’s an(MPSJ), Klang (MPK), Kajang nouncement that the state will hand (MPKj) and Selayang (MPS) were over cleaning services from Alam among the local governments that Flora to local councils. In April, Khalid had said the received the notices. Meanwhile, Menteri Besar Tan move was to return to the original Sri Khalid Ibrahim met the State practice of local governments being
responsible for the cleanliness of their respective councils. Prior to 1998, local councils handled their own cleanliness and maintenance tasks before they were given to Alam Flora under a privatisation exercise. The move is expected to save up to RM20 million annually on commission fees. MPK made history this year when it announced a RM10 million surplus in its 2010 budget after taking over garbage management last year. According to MPK's Environment Department director Wan Mohd Sufian, they have saved RM5 million since they began running their own garbage management operations.
The move, however, does not affect Alam Flora's garbage collection and disposal operations. Meanwhile, MBSA councillor Ang Leng Kiat said the council had already chosen 10 contractors to clean the streets of Section 4, 7, 14, 15 and 25 as well as U6, U8 and U9 here. “The contractors have been briefed on the latest turn of events. We will continue with the exercise of running our own cleaning services,” Ang said. However, MPS has decided to wait for a state directive, said councillor Eric Tan. He explained that as MPS had not begun its open tender exercise, it could wait for feedback from Shah Alam.
MPK councillor Lim Lip Suan confirmed that the municipality’s environment committee had also received the stay notice. “Essentially, the stay tells us to stop selecting our own contractors,” Lim said. He pointed out that MPK had yet to vet their long list of contractors, but did not disclose what further action the council would take in response to Alam Flora’s latest move. According to a MBPJ councillor who declined to be identified, the city council will continue to shortlist its contractors to handle streetcleaning services. It will continue to do so unless it receives an order from the state telling MBPJ otherwise.
news June 17 — 19, 2011
Selangor wants full disclosure by AELB on radiation leak SHAH ALAM: Selangor is calling on the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to disclose details of the radiation leak at a radiopharmaceutical company which contaminated four workers on June 2. Elizabeth Wong said news about the incident has caused concern among the public, and various parties had contacted her office to express their concern while seeking more information. “Unfortunately, efforts by my office to obtain detailed information about the incident from AELB were unsuccessful. They could only assure us that the situation was under control and back to normal,” said the state executive councillor. On Wednesday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Ongkili was quoted in AFP as saying that AELB ordered the pharmaceutical company in Subang to stop operations. Wong, whose portfolio includes environment and consumer affairs, said in the interest of safeguarding the public, the state should have been notified without delay. She said pertinent information about the location of the factory, the type of radioactive material, and updates on the latest situation should have also been disclosed to the public. She urged both the AELB and Putrajaya to be forthcoming with the public as well as the state in order for all concerned to have a clear picture of the incident. “A culture of transparency should be practised by all levels of government, especially in a situation that could potentially involve public safety,” said Wong. She added that resorting to secrecy only increases panic among the public, which is exactly what should not be done when faced with such a situation.
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Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling, Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng COPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang
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PJS1 tent dwellers to get affordable housing
Residents listening to executive councilors Iskandar and Dr Xavier during the briefing.
By Alvin Yap
petaling jaya: Three families in PJS1, who are living in tents where their village once stood, have been assured by the state of proper housing at nearby low-cost flats. Iskandar Samad met the residents, formerly of Kampung Muniandi, whose homes were demolished in 2000 to make way for development. The state executive councillor said they would be able to move in within seven days. Wheelchair-bound V Mahalingam, 60, and his nearly blind wife T Selvi, 53, were among three families who opted for tents when their temporary longhouse was also demolished last week. “You just need to wait for the electrical wiring to be completed, then you can move in,” Iskandar told them yesterday. Iskandar, whose portfolio includes housing and squatters, also met with representatives of 130 former villagers who have been living in transit homes in Lembah Subang for the past eight years. The villagers have been left in the
lurch because low-cost homes that were promised to them have yet to be completed. As part of the deal to acquire the Indian-majority village, developer Peter’s Brickworks Sdn Bhd had promised to build a low-cost flat for them to move into by 2003. They were settled in wooden longhouses pending the construction of their low-cost flats, but they remain in the temporary housing due to a court injunction obtained by nearby bungalow residents, who objected to having a low-cost
high-rise in their backyard. Iskandar is proposing for the block of affordable – as opposed to low-cost – flats to be built at an alternate location near a vernacular school to accommodate the villagers. “You’ll get to stay in an affordable housing scheme that is more comfortable as it has a larger built-up area,” said Iskandar. He added that residents will only pay RM35,000 and not RM70,000 for the homes, which should be ready within two years.
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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 17 – 19, 2010 ⁄ 3
Councils need police backup to be effective By Alvin Yap
SUBANG JAYA: Local councils in Selangor have refuted allegations that they turn a blind eye to illegal massage centres in the state, pointing out that joint raids are conducted regularly with police. While the councils go about issuing summonses to illegal massage operators, they are unable to prosecute the offenders in court. More often than not, the offenders return to their activities in different areas after receiving fines. “We conduct Ops Bersepadu operations with police, the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department ( Jais), Immigration, and the National Anti-Drug Agency regularly,” said Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) press officer Zainun Zakaria yesterday. “But these operations do not seem to be enough to stop the illegal massage centres,” she added. Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hamzah was reported on Thursday as saying that local councils had themselves to blame for their “own failure to crack down on illegal massage, spa and reflexology centres”. But Zainun said since May 31 this year, MBPJ’s Enforcement Department had already carried out 138 joint operations with the authorities, including police, on such centres. She said 211 premises were fined for various offences, and 20 have had their premises sealed for repeat offences. Zainun said offenders were also fined for
operating without licences. Neighbouring council Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) backed MBPJ. MPSJ president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi said joint raids are often conducted with police and other agencies, but the newly minted council president said more police presence during raids is needed so that suspects will be prosecuted. Without police presence, MPSJ is unable to do more other than issue fines as councils do not have power to conduct arrests, he said. As of May, MPSJ issued 30 compound fines and closed eight premises for flouting licensing guidelines. “They were offering full body massages in closed rooms. The rooms have to be opened,” Asmawi explained. The municipality utilises a similar by-law that MBPJ uses to regulate business operations offering health and beauty services. Meanwhile, Klang Municipal Council (MPK) acting president Mohd Ehsan Mukri said illegal massage centres are not rampant in Klang. He said there were currently 45 legal massage centres in Klang, and a freeze on new licenses has been in force for the past five years. “Of course, we monitor legal outlets to ensure they follow regulations,” he said. Meanwhile, Selangor state executive councilor Ronnie Liu said yesterday there are only 292 legal massage centres in Selangor, and all were approved before 2006. Liu said councils have not issued any new licences since then.
MB congratulates Selangor’s Sukma squad SHAH ALAM: Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim congratulated the state contingent on their impressive performance in the recent Sukma Games. Selangor won 26 gold, 20 silver and 28 bronze medals to finish second in the annual competition from June 2-12. “I congratulate those who managed to achieve success. For those who have not, don’t give up because even sports records that have been set can always be broken,” said the Menteri Besar. Khalid, in a press release on Monday ( June 13), praised Selangor’s contingent of 412 athletes and officials for showing unwavering commitment. A dinner to honour the contingent will be held at Khalid’s residence in Shah Alam tonight ( June 17).
Woman town planner to helm MDKS SHAH ALAM: On July 1, Noraini Roslan will assume the helm at the Kuala Langat District Council (MDKS) as president, marking the first time a woman has been selected to lead a council in Selangor (see interview on page 5). “Noraini accepted the position last week, and I’m confident she will carry out her responsibilities with efficiency, transparency and with competence,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The Menteri Besar said the selection of the 46-year-old civil servant proves that the
state is committed to gender equality and empowerment of women, along with meritocracy. “Our policy is that women should be be given equal opportunity as men based on their ability and qualification,” he said. Her selection was based on her experience as planning director with the Klang Municipal and Petaling Jaya city councils for the past 21 years, as well as academic qualifications. Khalid pointed out that local government presidents need to know the ins and outs
of town planning, and the state believes Noraini possesses these abilities. He added that the state welcomes professional officers like Noraini who could improve policies and agendas.
NEWS JUNE 17 — 19, 2011
EVENTS Cyberjaya Green Ride Cyberview Sdn Bhd is calling everyone to swap cars for bicycles at their first Cyberjaya Green Ride, which will take place tomorrow (June 18). Ten categories will be open to all cycling enthusiasts of all ages, with categories ranging from a 200m tricycle dash for children to an adventurous 84km ride. There will also be a bicycle exhibition and a cycling clinic by technical experts, plus RM14,000 up for grabs. For more details and registration, contact 0173346469 (Ellie) or 012-6794565 (Nuraihana).
Bersih 2.0 launch Bersih 2.0 will be having a launch event to gather support from all political parties and nongovernmental organisations. Come show your support for a fair and clean election on Sunday (June 19) at the main hall of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, 1 Jalan Maharajalela Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur. The event will be from 8.30pm-10.30pm. For information, call 016-4898224.
Organic Day The Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (Cetdem) will be hosting its seventh Hari Organik on June 25 at Tesco, Kepong Village Mall, Kuala Lumpur. This event will focus on the importance of raising awareness on environmental issues and promote the organic lifestyle. Highlights include demonstrations and talks on organic gardening and “green” activities to educate the young. Admission is free. Guests are encouraged to bring own food and drink containers, cutlery and shopping bags. For information, 0162195826 or visit www.cetdem.org.my.
Cycle for Health The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is promoting healthy lifestyle through cycling. This 10-15km ride is a monthly event, and falls on the last Sunday of every month begining April. The route begins at MPSJ field and travels through Persiaran Kewajipan, Persiaran Kemajuan, Persatuan Tujuan and ends at MPSJ. Everyone aged 12 and above is encouraged to participate. The next cycling slot will be on June 26. For information, call MPSJ’s Public Relations department at 03-80264469.
Open day & fashion show The Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) will be having their open day on Saturday (July 2), at MIA multipurpose hall, 294-299, Jalan Bandar 11, Taman Melawati, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, from 9.30am-4pm. Extended counseling will commence from July 30-Aug 28, Monday-Friday, from 9am-5pm and weekends from 9.30am-4pm. In addition, the Textile and Fashion Design Diploma Show 2011 featuring selected artworks by students will be held from until July 7 at the MIA Art Gallery at the same address. The gallery is open from Mondays to Fridays from 11am-5pm and on Saturdays from 11am1pm. Admission is free. For information, call 03-41088100 or visit www.mia.edu.my.
Durian for charity Jom Durian is back for their fourth We Ate for Charity fest at Subang Parade. For RM20 per person, durian lovers will get to feast on as much durian as they can for an hour. The highlight of this year’s event will be the six tonnes of durian brought in from the foothills of Mantin, Negeri Sembilan. The event will take place on July 3 with a maximum of 300 pax per hourly session. For more details, call Subang Parade at 03-50329778.
Congestion fears over condo project By Basil Foo
AMPANG: A 37-storey condominium project here has come under fire by residents fearing traffic congestion caused by indiscriminate parking. “The main entrance to the twoblock condominium leads to Jalan Melur Utama, which is not a very wide road to begin with,” said K Selvakumar. The Zone 23 residents committee deputy chairperson said the two-lane road connects more than 2,000 houses from Taman Melur Phase 1 to 3 and Taman Saga with the main road. He said residents fear a repeat of traffic problems encountered with previous projects when condominium residents chose to park outside their building. “There was a project in Cheras The condominium project on the left, beside the narrow Jalan Melur Utama. Taman Baru where residents would rather Melur Phase 3 is in the background. park outside and cause traffic congestion than pay to park inside the condo,” he said. “I do not agree He said residents of landed properties around the condo- with the entrance minium would suffer the most as they have to deal with daily being there as I traffic jams. understand the Selvakumar, who visited the project site on Monday ( June [residents’] wor13), said residents had objected to the development four years ries about traffic ago. cong estion,” he Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) councillor Mo- said. hamad Samat also visited the site. He suggested “I will be rechecking the approval for this project with MPAJ’s relocating the enengineering department,” he said. trance to Jalan Mohamad added that he would bring up the residents’ com- Putra Utama , a plaints in their full-board meeting next week. larger main road, He said should the project proceed without objection, he which would enwould request for the condominium’s main entrance to be s ur e s m o o t h e r Selvakumar (right) and Mohamad. relocated. traffic flow.
Selpex racks up RM150m in property sales By William Tan
SHAH ALAM: Selangor’s Property and Lifestyle Expo 2011 (Selpex 2011) has racked up property sales worth about RM150 million. The three-day expo at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) from June 10-12 showcased RM3 billion worth of real estate. “This is the second year we are hosting this event, and we are pleased with the response, especially as we had an increase of exhibitors from 30 to 40,” said SACC chief executive officer Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad. The exhibitors included Sime Darby Property, Naza TTDI, and Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), which was the platinum sponsor for Selpex. The expo also hosted a number of exhibitors in related industries, including interior design, landscaping and furniture. Visitors also received financial advice from banks like HSBC, Maybank and CIMB. There were also exhibitors promoting lifestyle products such as Jakel Trading, which deals in clothing, and Leisure Holidays, which offers holiday packages. The event was graced by renowned international environmental activist Matthias Gelber. “These expos give consumers a sense of competitiveness among developers, and the option to pick and choose the best products,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
Othman Haji Omar, chairperson of the Selangor State Development Corporation, and Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim receiving a gift at the expo on June 11.
The Menteri Besar, who launched the event last Saturday, added that the participation of PKNS was in line with its efforts to stay competitive in the face of competition from the private sector.
Noraini Roslan: Madam President By Basil Foo
uala Selangor District Council’s (MDKS) newly minted president, Noraini Roslan talks to Selangor Times about being the first woman to helm a local government. The former Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) town planning director relates her feelings about the “surprise” appointment, her experiences with local government so far, and what she plans to bring to the table at her new job. Can you tell us about your appointment as MDKS president and how you felt about it? I was personally offered the MDKS president job by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The offer definitely surprised me because I don’t come from an administration background. I don’t have a degree in public administration. What was your career in local government like? I was in MBPJ since Sept 1, last year. I started my career in 1989 in the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) as a Graduate Services Officer. You probably haven’t heard of it before. At the time of the economic crisis, they didn’t have new positions, so for purposes of training and getting experience, government departments opened new posts. They only paid RM500 a month! I took the post for a year, then was contracted as a town planning officer before being absorbed as a permanent staff. I then became the town planning director in 1992. I also held the same position in MBPJ. My experience has mostly been in town planning. But if my past 21 years of experience in public office is taken into account, all the issues, problems, advantages and disadvantages of local government – I’ve been through it all. Do you think your gender was a factor in your appointment? You might have to ask the Menteri Besar why he chose a woman to be the president (grins). I think he wanted someone who has technical qualifications, in the hopes that they could do better at the job by knowing its technical aspects. In my opinion, God made men and women with their own strengths. We can’t say men think more rationally and women think more emotionally. I find that after working for more than 20 years, the balance of rational and emotional has been harmonised. For me, a leader should have intelligence, integrity, and emotional maturity. The benefits of appointing a woman, however, could be in the aspect of sensitivity and thoroughness of work. But mostly it depends on the individual.
June 17 — 19, 2011
Name: Noraaini Roslan Date of birth: Nov 20, 1964 Place of birth: Klang, Selangor Education: 1981 – Sekolah Seri Puteri, KL 985 – Bachelor of Science (Magna cum 1 Laude) Urban and Regional Planning, East Carolina University, USA 988 – Master of Regional Planning, University of 1 North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
What is your vision for Kuala drains and parks, which they can do Selangor, or the direction you in-house if they have the [human plan to steer it in? resources], or appoint contractors Every region in Selangor has its if it is more economical. own role to play, and different reSo apart from taxes, we should gions can’t overlap each other’s roles. look into development. If more Kuala Selangor can play a comple- industrial areas are planned, we have mentary role in Selangor’s develop- to see what kind of incentives we can ment. We have to look at its unique give for factories to move in. strengths such as tourism, farming, We could also look at Kuala fishing, wetlands, historical areas, Selangor as a pro-environment and new housing developments. I and tourism district and generate foresee it would be a balancing act revenue from that. There are many between environmental conserva- different ways to generate income. tion and new developments. We could focus on the develop- What will be your first order of ment of tourism, farming, and fish- business? What do you aim to ing; basically the economic aspects. achieve in your first six months In the area of township develop- on the job? ments, I can see some areas with When anybody comes into a new potential to be new growth areas, place, first is housecleaning. I want for example Puncak Alam and the to see if the existing objectives and southern areas; more so if the West KPI have been achieved, or how far Coast Expressway, which is now still away we are from the target. in the tender stage, is completed. Secondly is financial manage- cies that have interest in coastal I believe most developments ment, if the money we have is used in management to work together. will be focused along coastal cor- priority areas, even if we don’t have People have to work together and ridors and another corridor which enough. The important thing is to see to the interest of all stakeholders connects east and west: from Bukit do what people expect local councils in the coastal areas. Jelutong to Ijok and Batu Arang, to do. People don’t care about frills. In coastal areas, there are ports, bordering Sabak Berfisher[folk], ships, and nam. The Kuala Seltourism activities. As angor local plan has In my opinion, God made a large part of Kuala also been amended Selangor are coastal men and women with their own to include more areas areas fronting the sea, strengths. We can’t say men think for development comthere would be the more rationally and women think pared to the previous same issues. more emotionally. I find that after plan, which was more Right now, who’s working for more than 20 years, the taking care of the limited. mangroves, the small balance of rational and emotional What are some of fisher[folk]? What has been harmonised” the challenges you will happen to areas foresee as MDKS president? Then we have to look for other open for development, and how I was given early notice that the sources of income like development. much area will be conserved? If financial resources might not be Since it is my expertise, my aim will we are looking into economical enough to sustain expenditure. I was be focused development, too. benefit, how would we balance that made to understand we have a shortwith environmental sustainability? age in resources for domestic waste What projects were you involved Those are the lessons I learned from management. So maybe my chal- in previously that could be useful Klang that I can bring to Kuala lenge will be to balance expenditure. in preparing you for your job as Selangor. If expenditure for management MDKS president? Other than that, as a town planalready covers a large part of the When I was in Klang, I was in a ner, looking at the long-term strabudget, not enough will go to de- project committee that dealt with tegic plan for the district, I would velopment. So I would have to look integrated coastal management, earmark areas for development, for new sources of income to sustain which is a programme the state and reserve areas for environmental management expenses and increase established together with an arm of conservation. This was part of my development. the United Nations – Partnerships in previous job which I can easily adopt Even at state level, we have bro- Environmental Management for the to my new job. I would say those two ken the waste-management duties Seas of East Asia, whose headquarters are my strengths. into two. Alam Flora will focus on is in Manila. domestic waste, while each local What this programme tries to Can you tell us a little about your council will take over cleaning con- achieve is firstly, on the legislation background? tracts like cutting grass, and cleaning side, to coordinate among the agenI was born and raised in Klang.
My parents and grandparents were also from the same area. My higher education was in the United States. It’s different from the usual town planner training. Since we can be said to be a Commonwealth country, town planners usually receive their training in Britain and Australia. But I was among the first batches to be sent to America. That has changed my perspective in a lot of things. The conventional town planner training is usually focused more on design. But in the US, we were trained to be all-rounded, with an emphasis on the environment. The design component is left to the architect to do. What we learnt was to integrate environment and economic planning. I majored in housing for my Bachelor’s degree, and in economic and community development for my Master’s. Do you have any parting words? I’ve been given two weeks for my transition to go to MDKS. I’ll probably spend a few days communicating with the officers there before moving in to my new offices. I loved being in PJ. I came across many challenges, learnt a lot of things, and hopefully imparted useful things here. I’ll handle the transition on my own time. Till my last day, I’ll still be working in PJ.
NEWS June 17 — 19, 2011
SS2 bridal shops to be licensed in two years By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Unlicensed bridal shops in SS2 here will receive commercial status for them to operate in the residential enclave. The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) plans to legalise the bridal galleries with a set of guidelines that will change the land status to “limited commercial” usage. “MBPJ will look into converting the bridal galleries with a Special Area Plan so that they can operate inside a residential zone,” Datuk Roslan Sakiman told Selangor Times recently. The mayor said the proposed conversion will utilise guidelines under the PJ Local Plan and will ensure that only “retail-type” industries can operate next to residential lots. He pointed out that the business operations must be small scale, use limited parking space, and, most importantly, be non-polluting. This essentially means that the bridal shops can continue to operate on the busy main roads of Jalan SS2/55, Jalan SS2/71 and Jalan SS2/75. The move comes in the wake of proposals
from local councillors who want to see the boutiques equalling that of their rivals on Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur. Last month, councillor Tony Cheong said he supported the initiative to legalise the galleries and studios in SS2. He said the landlords must convert the property to commercial status before the business operators can apply and secure a business licence. According to Cheong, the houses on the main roads in question are no longer fit for habitation as they are affected by dust and noise pollution. Converting them for commercial operations would also fetch higher assessment rates as well as rental for the landlords. Currently, property owners face a RM10,000 to RM15,000 fine for renting out residential units for commercial use. Commercial operators face fines for illegal trading and advertisement, and for obstructing five-foot ways. As of April this year, 65 compound fines, each costing RM250, were issued to the bridal shops.
Row of bridal houses in SS2.
“The Sustainable Development committee will sit to approve the project,” Roslan further said. MBPJ will then hold a series of public hearings to listen to parties who support or oppose the land conversion. Roslan said the proposal must have unanimous support from the public for it to be pushed through to the state government for a final decision. “The whole process will take two years to
Elderly to enjoy more privileges By Brenda Ch’ng
SHAH ALAM: Senior citizens registered with Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) will soon get cash vouchers to help cope with inflation. The new scheme is to enhance the state welfare programme to help people in their golden years. Rodziah Ismail said the state in i ti a l l y a l l o cate d RM2,500 to help families of the elderly bear their funeral expenses. Now RM1,000 will be allocated for programmes, including food vouchers, for those registered under the scheme. “They can can enjoy part of [the allocation] now while they are still alive,” said Rodziah. The state executive councillor for welfare said the aim is to engage seniors and entertain them with events, instead of just giving them RM1,000 to spend on their own. She wants to reach out to all seniors, especially those in the outskirts of town who do not know about SMUE, and bring them out for beneficial social outings. There are only 170,000 registered applicants in Selangor, but Rodziah hopes this figure will reach 250,000 after the change to the programme. Most unregistered seniors are either living in the outskirts or are clueless about this programme. “The events will be conducted in phases over the course
of maybe one, two years. We are now still deciding which events will be most enjoyable for seniors,” Rodziah said.
To help enhance the decision of events, a door-to-door survey will be conducted with registered SMUE participants. Rantaian Mesra Sdn Bhd will be conducting the interviews with a series of questions focusing on what events the seniors want. The results of these surveys will be revealed in August, and Rodziah hopes to get the ball rolling and launch the events by the end of the year. “We are targeting to engage the seniors in educational activities like health activities, gardening, or even cooking classes,” she said. Currently, the only approved event is Jom ke Supermarket, which will be launched next month. The state will be working with hypermarkets Tesco, Giant and Econsafe to come up with a list of nutritional foods and get them subsidised for the seniors to purchase.
Transportation will be provided, but participants are also encouraged to bring their relatives along and turn it into a family event. The participants will be sorted in batches in accordance with celebrations and festivals. For example, the first batch will be the Malays, in conjunction with Hari Raya in August. “Everyone will get a chance to be part of this shopping event. Even seniors who sign up next year will just have to wait to be slotted into a batch. We will try not to exclude anyone,” said Rodziah. Participants will be able to purchase the items with a cash voucher worth RM100 after listening to a talk on healthy living. “We want the seniors of Selangor to lead a healthier lifestyle. That is the aim of the event, to educate the seniors on eating healthy,” said Rodziah. As RM100 will be used for this event, the remaining RM900 will be used for future events. However, Rodziah pointed out the RM100 will be added on to the RM1,500 for funeral expenses if the seniors are not interested in joining Jom ke Supermarket. “It will be their choice. We will not take away their money. We will return it to them if they choose not to join us for the social events,” Rodziah said. Likewise for future events, seniors can decide to opt out, but their money will remain and not be deducted, she said.
complete. It will consist of drawing up draft plans, holding hearings and gathering public feedback,” the mayor said. Meanwhile, there is “amnesty” for the existing bridal shops to continue operating. However, new bridal shops are not allowed to open in SS2 as this would be illegal. Roslan said MBPJ will continue to monitor the existing bridal shops, and will investigate complaints and take necessary action against them.
State orders review of Felda settlements SHAH ALAM: A review of the law establishing the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) is being conducted in the interest of the 10,000 settlers in Selangor. The state on Tuesday set up the Selangor Felda Taskforce to scrutinise the outdated Group Settlement Arrears Act 1960 (GSA). “The purpose of our Felda taskforce is to study what steps the state government can take to ensure that our Selangor Felda community gets the most out of their efforts,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The Menteri Besar, who was speaking after a panel discussion on improving the fate of Felda settlers on Tuesday, said the review was long overdue. “The Act came into force in 1960, and since then much has changed. That is why we need to revisit it. Are the settlers truly benefiting from these schemes?” asked Khalid. Lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah said preliminary studies on the GSA showed that a section of the law stipulated that the state has the power to appoint alternative development agencies other than Felda. “The Act allows the state, in consultation with the minister, to stipulate the terms where Felda status can cease. We will study and discuss further the GSA, especially with the settlers,” said the Subang MP. Felda was enacted on July 1, 1956 under the Land Development Ordinance 1956 to modernise agricultural activities. The scheme’s goal was to eradicate rural poverty among farmers by allocating large tracts of land for them to farm and develop. Felda setlements were also created to remove the farmers from Communist influence and control at the height of the Emergency. However, over the years, numerous criticisms have been levelled against Felda by the settlers, who claim that the agency deals with them unfairly.
In August last year, the Te m e r l o h Hig h Court found Felda guilty of cheating some 353 settlers of Felda Kemahang 3 over the grade of their oil palm fruit, and ordered the agency to
pay RM11 million. Land activist Suhaimi Said pointed out that the state must also be consulted on policy, management and creation of bylaws for Felda operations. Suhaimi is a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Felda Community and Orang Asal bureau chairperson,n whose team has conducted studies with land lawyers and activists. “There are some 380,180 hectares of land surrendered by the states for Felda plantations. However, the operations are against GSA and do not follow the law,” he claimed during the debate. He said if Felda operations were violating GSA law, the state could regain administrative control of the parcels of land. Suhaimi said some of the Felda policies were unfair. He pointed to contractual agreements that compelled settlers to sell their oil palm harvest to Felda factories, and not to an open market where they could fetch higher prices. He also claimed that Felda was charging settlers high rental to occupy and till the land. Suhaimi said the GSA should be amended to deal with issues of ownership, inheritance, land administration and management.
NEWS JUNE 17 — 19, 2011
Frustration over flash floods in Puchong By Basil Foo
PUCHONG: Heavy rains have not been enough to cool off residents left fuming over longstanding problems with flash floods in Taman Puchong. “We have been experiencing flooding for the past 20 to 30 years, every time there is only an hour of rain. The most recent was on June 8,” said Patrick Gan, 50. He said water levels could reach chest level, and blamed the floods on the absence of a proper drainage in the area. About 30 residents came out for a meeting with the press last Saturday to vent their frustration. “I fell and hit the back of my head after a flood five years ago made the floor in my house slippery,” said Chin Kok Peng. The 72-year-old retiree said furniture worth RM5,000 had been destroyed, and claimed residents in the area were even refused insurance coverage due to the frequency of floods. He conceded that the current situation had improved after the drainage system in the area was upgraded, but they nevertheless remained unsatisfied with the issue. “We were told our land is very low and that
nothing can be done to solve this problem,” said Chin. Long-time resident Philomena David, 76, who moved here four decades ago, said she was involuntarily house-bound due to fears of flash foods. “I can’t go for holidays as I stay alone. If I get a call that my house is flooded, I would have to rush back,” she said. Resident Simon Sin blamed the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) for dragging their feet. “MPSJ is not solving the problem completely. They keep upgrading the drains, but Residents calling for longstanding flooding issues to be solved. there are still floods,” said the 58-year-old insurance agent. chairperson Wong Hock Aun, who urged Another factor that could have contribHe revealed that about 20 homes were af- MPSJ to hire a consultant to identify and solve uted to the recent flood was collapsed drains, fected in the most recent downpour. the cause of the flooding problem. also closer to the highway. During the public gathering, the residents When contacted, MPSJ councillor Pooi “I will wait for the Engineering Departwere advised to form a committee and hold a Weng Keong said initial investigations a day ment before coordinating with Kesas on how meeting with MPSJ to resolve the matter. after the flooding occurred revealed rubbish to solve the problem,” he said. “The source of flooding, cost of remedial clogging the drains. Pooi also said he would check with the works, and timeframe for solving the problem “The drains from this residential area are Town Planning Department if new developshould be looked into by MPSJ,” said Kuan connected to the main drains for the nearby ments in the area could have overloaded the Chee Heng. Kesas highway. The clogs were found closer to housing area’s drain capacity. The Puchong Public Complaints Bureau the latter,” he said. He defended the council by saying the head called on the local council not to wait He advised residents not to contribute to drains in Taman Puchong were upgraded last until there is a loss of life before taking action. the problem and to refrain from throwing year, and he had not received any complaints Also at the meeting was Puchong MCA rubbish into the drains. about floods until the June 8 incident.
Lower water rates for Angsana residents
Residents at the launch of the free water programme.
By Brenda Ch’ng
SUBANG JAYA: Residents of the Angsana low-cost flats in USJ 1 will enjoy lower rates for water, thanks to cash coupons from the state to help them subsidise their bills. Residents will each enjoy a subsidy of RM11.40 a month which will be deducted from their bills. “I’m so thankful for this. With all the prices going up, including electricity, my family is being burdened with bills,” said Noraini Mohammad. The 29-year-old housewife said her husband’s income is no longer sufficient to feed her family of five children and pay bills. With her monthly water bill averaging RM25-RM30, she will be paying less from next month. The cash voucher was presented to eight representatives of each block by Iskandar Abdul Samad. “I hope this huge sum will help residents who are in debt to settle their bills,”
said the state executive councillor for housing. The representatives will hand over the vouchers to the flat developers who manage the bulk water meters for all 1,920 units. With each unit receiving a subsidy of RM11.40, there will be a deduction RM21,888 from the bulk meter every month. Iskandar pointed out that residents should also enjoy the 20 cubic metres of free water which are given to all houses in Selangor. “But they have not been benefiting because they do not have individual meters. So we have to give them free water by presenting cash vouchers to all flats separately,” he said. Joining him at the launch of the free water programme on Monday was Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) councillor Roslan Shahir. Roslan is working with MPSJ to identif y other residents who need subsidies.
Action on contractors over cracked walls PETALING JAYA: A stop-work order will be sought for a construction site in SS5D as cracks in nearby homes have gone unrepaired despite promises made by the contractor. The contractor was supposed to repair cracks in the floors and walls of nearby homes caused by piling works. “As the developers still haven’t fulfilled the requirements after saying they would, I will contact the Petaling Jaya mayor to get them to stop operations,” said Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. The Seri Setia assemblyperson said the requirements were set after a meet- Mohd Zuki (left) showing a crack on the outside wall ing he attended with the residents, de- of his house. Looking on are Shanker (second left), Nik veloper, and the Petaling Jaya City Nazmi (second right) and other residents. Council (MBPJ) early this year. He said this during a site visit with residents blocked the residential road which caused serious to the homes affected by the construction works. traffic congestion outside our houses,” he said. Single mother-of-five Zalibah Ali complained Palasingam, who has been living on Jalan that cracks started appearing in her home about SS5D/6 for 30 years, said the jam during peak three months ago, and have become increas- hours was so serious that residents could not even ingly wider. reverse out of their homes. “The developers came to check only the outThe construction site has also been faulted by side of my house. They haven’t started repairing residents for being a health hazard and breeding the cracks yet,” said the 54-year-old, who has been ground for Aedes mosquitoes. living here for 23 years. “Lorries that load soil at the site are not covResident Mohd Zuki Che Dollah, whose ered, which causes a lot of dust to be contaminate home is closest in the housing row to the con- the air,” said Mohamad Daud, 60. struction site, said he has found four major cracks SS5D RT Objection Committee secretary so far. Shanker Menon also claimed that a member of “So far I know of four houses which have the RT caught dengue five months ago despite cracks. There could be more, but the residents weekly fogging at the construction site. have not come out to complain,” said the 44-yearIt is learned that the construction is for a twoold taxi driver. and-a-half-storey Small Office Home Office SS5D Rukun Tetangga (RT) chairperson S (Soho) development. Palasingam said residents here were fed up that The project was initiated in the mid-1990s and their other complaints have also gone unheeded. has stopped intermittently over the years due to “Because of the construction project, they have the changing of developers.
NEWS JUNE 17 — 19, 2011
Illegal factories in Kg Cempaka a clear and present danger By Alvin Yap
grounds for Aedes mosquitoes. “A second-hand car sales company owner has been cited a few times by MBPJ for letting Aedes mosquitoes breed in his junkyard,” Gabriel said. She said MBPJ had issued orders for the owner to remove abandoned cars from his compound. “He has ignored orders and even called MBPJ repeatedly to ask us to conduct fogging exercises to rid his area of mosquitoes,” she said. Cynthia said building contractors have been misleading some of their clients by telling them there was no need to submit extension plans to MBPJ for approval. She also questioned the Petaling District and Land Office for allowing some of the structures to be built under high-tension power lines. “The fact that there are houses under the high-tension cables is a serious violation of the National Land Code and also the Street, Drainage and Building Act,” she said.
PETALING JAYA: What was once peaceful Kampung Cempaka is today an illegal industrial site, raising concerns of residents here. While the illegal factories, which have been operating for decades, are oblivious to the risks, residents of the New Village are increasingly fearful of danger to their safety and health. “Residents are staying in the middle of an industria l zone,” said Petaling Jaya City (MBPJ) councillor Cynthia Gabriel during a site visit to the Chinese New Village last Cynthia Gabriel month. To make matter worse, more illegal factories are setting up shop in the residential area to avoid industrial assessment rate. Gabriel pointed out that the infrastructure Higher standards A recycling centre in Kampung Cempaka. Cynthia said MBPJ was running an uphill in the New Village can only support small However, she blamed the city council of vehicles, yet lorries use the roads that were race when it came to enforcing the law on illegal land and building use in Kampung practising double standards by turning a blind designed for cars and trucks. eye in dealing with one of its contractors that “The roads are narrow and lorries can’t Cempaka. She said the city council recognised that it provides public signage. negotiate their way through,” Cynthia pointCynthia pointed out that MBPJ was puted out to Selangor Times during the site visit. could not close down businesses overnight, as She expressed worry that a “nightmare” it would be disastrous to the economy and ting “financial” concerns ahead of enforcing scenario could happen, where ambulances or also cost the state administration “political the law. “MBPJ must set an example and hold itself fire trucks would not be able to reach sections points”. to a higher standard,” she said. of the village during emergencies. Gabriel said MBPJ is going all-out to perThe village also has buildings with illegal suade residents and business owners to balance extensions that have completely sealed off economic growth with health and safety some roads. concerns. MBPJ has ordered an illegal factory to “We have to convince them to look at their demolish its ground floor, which has comown business habits and how it compounds pletely blocked off a street. their health and safety problems,” she said. The owner of the furniture factory had She added that MBPJ would work protested the city council’s order and threatclosely with the state government, especially ened to set himself on fire during Building state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Control operations in March. Wah, under whose jurisdiction the illegal Gabriel also said buildings are in danger of factories lie. collapse because their extensions are not apWhen contacted, MBPJ deputy press relaproved by MBPJ engineers. tions officer Zainun Zakaria said the city The illegal businesses are also breeding Illegal factory with “keep out” sign.
council had issued compound fines to the owners of the illegal factories. She declined to say how many fines were issued and how many repeat offences there were. “We have also asked them to relocate their businesses, but they said they have not found a place to move to,” Zainun added. She said MBPJ has also issued fines to the contractor that supplies the council with signage. “We enforce the by-law equally. Even though this contractor has business ties with us, it does not mean they can break the law and not be summoned,” she said. Meanwhile, MBPJ mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman declined to comment on the issue of illegal factories as it is under Ean Yong’s jurisdiction. He said the enforcement department has been tasked to monitor the illegal factories to make sure they do not discharge harmful effluents or pollute the air.
Giving nature a helping hand By William Tan
KLANG: Some 200 tree saplings were planted in support of the environment as part of Posco’s annual corporate social responsibility last Saturday. Employees of the Korean steel company and staff from the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) worked together during the event. “All Posco branches around the world are conducting similar community projects as part of a programme known as the Posco Family Global Volunteer Week,” said the managing director of Posco-MalayKim sia, Kim Ji-Yong. He said by working with MPK, the company is able to directly contribute to the welfare of the Klang community. Last year, 100 volunteers from the company helped MPK clean Port Klang Esplanade. Last Saturday, they company contributed both labour and RM20,000 for the trees.
MPK, in turn, helped to contact contact the suppliers, and provide logistics and basic amenities such as canopies and sound systems. “The purpose of this project is to beautify the local area, and once these trees are planted, MPK will take over its maintenance and care,” said MPK corporate director Dawari Daud. Dawari said MPK is always looking for companies to take part in similar community-based projects, and among those who have responded are National Panasonic and Northport. Posco intends to conduct its own community activities after proper research is conducted, and increase the frequency of such events. The smaller branches of the company are already leading the way, says Si Young Choi. “We visit orphanages or give out groceries to the poor, once a quarter. However, we intend to Some 250 volunteers gathered to plant trees on June 11. increase to once a month, like we do in Korea, though perhaps not with the same activities,” said the manag- contribute to the economy and help communities. ing director of the Kuala Lumpur branch of Posco-South Asia. Si added that this trend has been growing in South Korea, He said as a global company, he believes Posco needs to and that companies benefit from the boosting of their image.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 17 – 19, 2011 ⁄ 9
PJ growing from strength to strength By Alvin Yap
hough only five years old as a city, Petaling Jaya (PJ) has come a long way since the days of rubber plantations and jungles. To overcome the population explosion in neighbouring town Kuala Lumpur, the British decided to open up land to settlers. In 1952, the Selangor government allocated 1,200 acres of the Effingham rubber estate for settlements, thus giving birth to PJ. Besides catering to traders and workers from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor also moved important government departments to PJ. The remnants of this – the Petaling Jaya High Court, National Registration Department, and Chemistry Department – are still there on Jalan Sultan. When the Federal Highway was constructed in 1965 to connect Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang (then known as Port Swettenham), PJ began to blossom. A few years after opening this “housing estate”, PJ grew into a industrial hub outside of Kuala Lumpur. In the late 1950s, Singapore’s Fraser and Neave (F&N) and Colgate-Palmolive (Malaysia) began setting up their manufacturing
operations in Section 13. Other major international manufacturers such as Panasonic, Bosch and Motorola also had their factories in PJ before moving to other areas like Shah Alam. The 1980s electronics boom also inspired the likes of Western Digital to place their operations in the growing development. Besides factories and government departments, PJ has one of the highest concentrations of institutes of higher learning. There are more than 23 colleges and universities in PJ, including the country’s oldest university, University Malaya; the International Islamic University matriculation campus; Tunku Abdul Rahman University; Tun Abdul Razak University; Kolej Damansara Utama; Kolej Bandar Utama, and many more. The country’s first private nursing college, which is located at Assunta Hospital, was also set up in PJ in the 1960s. All this has resulted in rapid growth for PJ. From 1997’s 355,530, the number has ballooned to 600,000 ten years later. PJ reached another milestone on June 20, 2006 when it was conferred city status, the first non-capital city to be given the honour. It is now poised to climb to greater heights.
Majlis Perbandaran Petaling Jaya (MPPJ)
10 ⁄ June 17 – 19, 2011 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES
nto his fifth year at Petaling Jaya City Council now, mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman talks about the his journey running sophisticated Petaling Jaya.
You took office after Petaling Jaya (PJ) was conferred city status. What was the first few months like? I didn’t want to be placed here. I knew that PJ had outstanding issues to be resolved. One of it was the football issue and the billboard and advertisement issue. I was advised to go to the ground and listen to the grouses from ratepayers. High-ranking elected officials from the state executive council also asked that I go down to the ground more often and listen to residents and their Residents Associations (RA). After I had reported for duty, Tuanku (Sultan of Selangor) advised me to listen to the people. The Sultan also advised me to disband the MBPJ football club. As a local government, we receive money from property assessments and it was not right for us to fund the football club with ratepayers’ money. So I disbanded it, and the issue died off. We could then return to the core “issues” at hand which was to act as an urban service provider. We looked at the infrastructure and especially Petaling Jaya City Coucil’s (MBPJ) assets like halls, sports complexes, among other things. We also met the RA, especially All Petaling Jaya, Selangor Residents Association Coalition (Apac) with Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee.
What was on your mind? I felt I was not capable to administer PJ, due to the issues. Obviously, I was not in the consultative team that planned out PJ’s “journey” to becoming a city. I was the second mayor at that stage. So, when I came onboard, I had so many things to solve. Critics said we were not ready to become a city. My challenge was to get it up and running. For example, people had criticized us for maintaining the old MPPJ logo. It was tackling things in priority. We listened to residents and brought the rental of our halls and sports complexes.
So, what is your management style like? I like to go down to the ground. I like to be hands-on, to keep in touch. For example, a few months after I took office, I began to read the weekly reports. I read that a ratepayer had been making numerous com plaints over a week’s period. I went down to the housing scheme at 10pm and met the complainant. He was surprised that the mayor would come down at night. I asked him to show me the problems at the field in his housing area. The complaints were about streetlights that weren’t working. I told my engineers to solve the problem by the next morning. The resident wrote an email to The Star and said the new mayor was someone who worked “overtime”.
Walking the grounds with Roslan Sakiman Next day, I received a letter from a reader in Butterworth asking if it was normal for a mayor to meet ratepayers at night.
Yo u s e t a precedent? Yes. And the “unintended” consequence is that residents want to see me personally to make complains. But it’s not “practical” as I am unable to attend to every complaint. We have the proper departments to process complains. But I still take my “inbox” home with me. After dinner, I still read a compilation of the weekly com plaints lists.
Then how do your rest and relax? I try to compartmentalise my work and personal life. I also try to jog once in a while
What are the challenges in administering PJ? Very challenging, as a lot of the residents are elite, high income professionals. We have a lot of lawyers, engineers and accountants, among others. A lot of journalists also cover PJ as a beat, and every mistake we make is reported in detail. Furthermore, a lot of the RAs are vocal and I always advise the councillors to work closely with them. I think we should not find fault, but try to compromise and work together. The main challenge is that residents all want bigger parks and more amenities in their neighbourhood, for example. On paper, the proposal “looks nice”. But when it’s time to implement, it might not work. We have to sit down and compromise.
Let’s talk about that, then. What are the top three issues that MBPJ and the RAs can see eye to eye, to resolve? What are the issues that residents are facing that you want to resolve? Ratepayers want more green lungs in their neighbourhood and they want us to plant more trees.
We have programmes to plant more trees, and we have our own nursery with sap lings. We also have more variety of flora now, with a new inventory of plants, shrubs, trees and flowers. In the midst of all this, we have also rebranded our own landscaping depart ment, and have new by-laws. And people have been converted to taking care of our flora. Now, the y are demanding that we avoid cutting down a tree, or that we replant it when developing an area, or when making a new road, for example. This is one reason why the road widening work on Jalan Tanjung is taking time: residents there want the trees to remain or replanted. So our landscape department has to identify which tree can be felled, and which ones we want to save. Another is cleanliness. MBPJ is responding by going after litterbugs with our anti-littering campaign, where we give those who are caught littering hefty fines. Gotong-royong alone doesn’t work, as it the area becomes dirty again after a commu nity cleanup. Another is that ratepayers want us to repair potholes. We are responding with our Quick Response Teams (QRT), which will try to attend to complaints within 24 hours.
The main challenge is that residents all want bigger parks and more amenities in their neighbourhood, for example. On paper, the proposal ‘looks nice’. But when it’s time to implement, it might not work.”
How does MBPJ balance growth and sustainability? We are aiming to be sustainable. We have to follow the guidelines on sustainable development, balancing it with the environment that we live in. We have our five-year strategic planning and we are constantly monitored by Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Our “sustainability” index is 80%. That can only achieved by implementing recycling programmes and developing green lung areas in the city – which we have done.
What has been happening in PJ since getting its city sta tus? And what are the initiatives
that have been implemented? A new initiative is the OneStop Centre (OSC). All pro posed development, whether largeor small-scale, has to be approved by the OSC committee. The OSC committee is made up of councillors and MBPJ’s technical departments. They meet to deli berate whether a project will be allowed or not. One important criteria is that projects take place in the appropriate residential, com mercial or recreational zones. Another criteria is that the existing infrastructure can support the development, especially if it is a mega project. Simply put, it is to balance “business” needs and sustainability. The other initiative is the Quick Response Team (QRT) programme. It is set up to facilitate resolving public complaints within a 24-hour period. We have two QRT catego ries: one is our own in-house QRT. But when there are too many complaints to attend to, we channel the jobs to private contractors. Presently, we divide the city to PJ North and South respectively. The two zones are handled by two separate contractors who oversee the repair and maintenance of potholes, traffic lights and even the trimming of trees and shrubs in the city.
You said the Ministry of Local Housing and Govern
ment monitors MBPJ perform ance on Key Performance Index (KPI). What is the mechanism? We use an European certifi cation for our Quality Manage ment System.
What are some of MBPJ corporate social responsibil ity (CSR) programmes? We have three community buses serving PJ North and South. We refurbished two older vehicles and bought a new one. The service is free and we have been able to sustain operations. Another initiative is the Disabled Transit vans. Wheelchair-bound residents can call a telephone num ber and we will come and pick the person at their doorstep and drop them off. We will then return and transport them back to their house. The van is equipped with a hydraulic lift to facilitate movement of the person and the wheelchair in and out of the van. Our local councillors also give out grants and donations to orphanages, halfway houses and non-governmental organisations in their respective zones.
What has been the most memorable event since you took office? I still remember ratepayers who have come up to me and tell me that MBPJ has resolved some outstanding issues.
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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 17 – 19, 2011 ⁄ 11
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12 ⁄ June 17 – 19, 2011 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES
Jalan Othman bus station, 1965.
Petaling Jaya Police Headquarters on Jalan Penchala, 1965.
From settlement to city By Alvin Yap
etaling Jaya, or more fondly known as PJ, was envisioned as a satellite settlement to help overcome overpopulation in Kuala Lumpur in the early 1950s. Town planners chose the word Jaya as it is the Malay word for success. Little did they expect that the settlement of two square km of wooden houses would one day turn into a bustling conurbation. Petaling Jaya was created out of just 1,200 acres of rubber plantation and virgin jungle when the Selangor government offered 1,300 lots at a nominal price to attract settlers. Sir Gerald Templer, then High Commissioner of Malaya and chairperson of the Petaling District Council, also saw the settlement as a way to separate residents from communist insurgents during the height of the Emergency. As a result, the first housing areas were all fenced up and concentrated around what is now known as Old Town. In 1953, the residential areas of Sections 1, 2 and 3 were opened up. Rubber and oil palm estates slowly made way for sections of residential and commercial areas in a planned and systematic infrastructure development. Only two main roads, Road 1 and Road 2, connected these areas with Old Town. They have since been renamed Jalan Templer and Jalan Othman respectively. Administered as the “outskirts” of the capital, Petaling Jaya was under the Kuala Lumpur District Officer and the Petaling Jaya Board until the end of 1954. A new legislative body was then formed, which assumed the administration of the fledgling Petaling Jaya township. The Petaling Jaya Authority acquired more land from outlying rubber and oil palm estates to cater for the steady growth in housing, industrial and infrastructure development. At the end of 1957, there were
over 3,200 homes in Petaling Jaya. Petaling Jaya reached another milestone in 1964 when its local authority status was upgraded to Petaling Jaya Municipal Board with financial autonomy to administer the fast-growing area. By now, it was fast gaining reputation as a strategically located town, particularly in the eyes of industrialists and the affluent searching for prime residential land in the suburbs. Petaling Jaya had expanded to 19.9 sq km, with a population of 35,100, and some 200 factories operated within its borders. That same year, the first phase of the iconic Federal Highway was opened, and the initial dual carriageway linked Kuala Lumpur to Port Klang and cut right across Petaling Jaya, dividing it into South and North PJ. It was a huge boost in attracting more settlers from Kuala Lumpur to live and work in Petaling Jaya. To accommodate the ever growing high volumes of daily traffic, the highway has been upgraded several times in its 47-year history to the present six lanes. Development continued south of Old Town, with urban centres and housing estates opening up in the north as well. It was yet another milestone when it was conferred municipality status and named Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) in 1977. Development was widespread, and New Town in Section 52 was opened up along with Sungai WaySubang (SS) as well as the new township of Subang Jaya. Further expansion to the north later saw the rise of the vast Damansara area, which includes Bandar Utama, Kota Damansara, Damansara Perdana, Bandar Sri Damansara and Damansara Impian. A boundary realignment exercise in 1997 saw parts of Petaling Jaya, including Subang Jaya, Sunway and Puchong, placed under the newly formed Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).
Petaling Jaya continued to grow, and was home to some 355,530 residents within an area of 97.2 sq km by 1997. A decade later, that number ballooned to 600,000. It reached another milestone on June 20, 2006 when it was conferred city status, the first noncapital city to be given the honour. The Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) became Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), and its president became the mayor.
Jalan Sultan in the early 1970s.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 17 – 19, 2011 ⁄ 13
irstly, I would like to congratulate the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) on their fifth anniversary as a city council on June 20. We hope MBPJ will continue to be steadfast in fulfilling the increasing demands of PJ residents. At the same time, I would like to commend MBPJ for obtaining a four-star rating from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHLG) based on their performances in serving the people.
Assunta Hospital, 1965.
It is quite an achievement indeed. MBPJ has improved its efficiency in answering all public queries and complaints. MBPJ is also the first local government to have a rapid response team, or flying squad, to tackle drain, cleanliness, flood and pothole issues. MBPJ has also doubled its income to RM190 from RM80 million in 2008. Infrastructure aside, MBPJ has shown that it cares with the launch of the Transit
Well done, MBPJ Message from Ronnie Liu, State Executive Councillor for Local Government, Research and Development Orang Kelainan Upaya (Oku) to improve public transportation for the disabled, and the installation of tactile devices on roads and pavements for the blind. Free medical cards have also been given out to the less-fortunate for medical treatment. It should be noted that MBPJ provides free community buses when all other costs are spiralling. This helps lessen the burden of the poor. Now, MBPJ is working on a project to repaint low-cost flats which are more then 10 years old. This is a noble project because there are a lot of flats in Petaling Jaya which need makeovers to make them more conducive for residents to live in. I hope MBPJ will look into producing a report card which will list all their achievements and present it to all councils as an inspiration. Last but not least, I urge MBPJ to further improve their services and facilities. Congratulations once again to all departments for making the council’s fifth anniversary celebration possible.
MAJLIS DIALOG BAJET NEGERI SELANGOR 2012
‘ HASIL NEGERI UNTUK RAKYAT ’ 27 - 28 Jun 2011 Holiday Villa Hotel & Suites Subang, DIRASMIKAN OLEH Subang Jaya
Y.A.B. TAN SRI DATO’ SERI ABDUL KHALID BIN IBRAHIM DATO’ MENTERI BESARoleh SELANGOR Dirasmikan
Y.A.B. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri URUS SETIA : PERBENDAHARAAN NEGERI SELANGOR Abdul Khalid bin Ibrahim,
http://pwn.selangor.gov.my Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor
14 ⁄ June 17 – 19, 2011 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES
Open For Sale
Dahlia Residence No. Lesen Pemaju :9062-68/05-2014/678. Tempoh Sah : 31/05/2011 hingga 30/05/2014. No Permit Pengiklanan:9062-68/1150/2012(05) . Tempoh Sah : 31/05/2011 hingga 30/05/2012. Pihak Berkuasa Yang Meluluskan Pelan Bangunan : Majlis Daerah Hulu Selangor. No. Kelulusan Pelan Bangunan : (10) dlm MHDS.431/13/H/09/001-B Bertarikh : 1/4/2009. Status Hak milik : Pajakan 99 Tahun. Tarikh Tamat : 10 Februari 2103. Bebanan tanah : Tiada . Tarikh Dijangka Siap : Disember 2011. Jumlah unit : 64 Unit. Harga Jualan: RM 307,066.00 (minimum) RM378,000.00 (maksimum). Sekatan Kepentingan: Tanah yang diberi milik ini tidak boleh di pindah milik di pajak atau di gadai melainkan dengan kebenaran Pihak Berkuasa Negeri
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ JUNE 17 – 19, 2011 ⁄ 15
MBPJ Councilors 2011 Y.BHG. DATO’ HAJI MOHAMAD ROSLAN BIN SAKIMAN DPMS, PJM, AMS
(DATUK BANDAR) TINGKAT 2, IBU PEJABAT MBPJ, JLN. YONG SHOOK LIN, 46675 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR. TEL: 03-7956 3544 SAMB. 325 FAKS: 03-7958 1494
Majlis Perbandaran Selayang (MPS)
HAJI SYED ABD MALIK BIN SYED A HAMID AL JAFREE, PPN
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: PJU 8 (DAMANSARA PERDANA) PJU 9 (BANDAR SRI DAMANSARA) PJU 10 (DAMANSARA DAMAI) ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: TINGKAT 1, DEWAN BU 3/1, BANDAR UTAMA, PJU6, 47800 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam TEL: 03-7726 5764 (MBSA) HP: 017-265 0678 E-MEL: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAN CHEE KONG
DAMANSARA DAMAI PJU 10
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: PJU 6 (BANDAR UTAMA) PJU 7 (MUTIARA DAMANSARA) KG. SUNGAI KAYU ARA ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: TINGKAT 1, DEWAN BU 3/1, BANDAR UTAMA, PJU6, 47800 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7726 5172 HP: 012-289 6063 E-MEL: email@example.com
MUTIARA DAMANSARA PJU 7
FRIM PJU 4
PJU 2 PJU 1A
TIEW WAY SENG
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SS 23, SS24 & SS26 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: GELANGGANG SQUASH TAMAN MEGAH, SS24/1, 47301 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7875 7930 HP: 016-338 1563 E-MEL: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
SS 6 SS 7
Khairul Anuar b. Ahmad Zainudin
Terence Tan Teck Seng
Tiew Way Keng
Tony Cheong Siew Thong
Mak Khuin Weng
TANG FUIE KOH
Hj. Ghazali b. Shaari
Richard Yeoh Yong Woi
Derek John Fernandez
Sek 7 Sek 4
Anthony Siva Balan a/l Thanasayan
Selvarajan a/l Rathinam
Tang Fuie Koh
Megat Iskandar b. Megat Ahmad Supian
Hj. Ahmad Yusof b. Ludin
Mahharul b. Ismail
Hj. Kamarudin b. Suhaimi
Jeyaseelen a/l T. Anthony
Halimey b. Abu Bakar
Sek 1A Sek 1B
Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya (MPSJ)
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 5 & SEK. 10 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: 12B, TINGKAT 2 & 3, JALAN YONG SHOOK LIN, 46200 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7954 0866 FAKS: 03-7954 0593 HP: 012-210 7540 E-MEL: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 6, SEK. 7, SEK. 9 & SEK. 52 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 15, SUNKEN PLAZA, MENARA MBPJ, JALAN TENGAH, 46200 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7960 0253 HP: 012-220 3146 E-MEL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SS 7 & SS 11 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: DEWAN SS 21/9, DAMANSARA UTAMA, 47400 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7726 8145 HP: 017-672 9894 E-MEL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
HAJI KAMARUDIN BIN SUHAIMI
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SS 8, SS 9 & SS 10 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: BALAI RAYA SERI SETIA SS 9/2, 47300 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7875 5902 FAKS: 03-7875 2225 E-MEL: email@example.com
HALIMEY BIN ABU BAKAR
SELVARAJAN A/L RATHINAM
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 8, SEK. 14 & SEK. 51A ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 16, SUNKEN PLAZA, MENARA MBPJ, JALAN TENGAH, 46200 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7960 0257 FAKS: 03-7960 0253 HP: 016- 322 9118 E-MEL: firstname.lastname@example.org
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SS 5 & SS 6 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: BALAIRAYA SS 6/1,, 47301 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7806 4798 FAKS: 03-5635 8195 HP: 013-399 2867 E-MEL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
HAJI AHMAD YUSOF BIN LUDIN
ANTHONY SIVA BALAN A/L THANASAYAN
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SS 1, SS 3, SS 9A ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: DEWAN SERBAGUNA MBPJ SERI SETIA, SS9A, JALAN SS9A/1, 46300 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7803 5143 FAKS: 03-7981 2044 HP: 016- 210 0058 E-MEL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
HAJI MUZAMMIL BIN HAFIZ
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 11, SEK. 12 & SEK. 13 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 23, SUNKEN PLAZA, MENARA MBPJ, JALAN TENGAH, 46200 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-2274 4897 FAKS: 03-2273 0422 HP: 012-302 8801 E-MEL: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
DEREK JOHN FERNANDEZ,
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 20, SEK 21, SEK. 22 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 15, SUNKEN PLAZA, MENARA MBPJ, JALAN TENGAH, 46200 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7960 0210 HP: 016-244 2581 E-MEL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
IR. TIONG BOON KEONG
Ir. Tiong Boon Keong
RICHARD YEOH YONG WOI
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: PJS 3 & PJS 4 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: TINGKAT 1, DEWAN JALAN MEDAN 12, JALAN PJS3/14, 46000 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7785 3103 HP: 019-285 9984 E-MEL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
JEYASEELEN A/L T. ANTHONY
23 SS 10 PJS 10 24 PJS 6
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: PJS 1 & PJS 2 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 2-07 DAN 2-08, TINGKAT 1, KOMPLEKS PASAR TAMAN DATO’ HARUN, 46000 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7785 6013 HP: 019-389 3838 E-MEL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
MAHHARUL B. ISMAIL
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 1, SEK. 1A, SEK. 3 SEK. 4 & SEK. 18 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 23 STESEN BAS JALAN OTHMAN, PJ OLD TOWN, 46000 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7785 2426 HP: 012-384 2972 E-MEL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
MEGAT ISKANDAR BIN MEGAT AHMAD SUPIAN
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 2 & SEK. 51 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 22 STESEN BAS JALAN OTHMAN, PJ OLD TOWN, 46000 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7785 2427 FAKS: 03-7958 5423 HP: 012-206 3077 E-MEL: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
HAJI GHAZALI BIN SHAARI
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 16 & SEK. 17 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 22, SUNKEN PLAZA, MENARA MBPJ, JALAN TENGAH, 46200 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7960 7554 FAKS: 03-7783 4306 HP: 017-386 3896 E-MEL: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sek 21 Sek 20
MAK KHUIN WENG
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SEK. 17A, SEK. 19 & SS 20 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 22, SUNKEN PLAZA, MENARA MBPJ, JALAN TENGAH, 46200 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7960 7505 FAKS: 03-7957 9791 HP: 016-293 9603 E-MEL: email@example.com
TONY CHEONG SIEW THONG
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SS 2 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: 77, JALAN SS20/9, TAMAN PARAMOUNT, 46300 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7875 4724, 03-7726 0441 FAKS: 03-7873 8017, 03-7726 0443 HP: 012-525 6008 E-MEL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA)
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: PJU 1, SS 25 & SS 4 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: UNIT 21, SUNKEN PLAZA, MENARA MBPJ, JALAN TENGAH, 46200 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7960 2703 HP: 012-379 2189 E-MEL: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kandeah a/l Subramaniam
SS 22A SS 22
TERENCE TAN TECK SENG
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: SS 21, SS 22 & SS 22A ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: 55M, JALAN SS21/1A, DAMANSARA UTAMA, 47400 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7926 0441 HP: 016-634 1910 E-MEL: email@example.com
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: PJU 1A, PJU2 (TAMAN PERINDUSTRIAN JAYA) & PJU3 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: TINGKAT 1, DEWAN SERBAGUNA SS7/28 47301 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-7804 4135 HP: 019-205 7498 E-MEL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chan Chee Kong
KG KAYU ARA TROPICANA
TMN. PERINDUSTRIAN JAYA
Hj. Syed Abd Malik Syed A Hamid Al Jafree
Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL)
BANDAR UTAMA PJU 6
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: PJU 4 & PJU 5 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: DEWAN SERBAGUNA MBPJ, SEKSYEN 7, JALAN NURI 7/1, 40810 KOTA DAMANSAR, PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. HP: 012-367 1305 E-MEL: email@example.com
KHAIRUL ANUAR BIN AHMAD ZAINUDIN
DAMANSARA PERDANA PJU 8
KANDEAH A/L SUBRAMANIAM
BANDAR SRI DAMANSARA PJU 9
KAWASAN PERKHIDMATAN: PJS 5, PJS 6, SEBAHAGIAN KECIL PJS 7, PJS 8 & PJS 10 ALAMAT PUSAT KHIDMAT AHLI MAJLIS: DEWAN TAMAN DATO’ HORMAT PJS 10/1, 46000 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN. TEL: 03-5635 8359 HP: 019-239 9809 E-MEL: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
16 ⁄ June 17 – 19, 2011 ⁄ SELANGOR TIMES
news 17 June 17 — 19, 2011
Towering CCTVs keeping streets clean and safe By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: Eye-in-the-sky security cameras installed on main streets here are proving their worth, with a reduction in the number of snatch thefts and other cases in what used to be crime hotspots. “There has been a reduction in street crimes and illegal trading along five-foot ways as compared with eight months ago before the cameras were installed,” said Robert Choo. The Klang councillor said the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras mounted high above streetlights trigger a psychological effect among the public, making them more cautious, knowing that they are being watched. However, some mistake them for speed-trap cameras, and
Bird’s-eye view from the control centre: Sofian (second from right), Choo (third from right), Halim (second from left, standing).
cars have been seen to slow down as they approach, only to speed up again after. With the cameras in place, Choo said even litterbugs will think twice before throwing rubbisn in the streets. The CCTV cameras can tilt and rotate 360 degrees, zoom 250 metres, and come equipped with microphones. The wireless cameras are capable of capturing vehicle licence plate numbers and faces of snatch thieves. Footage, usually involving accidents, street crime or illegal rubbish dumping, is sent to the respective police and MPK departments for further action. “With the help of the camera footage, MPK has summoned a few foreigners who were caught littering and handed them over to the police,” said Mohamad Sofian. The MPK communications and public complaints assistant head said they will be taking full advantage of the cameras and summon anyone who is caught breaking the law. Currently, the cameras are being monitored by two full-time staff who are stationed in MPK’s CCTV control centre. Both staff are on duty from 8am to 5pm, and have a responsibility to report MPK-related issues directly to the council’s respective enforcement departments. “We see at least 15 cases a day, every day,” said S Rajendran. The 33-year-old officer at the control centre runs through the footage during his work hours and takes notes of crime. “It is a pity that we only have two staff manning the centre for eight hours. We are now looking to have a fulltime surveillance team to handle 24-hour surveillance,” said Halim Osman. The information technology officer is in charge of oversee-
Record crowd at family day
CCTV camera (circled).
ing the technical aspects of the control centre, and is responsible for making sure all cameras are running properly. These cameras, which are funded by the Housing and Local Government Ministry as part of their Safe City Monitoring Programme, are growing in number nationwide. Currently, MPK has 16 cameras in place, and councillors have been assigned to identify other hotspots where they can be installed. Submissions closed last week, but Choo has nevertheless sent in a proposal for seven more CCTV cameras to be placed in his area, Taman Gembira and Melawis. He also wants more neighbourhood parks and main streets to be equipped with the cameras.
Environmental degradation inviting disaster By Alvin Yap
Children being led in a dance while their parents look on.
By Basil Foo
SUBANG JAYA: An overwhelming 5,000 people attended this year’s USJ Family Day at the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) stadium in USJ 5 last Saturday evening ( June 11). Organising chairperson R Rajiv said the event far exceeded last year’s turnout of 3,000. “This event was made possible with the hard work of more than 100 volunteers from the Zone 3 residents committee,” said the MPSJ councillor. The family day was a carnival of sorts, with food and beverages, youth sport events, family telematch contests, musical performances, and hot-air balloon rides. There were also booths for health screenings, recy- Kok (left), Loh (second right), and Rajiv (far right) receiving goodie bags from a sponsor. cling, and animal shelters, according to Rajiv. He said there were over 50 items like laptops, mobile phones and vouchers given away in lucky draws through- Parliament Loh Gwo-Burne. out the night. “I hope there will be more events like this so that Also attending the event were state executive council- residents can mingle with one another and strengthen lor Teresa Kok Suh Sim and Kelana Jaya Member of their relationships,” said Kok.
SHAH ALAM: Malaysians should be prepared for dire consequences if trees continue to be felled for the sake of development. “We’re inviting natural disasters from deforestation,“ said Datin Che Asmah Ibrahim. The Selangor Department of Environment (DOE) director, who was launching the World Environment Day carnival last Sunday, said the uptick in global temperatures was a result of vast tracts of forest being cleared for land. The head of the environmental agency said trees absorb carbon dioxide, an excess of which leads to global warming. “Clearing land indiscriminately also leads to landslides at a later stage,” she said during the launch of this year’s event called Forests: Nature at your Service. At the launch at Stadium Malawati, state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong said forests are a treasure trove rich in biodiversity. The first-term Bukit Lanjan assemblyperson said Selangor residents have a role to play in keeping environmental damage to a minimum and also speaking out against deforestation. Wong said there are more residents who want to play a part in caring for the environment, and explained that Selangor’s Freedom of Information enactment will give them the opportunity to do so. “They will get to know the status of forest reserves or hillsides. They can also participate in public hearings to determine if it is in the public interest to degazette them,” she explained. Wong pointed out that damage to the environment carried a “hefty” price, and cited the landslide in Hulu Langat last month as a result of damage to hillsides. Later, Che Asmah and Wong launched the Friends of the Environment volunteer group, which comprises youths who act as ambassadors for environmental issues. Che Asmah and Wong also handed out prizes to winners of the Enviro-Challenge race held on June 11 at the Botanical Garden in Kuala Lumpur.
NEWS 18 JUNE 17 — 19, 2011
Walk with hats for charity By Basil Foo
SHAH ALAM: To raise awareness and funds for leukaemia patients, a charity walk was held at I-City last Saturday with a twist: participants had to wear fancy hats. “We chose to do something different by requiring fancy hats to attract the public’s attention,” said Jason Tan. Th e Jun i or Chamber Internationa l Peta l ing Jaya ( JCIPJ) organising chairperson spoke during the opening of the Fancy Hats Charity Walk. He s a i d t h e event was also to Tan raise funds for the JCIPJ Leukaemia Trust Fund, which helps needy leukaemia patients in the country with access to treatment. “Patients need treatment like chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, which
can cost up to RM150,000 per treatment session,” said Tan. Also speaking during the event launch was JCIPJ president Lim Hooi Hooi, who said their organisation was a branch of a Lim worldwide network wanting to create positive change. Lim added that apart from JCIPJ, there are more than 50 other JCI chapters in Malaysia, which is one of more than 100 countries with JCI branches. The walk kicked off at about 9pm, but the carnival-like atmosphere began much earlier with flea-market booths and hot-air balloon rides amidst the lighted trees of I-City. The walk was also an attempt by JCIPJ to break the Malaysia Book of Records for the largest number of people walking in fancy hats.
Participants posing in party hats during the Fancy Hats Charity Walk last Saturday.
Stolen sidewalk covers replaced AMPANG: Three metal sidewalk covers on Jalan Teratai 1/2c, which were stolen a month ago and posed a threat to passersby, have been replaced with concrete ones. The new covers were examined during a site visit by Ampang Jaya Municipal (MPAJ) Councillor Mohamad Samat on Monday. “This issue lasted for about a month when the previous metal covers were stolen, which left gaping holes in the sidewalks along shoplots here,” he said. He received a complaint several days prior to the replacement of the covers when an elderly person fell into one of the holes. The victim came away with minor injuries. It is learnt that the accident occurred at night. “This accident could have been avoided if the relevant contractor had taken the [initiative] to replace the missing covers,” said Mohamad, who oversees Zone 23. The new concrete sidewalk covers, which cost RM400, were purchased using allocations from Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee’s office. The covers protect telecommunications cables laid underneath the sidewalk. “We have not been able to determine the employer
Know Your Councillor: Robert Choo By Brenda Ch’ng
Mohamad (left) showing the new concrete sidewalk cover and a hole left from the theft of the old cover.
for the contractor responsible,” said K Selvakumar. The Zone 23 residents committee deputy chairperson accused the contractor of being fixated on profit and not considering public safety.
Urgent plea for secondary school SEPANG: The decade-long wait for the development of a secondary school in Kota Warisan will come to an end, with help from the Menteri Besar to expedite the project. Development, which was supposed to have begun in 2003, was withheld due to disagreements between the Ministry of Education and the developer. “The ministry wanted to use a different contractor for the project. Howe ver, the de velop er a lready sp ent RM600,000 drafting the plans, so they disputed it,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The developer has since been awaiting a response from the ministry before they carry out their plans. “I will be urging the developer to surrender the
land over to the state government,” Khalid said. Once the land is surrendered, he said he would write a letter to the Ministry of Education requesting the status of the project and to help facilitate plans. The state will then work with the ministry to come up with a quick solution for development. To date, there is only one primary school in the area, while the closest national secondary school is in Salak Tinggi. The dire need for a secondary school was reiterated by residents of Kota Warisan during a dialogue session with Khalid in Sepang last Friday. Residents are worried that the sole secondary school in Salak Tinggi will not be able to accommodate the growing number of students.
EDUCATING restaurant operators on proper hygiene in order to safeguard public health is paramount for Robert Choo Teck Keong. “It is sad to see food handlers selling unhygienic food to the public. They’re clueless about the fundamentals of personal hygiene,” said Choo. The 65-year-old Klang Municipal (MPK) Councillor is using his experience to “open the eyes” of restaurant operators about bacteria, in the hope that they learn of the importance of cleanliness. The second-term councillor also meets all new restaurant-licence applicants once a month for a short briefing on cleanliness and health. His talk is part of the criteria that have to be fulfilled by applicants before their restaurant licences are issued. MPK officers will carry out checks once a month, and restaurants that do not meet standards will be closed down. With 32 years of experience, the retired microbiology lecturer is also well equipped to ensure health standards during site visits to restaurants. Choo, however, said his responsibilities are not limited to issues involving health and hygiene. He is also MPK’s internal audit committee chairperson.
He pointed out that all councillors are “jacks of all trades and masters of bylaws, licensing, and proper disposal of waste and drainage”. Choo believes it is important for all councillors to have a good working relationship with members of the various departments in the local council. He said these relationships have grown since he began work as a councillor, and MPK staff are now more receptive to issues and problems raised by him and his colleagues. This rapport has enabled Choo to resolve a good many public complaints. In the meantime, Choo, along with his fellow councillors, are looking to improve the disposal and collection of g arbag e in Klang. Besides educating the public, Choo wants MPK to provide more bins so that the public has no excuse to dump their rubbish illegally. Choo will also be urging residents in his area to act as leaders of the community so that others will follow in their footsteps and keep the municipality clean.
MEDIA 19 JUNE 17 — 19, 2011
3-Generation homes in Shah Alam SHAH ALAM: Premier property developer, Sunway City Bhd, launched its twoand-a-half-storey terrace homes in Shah Alam recently. The development, Sunway Alam Suria Phase 1C, comprises 145 units of terrace homes, with a standard lot size of 22’ x 65’ and gross built-up area of 2,371 sq. ft. The Sunway Alam Suria Phase 1C is the fifth phase of the whole development, which has received strong response from the target market since the launch of the first phase. Commenting on the success of the development, Sunway City managing director (property development) Ho Hon Sang said the reason behind Alam Suria’s achievement is its location, the increase in value potential, and integration of the Lohas (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) philosophy into the development. “Shah Alam is a booming township, with modern conveniences circling the residential developments. The real estate properties here have proved to be worthy investments for the family, as the appreciation has been earmarked at about 30% in general since its first launch. “We find that the attraction for our developments here, similar to our other developments in other locations, is the integration of the Lohas philosophy. “Families do not only want to only stay in these developments; they want a home that facilitates positive growth and nurtures from all aspects, and integrating the Lohas philosophy enables that growth,” Ho said. He further explained that with this particular phase of the Alam Suria development, Sunway City had considered the
fact that Malaysians uphold strong family values and practise filial piety across cultures. The homes have been built to encapsulate this culture, integrating enough space for residents to host their extended families, while designed to meet a discerning aesthetic sense. In concordance with the Lohas philosophy, Alam Suria incorporates elements that support health and fitness, sustainable living, environment, personal development and social justice. For the personal development and health and fitness pillars, the development features walkways, cycling paths, wide linear parks, playgrounds for children, and even a football field which allow families to indulge in physical
Students do their bit in anti-dengue contest SHAH ALAM: Children are more susceptible victims of dengue due to their weaker immune systems compared with adults. In a bid to curb the dengue menace, a group of eight Form Four students from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sinar Bintang, Kepong recently visited Rumah Bakti Kota Damansara, home to 20 abandoned children, 10 old folks and 10 single mothers. Welfare Department director (child services) Arfan Sulaiman was present during the visit to witness the antiAedes initiative, which aims to spread awareness on dengue breeding grounds and encourage proactiveness in combating dengue. Sara Lee Malaysia Sdn Bhd marketing manager Putri Shireen Syed Othman said: “It is heartening to see the commitment shown by students in the fight against dengue. Their dedication in extending their efforts to spread the awareness on dengue, not only in their own neighbourhood but to a charity home, is truly commendable.” Accompanied by two teachers from the school, the students were on a “search and advise” mission. They searched the building for potential breeding spots for Aedes mosquitoes, and advised the caretakers of Bakti home on the importance of taking preventive measures to eliminate the spread of dengue.
A dengue awareness and prevention talk by an expert trained by the Ministry of Health was also held during the event. The “search and advise” initiative is an extension of the school’s determination to win an ongoing anti-Aedes competition, which is sponsored by insecticide company Ridsect. The six-month competition aims to have 100,000 homes in hotspots in Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru searched and advised against dengue. The competition currently has a total of 100 schools participating. Through the ongoing anti-Aedes competition, selected students of each participating school are required to carry out “search and advise” missions within their neighbourhood. Accompanied by their teachers, the students go on door-to-door visits to homes surrounding their school to ensure that their homes and neighbourhood are free from the risk of dengue.
and leisure activities together. More than 10% of Alam Suria Phase 1C is also laced by green landscape along with a dedicated landscaped wetland, encouraging the residents to revel and recuperate in the beauty of nature. The homes are designed to feature wide, full glass-panel doors and windows, enabling ample natural light and natural ventilation. This promotes sustainable living as it minimizes the usage of electricity for lights and air-conditioners. In addition, the development has concealed drains, preinstalled security alarm systems, and auto gate point for the residents’ security and convenience. Located amidst the new growth corridor known as Guthrie corridor, Sunway Alam Suria homes are sited within Puncak Perdana in the fast-growing precinct of Shah Alam. The homes are easily accessible by major highways such as the Federal Highway, New Klang Valley Expressway, Guthrie Corridor Expressway and the Elite Highway. It is also only 13km to Subang Jaya and 14km to Kota Damansara. To find out more about Sunway Alam Suria Phase 1C, contact 03-56398806 (headquarters) or 03-78455637 (sales office).
Run to raise funds for Red Crescent
Mock cheque presentation: Tan (third from right), Azizan (fourth from right) and Fatimah (third from left) with other sponsors.
By Brenda Ch’ng
SUBANG JAYA: The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is urging the public to compete in a charity run to raise funds for the Red Crescent and a new ambulance. The run will be held at the MPSJ stadium on Saturday ( July 9) at 5pm. “I feel thankful the funds collected will help us provide better emergency services,” said Fatimah Sulaiman. The Malaysian Red Crescent (Selangor) chairperson expressed hope that the run will help raise awareness on the importance of staying fit and healthy through exercise. With the funds, Red Crescent will be able to upgrade their emergency services and provide transportation for the elderly and needy. MPSJ aims to raise between RM25,000 and RM30,000. The main sponsor of the race is Herbalife Malaysia, an international company that promotes healthy living and aims to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the country. “This is our first charity run with MPSJ, and I see this as the first step towards getting the public
excited about exercising, and at the same time do some charity,” said Datuk Dr Ronnie Tan. The Herbalife Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia managing director hopes to make the run an annual event. Tan handed over a mock cheque to MPSJ councillor Azizan Jamaluddin on Tuesday at the MPSJ building. This run is open to everyone and is divided into nine categories: men and women’s open, men and women’s veteran, men and women’s senior veteran, men and women’s junior, and a family run. Most competitors will be expected to run a full 10 kilometres except for the family run, which is only three kilometres. Women and junior categories will only run seven kilometres. Prize money will be awarded to winners of each category. Apart from the run, there will also be game stalls, musical performances, and a futsal competition. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03-79545605 (Sports Intelligence) or 0342579221 (Red Crescent). Registration closes on June 27.
Feature 20 June 17 — 19, 2011
Ah Leng sizes up her client’s hair for that perfect cut.
Steady as she goes, and off with the sideburns.
A cut above all the others
The building behind the flags is where the hall, dining area and kitchen are located.
nce in two months or thereabouts, depending on his schedule and availability, driving instructor Lim Chin Leong visits the Cheshire Home in Selayang. Lim plays the role of a driver during these visits. Recently, he brought along hairstylist Ah Leng, who has her own shop in Sri Gombak called New Megany Unisex. Their mission, altruistic in nature, is to give free haircuts to any of the 38 physically challenged people and staff of the home. Lim has been playing chauffeur to those people who have provided their services at the Cheshire Home for about three years. Ah Leng is a new hand at this kind of social work, but she makes time for people at the home. Like everybody else who desire to have their hair properly trimmed, the Cheshire Home inmates are also mindful of their own expectations. According to Ah Leng, everybody wants his or her hair cut in a certain way. Occasionally, when the haircut doesn’t come out right, disappointment is expressed in tears, but that seldom happens because requests are met with a lot of understanding. “Deep inside, they are just like The comb and scissors in her the rest of us, people with normal hands sail through the air and desires,” said Lim, who wears the weave effortlessly through her clilooks of a man on a mission. ent’s hair and around the head. “They too want to look present- Each resident feels utterly comfortable, not only to others but also to able in her presence. They know themselves,” he said. they are in good hands, and Ah Ah Leng usually brings along Leng performs her craft without her hairstyling equipment which any forethought. It is an artistry and consist of two pairs of scissors, dexterity that has been acquired comb, water spray container, hair through 12 years of diligence and clips, talcum powder and an elec- learning in her chosen field. tric trimmer. Lim, an old friend of Ah Leng, All the items are the bare essen- said their friendship began when she tials for her assignment at the home first took driving lessons from him. on the appointed day. If it is a “bad Now he acts as her “driver” when she hair day” for some of the residents, willingly gives her time. It is only fair it won’t be when Ah Leng comes that he puts in some manual labour. around with her black bag which Cheshire Home is not the only carries the tools of her trade. pit-stop in their bi-monthly itinerShe works fast, accurately and ary. Sometimes they get requests precisely. Her adroitness with the from hospitals, with some patients scissors and comb is due to her en- having to be carried and put in counters with thousands of clients proper positions for their hair to in the profession. She makes the be cut. haircut session look so easy. Her Lim said it didn’t matter what movements are swift and fluid, es- state of health the individual is in. pecially with the electric trimmer. Everyone wants to look decent when
The tools of the hairstyling trade that make the sessions smooth and easy.
While most of us are our own ‘headmasters’, there are some individuals who find it a monumental task to visit the hairstylist or barber. LIN ZHENYUAN meets two persons who bring glory to other people’s crowns
The hall where residents can watch television and meet guests.
opportunity permits. That’s where he and Ah Leng come in. At Cheshire Home, the time allotted is not fixed. It depends on the number of people who need their services. If there are many, then their stay at the home will be longer. Selangor Cheshire Home was set up in 1963 to provide residential care to those who are physically disabled and are unable to support themselves financially, or if their families do not have the resources to help them. Some of the disabilities of the home residents include poliomyelitis, rheumatoid arthiritis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). In a world where disabilities are common and physically-challenged people are many, the good Samaritans among us work silently and selflessly. People like Lim and Ah Leng accept their social work as part of their responsibility to society. They
are the silent army of humanitarians who lend a helping hand whenever they could and spread good cheer to those who very often desire just a simple smile. For those of us who are in full control of our limbs and faculties, going to the barber is a simple act, but for Cheshire Home residents, that “simple act” is tantam o unt to c l im b ing Mount Kinabalu on a A resident who just had her hair cut gets wheelchair. the perfumed talcum dust-off. Thus, sometimes those individuals who are inspired by an heart has not been able to express inner calling or heed the urgent well, but his deeds over the past few needs of their brothers and sisters of years have been more eloquent than all colours and creeds, come forward all the political speeches put toto do their bidding. gether. It is what makes this world that In his footsteps, sometimes othmuch more beautiful and our kind, ers pick up the gauntlet that Lim has the human race, that much more thrown down and follow his examworthy to be called Malaysians. ple. One such person is Ah Leng, Lim’s actions speak what his and there will be others in future.
Feature 21 JUNE 17 — 19, 2011
The Malaysian Chess Festival is on! T
he big news this week is that the Malaysian Chess Festival is on, with the 8th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysian Open, Ambank Chess Challenge, and Tan Sri Lee Loy Seng Seniors Championship from Aug 17-25. This will be followed by the popular Merdeka Day Rapids from Aug 26-28. Everyone thought these events had come to an end with long-time patron Datuk Tan Chin Nam having finally retired, but the sponsors are still willing to sponsor the festival. This is good news for Malaysian chess. The only damper for the annual event, which takes
ith all the excitement going on about the World Chess Championship qualifiers, many have ignored a disturbing development that has emerged. Both World Chess Championships matches due this year – for men between defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India and ex-Soviet Boris Gelfand of Israel, and for women, between KL Open Champion 2010 Hou Yifan of China and Koneru Humpry of India – do not have sponsors! In the case of the Anand-Gelfand match, most consider it a mismatch. I can see why if an Indian sponsor does not step up. But in the case of Hou-Koneru, this is something that the chess world has long been looking for. Anand has, however, been going about his preparations like the true professional he is. This week, I would like to feature one of his Rapid games against the uncompromising Alexei Shirov. The versatile Anand also made an argument for chess to move away from the classical format in showing some sparkling play in easily romping home by winning three and drawing three during this match-up.
advantage of the school holidays, is that it is held during the Ramadhan month and will prove to be harder on Muslim players. Meanwhile, after three successful years, the other big local event, the KL Open, has now been renamed the Raja Nazrin Shah Individual Masters & International Open Chess Championship 2011. After accessing Malaysia’s position in the world rankings, the KL Chess Association has decided to retain the format of an international open, but in a form that is more relevant for younger players. Astonishing, really, and if ever there was an opening novelty deserving of exclamation points, this is it. It isn’t so much that Black is winning (he is not), but what it does to the evaluation of the position from both White’s and Black’s perspectives. Instead of the old quiet, behind-thelines fight expected from Black while White tried to open lines and crack Black’s position, now Black’s pieces are about to take a very serious life of their own, while White’s g4 pawn looks like a very questionable weakness. 7.cxd5. Though the engines don’t condemn Shirov’s choice, they do have a slight preference for 7.Nf3 Still, the question would remain: what the heck is that pawn doing on g4?
Get smart! Play chess! By Peter Long email@example.com
Hopefully, this is will enable the younger talents to get the experience and rating points they need. Also held is the Invitational Masters, which will bring in some of the professional players from around the world to inspire the local scene. Following the International Open event, the All Indonesia Chess Federation will hold the Indonesian Open in Jakarta from Sept 12-20, so that the international players can go from one event to another in the region. The KL Open will be held from Sept 4-10 at the Swiss Garden Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian Chess Festival 2011 Aug 17-25: 8th Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship The Malaysia Chess Challenge 2011; 2nd Tan Sri Lee Loy Seng Seniors Open Aug 21: Swensen’s Age Group Rapid Aug 25: Malaysia Chess Festival Open Blitz Aug 26: 2nd Merdeka Individual Rapid Open Aug 27-28: 31st Astro Merdeka Team Chess Championship
7...exd5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 (Diagram 2) 9.Bg2?!
Shirov,Alexei (2709) - Anand,Viswanathan (2817) 24th León Masters (3), 04.06.2011
Shirov starts to go astray, but one cannot blame him for not wanting to take on d5 and potentially go down in flames. Unfortunately for him, that is exactly what happens. 9.Qxd5 Qb6 10.Bc4 Be6 (10...Bxf2+ is also possible, but leads to nothing decisive after 11.Ke2 Be6 12.Qb5+ Nc6 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Nf3) 11.Bb5+ Nc6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Qf3 protecting f2 and g4, though Black’s chances are to be preferred due to the slightly better development and bishop pair.
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.g4. This is by far the most aggressive approach to the CaroKann Advance, and has led to many a tactical slugfest. The idea is obviously to gain space and time over the bishop, as well as promote dangerous options if the pawns start rolling forward on the kingside. Though of questionable reputation, it is also a favorite of Shirov’s.
9...Ne7 10.h3 Qb6 11.Qe2 0-0 12.Nf3?
4...Bd7 5.c4 e6.
A mistake that allows 12...d4! However the position was probably compromised as it was.
This line does not see much grandmaster play, and it is hardly surprising considering the awkward bishop on d7 and the unattractive development problems Black will need to solve.
13.Ne4 Bb5 14.Qd2 Nbc6 Threatening Bb4.
6.Nc3 c5!!N (Diagram 1)
15.a3 Ng6 16.b4 Be7 17.Bb2 Rfd8 0-1.
Free newsletter for Serdang residents By Basil Foo
SERI KEMBANGAN: Aiming to provide the community with alternative news, the fourth issue of quarterly newsletter i-Serdang was distributed last week. “As our news is what the mainstream media doesn’t cover and is apolitical, the newsletter has been widely accepted by local residents,” said Ean Yong Hian Wah. The Seri Kembangan assemblyperson, whose office funds the publication, said the free 12-page newsletter is produced in Chinese to cater to residents. He said i-Serdang, or “Love Serdang” in Chinese, will introduce people to local cuisines, personalities and history.
“For example, the front-page [of our fourth issue] shows the Serdang tree that gave the township its name,” he said. The fourth issue also includes a review of the oldest restaurant in Serdang and a public poll on the relocation of the night market. He added that due to cost constraints, only 15,000 copies can be produced every three months. “We also plan to have house-to-house distribution,” he said after handing out copies of i-Serdang to vendors and market-goers at the Seri Kembangan morning market. Serdang Member of Parliament Teo Nie Ching and Subang Jaya councillor Tai Cheng Heng also distributed the newsletter.
Gallery 22 June 17 — 19, 2011
The main attraction at the USJ Family Day in Subang Jaya last Saturday (June 11) was the hotair balloon ride, which attracted long queues.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim throwing a basketball to launch the Serdang Cup basketball competition on Tuesday (June 7). Looking on are (from left) Subang Jaya councillor Ng Sze Han, Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching, state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, Subang Jaya Municipal Council president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi, and state exco Ronnie Liu.
Participants of the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s Cycle for a Healthy Life campaign, which kicked off on April 24 and will be held every last Sunday of each month.
A participant wrapping “bak chang” during a dumplingwrapping competition held on Saturday (June 4), held in conjunction with the Chinese dumpling festival.
Children looking at a “human statue” street performer during the JCI Petaling Jaya Fancy Hats Charity Walk in Shah Alam last Saturday.
Children playing a catapult game during the USJ Family Day event at the Subang Jaya Municipal Council stadium last Saturday.
Culture 23 June 17 — 19, 2011
By Terence Toh
Lex Lakshman Balakrishnan is the resident choreographer at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. Winner of the 2010 Bintang Irama 1Malaysia 2010 award, Lex’s choreography has been seen in productions such as Chitra, Kaki Blue and Adam: The Musical. He also has experience in acting, singing, dancing and directing. His latest production, a dance drama titled Nitya Sumangali – The Eternal Wife, is the story of Kalyani, a woman chosen to be a devadasi, to serve in a temple as an eternal wife of God. In this interview with Selangor Times, Lex talks about his inspirations and influences. What attracted you to writing a dance drama about the ancient tradition of the devadasi? The initial idea for this show came to me from the book Nitya Sumangali, which was about the devadasi tradition in South India. In the process of reading it, I became emotional, feeling for these girls who were sent to the temples to become temple servants and dancers. I have always been working to incorporate social issues into my dance pieces, and immediately upon reading this, I started to visualise this tradition as a dance form. That is how I embarked on this dance piece, and now it’s all set to be revealed. What kind of research went into the writing of this piece? Was the story of Kalyani based on a real character? The devadasi tradition is a strong component of the ancient Hindu temple traditions, and I did not want to give false impressions of it. Therefore, I was sure to conduct thorough research to make extra sure that I got all the facts right. I obtained research books and papers from Chennai, India, and also talked to many of my other friends from India to find out more about these traditions. The hardest part for me in writing this script was the difficulty in achieving a chronological story flow without the aid of words or text. The story of Nitya Sumangali – The Eternal Wife is about a young devadasi named Kalyani. There were many different approaches applied to the study of this tradition, as well as many factual inconsistencies inherent in them, and in writing this piece, I did not wish to further complicate issues. Therefore, I literally created the character of Kalyani and the story of her cruel fate. Who, or what, have been the main influences on your choreography? To what extent can these influences be seen in Nitya Sumangali – The Eternal Wife? Many of my choreographic influences came from two of my great gurus of dance, Master Ramli Ibrahim and Dr Joseph Gonzales. Both of them taught me the basics and fundamentals of dance, and their constant support has pushed me to further pursue dance studies. Contemporary staging is needed to highlight the performing arts to local audiences nowadays as media technology is developing extremely quickly. So, when working on a piece, I keep the content of my influences, and change their forms as required. I enjoy deconstructing dance,
Compiled by Nick Choo & Terence Toh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Various; June 14-19; Actors Studio @ Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur; www. theactorsstudio.com.my, 032142 2009, RM10 A fusion of artists, ideas and performances in this bimonthly experimental series. The rest of this month’s line-up: MyDance Alliance presents Dancebox (June 17, 8.30pm); BACA: Rehearsed Reading (June 18, 8:30pm); and We Are Malaysian Made presents Malaysian Made Movies, curated by Michael Chen (June 19, 3pm).
Unmasked.Ed Art exhibition; June 7-19; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 0340479000, www.klpac.org; free admission
Nitya Sumangali – The Eternal Wife
Dance drama; June 22-26; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 03-40479000, www.klpac.org; RM13 / RM15 / RM25
A FEW centuries ago in some parts of India, a practice developed in which certain women were chosen to be devadesi, or wives of God, in a marriage that usually occurred before the girls reached puberty. These wives of God lived in or around temples to perform various duties. The devadasi were also a community of artists, presenting dance and music performances, becoming an integral part of many large Hindu temples. Due to circumstances, these dancing girls became women of pleasure and were forced into flesh trade, being subjected to untold misery. Set in an old temple of Shiva, Nitya Sumangali tells the story of a devadasi named Kalyani who falls victim to a cruel fate as an eternal wife of God, following tradition – even in death. This period dance drama challenges creativity on every front – from choreography, costume and set design to sound and light – and features the deconstruction of classical and contemporary dance.
keeping the classical essence of its gestures, props and sets, while adapting it to a contemporary form to appeal to modern audiences. What are the strengths of using dance as a medium in which to tell a story? What can it achieve that other forms of presentation cannot? For me, the appeal of dance has always been its ability to reach beyond words. Actions
have always spoken louder than sounds. But what also interests me far more is the idea of “subjectivity” through dance. For example, if you write or say something, 10 different people listening or reading it will get the same idea. However, when you dance, 10 different people will get different ideas based on their own interpretations. That is simply the nature of human movements. I have also always enjoyed incorporating complex themes in my choreography. I believe that dance can be used for far more than to entertain; rather, it can be used to explore local stigmas and social issues. I strive to introduce audiences to a different point of view about dance. Finally, what can audiences expect from Nitya Sumangali – The Eternal Wife? Audiences can expect to enjoy an art based on an ancient tradition, and experience the exotic setting of an ancient temple. Also, it is a good opportunity to come and witness the work of our very own local performing artists shaping Malaysian identity through the arts.
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.”
Simply The Original featuring The Birdian Saxophone Quartet Music; June 26; The Actors Studio @ Lot 10; 603-21422009 / 21432009, www. theactorsstudio.com. my; RM15 (entry by minimum donation) “Sit back and enjoy this wonderful journey that brings you arrangements of famous tunes with a mixture of light duet, trio and quartet music that is sure to fascinate you!” Featuring the Birdian Saxophone Quartet: Ian Chan Wing Hang, Low Chee Meng, Richard Goh Hao Tian, Foo Yee Lee, Cheryl Mah Yiing Chiau.
Shakespeare Demystified: Julius Caesar Theatre; June 29-July 3; Indicine @ KLPac; 03-40479000, www.klpac.org; RM20 (entry by minimum donation) This staging of Shakespeare’s classic play features scenes in their original text, interspersed with modern-day narration. Featuring Marina Tan, Omar Ali, Alfred Loh, Nabihan Yaacob, Lim Soon Heng, Kien Lee, Qahar Aqilah and Sandee Chew.
The Sound of Music Musical; June 21-26; Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre; 03-22872727, www.ticketspeople.com, email: email@example.com; RM190-RM590 In commemoration of its landmark 75th anniversary, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical The Sound of Music arrives in KL direct from the West End for a limited performance run.
Dewan Filharmonik Petronas Spotlight Series: Reza Salleh Concert; June 27; Dewan Filharmonik Petronas; 03-20517007, www. mpo.com.my, email: dfp_boxoffice@petronas. com.my; RM38/48 Singer-songwriter Reza Salleh performs his personal brand of alternative acoustic folk rock, singing songs from his debut album Realize. Also featuring Az Samad, Liyana Fizi and Providence Brown.
Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.