Local councils to create hillslope database p 6
Commonwealth A village recognition for united in the face of drugs FOI law p
12 & 13
June 10 — 12, 2011/ issue 28
Timeline 1999: Initial batch of 13 nursery operators evicted from a 29-hectare land, what is now the Sungai Buloh Hospital. Another 50 operators also evicted at a later date. 2002: Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS) given the right to collect rental from the operators. Initial rent is RM400, increased three years later to RM600 and then RM800. April 2008: Nursery operators advised to apply for Temporary Occupation Licences (TOL). State government waives rental rates until 2011 while the operators wait for their TOL applications to be approved. April 2011: State rejects TOL applications from nursery owners. M a y 2 5 , 2 0 1 1 : Nursery operators are informed that TOL has been handed to Yayasan Selangor. June 3-4: Operators hold a series of demonstrations at the nursery to protest the decision by the state government. June 6: Yayasan Selangor holds a briefing to inform nursery operators of plans to revamp Green Lane into Green Park. June 7: Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim informs Yayasan Selangor and the nursery operators that the state will not award TOL due to high-pressure water pipes under Green Lane. Also instructs both parties to do feasibility studies on the land.
By Alvin Yap
SHAH ALAM: No Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) will be given to either Yayasan Selangor or nursery operators to protect two water pipes, each two metres wide, that lie beneath a stretch known as Green Lane. The Green Lane is where 56 lots of nurseries are located. “Records show that the highpressure pipes were laid out in 2001 to provide water to one million users spread out around Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya and other areas,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The Menteri Besar said water security is paramount, and the state
CLEAN SWEEP: Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) carried out a joint enforcement exercise with the licensing and enforcement, engineering, building, town planning and city service departments to inspect nine restaurants in Shah Alam on Wednesday. Two restaurants were ordered to be closed for two weeks, while another three had their stalls seized for obstructing the sidewalks.
Green Lane to remain state land
will retain administrative control of the 14.65-hectare plot in Sungai Buloh, ensuring access to the pipes and integrity of water supply to a large part of Klang Valley. “I have a great responsibility to make sure an accident will not take place later that will disrupt water supply or compromise on water safety,” he explained. The decision essentially means a rejection of TOL applications by operators. Khalid said the pipes were discovered when the state government embarked on an audit of Selangor’s water assets last year. “What was thought to be Syabas’s (Syarikat Bekalan Air Selan-
gor) property is actually part of the state’s RM10 billion water assets,” said Khalid. The move comes in the wake of protests by nurser y owners, who were informed on May 25 that their applications for TOL had been rejected in favour of Yayasan Selangor. The operators argue that they should be given rights to the land as they have been developing the area since 1999. They also question Yayasan Selangor’s involvement in horticulture and landscaping as it has no experience in the industry, being an education arm of the state government. Khalid conveyed his decision to
representatives of the nursery operators and Yayasan Selangor during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday. However, the issue of whether nursery operators will continue to be allowed to operate safety on Green Lane has yet to be resolved. Yayasan Selangor and nursery owners have been given a month to engage their own engineers to present findings to the state. Khalid said Yayasan Selangor’s mandate was to conduct feasibility studies on developing the nursery, and was not authorised to carry out work at the nursery without approval from the state. Subang Member of Parlia-
ment Sivarasa Rasiah, who attended the meeting, said Khalid has instructed the Land and Mines Department and District Office to find alternative sites for the nurseries, in case they have to move. But if engineers find that the nurseries can continue to operate, they will have to comply with safety requirements. “They will not be able to build new structures that can damage the underground pipes,” said Sivarasa. However, some disgruntled operators, adamant that they are entitled to TOL, are taking their plight online by setting up a Facebook page called Selangor Green Lane.
2 June 10 — 12, 2011 To place your Advert in Contact Timothy Loh 019-2674488, Ivan Looi 014-9366698, or Vincent Boon 012-8902033
Subang Ria: Offer still on the table
Dr Xavier and MPSJ officials looking at the larvae before releasing them in USJ1.
By Alvin Yap
SUBANG JAYA: The Subang Ria Park Task Force will discuss all issues, including price, before meeting Sime Darby Property to negotiate the sale of the park back to the state. “The RM165 million evaluation was based on commercial value, but the next evaluation is going to be lower,” said Hannah Yeoh. The Subang Jaya assemblyperson, a member of the task force, said the park should now be evaluated on recreational rather than commercial value. Yeoh was responding to Tuesday’s decision by the Selangor’s Appeal Board to uphold Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) rejection of the company’s plan to convert 7.7 hectares of the park from recreational to commercial and residential land. Board member Datin Teh Zawahir Abdul Malek pointed out the company did not comply with the zoning requirements of the 29.39-hectare park, which was for recreational development. Yesterday, Sime Darby chief executive Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh said the company would only consider selling the Subang Ria Park back at market price. He also indicated that they were willing to meet Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to work out a win-win formula. “The offer is that the state will match every ringgit the residents raise to buy the park from Sime Darby,” said Khalid on Wednesday. Sime Darby had planned to build 250 low-density condominiums and extend the Sime Darby Medical Centre on the site.
Selangor WEATHER Friday
Awaiting outcome of ‘super mosquito’ tests By Brenda Ch’ng
SUBANG JAYA: Results of the effectiveness of lar va-eating Toxorhynchites (Toxo) mosquitoes, released to destroy the larvae of dengue-carrying Aedes mosquitoes, are expected in 30 days. Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the outcome of the experiment at an abandoned six hectare site in USJ1 is being closely monitored. “The project will determine if the Toxo mosquitoes can be introduced to other dengue hotspots,” said the state executive councillor. Dr Xavier, whose portfolio includes health, said although the project has never been tested in the open, he is hopeful it can combat increasing dengue cases. Together with officials from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Subang
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
By Gan Pei Ling
phone (603) 5510 4566 fax (603) 5523 1188 email email@example.com
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the giants of the insect community. “If these mosquitoes successfully breed and eat Aedes larvae, I will continue my research and breed them in captivity to be released into other areas,” said the professor. He added that residents should not worry about overpopulation of Toxo mosquitoes because the larvae will eventually cannibalise each other after they finish feeding on the larvae of other species. MPSJ will monitor the abandoned site and its population of both mosquitoes using the ovitrap, a device that consists of a black cylinder with a piece of cardboard. The trap attracts female mosquitoes when added with water. With this device, MPSJ will be able to trap mosquitoes and send them to labs for testing to determine if they have been laying eggs.
RM6m to landscape Khir’s mansion, court told
Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), Dr Xavier released 400 Toxo mosquitoes on Tuesday. “There is no guarantee this project will succeed because these mosquitoes are unique and seldom breed in urban areas,” said Professor Zairi Jaal. The USM Vector Control Research Unit head said if the mosquitoes fail to survive and populate in the abandoned site, they might have to breed them in captivity before releasing them. He added that these insects, which can lay up to 70 eggs only, have a lifespan of two months. However, they stay in the larvae stage for 30 days, and during that period, they feed on as many as 400 other mosquito larvae each. These mosquitoes can feed on larvae because they are 19 millimetres long and 24 millimetres wide, making them
Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi, Vincent Boon
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
SHAH ALAM: The landscape work on Selangor’s former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo’s mansion had cost as much as RM6 million, the Shah Alam High Court was told yesterday. Landscape artist Nasir Ismail, 55, testified that Khir and Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsudin Hayroni had paid him RM500,000 in cash several times to renovate the Balinese mansion. “I received RM500,000 in cash from Shamsuddin four to five times ... [and from] Datuk Seri (Dr Khir) seven to eight times,” said Nasir. Nasir, who told the court that he collected cash because he was a bankrupt and did not have a bank account, said he was hired to renovate the mansion in 2006. The property was
then owned by Ditamas. Khir bought the mansion from Ditamas in 2007 for RM3.5 million. Nasir said Khir had appointed Shamsuddin to handle matters related to the renovation as the Sg Panjang assemblyperson had “no time” to handle it. In addition, Nasir said there were no receipts for the payments. However, when cross-examined by defence lead counsel M Athimulan, Nasir failed to explain his wife’s landscaping company Lyna Ubersari Bali Landscape & Pottery’s involvement in the matter. Nasir also denied being a shareholder or director of the company, but Athimulan showed cheques where payments were allegedly made by Lyna Ubersari Bali Landscape & Pottery to a supplier for the mansion renovation. Nasir was testifying on the second
day trial of the former menteri besar, who is accused of acquiring for himself and his wife, Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik, 45, two plots of land and a bungalow in Shah Alam from Ditamas Sdn Bhd through Shamsuddin. Khir is said to have paid RM3.5 million for the property in Section 7 here, which Ditamas had bought on Dec 23, 2004 for RM6.5 million. The offence is said to have been committed at the official residence of the Menteri Besar on Jalan Permata here on May 29, 2007. However, Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Mohtarudin Baki adjourned the trial to Monday as Nasir could not remember certain details pertaining to the renovation when questioned by Athimulan. He was asked to verify documents that listed the works done to Khir’s Balinese mansion, as well as the costs.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 10 – 12, 2011 ⁄ 3
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
News June 10 — 12, 2011
Events Music lessons The Learning is Fun Centre is giving free music lessons to children. The lessons are open to those aged four and below. They will be taught to sing, dance, listen and respond to musical, tonal and rhythm patterns. The lessons will be conducted every Friday at 2pm and Saturday at 10.30am at Plaza Mont Kiara. For details, call 019-2332968 or visit www.learningisfun.com.my.
Fancy hat walk An attempt to break a record in the Malaysia Book of Records by having the largest number of people to walk in fancy hats will be held tomorrow (June 11). The attempt, organised by the Junior Chamber International Petaling Jaya (JCI PJ), will be held from 4pm to 11pm at I-City, Shah Alam. A registration fee of RM25 will go to the JCI PJ leukemia fund. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 019-3197383 or 0123995495.
USJ Family Day
The second USJ Family Day will be held tomorrow (June 11) from 5pm to 10pm at the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) field in USJ 5. Attractions include hot air balloon rides, fun fairs, kids zone, go-green zone, health screening, food and beverage stalls, and goodie bags for the first 500 visitors. There will also be a lucky draw every hour with laptops and mobile phones up for grabs. Remember to register before 7pm to be eligible for the lucky draw!.
Kordel’s will be having their annual charity drive called Kordel’s Charity Walk 2011 on Sunday (June 12). The charity walk will raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation of Malaysia (AFM). The event will start at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, at 7.30am. For details, call Bee Abdullah at 012-2346135 or Rene Leow at 0178830848.
Pet grooming talk
A pet grooming talk will be held on Sunday (June 12) from 8.30am to noon. Yuri Professional Grooming Training Centre founder Yuri Lim will speak about household pet cleanliness besides educating the public on basic grooming skills. The talk will be held at Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee’s service centre on Jalan Bunga Tanjung 10, Ampang. Admission fee is RM20. All proceeds will go to non-governmental organisations. For more information, call 012-2669639.
Green cycle ride
The first Cyberjaya Green Ride will be held at Kelab Komuniti Taman Tasik Cyberjaya on June 18 at 8am. The competition will comprise 10 categories ranging from an adventurous 84km ride to a 200m tricycle dash for children under five years of age. The event will also feature a bicycle exhibition and coaching clinic. Prizes worth more than RM14,000 await the winners. For details, contact Ellie Soraya Mohd at ellie@cyberview. com.my or Nuraihana Ramlan at nuraihana.ramlan@ totalsportsasia.com before June 15.
Gathering of coaches
The Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches (MACC) will hold their fifth roundtable on June 25. The topic, “Improve Coaching Effectiveness by Understanding the Fourth Revolution”, will be facilitated by author Jeremie Averous. The gathering will be held at MACC’s office at 62B, Lorong Rahim, Kacai 14, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, from 9.30am to noon. For details, contact Rachel at 017-2238293 or visit www. malaysiancoaches.com.
The Teluk Intan Anthonian Alumni will hold a charity dinner at the Golden Dragonboat Restaurant in Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur, on July 23 at 7pm. For details, call Michael Heah at 019-2317618.
Selangor mulls statewide village polls By Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Selangor will hold polls for other villages in the state if three pilot elections are successfully carried out next month. “The state will review [public reception to the village polls, the processes and results] before deciding,” executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah said in a press conference on Tuesday. He estimated that there are 368 traditional Malay villages and 78 Chinese New Villages in Selangor. With elections, villagers will get to elect their own Village Security and Development Committee ( JKKK) chiefs, instead of being forced to accept a state-appointed chief. Ean Yong, whose portfolio includes New Villages, said voters should be able to elect their leaders at local level, not just at state and federal levels in a democracy. Once elected, the state will formally appoint the winning candidate as the JKKK chief.
As the Election Commission has declined to help the state conduct the village polls, Ean Yong said the district offices will be running the elections at Jenjarom, Pulau Ketam and Pandamaran. The state has allocated RM60,000 for each election. Jenjarom will go to the polls first with nomination day on July 24 and voting day on July 31. Pulau Ketam’s election will kick off with nominations on July 31 and polling on Aug 7, followed by Pandamaran from Aug 7 to Aug 14. Ean Yong said the elections will be held on Sundays for voters’ convenience. They can cast their votes between 8am and 4pm. Candidates must be from 21 to 60 years old and have been residing in the village for at least two years. They are not allowed to use party symbols, and must contest on their own accord. Local government elections in Malaysia were suspended in 1964 after the
Ean Yong: State will review feedback after village polls.
Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. The state’s move to restore them has been rejected by Putrajaya and the Election Commission.
Yeoh to appeal NRD decision By Brenda Ch’ng
SUBANG JAYA: It is simple enough when registering a baby as Malay, Chinese or Indian, but what do you do when the newborn is a culmination of two or even more races? Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh and her husband M Ramachandran found themselves in such a predicament when they tried to register their daughter, Shay Adora Ram, on Tuesday. Not wanting to pick either Chinese or Indian, the new parents filled in the blanks with “Anak Malaysia” when they tried to register their week-old daughter with the National Registration Department (NRD). However, the term was rejected by NRD as it was outside the norm, and the couple will now appeal to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and NRD. “This fight has to be fought as it is insulting to have Malaysian children with mixed parentage being being forced to settle for a racial tag or having to be classified as ‘dan lain-lain’,” said Yeoh on Wednesday. Yeoh and Ramachandran said they
were puzzled by NRD’s inability to accept mixed race babies while promoting the 1Malaysia concept which stands for racial unity. According to Yeoh, they did not want to use Indian or Chinese as their daughter was neither from India or China. “So what is she? She is a Malaysian. If NRD cannot recognise that, then don’t give us a blank form for us to fill, only to reject and alter it later,” asked Yeoh. They felt cheated with NRD’s registration system which automatically picked her baby’s race as Chinese without consent from them. Following that, attempts to register their daughter as either Malaysian Indian Chinese or ‘Anak Malaysia’ were also shot down. “We were told to only choose one parent’s race and we did. We are both ‘Anak Malaysia’ and so Shay’s ‘keturunan’ should also be ‘Anak Malaysia’,” said Yeoh. “The original form which we signed and certified states our roots as Malaysians,” she said. Yeoh said she would include the “cancelled” NRD forms in court later if their appeal fails.
Over RM6m allocated to schools SHAH ALAM: Vernacular and religious schools in Selangor received RM6.692 million in aid from the state yesterday. Dr Halimah Ali said 75 Chinese, 97 Tamil and 120 Islamic religious schools received the allocations. The state executive councillor for education added that schools requiring aid next year can make applications from today ( June 10) until July 11.
“I hope state lawmakers can inform schools in their constituencies about the funds and help them apply for the aid,” said Halimah during the cheque presentation. The cheques were handed to lawmakers or representatives from 56 constituencies at the state secretariat to disburse to the schools. Application forms can be obtained from the Selangor government website at www.selangor.gov.my.
No racial quotas for YS scholarships SHAH ALAM: There are no racial quotas imposed on applications for Selangor state government education loans, said Dr Halimah Ali. “All applicants will be assessed fairly based on their academic merit and not upon their skin colour,” said Halimah in a statement yesterday. She was responding to allegations that Yayasan Selangor (YS) had been unfair in awarding scholarships. “While only two Selangor education loans were given to students of Chinese descent in 2011 to date, it is important to note that there were only four applications received from students of Chinese descent. “Two applicants were turned down because they did not meet the requirements and required funding for studies abroad,” said Halimah. According to her, YS received 350 applications from Bumiputera students, four from Chinese students, and 19 from Indian students. Of the total, 227 Bumiputera, two Chinese and 11 Indian students were awarded scholarships. Only 141 Bumiputera students and six Indian students accepted the offers.
News June 10 — 12, 2011
Know Your Councillor: Wan Hasrina Wan Hassan By Basil Foo
AMPANG: Heavy rain and heightened fears of landslides after the recent Hidayah Madrasah Al-Taqwa orphanage tragedy are keeping Wan Hasrina Wan Hassan busy as she monitors the slopes around Ukay Perdana. The Ampang Jaya Mun i c ip a l C o un c i l (MPAJ) councillor has been overwhelmed with calls since the incidents from residents reporting signs of erosion on hills surrounding their homes. “The area is situated next to Bukit Antarabangsa, and I have informed the council about the risks,” she said. The three-term councillor works closely with residents’ committees to monitor the precarious slopes, which are in the vicinity of hills where a series of landslides have claimed dozens of
lives since 1993. A councillor since 2008, Wan Hasrina said most of the complaints involved deteriorating road conditions and potholes on Jalan Utama, which connects Ukay Perdana to the Middle Ring Road 2. “The poor road conditions are due to heavy usag e. In addition, heavy vehicles also use the road to reach development projects,” said the mother of six. Wan Hasrina said the most challenging aspect of being councillor is satisf ying demands of the community, especially during public forums. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing netball, a sport she promotes for women by hosting competitions in her area. Her service centre is situated at the Kampung Sungai Sering Public Hall on Lorong Sering 12.
Commonwealth recognition for Selangor’s FOI law
information on state departments, local councils and all state-owned and state-controlled SHAH ALAM: Selangor’s historic move to bodies. pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) enactThe state is in the process of appointing and ment has been highlighted in the global journal training information officers in each departThe Parliamentarian. ment to handle public requests for informaThe four-page article titled Freedon of In- tion, drafting application forms, and sorting formation in Selangor: Building Better Gover- out other procedures needed to enforce the nance was written by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim law. and published in this year’s first issue of the Under the enactment, civil servants are quarterly journal. subjected to a heavy penalty – up to RM50,000 “Access to information is the best way in fine or five years’ jail, or both – if they are which people can keep a government account- convicted of intentionally giving false or misable to its responsibilities in ensuring taxpay- leading information to the public. ers’ money [is] spent with wisdom and care,” The public can also appeal to the State Insaid the Menteri Besar. formation Board if their request for informa“[A] government that is confident about its tion is rejected. The Board will be led by former governing practices [should have] nothing to legal practitioners and independent members. hide,” he added. Media watchdog The Centre for IndepenPublished by the Commonwealth Parlia- dent Journalism had lauded the passing of mentarian Association, The Parliamentarian Selangor’s FOI law as a “breakthrough” amid prints articles, analyses and bibliographical an entrenched culture of secrecy among our information on parliamentary democracies government bodies backed by the Official written by speakers and ministers worldwide. Secrets Act. Selangor tabled the FOI enactment last July “The ethos behind the FOI enactment is and passed it in the state assembly on April 1 the state government’s belief that the people after consulting various stakeholders, includ- are the true owners of any information, and ing civil servants and civil society groups. that governments are merely stewards of the Expected to be enforced by the end of 2011, resources on behalf of its citizens,” said Khalid the FOI enactment will allow public access to in the article. By Gan Pei Ling
NEWS JUNE 10 — 12, 2011
Local councils to create hillslope database By Gan Pei Ling
PUTRAJAYA: Selangor has allocated RM5 million for local authorities to create a hillslope and geological database to monitor high-risk areas systematically in a bid to prevent deadly landslides. “We’ve instructed the local councils to conduct an audit in their municipality to identify buildings or structures located in sensitive areas,” said Ronnie Liu. The state executive councillor for local government said the inventory will include details of the slope owners, developers, development schemes and other relevant information. Liu added that the state’s Minerals and Geoscience Department and Housing and Property Board (LHPS) will work together with the local authorities to create the database. “The system will be centralised at LHPS and integrated with the relevant agencies,” said Liu at the launch of a seminar on slope management organised by the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj). He also urged the Public Works Department to make
Landslide at the Al-Taqwa orphanage on May 21.
public its list of existing hotspots in Selangor, as the information will be invaluable to the local authorities. In addition, Liu said local authorities will issue notices to private owners to remind them to maintain their slopes. “If they fail to do so, the local authorities may have to come in and help them repair their slopes [to prevent landslides]. In that case, the private owners will be charged 30% on top of the maintenance cost,” said Liu. The state had recently instructed the municipal councils in Subang Jaya, Kajang, Selayang, Sepang, the Petaling Jaya City Council and Hulu Selangor District Council to form a hillslope division within a month. The move comes in the Local councillors and local governments’ engineering department officials attending wake of the tragedy on May the two-day seminar on hillslope management organised by the Kajang Municipal 21 at Hulu Langat, where a Council on Monday. landslide hit the Hidayah Madrasah Al-Taqwa orphanage and claimed 16 lives. Google Earth’s real-time satellite images to monitor soil eroThe unlicensed orphanage was illegally built five years ago on sion in their municipalities. agricultural land next to a hill with a more-than-80-degree slope. Meanwhile, MPKj president Datuk Hasan Nawawi Abd Presently, only the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council has a Rahman said the local council has been looking for experihillslope division under its engineering department. The divi- enced geotechnical engineers to join their soon-to-be-estabsion was formed after the 2008 Bukit Antarabangsa landslide lished hillslope division. that claimed five lives. Apart from monitoring hillslopes, the division will also be Besides establishing hillslope divisions and a database, Liu responsible for supervising the construction of buildings or said local authorities will also be employing online application structures on slopes before, during and after completion.
Learn from Hong Kong’s success story, says civil engineer PUTRAJAYA: From establishing strict hillslope regulations and incentives to upgrading construction practices, Malaysia has much to learn from Hong Kong, said engineer Tu Yong Eng. “They have over 200 geotechnical engineers, of which 60% are PhD holders, in their Geotechnical Engineering Office,” said Tu in a seminar on hillslope management on Monday. The independent consultant said Hong Kong’s Geotechnical Engineering Office is one of the most prominent agencies worldwide in slope management and research. Compared with Hong Kong, Tu said Malaysia lagged far behind in research and development, regulations and incentives, as well as other aspects of hillslope management. For instance, Malaysia’s current hillslope-development guidelines are based on the slopes’ steepness, ignoring other important geotechnical information and soil investigation requirements. “Other factors such as the soil type and properties, ground water movement and earth retaining structure will also affect a slope’s stability,” said Tu. He stressed that it is important to have accurate geological information of the slopes in order to produce reliable analyses on the slopes’ stability and risks, but local data on slopes are lacking. He added that due to the increase in population and land scarcity, development projects, especially those in the Klang Valley, are being built closer to or on slopes.
Hillside residents still fearful By Basil Foo
Tu Yong Eng
“We need to formulate a [comprehensive] strategy to reduce the risk [of landslides] and maintain the slopes’ stability,” said the former Institution of Engineers Malaysia council member. Tu said Malaysia needs to upgrade its construction practices, raise public awareness, and establish more detailed guidelines on hillslope development. “Government commitment is crucial as they have the most resources and power to regulate,” Tu added. He said Hong Kong spends close to RM350 million to strengthen their slopes and RM250 million to maintain their slopes annually.
GOMBAK: A state lawmaker wants authorities to take action to prevent more landslides around Templer’s Park. Gan Pei Nie pointed out that a ma j or lan d s l i d e at Bu ki t Kanching in 2009 received scant attention. “But residents living near Templer’s Park, especially along the border of Selayang and Hulu Selangor, have come out to voice their concerns,” said Gan. The Rawang assemblyperson pointed out that over 100 homes in a gated community on a hill near the park may be at risk. These residents have complained about other minor landslides around their homes. Their main concern is the lack of further action after the landslide two years ago. “After the landslide occurred along KM-14 of Jalan Gombak, a tarp was placed to cover over the affected area,” said Gan. She said the makeshift measure
was not enough to keep the land from getting waterlogged and causing another major landslide. While the landslide then did not claim any lives, she said any subsequent landslides would affect the road connecting Selayang and Rawang, which has high traffic density. “The Public Works Department ( JKR) should take immediate action to fix the collapsed ledge as we don’t want to wait until a tragedy happens,” she said. Gan said the onus was on the federal agency to act because the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) does not have sufficient expertise to handle the threat of landslides. She said both JKR and MPS should work together to survey and identify the slopes most at risk before sending a report to Putrajaya. MPS recently set up a Slope Unit in the wake of the landslide at the Hidayah Madrasah Al-Taqwa orphanage in Hulu Langat on May 21, which claimed 16 lives.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ JUNE 10 – 12,2010 ⁄ 7
Wet and deplorable conditions at Palma flats By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: Leaky ceilings are proving to be a daily nightmare for residents of Bandar Botanic Palma flats with no end in sight. “I feel cheated. The leakage is happening in all 14 blocks of flats. Why should I fix my own leakage? That is not fair,” said Kamarul Zaman Ibrahim. The 30-year-old resident said the inter-floor leakage, which used to seep from his walls, has Yew (left) and Santiago pointing out the water tracks. now spread to his ceiling, and the wetness is causing the cement to soften and crack. dents of many units. Kamarul, who moved in when the low-cost Santiago, along with MPK councillor Yew flats were completed six years ago, is disputing Boon Lye, had earlier raised the issue with a developers’ claims that leaks were due to renova- representative from Botanical Services, which tion by residents. manages the flats, but to no avail. He pointed out that his third-floor unit has RN Rajasingam pointed out that the buildnever been renovated, yet both his unit and that ing’s two-year warranty had expired, and that of his neighbour below him have leaks from their the company ceased being responsible for any bathroom and kitchen walls. repairs. Similar problems are faced by residents in “I can’t give the residents an answer now beunits directly next to or across from his unit. cause we cannot do anything. The building is six “I sometimes take a walk to the other blocks, years old and the warranty already expired four and I always see water dripping from their walls years ago,” he said. and ceiling,” he said. He added that residents should be the ones Kamarul said the leakage started after the to repair the damages themselves. warranty expired for the 14 blocks of flats comHe also claimed that residents had themselves prising 100 units each. to blame for the leakages for carrying out renovaHe is unsure how many residents are affected. tions in their kitchens without proper waterCharles Santiago, who visited the flats on June proofing. 1, has urged the Klang Municipal Council However, a site visit by Santiago and Yew to (MPK) to write to the developer to schedule a a unit on the top floor of one of the blocks proved meeting. otherwise. The Klang MP said the developer must come Residents also insisted that water from units up with an immediate way to resolve the issue. with no renovation was also leaking to the floors He pointed out that an overall solution must below every time residents above took a shower, be found because the problem was faced by resi- and that even unoccupied units were leaking.
Premium aid for villagers By Basil Foo
GOMBAK: More than 1,000 villagers who cannot afford to pay premiums for the renewal of leaseshold titles or Temporary Occupation Licences (TOL) for their homes stand to benefit from the discount being offered by the state. “There are over 500 villagers from Kundang New Village, 290 from Kampung Seri Indah in Sungai Buloh, and more than 130 from Kampung Sungai Bakau who will benefit,” said Chee Chu Sang. Chee, who is the Gombak district village liaison officer, said the villagers would be among the first to gain from the land ownership scheme, which took effect on June 1. He said more than 100 additional villages from half a dozen other communities in the area will also benefit from the scheme. Chee explained the state’s new policy to villagers at a press conference last Friday. He said the scheme would allow villagers to pay an initial amount of RM1,000 for their land titles instead of a lump sum of several hundred thousand ringgit. “With the scheme in place, villagers [here] need not worry about being evicted from their homes any more,” Chee said.
He added that dialogues will be held with residents from surrounding areas this month to inform them about the benefits of the new scheme and how they could participate. Gan Also at the press conference was Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei, who welcomed the new policy. “I have received many complaints from residents who cannot afford to pay the total premium amount for their land titles,” she said. She claimed that residents had asked the state to postpone the deadline for payments, and some even asked to pay by instalment. Gan added that under the new scheme, residents can expect to receive their renewed land titles within two months from the date they pay the initial RM1,000 fee. “After the fee, they will receive their titles. The balance of the premium amount has to be paid when the property is sold,” she explained.
News June 10 — 12, 2011
Two injured in real-estate dispute By Gan Pei Ling
SELAYANG: A 30-year-old property agent suffered multiple injuries while his colleague escaped with light injuries when they were attacked by at least a dozen men on Monday in a purported dispute over the sale of a property. The victims, who only wanted to be identified as Foo and Chow, were attacked near The Strand, Kota Damansara at around 11pm. Foo’s 30-year-old wife Hooi, who had been concerned when he failed to pick up her calls, drove to the spot and found her husband on the ground half-conscious with a broken left arm and injuries on his head, legs and other body parts. They immediately lodged a report at the police station, which was located less than five minutes away from the scene. Foo and Chow were subsequently treated at Selayang Hospital. Hooi, who is also a real estate agent, said someone who identified himself as Koo had called her hus-
Johnson Ooi: Urged the police to investigate incident thoroughly.
band to meet on Monday night. “ We had successfully sold a shophouse, so we removed the banners and posters of other property agents’ numbers and wanted to clean up the unit for the new buyer,” she said.
They suspect that other agents had been unhappy with the removal of their banners and posters. “We’ve never seen them. This is the first time such an incident has happened to us,” said Hooi, adding that they have been working in the area for the past three years. Hooi was speaking on behalf of her husband as he had been hospitalised and was not feeling well enough to talk to the press. She said Foo had agreed to meet, and he and Chow came down from the car when they saw there were only two people waiting. However, at least 10 other men emerged after they exchanged a few words, and Foo was punched in the head before he could escape. Selayang MCA public complaints bureau chief Johnson Ooi, who alerted the press of the case, urged the police to investigate the incident thoroughly. “This time they managed to escape with injuries. What if they beat them to death the next time? This is unacceptable,” said Ooi.
Foo in the care of nurses at Selayang Hospital.
Sports programme for plantation residents
Children having fun during the sports programme in conjunction with Labour Day celebrations in Kuala Selangor last month.
By Basil Foo
KUALA SELANGOR: A series of sports programmes were held in conjunction with Labour Day celebrations in seven zones throughout the district. Taking part were residents of the Selangor River, Sungai Tinggi, Raja Musa, Tennamarom, Bukit Panjang, Taman Rajawali and Tuan Mee plantations. Games played during the programme, which was held on May 22 and 29, included nine-a-side football, sepak takraw, netball, and men and women’s kabadi. The programme finale was held at the Kuala Selangor Indoor Stadium on June 4 with about 1,300 people in attendance. At the event to hand out prizes
was state executive councillor for plantation workers Dr Xavier Jayakumar. Among the prizes awarded was RM1,000 for the first-placed football team, RM750 for second place, RM500 for third, and RM300 for fourth. The teams who finished in the top eight places also received a full football jersey set. Also present during the prizegiving ceremony were Sekinchan assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim and Kuala Selangor District Officer Mohd Misri Idris. The programme was organised and fully sponsored by the Selangor Standing Committee for Plantation Workers, with the cooperation of the Kuala Selangor District Council.
Girls’ netball game in action.
Ministry urged to contain TB outbreak By Basil Foo
AMPANG: The Health Ministry has been urged to initiate a largescale campaign to address the outbreak of tuberculosis. This comes in the wake of several cases of the disease identified by the Ampang Hospital. A Pandan Indah school principal was reported to have been struck down by the disease and left in a coma for 28 days. “An awareness campaign should be conducted to educate the society on how to identify the early
symptoms of the dangerous disease,” said Iskandar Samad (pic). The state executive councillor suggested that the ministry conducts detection exercises in schools, construction sites, and foreign workers’ quarters. These hotspots were determined to be in areas like Kampung Pandan, Pandan Mewah and Lembah Jaya. “The Health Ministry should take this matter seriously and not wait until more of Ampang Jaya’s residents are infected,” he said. Iskandar, in a press statement,
claimed the disease had almost been wiped out in the country, but has likely cropped up again due to the influx of foreign workers.
news June 10 — 12, 2011
A place to call home for troubled teenage girls By William Tan
SHAH ALAM: A home for troubled and pregnant teenage girls has been opened by the state in an effort to help change lives and reduce the number of abandoned babies. Rumah Puteri Arafiah, which will offer protection and help, began its first intake last Saturday. A fundraiser and official launch was held at the Menteri Besar’s official residence. The home is a joint effort by the state, Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Amal Wanita Selangor (Pekawanis) and the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS). “The first intake will be limited to 30 girls who must be Malaysian citizens aged between 12 and 21,” said Puan Sri Salbiah Tunut. The Menteri Besar’s wife, who is chairperson of the home’s management board, said candidates must be victims of social ills such as abuse, abandonment or rape. Applicants will be interviewed, and those taken in will enter a 24-month programme which includes counselling and activities to regain their self-esteem and spirituality. She added that apart from continuing their education through home schooling, the girls will also be taught practical lessons like learning how to cook and use computers. However, the home aims to per-
form another service as well, which is the preservation of the life of the unborn child. “Most of the girls who come to us are around 15 and often pregnant,” said Norani Samsudim, executive secretary to the home’s management board. She added that these girls do not know their rights, and are often gullible. So far, she has been receiving inquiries for admission into the home since April when they first announced their initiative. A number of inquiries has come from other states. Executive councillor Rodziah Ismail, whose portfolio includes welfare, said previously these girls had nowhere to go. She said the home will also conduct outreach programmes to better educate teenagers. Rodziah expressed hope the home will curb the rise in baby dumping by lost teens. “I have acted as an official representative to the various hospitals in the state, and they are all delighted by the news because they can finally redirect these girls somewhere in order to obtain proper aid,” she said. She added that while the home will not receive financial aid from the state, it needs to raise at least RM200,000 for annual expenses. For more information, ca ll Norhayati at 012-313 6620.
MPK enforcement officers issuing fines to those caught littering in Klang town during Operation Litterbug. Rodziah Ismail
Litterbugs face fines By Basil Foo
Puan Sri Salbiah
KLANG: Litterbugs beware! The Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has issued fines to 12 people caught littering in the town centre under Operation Litterbug. “This operation will be held from time to time to ensure the cleanliness of this area is kept at a satisfactory level at all times,” said Ehsan Mukri. The MPK acting president said the move was also meant to educate people about keeping their neighbourhoods clean. A total of 108 fines for littering were issued during an operation between March and last month. Those caught by the plainclothes enforcement officers were fined RM10 on the spot. “We have received positive reactions from the residents who praised
Khalid: Show the way through sports SERI KEMBANGAN: Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim extolled the virtues of cooperation and healthy living at the launch of the Serdang Cup basketball competition on Tuesday night. “This is not just a game, but a chance for youths to cultivate team spirit to and help one another achieve victory,” said Khalid. He called on youths to be part of Selangor’s development and lead in the future by taking care of their health through sports. The Serdang Cup, held for the second time since 2009, saw an impressive turnout with 24 teams coming from areas like Kajang, Nilai, Salak South, Puchong and Kuala Lumpur. The competition was held at the Serdang Section 8 covered basketball court, the first of its kind in the area which was officially opened by Khalid on Tuesday night. “This long-awaited court has finally been completed. It is the first covered court in Seri Kembangan,” said Ean Yong Hian Wah. The state executive councillor s a i d th e c o ur t , w h i c h c o s t RM350,000, was part of the yearly RM5 million allocated for the area by the state government. The state government and Sub-
Team 2K11 (in yellow) and Team Nilai battling it out in the first match.
ang Jaya Municipa l Council (MPSJ) contributed RM175,000 each towards the cost of the court. “It is our responsibility to provide sports facilities for residents. I hope more such events will be held in future,” said MPSJ president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi. Players from Team 2K11, who played their first game against Team Nilai on Tuesday night, said
such courts are rare. “Covered courts are limited in Cheras where we come from. This is the third court we’ve been to so far,” said 28-year-old property agent Jason Lim. His team-mate, Andrew Tham, was also impressed. “It’s beautiful. Convenient for people living nearby,” said the 41-year-old creative designer, who has been playing
basketball for almost 15 years. He said his team, which was formed five years ago, aims to win the title this year. The event was attended by state executive councillor Ronnie Liu, Serdang Member of Parliament Teo Nie Ching, MPSJ councillors and members of the Seri Kembangan Village Security and Development Committee ( JKKK).
the council’s efforts during our operations,” he said. Ehsan, who tagged along with Operation Litterbug last Thursday ( June 2), said the council also held other cleanliness programmes like gotong-royong. He added that up to last month, the council held 72 gotong-royong programmes throughout the municipality. Thursday’s operation was also attended by MPK Environmental Services Department director Wan Mohd Sofian Wan Husain.
Crow shoot in Subang Jaya By Brenda Ch’ng
SUBANG JAYA: A crow shoot will be held in the municipality this weekend ( June 11-12) from 7am to 8am. “Parents are advised to take extra precautions and make sure your children are not playing in open areas where the shooting s are taking place,” said Datuk Asmawi Kasbi. The Subang Jaya Municipality Council (MPSJ) president said 100 licenced shooters will be involved in the shoot in Subang Jaya (SS12-19 and USJ1), Taman Mawar, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Pasar Batu 14, Puchong Utama, Puchong Intan, Puchong Maju Jaya and Taman Kinrara Seksyen 1. The shoot will also be conducted at Jalan Besar Pasar Seri Kimbangan, Taman Sri Serdang, Taman Serdang Jaya, Taman Universiti Indah, Taman Equine and Taman Pinggiran Putra. “It is time we did something about overpopulated crows, not just because they are pests, but also due to health reasons,” said Asmawi. For inquiries, contact MPSJ at 03-80264307/0380263158.
News 10 June 10 — 12, 2011
Affordable homes for young and old
BANGI: The state is building 124 units of affordable apartments for young families, senior citizens, people with disabilities and the hardcore poor in Bandar Baru Bangi. Located in Section 3 of the township, the six-storey apartment units of 700 to 800 square feet will be priced between RM70,000 and RM95,000 per unit. “Due to the limited units available, the apartments will only be offered to buyers with monthly income of between RM2,500 and RM5,000,” said Mentari Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. He said priority will be given to Selangor residents, especially those who have been living in the state for at least 15 years. Khalid added that the Selangor Housing and Property Board will vet the applications to ensure that all purchasers are first-time buyers. “This is not for those who already have properties. We don’t want [unscrupulous people] to take advantage of this, buy the units at low prices, rent them out and make profit,” said Khalid at the project site’s ground-breaking ceremony last Friday. Executive councillor Iskandar
Project site in Section 3 of Bandar Baru Bangi.
(From left) Arif, Khalid, Othman, Liu, Iskandar and Xavier looking at the model apartments.
Back to two-way road for motorists By Basil Fooi
SUBANG JAYA: Motorists will soon regain direct access from Persiaran Kewajipan to Jalan USJ 19/1 once work to reconvert a oneway road into two ways is completed. The road was initially two ways, but was converted into one-way due to the construction of the nearby USJ 19 Digital Mall. “Approval for the road reconversion was given by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council last Sunday,” said Gobind Singh Deo. The Puchong Member of Parliament, during a meeting on May 28, said the one-way road inconve-
nienced residents and affected nearby businesses. “Many drivers missed the turning from the main road to USJ 19/1, and traders in the nearby industrial area have also reported a decline in business by 20-30%,” he said. Gobind said the drop in customers could be due to the one-way road, which forced motorists to enter through a side road in front of the mall instead of heading directly into the industrial area. Gobind said construction works were under way. A visit to the work site on June 2 showed a completed road divider with road surfacing left to be done.
Samad said 40% of the units will be reserved for buyers below 35 years old. “The ground-floor units will be allocated for senior citizens and people with disabilities,” said Iskandar, adding that the design of these units will be handicap friendly. The Cempaka assemblyperson said specific units will be reserved for single mothers and the hardcore poor. Developed by Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS), the 124 economical units will be built on a four-acre land and are expected to be completed in the next 18 to 24 months. Residents will get to enjoy various facilities such as a community hall, mini library, recreational park, bus stop, tuition centre and kindergarten, among others. “We want to build an integrated community with strong community spirit,” said Iskandar. He added that the orientation of the buildings will take into account the direction of the sun and wind to save energy consumption and improve air circulation. Iskandar added that this is the first of six similar projects under Projek Rumah Mampu Milik in Selangor. A pioneering initiative by the state, the other five housing projects will be in Gombak, Bernam Jaya, Taman Sains Selangor 2, Kota Puteri and Antara Gapi. In addition, PKNS will be working with other private developers to construct 30,000 affordable homes in the next five to seven years. Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were state secretary Datuk Khusrin Munawi, state financial officer Datuk Arif Abdul Rahman, PKNS general manager Othman Omar, executive councillors Ronnie Liu and Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee, and Kajang assemblyperson Lee Kim Sin.
may 13 recoll: ection reconc s& 12 & iliation
Where to get your LRT Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning Ampang – Sentul Timur Ampang Cahaya Cempaka Pandan Indah Pandan Jaya Sentul Timur Sentul Kelana Jaya – Terminal Putra Kelana Jaya Taman Bahagia Taman Paramount Asia Jaya Taman Jaya Universiti Sri Rampai Wangsa Maju Taman Melati Sri Petaling – Sentul Timur Taman Melati Sri Petaling Bukit Jalil
Bandar Tasik Selatan Salak Selatan Shopping Malls (From Saturday noon) 1 UTAMA Tropicana Mall Sunway Pyramid The Curve IOI Mall Plaza Damas Ikano Power Centre Empire Subang MetroPoint Centro Mall, Klang Bangsar Shopping Complex Hypermarkets (From Saturday noon)
Tesco (Puchong, Kajang, Mutiara Damansara, Rawang, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Ampang, Extra Shah Alam, Kepong)
TI-M ad disputhe es Christia n state cl aim p
Wesak a time Day: giving for
Giant (Puchong, Kajang, Bandar Kinrara, Klang, Pandamaran, Bandar Selayang, Kota Damansara, Taman Setiawangsa, Putra Heights, Taman Connaught, Kelana Jaya, Bukit Antarabangsa, Subang Jaya, Bukit Tinggi, Setia Alam, Kota Kemuning)
Carrefour (Bukit Rimau, Subang Jaya, Wangsa Maju, Sri Petaling, Kepong, Puchong, Ampang, Jalan Peel, Jalan Kapar, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, S23 Shah Alam) Jusco (Bukit Tinggi, Tmn Maluri, Wangsa Maju, Bandar Baru Klang, Mahkota Cheras) Commuter Stations (Distribution by hand) – Morning
Sentul – Port Klang Port Klang Bukit Badak Shah Alam Subang Jaya Jalan Templer Petaling Rawang – Seremban Kuala Kubu Baru Sungai Buloh Kepong Sentral Kepong Morning Wet Markets (Saturday morning) Jalan SS2/62 Taman Medan Jalan 17/27 SS15 Subang Jaya Taman Kuchai Lama Taman OUG Pasar Taman Megah Pasar Jalan Othman Pasar Jalan 17/2 Pasar Sek 14
— 22, 2011
By Will iam Tan Petal ed low- ing Jaya: cost Dilapida angor may flats through ta pilot progget a new lease out Selsuch hom ramme to rehaof life if es The amb is successfu bilitate kind proj itious and l. first the Peta ect is being carr -of-itsKeeping (MBPJ) ling Jaya City ied out by in collabora Council safe: Faizabandoned tas Design tion babies demons ah Mohd Tahi pan y, and Group, a privwith Veritrating baby hatc the use r (left) commun Rum ah Air ate comof the Datin Sofi h as local ity-b Pan as, celebrity a The sing ased charity. a • STory Jane looks on. Maju Jaya le block at on pag the apar Tam tments houses 59 e 10 here, whican to und ergofamilies, will be the firsth the which inclu tran sfor furb ishm des renovatio mation, ns ents and whi le keep physical reaspe ing the "All wor cts intact. sions mad ks are based on social active by the resid the decients," said ist Won Wong, g Hay pointed who mooted Cheong. out that the idea dents were many of , flats whe forced to mov the resin demolish squatter settlemee into the facilities ed, but the buil nts were were hard dings and ly adeq “The Gro up, entr y of Veritasuate. RM100 whi ch has con Design ,000 and architect the skill trib uted change,” s], means that s [of their ryinWong said the priv is going said to Cor g out the proj ate firm is carAs many Wong. ect as part porate as 50,000 Their relocate Social of its fam (CS d technolo architects, usin 2000 and to low-cost flats ilies were last R) programme, Resp onsibilit g the gies teri Besa 2008 under formbetween for two years layin having spent they rem ode l the and techniqu latest arch itect Iska g the grou es, the proj Squatter r Dr Khi r Toy er Menndwork budget, whic buil ding on a will Iskandar ndar Razak. The comect. o's Zer o tight cy6391_ than RM h is estimated LB_24 added that whic icised for poli h has 500 Sun_m to be less difficult to creating been crit- with the fampany has been obta 14.ai “It is very ,000. high-rise liais 1 from vario obta in comit was very busi in what they ilies regu 11 back ghettos.5/12/feed need from ness cont larly to ing ever ything challeng ing; 9:56 on the proj us parties at mitments PM their them deci get their need “Despite acts. de on pracneeds and help wiring is horr s to be redo almost ous issueect, with fund the start of it all, ne. ing still a port ible, tical solu . seri- that ant project forthis is a very imtions. and the septic the roof is leak The The succ tank emit ing, spon stench,” us as a city shou ess of the said Ver ld not we believe itas Des s an awful nent sorships for the project rests on by the wea lthy only be inhabited ign Gro up part s, such as the various compo- strata of soci , but by ety. supp ever y s, and the juvenati ng the In a way, we compan ly of metal y hopes If the pilo city,” said Iska are reto t is successfu ndar l, the com. • Turn To pag e2
Facelift for old
Pasar Seri Setia SS9A/1 Pasar Kg Chempaka Taman Tun Dr Ismail Hospital Forrest Medical Centre Colleges Help Institute College Bandar Utama (KBU) Universiti Kebangsan Malaysia
June 10 — 12, 2011
Harsh realities of this flawed paradise
s we turn the corner and head for the second half of 2011, things sure ain’t looking that hunky-dory. My family and I enjoyed a few days in the remote beaches of Cherating, Pahang. Those four carefree days of rushing waves and gentle breezes and oh-so-calming peace and quiet were elixirs for the much-stressed average Malaysian soul. But those few days of no internet, newspapers and urban Malaysian stress merely served also to hide the harsh realities of life in this flawed paradise. We returned home to Petaling Jaya to the stark reality that life will never be the same again. A little overdramatic, you say? Well, maybe it is, but think about it. Life in Malaysia has changed dramatically in the last year or so. And the latest announcement of the increase in electricity rates kind of puts another nail in the coffin, as the saying goes. As usual the government tries to soften the devastating blow by trying to reassure all of us in the usual patronising tone that the increase will not “burden the rakyat’” I tell you ah, the next time I hear that phrase used I think I sure vomit one. Okay, while my lunch is still sitting safe in my stomach I will try and month, these people will say that we look at things a bit more objectively urban folks are just too used to our la. While my family and I were away air-conditioned homes, LCD televiat the beach it was announced that sion, Wii games, and internet and electricity rates would be increased computer addictions. “That’s why la you all use so much by an average of 7-8%. That was quickly qualified with saying that electricity. So you pay lor. We all the increase would not adversely kampong folks don’t need so we are affect people whose electricity bills sure not going to be burdened by the were RM77 a month or less. Or increase. Just like the Kerajaan tells us.” something silly like that la. That’s what the Kerajaan wants Well, I guess if there are a lot of people who actually use less than you to believe. That just because you RM77 worth of electricity per don’t use air-conditioning, just be-
Just selangor Tricia Yeoh
new chapter has unfolded in the longdrawn-out Selangor water saga recently. Acqua SPV, a Special-Purpose Vehicle set up under the gederal government body PAAB (Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad), has announced plans to acquire 100% of Selangor water bonds. The total outstanding bonds come up to RM6.5 billion. This basically means that the federal government is using taxpayers’ money to settle the debts that water concessionaires owe to their bondholders. How did things get so complicated? Well, if readers recall, sometime in November 2010 the Selangor government and its supporters marched under the stark KL heat to present a memorandum to the Agong, which called for the de-privatisation of lucrative water concessions that benefit cronies. Teargas and water cannons were freely used, but this should not come as a surprise. As part of a national water restructuring exercise, all states are supposed to sell their water assets back to PAAB temporarily until they are financially secure enough to inject their own capital expenditure. Two Acts were passed in this regard: the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (WSIA) and the Water Services Commission Act 2006. This was done on the understanding that the water industry would be eventually re-nationalised, as it was before. All fine and dandy, except that Selangor has the most complex of situations, having the most number of private companies: Abass, Puncak Niaga, Splash and Syabas, the latter having a monopoly over water distribution. Water talks were protracted for more than two years, during which time all offers by Selangor were in one way or other turned down by the companies mainly because they
cause your kids play marbles in the garden instead of Wii games, just because your internet visits are limited to what your urban cousin shows you on his iPad, you’ll be spared the extra tenaga expenses needed to survive. You believe ah? Well, just last week I was at a kopitiam in Petaling Jaya. One of the old-style, traditional ones. No air-con. No waiters in starched uniforms. And the kopi-o came in a cup sloshing spilt kopi-o. You know the type. I ordered one Milo ice for my son and a kopi-o ice for myself. The bill came to RM5.60!!! Imagine that! And what was before the announcement of the electricity price increase. I wonder how much it will cost the next time I go there for breakfast?
Teohlogy patrick teoh
We have all experienced how prices of stuff increase with the increase of other “stuff ”, right? Most times prices increase without any logical reason. For example, when the price of sugar goes up 10 sen per kilo or ton or whatever, the flers selling the tarik will raise the price per glass by 10 sen. And so on and so forth. When you ask why, the fler will say, “Boss, gula naik harga lor.” But that’s naik harga 10 sen per kilo. How many kilograms of sugar do you use in my glass of teh tarik, boss? How can an increase in electricity prices not affect most Malaysians? Up to 75% of Malaysians? Okay, if we believe the government spin, there might be millions of Malaysians who use very little electricity in their daily lives and so are not bothered by the tariff increase. But it is only common sense that what you don’t pay to Tenaga
Nasional you will need to pay to your local sundry shop, mamak stall, nasi lemak seller. They will all say, “What, you don’t want fan ah? Damn hot you know. Fan use electricity and electricity rates gone up ma. So RM2.50 for your kopi-o kosong please.” Parting thought. Each and every time the government increases prices for stuff or cuts subsidies they tell us the same old story. The rakyat will not be burdened. The money saved will be used for the betterment of life for the Malaysian rakyat. I don’t know about you la, Ali, Rama and George, but I am sure about to keel over from the weight of the government-induced burdens over the years. I still don’t see any sign of better public transport, better schools, hospitals. Okay la, I have to turn off my computer already because I need to keep my electricity bill this month to below RM77. And if you’re still feeling the effect of being screwed yet again, here is something else that will worsen the pain in your backside. Check out this link: http://thestar.com.my/news/ s t o r y. a s p ? f i l e = / 2 0 0 6 / 6 / 6 / business/14432852&sec=business.
Water deal makes Malaysians RM6.5b poorer
were not considered high enough. Bondholders storm In the midst of all this, another storm was brewing. When the water companies began operations, they sold RM9.02 billion worth of bonds to fund their startup activities under seven different bond programmes. These bonds were purchased by a large number of banks and financial institutions, including the likes of Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, and the Employees Provident Fund. When water negotiations seemed endless with no conclusion in sight, a few things happened: rating agencies downgraded these bonds impacting their values, and the issuing water companies were unable to service the bonds that would be maturing. The reason for the ill financial health of these companies was simple. Syabas buys treated water from treatment companies Abass and Splash, and in turn sells it to customers: you and me. Syabas was not paying what was fully due to these two companies, thereby affecting their cashflow. They in turn pointed their fingers at the Selangor government for not allowing them to increase tariff rates that they claim are part of the concession agreement. Selangor disagreed, saying certain conditions were not fulfilled. The case has been brought to court and is ongoing. The bondholders, of course, are not necessarily concerned with the minute details. As far as they are concerned, they purchased bonds which they felt were in a secure and stable industry. Nothing is safer than a utilities sector, after all. Or so they thought.
Buying back bonds Fast-forward to last month. Because the water restructuring has not yet concluded, the federal government decided that it would soothe the nerves of these bondholders. It is understandable that they would want commensurate return on their investments, in principle. However, the onus lies equally on the investing partner to investigate the health of the company’s bonds. In this case, clearly the companies were not in the best conditions to begin with. The move of the federal government in swooping down to buy over the outstanding bonds essentially means that all responsibility of the companies to their creditors is completely absolved. With their debts resolved absolutely, what incentive have they to proceed with water talks with the Selangor – or any other – government? The argument given by the government is that any default of these bonds would result in cross-default in other bonds, leading to a “systemic meltdown of the Malaysian capital markets and erode investors’ confidence locally and internationally”. I may not be an investment banker, but is the government not rewarding investors for choosing their portfolios foolishly? Worse, the burden is carried by the taxpayers nationwide, not only in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. In fact, it was stated explicitly that a bond default would impact PAAB’s and the federal government’s ability to raise funds for existing and future infrastructure projects at competitive pricing. It is a rather large leap to take here. Think Mega Project 101, and the likes of the MRT.
Privatising profits, socialising losses What we are hearing is essentially that the government is willing to sweep under the carpet bad debts for the sake of creating potentially devastating situations in the future, when or if there are further defaults on even larger-scale infrastructure projects under the Economic Transformation Programme. This comes at a time when the same minister (of Energy, Green Technology, and Water) just announced an electricity tariff increase which will impact upon all consumers intrinsically. This is an additional burden placed upon Malaysians. In the meantime, our friendly neighbourhood financial institutions recoup their funds easily. This is a classic case of the government privatising profits and socialising losses. Finally, this is a sordid state of affairs because not only is this move considered a distinct bailout of the water companies, it does not even resolve the more urgent issue at hand: the water restructuring itself. The Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia said in a statement that first, the entire problem is passed straight to the people and businesses to pay off; and second, PAAB is “just saving the bondholders without relinquishing the stakes of affected concession agreement holders”. This is a dark day for us in Selangor and beyond, and it is a sign that the federal government is not serious about pushing the private concession companies all the way to comply with the WSIA’s holistic and renationalised model. This is a temporary measure that is clearly biased towards one party – not us taxpayers, for sure.
12 June 10 — 12, 2011
The arch welcoming visitors to the village is mounted with CCTV cameras.
All the neighbours come out in full force
[Inset] Banners at the FGS Dong Zen temple outline a design for life.
Riding the streets of Jenjarom, kampung-style.
Village development committee member Ooi Eang Hock showing the drug addicts’ den in decrepit, abandoned houses.
An idle Sunday in Jenjarom spent in the shade.
By Danny Lim
a village u in the face
thief waltzed into Kim Poh prayer materials shop in Kampung Baru (KB) Sungai Jarom a year ago while shopkeeper Wong Siew Fan was in the toilet. He rummaged through her desk, grabbed about RM300, and scooted off just as Wong came out. “I know who did it,” says Wong, now 60 years of age. “He’s a drug addict, he does this all time.” But she didn’t feel the need to report the theft to the police. “It’s a small matter.” Narcotic-fuelled crime in this village of 46,092 is no small matter. Village head Tan Cheng Hin says drug abuse has plagued the village over the last three decades. Last year, 206 people – 126 drug pushers and 80 addicts – were Tan: Drug abuse has arrested. In 2009, it was 224. During this year’s Chinese New Year plagued the village over Wong’s shop is open festive holidays, 40 packs of ketamine were found in the village. the last three decades. for friends and family t walk in and chit-chat. “You can order drugs by phone and arrange for a meeting place for a pick-up,” says Tan. “The suppliers come Supt Nordin Manan noted from Klang and Kuala Lumpur. They sell it theft and violent crimes in t to local pushers who are also addicts. So it’s Sungai Jarom had been fall like direct selling: for every 10 you get three such cases in 2008 to 192 free for your own consumption.” 149 last year. According to Tan, the drug of choice is “ We dare to claim tha syabu (methamphetamine) and ketamine first new village [committe – favoured by the younger addicts – and confront the drug proble they start from around age 16 while they are who is also the deputy chai still in school. “Heroin is for people over 40 Malaysian Drug Preventio [years of age].” (Pemadam) chapter of the Eager to highlight the severity of the district. “We don’t want Su problem, Tan and village development get stuck with the label of a ( JKK) committee member Ooi Eang Hock “We are risking our lives bring me on a whirlwind tour of the drug the drug bosses can just h addicts’ hotspots. The narcotic dens are just BANG! Finish,” Ooi warns. outside the village perimeter, in the abanIced-cendol seller Baskaran, 28, one of “Even the police advised u doned houses of residential areas. a handful of non-Chinese living in the take on the whole problem o Among the monotonous rows of single- kampung. Tan’s wife’s car was smash storey link homes are the dilapidated remains of unsold houses – grim concrete is open to corruption. “Previously, the urine year ago, her front and back nooks without doors or windows, strewn [could] be changed for about RM600 to well as the side mirrors shat RM800. Now the ‘price’ is a minimum Yet the village’s reputation with overgrown creepers. underworld criminals is over As we gingerly tread over black sodden RM2,000.” Ooi claims that while the drug problem sters are not much of a probl mattresses, broken beer bottles and shattered debris entwined with vines, Ooi points is “still going on”, there has been a gradual Ooi claims. “Now they’re all The old tales of blood ri out the tell-tale signs of red wax dripped decline. Their measure of this decline is in chete-wielding gangs fightin from half-burnt candles which the addicts the decrease of suicides by addicts. “From August to December 2008, two have been consigned to hi use to heat up their drugs. Every morning , six people from the youths, 27 and 29 [years of age], committed only the relationship links, m village seek to wean off their addiction by suicide by drinking weedkiller,” says Ooi. “respect” and commercial in “There’s no fighting at all. undergoing methadone treatment. Condi- “There used to be one suicide every two to lem is narcotics. Even the [lo tional to passing a regular urine test, they get three months.” But there hasn’t been any drug-related sui- agree with what we’re doin a card which stops them from being picked cide for over a year. In a newspaper report last want the drug problem eith up by narcotic police. But Ooi insinuates that this procedure February, Kuala Langat district police chief affects their children too.”
A bird’s-eye view of Kampung Baru Sungai Jarom seen from the Village Development Committee’s offices.
[Inset] Kampung Baru Sungai Jarom’s street names are just numbered lorong.
e to attend a funeral.
united e of drugs
Wong’s brother, who runs a restaurant.
d that property the area of KB ling, from 212 2 in 2009 and
at we are the ee] to directly em,” says Ooi, irperson of the on Association Kuala Langat ungai Jarom to a drug village.” here. Anytime hire a killer …
us not to try to on our own.” hed up about a k windscreen as ttered. n as a haven for rstated. “Ganglem nowadays,” into business.” ituals and mang in the streets istory, leaving maintained for nterests. Now the probocal] gangsters ng. They don’t her, because it
Lee: This is one of the richest new villages in Malaysia.
The villagers’ businesses have changed over the years since the place was declared a “white” (free of insurgent influence) area in the 1960s and the fences started coming down. “We were mostly rubber tappers and farmers,” says Ser Sue Lim, a 70-year-old reporter. “We had coffee and tea plantations. Then there was a lot of development starting from the late 1960s into the 1970s, so people started diversifying into manufacturing, palm oil and transport industries.” According to Ser, groups of villagers pooled money to buy up the surrounding land to set up palm oil plantations. The 1990s saw rapid changes, when a lot of old rubber and palm oil estates were cleared to make way for small industries. These industries were illegally built on land that was not gazetted for industrial or commercial activities. They included used-car dealerships and wood-product factories, which fetched a higher income than palm oil or rubber. The narrative arc of KB Sungai Jarom’s story shares similar themes with other new villages. The forced resettlement of post-war Malayan peasantry (the overwhelming majority of which were Chinese) into fenced-up camps fermented cliques that grew into de facto internal power structures like the triads. As with other new villages, what the locals reminisce about is not the pass-
ing of triad influence, but the waning “kampung” culture of gotong-royong and neighbourliness. Yen, a 74-year-old living in the wooden house his father built over 50 years ago, asserts that it was actually much safer in the old days. “People were more caring, we took care of each other,” he says in Hokkien. “Everyone lives in the same place so we know each other. When someone dies, everyones goes to help. Nowadays when you need help, you have to pay.” Thieves notwithstanding , Wong’s shop is open for friends and family to walk in and chit-chat as and when they like. She even insists that I partake of a packet of chee cheong fun that she just bought. As she delves into childhood stories about how her family, which had been living here for over 90 years long before the British erected 10-feet-high fences and parcelled out land, had to subsist on a fistful of rice, the 40-something Lee walks in, plonks himself on a chair and joins in the conversation. Lee hails from Johor and has been living here for over 20 years, running a night-time “tai chao” restaurant just down the road from Wong’s shop. He followed his friend to Jenjarom for work, and while his friend later left for Kuala Lumpur, Lee remained, enchanted by the quiet, uncomplicated kampung lifestyle. He brings me across the street to a restaurant for lunch, which happens to be run by Wong’s brother. Despite my protests, Lee insists on paying for my fried meehoon and drinks, and the restaurant owner is in cahoots. “This is one of the richest new villages in Malaysia,” says Lee. “Not individually, but collectively. It’s because the property prices have risen.” This is corroborated by Tan, who contrasts how, before the village was declared “white”, land went for as little as RM50 per acre. “Nowadays it’s RM700,000 per acre!” says Tan. “A new double-storey terrace house goes for around RM250,000, for semi-detached – RM400,000 plus.”
For a village that often gets bad press about its social ills, KB Sungai Jarom is hardly in decline. The population is growing, and new housing developments nearby are sold out. The villagers’ offspring usually move to Klang and Kuala Lumpur, but just as many outsiders move into the Jenjarom area, as a cheaper alternative to the big cities. Families, however, are still chastened by the village’s bad reputation. “Children here are naughty,” says Ooi. “The parents are scared their children will get bad influence if they send them to schools here.” Instead, more and more families here
Seventy-four-yearold Yen and his 50-year-old wooden house, which was built by his father. The Chinese signs flanking his door reads: “Although this is a cooking place, why not sit down for a little chat?”
Inside Yen’s house, where his grandchildren watch TV.
are sending their children to schools in Klang (about 40km away) and Banting. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the “drug village” label and the crime stories, and draw direct links to the old stories of gang fights and triad rituals. The stigma belies the easygoing, we’re-all-in-it-together culture that explains, if not justifies, shopkeeper Wong’s nonchalance when a drug addict steals her money. “It’s a very peaceful village,” she insists. Let’s not mistake it for civic laxity; in this village, a drug addict is your neighbour’s son or daughter. And there but for the grace of God goes her own children.
VIews 14 June 10 — 12, 2011
ooking at what happened with @fahmi_ fadzil and Blu Inc, do all Tweeters now need to be extra careful about what they say on Twitter? Can someone really get into a lot of trouble for tweeting allegedly defamatory comments about another party? What does the law provide? @Angie Ng, via email
100 apologies, power, and the hardest question
TWITTER and other forms of social media do not exist in a vacuum. Laws do operate in cyberspace. If you defame someone, this person can take legal action against you. Defamation – unsurprisingly – is where someone says something defamatory about someone else. If you say something on Twitter which is not true and is capable of lowering the reputation of the person or entity you are referring to, you are opening yourself to a defamation suit. The defamed person or entity usually demands a public apology or monetary damages, or both. In @fahmi_fadzil’s case, Blu Inc viewed his tweet about them as defamatory, and settled out of court when the parties agreed that @fahmi_fadzil tweet an apology 100 times. Lord Bobo reckons the Blu Inc chaps were inspired by a combination of that opening scene in The Simpsons, where Bart is being punished for some wrongdoing or other by writing lines on a chalkboard, and that chap in Mind Your Language who used to say “thousand apologies”. Do Tweeters need to be extra careful? Well, they should be careAsk Lord Bobo is a weekly column by ful, but no more careful as they LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) would be in any other medium. where all your profound, The 100-tweet apology should abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, not stop people from speaking up sagacious, and other thesaurusand expressing themselves on Twitdescribed queries are answered! ter. We believe in the freedom of speech, but frown a big hairy monkey frown on people who spread lies. If you defame someone, they can smack you with a lawsuit, regardless of whether it is on Twitter, Facebook, or on a blog (not the blawg though, all that stuff is 100% true).
ord Bobo, are you surprised by the electricity tariff hike? @Kill A Watt, via email
HIS Supreme Eminenceness is rarely surprised. It is surprising how rarely Lord Bobo is surprised. Sometimes, all you have to do is look out for clues. A short while ago, the mainstream media swooned as the PM announced that the price of RON95 petrol would not be raised, because the government cares for the rakyat, bless his soul. And then, in the blink of an eye, electricity price hike! It’s all quite predictable really.
ear Lord Bobo, are there any questions you’ve been asked via this column which you’ve struggled to provide an answer for? @Questioner’s Questioner, via email HIS Supreme Eminenceness is refreshed by the originality of this question! Although Lord Bobo is all-knowing, there is still room for humility. There is one particular question which has been submitted approximately 741 times since this column started. While we are more than able to provide answers, it can be a tough task when the questioner only wants to hear answers with specific outcomes. So readers, have a look at the query below (and
be warned, it’s a long ‘un!) and see if you can help.
ear Lord Bobo, This is the 741st time I am emailing this query to you, and I really hope I will get a response. Time is running out, and I am desperate for even a hint of an answer. Please shower your munificence upon this humble soul. I am the president of an upand-coming company with 13 subsidiaries (we have been “upand-coming” for some time now, and have even been overtaken by companies that were far behind us two decades ago, but that is another story). The Board is due for re-election soon. Although there has been a lot of speculation, I’ve yet to decide on
an auspicious date to call the AGM. My VP keeps bugging me to call the AGM now to get it over and done with, but I’m smart enough to know that he’s gambling on me not getting enough votes so that he can stage a coup to oust me just like I did my sleepy predecessor. My VP and I don’t always see eye to eye, but we do make a good team. We’re currently doing this good-cop bad-cop routine on race and religion. He’s so good at being badass that he scares me sometimes – in fact I don’t even know whether he’s putting on an act anymore, or is being real. Things at home aren’t helping with my stress level. My wife is still upset over me and my buddy’s Central East Asian road trip a few years ago – it’s unbelievable how
long a woman can hold a grudge! To get even, she keeps throwing shopping tantrums overseas and partying with the Hollywood Alist on the company’s account. It’s not as if I don’t have a lot of headaches to deal with, business-wise. My Singapore business partners keep inviting me for a booze-up, but all they really want to do is tease me some more with that Central East Asian’s Mandarin Hotel birthday photo so that I will renegotiate some of our contracts. They’ve already got me into the bad books of our great patriarch when I didn’t resurrect some winding-sea-crossingstructure project. On top of that, I’ve got to deal with the leader of the rival faction in my company – he’s like the union head or something. I’ve thrown all kinds of scandalous rumours at him, but no one believes them anymore – I blame those MTV and reality TV shows, everyone is desensitised that even saucy scandals don’t excite them!
Anyway, this fella heads this ragtag bunch of people who are really incompatible with each other. I can identify with him to some extent – I am also heading a ragtag bunch of people who should be incompatible with each other, but I solve this with money. But my biggest headache of all is my shareholders. They whine and whinge and complain all of the time it’s enough to make the pope smoke dope. It’s like nothing I do is ever good enough! So what if your water supply is going to be irradiated with Thorium? Or your super-duper smart 20-As kid wasn’t given a scholarship? Or food prices have skyrocketed beyond your income? I don’t give a toss. Haven’t you been reading? I’ve got my own problems man, don’t give me yours. Anyway, Lord Bobo, sorry if I got carried away there. My question is – when should I call this AGM to ensure that I am reelected? @Prez
Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing email@example.com, stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!
news 15 June 10 — 12, 2011
MP: Remember relevance of dumpling festival
Santiago with participants of the dumplingwrapping competition.
By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: Youths got a reminder of the history, traditions and relevance of the dumpling festival last Saturday. “The history of this festival tells a story about a minister dying while fighting corruption in China. So let this festival be a mark of respect and a reminder to fight corruption,” said Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago. The story was retold to everyone present during the launch of both the colouring competition for children and the “bak chang”-wrapping competition. He urged them to help spread the origins of the dumpling festival, and expressed hope that youths will place importance on maintaining traditions, especially the art of making dumplings. “I was shocked to know that youths don’t know how to make the dumplings, and they take it for granted that they can just buy [them] in stores,” said Santiago. He added that only participants aged 50 and
above were seen signing up for the dumplingwrapping competition. Santiago said he is worried that the rich culture and tradition of this festival will fade away if the older generations do not pass on their heritage to future generations. However, there to prove him wrong was 37-year-old Ann Ong Sang, who was teaching her daughters all about “bak chang”. “I joined this competition to teach my daughters the importance of carrying on my traditions and culture which were passed down by my ancestors,” she said. Together with 10 other senior ladies, Ong raced against the clock to wrap as many dumplings as she could in an hour. Ong, from Kajang, felt that the competition should be encouraged as a family event so that children can have fun while learning more about the history of the festival. Meanwhile, 90 children aged four to seven were seen exercising their imaginations in a colouring competition. The children were split into two groups, and were equipped with boxes of colouring stationery that lined the tables. “I’m excited to be here and can’t wait to colour,” said Low Xin Yan. The seven-year-old girl was joined by her five-year-old brother, who loves colouring as much as she does. “They have been taking art and craft classes since the age of four, and the classes are usually the highlight of their week,” said Khoo Sook Leng, their mother. Children working hard during the colouring competition.
SUBANG JAYA: High tea has never been as fashionable as Sunway Pyramid’s fashion month of May, which treated contest winners to an exclusive fashion preview finale on May 28. For three weeks from May 6, shoppers who spent RM500 and above were eligible to enter two contests, High Fashion High Tea M a k e ov e r and We Pa y Yo u r Shopping Bills & Shopping Spree. Shoppers who spent RM1,000 and above were entitled to redeem two free makeovers, which qualified them to drop their receipts into a box to earn a chance to win free shopping sprees. “These contests act more like a reward programme as we foot their shopping bills, which range from RM1,000 to RM2,000. [Plus], who wouldn’t want a free makeover?” quipped Phang Sau Lian. The marketing director of Sunway Pyramid said this programme wouldn’t have been successful without the support of the shopping centre’s retail stores, which sponsored the event. In a lucky draw conducted by Sunway, 20 winners walked away with shopping bills worth more
‘Dream’ contest for Selangor bloggers By Alvin Yap
SHAH ALAM: The state has launched a blogging contest titled Selangor My Dream State. Participants need to start their own blogs, spruce them up with multimedia content, and start writing creatively on what Selangor can do to be the perfect place to live in. “The contest gives the public, especially youths, the space and opportunity to express their hopes and aspirations for Selangor,” said state executive councillor Dr Halimah Ali at the launch on Tuesday. Halimah said the contest is aimed at promoting positive use of the internet. She said as the blogs will also be seen by international readers, bloggers should write in both English and Bahasa Malaysia. The winners will be selected based on content and how many visits or “hits” they receive.
The contest is open to Selangor residents, with entries closing on Nov 4. The competition is organised by the state government and Universiti Selangor’s Faculty of Industrial and Information System. The contest has three categories: highschool students, tertiary students, and an open category for the public. A total of RM16,300 has been allocated for the top three winners of each category as well as other consolation prizes. According to the Communications and Multimedia Malaysia Commission’s market research, Selangor has one of the highest share of internet usage in the country. A 2008 report cited broadband usage in the country per 100 households at 33.2%. In 2009, usage was reported at 49.1%, a 15.9% increase from 2008.
High-fashion high tea than RM1,000 reimbursed. “We targeted two winners a day for two weeks, and the remaining receipts in the draw box were left for the grand-prize draw,” said Phang. Phang added that the total cash pri z e va lue wa s wor th o ver RM100,000. The grand prize winner of the RM20,000 debit card was Hassnah Wee, who would later be accom panied by former Miss Malaysia 2005 Chermaine Poo on her exciting journey of purchasing a new wardrobe. “Although I’m not shopping for myself, it is exciting to see how Hassnah is going to spend all that money,” said Poo. Poo, in the role of celebrity stylist, said she would be giving Hassnah fashion tips as well as advice on which styles suited her best. Having been a beauty queen and a fashionista herself, Poo added that she was impressed with this year’s high fashion finale, which was held at Gardens Lifestyle Store & Cafe, as it imitated the foreign gardens where fashionable tea
parties are held. Also present was Alice Tan Choy Foong , the high-tea makeover winner. The 30-year-old mother looked stunning as she walked away with RM2,000 cash vouchers and the most number of online votes after having two makeovers done at Sunway Pyramid. “After spending RM1,000, I went to redeem the free makeover as I needed it for a photo shoot which I was supposed to take with my son. Then I was asked to enter the [makeover] contest,” said Tan. Right after the first makeover, Tan was one of the 20 shortlisted contestants who had their photos uploaded into the internet and opened for voting. “I could not believe my friends would go all out to support me by getting all their other friends to vote for me as well,” said Tan. Receiving 596 votes, Tan was crowned the makeover girl. Along with Tan, 300 other shoppers also redeemed free makeovers.
Models parading the latest Marks and Spencer collection.
Hassnah, with Phang on her left, holding her new debit card.
news 16 June 10 — 12, 2011
State hosts inaugural Wesak celebrations
By Alvin Yap
SHAH ALAM: Selangor hosted Malaysia’s first-ever state-level Wesak celebrations with Buddhist groups here on Sunday evening. Some 2,000 devotees packed the Dewan Jubli here for a medley of song and dance performances in an event organised jointly by the state administration and Buddhist groups. “The Buddhist community is glad that Selangor has taken the lead in recognising Wesak Day as an official state event,” said organising chairperson Loka Ng Sai Kai at the opening of the event. He pointed out that more than 45 Buddhist organisations had signed up to make the inaugural event a reality. Echoing Ng’s statements, Datuk Teng Chang Khim congratulated the state government for making the religious event an official celebration. The state assembly speaker said
the move demonstrated that the Malaysian populace consisted of different cultures and practices. Critically acclaimed groups Dua Space Dance Theatre and the Temple of Fine Arts wowed the audience with their exquisitely choreographed dances, while vocal group i-gemz sang a selection of meditative songs. Earlier, guest of honour Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the state government recognised that houses of worship like Buddhist temples required land for construction or extension. “I recently went to the Kota Kemuning Buddhist temple for a Wesak Day event. It was crowded due to more adherents born into Buddhist families,” the Menteri Besar said. He pointed out the state administration had allocated RM3 million in 2010 for the maintenance of temples in Selangor. He said Buddhist temples are
(From left) Teng, Khalid Ibrahim and Loka Ng.
also tourist attractions, and cited the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen temple in Jenjarom, 60km south of Kuala Lumpur, as a main attraction for domestic and international visitors. Khalid praised Buddhist groups for carrying out relief work in the aftermath of natural disasters, and mentioned groups that helped out during the recent landslide in Hulu Langat.
Record-breaking achievement in Klang KLANG: The Selangor Photo Heritage Carnival was held last Saturday to mark the Royal Town’s entry into the Malaysia Book of Records for having the longest photo collage. Measuring 181 metres, the collage along the Kota Bridge was a joint effort between the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) and Photo Creator Publication. The 237 photos depict scenes taken from across the nine administrative districts in Selangor. “This celebration carried out through the lenses of various cameras is inspiring and innovative. I am delighted by this new achievement,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: Licences to trade at this year’s Ramadhan bazaars can now be obtained from the Klang Municipal Council (MPK). From Monday ( June 6), MPK has designated counters in its licensing department to handle applications from traders. Food sellers can get application forms from Counter 20, while Counter 19 is for traders of other goods. “It is important that applicants know that they are only allowed to apply for one booth at the Pasar Ramadhan,” said Ikhsan Mukri (pic). The MPK secretary warned that licences will be revoked if vendors are found to have two or more booths operating under the same name. Ikhsan also pointed out that vendors are not allowed to rent or
Buddhist devotee offering prayers.
By William Tan
Registration for Ramadhan stalls now open
The Menteri Besar completed the collage by inserting the last photo. Danny Ooi, president of the Malaysia Book of Records, was on hand to witness the occasion. Numerous activities were held during the carnival for families and photography enthusiasts, such as a colouring competition for children, the Heritage Walk Photo Hunt, and numerous talks on photography, with fireworks closing the event. Vendors selling the latest gadgetry and accessories were also present. “It is my hope that this event will inspire both photography enthusiasts and tourists alike to explore the uniqueness of this city,” said Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din, general manager of Tourism Selangor. The crowd included photography hobbyist Ng Yon Yong, who took
sell their space to others. “There shouldn’t be any sales or rental of booths going on between vendors. Only MPK can rent or sell booths to the public,” he said. This year, 50 different locations have been earmarked for vendors to sell food during the fasting month. However, to obtain the licences to trade, vendors have to firstly comply with guidelines issued by the council. For instance, food handlers will have to be vaccinated with the Typhoid vaccine (TY2) before licences will be issued, to ensure food hygiene.
Ng Yon Yong, photography hobbyist.
part in the carnival’s photo hunt. The 17-year-old student, who has been pursuing photography for the last year and a half, said it is the only way to “freeze time to capture that special moment forever”. Ng said his preferred shots were macro shots – close-up pictures of small objects – and that his personal favourite was that of a spider he had captured on film, with its eyes and hairs clearly visible. Another hobbyist was engineer Goh Cheok Kuan, 36, who said photography is one way to share memories and special moments. Goh, who has been pursuing the hobby for the last four years, said he enjoys taking pictures when travelling, and his personal favourite was that of the Statue of Liberty in the United States.
Khalid (centre) and state exco Elizabeth Wong displaying the certificate marking the record-breaking feat in Klang on April 4, with Danny Ooi on left.
food 17 June 10 — 12, 2011
Leisurely affair at The Pink Sage By Gan Pei Ling
e checked out American-style diner The Pink Sage at Solaris Dutamas in Kuala Lumpur on a Sunday afternoon. The restaurant was originally situated at Capital Square, but moved to its current location in March. Located on first floor, The Pink Sage has a relaxed ambience, and customers could be seen chatting, reading and surfing the internet at its bar. The restaurant serves a variety of beverages from alcoholic drinks (wine and bottled beers) to soda and fresh fruit juices. We recommend its signature smoothies like yogurt and house shakes with HäagenDazs ice-cream. The kiwi passionfruit mango smoothie (RM13.90) and Honey Crunch House Shake (RM14.90) were heavenly. The best is to enjoy the drink while reading or catching up with friends. If you are a coffee or tea person, you can also find a selection of regular choices like latte, mocha and cappuccino. During daily “happy hour” from 4pm to 7pm, all house wines and house cocktails (except Prosecco) are at a discounted price of RM14.90 per glass. In addition, a bucket of Tiger beer (three bottles) is sold at RM29.90. The Pink Sage also offers popular all-day breakfast dishes such as toasts and omelettes until 6pm. Customers who order two breakfast items on weekdays from 9.30am to 11am will get the lower-priced item on the house.
Cooked with smoked salmon and spinach, the cast pan omelette (RM14.90) we ordered was passable. We were more impressed by the spicy Man Burger (RM26.90) and c h i c ke n f a j i t a t a c o s (RM21.90) recommended by staff. Ser ved with beef, chopped jalapenos, fries and coleslaw in wasabi, the Man Burger is a musttry for spicy food lovers. The chicken fajita taco is made with well-done marinated chicken breasts and goes down well with the salsa source, pickled radish and refried beans. Overall, the restaurant offers a wide range of burgers, sandwiches, tacos and quesadillas, pastas, soups and salads. For dessert, there is an assortment of pies, cakes and puddings. We decided to give its Banoffee pie (RM10.90) a go. Made of banana, cream and condensed milk on crumbled pastry, the Banoffee pie proved a delightful finale to our meal at The Pink Sage. You can check out The Pink Sage website at www.thepinksage.com.
The Pink Sage Diner & Pantry A4-UG-01 Solaris Dutamas 1 Jalan Dutamas 1 50480 Kuala Lumpur Apart from The Pink Sage, various cuisines from French, Italian to Japanese can be found at the growing commercial hub of Solaris Dutamas. We highly recommend you to check out the place if you are around town, but be prepared for a much lighter pocket after meals.
Growing from strength to strength
By Brenda Ch’ng
SHAH ALAM: Alternative voices championing freedoms and causes continue to be heard at Pekan Frinjan, the monthly muster of local experimental bands and progressive writers at Laman Budaya. Last Saturday, 28-year-old self-published writer Aisa Linglung was among the scribes present to promote his book. “I want to inspire other youths through my writing and make them be mindful of community issues and politics,” said Linglung. The engineer took up writing as a hobby after receiving comments from followers about everyday issues that he blogs about. With overflowing comments and support from his fans and followers, Linglung Rocking it up at Pekan Frinjan. decided to publish a book to reach out to more people. industry for as long as a decade, they still His book contains short narratives com- struggle to find an accommodating platpiled from his blog about his life experi- form to sing their views. ences and motivational stories. “In previous months, I find that the He is looking to write a second book that youths are not responding well to those touches more on community and social bands because the issues they sing about are issues. still too sensitive for them to comprehend,” Joining him were seven bands, who said Zulhabri Supian. performed songs that touched on politics, The Frinjan Community event coordirace and religion. nator said the youths are not exposed to Although some have been in the music these issues enough to be comfortable yet.
So to strike a balance, they invite a few local bands who sing general songs to complement the other experimental bands. However, they hope that with the frequency of this event, more youths will come out and join them in their fight for social reform. They want youths to be able to see this event as a platform to share their fresh ideas and help rejuvenate Shah Alam into a lively cultural city. Honey Crunch House Shake.
FICTION 18 JUNE 10 — 12, 2011
The Hunchback of Kampung Pinang
Fiction by Ong Kok Meng
20 years ago. When her only son died due to stroke, Ah Por ins a child, Yen had always been fascinated by the advertently became dependent on her daughter-in-law, story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Little Ah Ngiong. She was mistreated by Ah Ngiong and her did she know that she would meet an actual three grandchildren, who found her to be a nuisance. humpback woman right in her own neighbourhood. They shunned her because of her grotesque size. ChilSitting on a swing hanging from an old starfruit dren can be cruel. tree, Yen could see an old woman going about her So Yen made it her responsibility to care for Ah Por. daily chores. She was pitifully humpbacked, the bong- Yen usually bought Federal Bakery bread and cakes kok udang type. Her grey hair was tied into a bun. She from the Indian roti seller on a motorbike in the late was dressed in a traditional attire of navy-blue samfoo afternoon. She would rush into Ah Por’s partially and black pants. She walked barefoot. Her gait was timbered house, bearing the bread and cakes. “This is slow but steady. for you,” Yen would tell her in Hainanese. Yen continued to observe the humpback woman, Ah Por would look at Yen questioningly with Ah Por, as she fetched water from a well. Ah Por pro- her beady eyes. Seeming to understand her body ceeded to wash her clothes. Once her chore was done, language, Ah Por would reach out both hands to she retreated to her easy chair on the front porch, accept them. cooling herself with a straw fan. She then indulged in Yen never went to Ah Por’s house empty-handed. her favourite pasttime, betel chewing. She sometimes brought bottles of Hai-O essence of According to word of mouth, the humpbacked chicken. This continued for a few weeks until Ah Por woman’s life had been difficult. Back in her home- passed away. She died of old age. She was sitting in her town in Hainan Island, China, she had been bru- favourite chair on the front porch as usual. Her eyes tally stabbed in the back by a group of brutes armed were closed. Her family thought she was fully asleep. with knives. It was a most brutal, unprovoked attack. Her body, however, had turned cold. The knife went clear to the bone. The brutes left her The mortician donned silver earrings in her ears and to die. But she lived. With her only worldly posses- a silver bracelet on her wrist. It was believed that by sions of a jade bangle and a pair of heavy gold ear- wearing accessories, Ah Por would be recognized as a rings, she fled to Malaya. rich man’s wife, and this would give her a better standA foreman took pity on her and offered to let her ing in the otherworld. work on a plantation as a rubber tapper. The price of Ah Ngiong organised an elaborate wake for Ah rubber then was cheap, and the pay was little. From Por. Her soul would be guided home by a tall white the stories she heard, Yen concluded that it was so candle that burnt all night long. Family members, much tougher to tap rubber trees than to mine for relatives and friends from the spirit world were intin. One had to collect latex from one tree to an- vited to the wake with the consent from the underother, mix the latex with toxic chemicals, and roll world god. Yen did not attend Ah Por’s wake because them to form slabs. she was only a child. In her mind, Yen pictured Ah Por waking up in Fear skittered down Yen’s spine during Ah Por’s the wee hours of the morning. With the carbide lamp wake. She had the irrational, movie-inspired fear that on, she would walk to the still, dark plantation. Back Ah Por would return as a ghost. Yen was young and in those days, the dangers of being mauled by tiger, did not know better. The old humpback woman reattacked by wild boar and bitten by a snake were ever ally touched a nerve that went deep in Yen’s young life, present. just as Quasimodo did. At the age of nine, she was Yen learnt that Ah Por, an illiterate woman, had struck by an emotion she could not pinpoint. lived in Kampung Pinang, an ex-mining village, for No life is untouched by death. Ah Por’s death was over 30 years. Ah Por was clearly a broken and for- a sober reminder to Yen that “youth is sunny, old age saken woman. Her husband had died in an accident has no honey”.
MP wants review of ‘lopsided’ IPP deals By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: Charles Santiago is urging the government to review the unfair agreement made between Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and Independent Power Producers (IPP). “After reviewing, TNB should consider buying over all IPPs to stop the power hike from going up any further,” said the Klang MP. He reiterated that the government should start doing their part and focus on subsidising the consumers and not IPPs. “All terms agreed on between the two parties were very lopsided and unfair to the consumers,” he said. One of the terms in the agreement stated that TNB has to purchase all excess electricity generated by IPPs even if they do not need it. This in turn causes rates to increase from time to time, profiting the IPPs and burdening consumers. “This is terribly unfair because when TNB cannot afford to pay off the 40% excess of power produced, that leaves the consumers responsible
for footing the bill,” said Santiago. He added that the agreement highly favoured the IPPs, and that it is time for new agreement, “one which is fair and favours all parties”. The agreement was made after a major blackout in 1992, and IPPs were introduced to prevent future blackouts. IPPs were brought in by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) after TNB’s plans to build power plants in Pasir Gudang and Paka were shot down. “We were supposed to be working with IPPs, but there weren’t any negotiations done. We were harassed, humiliated and talked down every time we sat and talked with EPU,” said Tan Sri Ani Arope in an interview in The Star’s Business section in June 2006. The former TNB executive chairperson added that the terms given by the EPU during their meetings were all predetermined and not up for discussion. When he disagreed with the unfair terms and refused to sign the contracts, he was immediately forced to retire.
Take 5 minutes to fill this form up and drop it off at the nearest police station to have regular checks at your house while you are away. Ibu pejabat Polis Daerah Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815 Borang maklumat Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk bercuti. Kepada Kawasan Pentadbiran Balai Polis .............................................................................................. Butiran penduduk: Nama: .................................................................................. Alamat: ................................................................................. .............................................................................................. .............................................................................................. Nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................ Nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................ .............................................................................................. Tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................ Tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ........................................... Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar kenderaan). 1. .......................................................................................... 2. .......................................................................................... 3. .......................................................................................... Lain-lain maklumat: ..............................................................................................
Have you checked your electrical switches before leaving home? Before leaving your home for a holoday, have you checked all your electrical switches and turned off your gas tanks?
Call the SS17 Bomba for advise at
Travel 19 June 10 — 12, 2011
The green concept is nothing new; humankind has always been trying to achieve peaceful co-existence with Mother Nature. LIN ZHENYUAN ascends to an upper sphere to learn the secrets of natural creation
Green sanctuary on the rooftop
number of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur residents who frequent 1Utama shopping centre probably know that there is a rooftop zone called the Secret Garden. But not that many people are interested in walking around a 2,787sq m (30,000sq ft) high-tech sanctuary on the weekends because those are the only days when the garden is open to the public. The green sanctuary is 35 metres from the ground and boasts about 500 species of flora. It is a place of undisguised delight for nature lovers and those who love gardening. Never mind the heat and a bit of humidity; a walk on a rooftop garden is always good for any person. The Secret Garden at 1Utama is one of the jewels in the crown of the 400-hectare Bandar Utama residential estate. Students of botany and those who have a deep interest in garden plants and other flora would be surprised to find some species of plants growing rather well in the secret garden. Among them: star calathea, cannas, crotons, thunbergia grandiflora, begonias, alpinia purpurata, and the red passiflora. Malaysia has an equatorial climate, so certain temperate plants, should not be able to grow in our soil and under our climatic conditions. But the Secret Garden has defied the so-called laws of nature. There is a wide variety of temperate and tropical plants growing luxuriously in bio-carbon soil, although individuals who have an indepth knowledge of botany and soil will know that it is actually granulated horticultural carbon. The person responsible for this magical kingdom is Dr Francis Ng. He and his his team of experts have been nurturing this garden for years. The Secret Garden was officially opened on April 26, 2009. Dr Ng is a consultant botanist The garden overlooking Taman Tun Dr Ismail across the road. who was the deputy director-general of the Forest Research Institute shopping complex. There is also the Utama, and some sections of PJ is of Malaysia from 1986 to 1990. He Rainforest area in the heart of the clearly visible. The atmosphere is even better holds a PhD from Oxford Univer- shopping mall that complements the in dusky conditions when the sun sity and is an author of several rooftop garden. The Rainforest zone has a differ- is hidden behind the shifting publications, including Tropical Horticulture and Gardening, and ent concept from the rooftop gar- white puffs of clouds. The air is The Tropical Garden City – Its Cre- den because it has koi ponds, a much cooler and more conducive suspension bridge, and foliage that for leisurely strolls along the ation and Maintenance. His expertise and experience in blend in seamlessly with the cafés, winding narrow paths on the botany have been a very significant restaurants and aquariums in and rooftop. There are strategically placed factor in the continuing success of around the area. From the rooftop, the view of seats for a visitor to take a breather the rooftop garden. The Secret Garden of 1Utama is the sprawling residential estates of and examine closely the exotic not the only spot of greenery in the Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bandar plantlife.
Climbers lend a hand in giving shade to visitors.
A pleasant rest area for those who want to pause and gaze.
Information about the plants is provided on display boards and little signs here and there. The pergolas that adorn certain parts of the garden give the entire area an air of sublimity and tranquility. Visiting hours are from 10am to 6pm. I understand that a visitor Amazing colours of Mother Nature’s grandest creations.
Slabs of cement steps guide visitors on their journey of exploration.
will need to obtain a pass from the customer service counter. Admission is free. Bring along a camera, and perhaps a hat as well. But don’t pluck the flowers, as it would be too embarrassing to explain to the guard that “little accident”.
TECHNOLOGY 20 JUNE 10 — 12, 2011
The online world is full of internet nasties. Here’s a guide to how to stay safe By Edwin Yapp
y last column on Facebook security prompted me this week to delve a little deeper into online security in
general. In today’s day and age, it’s very unlikely that you don’t have at least one PC or laptop in your home. If this is the case, you can’t get away from the fact that you need to protect your machine from security breaches, which can occur even if you don’t connect to the Internet, through file transfers such as using your USB memory stick. In a nutshell, there are three major classes of Internet security threats: viruses, malware, and threats such as phishing and spam. Viruses are computer programs that copy themselves into hard disks to destroy data, seize PCs, and make them run very slowly. Viruses normally travel from file to file and are arguably the least threatening of the three categories. Malware includes trojans, worms, adware, dialers, spyware, backdoors, and keyloggers. All these are self-replicating programs and purport to be something else, but in reality are malicious programs. For example, a malware file may claim to be an MP3 file but in reality is a keystroke logger that’s designed to capture your username and passwords. Malware differs from viruses in that they do not infect other files but instead create copies of themselves and spread over e-mail, for instance. They are highly infectious and often work without the user knowing they are there. Phishing is a technique that uses fraudulent e-mail and website links that seemingly originate from well-known companies to dupe consumers into divulging personal information such as bank account details and credit card numbers. Spam, on the other hand, bombards your e-mail inbox and floods it with emails that are often attached with malware. As mentioned briefly in my last column,
both these threats use social engineering methods that do not directly atta c k y o ur PC hardware or software, but instead prey on users’ insecurities about online activities to achieve their goal. All antivirus software basically comprise a scanning engine that checks all files on a PC, compares them with a database of known virus patterns and flags the infected file accordingly. Therefore, the effectiveness of an antivirus program is only as good as how current these pattern files are, and whether the vendor has managed to detect the threats that are out there on the internet. Most antivirus software ranges between RM100 andRM220 for a single user licence. However, there are also free antivirus solutions in the market, which cost you nothing to use. Your options
Because of the nature of these threats, many antivirus vendors have bundled several different programs together in order to help users have a complete one-stop protection for their PCs. This includes antivirus, anti spyware, anti spam, and a firewall, which make it harder for hackers to scan your internet connections or to conduct unauthorised programme startups. Still, it’s good that you shop around to see what meets your needs as you do not neces-
sarily need to have a bundled package to keep your system free of viruses and online threats. Always doublecheck to see if you’ll be using all the features in the product suite and that they are not merely marketing gimmicks. At the very least, start by getting yourself a good antivirus and antispyware program as these are the very basic software that you must have. Most e-mail service providers today have built-in anti-spam filters, so this component may not be as important for you to consider. Next is to ensure that your antivirus solution is well recommended by authoritative security researchers by checking independent websites such as AV Test.org to verify their effectiveness. After doing so, try and test the product, as most companies allow you to download a scaleddown or a time-limited, tryout version of the software via their websites. Test to see if the user interface is not too complicated and whether the antivirus software slows your PC in any way before deciding if you should buy it. If you’re a home user and
do not want to invest much in an antivirus solution, you can always try free antivirus solutions from reputable companies. These companies allow you to download their solutions for free and for the most part give you enough of the basic protection you need. Examples of the types of activities are realtime scanning, virus removal, and automatic virus pattern updates. Should you want more protection, you can always upgrade and buy the solution online. The difference between any free piece of software and commercial software is how well the company supports your needs. These include e-mail support, web online manuals, and regularly updated virus signature updates. One last thing to note: If you’re a Mac user, do not assume that there isn’t any malware that targets Macs. While it’s true that there are fewer viruses and malware out there targeting Macs, your machine isn’t entirely impervious to attacks. Most major vendors also do stock antivirus packages for Macs today. Some of the most common names in the antivirus game are Symantec, Trend Micro, F-Secure and Sophos, and some free ones include Avira and AVG.
Family day to foster closer ties By Alvin Yap
SUBANG: The Bandar Sunway Residents Association (BSRA) held their first-ever family day last Sunday to foster closer ties among neighbours in PJS 7 and PJS 9. “We’re here to get to know [one another] in the spirit of being neighbours,” said R Manivasagan. The BSRA president hoped to encourage more of his neighbours to join the association, so that issues affecting all of them could be raised collectively to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ). The 49-year-old managing director also thanked the police for supporting the event by setting up a “get-to-know-you” booth. He said there has been a drop in snatch-theft cases because of community policing involving the resi-
dents and the police. Inspector Muniandy Rethiah, from the USJ8 police station, said residents could call his personal mobile phone to alert him about crime in the area. He also urged residents to call in suspicious activities so that police could act immediately. Firefighters from the SS17 Fire and Rescue Department were also on hand to conduct a fire-safety demonstration for the 150 participants at the event. Retailers in the area donated mineral water and attractive prizes for a lucky draw, while there was entertainment provided by Banana the clown. MPSJ councillor Edward Ling praised the organisers for creating the event, saying that the family is the most important unit in any
community. “We support initiatives like this,” he said, and pledged RM2,000 to BSRA to cover expenses incurred in holding the family day. Fellow councillor Rajiv Rishyakaran said BSRA had played an important role in providing feedback on infrastructure and development issues in the area. The Zone 3 councillor represented Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, who is on maternity leave after delivering her baby on June 1. He said Yeoh had pledged RM4,000 from her state assemblyperson’s allocations to BSRA for the function. Rajiv called on residents to think about strategic planning in the USJ and Subang Jaya area. “What are the top three priori-
Police community booth run by USJ 8 personnel.
ties that you think MPSJ should tackle?” he asked the participants, saying that the local council should reflect what the ratepayers want in their community. Zone 9 councillor K Arumugam also said ratepayers must voice out their support for or objection to
infrastructure development in the community. Arumugam, who is an engineer with a law degree, said councillors must look into larger issues like traffic flow, which he described as a hot issue in Puchong, USJ and Subang Jaya.
Media 21 June 10 — 12, 2011
Premium semi-Ds at Subang Bestari SHAH ALAM: The soft launch of Worldwide Holdings’s premium semi-detached houses in the developing township of Subang Bestari, Shah Alam U5 attracted a fair crowd last Saturday. Priced at RM1.23 million and above, 11 of the limited 26 units have already been sold. Worldwide Holding s chief executing officer Datin Paduka Norazlina Zakaria said the semi-detached Delima is the developer’s third development project in Subang Bestari. “Delima means ruby in English. This is one of our premium property projects,” Norazlina told the press at the launch. Based on a tropical contemporary theme, Delima comes with four main rooms and bathrooms as well as autogate point, security alarm system, solar hot water shower system, shower screen, and a year of free security services. Two types of built-up are available: Type A at 2,912 square feet. and Type B at 3,012 square
feet. Land size ranges from 3,200 to 11,000 square feet. Located five minutes away from Kota Damansara and 15 minutes from Subang Jaya and Shah Alam, Delima is expected to be completed in two years. Around 70% of the construction has already been completed. The leasehold property is located near major highways such as the New Klang Valley Expressway, Sprint Highway and North-South Highway. Future developments around the area include an MRT station and the main campus of Help University College. The Petaling District Office also moved to Shah Alam U5 a few months ago. Most of the buyers come from Kota Damansara, Subang Jaya and Sungai Buloh. Worldwide Holdings is a subsidiary of Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS). Bumiputera buyers will receive a 7% discount.
Shahrir bags PKNS photo contest SHAH ALAM: To encourage community building and promote its project in Kuala Selangor, the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) held a photography competition recently, which ended with a Photo Hunt. Photographers were asked to use their imaginations to capture captivating images of Taman Bayu Alam, Taman Malawati Utama, and the surrounding areas of Kuala Selangor. While the entries for the main competition was received from April 29 to May 21, the Photo Hunt contest was held on May 29 at PKNS’s show house in Taman Bayu Alam.
The main competition was won by Shahrir Saadun, who took home a Canon PowerShot G12 and RM500 cash for his efforts, while the Photo Hunt was won by Mohd Rizal. The panel of judg es consisted of S ha m s ha r i n S ha m s u d i n ( Eur o p e a n Pressphoto Agency), Che Ahmad Azhar (Specialist Faculty of Creative Multimedia), and PKNS sales manager (Northern Area) Idris Ishak. In conjunction with the competition, PKNS donated RM3,000 and the total entrance fees collected (RM800) to the Al Hidayah Al Taqwa orphanage in Ulu Langat.
Shahrir (left) receiving his prize.
Cars 2 excitement at Sunway Pyramid
SHAH ALAM: Fans of the animated movie Cars will be thrilled to know that Sunway Pyramid has feature d star racecar, Lightning McQueen, and his incomparable tow truck friend, Mater, at the LG1 Pyramid Concourse during the current school break. In collaboration with Walt Disney, Sunway Pyramid is all set for the sequel, Cars 2, which is expected to hit cinemas in late August. The shopp ing ma l l ha s transformed its main concourse into a Cars World Grand Prix setup. In addition to the vibrant Cars 2 displays, the shopping mall has also scheduled many exciting activities for children at the concourse such as a sushimaking workshop, Cinnabon and pretzel-baking workshop, colouring contests, craft-making workshop, storytelling sessions, and performances by the Clap & Tap Chamber Orchestra. To add to the excitement, the shopping mall has also arranged exclusively designed Grand Prix on Feet for kids. In the Grand Prix on Feet competition, children have to go through
obstacles and race one another during the weekends. The winner of each heat would be competing in the Grand Finale this Sunday. “We are glad to be able to collaborate with Walt Disney to bring in Cars 2 to our mall. The first movie was quite a big hit, thus we were very excited to have the opportunity to feature the sequel. “The animation is a familyoriented movie which ties in very well with our profile of shoppers, [the majority of whom are the] family crowd,” said Sunway
Pyramid’s marketing director Phang Sau Lian. The shopping mall also has rewards for shoppers during this Cars 2 Speedy Holidays period. Shoppers who spend more than RM300 in two receipts will receive a free Kindori ice-cream, while those who spend RM500 or more in three receipts get an additional TGV movie ticket. Fans of Cars can head over to Sunway Pyramid to take pictures with Lightning McQueen and Mater from now until June 12.
Participants of the pretzel-baking workshop.
Gallery 22 June 10 â€” 12, 2011
Launch of the state-level Wesak celebrations with the lighting of lotus candles at Dewan Jubli in the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building in Shah Alam last Sunday.
UPSR top scorer Nurul Khaleesah Roslen receiving a certificate and RM60 cash from Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) general manager Othman Omar. On his left is PKNS Persatuan Kebajikan Pekerja-Pekerja chief Lokman Abd Kadir, and on his right is PKNS Badan Islam president Ibrahim Surib. PKNS annually rewards their staffâ€™s children who excel in public exams and tertiary education.
Magic show by Banana the clown during the Bandar Sunway Residents Association first-ever family day last Sunday.
Participants of a cooking competition rush to complete their dishes within 45 minutes in a contest held as part of a fundraising event in Shah Alam on April 4.
This photo collage on the Kota Bridge is 181 metres long and consists of 237 photos, making it the longest photo collage on a bridge in Malaysia, taken on April 4 in Klang.
Visitors reading information on three different types of apartment units available: 700, 750 and 800 square feet. Selangor is building 124 units of affordable apartments for young families, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and the hardcore poor in Bandar Baru Bangi.
CULTURE 23 JUNE 10 — 12, 2011
By Nick Choo Compiled by Nick Choo firstname.lastname@example.org
PAUL Philbert is the section principal timpanist and a founder member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO). A graduate of Trinity College of Music in London, he studied timpani, percussion and composition, and in the course of his professional life has performed with many reputable ensembles including the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony and Welsh National Opera. Now he collaborates with Malaysian-born ensemble Hands Percussion in their upcoming concert Ri Yue Chu Yin. He speaks to Selangor Times on his experience working with Hands, and his opinions on Malaysian traditional music. You are a prominent part of the MPO. How did you get involved in this Hands Percussion concert? I’ve known Bernard Goh, the artistic director of Hands, for a number of years, and we have long discussed the possibility of working together. Unfortunately our combined schedules never agreed until the Dewan Filharmonic Petronas KL Seni Fest last October featured a concert titled Joining Hands with the MPO. This one-hour, all-percussion concert featured alternating performances from the members of Hands and the MPO percussion section. It was shortly after this that Bernard asked me to write a piece specially for Hands. Early this year we agreed that a special rearrangement of my composition Life Cycle would be the best fit. How similar or different was it to compose a piece for this concert, compared to the music you usually perform (presumably classical or perhaps “Western” a lot of the time)? This particular piece is a rearrangement of a composition I originally wrote in 1994, and draws on the influence of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass while being fused with Latin American rhythms and a counterpoint (of
Writers Unlimited Kuala Lumpur/ Makassar Tour 2011 June 10-12; various venues; contact Bernice Chauly at 012-3230929
sorts). I would have to say that most, if not all of the compositional techniques employed in my piece can be found in classical, jazz, and even pop music. What are your thoughts on traditional Asian music such as the gamelan, which also involves a percussive element? Have you explored Malaysian percussive instruments such as the rebana? I’ve always had an intellectual interest in the Gamelan, but I would have to confess that my love for it has only been awakened recently. I was fortunate enough to be invited to take part in a concert collaboration earlier this year with another excellent group of Malaysian musicians, Rhythm in Bronze. That whole journey was a wonderful revelation for me, and I’m really looking forward to working with both Rhythm in Bronze and Hands again in the future!! As for the rebana, I’ve watched a few short performances, but am yet to have an immersive hands-on experience. What are your personal thoughts on the work Hands Percussion has done, as a Malaysian-born percussion group? I have been a great admirer of the artistic product of Hands Percussion for many years now, and I’ve always relished the opportunity to experience the fully immersive quality of their performances. Now that I’ve seen how committed and hardworking they all are behind the scenes, my admiration grows stronger still! They are constantly in search of excellence and thoroughly deserve a place of prominence on the world stage.
• June 11, 10.30am and 2.30pm: Reading and panel discussion moderated by Amir Muhammad and Umapagan Ambikaipakan; Annexe Gallery @ Central Market, Kuala Lumpur; free admission. Including book launch at 12:30pm by FIXI: Kasino by Saifullizan Tahir. • June 10th, 10.30am: Reading at Experimental Theatre, Taylor’s University, Lakeside Campus, Sunway. Free admission. • June 12th, 8.30pm: Reading and music at No Black Tie, 17 Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur. Free admission.
Qum: Kebangkitan (Mimos) Theatre; June 10-12; Stor Theater Dewan Bahasa Pustaka; 013-2768260; RM10 Triple bill comprising Ash: Debu Cinta, a mime performance that tells the story of a supermodel looking for the love of her life; Pondok Tok Ayah, a monologue about a ghost who lives in a house occupied by Tok Ayah and his wife; and Nasi Lemak 10 Sen, an experimental piece and consolation prizewinner in the Kakiseni Kakiscript 2nd Playwrighting Competition 2009 – “a story about nasi lemak, the greatest dish ever created in Malaysia!”
Various; June 14-19; Actors Studio @ Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur; www.theactorsstudio.com.my, 03-2142 2009, RM10 A fusion of artists, ideas and performances in this bi-monthly experimental series. This month’s line-up: Strumming to a Different Tune featuring Ian Chow, Devon Chew and Priscillia Xavier (June 15, 8.30pm); Monti & Logi Open Mic Comedy Hour (June 16, 8.30pm); 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 Exhibition; June 7-19; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 03-40479000, www.klpac.org; free admission
Ri Yue Chu Yin: The Birth of Hands Percussion Gamelan
Concert; until June 12; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 03-40479000, www.klpac.org; RM48-RM128 Special guest performers Eight Mallets Percussion joins Hands in this collaborative concert billed “an exciting journey to celebrate the unity of Armour and Skin”. The first half will consist of seven pieces performed by the world-class percussion group from Beijing, while Malaysia’s own Hands Percussion will perform three pieces in the second half: rearrangements of Makan, which premiered at the World Gamelan Festival in July 2010; Redha; and Life Cycle, a composition by guest composer and MPO percussionist Paul Philbert. The concert will culminate with an exciting new piece performed
A three-day event incorporating readings, panel discussions and a visit to a local university. This small literary festival, which started in 1995 in the Netherlands, has the potential to invigorate and inspire many who write, think and enjoy discourse. Featuring touring writers Abeer Soliman (Egypt), Dipika Mukherjee (India/Malaysia/USA), Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/ USA), Gunduz Vassaf (Turkey), as well as Malaysian writers Dain Said, Chuah Guat Eng, Kee Thuan Chye and Uthaya Sankar SB. The theme is Writing the truth – fact or fiction?, and writers will discuss their works as intersections of history, politics and autobiography. “Is fiction ‘the lie’ that can help us get to ‘the truth’? Or do we rely on fact as truth to then fictionalise new versions of the truth?”
by both groups. Hands Percussion was founded by Bernard Goh and Eric Ch’ng in 1997 out of a desire to make Chinese drumming more artistic and creative, and has evolved into a group that studies different percussion cultures to incorporate multiethnic sounds and beats in its performances. Hands has performed extensively in the local arts scene and in corporate events, and has travelled the world, collaborating with international groups and performing in various events and arts festivals.
An art exhibition presented by Malay Singaporean artist Syahidah Osman Cawley. “The works cover about a 10-year period in her life. Many of the pieces are of the people closest to her, particularly her husband and eldest son, Ainan. This reflects the composition of the family … she has striven to speak of the inner quality of her subjects in each piece.”
Rock Scissors Shadow Boxer Dance; June 15 & 16; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre; 0340479000, www.klpac.org; RM35/RM20 “Three choreographic works about a game that cannot be won.” Featuring Noord Nederlandse Dans, a contemporary dance company based in Groningen, the Netherlands. Rock is choreographed by Roy Asaaf; Scissors and Shadow Boxer by Noord Nederlandse Dans artistic director Stephen Shropshire.