p 12 – 13 - Selangor Times
Outrage over Rental
Take a walk
12 – 13
June 24 — 26, 2011/ issue 30
FIRE-FIGHTING TRAINING: A Petaling
Jaya SS2 resident learns how to put
out a fire during their neighbourhood
Health and Safety Day last Saturday
as members of the Fire and Rescue
Department keep a close eye nearby.
• Story on page 16
By Alvin Yap
Selangor to battle
Alam Flora in court
SHAH ALAM: Alam Flora Sdn Bhd's application for a judicial review on Selangor's decision to
end their cleaning concession contract and return
operations to local government will be challenged
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said he regretted the move
by the company to stop the state and local authorities
from continuing to hold open tenders for the cleaning contracts.
"We are considering filing a
counter suit as we feel that Alam
Flora's actions have ulterior motives,
and was done to sabotage the state
and local councils' efforts to increase efficiency and quality of
service to ratepayers," said the Menteri Besar on Wednesday.
The waste management concessionaire had filed the judicial review
Speaking after an executive counat the Shah Alam High Court on
June 10 and had obtained a stay cil meeting, Khalid said Selangor
has appointed its own lawyers to
order pending their application.
Selangor has already consulted represent the state and local governits State Legal Advisor and lawyers ments to ask the High Court to
who gave an opinion that the waste challenge Alam Flora's application
management company does not for a judicial review.
Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) and Shah
have legal grounds for a judicial reAlam city councils (MBSA) as well
view and will seek to set it aside.
as the municipalities of Subang Jaya
(MPSJ), Klang (MPK), Kajang
(MPKj) and Selayang (MPS) received stay notices last week.
Alam Flora is attempting to stop
the Selangor government from
handing over cleaning services to
local councils, as was the practice
prior to 1998.
Prior to a federal privatisation
exercise, local councils handled their
own cleanliness and maintenance
The state's decision to hand back
the tasks to local governments to
handle their own cleaning services
is expected to save up to RM20 million on commission fees.
MPK made history this year
when it announced a RM10 million
surplus in its 2010 budget after taking over garbage management from
Alam Flora last year.
Khalid pointed out that Selangor
was committed to providing the
most efficient and transparent cleaning services to ratepayers.
A MBPJ councillor, who asked
to remain anonymous, said local
government should not be dictated
by a private company.
“Councils and municipalities
constantly get the rap from ratepayers over shoddy cleaning and garbage collection,” the councillor said.
"But we have little control over the
company that is handling these
The councillor also said local
governments are responsible towards ratepayers as the former collect assessments to provide crucial
Meanwhile, several local councils
in Selangor are continuing to shortlist new contractors to handle street
cleaning services to ensure that there
is no disruption of service.
Alam Flora, however, had declined to comment on the matter.
“As you know, a judicial review
was filed in court. We will leave it to
the court to decide,” the Alam Flora
official told Selangor Times.
June 24 — 26, 2011
To place your Advert in
Contact Timothy Loh 019-267 4488,
Ivan Looi 014-936 6698
due to shortage
SHAH ALAM: Water levels at all dams remain high as the
state maintains Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) only
have themselves to blame for the supply disruption affecting
“I want to stress to residents in affected areas that the
disruption is because of maintenance work by Syabas and
not because of inadequate water supply,” said Elizabeth
Wong on Wednesday.
The water concessionaire had claimed that ongoing
negotiations on the restructuring of Selangor’s water
services industry had made itdifficult for the company to
redistribute supply from other plants to areas affected by
But this has also been refuted by Wong, whose portfolio includes consumer affairs.
“The statement made by Syabas blaming the water restructuring negotiations is not accurate since the privatisation of water began in 1997. Syabas has not carried out
upgrading works of water treatment plants since that
Syabas announced the cut on Tuesday which affected
parts of Kuala Lumpur, Gombak, with Petaling and Hulu
Selangor districts mostly affected.
It told residents to stock up on water to last the 48-hour
cut that began Wednesday morning and is projected to
last until this morning.
Wong is urging the Ministry of Energ y, Water and
Green Technology to review Syabas’s ability and efficiency in managing the state’s water supply.
Shah Alam and Putrajaya are deadlocked over the restructuring of the fragmented water services industry,
which was privatised in the 1990s.
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
phone (603) 5510 4566
fax (603) 5523 1188
email [email protected]
Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling,
Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng
COPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang
Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
Open burning culprits
to face legal action
SHAH ALAM: Anyone who continues to conduct open burning in Johan
Setia and other parts of Selangor will
have to face the full brunt of the law.
Elizabeth Wong said under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, culprits
can be jailed for up to five years and
fined up to RM500,000.
The executive councillor said Selangor Department of Environment (Doe)
has been instructed to strictly enforce
“The state will not tolerate those who
conduct open burning as the activities
destroy our quality of life,” said Wong.
Wong said the firm stand is needed
to combat the reccurring problem.
She pointed out that the agricultural sector was taking advantage of the
dry period to practise open burning to
clear vegetation or fertilise the soil.
Three locations in the state have been
identified as hotspots.
Two are located in Klang - Johan
Setia and Bandar Puteri Klang. The
other is on federal land which has been
leased out to an agricultural company
Doe has been reminding the public
against conducting open burning in the
wake of the haze problem.
In mid-May, the Air Pollutant Index
(API) reading carried out by Doe
around Selangor had reached “moderate” to “unhealthy” levels.
At one point, Port Klang recorded
an “unhealthy” level with its API reaching 104.
Doe head Datin Paduka Che Asmah
Ibrahim recently said the public should
not conduct open burning during dry
spells as it would worsen the haze.
Councils urged to make
Selangor more disabled-friendly
By Brenda Ch’ng
PETALING JAYA: All local
governments have been ordered to
set up technical committees to make
Selangor more disabled-friendly.
To date, only the Petaling Jaya
City Council (MBPJ) has formed a
technical working committee to
oversee disabled facilities.
“We will make sure all councils
adopt the barrier-free zone initiatives
for the disabled community by year’s
end,” said Ronnie Liu.
The executive councillor for local
government said it was also important for all councils to start building
more disabled-friendly facilities that
could also be used by senior citizens.
Among improvements being
suggested are ramps for buildings,
toilets for handicaps, disabled facilities at banks, tack-tiles as guiding blocks for the blind on streets
and easy to access public transportation.
“It is crucial that these improvements be carried out with urgency,
especially improvements in public
transportation,” said Liu.
He also urged councils to provide free transportortation for the
At present, MBPJ has two vans
to transport the disabled around the
city during weekdays.
A seminar titled “Creating a
Barrier Free City: Challenges and
Approaches in Selangor” was organised by MBPJ yesterday ( June 23)
to spur councils to move forward.
Representatives from other
councils, non-government organisations (NGOs), members of the
disabled society and the public attended the seminar.
Liu launched the seminar with
MBPJ mayor Datuk Mohamad
Roslan Sakiman and local councillor Anthony Siva Balan.
“It is time the public and government did more for the disabled,” said
Roslan also introduced a communication aid book filled with
useful signages to help the disabled
get around the city.
The book will be given free to
disabled people in Petaling Jaya.
Anthony (left) and Roslan presenting a token of appreciation to Liu.
Free travel on Latar
Expressway for now
KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala
Lumpur-Kuala Selangor (Latar) Expressway was officially opened yesterday, and will
remain toll-free until Aug 31.
Motorists from towns like Puncak Alam,
Shah Alam, Bukit Jelutong, Sungai Buloh,
Kundang, Rawang and Selayang are expected to benefit from the new highway.
Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu
Mansor opened the highway.
The highway’s toll booths at Templer’s
Park, Kuang East/Kuang West and Ijok will
start charging rates on Sept 1.
Class I or private vehicles will be charged
RM2, Class II vehicles (with two axles and
five to six wheels; excluding buses) RM4,
Class III vehicles (with three or more axles;
excluding buses) RM6, Class IV vehicles
(Taxis) RM1 and Class V vehicles (Buses)
The newly-completed 33km dual-carriageway starts near Templer’s Park, Gombak, and ends in Ijok, Kuala Selangor.
KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway Berhad
(KLSEB) has received a 40-year concession
to operate Latar.
KLSEB chairperson Datuk Mohamad
Razali Othman said the idea to build Latar
was mooted 15 years ago.
However, the project was halted due to
the 1997 financial crisis. It was resumed in
“In providing the north-west region its
own road network and interchanges, commuters will experience faster travel,” said
KLSEB chief executive officer Amran Amir.
Latar will provide an alternative to congested roads like the Middle Ring Road 2
(MRR2) and the FT54 (Jalan Sungai Buloh-Kuala Selangor).
The expressway will also provide access
to Guthrie Expressway, Plus North-South
Highway and the future West Coast Highway.
The Templer’s Park interchange at Exit
2508 will enable motorists from KL, Rawang and Selayang to arrive at the other end
of the expressway in only 18 minutes.
Those travelling from Sungai Buloh,
South Rawang, Damansara and Kuang can
enter Latar through the Kuang interchange
at Exit 2506.
Latar also provides easy access to Puncak
Alam, Alam Jaya, Kota Puteri, Desa Coalfields and other towns in Kuala Selangor
through the Puncak Alam interchange at
The Ijok interchange at Exit 2501 along
Latar also provides easy access to Ijok, Assam Jawa, Kuala Selangor, Kampung Baru
and Bestari Jaya.
Two rest stops have been built on both
sides of the expressway with facilities like
toilets, surau, eateries, picnic spots and
Latar is also equipped with CCTVs,
traffic control devices, emergency telephones every two kilometres and a 24/7
traffic control centre, apart from having a
24-hour patrol team.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 24 – 26, 2011 ⁄ 3
24 - 26 JUNE 2011
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June 24 — 26, 2011
Kelab Syabas: Rental
rates not high
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: The private
operator of PJ Palms Sports Centre
has refuted claims it charges high
The new management of former
Kelab Syabas said the rental is to
recoup the RM4.2 million investment that was spent to refurbish the
“We created a new look for the
place to make it more family-oriented. We’ve placed new signages, installed new canopies and laid new
flooring for our tenants,” said codirector David Solomon.
Solomon was clearing the air over
allegations that his company, Sepang
Mekar, is charging his tenants high
rental since it took over PJ Palms
early this year.
Solomon pointed out that he had
offered to renegotiate a lower
amount after hearing their complaints.
Two tenants, Waikiki Bar, a pub,
and a barbershop called Barber Joe,
have complained that the new management’s policy to charge RM4.50
per sq ft rental space has caused a
threefold increase in rental.
Waikiki Bar has to pay over
RM19,000 instead of the usual
RM5,000, and Joe, which used to
pay RM500 monthly rent, now has
to pay RM1,800.
They brought up the matter to
Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee, who says rental at PJ
Palms is too high.
Lee also claimed that MBPJ was
leasing the 30-year-old club to
Sepang Mekar at 11 sen per sq foot.
Solomon said he had offered to
lower Barber Joe’s rental to
RM1,500 a month.
“He asked for 24 hours to consider it. But he never responded to
the offer after that,” said Solomon.
He said Waikiki currently occupies the largest floor space in PJ
Palms, and after consideration, was
given a discount over non-rent generating space.
Solomon said he did not charge
rent for some 1,000 sq ft as a result.
“I measured the storage room
area and other utility spaces and did
not charge them for the area,” he
Solomon said he still wants to
extend the olive branch to Waikiki
and Barber Joe by offering instalment plans for them to pay their
“We can still sit down
and discuss terms,” he said.
Me a nwh i l e , M B P J
councillor Richard Yeoh
said Sepang Mekar is guaranteed a tenancy of 12
years made up of four
three-year terms based on
the council’s appraisal of
Sepang Mekar’s performance.
Yeoh also said the rent
was based on a set figure of
RM15,000 per month and
not at “11 sen per sq ft” as
The swimming pool that was upgraded by Sepang Mekar at a cost of RM1.2
He also said Sepang
Mekar investors had to recoup the Mekar was chosen as it
capital investment of RM4.2 mil- offered to turn the club
into a “family-friendly”
Yeoh explained that MBPJ would club.
get to keep the upgraded facilities
“The tender process
consisting of a swimming pool, was carried out in an
squash courts, indoor cricket hall open and transparent
and other amenities at the end of the process. It was also vettenancy agreement period.
ted by councillors durHe said it is not feasible for the ing the full board
sub-tenants to pay the same rental m e e t i n g s h e r e a t
as it had done in the past as rental MBPJ,” he said.
prices in the city had increased.
He said previous
He further said that the terms operators had failed to
and conditions of the tenancy agree- maintain the eightments had been recommended by lane Olympic-size
the city council’s committee on swimming pool, and
privatisation and investment.
also turned the premHe pointed out that out of six ises into a gambling Solomon describing the swimming pool
pump and filter as “state of the art”.
bids for the open tender, Sepang den.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ June 24 – 26, 2011 ⁄ 5
Open For Sale
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
June 24 — 26, 2011
The Centre for Environment, Technology and
Development Malaysia (Cetdem) will hold their
Hari Organik 2011 tomorrow (June 25). The event,
sponsored by Tesco, will feature environmental talks,
demonstrations and games at Tesco Kepong Village
Mall. The fair will start at 8.30am and end at 2pm. Entry
is free. For more details, call 016-219 5826.
The Malaysian Sudoku Society is calling senior citizens
to join its monthly sudoku session, 1Sudoku. Sudoku,
a stimulating mental arithmetic jigsaw puzzle, will be a
challenge for all. The session will be held at the Senior
Citizens Association clubhouse at Bangunan Secita,
4A, Jalan SS5D/6,
Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya on Monday (June
27) from 9am-10.30am. Admission is free. For more
information, contact 019-311 8147 (Lim) or 012-234
The National Stroke Association of Malaysia (Nasam)
will hold a fundraiser carnival called “Carnival at the
Park” on Sunday (June 26) at Taman Jaya, Petaling
Jaya. The proceeds will help fund Nasam’s operational
costs. From 9am-3pm, there will be a wide variety
of food and games. For details, call 03-7956 4840
Free health congress
Basic Health & Beauty Sdn Bhd is organising a health
congress on July 3 from 9am-5pm. They will be giving
away 36 free tickets for the Ultimate Life & True Health
Mastery Congress. Two renowned coaches, Dr Udo
Erasmus and Volker Kutscher, will talk about health
secrets. Tickets are on a first-come-first-served basis.
The event will be held at Level 4, Dewan Wawasan,
Menara PGRM, 8 Jalan Pudu Ulu, Kuala Lumpur. Call
03-6272 9316 for free tickets.
Parenting2u will hold a talk titled ‘Smart Parents’ on
Sunday (June 26) at Columbia Asia Hospital Cheras
from 9am-1pm. Parents will be taught skills and given
tips on how to handle their child during emergencies.
For more information, call 03-9086 9999.
Cheer for in-line hockey teams as they compete at
the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) In-Line Hockey
tournament today (June 24) and tomorrow from 8am.
The tournament will take place at Kompleks Rakan
Muda Arena in Jalan Selangor, Petaling Jaya.
The Students’ Society of the Faculty of Veterinary
Medicine (Veternak) and Zoologico Club University
Putra Malaysia (UPM) will hold their 15th annual
Dogathon on Oct 2. Proceeds will go to a welfare
project called “Pro-Kasih” to raise awareness of
neglected animals. The event will be held at Bukit
UPM from 7am-2pm. Activities include a 2.5
kilometre dog and master run, catch and fetch, hide
and seek for owners and dogs and much more. For
more details, contact 013-3792124 (Nur Afiqah) or
012-3205065 (Ms Lee) or email [email protected]
Cycling for health
The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is
promoting healthy lifestyle through their monthly 10-15
km cycling race on Sunday (June 26). The event is held
on the last Sunday of every month. The route begins
on the MPSJ field and passes through Persiaran
Kewajipan, Persiaran Kemajuan and Persatuan Tujuan
before ending at MPSJ. Everyone aged 12 and above
is encouraged to participate. For more information, call
MPSJ’s public relations department at 03-80264469.
Decentralise to spur
By Basil Foo
KAJANG: Decentralising power from
the federal level will enable the states to
create their own fiscal policies and
hence spur growth and turn the economy around.
“There should be an independent
Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPIs) in
the various states in Malaysia,” said economics professor Dr Woo Wing Thye.
Economic competition between the
states will enhance policy making, said
Woo during a dinner talk entitled “The
Global Economy in 2012: What Implications For Malaysia” on Wednesday.
He told the 500-strong crowd, which
included councillors from local governments, that states could improve by
learning from each other.
“Each state should come up with its
own method of solving problems like
traffic jams and industrialization. When
there is a successful method, other states
will follow,” he said.
Woo said the competition of ideas
Woo: Each state should come up
with its own method of solving
among states through fiscal decentralization was being practiced in China which
is experiencing staggering growth.
Woo, who has advised the US Trea-
sury Department, the International
Monetary Fund and the United Nations,
said Chinese provincial governors were
motivated to perform.
“Provincial governors in China were
promoted according to the development
level and successes that their provinces
achieved,” he said.
He stressed that policymakers could
not carry out “business as usual” if they
seek a return to the high growth that
Malaysia enjoyed in the 90s.
Woo called upon policymakers to
learn from the successes of other countries within South-East Asia.
He said while other countries are
adapting to the current challenges, Malaysia still maintained age-old policies
on the pretext of social stability.
Woo said the idea of following old
policies was not rational.
“Any business that does that would
by now would be bankrupt,” he noted.
Also at the talk was Kajang Municipal
Council (MPKj) president Datuk
Hasan Nawawi Abdul Rahman.
Night walk in aid
of special children
PETALING JAYA: Moved by the plight of children with total number of disabled
learning disabilities, a team of volunteers is organising a in Malaysia, which is also
candlelight walk to spread awareness of their condition.
the highest percentage in
“The event is to help children with learning disabilities who most countries,” said
face a lot of stigma in society,” said organiser Rebecca Jane Mary Chen.
The editor of Chal The educator, who works with children with learning dis- lenges, a cross-disability
abilities, said the 60-minute candlelight walk, dubbed “A Silent national magazine, said
Walk In The Night”, would be held at the mall’s Central Park this group needed emon July 2.
powerment through in“We want to tell the parents out there that there is still hope,” creased advocacy work.
she said at a press conference in One Utama on Wednesday
Registration fee for
Central Park will be infused with a carnival-like atmosphere the event is RM10.
with band performances, games, face paintings, magicians, kids
Singer Reshmonu will Rebecca: Promoting advocacy
dance activities, and an autistic children’s choir.
also take part in the canAlso performing will be recording artiste Brian John Yim, dlelight walk.
who was a trainer for the nation’s first autistic children’s choir.
Prizes will be awarded to those with the most creative lights.
“It was a very rewarding experience, although I had to repeat
Participants are encouraged to bring their own candles,
my instructions several times to teach them. Every time I watch torches or lanterns.
their performance video, I still
cry,” he said.
Organiser Neena Raina,
whose son attends vocal training under Yim, said she had
seen parents who were embarrassed about having children
with learning disabilities.
“To educate [these] parents, we will have consultants
to give guidance,” said Neena.
Booths will be manned by
speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and other specialists in
the various conditions marked
under learning disabilities.
Some of the disabilities
include dyslexia, attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD), Down’s syndrome,
“People with learning dis- (Seated L-R) Chen, Rebecca, Yim, and Neena (right) with other organisers and
abilities make up 45% of the volunteers of “A Silent Walk In The Night”.
JUNE 24 — 26, 2011
Taman Gembira appeals for
By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: Hourly police patrols have been
suggested to address complaints from Taman
Gembira residents here who want a safer
“Tighter safety measures need to be taken
immediately because residents are complaining
about daily snatch thefts and house break-ins,”
said M Manoharan.
The Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson made
the proposal after listening to pleas from residents on Saturday.
He said police need to be more active in
patrolling the neighbourhood because residents
no longer feel safe in their homes.
Residents had also raised fears of motorcyclists who attack residents walking around the
“Almost everyday residents tell me about
crimes happening. It’s sad to see the absence of Manoharan joining in at the gotong-royong
police officers despite the daily reports on attacks here,” said Tony Ahmad, chairman of Taman Gembira
Apart from crimes, these youths prowl the streets at night
and litter the area with bottles, cigarettes and rubbish.
The 63-year-old resident hopes police will help keep residents
To help turn the neighbourhood into a more conducive ensafe and reduce the increasing crime rate in the neighbourhood. vironment, a “gotong-royong” was held before the dialogue.
Apart from snatch thefts, residents also complained about
Over 100 volunteers from the Nichiren Shoshu Malaysia
hooliganism and rowdy behaviour of youths.
Buddhist Association took part in the cleanup.
“Every night, these youths will come into the neighbourhood
Also present were the Klang Municipal Council (MPK)
and cause a racket. They also speed and ride dangerously during representatives and local councillor Robert Choo.
the day,” said Tony.
On Monday, Manoharan wrote to the Klang Selatan police
He hopes the police will take this matter more seriously and chief to request hourly patrols and “Ops Payung”, where policemake it their priority to keep the residents here safe.
men are stationed at hotspots in the area.
TI backs Bersih 2.0
SHAH ALAM: Transparency International
Malaysia (TI-M) has come out to support civil
society organisation Bersih 2.0 and their call for
clean, free and fair elections.
“TM-I strongly supports the call... as should all
members of the public and civil society, regardless of
“Election results must truly reflect the wishes of
The statement was issued by TI-M president Dr
Paul Low and secretary-general Josie Fernandez
The transparency watchdog also called for
swift action against all allegations of vote-buying
and called for campaign offences to be spelt out
clearly to assist the Malaysian Anti-Corruption
Commission (MACC) in carrying out their responsibilities.
“It is imperative for the Elections Commission
(EC), as the first step, to define clearly what’s illegal
and what’s not.”
Since 2009, TI-M has been conducting research
and organising workshops on reforming political
financing in Malaysia.
As a result, 22 recommendations for reforms in
political financing were compiled and submitted to
the Prime Minister on May 5.
Their recommendations included enhancement
of the autonomy and independence of the EC, establishment of a neutral caretaker government after
elections are called and equal and fair access to media
for all political parties.
JUNE 24 — 26, 2011
Outraged over cleaning services,
but divided over barriers
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Sea Park residents are split over security barriers in their neighborhood, but unanimous in their
discontentment with Alam Flora contractors.
The community raised their ire over both issues at a town
hall meeting here last Sunday.
On hand to listen to their grouses were Kampung Tunku
assemblyperson Lau Weng San, PJ Utara Member of Parliament Tony Pua and Petaling Jaya City Councillor (MBPJ)
Resident Michael Cheang, 55, said residents at Sections 20
and 21 were inconvenienced because the streets in the neighbourhood were closed to traffic.
“Does the law allow boom gates, oil drums and other structures to close public roads?” asked Cheang.
Homemaker Ivy Soon said foot traffic was also restricted
because the side lanes are blocked by security barriers.
She said residents had to walk a complete block to get to
the next street instead of using side lanes before the barriers
However, some residents at Section 21 said the authorities
are not doing enough to ensure ratepayers’ safety.
Resident Jasmine Ng dismissed her neighbours’ claim that
barriers inconvenience the residents, saying safety and security were more important.
Ng wants the Section 21 Residents Association (RA) to
consider creating a guarded and gated community there.
She claimed that she did not feel secure in the neighbourhood as there were more migrant workers residing in the area.
“From midnight to around 3am, I hear the wailing of police
sirens in the area. I also hear people walking the streets around
that time,” she said.
Similarly, Tan Ah Heng said people used the side lanes to
travel around the housing area before barriers were erected.
He pointed out that there were many cases of snatch thefts
in the alleys and side lanes, but the situation has improved
since barriers were erected to block off foot traffic.
Tan said residents who complained about the inconvenience due to these barriers refused the accept the reality that
safety and security were more important.
(from left) Section 21 Sea Park RA chairperson Gan Keng, Pua, Lau and Anthony fielding questions from residents.
Pua said if residents can obtain 75 per cent approval from
residents over the plan, the city council should approve it.
“However, the plan should be reasonable. Do not close
roads at 3pm, for example,” he said.
On Alam Flora’s performance, residents were unanimous
in expressing their disappointment with street cleaning and
garbage collection in their area.
Mary Lau, a 30-year resident at SS21, expressed her frustration with street cleaning services in her area.
“Alam Flora has not done a good job at garbage collection and street cleaning over the past 14 years,” the homemaker said.
Lau said she had to lodge numerous reports with the waste
management concessionaire to get their contractor to clean
the streets thoroughly.
Similarly, 52-year-old managing executive Denis Cheang
said the trucks belonging to Alam Flora contractors are badly
Campaign to help farmers improve
By Tang Hui Koon
TANJUNG KARANG: Easy-tofollow guidelines by the Selangor Agriculture Department are being distributed to paddy farmers to help improve
their harvest and their livelihoods.
The state is targeting to increase rice
production from an average of 5.5
tonnes per hectare to 7.5 tonnes per
hectare by 2013.
“The increase [in yield] will raise the
farmers’ income to over RM1,500 a
month,” said executive councillor
Yaakob handing over a calendar to farmers on Tuesday.
Yaakob Sapari on Tuesday.
Yaakob, whose portfolio includes
agriculture, said up to 9,000 farmers in Selangor would Agriculture Department director Ahmad Zakaria
benefit from the campaign to raise awareness of the Mohamad Sidek to improve paddy yields.
importance of pest and disease control.
Ahmad Zakaria said the department would organ“Attacks by pests such as rats, snails, bugs and dis- ise programmes, including hands-on training, gotongeases can reduce the yield to only three to four tonnes royong, pesticide usage and safety course, for farmers.
per hectare,” said Yaakob.
The department will also focus on training younger
He said farmers who have followed the guidelines, farmers to take over from their elders.
which include cultivating their lands according to a
Yaakob said agricultural initiative is one of the six
recommended planting calendar, have improved main projects under the Selangor economic stimulatheir yield.
tion package from 2009 to 2013.
Sowing, fertilizing and using pesticides according
He also encouraged farmers to apply for land titles.
to the specialised calendar have resulted in farmers With the state’s new RM1,000 premium relief
increasing their production to between 11 and 14 scheme, those who qualify for land titles but could
tonnes per hectare.
not afford the hefty premium can now secure a title
Yaakob was launching a campaign with Selangor by just paying RM1,000.
maintained with waste water leaking from the vehicles.
“It leaves a trail of smelly water through our neighbourhoods every time they come to our area,” he said.
Lau said cleaning and garbage collection contractors are
not appointed by the state or local councils.
He pointed out that the authorities are powerless to act
against the contractors as only Alam Flora as the management
company could only do so.
Lau said MBPJ could only forward ratepayers’ complaints
to Alam Flora.
“What my office can do is to collect and compile the arguments to be forwarded to MBPJ or direct to Alam Flora,” he said.
Jeyaseelen said residents should cooperate with MBPJ by
detailing their grouses against the cleaning and garbage collection contractors.
“Note the time and date as well as the licence plate of the
truck and operator,” he said.
Adopting Islamic values
in the arts
By Brenda Ch’ng
SHAH ALAM: The Malaysian
Islamic Scholars Association of
Selangor (PUM) held a colloquium last Saturday to explore how
the state’s art and culture sector
can be improved.
“The arts scene here should
change to reflect Islamic cultures
and traditions,” said Dr Mohd
Roslan Mohd Noor.
The PUM secretary-general
said the Islamic way of life should
be explored and incorporated into
film, writing and song.
He said the local arts scene has
failed to portray Malaysia’s way of
life with local artists adopting perspectives and cultures from foreign
countries for their productions.
“If we do not start incorporating
Malaysian flair into our local art
industry, we will soon forget our
values and lifestyles and start
adopting foreign cultures,” he said.
He told the colloquium at the
state secretariat that this change
had to be done to help the Islamic
arts industry grow.
Representatives from local
councils also had an opportunity
to share their ideas on how to improve the art industry.
These ideas will be compiled and
used as proposals on how the arts
industry can be channelled towards
Islamic culture and tradition.
June 24 — 26, 2011
MBPJ rolls out
By Alvin Yap
By Basil Foo
SHAH ALAM: The Petaling Jaya City
Council (MBPJ) has made it more convenient for residents to make payments to the
local council with the launch of its mobile
“Residents of Petaling Jaya are able to pay
their assessment rates, parking fines, and
renew their business licenses at the mobile
office,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
The Menteri Besar spoke to reporters
during a press conference after the monthly
meeting of government departments here
He said the mobile office would offer
services which are similar to those already
offered at counters in the local council’s offices.
“The mobile office even has a numbered
waiting system where visitors can press a
button on a machine to receive a number
indicating their place in line,” he said.
Khalid, who was at the launch of the “Mr
EZ Pay MBPJ” mobile office on Sunday, said
the vehicles even came with free Wifi service,
accessible by those around it.
He added that the vehicle would be making its rounds in residential areas and markets throughout the city soon.
“The vehicle was modified by the MB-
MBPJ’s new mobile office.
PJ’s mechanical and electrical unit using an
existing lorry belonging to the council,”
said MBPJ public relations officer Zainun
Zainun said that the mobile unit has four
counters, laptops, a television, CCTV, airconditioning, a water dispenser and generator.
She added that the vehicle will be manned
by six MBPJ employees from the Treasury,
Valuation and Property Management and
Having started its operations on Monday,
the mobile office will hit the streets every
weekday from 9am to 4.30pm, and will also
be stationed at MBPJ functions.
SHAH ALAM: The state has approved a RM7.7
million supplementary allocation in addition to
an existing RM2 million budget to improve lowcost flats in Selangor.
“The amount is now RM9.7 million, and it
gives us the means to refurbish and repair more
low-cost projects in the state,” said Iskandar
Samad on Wednesday..
The state housing executive councillor said
the state will bear 80% of the maintenance costs
of upkeeping the lifts, roofs, amenities and
sewerage systems of low-cost flats. Owners
need only pay the rest.
The Cempaka assemblyperson said 70 lowcost developments will benefit from the funds.
Low-cost developments must fulfil a list of
criteria, including having a registered joint
management body, to qualify for the scheme.
Managements must also have good financial
records for six months.
As many as 50,000 families were relocated
to low-cost flats from 2000 to 2008 under
former Menteri Besar Dr Khir Toyo’s Zero
The state has embarked on giving a new lease
of life to dilapidated low-cost flats in Selangor
by partnering the private sector as part of its
Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
Recently, Petaling Jaya City Council
(MBPJ) partnered a private company under a
pilot programme to refurbish the Taman Maju
Jaya flats at PJS 3.
MPAJ Councillor: Dorothy Cheong
By Basil Foo
AMPANG: Preventing loss of lives or damage when
trees collapse is among the many responsibilities of
The two-term councillor with the Ampang Jaya
Municipal Council (MPAJ) says the problem with
overgrown trees which are not maintained has raised
the ire of residents. “MPAJ is making an inventory of overgrown trees
so that tree trimming exercises can be carried out every
three years,” she says.
Cheong, who oversees Pandan Perdana, Taman
Cheras Indah, Taman Maju Jaya and part of Taman
Kenchana, says residents fear these trees can collapse
any time due to strong winds.
She points out that residents in Taman Cheras Indah have also complained that trees along roads there
are too close to their homes.
“Our last trimming exercise was in 2008, the next
one will definitely be this year. We are just deciding on
which month,” she says.
Cheong has also received a lot of complaints on
She says the problem is mostly due to the people’s
attitude, especially in Taman
where piles of
even be seen under signboards
rubbish contractors are fed
up with having
to see another
pile of rubbish
appear the following day after
clearing up the
area,” she laments.
But she assures residents that the council will be
hiring new contractors after taking over cleaning operations from Alam Flora next month.
Cheong, who works as a district manager in her
own insurance agency, says her councillor’s job, while
fulfilling, comes with its own sacrifices.
Sand theft allegations refuted
PUCHONG: The Petaling District Office has refuted allegations
of illegal sand mining at Taman
Kinrara 5 lake.
“Following our investigations,
we found there has been no sand
theft, only activities of filling up the
lake,” said Yahaya Hasan during a
visit to the site yesterday ( June 16).
The Petaling District Office
chief assistant officer said the lake
developers have a permit from the
Federal Territory Land Office to fill
up the lake.
He added that the project has
also been approved by Subang Jaya
Municipal Council (MPSJ).
“We are just covering up the lake
to build low-cost houses and shoplots in the future. What people saw
on television was [something else],”
said Chin Loong Sang.
The project site supervisor, who
also visited the site, was referring to
a TV3 report on June 14 which
alleged that illegal sand mining was
being carried out at the lake.
He said it would take about five
years to convert the 24m deep lake
into land. Work on the former mining pool started four months ago.
“We got the title for this land 20
years ago. This is a private-owned
lake that covers about 39 hectares,
including the surrounding land,” he
Kinrara assemblyperson Teresa
Kok, who was at the site, said she
had received many complaints
from Taman Kinrara 5 residents
about allegations of illegal sand
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June 24 — 26, 2011
New lease of life for
By Gan Pei Ling
Iskandar (left) and Jagjit visiting the abandoned apartments.
Selangor Menteri Besar Tan
Sri Khalid Ibrahim says Yayasan
Selangor and the nursery operators need to hire their own engineers to assess whether the
nursery operations pose a risk to
the underground water pipelines.
At first glance, it appears to be a
conflict of interest.
This could lead to problems later
when the respective engineers of
both sides submit their reports to the
state government. If the reports
contradict one another, it could lead
to an impasse just like the Teoh Beng
Hock episode. The engineer employed by Yayasan Selangor could
slant a report favourable to the
foundation, especially when Yayasan
Selangor is keen to take over the
Greenlane Horticultural Nurseries,
a stand opposed by the nursery operators.
Similarly, the engineer representing the nursery operators could
come up with the report that contradicts Yayasan Selangor’s report,
when it is common knowledge that
a favourable report will
mean the green light for Yayasan
Selangor to take over the place. As
such it would be better for the state
government to appoint a qualified
independent engineer to look into
this problem not only in Green
Lane, but also other areas, and submit a comprehensive and neutral
report to win the confidence of both
The pipelines are not facing any
immediate danger as the nursery
operators are mindful and careful
about the risks involved, having
utilised the place for the past 12
years. In various other pipeline reserves around Sungai Buloh, Selayang, Kepong, Subang and Shah
Alam one can find used car businesses, parking lots and even small
industrial factories operating there.
It must be noted that railway lines,
highways and major roads cross the
pipelines without incident so far.
GOMBAK: Abandoned more
than a decade ago, Gombak Villa
will be revived by new developer
Koperasi Penternak dan Pengimport Ternakan Malaysia Bhd (Koternak).
Its chairperson Jagjit Singh said
they will complete construction of
the 222 apartment units within the
next 12 months.
“The three blocks of apartment
were 80% completed, [we estimate
that] it will take RM17 million to
complete the remaining 20%,” said
Jagjit on Tuesday.
The project was started in 1997
but abandoned by the now defunct
AGA Development Sdn Bhd in
Jagjit said Koternak bought over
the housing project from Maybank
at RM17 million.
He said 110 out of the total 222
apartment units were already sold,
at prices starting from RM140,000,
Jagjit said original purchasers will
not be required to top-up but the
remaining unsold units will be sold
from RM260,000 per unit based on
the current market prices to new
There are two types of apartment
units available: 1,300 square feet
and 1,400 square feet.
Four penthouses of 3,800 square
feet and four shop houses will also
be built. The penthouse will be sold
at a starting price of RM600,000.
Jagjit said Gombak Villa will
come with various facilities such as
24-hour security, swimming pool
and other sporting facilities, convenient shops, surau etc.
He expects most of the residents
to be staff and students from the
International Islamic University
Malaysia as the campus is located
less than 10 minutes drive away.
Selangor executive councillor
Iskandar Samad, who was also present at the site on Tuesday, said
Koternak will have to get new approvals from the various authorities.
“They have to make sure the
buildings’ structure is still intact and
stable…and comply with all the bylaws and building regulations,” he
Iskandar, whose portfolio includes housing, said the developer
must also ensure that the retaining
wall is stable enough as the apartments are built on a hill slope.
Iskandar added that the state will
allow the new developer to pay the
outstanding assessment rates
amounting to more than
RM100,000 accumulated over the
years in installments.
Disabled still waiting
for financial help
I am an OKU (PH:/12/05/
10/001638), and have been receiving financial assistance from
Jabatan Kebajikan Masyaraka
( JKM) for the past two months.
I was involved in a motor accident in Sabah on April 29, 1994
when a logging truck ran over the
taxi I was in. My right forearm
was badly injured. I have lost
more than 70% use of my right
forearm which caused me to lose
I have registered with JKM for
assistance. I understand JKM
pro vi d e s a b o ut R M 2 , 7 0 0 RM3,000 for people like me to
start small businesses. I have submitted all the documents and
started a RM500 initial investment on a mobile phone reload
programme in March/April.
However, the long waiting period for JKM to disburse the
money will affect my RM500
start-up investment. Where is the
financial assistance when I really
Already suffering from poverty
and needing money for my college-going children, I urgently
need help, but it is not forthcoming from JKM.
I cannot be relying on the
government and JKM for RM150
a month in financial assistance
I am getting very discouraged
and depressed. Waiting any longer
will not only kill my business
plans, but the enthusiasm to excel
in business as well.
Bonaventure Philip Sungka
The abandoned apartments.
Loans for children of civil servants
SHAH ALAM: Selangor is setting
up a RM5 million education fund
for children of its civil servants to
pursue their studies.
“We have found that many public
servants have financial problems
when it comes to financing their
children’s education,” said Tan Sri
The Menteri Besar said the fund
is a token of appreciation from the
state to civil servants who have
made sacrifices to ensure that the
state administration remains
efficient, transparent, prudent and
He announced this to 2,000 state
employees during a monthly
assembly at the state secretariat on
Khalid said profits from the
state’s sand-mining revenue, which
amounted to RM24.47 million in
2010 and RM7.1 million as of this
year, will be used to set up the fund.
“We want to return profits of the
state’s resources to the people,” said
He said another scheme aimed at
rewarding the public involved
taking senior citizens over the age of
60 on free shopping sprees.
“The groups will get a RM100
coupon each for their shopping,” he
said. Buses will ferry them to and
from the hypermarkets for free.
June 24 — 26, 2011
Can tax incentives do the trick?
rains, by design, flow one
way. So although I have
never been enthused about
the brain drain catchphrase, I find it
fitting for this reason. It is hard to
reverse the flow.
And it gets harder when we get
opinionated while possessing little
information on this complex national dilemma. There are hundreds
of thousands, maybe close to 1.5
million, of highly-educated Malaysians in Singapore, Australia, US,
UK, Brunei, Canada and other
higher salary countries. What really
matter are the circumstances and
views of this diaspora, but how do
we find out?
The World Bank’s recent Malaysia Economic Monitor makes a
welcome and needed contribution. The report highlighted the
increasing seriousness of brain drain
and presented some findings from
an online questionnaire.
The number of respondents was
low; the authors duly advise caution
in interpreting the results based on
a survey sample of around 200. The
ethnic composition is similar to data
on Malaysian immigrants compiled
from receiving countries – predominantly Chinese, with a section
of Malays and Indians.
The young are also disproportionately represented, so the findings may be statistically biased toward their concerns. In the interest
of nation building, though, this is
not necessarily a bad thing.
The thematic results are not
surprising, mostly adding statistical
punch to our hunches. Brainy Malaysians are driven to live abroad to
earn more money and pursue more
fulfilling work, and are driven away
by what they see as unfair policies.
Respondents were asked their top
three reasons: 66% ticked career
prospects, 60% social injustice, and
More interesting, though less
headlined in the media, are some
other bits of information. These illustrate the complexities
of the problem, and underscore the need for
further analysis before
we can confidently propose policies to reverse
Reactions to the report focused, as expected, on discriminatory
policies. But the study
obtains other results
that suggest meritocracy
and financial rewards are
not sufficient, and maybe should not even be
the main starting point.
What might entice an immigrant
back? To this question, 87% said a
shift from race-based affirmative
action to need-based affirmative
action. I find this notion incoherent,
and have not come across any credible programme of action by its
The underlying egalitarian sentiments and the rejection of racebased policies are legitimate, but
provide little basis for reform.
Other answers give us more to
Lee Hwok Aun
chew on – 82% of respondents indicated that “evidence of fundamental and positive change in
government or the public sector”
might incline them towards returning to Malaysia, while 46% checked
“greater investment in public education”.
The combination of surveyed
opinion indicates that systemic
change matters as much as personal
gain, and that rhetoric must translate into reality. Altering regulations, like pronouncing meritocracy,
is not enough – this country needs
to find ways to widen meritocratic
practices and demonstrate sincerity
and courage in tackling our fundamental problems.
Much still remains murkily understood. How much does the decision to leave Malaysia and not return stem from ethnic quotas, how
much from deteriorating quality of
Unfortunately, we still know too
little. The World Bank questionnaire did not ask whether respondents applied to public universities,
or whether they would have enrolled in private tertiary education
It precludes asking a
follow-up question to
those who opted for private institutes, whether
the spectre of the admissions quota or doubts
over quality affected their
Attitudes toward government and the bureaucracy also feature in the
brain drain discussion.
However, it’s unclear
whether the discontent is
related to discrimination,
inefficiency or corruption.
Do Malaysians of the diaspora
widely express negative views of
government because they feel they
are denied job opportunities in the
civil service, or are they aggrieved at
corruption and inefficiency associated with wayward practices in
promoting officials and conducting
My sense is that ill-feeling towards government and unequal
employment opportunity derives
more from things that need not have
immediate effect on peoples’ material lives, but impinge on their sense
of justice, such as poor public services, corruption and inequality. In
other words, more meritocracy in
the civil service is good, but cleaner
government is better.
Another interesting note. Only
17% of survey respondents indicated that a “favourable tax structure” would carry weight in the
decision to return to Malaysia. I’m
not sure what to make of this.
Perhaps they have experienced
paying higher tax rates in advanced
countries, but do not mind since
they enjoy the benefits of decent
government services and see transparency and accountability on
public spending. Perhaps they accept that returning to Malaysia will
entail financial sacrifice, so tax
breaks will not do much to change
Inferences aside, the World
Bank’s finding, if reliable, does not
bode well for the government’s offer
of tax incentives to lubricate “brain
gain”. Again, the question arises,
would Malaysians abroad be attracted back by giving personal inducements? Or would their decision be tipped by making government more transparent and accountable, improving public education and services, and ridding corruption?
Of course, all the above matter,
but we are giving perilously inadequate attention to the second set of
Why not automatic voter registration?
ne wonders why Putrajaya is keen to
give every Malaysian above 18 years of
age a 1Malaysia Email account, but
adamant in denying automatic voting rights to
all Malaysians above 21. This leaves about 3.9
million citizens outside the electoral roll.
The Election Commission (EC) was happy
to announce in late April that 134,294 voters
had been registered in the first quarter of
2011. Taking that pace, the EC should be able
to register 537,176 in a year and register the
remaining 3.9 million in some eight years.
But with an increase of some 400,000 new
voters every year, you would have 2.4 million
more to be registered by 2019.
Will the EC be ever able to register all
Now, don’t blame it on those who refuse to
register. The EC cannot even register all those
who have come forward to be registered, with
tens of thousands applications unapproved or
unprocessed after months.
The existing registration process indeed
takes time as it must allow for any objection
for new registrations and for hearings to be
held if necessary.
Why don’t we have automatic voter
registration then? It just requires the
synchronisation of the EC database and the
National Registration Department (NRD)
Once synchronised, all deceased citizens
will cease to exist on electoral rolls once the
NRD is informed of their deaths. Similarly, if
a voter changes his/her address on the IC, his/
her constituency may be changed accordingly,
c u r r e n t l a w s a n d b y- l a w s w i l l b e
The most uneducated objection to unconstitutional.
automatic voter registration I have ever heard
Now, if automatic voter registration is
of is that it forces the voters to vote and hence good, why can’t we change a technical
violates their freedom.
provision in the Constitution? Will Pakatan
This is mistaking automatic voter stand in the way of this constitutional
registration for compulsory voting. While amendment?
compulsory voting (as in Singapore) requires
If there is no valid argument against
automatic voter registration, the reverse is not automatic voter registration, what are the
possible real motives behind Putrajaya’s
Now, when you open a bank saving opposition to the idea?
account, most banks would offer you an ATM
Following Malaysia glorious tradition of
card. Does that mean you
conspiracy theories, allow
are now forced to use the
me to make two
The second objection
Conspiracy theory 1:
raised is that automatic
This is to keep the total
wong chin huat
voter registration will create
number of voting-eligible
chaos because many voters are currently citizens a top secret.
registered in addresses different from that on
Without automatic voter registration, we
the NRD database and they may be changed have no idea how many new voters registered
to other constituencies.
are native Malaysians coming of age or
If this is the genuine concern, the EC can naturalised new Malaysians. With automatic
easily inform the affected voters before fully voter registration, we will have a total number
implementing the new system so that the of new voters every year.
voters can change their addresses legally to
If the number far exceeds the natural
keep their registration in their current growth of population, we will know that
perhaps some foreign labours have become
The EC is worried that the chaos caused by our new brothers and sisters. You don’t need
address discrepancies will be slammed by the a Royal Commission of Inquiry as demanded
opposition parties and civil society. This is a by Pas to investigate the rumour of foreigners
red herring because these two parties are the being given ICs and registered as voters.
ones demanding automatic voter registration.
Conspiracy theory 2: We have not found
The last objection, on technical grounds, is the functional equivalent of Tricubes in
that the Federal Constitution provides for automatic voter registration. In other words,
voter registration, hence any changes of no economic value has been added to this
MAN IN BLACK
voter registration business.
Tricubes’ 1Malaysia Email is so expensive
that the government has to cut the subsidy of
2.5 litres of RON97 or 50 sen to send one
email to one citizen (credit to some netizens
for this illustrative line), but the government
is willing to pay because it can be as expensive
as RM2 per conventional mail via Pos
We know it consumes a lot of resources on
the EC’s part to register voters, but if there is
no company like Tricubes to offer its national
service, how can this administrative cost be
transformed into profit for the private sector
and part of the nation’s economic growth?
Would Tricubes come forward and offer itself
Now, of course, both my conspiracy
theories could be wrong. There may be some
good reasons why automatic registration is
not implemented and the government may
be keeping the reasons from us for our own
If so, I want the government to tell us why
it insists on 1Malaysia email and rejects
automatic voter registration. I am a cat that
rather gets killed by my curiousity. So, tell me
the reasons please.
I am happy to tweet 1,000 times that “I
apologise over prejudging Putrajaya for
opposing automatic voter registration.”
Not enough? Ok, I will also tweet 1,000
times, “Don’t join Bersih 2.0 Rally on July 9.
No automatic voter registration is good.
Disenfranchising 3.9 million citizens is
12 June 24 — 26, 2011
By Basil Foo
A town filled w
ailed as a “Royal Town”, Klang has since evolved
from a hotly-contested bastion of kings to a port
town dependent on sea trade to spur its economic development.
Before the arrival of modern man,
however, there was evidence of the use
of 2,000-year old prehistoric tools called
“Tulang Mawas” found in the locality.
While the tools were the oldest artifacts found, dating back to the earliest
human settlements in the Iron Age,
earlier annals state the town existed
since the Majapahit era 600 years ago.
Klang’s first Malay territorial chief,
Tun Perak, was the Malacca Sultanate’s
Bendahara, a rank comparable to today’s
prime minister. He came to power in
After Malacca fell to the Portuguese
in 1511, Klang remained in Malay Ehsan
hands, under the Sultan of Johor-Riau,
until the Selangor Sultanate was established in the 18th century.
Klang Valley’s thriving tin mining
industry in the 19th century caused a
fight for control over its resources between territorial chief Raja Abdullah
and challenger Raja Mahadi.
Raja Mahadi fort.
“Remains of Raja Mahadi’s fort can
He said the area
still be found around the Klang Muaround the buildnicipal Council (MPK) building,” said
ing where the fort
once stood is not
The MPK secretary said their buildwalled off and is
ing was actually sitting next to old battle
open to the public
sites from the Selangor Civil War, which
because it is considlasted between 1867 and 1874.
ered a heritage site.
The solid white fort, situated between
“The public is free to walk through our
mounds of man-made earthen walls, was strategically placed to spy on enemy ships sailing grounds and visit the fort which sits under
several old trees that have been gazetted as
through the Klang River.
“Enemies would come up from the west heritage trees,” said Ehsan.
Five trees around the MPK building
side of the river from the sea. They would
come up to Pengkalan Batu, a port along the grounds worth RM1.5 million have been
river, and battle at the fort’s entrance,” he said. gazetted by the National Landscape DepartThe civil war not only resulted in Raja Ma- ment.
The ages of the trees have been determined
hadi failing to win the state, but saw the dawn
of British intervention and eventual control. to be between 40 and 60 years old, and consist
View from the MPK building.
(left), the two-tiered Jambata
of breeds like Batai Laut and Nyatoh Putih.
Ehsan’s office in the MPK building commands a picturesque view of the Klang River,
the fort, and Kota Bridge where the river port
The Kota Bridge was a bustling hub of
commerce in the 70s and 80s and Ehsan
remembers visiting the area with his family
as a young boy from Sabak Bernam
“We visited the wet markets at Kota Bridge
which had a very bad smell because the hawkers would throw leftover chickens into the
river,” he said.
“Because of that, there were many crocodiles and all sorts of meat-eating wildlife in
the Klang River those days,” he added.
The Kota Bridge was opened for public
use in 1957, and had an upper tier for use
by fast-moving vehicles, while the lower tier
catered for bicycles and pedestrians.
The double-tiered bridge was responsible
for improving domestic traffic flow in town,
with its lower tier remaining open for public
use to this day.
“It was the first double-decker bridge in
Malaya back then, and measured about 200
metres long,” said Fazly Razally.
The Tourism Selangor event and marketing manager said the Raja Mahadi Fort and
the Kota Bridge were among the historical
sites along its two-hour long “Heritage Walk”.
He encourages not only foreign tourists,
but even locals who are interested in the
history of Klang, to take the walk along 18
heritage sites in Klang town.
“Tourists can see the plaques we set up at
Fond memories of a byg
Pre-war shop lots on Jalan Raya Timur, some occupied, others
abandoned after a fire.
Shoppers crossing the street on Jalan Tengku Kelana, also known
as “Little India”.
espite the passage of time, traders
here can still be found operating
family-run businesses in pre-war
shoplots and along a street known as “Little
Not wanting to leave their businesses
which have passed down through generations,
they also have strong roots with the town,
many having studied and worked here their
“We have been running our advertising
company here since 1972. The shoplots themselves were built in the 1940s,” said Jessie
The store manager of Green Advertising
says it has been decades since the heyday when
good business was the norm rather than the
Mary (left) and Parisutham.
exception. Today, shoplots that
are still open cater mostly to reguCho
in a tyr
Chong, who grew up on Jalan
Nanas about a kilometre away,
lamented the drop in business
over the years and the closure of
many neighbouring shoplots.
“Last time, there used to be
more business at nearby shops
selling things like joss sticks and
gunny sacks, but now most of the Chong: Drop in business she said
shopowners have died,” said the over the years.
Blaming the drop in customers on the in- pany, Chong studied in
crease in crime, she said one could still walk Girls School and then
openly even at midnight back then as the operator.
She remembers hav
streets were brightly lit.
“Now there are fewer shops. It is Kota Bridge over the
very dark after 7pm. Apart from school about 2km awa
several workshops, there are no res- not afford to buy them
“Bicycles were the m
taurants or markets to draw people
tation in town last tim
here,” she griped.
Chong was a robbery victim her- both to work and to
self in 2004 when several men tailed fewer cars on the road,
The bicycle shopow
her as she returned to her shop from
business on Jalan Teng
a nearby bank.
The unlocked entry door was an India”, said his shop en
open invitation to the robbers. It was then as the streets were
He said their month
the first time the shop was robbed
to run into the hundre
since it opened four decades ago.
“Since then we have installed a only sell about 50.
lock on the front door,” she said,
pointing to a magnetised security and people who are in
Klang IndianMuslim Mosque
Situated on Jalan Tengku
Kelana, which is also
known as “Little India”,
the Klang Indian-Muslim
Mosque was built in 1910.
The original structure
catered to people who
lived around the Klang
town area for more than
60 years. The mosque,
which acted as a religious
and community centre,
was opened by Sultan
Salahuddin Abdul Aziz
in 1973 after it was
renovated for the first
time. Recently, it was
renovated again to
a c c o m m o d a t e m o re
Klang Convent School
. The Klang River flows from the inland (far right) out to the sea. Visible is the North Klang Royal Mosque
an Kota, Jambatan Tengku Kelana which leads into Little India (far right), and the Raja Mahadi fort
each site on the walk detailing the history of
the site and the stories behind it,” said Fazly.
One of the stops along the Heritage Walk
is Jalan Tengku Kelana, also called “Little
India” by residents due to the convergence of
many Indian shops along the road.
The name of the town itself has several
origins, one being derived from the name of
the Klang River which flows through the area.
Another theory suggests the name was
derived from the Mon-Khmer word “Klong”,
a language used by communities in Vietnam
A probable source of the town’s name
could come from the old meaning of the
Malay word “Kilang”, meaning warehouses,
which were prevalent in the area in the old
Established in 1924 with only 19 students in some shophouses, the Klang
Convent School’s main building was built from 1926 to 1928. Located on
Jalan Tengku Kelana, it was opened on Jan 18, 1928 by former acting
secretary to the Resident of Selangor Sir William Peel.
One of the gazetted trees on MPK grounds.
hich can only be disfrom the inside.
ong’s father, a manager
re factory, died when
s three, leaving behind
ves and eight children.
of my other siblings are
Klang. This shop is
by one of my brothers.
hers have become supof motor equipment,”
ore working with her
r in his advertising comn the nearby Methodist
n worked as a factory
ving to walk across the
e Klang River to her
ay as her parents could
main mode of transporme. People would cycle
school as there were
,” said Lim Kum Loke.
wner, who operates his
gku Kelana, or “Little
njoyed a roaring trade
e safer for cyclists.
hly sales of bicycles used
eds, but they can now
only appeal to children
nto fitness. We had to
include home appliances [years ago]
to maintain our profits,” said Lim.
The delivery service of the shop
was also halted as it was decided it
would be safer to focus their business
operations nearer to town.
This was decided after the May
13 riots in 1969 when, despite the
curfew, two employees were sent to
deliver bicycles to a customer in
“On that dark day, they were sent A street vendor selling jewelry along “Little India”.
out, but they never came back,” said
Lim, his voice wavering.
the road. Only ladies were allowed out on
Despite the grim experience, he remains certain hours to buy groceries,” he said.
adamant that race relations in town remain the
He said he never heard of any violence
same since his schooldays when he freely inter- happening in Klang at that time.
acted with friends from different cultures.
There seems to be a new integration hurdle
Optometrist Parisutham Sebastian, who to cross now as locals here have people of
runs a shop along “Little India”, echoed the different nationalities to contend with.
sentiment of being able to mix with friends
“The majority of workers in this town are
of different races without restraint.
immigrants. The ratio can be as large as one
“I had many Chinese friends when I was local boss to 100 foreign workers,” said Mary
younger. We lived together in a big kampung Sebastian.
at the back of the La Salle Klang boys’ school,”
The 51-year-old, who helps her brother,
said the 46-year-old.
Parisutham, in his shop, blamed both the workAs his father was the school gardener, he ers and their paymasters for marring the town’s
spent a large part of his childhood in the school image. She complained about household rubplayground, even during the curfew.
bish and renovation debris clogging drains.
Parisutham, who took over the 17-year-old
“We all want more clients and would supshop from his father, said he enjoyed looking port any tourism initiatives by the governat the soldiers patrolling on the streets from ment, but we have to take care of cleanliness.
the inside of his school during the curfew.
Don’t just think about making money,” she
“For about a month, there were no cars on added.
Completed about 80 years ago, one of the oldest religious buildings
in Klang started off as a wooden house on a hillock close to Jalan
Kota. Our Lady of Lourdes Church today stands as a rare example
of masonry structure in the state. It is located along Jalan Tengku
Kelana in Klang town.
The Alam Shah Palace replaced Mahkota Puri Palace, which was
demolished in 1950 to make way for the former’s construction. This
was during the time when Tengku Alam Shah was enthroned as the new
Sultan after Sultan Alaeddin Suleiman Shah had passed away in 1938.
The significance of the site could be traced all the way back when the
first palace was built in 1889 to replace the Istana Alauddin in Jugra as
the royal administration centre.
June 24 — 26, 2011
A titular lesson in
pleasing your wife?
hy are elected reps addressed as Yang
Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme
Berhormat? What’s the point of honorEminenceness by emailing [email protected],
ific titles anyway? @adriene, via Twitter.
Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by
stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or
“Yang Berhormat” means “The Honourable
tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using
One”, or one who is respected for being Honourable.
where all your profound,
the hashtag #asklordbobo. What the hell are you waiting for?
Essentially, a person who is to be respected. Persons
abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite,
sagacious, and other thesaurusHear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional
with such a title are commonly addressed as “YB”.
described queries are answered!
if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I
Conveniently, the term “YB” is pronounced as
Have Freed My Spirit!
“Why Be”. This is convenient because many Malaysians question the existence of some of these people
all the time, particularly following the latest quote,
rant, or inactivity of their elected representatives.
Refusing to speak up against gross
of titles of those in attendance.This ness has been amused by the response
injustice – “why be?” indeed.
can take several minutes, and even to the OWC, Lord Bobo is amazed
Now, dear reader, find a comfy
includes the names and titles of the that no one has thought about dereading chair or wall to lean against,
parents of those attendees with a manding a similar club for husbands.
for His Supreme Eminenceness
After all, it takes two to… er… tango,
is going to take you on a journey
For administrative positions, and Lord Bobo has always been one
through the various titles in Maother honorifics used are Tuan to look out for the ladies.
laysia. Be warned, if you feel a
The OWC emphasises good
Yang Terutama (T.Y.T.) (literally
tightening around your forehead
“The Most Eminent Master”), Yang skills in bed, and the same must
as you are reading the following
Amat Berhormat (Y.A.B.) (literally apply to husbands. For the sake of
paragraphs, that is a sign that your
“The Most Honourable”) and Yang the younger readers of this column,
brain is expanding quicker than
Amat Arif (Y.A.A.) (literally “The we will leave out the graphic deyour skull from the sheer volume
Most Learned”). Y.A.A. is the style tails. Suffice to say, if both are not
of knowledge. Take a five-minute
of the Chief Justice of Malaysia, screaming at the end of the session,
break, then proceed.
the President of the Malaysian seeing fireworks, and going JyeaH!
There are two kinds of honCourt of Appeal, the Chief Judge (but saying “JyeaH! It’s finally
orific titles. One is hereditary in
of the High Court of Malaya and over!” doesn’t count), you’re doing
nature, the second is either earned
the Chief Judge of the High Court it wrong.
or awarded. The point of honorific
A happy relationship is when
of Sabah and Sarawak. Yang Arif
titles was tied closely with the sys(Y.A.) (literally “The Learned”) is both the husband and wife are happy
tem of kings, nobility, commoners
the style of a judge. Yang Berbahagia not only in the master bedroom,
and the rest.
(Y.Bhg.) (literally “The Felicitous”) but outside of it as well (shower,
For the first category where you
(and variants thereof ) are the styles guest bedroom, dining table, coffee
inherit titles; you have the royal
table, car backseat, public places).
of persons with chivalrous titles.
families; the Tengkus, Rajas, Putera- Permaisuris (Queen) per state with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is called
Now, wasn’t that educational? Jokes aside, when you enter into a
Puteris, etc (we have one for almost the exception of the states governed the Raja Permaisuri Agong.
For those who still doubt that titles marriage, it is a promise. A promise
every state, after all, and depending by Yang Di-Pertuan Besars (Great
We must not forget the Syeds are necessary, or part of Malaysian to always communicate freely with
on whether they are members of the Lord). There is only one Yang Di- and Syarifahs/Sharifahs, whose culture, take time to listen to the way each other, to cherish and stand
ruling families or not, are referred to Pertuan Agong at any given time; entire bloodline is reported to be de- people interact in casual situations. hand in hand together through
as Yang Teramat Mulia, Yang Amat which rotates every five years among scended from the Prophet Muham- Why else would we call people-who- both the good and the bad times.
Mulia, Yang Mulia respectively), the state Kings/Sultans.
mad himself through his grandsons are-older-than-us-but-not-blood- It is a commitment to not only
and then you have the subsequent
The full title is meant to be Hassan and Hussein.
related “uncle” or “aunty”? Why do live together, but to share lifelong
nobility for each depending on read as Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha
The second type of honorific people at a mamak call each other memories and precious moments.
state, the Wans, Megats, etc.
Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang titles, the ones awarded are usually “boss” or “brother” when they are Wondering where Lord Bobo came
There is only a pair of Sultans & di-Pertuan Agong. The consort of – theoretically – in recognition of neither employer-employee nor up with all that cheesiness in this
paragraph? Wondering where you
their personal achievements and sibling? can get the same stuff to say to please
great contribution to the society;
e a r L o rd B o b o , t h e your wife? That’s why husbands
the Tuns, Dato’ Seri Utama, Tan
Obedient Wives Club need the club!
Sris, Dato’ Seri, Dato’s, Datuks, etc.
is a good thing, no?
The club will educate men on
Each has an award cap, for example
there can be only be 35 Tuns living [email protected], via what makes women tick. As the
sum of men’s knowledge of the inner
at any single time, and Dato’s are email.
workings of the female mind is said
to be a blank book, women shall
instruct men on the inner workings
Jokes aside, when you enter
of their mind. There shall be classes
into a marriage, it is a promise. A
on being considerate, loving and
promise to always communicate
helpful around the house. It includes
diaper changing skills, parenting
freely with each other, to cherish
skills, pujuk bini ketika merajuk
and stand hand in hand together
skills, and conflict management
through both the good and the bad
skills. Family dynamics, family psytimes..”
chology and role-playing scenarios
shall be part of training and role
playing sessions to encourage creaThis has been a very popular tive solutions to otherwise baffling
limited by 50 per state.
From the cultural and societal topic in the media (both online and day-to-day conundrums involving
history of bestowing the above titles, offline), work lunches, and coffee wives and children.
Obviously, 80% of the time in
we therefore develop a need to issue breaks nationwide. Several minions
other titles. Hence, elected officials wanted the honour of channelling this new club will be spent on the
have Yang Berhormat, Yang Amat Lord Bobo’s thoughts for this, and most important skill in being a
Berhormat, etc. Because of this, the privilege had to be decided by a husband – how to read your wife’s
mind. Master that skill, and it’s satformal occasions also require emcees purple banana eating contest.
Whilst His Supreme Eminence- isfaction guaranteed, for everyone.
or speakers to run through the list
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ JUNE 24 – 26, 2011 ⁄ 15
Royal help for
war on dengue
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: A “Stop Dengue”
campaign by Yayasan Tunku Naquiyuddin
(YTN) was kicked off at Taman Gasing Indah
here last Sunday.
The campaign, jointly organised with the
Taman Petaling Rukun Tetangga and the
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is aimed
at creating awareness and action to combat
the spread of dengue.
“Dengue is a threat and a serious public
health concern,” said YTN founder Tunku
Naquiyuddin Tuanku Jaafar.
He said dengue deaths are preventable if the
proper care was taken.
Taman Gasing Indah area was chosen for the
campaign launch as the residents are proactive
in tackling community issues.
“The most important community issues are
health and environmental concerns,” said Tunku
He added that YTN had sponsored the
setting up of Stop Dengue webpage at SM (P)
Taman Petaling website’s.
YTN was established in 1995 by Tunku
Naquiyiddin to carry out and promote Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Among its projects are providing educational assistance to the needy via scholarships
to underprivileged children, from primary to
The foundation aims to create awareness of
other mosquito borne diseases like malaria.
State executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar said Selangor had the highest number of
dengue cases but the trend was falling due to
monitoring and stringent enforcement from
“From January to 11 June 2011, Selangor
recorded 3,445 dengue cases with three fatalities
as compared to 9,661 cases with 32 deaths for
the same period in 2010,” he said.
However the Sri Andalas assemblyperson
said the state still has the highest ratio of cases
Dr Xavier, who holds the portfolio for
Health and Caring, said that the urbanisation
in the state has made the spread of dengue
easier between people.
He urged residents to clean and maintain
their homes to prevent the Aedes mosquito
larvae from breeding.
Earlier, Rukun Tetangga chairperson Alfred
Chuah said he was proud that his residents’
group had been chosen as the launch partner for
the Stop Aedes campaign.
“We have tackled security and safety issues.
Now it is high time we tackled health and environment concerns,” he said.
He added that the Rukun Tetangga group
has 60 volunteers that can be mobilised to help
gotong royong cleanups.
Also present were PJ Selatan Member of
Parliament Hee Loy Sian and Bukit Gasing
assemblyperson Edward Lee, MBPJ Deputy
Health Director Dr V Chithradavi and councillor Chan Chee Kong.
RM100k of pirated DVDs
By Brenda Ch’ng
SUBANG JAYA: Over
RM100,000 worth of pirated movies were seized in
a joint Home Ministry and
municipality operation at
th e Summ i t S h o p p ing
“Although we raided seven premises, we only managed to catch three store
operators. The others got
tipped off and ran away before we reached the store,” MPSJ and Home Ministry officers checking the DVDs.
said Subang Jaya Municipal
Council deputy president Abdullah Marjunid. years if convicted for the multiple offences.
Abdullah Marjunid spearheaded the raid on
In addition, they could be charged by the
June 16, leading 35 MPSJ officers and 12 min- Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs for ilistry officers from the Film Control and Enforce- legal distribution of DVD’s.
“Initially we only got complaints about two
More than 10,000 DVD’s were confiscated DVD shops by residents, but when we went to
from five shops and two hidden store rooms, confirm the allegations on Tuesday, we found
which were also sealed by MPSJ. even more,” said MPSJ enforcement officer
The three arrested were detained overnight Ahmad Hassan.
before being produced in court the day after. He added that some shop operators came to
“They will be charged for possession and MPSJ to apply for licenses to trade, but were
distribution of unlicensed DVD’s and the rejected because they were unable to produce
absence of the film censorship certificate,” proper certificates for DVD distribution.
said Film Control and Enforcement Division
“They are challenging the law and operating
assistant enforcement officer Fazi Amar illegally despite already being told no,” he said.
MPSJ will be continuing their search for the
Fazi Amar said the suspects could face up to real owners of the business and shop owners who
RM30,000 in fines or a jail term of up to three rented their stores out to illegal traders.
JUNE 24 — 26, 2011
Free green products
distributed at TTDI market
By William Tan
KUALA LUMPUR: Samples of Malaysia’s first and only
entirely biodegradable food containers, plates and utensil were
handed out last Saturday at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail market
to promote green living.
The products were developed and manufactured by Greatpac under the brand name Jasa Eco. It was first introduced to
the market in April last year. “We are here to offer an alternative solution to conventional styrofoam packaging, which can take up to 1,000 years
to truly turn back into soil,” said Greatpac senior manager
He added that his team had taken it upon themselves to go
out and educate people on how to live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle, which will prove vital in ensuring our
children will still have a planet to inherit.
The company has gone to schools to give lectures and done
road shows and campaigns at shopping malls to convince
people to go green.
However, he acknowledged that it has been an uphill battle.
“Generally, people don’t seem to care and don’t take any
real initiative to go green. Many only care about cost and
profit,” said Tan.
In his experience, people tend to be put off by the extra six
sen on the price of their products in comparison to conventional styrofoam.
The Jasa Eco brand, which is based on corn-starch, is also
far cheaper than its closest oil palm or sugar cane based counterparts, which normally charge a premium of 25 sen.
Tan added that his team has to constantly convince the
public that their products are indeed the only brand in the
Malaysian market which can claim to be 100% biodegradable,
and therefore the preferred choice.
“What people don’t understand is that there is a lot of
misrepresentation in the market, almost anyone in Malaysia
can claim something is eco-friendly or something similar,
which spoils it for everyone else,” he said.
This is because there are no laws in place to regulate the
market or proper facilities to test and certify such products.
Greatpac, as a result, had to get their certification from the
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to ensure
their products are what they claim to be.
Tan (right) and Lim (left) handing out samples of the Jasa Eco brand to the public at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail
market last Saturday.
The Jasa Eco brand has already received a strong following
in Penang, where the use of conventional styrofoam food
packaging has been banned as part of the Greener Penang
“I believe the state government should implement similar
initiatives to help more companies follow Greatpac’s example
in creating environmental awareness,” said Lim Lip Eng.
The Segambut Member of Parliament was present to hand
out samples to the public.
The company’s products are used by Starbucks, Kenny
Community building in SS2
Rogers, Hilton and numerous school cafeterias such as KDU
University College, which only uses Jasa Eco for food packaging.
Greatpac’s sales and marketing executive Terence Tong
said the products have an infinite shelf life, and when placed
in a landfill, will completely decompose within two to five
He explained that the landfill is the only place with the
right humidity, temperature and moisture to begin the process.
For more information, call Greatpac at 03-6286 0990.
By Basil Foo
Lee Kwee Cheng,
chairperson of the SS2B
was on fire safety, and there was
booths from Corporate Progress,
which supplies fire extinguishers.
Sime Darby Medical Centre giving free health screenings and
“ We also invited the Fire
consultations as part of the residents’ Health and Safety Day.
and R escue Depar tment to
PETALING JAYA: A neighbourhood Health and
demonstrate what one
Safety Day was organised by the Residents’ Association should do in emergencies, ” said association chair(RA) of SS2B last Saturday to foster stronger ties person Lee Kwee Cheng.
within the community.
There was also a booth from Sime Darby Medical
“Many of us don’t know our neighbours. There are Centre offering free health screenings and consultations.
quite a number of elderly people who live alone and
Local police officers were also on hand to get acwho would be lonely if not for events like this” said quainted with residents.
committee member Susan Fong.
The event was funded by residents and corporate
The emphasis of the programme at the SS2/57 field sponsors.
KLANG: A 15-minute reading break will be held simultaneously
in districts throughout the state on Sunday ( June 26) between
10.45am and 11am.
“The reading break programme is in conjunction with Knowledge Day and the Selangor Reading Movement,” said Nor Haslinah
The Klang Municipal Council (MPK) librarian said the programme was also a collaboration between the District Office, MPK,
and the Klang District Public Library.
The aim of this initiative is to develop and promote a culture of
reading among Malaysians and create an awareness of the importance of knowledge.
She added that the programme’s Klang district leg will be held
at Pengkalan Batu on Jalan Tepi Sungai.
“MPK has a planned a few side activities during the programme
such as colouring contests for children and a crossword puzzle
competitions for teenagers,” she said.
While the former is open to children aged 7-9 years of age, the
latter will be open to teenagers aged 13-17.
Also in the works is a puzzle game for families, who can participate in groups of three.
For more information, contact Nor Haslinah at 03-33758005.
June 24 — 26, 2011
Fiction by Khairulnizam Bakeri
ida takes a deep breath. She’s been
working here for a month and this is
only the second time she’s been called
to see the boss. The first was the job interview.
She knocks on the door three times, making
sure her ponytail is neat.
“Come in.” She does. Fakarudin is busy typing. The
pulse on his forehead throbs in rhythm with
his fingers on the keyboard.
“Tiya’s on emergency leave. So you have to
replace her for an interview.” Aida frowns. She knows Tiya as the journalist from Siasat, the latest Karangkraf magazine,
whose job scope is surely different from her
own in Media Hiburan. “What sort of interview?” “Remember that Puchong murder case
from last year? Abi Nazrel, who shot three
women in a bus. And he was acquitted, on
account of insanity. His lawyer said he had
schizophrenia, that voices in his head told him
to kill those women. I’ve emailed you all the
details. Get the interview done quick. It was
supposed to have been ready last week.” Aida nods in agreement. She goes back to
her cubicle and reads the email. The details of
the scheduled interview are put in the Notes
app of her Blackberry Bold. She takes her
camera case and MP3 player from the desk
drawer. Aida’s Kancil then drives off from Shah
Alam’s Section 15. When she arrives at Rumah Seri Memori,
she checks the signboard in front. The big
house on the right is the Old Folks’ Home. The
one on the left is the Psychiatric Unit. At the lobby, Aida is greeted by a handsome
man in his late 30s. His fine silver-framed
glasses glint below his thick eyebrows. His
complexion is smooth, save for a thin moustache. The Replacement
“Miss Aida?” “Yes.” “I’m Dr Faliq.” He offers his hand. They
shake. “I got your boss’s email. For the Siasat
magazine interview, yes?” “Yes.” “What sort of magazine is it?” He presses
for the lift. “Oh, I’m actually in a different magazine.
I’m replacing somebody else. Siasat is a Malaysian crime magazine. Like that 999 TV
show.” The lift door opens. “We can do the interview in the lounge.
Second floor.” “Dr Faliq, do you also work at the Old
Folks’ Home?” “No. Dr Vivian is in charge of that. We’re
a new unit, just started last year.” At the lounge, Aida takes her seat. The
creaks from the chair and the ceiling fan accompany her increasingly rapid heartbeat. In
front of her, a man in his early 50s sits straight
in a plastic chair. His left hand is on his knee,
but the fingers on his right hand keep twitching, as if he is doing a religious incantation.
The left side of his forehead has a scar as wide
as a thumb. “My name is Aida. May I call you Nazrel?”
Aida presses the record button on her MP3
player. “Our names are labels, plainly printed on
the bottled essence of our past behavior. Logan Pearsall Smith.” Abi Nazrel shifts his gaze
to the floor. His fingers continue to twitch. Aida reads again the list of questions on her
mobile phone. “Have you eaten?” she asks, as a starter. “There is no sincerer love than the love of
food. George Bernard Shaw.” Abi Nazrel looks
left and right, smiling slightly. The other man shakes his head. “Nazrel,
behave. Aida’s doing her job. She just wants to
have a chat. You can help her, can’t you?” Abi Nazrel sighs deeply. “We hear only
those questions for which we are in a position
to find answers. Friedrich Nietzsche.” “You must read a lot. That’s why you know
so many quotes. Do you enjoy living here?”
Aida asks. Abi Nazrel gives a small nod. He continues
to fidgets in his chair. Aida isn’t sure what to do. She considers
what to say. If she asks him about the killings,
she worries that he might go berserk. But Dr
Faliq told her in the lift that Abi Nazrel had
been given a sedative pill. His schizophrenia
would be under control. “What do you like most about this place?” “Reading books. Watching people.” “You have friends?” Abi Nazrel shakes his head. “How do you feel, here and now? Do you
still think about what you did in the past?”
Aida gulps. Abi Nazrel gives a big smile. And then
bursts out laughing. Sitting straight, with his
head flung back, his guffaws keep coming.
When his laugher gradually recedes, he looks
at Aida. This time, he looks deep into her eyes. “Aida, have you ever killed a mosquito?” “Uh, yes.” “How did you feel?” Silence. “You feel good, didn’t you?” Abi Nazrel
stands. “Didn’t you?” “Maybe.” “What did the mosquito ever do to you?
The worst would be a bite. But why kill it?
And then feel good? Mark Twain said that
he’d been dead for billions and billions of years
before he was born, and had not suffered the
slightest inconvenience from it. I am just obeying what I hear.” He points to his forehead. The lounge door opens. A nurse rushes in. “Khairul, here you are! Can you go back to
your room? Someone wants to see you.” Aida is surprised. The doctors here seem
quite controlled by the nurses, judging by the
meek way this man obeys the woman and
shuffles out. “I’m Reena. That guy was Khairul. He’s our
patient. He’s a bit naughty, always pretending
to be a doctor. I was at Dr Faliq’s room earlier,
it looked like someone had broken in. I saw
the email about your visit on the computer
screen. He must have just read it.” Aida is stunned. “Dr Faliq will be a bit late. He’s meeting Dr
Vivian. Could you wait in the lobby?” Abi Nazrel gives his hand in a salam to Aida
before Reena accompanies him out. Aida goes
down to the lobby and waits on the sofa. She
holds the crumpled paper that Abi Nazrel had
passed her. She reads it again and again: IT’S NOT THE VOICES. IT’S JUST
ME. Khairulnizam Bakeri travels frequently between Kelantan and Shah Alam. His blog is
salahtaip.blogspot.com and he is active on
Twitter (@nizambakeri). His debut novel
Pecah was published by Fixi recently, and is
available at MPH, Popular and Kinokuniya.
By Brenda Ch’ng
SERI KEMBANGAN: Five
thousand people attended the
Hakka Cultural Show at the New
Village here recently to enjoy
performances from Guandong,
The 17-member cultural group
lead by singer Huang Hong-ying
serenaded the audience with folks
songs with the hope of promoting
Hakka culture to the next generation. Huang, who picked up tradi- FULFILLING HER MISSION.. Huang
tional singing from her mother, keeping Hakka Culture alive.
has made it her mission to keep
the Hakka heritage alive through song. Jaya Municipal (MPSJ) councillors.
“I want to promote Hakka folksongs
“The Hakka dialect is widely spoken
and make it a well-known music genre here and residents were very enthusiasnot only in Asia but internationally as tic as they started arriving for the event
well,” said Huang.
at 6.30pm,” said Loka Ng Sai Kai.
Also present at the performance was
The councillor said more cultural
Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean event should be organised to help proYong Hian Wah, Serdang member of mote and educate future generations
Parliament Teo Nie Ching and Subang on the Hakka culture.
Tun Hisan patrolling with Gasing Indah SRS members.
CPO urges residents
to be more vigilant
PETALING JAYA: Policing is a joint effort
and residents should be more civic-minded on
the issue of tackling crime in their area, said the
state’s top cop.
During his visit to Taman Gasing Indah on
June 14, Selangor chief police officer Datuk Tun
Hisan Tun Hamzah said he also hoped that residents will contact the police directly rather than
using the Emergency Response Centre’s 999
“I hope this banner, with large police emergency numbers printed on it, will come in handy
for all residents in times of need,” said Tun Hisan
during Taman Gasing Indah’s neighborhood
community policing programme.
An anti-crime “Cegah Jenayah” banner was
installed during the function.
He was accompanied by Petaling Jaya District
deputy police chief Superintendent Meor Hamdan Mohamed.
The police officers also joined the residents on
their rounds as part of the joint community policing scheme or Skim Rondaan Sukarelawan (SRS).
Tun Hisan added that he wanted residents to
view the police as friend rather than the authorities.
June 24 — 26, 2011
at Westside Bistro
By Brenda Ch’ng
estled in the heart of this majestic city of Shah Alam
is the Westside Bistro, the only place to satisfy ones
hankering for traditional Malay Archipelago recipes
during the upcoming Ramadhan season.
Throughout the whole fasting month of August, the
restaurant will be catering for a buffet spread of over 100
scrumptious selections from Indonesia, the Philippines,
Thailand, Brunei and Malaysia.
These original recipes, passed
down through the generations, are
cooked by a line of skilful chefs who
were brought in from the far reaches
of Malay villages.
With the unique food
assortments lined up, families no
longer need to travel far just for a
taste of ‘ala kampung’ meals. For a start, one can indulge in a
variety of village style ulam, like
‘Daun Celon’, ‘Ulam Raja’, ‘Petai’
and ‘Daun Pegaga’ which is served
with an assortment of sambals on
Ulam is a raw vegetable which is
believed to contain medicinal
properties to treat diabetes or high
The raw vegetable is usually eaten
as a stand alone dish dipped in chili
paste (sambal) before moving on to
the main courses.
prepared in different ways.
If one does not crave for Ulam,
However, the most unique dish
there are other appetisers like at the buffet is ‘Lidah Lembu Bakar’,
‘Kerabu Nangka Muda’, ‘Tahu which is oven-baked cow’s tongue.
Sumbat’, ‘Rojak Sotong’ and a
This local favourite is marinated
variety of Salads to choose from.
with local spices, kunyit and
From there, one will be pleased turmeric, and is baked in the oven
to find a diverse range of meats at 100 degrees Celsius to get a
which are cooked, marinated and tender medium rare texture.
Kerabu jantung pisang.
Fruits and pastries.
It is recommended to dip the
tongue in sour and spicy ‘Asam Air’
to get a unique blend of flavours
from the juicy meat and the dip. Next, dive into delicacies from
the Island of Indonesia with their
famous ‘Daging Dendeng Minang’
cooked mainly with chili, onions.
It is advised to savour each curry
Malaysia’s World Class Media
Awards Results on July 1
SHAH ALAM: Malaysia’s world class media
campaigns showcasing creative and innovative works
by media planners will be announced at the Malaysian
Media Awards (MMA) 2011 Black and White Glam
Night on July 1.
About 40 judges spent an entire day last week judging the submissions for this competition organised by
the Media Specialists Association (MSA), demonstrating how best last year’s media expenditure of about
RM8 billion was spent on projecting brands of different
products and services in Malaysia.
Andy Miller, CEO Vizeum Malaysia and chairperson of the organizing committee said: “The judges have
reached their verdict on how best media planners have
placed their campaigns in the various media. The winners of the 12 categories will be made known on July
The award is looking for the best use of the media
under 12 categories including Best Use of Television,
Newspapers, Magazines, Radio, Digital (online/inter-
active/mobile), Digital Search, Sponsorship, Out of
Home Media, Point of Sale, Branded Content on TV,
Small Budget (under RM100,000) and Integrated
Entries were submitted online and 42 judges vetted
and shortlisted the finalists. “An independent auditor
will tally the votes and the results will not be disclosed,
even to me, prior to the event.
“This year, the entries for the Malaysian Media
Awards 2011 increased by 34% from 250 to 335, the
highest yet in the seven years of MMA.
“The 2011 awards pay tribute to the most strategically brilliant campaigns, not creative executions. It’s all
about results achieved for the brands,” added Miller.
The MMA is an annual competition held to celebrate brilliant, innovative and outstanding media
The Black and White Glam dinner will be held at
the One World Hotel on July 1st. For more details on
the awards, call tel. 03 7660 8535.
dish separately to ensure
you get a good taste of
all the different spices
used in each dish.
Among other meat
dishes being served are
‘Daging Kurma’, “Ayam
Goreng Kalasan’, Sotong
Ayam Pedas’, ‘Ekkor
Lembu Kerisik’, ‘Burung
Puyuh Berlada’, and
These meat dishes Lemang and ketupat.
are best complimented
with their recommended ‘Nasi RM65 nett for adults and children
Kebuli’, its recipe brought here all below 12 years old eat at half price.
the way from Pahang.
Meanwhile, one can purchase
This traditional rice is cooked in promotional Ramadhan buffet
coconut oil and marinated with vouchers at RM55 nett per person
clovers, olives and lemongrass to before June 30 and at RM60 nett
give it an aromatic smell which is per person during the whole month
pungent enough to be smelt from of July.
All senior citizens aged 60 and
The rice usually has raisins and above get a special discount and only
onions tossed in, resembling the pay RM35 nett.
famous ‘Nasi Briyani’.
The Westside Bistro is located on
To end the hearty meal, pamper the Ground floor of the Shah Alam
yourself with a wide display of Convention Centre (SACC), No 4,
sweets which will leave your mouth Jalan Perbadanan Section 14/9,
watering for more.
40000 Shah Alam.
Among desserts served are an
For reservations and enquiries
assortment of Malay Kuih, ‘Pingat call the restaurant at 03-5511 8858
Pisang’, ‘Puding Gula Hangus’, ‘Ais or email [email protected]’, Chocolate Cakes, Cheese centre.com.
Cakes, and Lemon Meringue Pies.
Not forg etting the
famous Turkish Ice-cream
called Dondurma, which is
made fresh for all to enjoy.
Dondurma , which
stands for ‘freezing’ is a
unique blend of dessert due
to its sticky texture and
resistance to melting.
Due to its stickiness, this
ice-cream may need to be
eaten with a knife and fork.
Apart from local and
traditional delicacies, the
buffet also offers a separate
spread of international
flavours for all to enjoy.
The buffet menu is
rotated daily from eight
Prices for the buffet are Traditional Malay kueh.
June 24 — 26, 2011
Eco-friendly paint purifies air
By Basil Foo
KUALA LUMPUR: Global paint company AkzoNobel aims to capture the interest of a more environmentally discerning public with the launch of their new
“Nowadays customers are more discerning, they look at the
back of the pack to see if the product has adverse effects on
their health,” said Goh Cheok Weng.
The ICI Paints Malaysia managing director said the newly
launched Dulux PURE is a premium high quality paint which
is specially formulated to purify interior air.
After two years of research, the mould and fungus-resistant
paint was launched on Tuesday and boasts the ability to neutralise indoor formaldehyde gas.
“Formaldehyde has been proven by the World Health
Organisation to be carcinogenic and is present in many products as a fundamental raw material,” said Pamela Phua.
The AkzoNobel South East Asia and Pacific research, development, and innovation director said formaldehyde can
come from curtains, parquet floors, cabinets and furniture.
She added that to combat the leaking of the harmful gas
into the air inside households and offices, Dulux PURE can
function as an air purifier and absorb the formaldehyde.
“The special formula in the paint would then convert the
formaldehyde gas into harmless water vapour,” said Phua.
During the short presentation at the launch, she said the
formaldehyde-neutralising paint retained all the qualities that
customers would expect from a premium high quality paint.
Among those qualities are bacteria, mold, and fungus resistant, high opacity, excellent coverage and smooth texture.
Also present during the launch were radio personalities
from Mix FM and Era FM who contributed their voices to
the Dulux PURE advertisements.
Dulux PURE is now available at all major retailers and
Goh (standing second left), Phua, DesignCity creative director Eric Leong, radio personalities, and dancers at
the Dulux PURE launch in DoubleTree Hilton on Tuesday.
is priced between RM25 to RM40 per liter.
Customers can opt for the paint tinting choice which enables Dulux PURE to come in 2600 different colours.
opened to investors
By Basil Foo
KUALA LUMPUR: Swiftlet Ranching for Edible-Bird’s Nest (EBD) is a
novel venture for investors who can
expect a return on investment of 75
percent over 35 years.
“According to independent consultant projections, each unit of the scheme
would earn RM270,000 in 35 years,”
said Datuk Seri Dr Abdullah Fadzil
The Swiftlet Eco Park Bhd Group
executive chairperson said this is an
average annual return of 75 percent
based on the price of RM10,000 per
Interest Scheme Unit.
Dr Abdullah Fadzil, who spoke during the official launch of the scheme on
June 16, said this is the first licensed Dr Abdullah Fadzil
swiftlet ranching business in Malaysia.
sumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob dur“The scheme has also been approved by the Companies ing the launch.
Commission of Malaysia and is considered a low risk inThe launch also saw Swiftlet Eco Park Bhd signing
vestment with expected high returns,” he added.
Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between
Investors in the scheme will be given RM800 worth of Rockwills Trustee Bhd and Neucor Alliance Sdn Bhd.
vouchers to redeem bird’s nest products in the first six years
Rockwills has been appointed as trustee of the scheme
of the investment.
and will introduce Prosperity Trust, a tool to protect inBased on a RM10,000 investment, the RM800 vouch- vestments from being frozen should the investor pass on.
er represents 8 percent return per annum, much higher
Neucor Alliance will provide redemption services for
than fixed deposit rates of 3-4 percent offered by banks, the scheme’s investors via online e-redemption methods
or walk-in services.
After the construction of swiftlet ranches during the
Swiftlet Eco Park Bhd plans to employ professionals
scheme’s early years, the yearly return will be derived from and adopt a systematic approach to developing swiftlet
the bird’s nest harvest from year four to 35.
ranching and EBN industries on a large scale.
“The scheme has met all stringent requirements, one
The group’s first swiftlet project was in Manjung,
of which is the feasibility in providing high returns to Perak and has since expanded to 14 swiftlet projects in
investors,” said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Con- seven states.
AkzoNobel is a global paints and coatings company and
producer of specialty chemicals which acquired ICI Paints
on next month
SHAH ALAM: The Malaysian Association of Hotels
(MAH), is once again organising its yearly Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) programme, “The Charity Jam”.
Jointly organized by Chefs Association of Malaysia (CAM)
and Malaysian Association of Housekeepers (MAHIR), the
event will once again be held at RP Entertainment Centre
of The Saujana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on July 2 (2pm-1am).
There will be live band performances from top local
performers such as Artstream, Bonfire, Carbolic SmokeBalls,
Corn Cake Kings, Joe “Elvis” Rozario, Spellbound, SWV,
Union and V Experiment.
“For the last 12 years, MAH has been holding this event
as part of its CSR activities. This year marks the final year
MAH will be raising funds for the needy children of the
Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of University Malaya
Medical Centre,” said MAH chief executive officer Reginald
“This year also marks a milestone for MAH as the Charity Jam which is the longest running charity event in the
country. It has now been listed as one of the events in the
Tourism Malaysia Website for 2011.” he added.
PICU is dedicated to the care of critically ill children
from newborns to 14 year olds. Each year an average of 400
children are admitted to the unit with the majority referred
by government hospitals.
Previous Charity Jam Sessions have successfully raised
RM413,881.25 for PICU. This year, the organisers aim to
raise RM 60,000.
Tickets are sold via F & B coupons and are priced at only
RM 10 per coupon (RM100 per book of 10 coupons). These
coupons are pre-sold and also available on the day of the
By supporting this worthy cause, guests can stand a
chance to win complimentary hotel meal and accommodation vouchers, hampers as well as participate in Dutch
JUNE 24 — 26, 2011
Nasi dagang and nasi kerabu
Neighbourhood restaurants are a
dime a dozen, but there are some
special ones as LIN ZHENYUAN
finds out. At Restoran Binjai, it is
the people who make all the difference
uah binjai is common in Malaysia. Its roots can be
traced back to Borneo. The people of Bali call it “wani”
and the Thais know it as “yaa-lam”.
Binjai is a flowering plant from the cashew family. Countries
like Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Papua New
Guinea and the state of Kerala in India are familiar with it.
Not so common, however, is Restoran Binjai, which is located in the neighbourhood of BU 4, Bandar Utama. The
unassuming and unpretentious restaurant has been in operation for four years.
It opened in June 2008. Binjai was probably named after a
place of the same name somewhere near Kota Baru in Kelantan. It is a family-owned business where the partners take turns
to manage the establishment.
The people who are in control of the kitchen and management are mostly women. One hails from Pokok Assam, Perak,
and a few are from the east coast.
The restaurant’s specialties are nasi dagang, nasi kerabu and
nasi lemak. Nasi dagang takes pride of place naturally because
the genuine stuff is hard to come by.
Regulars normally make a beeline for this dish, and it finishes quickly as we found out when we strolled in at 2.45pm.
However, there was still nasi kerabu and a number of trays of
good old traditional Malay dishes.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the saying goes. After giving the 20-odd dishes a cursory glance, I selected the
salads and the different ulam which the people of Kelantan
and Terengganu are known for. On this occasion, I opted for
plain white rice.
If the traditional ulam is not up to standard, the first mouthful will indicate its quality. I was glad I was proven wrong. The
traditional Malay salad dishes were excellent to the point of
Later in a conversation with one of the senior partners who
identified herself as “KY”, I found out that Binjai also has a
However, the people who were the prime movers behind
the eatery were actually from a film production house. The
restaurant was the product of their entrepreneurial spirit.
KY’s sister mooted the idea of opening a restaurant in 2008
or maybe 2007, but KY wasn’t so sure because she knew the
food business wasn’t easy.
It would be essential that the owners knew how to cook
themselves because hired cooks and helpers tend to be a factor
that couldn’t be controlled.
As in many cases, sometimes the chefs or cooks just pack
up and go home. KY helps out in the kitchen now and then.
You can tell she is a good cook because of the way she describes
the dishes in detail.
After the idea of starting a restaurant was being bandied
about, it began to make sense because of the family members’
involvement in the film production business
They had to feed the workers regularly, so why not just open
up an eatery where they could have a permanent place to chill
out. And so it began and the rest, as they say, is history.
Not surprisingly, the dishes at Binjai are several notches
above average. The cooks, I was told, are from Terengganu and
Kelantan. There are about 26 dishes everyday and quite a few
are changed daily.
Earlier, I wanted the “promosi set makan tengah hari”, but
I failed to communicate properly. In the end, I opted for the
dishes that appealed to my culinary instincts.
Binjai opens from 7am to 11pm daily. The promotion set
lunch is good from 12pm to 3pm. If you are a latecomer, you
still can pick your favourite items from the wide array of
The “maciks” in the kitchen look and operate like they have
been there all their lives. Foodies tend to scrutinise kitchen
helpers, especially the cooks, if they want to have a feel of the
I did the same and found my instincts were spot on. The
women were very friendly, and when they were told that A worker putting together an order of nasi dagang.
Kelantan women are wonderfully enterprising, one of them
quickly responded “yes, we Kelantan women are great!”
Thankfully for us, the people behind that nasi dagang stall
Who am I to dispute that? I was more than convinced by at KLCC are now at the corner of Jalan BU 4/4 in Tingkat
the lunch I just had. The curries were great. The ulam had just Bandar Utama. Where Binjai is located, traffic is light in the
the right touch of sourness and sweetness.
late hours of the afternoon.
The deep-fried chicken was soft on the inside and firm on
This part of Bandar Utama has an excellent racial mix so,
the outside. All the vegetables I had on my plate were most are the customers who eat at the restaurant. That says a lot
about the quality of food at the place. It is not surprising that
This is the only restaurant I have visited for two consecutive some of the customers are local celebrities who are friends of
days. On the second day, my wife and I showed up at noon its owners.
because we wanted to sample the nasi dagang.
Binjai has certainly garnered a loyal following. Parking may
Since we were there before the lunchtime crowd, nasi da- be an issue at certain hours unless you don’t mind parking by
gang was in ample supply. The ikan tonggol was excellent, so the roadside.
was its curry. The nasi dagang has the right consistency that
The restaurant has the bare essentials that make the place
lives up to its reputation.
people friendly. It has a kind of hospitality that endears it to
Years ago, the owners of Binjai had a stall selling Kelantan Bandar Utama residents. There are other Malay restaurants
dishes in the food court of KLCC. It closed after a while, and within driving distance of course, but those are either in Taman
we were wondering what had happened to it because we re- Tun Dr Ismail or Kampung Sungai Penchala.
ally liked the nasi dagang and nasi kerabu there.
With the sunscreen blinds at the entrance and on its side
KY cleared the air regarding her stall which was in operation adjoining residential homes separated only by a wall and a
then. “We had problems finding the right cooks so it became road, Binjai has that homey ambience that makes its customimpossible to maintain the stall,” KY explained.
ers reluctant to leave.
Nasi dagang is deceptively simple but great in taste.
Fish, brinjal and lady’s fingers make a great meal.
Binjai is where customers come to taste Kelantan food.
The delectable choices of Malay traditional dishes.
JUNE 24 — 26, 2011
Where on the Net are your
By Edwin Yapp
n my last column, I talked about general security practices
one should have when connecting to the Internet. This
week, in my third and final part of dealing with internet
security, we examine the options that you, especially parents
and/or caregivers, have to control and restrict the kind of
Internet content you want your kids to experience.
Today, there are some good software programs available to
help parents keep tabs on what their children do online. However, before we get into that, let’s address the basics first.
The first thing you can do is to create two accounts in your
PCs at home. One account is for the adults, the second is for
children. If you’re using a Windows-based PC, you can set up
two accounts under the User Category under the Control
By doing this, you can limit what your children can do, as
they would not be able to, for example, change system settings
without the master password.
Next up is to set your preferences on your search engine to
“Strict” setting. All the popular browsers have this function.
Setting them to strict means that the search engine will not
return any results that are deemed offensive.
After taking these steps, you can consider employing some
software tools that can help you control and restrict Internet
content. There are many kinds of tools that can help you
safeguard your children’s online activities. These software
packages generally have the following functionalities or a
combination of a few, namely: Blocking software; Filtering
software; Monitoring software; Time-limiting tools; and
Browsers for kids.
Blocking software uses a “blacklist” to block out access to
a list of known bad websites, which must be updated on a
daily basis in order for it to work effectively. While this
method is the first step to blocking unwanted websites, the
number of bad websites on the net far outweighs what this
blocking software can handle. So this kind of software feature
is limited in its effectiveness.
Blocking software should be used in conjunction with filtering software, which looks for keywords that have sexually
explicit material, including graphic depictions of sexual acts,
nudity, and sexually explicit text.
While filtering and blocking software generally do work,
they quite often also censor legitimate searches, which children, with permission, may be searching for on the net.
For instance, words like “sex” may be construed to mean
the sexual act, but in actuality, the searcher may be looking for
information on the biological function of the human reproductive system.
Monitoring software gives parents the ability to track what
kind of website their children have been visiting. Monitoring
tools inform adults about a child’s online activity without
necessarily limiting access. Some of these tools simply record
the addresses of websites that a child has visited. Others provide a warning message to a child if he/she visits an inappropri-
In connection with this, an important feature you should
look out for is the monitoring of outgoing messages. The tool
helps to track if your child is sending out personal information
like name, age, address or phone number. These tools can help
adults supervise behaviour in chat rooms, in e-mail, and also
over the Web.
Time limiting tools help regulate the amount of time spent
on the internet, thereby giving parents the ability to stop
children from going further after a pre-determined time lapse.
Finally, kids’ browsers are specially designed to allow only
wholesome sites to appear on them and automatically censor
Also, do check with your Internet Service Provider to see
if they have any online filtering tools, which they provide for
Parents the key
At the end of the day, none of the aforementioned tools are
foolproof, i.e. they should not be treated as the end all and be
all of internet security in the home. Parents have to realise
firstly that they can no longer not pay attention to technology
and what their children do online.
Parents should be proactive and learn about the potential
dangers lurking out there on the net and take steps to minimise
the exposure of their children to these elements. And they
must also be willing to discuss openly about these issues. Also
do note, kids these days are very smart and can surf the net for
ways to get around these filters, so do be aware of such maneuvres.
There are many website for directions, but check out http://
kids.getnetwise.org/ for a fairly comprehensive look at online
safety. The website also helps you
pick an appropriate filtering software. Also since the majority of computers run Windows, it’s wise to check out Microsoft’s parental control features at http://windows.microsoft.
NetNanny is one
of the pioneers in
online filtering software. It’s flexible,
easy-to-use and configure, and it’s available for both Macs
and PCs. You can purchase this online beginning from
US$39. It also has products for mobile devices. www.
This is a free-to-download programme for Windowsbased machines. It filters via category settings, keywords,
search engine restrictions and a user-modifiable blacklist
of addresses. www.k9webprotection.com
Another pioneer in the business, but supports only
Window-based machines. For US$39, you can protect
up to 3 PCs. www.cyberpatrol.com
June 24 — 26, 2011
The women of SS2B entertain friends
and guests with some fanciful fan
dancing on June 18 at the resident association’s health and safety day.
(from left) MBPJ Deputy Health Director Dr V Chithradav, Petaling Jaya councillor Chan Chee
Kong, PJ Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian, Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee, Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Jaafar and Selangor executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar at the “Stop Dengue”
campaign. The campaign was organised by Taman Petaling Rukun Tetangga and the Petaling Jaya
City Council (MBPJ). Yayasan Tunku Naquiyuddin sponsored the setting up of the Stop Dengue
webpage at SM (P) Taman Petaling website.
Multi-racial SRS Gasing Indah members getting ready for duty during a recent visit by Selangor top cop Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah
during their neighbourhood policing programme recently.
State executive councillor Ronnie Liu handing over a mock
cheque to the chairman and representatives of the Kuan
Soon Teh Temple in Pandamaran recently. The RM50,000 is
given by the state to refurbish its premises.
A traditional Hakka dance troupe performing during the Hakka Cultural Show at the
Seri Kembangan New Village recently. The
17-member cultural group, which was led by
singer Huang Hong-ying, was brought in from
JUNE 24 — 26, 2011
By Terence Toh
Theatre, June 29-July 3;
Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts
RM20 (entrance by donation)
“William Shakespeare was one of the best English writers ever.
Seriously. Ever. The Shakespeare Demystified project aims to
share the joy and genius of the Bard’s masterful storytelling and
curious understanding of humanity. The play – Julius Caesar –
is a searing tale of power and ambition; and of the ideals of the
state and of society, with a sprinkle of violence and the odd bit
of comedy. This 80-minute, no-frills show will feature scenes
from the play in their original text, with modern-day narration to
help iron out any Elizabethan wrinkles.”
The performance will consist of an 80-minute performance
(approximately 60 minutes of Shakespeare text interspersed
with 20 minutes of narration), followed by a 10-minute break and
20-minute Q&A session.
Featuring Marina Tan, Omar Ali, Alfred Loh, Nabihan Yaacob,
Lim Soon Heng, Kien Lee, Qahar Aqilah and Sandee Chew.
Honour, betrayal and ambition – these classic
themes will come to the fore in the Kuala Lumpur
Performing Arts Centre’s Shakespeare Demystified:
Julius Caesar. Selangor Times sits down with some
of the cast to hear their thoughts on Shakespeare’s
Omar Ali (O) recently appeared as a zombie extra
in Serangan Zombi Pertama di Malaysia and went
to do his first speaking role in This Cannot, That
Cannot earlier this year.
Qahar Aqilah (Q) is a theatre veteran, having
appeared in productions such as Life in The Theatre
(2009), The Greatest Gift (2010), and Nightlife
Creatures (2011) He is also Academy Facilitator for
The Actor’s [email protected]
Kien Lee (KL) first discovered Shakespeare through
the Shakespeare Unleashed Project, founded
by Chris Jacobs in 2009. Since then, he has has
played Iago in Masakini Theare’s production of
Othello, and Theseus/Oberon in A Midsummer
What distinguishes this production of Julius
Caesar from other adaptations?
KL: It’s not an adaptation. We are doing
Shakespeare. Not the full play, but the highlights,
using Shakespeare’s language. Besides presenting
the story, we also share with the audience our
understanding of Shakespeare’s devices. There
is an actor-narrator throughout the play who
points out some of the significant aspects of
Why the choice to ‘demystify’ Shakespeare? Is the
implication that Shakespeare is too difficult for
modern Malaysian audiences to understand?
KL: Many people find Shakespeare quite
intimidating, not just Malaysians. It seems that his
works belong to the academics, the cultured, the
sophisticated. But after working on Shakespeare,
we learnt that he actually writes for a wide range
of audiences. If we could get past the antiquated
references, we will find that Shakespeare is not
so hard to understand and enjoy at all. So we are
trying to achieve that in our production.
O: I would say that Shakespeare is simply tricky
in general. As for “demystifying” it, from my own
experience, Shakespeare’s work has always
seemed rather esoteric . And that’s the best thing
about being part of this production: working on the
text, I’ve learned that his works were never meant
to be studied by a specific group of enthusiasts,
but were written for everyone to enjoy.
Q: One of our main goals is to alleviate as much
of the fear in dealing with Shakespeare’s texts,
to be able to say to oneself, “I am listening and
I understand what I can understand, and it’s not
a problem not understanding all of it”. This is
because even the so called “experts” have trouble
understanding all of it.
Tell us about your characters, and what draws you
to them. Are they anything like you in real life?
KL: Brutus is a man of ideals. He thinks that
everyone is rational and will bow before a great
cause. At times he seems to be so naïve that he
loses touch with reality and common sense. He
has strong morals and is perhaps naively idealistic.
For him, the end justifies the means. Usually he is
regarded as an antagonist, but in Shakespeare’s
version, he is more like a flawed tragic hero. I like
the complexity of this role.
Do I resemble him in real life? I don’t know. No
one ever attributes to me the characteristics I just
mentioned. But as I dig deeper, I understand more
and more where he is coming from.
O: I play Casca and Decius Brutus. I’m particularly
fond of Casca, who has this very interesting way of
getting his point across. He has this “in your face”
kind of demeanor; he is often unabashedly blunt,
but not without purpose. Decius, on the other hand,
is almost the opposite. So it’s fun to sort of stretch
myself between these two extremes.
Q: Admittedly I’m quite inarticulate when comes
to talking about characters that I play, so I shall
reserve my comments and let the audience
discover Cassius for themselves.
Compiled by Nick Choo & Terence Toh
Email: [email protected]
What is your favorite adaptation of a Shakespeare
KL: First thing that comes to mind is West Side
Story – based on Romeo and Juliet – or Throne of
Blood, based on Macbeth.
O: Mine would be Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet
(1996). I liked how it’s given a contemporary setting,
that edgy style and feeling to it, but still remaining
(relatively) true to the original text.
Q: Its between Othello (directed by Alan Parker,
starring Laurence Fishbourne) and The Merchant
of Venice (directed by Michael Radford, starring Al
Concert; June 24 & 25;
The Actors Studio @ Lot 10;
RM10 (Entrance by donation)
The KLPac String Ensemble,
under the baton of Dr Takahisa
Ota and trained by Mr Shigeki
Saito, is back by popular
demand. This time around, the
repertoire includes Fantasy
on Greensleeves, The Moon
Represents My Heart, Can
Can, Time to Say Goodbye,
Postcard from Russia and Eine
Kliene Nacht Musik, among
Nitya Sumangali – The
Dance drama; June 22-26;
Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre;
Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre; 03-22872727,
[email protected], www.ticketspeople.com; RM190-RM590
In commemoration of its landmark 75th anniversary, Rodgers and
Hammerstein’s beloved musical The Sound of Music arrives in KL direct from
the West End for a limited performance run.
Series: Reza Salleh
Concert; June 27; Dewan
Filharmonik Petronas; 03-20517007,
www.mpo.com.my, [email protected]
Singer-songwriter Reza Salleh
performs his personal brand of
alternative acoustic folk rock,
singing songs from his debut album
Realize. Also featuring Az Samad,
Liyana Fizi and Providence Brown.
Dress code: smart casual.
A period dance drama about a devidasi
who falls victim to a cruel fate as
an eternal wife of God, following
tradition – even in death. Directed
and choreographed by Lex Lakshman
Balakrishnan, resident choreographer at
Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.