Illegal hostels irk Sunway residents

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Illegal hostels irk Sunway residents
Illegal hostels
irk Sunway
residents
Beauty of
fighting
fish
p
18
p
7
CNY road
safety
campaign
p
9
January 28 — 30, 2011/ issue 10
community
National heritage status?
By Gan Pei Ling
SUNGAI BULOH: The long
awaited promise to preserve the
leprosy settlement here looks close
to being fulfilled but its residents
are sceptical about their future.
A spokesperson from the National Heritage Department confirmed that the government was in
the midst of gazetting the 81-yearold leprosarium. Once the world’s
second largest, the settlement is
likely to be recognised as a national
heritage this year.
“We are still checking with the
Health Ministry and Gombak Land
Office to make sure there are no
developments planned in the area
we want to gazette,” he said in a
phone interview with Selangor
Times on Wednesday.
However, residents who are still
in the dark said they will not celebrate until the authorities disclose
how much of the settlement will be
preserved.
“There shouldn’t be anymore
development, we want the remaining 78 hectares to be preserved entirely. Otherwise, residents might be
required to move again,” said Lee
Chor Seng, who has lived in the
settlement since 1958. He is also a
settlement council member.
Lee said the best Chinese New
Year gift to the residents would be
for the entire 78ha were to be gazetted.
Health Minister Datuk Seri
Liow Tiong Lai had verbally promised the residents that the settlement
would be gazetted as a national
heritage last Chinese New Year.
Residents of the settlement in Sg Buloh are hopeful their home will be recognised as a national heritage soon. – Picture by Victor Chong
Over the past two decades, the
original 230ha leprosy settlement
has been subdivided to build the
Sungai Buloh Hospital and medical
faculty of Universiti Teknologi
Mara (UiTM).
The oldest resident, Lee Saw
Cheng, 89, pointed out that the
settlement is the only home she
knows. She has lived there since
1936.
Still housing 230 leprosy survivors like Lee, the settlement is now
a living testament to humanity’s
triumph over the once incurable and
fearful disease.
The National Heritage Department officer said they do intend to
conserve as much of the remaining
area as possible.
“The leprosarium has historical
significance, especially to our medical history,” he said, adding that his
department is currently compiling
an inventory list of the important
structures to be conserved.
The officer added that once they
have settled land issues with the
Health Ministry, it would take
around four to six months to officially gazette the site barring any
• Turn to page 2
2
news
January 28 — 30, 2011
Selangor WEATHER
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21
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By Alvin
Residents hopeful
JPJ to focus on killer
stretches in Selangor
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
SHAH ALAM: Three “killer stretches” in Selangor will be
patrolled by the Road Transport Department ( JPJ) in a bid to
reduce fatalities this Chinese New Year.
The stretches which will be closely monitored are KM54
Jalan Klang-Sabak Bernam (near Kg Belimbing), KM394
North South Expressway near the Selangor-Perak border and
KM1.6 and 2.6 of the Elite Highway near the Ebor toll plaza.
Selangor JPJ director Yusoff Ayob said 24 hour patrolling
would be carried out on these roads during the festive period,
He added that plainclothed JPJ officers on express buses will
monitor and catch errant express bus drivers besides conducting
inspections of buses at depots and terminals.
To place your Advert in
Contact Timothy Loh at 019-267 4488
or Ivan Looi at 014-936 6698
phone (603) 5523 2288
fax (603) 5523 1188
email [email protected]
EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR
COMMUNITY EDITOR
KL Chan
Neville Spykerman
Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Rahmah Ghazali,
Gan Pei Ling, Basil Foo, Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
COPY EDITORS James Ang, Deborah Loh
WRITERS
DESIGNER
Jimmy C. S. Lim
PHOTOGRAPHER
ADVERTISING
ADVISORS
Victor Chong
Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
public objections.
A world-renowned centre for leprosy treatment and research, the Sungai
Buloh leprosarium housed over 2,400
patients of various ethnicities and nationalities at its peak in the 1940s.
Its size was only second to the leper
colony at Culion Island in the Philippines.
It was also one of the first leprosaria
to be modeled after a “garden city”
concept rather than a prison. The more
humane approach was later emulated by
other countries.
Its residents and heritage activists
have been lobbying the federal
government to gazette it as a national
heritage for years.
There was a public outcry in 2007
when some structures were demolished
to make way for UiTM’s medical
faculty.
The Sungai Buloh Settlement
Council president Tan Him also hoped
all of the remaining 78ha would be
preserved a historical heritage.
He said that it is vital to conserve the
settlement as few young Malaysians
today know about its history.
Although it used to be shunned by
outside world, the Sungai Buloh leper
colony has always been a self-sustaining
community.
It had its own school, community
hall, bank, houses of
worshi, social club,
prison, and even its own
currency for a time.
Heritage activist Teoh
Chee Keong said the
settlement used to be a
potential world heritage
site.
“Unfortunately, they
demolished some of the
original structures in
2007 so it would be
difficult to apply for
world heritage status
now.
“But the site should
definitely be recognised
as a national heritage for
its contribution to our
c o u n t r y ’s m e d i c a l
history,” said the USCI
University lecturer.
The once isolated
settlement is now
nicknamed the Valley of
Hope and is a haven for
gardeners with its abundant nurseries.
Many of the nurseries
were once owned by Lee Chor Seng
h e a l e d l ep er s , w h o
cultivated the flowers and plants by been taken over by outsiders in recent
themselves to earn a livelihood.
years as the original owners retired or
However, some of the nurseries have passed away.
History of leprosy
Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded diseases in human
history. References to it can be found in Egyptian papyri,
Hindu Vedas and the Hebrew Bible.
Before a cure was discovered, leprosy patients were
generally feared, stigmatised and isolated by society due to
the misunderstandings surrounding the infectious disease.
Leprosy does not always directly cause deformities.
Rather, it attacks the nervous system of the patient’s face
and limbs. Due to the loss of sensation, patients can injure
themselves without realising it.
In other instances, leprosy may cause small tumours in
the patients’ bodies.
It was not until 1873 that scientist Dr Gerhard Hansen
discovered the bacteria (Mycobacterium leprea) that caused
leprosy. Since then, it was also known as the Hansen’s
disease.
Although contagious, the bacteria is difficult to transmit
and only prolonged contact with untreated patients would
result in infection.
In the 1940s, a cure – Dapsone – was invented but patients had to undergo treatment for 20 years or more to
avoid any relapse.
The most effective treatment for leprosy – a multi-drug
therapy (Dapsone, Rifampicin and Clofazimine) – was
discovered in the 1980s.
From then on, leprosy has been eradicated from most
countries globally and patients are no longer admitted to
the Sungai Buloh leprosarium.
The remaining 230 survivors at the settlement, aged
from 60 to 89, are the last batch of patients admitted.
Selangor against online controls
SHAH ALAM: Selangor has joined
the chorus of protests against any move
by Putrajaya to censor online media.
“It is a highly regressive move with
the sole purpose of denying Malaysians
their basic right to information,” said
Elizabeth Wong in a statement to the
press yesterday.
The state executive councillor pointed out that it was another attempt by
the Federal Government to renege on
the MSC Malaysian 10 Point Bill of
Guarantees, which stipulates in no uncertain terms that there will be no
censorship of the Internet.
Home Ministry secretary-general
Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam caused a
stir on Wednesday when he said that the
Printing Presses and Publications Act
(PPPA) will have its scope widened to
include online media content.
Wong said previous attempts by the
Information, communication and culture ministry to introduce an internet
filter a year ago was greeted with anger
but this has not discouraged the new
plan.
She added that the move to amend
the PPPA was an attempt to silence
critics.
She said the Internet allowed Malaysian space to openly discuss important
issues.
New conditions imposed on developer
SUBANG JAYA: A developer has been asked to contribute
to alleviating the traffic congestion at Jalan Kewajipan here
before authorities approve another new development.
Revenue Concept has submitted a proposal to the Subang
Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to build service apartments
and shoplots at a 1.6 hectare site next to the Summit shopping
centre.
MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikhsan said the council had approved the project in principle but the developer
must agree to conditions.
He explained that traffic congestion was a longstanding
problem in the area and the developer must comply with what
he described as a “win-win” solution.
The developer is expected to contribute funds to widen
the road from three-lanes to five besides upgrading and synchronise the traffic lights along the stretch. The developer
will also be required to build a pedestrian bridge to the
neighbouring Light Rail Transit station.
Adnan said the developer had yet to respond to their request.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ January 28 – 30, 2011 ⁄ 3
4
news
January 28 —30, 2011
Events
Tun Mahathir The Musical
Played by an outstanding local cast, this musical
depicts the life of Malaysia’s longest standing Prime
Minister Tun Mahathir. The musical will shed light on
Tun’s childhood days, his friends and family, his life
journey as a doctor, his successes and dilemmas
during his tenure as the premier and much more. The
show started on Jan 21 will end on Sunday at 8pm.
Admission is from RM32 to RM302. Venue: Istana
Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak, KL
Lion dance in Mines
Catch the Lion Dance performance at the Mines
Shopping Fair at the stage area at Level 3 (in front
of Best Denki). An acrobatic show featuring young
professional acrobats from China will also be staged till
Feb 1 at the mall. Shoppers can also expect to see the
God of Prosperity, who will be giving out goodies. For
details, call 03-8949 6333.
Pay Less Books’ Warehouse Sale
Feel like browsing through or even buying cheap
books? This warehouse sale is definitely for you. It will
be held from today till Sunday at 10am to 7pm. Venue:
Ground Floor, Dataran Millennium Square, Jalan SS
14/1, Petaling Jaya.
National Classics
Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra will be featuring
Kees Bakels as conductor and Jean-Guihen Queyras
on cello. Writing of the Canadian-born French cellist’s
Proms debut, the Daily Telegraph observed; “Hearing
Jean-Guihen Queyras is always a treat”. There is
even more of treat in store at this concert, for he is
performing one of the greatest of all cello concertos,
full of Dvowák’s nostalgic thoughts for his homeland.
The concert will begin tomorrow at 8.30 pm and end
on Sunday at 3pm. Admission for tomorrow’s show
is RM 95, RM 75, RM 55, RM 25 and on Sunday it
is RM85, RM 65, RM 40, RM 20. Venue: Dewan
Filharmonik PETRONAS, Level 2, Tower 2, PETRONAS
Twin Towers.
Kuala Lumpur Scooter Night 2011
This inaugural event is planned to gather all scooter
owners in Klang Valley to get to know each other. It
is a fun and meaningful event as you are going to
experienced the brotherhood of riding on two wheels
and showcasing your machine. There will be live
band playing to accompany this event. The event is
on Sunday at 7pm. Admission is RM 35. Venue: Hotel
Wentworth KL, Jalan Yew.
Hainan gathering
The Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan Hainan
Association will usher in the Year of the Rabbit with
thousands of red lanterns hanging over the Thean
Hou Temple as well as the following events: Winners
of the 2009 World Magic Championship will entertain
the audience with performances such as “silk hanging
teen beauties in the air”, “double power”, “soft bone
skill” and “umbrella changing”. There will also be
other activities such as a lion dance and a calligraphy
contest. The event will be on Feb 2 at 11.30pm and
Feb 3–6 at 11am, 3pm and 8pm. Admission is free.
Venue: Thean Hou Temple, Jalan Syed Putra.
Francissca Peter treat
With 20 No 1 hit songs and voted five years running as
“Best Female Vocal”; this concert coincides with the
release of Fran’s latest compilation album “Keunggulan
Francissca Peter”. This concert will feature special
appearances by Royston Sta Maria and Imran Ajmain.
The concert will be held on Feb 5 and 6 at 8.30pm.
Admission is from RM 99 to RM 299. Venue: Istana
Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak.
Charity lunch
The Very Strong Old People’s Club of Rumah Charis is
organising a Chinese New Year Charity Luncheon on
Feb 7 at 11.30am at Golden Dragon City in Paramount
Garden. Tickets are for sale at RM50 per person. Call
Kong at 03-7873 0486 or 016-378 9920.
The group protesting at the fishing village in Sungai Lima.
Fishermen protest
By Tang Hui Koon
SUNGAI LIMA: More than 100
fishermen staged a protest here against
the Fisheries and Marine Departments
for curtailing the hiring of foreign workers on their vessels.
The group, led by Kapar MCA chairman Datuk Song Kee Chai, gathered at
the fishing village on Sungai Lima, an
island next to Pulau Ketam, to urge
authorities to ease the restrictions.
Song said the fishermen had little
choice but to hire foreign labour because
of the labour intensive work which few
locals were willing to do.
He said they had been hit hard by
strict enforcement of the ruling against
foreign labour, with about 10 fishermen
arrested recently for hiring illegal immigrants, besides being fined between
RM3,000 and RM10,000.
Councillors slam
Alam Flora
By Alvin Yap
petaling jaya: Petaling
Jaya City Council (MBPJ)
councillors are unhappy with
Alam Flora Sdn Bhd’s inability
to account for the work they
have done in keeping Petaling
Jaya clean of rubbish.
At a full-board meeting on
Wednesday, councillors wanted
the solid-waste management
company’s annual contract to be
terminated because Alam Flora
was not covering all the areas it
is supposed to, according to
councillor Mak Khuin Weng.
“Since November, we’ve
been sending notices to Alam
Flora asking them to explain
why they aren’t collecting all the
rubbish from houses and from
public areas,” Mak told Selangor
Times.
He said the company, which
has a RM60 million contract
from MBPJ to carry out waste
disposal, has not lived up to the
terms in the contract. The contract had ballooned from RM45
million the year before.
MBPJ, Mak said, wanted to
know how the money was spent,
adding that he wanted the com-
pany to account for every
house, every drain and every
rubbish bin they carried out
their work on.
Alam Flora has been asked to
provide an “inventory list” of
the services they have provided
to MBPJ, which they did in
November 2010.
The list, however, did not
state the complete amount of
work done and was not up-todate, Mak said.
At the meeting, Mayor Roslan Sakiman decided to give
Alam Flora another week to
submit a new inventory list.
Mak, however, disagreed
with this move, saying the
council should terminate the
company’s contract.
Mak said he had raised
grouses from rate-payers who
have questioned MBPJ’s awarding of a costly contract to a
company that was not performing. The issue was first brought
to him in September 2010, he
said. “It’s a headache for MBPJ
and we should be rid of it,” said
Mak, adding that MBPJ should
find other contractors to conduct solid waste removal and
disposal for Petaling Jaya.
This has deterred them from going to
sea for the past week, Song added.
It has also caused a shortage in the
supply of downstream products such as
dried prawns and belacan, and was taking a toll on the fishing industry, Song
said.
A memorandum has been sent to the
Government calling for a solution. One
proposal is that each fishing boat be allowed to hire two foreign workers.
Comply with
rules, EC told
SHAH ALAM: Datuk Teng Chang Khim
has reminded the Election Commission (EC)
to fix a date for the Port Klang by-election
without further delay.
“The EC should not be seen to be in collusion with any political party or any individual
to delay or avoid the due process of election or
it would be abdicating its constitutional duty,”
said the Selangor State Assembly Speaker.
In a statement to the press, Teng noted that
the EC had fixed Jan 27 to discuss the byelection of Merlimau state constituency in
Malacca with no mention about Port Klang.
“I am puzzled why the EC does not want to
fix the same date to discuss the by-election for
the Port Klang state constituency,” he said.
The seat was declared vacant on Jan 19 after
its former assemblyperson Badrul Hisham
Abdullah was allegedly absent for six months.
Teng pointed out the declaration was made
by virtue of the Selangor Constitution and the
EC was notified on Jan 21.
Teng reminded the EC that the state constitution also provides that “a casual vacancy
shall be filled within 60 days from the date on
which it occurs.”
He said any delay would raise the public’s
suspicions over the independence and neutrality of the EC .
Teng added that Badrul’s law suit against
the decision was just an attempt to delay the
by-election.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ January 28 – 30, 2011 ⁄ 5
6
news
January 28 — 30, 2011
Subsidy cut not needed,
says economist
By Rahmah Ghazali
MIER executive director Dr Zakariah
Abdul Rashid.
SHAH ALAM: An economist from
the Malaysia Institute of Economic
Research (MIER) has argued against
removing subsidies because there is no
concrete evidence to show that doing
so would distort the economy.
MIER executive director Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid said he disagreed
with the World Bank’s view that
maintaining subsidies would distort
the equilibrium of supply and demand.
“This is not the reality we are facing now,” he said at a luncheon organised by the State Economic Advisor’s
Office on Tuesday.
“ It is uncertain that removing
subsidies would distort the economy.
By removing subsidies, it also doesn’t
necessarily mean we will increase or
improve our social welfare,” he said.
Any removal should not be done
in one go, he added.
“ We need to have subsidy rationalisation to reduce the govenrnment’s financial burden,” he said.
Zakariah, however, stressed that
the government should not consider
giving subsidies as a burden as it was
its responsibility to improve social
welfare.
He further said that subsidies
should be reallocated and used to
improve consumer welfare and living
standards. Rationalisation of subsidies
would also increase market efficiency.
Meanwhile, state economic adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who
was also at the luncheon, said that
subsidies only benefited the rich who
could afford to pay more.
“ They would not care about the
people, especially those who earn less
than RM1,500 per month. At the end
of the day, the poor barely survive after
spending so much money on daily
necessities,” Anwar said.
Anwar said the nation was struggling financially after recording a 53.1
per cent deficit in the Gross Domestic
Product (GDP).
“And this was not even caused by
subsidies to the people. This deficit
trend has been going on for 12 years
and this is certainly not a positive
sign,” he said.
The Federal Government last year
increased the prices of petrol, diesel,
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and
sugar following a slash in subsidies,
while promising the subsidy adjustment would have minimal impact on
the public.
Roadworks
to alleviate
congestion
By Basil Foo
PETALING JAYA: The Petaling Jaya City Council
(MBPJ) has agreed to widen sections of Jalan PJS 3/22
to alleviate traffic congestion in the area.
The decision was made following a dialogue between
city officials, residents and PJ Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian
on Wednesday night at the Sri Manja community hall.
“The road will be widened from a single lane to two
as soon as possible, depending on our budget,” said MBPJ
councillor Mahharul Ismail, who also attended the
meeting.
The longstanding problem affects 4000 residents in
housing estates around the area.
Heavy traffic has inconvenienced residents of the
apartments, terrace houses and shoplots along PJS 3/22
who have to contend with the noise and danger of
moving vehicles.
The discussions included the road exit from Kesas
highway to Petaling Jaya.
“As there is no main road, traffic has been passing
through housing and school areas,” said Mahharul.
The plan is to build a main road from the Kesas
highway directly onto the New Pantai Expressway which
is currently in the planning stages.
“Consultants have surveyed the area and depending
on the engineering department, it will take about six
months to a year for the plan to be carried out,” he said.
He said a more efficient traffic light system was
needed and MBPJ will also look into implementing it.
Also present at the meeting were officers from MBPJ’s
engineering and planning department along with 100
residents.
LEE LANDSCAPE SDN BHD
LEE LANDSCAPE SDN BHD (Company No. 433709-X)
46-1, Jalan 8/62A, Bandar Menjalara,
Kepong, 52200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-62731913 (Hunting line) Fax: 03-62750496
E-mail : [email protected]
Contact person : Ms Brenda Lai
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ January 28 – 30, 2010 ⁄ 7
news
Illegally renovated
hostels irk Sunway
residents
By Rahmah Ghazali
SUBANG: Being one of the biggest education hubs in the country, Bandar Sunway
never shies away from criticism from the
residents over its poor accommodation to
cater to the increasing number of students.
This time around, the residents of PJS 9
could not contain their anger any longer
when some of their neighbours have “turned”
their homes into hostels.
Worse yet, some of the owners have renovated their homes to 15 to 16-bedroom
hostels, a resident revealed during a town hall
meeting with Subang Jaya assemblyperson
Hannah Yeoh on Wednesday.
“What are the guidelines for these
houses to turn into hostels? Can they turn Abdul Jalil Ali
into more than 10 rooms? This is definitely tions that are being drafted by the local aunot safe,” said Mohamad Noor Ahmad, thority are looking at bedrooms with a
deputy chairman of the resident’s associa- maximum of two persons each.
tion.
“If a house has 10 bedrooms, that is alAnother resident James Chang con- ready very wrong and MPSJ can come in and
curred, saying that the local authority should summon them for illegal renovations,” she
come out with a clearer guideline when it said.
comes to turning residential homes into
Meanwhile, another resident expressed
hostels.
his concern over the presence of African
“This would could cause fire hazards be- people who have started flocking to Bandar
cause there are too many bedrooms in one Sunway of late.
small house…but it is not like we do not
“These people sometimes get drunk and
welcome these students,” he said.
get into fights at a kopitiam nearby and
However, Subang Jaya Municipal Coun- disturb the safety of the public,” said Abdul
cil (MPSJ) councillor Edward Ling ex- Jalil Ali, 44.
plained that there are still no guidelines yet
He said their action was usually encourto be enforced.
aged by a nearby kopitiam which has its
“There is a draft but the general guidelines premises open beyond operating hours.
state that if it is a modern house of 1,000 sq
“And it is sad to say that the kopitiam is
ft with three to four rooms, it should be for only a few steps away from a police beat,” he
about 10 people,” he said.
said.
According to him, there have been two
Bandar Sunway police station chief incases reported previously, where summonses spector R Muniandy, who was also present
have been issued against them.
at the meeting, told the residents that it is
“But we couldn’t take any further action MPSJ’s responsibility to check if the prembecause the guidelines were not in place. As ises operate beyond business hours.
soon as the guidelines are passed, we will
“As for the police, it is our responsibility
investigate them from an illegal renovation to take care of public safety. But we cannot
point of view,” he said.
act if there are no complaints from the pubYeoh also revealed that the recommenda- lic,” he said.
Know Your Councillor:
Dr Daroyah Alwi
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
SHAH ALAM: Dividing her time
between her dental practice and helping
the community is no easy task for Dr
Daroyah Alwi.
But the three-term councillor with
the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA)
is taking the challenge in her stride.
The 49-year-old mother of four says
helping those in need is part and parcel
of being a councillor.
“I like it when I get to meet the community, get to know them and help
them whenever possible. When you
meet the people you will learn their
conditions, whether they are well off or
in need of help,”says Dr Daroyah.
A member of the Zone 5 Residents’
Representative Council (MPP), her
area of responsibility includes Sections
15, 16, and stretches to parts of Sungai
Rasa, Padang Jawa and Rimba Jawa.
Bringing relief to victims of natural
disasters is among the challenges she
faces.
Dr Daroyah says she often calls
MBSA’s Disaster Operations Centre
where she coordinates flood relief operations.
She also visits other areas under her
charge with MBSA officers and elected
representatives to meet ratepayers and
attend to the concerns.
Dr Daroyah can be reached at her
service centre in Section 16 near Dewan
Jati in front of the PKNS flats.
Between her career, family and and
responsibility as a councillor, Dr Daroyah says she has time for little else.
8
news
January 28 — 30, 2011
99 Speedmart donates
RM30,000 from campaign
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
SUNGAI BULOH: Thanks to money
collected through the state’s “No Plastic Bag
Day” campaign, 99 Speedmart Sdn Bhd was
able to donate RM30,000 to the Global
Environment Centre (GEC) last Friday.
“I would like to congratulate all retailers
participating in the state’s ‘No Plastic Bag
Day’ campaign for making it a success,” said
state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong
at the event.
“We have managed to reduce at least four
million bags last year while increasing awareness about environmental issues among
Selangor consumers. Today, thanks to 99
Speedmart and GEC, we see another benefit to the campaign with the funds collected being put to good use,” added Wong,
who is the exco in charge of the environment.
With over 200 outlets throughout the
Klang Valley, 99 Speedmart was a key participant and supporter of the “No Plastic
Bag Day” campaign when it was first
launched at the beginning of 2010.
The state’s initiative aims to reduce the
use of single-use plastic bags in the state via
a voluntarily campaign. To date, over 80
retailers are participating in the campaign.
Every Saturday, these retailers encourage
their customers to bring their own recyclable
shopping bags by charging 20 sen for each
plastic bag given. Retailers then channel the
collection to their corporate social responsibility programmes or to charities and
non-governmental organisations (NGO).
Quek Teng Hiong, general manager of
99 Speedmart Sdn Bhd, said that their participation in the “No Plastic Bag Day”
campaign was their way to show the public
the importance of protecting the environment by reducing plastic bag usage.
GEC management Chee Tong Yiew
who represented the NGO at the cheque
presentation said, “We are very honored to
be the recipient of the funds and commend
99 Speedmart for supporting the ‘No Plastic
Bag Day’ campaign.”
“Not only has the campaign reduced the
number of plastic bags used, but it has also
benefited the protection of the environment
indirectly, for example, via this donation.”
added Chee.
Chee said the funds will be used by GEC
to support its environmental awareness activities such as the ongoing river care programme for schools, the facilitation of
River Rangers water monitoring and recycling activities, as well as the community
mangrove rehabilitation and protection in
Klang.
Wong (centre) with the 99 Speedmart staff during the cheque presentation ceremony
last Friday.
news
January 28 — 30, 2011
MPS: Migrants
not our problem
By Rahmah Ghazali
SHAH ALAM: Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) has
disclaimed responsibility for immigrant traders who are
alleged to have forced local hawkers out of business at
Selayang Utama wet market.
Its public relations officer, Mohd Zin Massaod, told
Selangor Times the Immigration Department should instead take full responsibility.
“It is not our responsibility to arrest the immigrants,
we don’t even have a depot to house them,” he said.
It was reported in Selangor Times last week that immigrant traders, who are mostly from Myanmar, were
under-cutting local hawkers.
The illegals were allegedly being “protected” from having their stalls and goods seized as they have been seen
giving money to unidentified individuals.
Although it was also reported that the incident has
been going on since 2008, Mohd Zin said the local authority had yet to receive any official complaint from the
public.
“If there is any complaint from the public involving the
immigrants, we will forward it to the Immigration Department,” he said.
However, he said MPS was doing its part by monitoring the area from time to time. But this attempt was made
difficult as the immigrant traders would run away every
time the local authority inspected the area.
“It would be hard for us to identify each of them. And
every time we seize their stalls and goods, there will be a
local bailing them out,” he said.
Mohd Zin said the MPS wanted the Selayang Hawkers
and Traders association to resolve the matter.
Campaign to curb CNY road deaths
9
By Basil Foo
CHERAS: A statewide road safety campaign has been launched to reduce the
number of road fatalities this Chinese New
Year.
“An 8.5% increase in fatal accidents was
recorded during Chinese New Year with
978 deaths in 2009, and 1061 deaths in
2010,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid
Ibrahim.
He said 44 of the fatalities during the
festive period last year occurred in Selangor.
Klang recorded the highest number followed by Hulu Selangor and Petaling Jaya.
Khalid said the campaign was aimed at
reminding road users to be courteous and
to keep their vehicles in good condition.
“Those with small children should buy
child safety seats. There are locally made
and used to cost more but are now only
RM300. Quality is not an issue as they
are SIRIM approved and have also been
exported to other countries,” he explained.
Selangor also recorded 189 deaths
in road accidents during Aidilfitri last
year, which was the highest, compared
to Johor, second with 158, and Perak
(120).
Several accident-prone areas have
recorded the highest number of deaths
every festive season: Kuala Selangor,
Sabak Bernam and Hulu Selangor.
“Road users should be more cautious when travelling in those areas, but
during this festive season, any area can
become accident-prone if caution is not
taken,” he said.
According to studies, motorcyclists
were the most accident-prone with
3,898 deaths, or 60% in 2008 out of a
total of 6527 fatalities.
“That is why it is very important for
every motorcyclist to wear a SIRIM
approved helmet,” he said.
They should also follow the speed
limit of 60kmph and not turn the
highway into a race track,” he added.
He later distributed road safety instructions to motorists and new helmets and reflective jackets to motorcyclists at Plaza Toll Batu 11.
Selangor to protect Quartz Ridge
By Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Preparations to apply
for world heritage status for the Klang
Gates Quartz Ridge - potentially the
longest in the world - are expected to
take around two years.
A preliminary study is under way and
is expected to take 18 months before a
formal application is made by the state
to the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation
(Unesco).
“We’re engaging academics, scientists
and other related experts to help us
with the research,” said executive
councillor for environment Elizabeth
Wong.
She said the application was expected
to take an additional six months.
The state executive council had approved the proposal to apply for world
heritage status for the Klang Gates
Quartz Ridge last November.
The unique geological site was previously under threat as the Kuala Lumpur
Outer Ring Road was expected to cut
through the ridge.
Fortunately, the state successfully
persuaded highway developer Ahmad
Zaki Resources to dig a tunnel around
the ridge to avoid damaging the site.
The quartz ridge, also known as Bukit
Tabur, is a popular hiking destination
located next to the Klang Gates Dam
and Gombak forest reserve.
The ridge is also home to five plant
species endemic to the area and mountain goats commonly known as serow.
News
10
January 28 — 30, 2011
Yeoh calls
for end to
traffic woes
subang jaya: Subang Jaya
assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh has
appealed to the Public Works Department ( JKR) to resolve worsening traffic congestion at Persiaran
Kewajipan and the Kesas interchange.
“We’ve proposed to JKR to
change the four-phase traffic lights
at the Kesas interchange to twophase traffic lights.
“Motorists from Persiaran Kewajipan will only be able to go
straight or turn left onto the Kesas
highway. They won’t be able to turn
right like now, but they can make a
U-turn on the highway before the
toll,” Yeoh said at her office on Tuesday.
Yeoh said traffic was worst in the
evenings as motorists heading back
to Puchong, Kota Kemuning and
Klang all used Persiaran Kewajipan
to get to the Kesas interchange.
She said cutting down the number of traffic lights would help reduce waiting time and ease traffic
flow. However, JKR has yet to respond to or act on the proposal.
Yeoh said the proposal had already been mooted when the tollfree Subang-Kelana link was opened
in August 2009. The Subang-Kelana
link connects the Subang airport
Yeoh: Still waiting for JKR to act on proposal.
road to Persiaran Kewajipan via a
bridge across the Federal Highway.
The link was supposed to reduce
traffic congestion in Subang Jaya but
the RM315 million project by the
Federal Government had only wors-
ened traffic woes as it directed more
traffic onto Persiaran Kewajipan.
Yeoh said many development
proposals to the Subang Jaya
Municipal Council have been
turned down because of objec-
tions related to traffic congestion.
“We’re worried that the traffic
condition will get worse when
construction work for the LRT
line begins as some roads are
likely to be closed,” she added.
Drug abuse
in Jenjarom
an ‘old issue’
By Rahmah Ghazali
Speaker
Teng
(right)
with a
State
Assembly
official.
Selangor plan foiled by BN
shah alam: The Selangor State Government’s plan to amend the State Constitution so that it can pick its own topranking officers like state secretary, financial
officer and legal adviser was foiled by Barisan Nasional at the State Assembly on
Monday.
Although all of the ruling Pakatan
Rakyat assemblypersons had voted for the
amendment to Article 52 (1) of the State
Constitution, it could not make the necessary changes as it could not obtain the
necessary two-thirds majority.
While 34 of the PR legislators voted for
the amendment, all 20 of BN’s lawmakers
voted against returning the power to appoint officers back to Selangor.
There are 56 assemblypersons in the assembly.
Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim did
not exercise his vote while Umno’s Port
Klang assemblyman Badrul Hisham Abdullah was not allowed in the assembly hall as
his seat was declared vacant by Teng last
week.
“We are disappointed that BN rejected
the amendment,” said Menteri Besar Tan
Sri Khalid Ibrahim in a statement on Tues-
day.
“What is worse is that they failed to give
concrete reasons for turning down the
amendment. The rejection is proof that
their loyalty is to Putrajaya instead of having
the people’s interest at heart,” said Khalid.
The amendment was aimed at returning
the power of appointment back to the Palace and the Menteri Besar, instead of the
Public Services Commission (PSC).
The issue came into the limelight when
the PSC, without consulting Khalid, appointed Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as
the new state secretary.
shah alam: Although the expose on
a drug haven in Kampung Jenjarom, Banting
has triggered shock among local community, Kuala Langat OCPD Supt Nordin
Manan dismissed it as an “old issue”.
“This is nonsense. We’ve had this sort of
problem all over the country but it is played
up in the media repeatedly for the past 10
years,” he told Selangor Times.
The Jan 14-16, 2011 edition of Selangor
Times reported the plight of the new village
where youths had fallen into drug abuse,
with some ending in suicide over the past
four years. Parents, too, are at a loss as to how
to stop the situation.
Nordin said the police had done their
part in tackling the matter, where last year
alone, 127 drug offenders from the village
were arrested.
But this figure cannot be considered
high, he said, compared to the total number
of residents in the area.
In view of this, he stressed that Kampung
Jenjarom cannot be described as a “drug
haven” as reported.
“Kampung Jenjarom has 46,092 residents. If we capture about 100 drug offenders in the area, this doesn’t necessarily make
it a drug town,” said Nordin.
According to him, the police had done
their best to ensure village safety but what
hampered their objective to clean up the
village was the repeat offenders.
“The only thing we can do is to monitor
the area. Besides, it is the National AntiDrug Agency’s responsibility to punish repeat offenders, not ours,” he said.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ January 28 – 30, 2010 ⁄ 11
VIews
PMN 2011:
Road to
Revolution?
Solidarity! Student Power! We want
our rights back!
There was plenty of slogan shouting at
the Perhimpunan Mahasiswa Negara
Lee Lian Kong
(PMN) held on the Jan 11 at the Kuala
Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. swanky five-star hotel nor sponsored by
Articulate or not, life-changing or not, greedy corporations seen by naïve youths
those calls were the resounding grunts of as kind organisations helping to make the
disapproval at the state of Malaysian youths world a better place.
today. PMN 2011 may not be the most
It is resonant in the type of resolutions
exciting or the revolutionary spark that will passed. Unlike other student conferences
resurrect the student movements of the where it is All Talk and No Action, PMN
Hishamuddin Rais wonder years. The 2011 was All Talk and Some Actionable
participants burned neither flags nor Resolutions.
books. But a fire burned bright that day. It
Most notable of all was the resolution
was the fire of promise.
passed to establish a Koperasi Mahasiswa
For far too long, we youths have been to regain financial and creative autonomy.
slapped around far too much. Shackled To free themselves of the financial depenunder the Universities and
dency of corporations and
University Colleges Act
Student Affairs depart(AUKU) which bans stuments, the profits gathered
For far too
dent involvement in politics.
will be channelled towards
Instructed to behave like long, we youths subsidising textbooks,
adults, i.e. unquestioning have been
funding student events and
obedience to social confor- slapped around if possible, as dividend to
mity. Indoctrination after far too much.
students.
indoctrination. Trained to be Shackled under
Now the question that
robotic consumers slaving
remains is, where do we go
the Universities from here?
away to the fat cats of capitaland University
ism.
Surely, PMN 2011 canPMN 2011 showed that Colleges Act
not be a one-off show.
we have had enough of all (AUKU) which
Like bands, there has to
these. There is still hope for bans student
be progress. The music has
youths of Malaysia.
to evolve. One cannot coninvolvement
Yes, the venue was cold
tinue playing the same type
and the content was crush- in politics.
of music lest we end up like
ingly boring. The parliamen- Instructed to
Coldplay. The mode of
tary-style forum revealed a behave like
discourse must be refined.
lack of creativity in discourse. adults, i.e.
PMN 2011 cannot conThe hall was only half full unquestioning
tinue holding full-day
and representations from the
events in parliamentary
obedience
private universities were only
style. It is far too inefficient
a pitiful handful. The debates to social
and impractical.
may not have been engaging. conformity.
Youths have to dare to
In fact, compared to the Indoctrination
push the boundaries more,
students of the French Revo- after
to think bigger. The conlution or the anti-Vietnam indoctrination.
tent of discourse cannot
War activist, Malaysian stujust be limited to campus
dents at PMN seemed meek Trained to
politics. That would be
be robotic
and afraid.
wasting a great opportuB u t P M N 2 0 1 1 ’s consumers
nity. PMN 2011 set the
strengths lie not in the num- slaving away to stage; youths now have to
bers or how radical they the fat cats of
channel their rebellious
were.
streaks to take on bigger,
capitalism.”
It lies in the type of stunational issues such as redents who attended. They
pealing the AUKU, and
were not your Starbucks-swigging, iPhone- reforms in education, economics, and
crazed middle class brats who have the more.
privilege of migrating. Not the type who
If there are great ideas, there must be
takes part in human rights activities just to implementation and action.
be seen as cool.
If there is a willing army, there must be
Instead, those who attended were those a leader to bring them to victory.
from rural, working class families whose
PMN 2011 is proof that there is a growuniversity education is their only ticket out ing potential and promise in Malaysian
of poverty. They represent the majority of youths. They have broken the deafening
Malaysian youths, for whom the economic silence. Should they keep up the momenhardship and social injustice of their up- tum and fix the glitches, we can hope to see
bringing drives their desire for a better them rise again to their grand name of
Malaysia.
“mahasiswa”; radical, spirited and inspired.
It is reflected in PMN’s venue of a modest hall and plastic chairs. Unlike other Lee Lian is a law student who thinks AUKU
conferences, PMN 2011 was not held in a is the silliest piece of legislation ever created.
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Insight
A high-tension issue: Maybe it’s time for a simpler billing.
12 January 28 — 30, 2011
By Alvin Yap
T
he 65-year-old history of the Boys’ Brigade
in Malaysia has its share of people who
recall their time as members in the oldest
uniformed organisation in the world.
The Boys’ Brigade – or BB, as it is better known
– is spoken of fondly by members who credit the
youth organisation for giving them a headstart in
honing their leadership and organisational skills.
They also remember the camaraderie and the
friendship with their fellow BB members as they
spent the time in camps or organising fund-raising
projects.
BB way to
produce
strong
leaders
MICHAEL YEI
Michael Yei, 55, is director of student sffairs
and sports at Nilai University College. He said
the BB’s programmes gave him the space and
opportunity to lead his platoon in their weekly
Saturday meetings at Kuala Lumpur Wesley
Methodist church.
The fit-looking educationalist said he received
the best training anyone could get in the BB. “You
can go to the best schools. But you can’t get to
learn what the BB teaches you.”
The educationalist said he has never forgotten
the things he had learned in the BB.
When he assumed the leadership of 1st Kuala
Lumpur as the group’s captain, he endeavoured to
teach new members what he had learned as a boy.
Former Boys who were under his care have
called Yei to tell him how thankful they were for
the BB programmes.
“I received a call from a former Boy who’s a
sales manager now. He had just negotiated and
closed a million-ringgit deal.
“He said he got his interpersonal and delegation skills from his time in the Boys’ Brigade,” said
Yei, adding the person had demonstrated good
leadership skills in the BB.
He said the space and opportunity for the students to make mistakes while leading, organising
and delegating was provided for in organisations
such as the BB.
A fatal mistake, he said, would be to make the
same errors in a real-world environment, meaning
the workforce.
“It could mean the promotion that you’re gunning for is gone,” said Yei.
In 2003, Yei read news reports of then premier
Tun Abdullah Badawi pleading for more Chinese
volunteers in the National Service (NS) camps.
Yei answered the call and volunteered to lead
a course in the NS camps. The surprise, he said,
was that he was picked as a camp commander in
Camp Bina-Diri in Kuala Kubu Baru.
Yei was the only civilian without a military
background to be given the task of running a camp
with 1,000-odd participants.
His BB captaincy saved the day when he
advised the NS curriculum planners on how to
draw up programmes that would appeal to youths.
“The other commanders were ex-soldiers with
the rank of colonel. They were wondering why
some of their participants were not enthusiastic
about the NS programmes,” said Yei.
Yei said he explained to the other camp commanders that the participants were not recruits
looking to start a career in the armed forces.
“At the end of the day, I felt my BB training
gave me the idea to design a curriculum for the
NS participants,” said Yei.
HERMEN SHASTRI
Being a pastor is about leadership and communications, said Reverend Dr Hermen Shastri. A
teenager’s time in secondary school is the “formative” years, he said.
“It’s important to have activities that nurture
the physical and spiritual side of a person’s life,”
said the theologian, who has served in Rome,
Germany and the United States.
As a pastor who has served in various towns,
Shastri said he always remembered the interaction
in the BB between members of different races.
There were no “racial boundaries”, recalled
Shastri. He said his time as a BB member in Sentul was memorable, for the times spent laughing,
marching and holding drills and physical training
with friends from other races.
The BB, he said, served a “public function”.
The BB group he belonged to, the 2nd Company
in Sentul, worked closely with the then Sentul
municipality.
In the early 70s, he said, there were no people’s
volunteer groups like Rela. The BB volunteered to
provide traffic control duties in functions.
The Sentul municipality also called on the BB
to carry out gotong-royong work, he said. The then
Member of Parliament for Batu, Dr Tan Chee
Koon, he said, called on his group to help clean
the houses of the elderly.
Shastri, who established a theological training
for indigenous people in Kampar, said he first
encountered the “marginalised community” while
serving as a BB member in Sentul.
“We had members who came from poorer
families. We ran our own fund-raising events to get
money so that some of our members could obtain
the BB uniform and equipment,” recalled Shastri.
Shastri said he supports the formation of
uniformed organisations like the BB and Scouts.
Shastri said his work as a pastor involved
communicating with people the ideas of unity, of
working together for the common good.
The theologian is involved in initiatives to
foster better dialogues between different faiths.
Shastri said his BB training gave him the opportunity to hone his communication skills.
“In a way, I wouldn’t be involved with the work
I’m doing if I didn’t got the headstart in the BB,”
said Shastri, who still accepts BB speaking engagements despite his busy schedule.
Boys’
Brigade
History
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
The Boys’ Brigade Malaysia has its
roots in Scotland. It was the first uniformed youth organisation in the
world.
Sir William Alexander Smith, an
officer of the 1st Lanarkshire Rifle
Volunteers volunteered at a Sunday
school in Glasgow where he took
charge of undisciplined boys.
Smith, who had no problems getting
a hundred grown men to obey his every
word of command on the battlefield,
was at a loss as how to manage the unruly boys.
He would turn the boys into a volunteer band or brigade, with the same
military order, obedience, discipline
and self-respect as the military volunteers. He introduced military-type
drills to instill discipline.
On Oct 4 1883, William Smith
CHEONG SENG YOON
It was in 1974 that Cheong
Seng Yoon joined 1st Kuala
Lumpur Boys’ Brigade. He was
attracted to the brass-band, which
took part in Merdeka parades all
over Malaysia; it is the parade in
Merdeka Square he remembers
fondly.
“I was attracted to the brass
band as they marched past us at
Dataran Merdeka, and also to the
uniform the Boys wore,” said the
49-year-old entrepreneur, who is
married with two teenage girls
and a son.
Cheong runs a company that
makes and sources gift and souvenirs for corporate clients.
He said it was unthinkable
that he would be the businessman
that he is today, saying that he was
a shy and introverted teenager
when he joined the BB.
His officers, Cheong said,
would approach him and tell him
he had to assert himself in leading
his members.
Cheong said he was “thrown
in at the deep end” on many occasions where he had to lead and
delegate responsibility.
At a camp organised by the Royal Malaysian Army, the then 17-year-old Cheong was
selected to lead a group of teenagers who were
led into the middle of the jungle.
“It was a map reading and compass reading expedition,” said Cheong.
The group would soon find out if the map
and compass reading lessons the army trainers had given them the day before would get
them out of the wild and back into civilisation, said Cheong.
Apprehensive and elated to be chosen to
lead the group, Cheong said he formulated
a plan to follow a trail he had picked out.
He recalled delegating the other members
in the group to scout the surrounding area.
The group was driven to the middle of
the thick jungle in the morning and told to
planned a programme for this new idea
with two friends, and the three leaders
surprised the boys of the North Woodside Mission Sabbath School by inviting
them to join a new organisation called
The Boys’ Brigade (BB).
In 1946 the BB arrived in Malaya
with the founding of the 1st Penang
Company by Robert Davis with Geh
Hun Kheng, an educationist, as the
Company Captain.
From Penang, in 1954, the BB began
to spread to other parts of Malaya beginning with the 1st Kuala Lumpur
Company. The movement then began
spreading rapidly to other towns and
small rural areas of Malaya.
The movement spread its wings to
East Malaysia in 1961 with the formation of the 1st Kuching Company in
Sarawak by Charles Henry Ingka.
In 2007, there are 101 BB companies
in Malaysia.
navigate their way out by dusk.
“Here I was, afraid that the boys would
probably beat me up if we ended up spending the night in the jungle without camping
equipment,” recalled Cheong.
Cheong said he would not have been able
to lead the group if not for the opportunity
to develop his interpersonal skills in the BB.
“Imagine, when I first joined the BB, I was
a very reserved person who was quite bad at
leading people. Over the years, I grew and
managed to develop myself,” said Cheong.
Cheong wants to reach out to parents
and encourage them to send their children
to the BB. He also said parents would have
to let their children experience life in the BB
and the wonderful programmes that he says
is holistic and develops the teenager in his or
her formative years.
views
14
JANUARY 28 — 30, 2011
Tiger Mothers?
That’s rich!
W
ahai Lord Bobo, bila saya nak kaya? (Oh
Lord Bobo, when will I be rich?) @
dinazaman, via Twitter
We are blessed to be Malaysians in today’s society, for
if one’s goal is to be rich, one need not be hardworking or smart. Sure, those attributes matter in a
competitive economy but in Malaysia, one can find
many creative ways to chase the almighty ringgit
(almighty as in, compared to the peso, not the dollar).
One might argue that kickbacks from lucrative
government contracts from well-connected political
parties could be the way to go. Or so we hear.
Oil palm ventures or large-scale development
projects are an instant way to personal richness, if one
goes through the right channels and kicks out thousands
of indigenous peoples from their ancestral homelands.
After all, they will understand, one absolutely needs a third
luxury house in Canada to keep one’s stuff, or to throw a
second extravagant wedding for one’s daughter (or yourself ).
Or so we hear.
If one desires not only wealth but also some infamy, one
could always stand for election in a controversial seat, and wait
to be bought off. Voters will understand, after all,
you’re doing it for The People, and in order to help
The People, you gotta have some cashflow. Or so
we hear.
What, you say that you have “principles”, and
“ideals”? And that you would rather not sacrifice
these in the pursuit of wealth?
In that case, you’ll probably never be rich, unless
you change your mindset on what it means to be rich.
Look around you – do you have clean running water, a
house above your head, car, internet, clothing, food?
If so, this puts you in the upper bracket of Malaysian
society. To many indigenous or rural peoples waiting to be
displaced in the name of “development,” or to the badly-paid
and badly-treated migrant workers that we tend to exploit,
you are rich.
The fact is, wealth will never be evenly distributed in any
society which has rampant corruption. Income, and particularly “side income” is definitely not based on merit or hard
work – it’s all about who you know. Of course, there are rare
instances of people who have worked their way to being rich,
but these are few and far between.
We are not trying to depress you, or shame you (actually,
maybe just a little bit), but the reality is that most middle-class
Malaysians tend not to realise what they already have, and are
always lacking for something in materialistic terms.
Once we realise that what we need to truly live are the very
basics that we already have, we can go further improving our
lives and society. We can look beyond chasing a higher income,
to chasing a more open democratic and caring society. This
means having the courage to not only stand up for your rights,
but for others, perhaps at the cost of losing your comfortable
position.
Perhaps if we had the courage to do so, individually and
collectively as a society, we would then be richer than our
wildest dreams.
And oh, maybe skipping a Starbucks latte now and then,
and putting that cash into your savings, property investments
or other financial thingamajigs could also help. Or so we hear.
Dear Lord Bobo, how would you like it if your mother
Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by
LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com)
where all your profound,
abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite,
sagacious, and other thesaurusdescribed queries are answered!
tonnes of hardcore discipline.
Ah, but you see, homo sapiens are supposed to be
complex higher beings with extremely sophisticated
thought processes, and their behaviour still baffles even
the most genius of all genius scientists every day!
Each individual is supposed to be unique and
therefore a one-size-fits-all theory or method of anything that relates to humans is laughable and the
thought that there is only one, guaranteed, right way of
raising children is ludicrous.
All children need to have some form of discipline; some
perhaps more than others but there is such a thing as child
abuse disguised as discipline. Not allowing your child to pee
on someone else is discipline. Not allowing your child to pee
in between piano lessons is child abuse.
It is hard to judge mothers (or anyone for that matter) unless you are put into their shoes. We all carry our own baggage
and tend to externalise our hopes, dreams, fears and disappointments onto those we have close relationships with,
including our children. We can only summarise that
mothers like Amy Chua did the best they could with
what they had, and no child can ask for more.
If we have children or plan to have children, we
ought to remember what it was like growing up, and
be the parents we wished we had. We are sure that
our parents had the same hopes when they had us,
so fret not when we make the same mistakes as long
as we are conscious enough to not repeat them.
After all, a child needs more than food and opportunities, the child needs to feel loved, and be loved.
As for Amy Chua, for an American Ivy League
graduate and professor, unfortunately she doesn’t seem
too bright. She has oversimplified parenting and we all
know that it is by far one of the hardest jobs in the world!
If it works for one child, it doesn’t mean it will work for
all children. Just because she’s Asian, it doesn’t mean all
Asian mothers discipline their children the way she does.
After some media backlash, she has backed down a bit, and
claims that she isn’t saying that her way is the best way at all,
and was just telling her story.
Whatever it is, surely the more relevant question should be
who actually raised her children. Let’s get real, it almost definitely wasn’t her – her job seems like one which requires fulltime commitment. So instead of harping on about the Tiger
Mother, perhaps someone should give a book deal to the
Hispanic Nanny or Part-Time Babysitter instead.
was like Amy Chua? Tiger Cub, via email
This is a tough question for Lord Bobo, who was famously
kidnapped in infancy and put through a gulag.
Amy Chua is the now-famous “Tiger Mother” who is the
subject of many forwarded emails lately. Chinese women seem
to think that she somehow justifies their claim to be the best
mothers in the world. What rubbish. That’s like saying that
because Lee Chong Wei is one of the best badminton players
in the world, all Malaysian Chinese men are good at badminton.
But hey, what’s not to like about Amy Chua? She’d be the
perfect Mom for the boy who cried wolf, Hansel and Gretel
who nibbled into an old lady’s house, Goldilocks who trespassed into a furry animal’s property and broke Baby Bear’s
chair and ahhh… not forgetting those boys and girls in Gossip
Girls (don’t you just wanna slap them?). These children obviously need more than just good old fashion spanking but
Although Lord Bobo already knows your question before
you even knew you had a question, as a practical display of
your true desire to have your query answered, His Supreme
Eminenceness has graciously allowed you to communicate
your questions by –
• emailing [email protected], stating your full
name, and a pseudonym if you wish the question to be
published anonymously (and a good reason for anonymity).
• tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and
using the hashtag #asklordbobo. The first 100 questions
published will receive LoyarBurok’s ONLY merchandise
you ever need (worth a lot for humankind) courtesy of
Selangor Times. Now, what the hell are you waiting for?
Hear This and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is
optional if you are somewhere very warm)!
Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!
Guarded entrances to stay, for now
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: The Petaling
Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has
postponed a directive for all
Residence Associations (RA) to
remove their gates and entr y
barriers, likely an unpopular move
with rate-payers concerned about
security.
Mayor Roslan Sakiman said he
told the MBPJ full-board meeting
that he wanted the city council to
conduct further studies on the
effects of using such barriers in
residential areas.
“The issue is complicated. On
one hand, there is the law [against
causing obstructions without local
authority approval]. But I’ve heard
from the police that in some
residential areas, crime is down
some 19 percent,” said Roslan,
explaining the postponement.
State assemblyperson Elizabeth
Wong who was present at the
meeting said she had received
complaints about the directive from
the Residence Associations of
Bandar Utama, Damasara Jaya and
Sri Damansara.
The representatives, Wong said,
told her the residents felt safer and
more secure with the security check
points which they feel have reduced
crimes such as rape, robbery and
snatch theft.
She added the residence associations told her they were not happy
with the directive from MBPJ.
Wong – also the state executive
for tourism, consumer affairs and
the environment – said MBPJ’s directive could contribute to a rise in
the crime index.
Rate-payers, she said, should be
invited to an open forum or a town
hall-style meeting to have their
views heard.
She called for the formation of a
taskforce made up of state exco
members, assemblypersons, councillors and representatives from RAs
Yeoh
(extreme
right) with the
children as
Loh (second
from left) and
Tiang look
on.
By Rahmah Ghazali
SUBANG JAYA: Five lucky underpreviliged students beamed with joy as they
were granted a golden opportunity to be part
of the world-class Taiwanese-based Classical
Mental Arithmetic (CMA) programme,
which just extended its wings to SS19, Subang
Jaya last Saturday.
Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh
presented the sponsorship, made possible by
Goh Cher Wen and his wife of Rovski Group
of Companies, to the children at a launch
ceremony.
The five children selected to receive the
sponsorship for one year are M Gomaleshwari,
Norfara’ain Azhar, S Tiviya, R Bavani and
Arfaezan Noor Azrin Ahmad, who were
picked based on their interest and potential.
“I love mathematics and (being in this
class) is so much fun!” said jovial eight-yearold Norfara’in, whose ambition is to be a
“supermodel with brains”.
Her father, Azhar Halim said that he could
not be happier that out of the many students
in Subang Jaya, his daughter was picked to
join the arithmetic institute, which has gained
worldwide recognition.
“This will definitely develop her skills and
unearth other talents that we have yet to see,”
said the 38-year-old technician.
Meanwhile, nine-year-old Arfarezan from
USJ 8 said he was grateful and hoped this
would be a stepping stone to achieving his
ambition as a policeman.
“I would like to study very hard in order to
achieve my ambition,” said Arfaezan, who was
also the only boy granted with the sponsorship among the five.
For 12-year-old Bavani, her beaming smile
showed that he could not contain her excitement to be part of CMA family.
to develop proposed guidelines for
guarded entry into townships.
“If the guidelines are comprehensive, the state may adopt it as law. At
the least, other town councils can
benefit from Petaling Jaya’s effort to
come out with the guidelines,” said
Wong.
Bukit Gasing assemblyperson
Edward Lee said the placement of
the guard houses and barriers were
“technical” issues which should be
regulated.
For example, he said gates which
can be lowered and raised by guards
or the residents themselves should
be built.
However, permanent structures
like oil drums filled with concrete
and used as barriers should not be
used to block streets and roads.
“This means, please don’t make
the housing areas look like a fortress,”
Lee said.
Subang Jaya Member of Parliament Sivarasa Rasiah said ratepayers
were worried that the directive
would be carried out.
“They think that an MBPJ bulldozer will come and tear down the
guardhouse and the gate,” the human rights lawyer said.
Councillors and state assemblypersons, he said, should visit the
areas the MBPJ directive was targeted at to explain the postponement.
Lucky 5 selected
for world-class
math programme
“I would like to come to class often...this is
very fun. If I study harder, I could one day,
become a teacher too,” said Bavani, who was
accompanied by her monther P Magadevi, a
hospital cleaner.
Earlier at the launch, Yeoh said such initiatives should be lauded as this is an example
other companies can follow.
“Most companies would only initiate this
type of Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) when they are established, but CMA
are sponsoring students even before the company starts its operations,” she said.
Malaysia CMA chief executive officer,
Ivylina Tiang, said that the CMA programme
is different as it includes right and left brain
stimulation that will trigger better concentration, enhance memory and greater creativity.
“CMA is the first in the world to use multimedia teaching and offers unlimited practice
for faster progress. In addition, CMA is a
pioneer of the ‘two-hand, four finger’ abacus
system,” she said.
She also added that CMA has produced a
world champion in mathematics over the past
few years.
Meanwhile, CMA Subang Jaya principal,
James Loh, said that the they opened the
centre here due to requests from parents.
CMA’s other branches are in the 1Utama
Shopping Mall and Klang.
CMA Subang Jaya is now offering four free
classes to parents who register their children
before January 31, 2011. For more information, please call James Loh at 019-3990128.
news 15
January 28 — 30, 2011
MP wants MBPJ
to understand
security concerns
By Yasleh Hani Mat Yassin
SUBANG: The Petaling Jaya
City Council (MBPJ) is being
urged to address the security
concerns of residents before
insisting that security barriers be
torn down.
“Asking residents to dismantle
barricades would be reasonable
after measures to deal with the
security issue are in place,” said R
Sivarasa.
The Subang MP was responding to an announcement last week
by MBPJ’s Traffic Committee on
the implementation of guidelines
on security barricades in the city.
The new guidelines may result
in the removal of existing barricades put up by residents, which
do not comply with conditions,
and this has resulted in public
outcry among resident associations .
“I call upon MBPJ to put on
hold any implementation of their
new guidelines and maintain the
status quo. The deadline of 31
March should also be removed
immediately as it is causing much
concern among affected PJ residents,” he said.
MBPJ should have obtained
feedback from elected representatives before attempting to implement the measures, said Sivarasa.
He added that the move
should also have been endorsed
by MPBJ’s full board meeting.
MBPJ had set out to implement the guidelines after some
communities reportedly went
“overboard” in beefing up securities in their neighbourhoods.
This included the usage of oil
drums as barricades in addition to
boom gates.
Sivarasa, however, believes
MBPJ should take into account
that these barriers were placed
because residents were concerned
about security.
In the meantime, Sivarasa said
MBPJ should discuss with neighbourhoods whose roads are unreasonably blocked by security
barricades to resolve such disputes.
“I agree that barricades should
not obstruct traffic especially for
emergency services vehicles,” he
said.
However, he believes the concerns of residents must be given
due consideration and that a
blanket ban on permanent structures is too simplistic a solution.
Study Medicine
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news
16
January 28 — 30, 2011
Residents get thumbs-up
By Rahmah Ghazali
SUNGAI BULOH: The Kg
Baru Sg Buloh residents’ association
has been praised for giving out
personal donations to the poor
without being too dependent on
elected representatives.
Kota Damansara assemblyman
Dr Nasir Hashim told Selangor
Times: “We truly appreciate their
efforts and contributions to the
poor. We also encourage them to
take the initiative rather than being
too dependent on us,” he said.
He said he would personally help
the residents financially but he acknowledged the financial strain
faced by lawmakers. “But we don’t
usually give the full amount to
residents. If they ask for RM5,000,
we will usually give half of it,” he
said.
And this policy seems to be
working like a charm as many residents’ associations are taking the
lead, including an initiative by Ong
Fook Koong Temple in the new
village.
Village development and safety
committee member Chai Chee
Ngem said many residents had
come forward to give out personal
donations to the poor for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.
“The goodies comprise rice,
sugar, noodles, biscuits, snacks and
soy-sauce. We also give away ang
pow,” said the 74-year-old assemblyman.
One of the recipients, 41-yearold plastic furniture manufacturer Ong Yen Kim, said he had been
very lucky to be receiving goodies
yearly. “I am very happy and I can’t
wait to share this with my wife and
daughter at home,” said Ong, who
has been suffering from polio since
he was a baby.
Subang Member of Parliament
R Sivarasa and Kampung Baru
Sungai Buloh village head Hoo
Sook Wan were also present.
Sivarasa and Nasir with the Kg Baru Sg Buloh residents.
Wrong
to label
illegals
I write as a fan who is disappointed
to see Selangor Times’ front page
article on the problem of “illegal”
Myanmar traders, which used the
same mainstream approach of “us”
vs “them”, quoting nothing from
the other side and generally fanning the underlying xenophobia
against foreigners who are driven
to Malaysia due to desperate political and economic conditions at
home.
A few years ago, another newspaper did a similar thing, only on
a worse scale – a whole series that
lasted a few days; shallow reporting
that did not look at the inhumanity that the illegals have had to put
up with and continue to do so (“illegal”, too, is an easy label that casts
an immediate aspersion against
them, when the status of their legality is another a complex problem
that also involves local authorities,
local employers and corruption).
Most reports just seek to point
the finger at the illegals and do not
look at the bigger picture of how
they came about – i.e. the extreme
poverty and political persecution
that caused them to flee here and
everywhere else is in part due to the
world’s, including Malaysia’s, complicity in accepting and cooperating with an illegal Myanmar military junta (recently made legal by
a sham of a general election, which
again was accepted by other governments, including ours).
Even so, migration is a human
right, yet there is the same undercurrent of distaste against legal
foreign workers.
I understand it may be beyond
the scope of Selangor Times to include these aspects in the report,
but I hope they will be borne in
mind so that the next time this issue is covered, it will be tempered
with a less conflict-oriented approach against an already marginalised group.
Siew Eng
Sharing robbery victims’ experience
I have been getting free copies of
this paper from my FGA church
every Sunday for the past month;
and I find this paper very informative.
I would like to suggest a column where victims of snatch
thefts and robberies can share
their traumatic experience, and at
the same time help people to become more alert.
When I was robbed in a hair
saloon three months ago in Bukit
Jalil, I became aware of the fact
that most of the shops in the vicinity were also victims of robbers
only after lodging a police report.
As a matter of fact, shouldn’t
police be more alert and try to
catch the robbers rather than stay
silent? Maybe there was no proper channel to highlight these incidents. So, I hope Selangor Times
can make a difference and allow
victims like myself to share our experience to alert the public.
Tee Lai Ping
Dr Xavier giving away a hamper to a recipient.
Gifts and ang pow for residents
klang: Chinese New Year arrived early for some residents of
Taman Sentosa in the form of
hampers and ang pow.
For 67-year-old Tan King Hoo,
who has been out of a job for the
past month due to an injury he
sustained in a road accident, it was
the first time he had received such
goodies.
“I have never received anything
for the past few years. But I am
grateful to have been given this,” he
said, showing off his hamper that
came together with mandarin oranges.
“I have two children, but they
are rarely home because of work.
However, I would like to share this
hamper with them,” said Tan, who
used to work as a door carpenter.
The joyous occasion was not
only shared by those who celebrate
Chinese New Year, but by those
who celebrate other religious festivals as well.
Andy Vainamalai, 72, said he
was grateful to be given an opportunity to share the auspicious event
with others. “This is also my first
time receiving such hampers. I can’t
wait to share this with my grandchildren at home,” he said.
The hampers were given out by
Sri Andalas assemblyman Dr Xavier Jayakumar at a Chinese New
Year bazaar. The recipients comprised mainly the elderly, the disabled and poor single mothers.
FEATURES 17
January 28 — 30, 2011
By Ooi Kee Beng
T
A Long Life
Lived in Politics
he passing of Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu in November last
year threw a challenge to all serious scholars of Malaysian
history.
Not much has so far been written about him. No doubt
most books on the country’s political history do mention episodes such as his successful challenge against Tan Cheng Lock
in 1958 for the presidency of the Malayan Chinese Association
(MCA), his failed attempt to gain extra seat allocations from
Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1959, the triumph of the Gerakan
Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan) in 1969, him leading the party into
the Barisan Nasional (BN) in 1973, and the Penang economic miracle that he facilitated in the 1970s and 1980s. But
further details are rare.
Aside from the need to uncover details, a proper analysis
into Lim’s life is required for several weighty reasons.
His political life was, after all, impressively long – at least
40 hectic years; and through it all, he always played a major
role. His struggles reflected in no uncertain terms major interrelated dimensions of Malaysian politics which are as relevant
today as they had ever been.
Hastened democracy
For one thing, complications surrounding an electoral
system that was put in place only when colonialism was no
longer a viable option were all too evident. The electoral system
had to evolve under great pressure from British haste to withdraw, and during inter-ethnic tensions and the communist
insurgency.
The immature democratic culture, along with the social
diversity, saw the growth of a strong tendency towards consociationalism (power sharing) and coalition building.
The need for Malayan leaders of that time to arrive at a quick
solution that showed sufficient promise for political stability,
inter-ethnic compromise and effective anti-communism, saw
the innovation that was the Alliance Model being triumphant. The Jelutong Expressway which has been named after Lim.
Lim was involved from the very
the choice between participating at
beginning in Malaya’s electoral
the state or the national arena was
development, when his Penang
and is a perpetual quandary.
The third
Radical Party won the first ever
Lim, for example, was asked
dimension in
municipal election ever held in the
already
in August 1957 to become
Malaysian politics
country. This was in George Town
the first Chief Minister of Penang.
evidenced in
in 1951.
He refused, giving the reason that
Lim’s chequered
By 1955, he had joined the
his father had recently passed away,
career was the
MCA, and became its president by
and as a good Confucian, he could
1958. The Alliance Model, connot as yet accept high office.
struggle between
structed for the purpose of gaining
This was a valid enough reason,
communal and
independence, had the perpetual
but critics suspected that he was
non-communal
problem of seat allocation among
aiming for higher office at the naparty politics.”
its members.
tional level.
This was clearly seen in Lim’s Dr Lim
There is a basis for that latter
attempt to increase the MCA’s
This failed, and after Gerakan belief. The following year, he was
share. He failed, and soon had to Democratic Party (UDP) and then did well in the 1969 elections, we already MCA president, and if his
leave the party.
the Gerakan after leaving the saw Lim leading it into the Alliance attempt to gain more seats for the
Party politics in Malaysia was MCA.
coalition to form the BN by 1973. party had not gone so horribly
always a knotty affair. Just as Onn
The need among small parties to Local versus national
wrong, he would have been highly
Jaafar formed the Independence of form coalitions was always strong,
Secondly, the relationship be- influential in national politics after
Malay Party and then Party Ne- and in 1965, the UDP joined the tween local and national politics the 1959 elections.
gara after being forced out of the People’s Action Party (Pap), the was always a tricky issue. The trend
Lim’s attempt at a comeback
United Malays National Organisa- People’s Progressive Party (PPP) towards centralism was perhaps went via unsuccessful challenges
tion (Umno) as new vehicles for his and the Sarawak United People’s unavoidable, given the many social through the UDP and the Malaypolitical career, Lim was instru- Party (Supp) to form the Malaysia schisms that existed in the new sian Solidarity Council (MSC).
mental in forming the United Solidarity Convention.
country. For prominent politicians, However, in the 1969 elections,
benefited from the leftist poll boycott, Gerakan managed to secure
the majority in Penang.
Lim became Chief Minister of
his home state, 12 years after he
had first refused that position. The
racial riots changed the country’s
political equation seriously, and no
alternative coalition was possible
after 1969. Lim soon took Gerakan
into the federal coalition, together
with the PPP and the Islamist PanMalaysian Islamic Party (PAS).
With that decision, his political
role became concentrated at the
state level. Twenty years in national politics ended with him being the top politician in his home
state.
Multiracialism versus
communalism
The third dimension in Malaysian politics evidenced in Lim’s
chequered career was the struggle
between communal and nonDr Lim and fellow-Gerakan leader Dr Syed Hussain Al-Atas after the 1969 election victory.
communal party politics.
The Alliance consociation and
its queer brand of “multiracialism”
had proved to be an electoral triumph, which put great pressure on
non-communal politicians to convince a communally conscious
population that non-communal
principles were preferable in the
long run.
The multiracial route Lim
sought before joining the Alliance
and after leaving it ended up compromised under the umbrella of the
BN. Whatever his reasons for taking that path, his political arena
shrank from the national to the
local, his popularity would slowly
diminish, and the universalist principles of Gerakan became effectively subsumed under the communal politics of the BN.
To be sure, in the decades after
1969, the federal government undertook serious measures to curb
the power of the states. The central
soon overpowered the local, the
communal, the non-communal.
Intra-group versus intergroup conflicts
Finally, another truism revealed
in Lim’s experiences was the divisions within communal groups.
These tended to run as deep as
those between the groups. The
myth of intra-ethnic unity had the
vital function of sustaining intergroup divisions to suit certain
agendas.
One could argue that it was this
inability to unite on the part of
small non-communal parties that
convinced Lim in the end that if he
wanted anything done, he had to
compromise with the communal
parties, and then hope for the best.
To what extent this strategy actually worked in the long run is for
future historians to ascertain.
This article first appeared in the
January 2011 issue of the Penang
Economic Monthly. Reproduced with
permission.
Features
18
January 28 — 30, 2011
The beauty of
fighting fish
By Basil Foo
B
reeding fighting fish has a varied
history in Malaysia and has
drawn many enthusiasts due to
it being a real-life grown up version of
Pokémon.
Like the popular children’s game,
fighting fish square off in duels and
can be bred to accentuate their physical
characteristics.
“There are two types of hobbyists:
those who like the fish’s appearance and
those who like them for their fighting
abilities,” said Betta Society of Malaysia
committee member Michael Soon.
Breeders who use the fish for shows
and exhibitions are more concerned
about the colour, finish, and form of
Lee checking on the fishes to see if they are big enough to be kept
the fish – its body, fins, and tail.
These fishes are known as ‘show separately.
betta’ with shape variations like the
crowntails which originate from India, cietymalaysia.com.my and over 100 cause the fish there are usually dull colshort tails, and halfmoon tails.
members who also engage in breeding oured and only become more attractive
“The number of different tail shapes for species conservation.
during the mating season.
and colours nowadays is because people
“We try to conserve some of the
“This is also a self-defence mechaare able to modify them over time breeds because fighting fish species has nism because being colourful in the
through breeding,” said Soon.
an unknown number of types as new wild gets you eaten,” he added.
For the fish that are used to fight, ones are still being found in the wild,”
While people have different reasons
more attention is paid to their strength said Soon.
for liking the fish, Soon admires the
and aggressiveness, and less to their
Different types of fighting fish breeding process as it involves slowly
colour.
include the bettasplendens which origi- coaxing tiny hatchlings into bigger
“However, the fish fighting activity nate from Thailand and a local version fishes.
has become associated with illegal gam- called betta incillis.
“Firstly the fishes would have two
bling. And with fish fights, cruelty to
“There are even different types ways to lay their eggs. One blows many
animals also becomes an issue,” he said. which can be found in Sabah and bubbles to form a nest and then put
“So while the fighting side is still Sarawak,” he said.
their eggs into the bubbles, another
there, they have mostly gone underNot many people know how to keeps the eggs in their mouth until they
ground,” he added.
appreciate those found in the wild be- hatch,” he said.
One of the big events for
The fish are mostly kept in
the mainstream fighting-fish
small tanks while breeding. As
scene was last November in
bettasplendens are more aggressive
Mid Valley where hobbyists
than other species, they require
and breeders congregated en
larger tanks to protect the female
masse.
from being attacked by the male.
“That was the big one for
“Once hatched, the fries are fed
the year. Now we have smaller
baby brine shrimp and infusoria
meetings every month called
which are tiny microscopic creabetta Sunday. We would show
tures formed by putting plants in
the fishes we have and buy
old water,” he said.
from each other,” he said.
After a week, when the hatchFormed five years ago, the
lings have grown bigger, Soon
Betta Society of Malaysia has Upon seeing each other the fishes react
feeds them with daphnia, fish
an online presence at bettaso- aggressively.
pellets, frozen and dried worms.
The fishes are stored in individual jars to prevent them from attacking each other.
Last of a
dying breed
Past a pothole riddled dirt road and herds of goats living
in Taman Utama, Klang one of the last remaining fightingfish farms hangs on to survival.
“There used to be six other fighting-fish breeders in Klang
who were friends of mine,” said retiree and fighting-fish
breeder Lee Eg Ing.
“Now most of them have moved on to do other things.
One of them passed away recently,” he said.
In his late 50s, Lee has been breeding fighting-fish here
for the past 30 years and reminisced about the heyday of a
forgotten pastime.
“At the height of its popularity I was able to sell up to
RM1,000 worth of fish per week, but now only friends buy
from me,” he said.
Not many people, he noted, are into fighting-fish anymore.
The farm has 30 ponds with about 80 fish in each one.
The normal ones retail for RM5-10 per fish while the
“fiercer” and beautiful specimens can fetch RM15-20. Apart from selling to locals, he gets customers from
overseas who contact him for his breeding skills and buy
10-20 fishes at a time.
“I also export to customers in Thailand by bus and to
Indonesia by ship. Sometimes I deliver through bulk buyers
of vegetables who transport them for me,” he said.
He related an occasion when a breeder, who had fighting
fishes worth RM300 each, sought his expertise to spawn
hatchlings.
“I was asked to help because he saw I could breed about
100 at a time, whereas he could only manage to produce
10,” said Lee.
“But I refused because if I only manage to spawn less
than he asked for, he might blame me for selling the rest to
other people. It is better to protect my reputation,” he
added.
His breeding process includes sourcing the males from
fighting fish arenas in the vicinity where he chooses the ones
which have won several battles for their fighting ability.
The fishes are then paired with his own females and
spawn in small plastic tubs which are sheltered from the
elements.
“Once the fries are bigger, they will be put into the ponds
and fed with daphnia which many people call water fleas,”
he said.
“Spawning success is not guaranteed as it depends on
many things like the temperature of the environment. During rainy seasons, more hatchlings will die due to the cold,”
he added.
FEATURES 19
January 28 — 30, 2011
By William Tan and Rahmah Ghazali
P
Youth learning
politics first-hand
olitics has always been harsh and Machiavellian. One moment you are in, and out
the next.
Expectations are high and occasionally met
with harsh criticism. Especially, if one considers
the political landscape in Malaysia.
Yet, more and more youths are choosing to
enter politics, tossing themselves willingly into
the political machine with a common mindset.
For some, it is to serve the nation and to learn
first-hand the nature of the beast known as politics.
First of all
“I want to serve the nation, whatever it may
because
I got less
become” said Michelle Ng Mei Sze, 20.
pay
and
they
didn’t
She has completed a month-long internship
see
any
future
with Petaling Jaya Utara Member of Parliament
in it. And if there
Tony Pua, and she has found out that the life of
a politician is filled with sacrifice and requires
was a change in
utmost dedication.
government, that
There was a time where she had to wake up at
would be it for me.”
5am for a 7am flight to Kuching. There she
— Izhar.
rushed from a press conference to a meeting on
election strategies which she had to present her
own research.
She later joined the delegates for dinner before
attending another meeting on various issues. She
was finally placed on a flight late at night and
reached home at 2am.
The aspiring judge said she loved every moment of it and wishes that more youths would
take up similar opportunities to learn more about
politics.
“I learn there is a severe lack of initiative in
today’s generation towards politics. This attitude
is detrimental to the nation” she said.
Vivian Kuan Hui Xian, 20, shared the same Izhar applied to join Pemandu.
sentiment, saying she brought it
Hannah Yeoh.
onto herself to be part of something
If anything , she believes
She aided Hannah more
bigger in life.
and more youths are enby drafting letters,
She went up to Subang Jaya astering politics because they no
handling complaints
semblyman, Hannah Yeoh at a town
longer want to be denied the
gathering and told her of her desire
opportunity to be exposed to Tan Sze Ming
and conducting
to be just like her (Hannah). Hui
the political world.
research. She also
Xian was later offered a two-month
“With the growing popfollowed Hannah on
She helped
internship with Hannah.
ularity of online media,
her political rounds, an youths are becoming more organise numerous
She aided Hannah by drafting
invaluable experience
letters, handling complaints and
aware of what they have environmental
for aspiring politicians..” been shielded from and campaigns such as the
conducting research. She also followed Hannah on her political
curiosity is what leads them
rounds, an invaluable experience for
in the country, in my short time with to intern with politicians; to Selangor No Plastic
aspiring politicians.
Elizabeth Wong, I learnt how to witness first-hand how the gov- day campaign but that
The work proved to be varied
communicate, and to have proper ernment works,” she said.
was just the tip of the
with something to learn every day.
It is a different case for iceberg.”
strategic meetings with party leadShe also found there was one crucial Vivian Kuan
26-year-old overseas architecture
ers” she said.
element that should be embodied by
looked back since.
However, her real passion is to go graduate Izhar Moslim.
all politicians. “To always listen and for four months with state executive down to the grassroots and work
He applied to become a special
“I never regretted joining polibe sensitive towards the needs of the councillor for environment Eliza- with the people such as educating officer to Minister in the Prime tics, even for one second when the
people. To always carry out your job beth Wong.
them about their own rights, par- Minister’s Department Datuk Seri pay was low, and I have a daughter
with integrity and fortitude.” she
Idris Jala a year ago under the Per- whom I hardly spend time with and
She helped organise numerous ticularly as voters.
said. Hui Xian is on her way to environmental campaigns such as
Interestingly, Breda Ch’ng, 22, formance Management Delivery also a supportive wife. When you
completing her degree in law.
the Selangor No Plastic day cam- said she never liked politics while Unit (Pemandu) despite parental are young, just make full use of it ...
Tan Sze Ming, 23 found herself paign but that was just the tip of the growing up, finding it messy and objections.
especially in this highly competitive
deeply involved in environmental iceberg.
They wanted him to work in an world when there are so many capadirty. She merely became an intern
matters while working as an intern
“Besides the environmental issues because of her association with architecture firm “which holds more ble youngsters,” he added.
certainty”.
But the pressure of working for a
“First of all because I got less pay minister is overwhelming as “we are
and they didn’t see any future in it. working to transform the country”.
And if there was a change in govern“I think the pressure to deliver is
ment, that would be it for me,” said very high,” said the former MelBy Rahmah Ghazali
Fair Elections chairperson Datuk S Ambiga, who was Izhar, adding that he had never bourne Umno Club president.
also at the rally, said the low turnout would not stop
KELANA JAYA: About 200 people braved a heavy them from continuing their efforts to educate the
downpour at the Kelana Jaya Stadium last Sunday to public.
join a rally against the appointment of Datuk Mohamed
“People cannot just register their views once in
SUBANG JAYA: Subang Jaya the clinic in mid-2010, but to date,
Khusrin Munawi as the new state secretary.
five years [through elections]. They have to voice
has long been without a public nothing has materialised. Yeoh
Dubbed “Hormati Suara Rakyat Selangor” (Respect out whenever there is something affecting them,” she
clinic, and its assemblyperson is said she had gone on a site visit
the Voice of Selangor People), the rally was led by the said.
now reminding the Health with ministry officials then.
Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) and
Also present were International Islamic University
Ministry of its plan to build one
organised by civil society groups.
She also said her office had
Professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, Shah Alam Member of
here.
Although the number of those in attendance fell Parliament Khalid Samad, Subang MP R Sivarasa, state
helped the ministry to look for
“The nearest public clinics are suitable spots in existing shop lots
short of the organising committee’s expectation of executive councillor Teresa Kok and political secretary
in Puchong and Kelana Jaya, there as the land office had difficulty
10,000, MCLM’s Haris Ibrahim said this would not to the Selangor Menteri Besar, Faekah Hussin.
should be one in Subang Jaya so the finding vacant land for the clinic.
deter them from staging more rallies in the near
The rally came in the wake of an on-going dispute
poor can access it easily,” Hannah
future.
“It’s been months. I would like
with the federal government which controversially
Yeoh said.
“We will continue to create platforms for the people appointed Muhammad Khusrin as the new state
to remind them Subang Jaya
She said the ministry had residents are taxpayers, too,” said
to voice their unhappiness,” said the lawyer.
secretary without consultation with the Selangor
scouted for a suitable site to build Yeoh.
Meanwhile, Bersih 2.0, or the Coalition for Free and government.
Hundreds rally against new SS appointment
Long wait for a public clinic
FICTION
20
January 28 — 30, 2011
Fiction by Lee Ee Leen
M
A Tall Fence Story
y grandfather stayed at the police
station for five hours. Maybe the
police had trouble believing him and
prolonged his stay. Grandfather often told tall
stories for my entertainment. His latest yarn
was of an elderly Australian corporal hiding
Grandfather’s drinking buddies swallowed hillside and assembled piles of steel rods and
in the thick undergrowth near the neighbour- his stories along with their breakfast at Lee cement bags into low-rise, high-cost studio
hood drainage pond.
Hong, the neighbourhood coffee shop. It was apartments. Granddad frowned at the site as
On Sundays, grandfather left packets of hard to predict who would turn up today; Lee if he were the foreman spotting a distant
biscuits and cans of baked beans for the soldier Huat Hong was empty for a Sunday morning. infraction.
by the wire. When the charity continued for
Grandmother greeted granddad and I. He
“You don’t know about the break-ins?” she
a month I asked grandfather: “Does this ordered two soft boiled eggs.
continued, “The couple three houses down
Australian have a family?”
“Only you today?” granddad asked her.
from mine lost 10k in jewellery!”
“He has no family. He told me.”
“Who asked them to keep so
“You speak to him?”
much jewellery in the house?”
“He’s not crazy.”
countered grandmother as she
Granddad waited for grandmother
“He still thinks there’s a war!” I
to clean his saucer of
to walk away before he said to me “let’s shrugged
said: “He needs to see a doctor.
egg yolk.
go.” We trudged uphill and passed the
What if itrains? What about snakes
“I bumped into the husband
drainage pond. Grandfather read the
and mosquitoes? What does he
this morning. He told me he
eat?”
sign on the fence that warned in English, t h o u g h t t h i s w a s a s a f e
“He lives off the land.”
Malay, Chinese and Tamil, ‘Trespassers neighbourhood.”
“What if he comes into our
This stuff was great material
Will Be Prosecuted.”
garden to attack imaginary enemy
for English class when we had to
soldiers?”
do reports.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
“ Yo ur f r i e n d s w o n’t c o m e o ut .”
“How do they know it was the workers?” I
“No we won’t because he would have blown Grandmother scratched the side of her nose asked and jotted down in my notebook,
up the bridge. What if he comes into our house with her screwdriver, an untrimmed little N E I G H B O U R H O O D B R E A K-I N .
and scares grandma while she’s taking a bath?” fingernail.
CONTSTRUCTION WORKERS.
“Anyone will surrender if they see your
“Are they sick?”
“The burglars climbed in through the
grandmother naked!”
Grandmother shook her head as she bathroom window and tried to pick the master
Grandfather found this image so funny that cracked eggs into the saucer, “They are scared.” bedroom lock. When they couldn’t, they
his tea shot out of his nose. After wiping away
Grandmother lowered her voice. “Of those hacked it open.”
the splashes of tea on the kitchen table he workers.”
Grandmother said: “Who else has access
closed our discussion: “The Australian is
“What workers?” Grandfather choked on to such tools around here?”
harmless. Let me handle him.” he reassured his tea.
“Think of people who come to another
me. “Don’t tell grandma and don’t go near the
With her screwdriver, grandmother country to work...” grandfather let his sentence
fence.”
pointed to the construction site.
trail off. He focused on the menu, as if the
“Enough! Promise me!”
Men and machinery had scoured the missing words were written there.
Grandmother snorted and drained her
cup: “Don’t be naïve!”
“You know I’m not!” snapped granddad.
Grandmother raised her hand to signal her
retraction of the last statement.
“It’s different. Not like when you worked
in restaurants in London.”
Grandmother placed money on the table.
Granddad pushed the notes and coins back to
her, who then pushed them back.
“It’s on me,” she said, “Since your friends
aren’t here.”
Granddad waited for grandmother to walk
away before he said to me “let’s go.”
We trudged uphill and passed the drainage
pond. As grandfather read the sign on the
fence that warned in English, Malay, Chinese
and Tamil, ‘Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted.
Through the fence I spotted an empty can
of beans among the lallang. Grandfather saw
the can and strode back into the house.
“Let me handle the soldier. Now go to your
room!” grandfather commanded me before
he picked up the phone.
When grandfather returned from the
police station, grandmother rebuked him as
if the Australian had really interrupted her
bath. Grandfather believed he was doing some
good in leaving biscuits and beans by the fence
for a group of men living around the pond.
When I read out grandfather’s case in
English class, my teacher told me reportwriting was about sticking to the facts and not
telling “tall stories”.
Happy and
Prosperous
Chinese
New Year
from
There will be no publication on Feb 4 .
We will be back on Feb 11.
Travel 21
January 28 — 30, 2011
There are small towns
that are just like Tucson,
Arizona, in the Wild, Wild
West days. LIN ZHENYUAN
“rides” into Ijok on his
horse called Wira and
takes a look.
T
here are more cowboy towns in the west coast
of the Peninsula than there are cities, and Ijok
is one of them.
Ijok would have remained in the backwaters of
Selangor for a while if not for a by-election that took
place in 2007. Suddenly, almost everyone who reads
a newspaper knows about Ijok.
Today, the media attention has long left the
town of about 20,000. Along the Ijok trunk road
are several rows of new shophouses. The people here
probably didn’t know what the big fuss was about
then, and they probably still don’t.
The Malays make up about half the population
here. Many of them can trace their roots back to
Java more than 100 years ago. Apparently, their
forebears who found old Malaya a pleasant place to
live settled down in sizeable numbers in Ijok.
Thus, it is an unverified claim by the descendants
of ancient Javanese that Ijok was “discovered” by
their great-grandfathers.
The Indians are the second largest racial
community. They make up of 28 per cent of the
12,372 voting constituents, and the Chinese lock
in about 21 per cent.
The Indians in Ijok have bragging rights to
having the largest percentage of
Indian voters in any parliamentary
constituency in the country.
Thus, it is not surprising that
rubber estates were once a very
common sight around the district.
In fact, there are still lots of rubber
trees, if anyone cares to look.
The Chinese have since branched
out to other businesses from agricultural farming which was once their
livelihood. There are only about a
dozen eateries and coffee shops here.
One of the more famous ones has
a reputation for its beggar’s chicken
which has crossed state boundary
lines. Personally, I haven’t tried that
specialty but anything that’s
wrapped with lotus leaves and clay All kinds of running and walking sneakers are ingeniously displayed.
and cooked over charcoal can’t be
It would be a shame if that young food items like fresh fish, chicken,
bad.
man didn’t move on to bigger entre- onions, anchovies, etc seemed to be
Today, Ijok is part of a trilogy preneurial ventures later in life be- the busiest among the hawkers.
of settlements that make up the area. cause he was such a superb salesman.
Housewives come to haggle,
The other two are Batang Berjuntai,
When I tried on the belt with chit-chat and buy limited amounts
sometimes known as Bestari Jaya, the outrageous buckle, he put on an for their homes. Unlike their counand the Saujana Utama township.
exaggerated expression and said: terparts in bigger towns and cities,
Logging in at about 60 kilome- “Wow! Saya tak boleh lihat. Gaya there are no trolley loads of grocertres away from Petaling Jaya city, nya terlampau!” (I can’t look. It’s ies.
Ijok also hosts about 5,000 students simply too stylish.)
Here in Ijok, people buy only
who are enrolled at the Universiti
Both of us knew he was lying but what they can consume. There is no
Industri Selangor in Bestari Jaya.
he had such a congenial personality question of wastage or unnecessary
Those who know
abundance. Perhaps city
this area called it an esfolks can learn a thing or
Pasar malam are great outings two from these country
tate town. Once you are
here, you will under- in small towns like Ijok. The goods
people.
stand why. The signs are on sale are sometimes outdated but
Since Kuala Selangor
everywhere.
and
Teluk Intan are fishthe prices are always competitive. ing destinations,
At 4pm daily, part of
seafood
Ijok comes alive when There’s probably just a nominal fee like crabs, squids, prawns
the pasar malam site at imposed on these hawkers so their and a big variety of fish
Simpang Tiga Ijok kicks overheads are pretty low.”
are readily available.
into high gear. Long
The stalls which sell
lines of hawker stalls selling just that we parted as friends, and I, a these aquatic edibles are ample proof
about anything and everything cater small portion of my hard-earned that Ijok is definitely not lacking
to the residents living far and near. cash.
when it comes to fresh stocks of
I was there one afternoon and
Pasar malam are great outings seafood.
came upon a belt buckle which I in small towns like Ijok. The goods
It was brought to my attention
fancied. The Malay youth made me on sale are sometimes outdated but that somewhere in Ijok there’s a
an offer I couldn’t refuse. At RM20 the prices are always competitive. leech breeding farm. Since I am not
per belt, my resistance broke down There’s probably just a nominal fee particularly fond of leeches, I decompletely. In KL, it costs about imposed on these hawkers so their cided to let this matter of interest
RM30.
overheads are pretty low. Sellers of slither pass me.
No parking space means the
Ijok pasar malam is crowded.
Cowboy town Ijok
sheds its boots
The young man who put on quite a show selling the fancy belts.
The breeding of leeches apparently is big business as far as cosmetics and
medicine are concerned.
How? Please refer to the
experts.
Ijok will continue to
take its time to join the
rest of the world. In this
part of Selangor, it is perpetually summer and the
living is somewhat easy.
Since Unisel (Universiti Industri Selangor)
came into being, cycling
enthusiasts have mapped
out a 64km (40 miles)
route which encompasses
Bestari Jaya, Kuala Selangor, Ijok, Batang Berjuntai.
In a way, the terrain of
Ijok offers adventurous
loops for outsiders who are
“rough riders”.
Already there are signs
that Ijok will continue to
keep pace with its more
developed sister towns.
The town is still very much
alive but the “cowboys”
seem to have left for green- The dried stuff also finds ready buyers
among villagers.
er and wilder pastures.
Gallery
22
JANUARY 28 — 30, 2011
WHERE’S MY SCHOOL? A child at a tree-planting function last Friday with a balloon
bearing the message “Where is the Chinese primary school?” standing in front of a
billboard with a similar message about the Sg Long Chinese Primary School, which
the Federal Government pledged to build during the 2008 General Election.
Kota Damansara assemblyperson Dr Nasir Hashim presents mandarin oranges to a resident
of Kg Baru Sg Buloh last Sunday in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebrations next
week.
Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim helps a motorcyclist wear a safety vest during
the Road Safety Campaign at the 11th Mile Toll Booth in Cheras on Wednesday.
Tourists
appreciating
plants for
sale as
part of the
Chinese
New Year
festivities
at Sunway
Pyramid on
Monday.
Selangor executive councillor Elizabeth Wong looks at
potted plants during her visit to the Sg Buloh Leprosy
Hospital last Friday.
culture 23
JANUARY 28 — 30, 2011
ARTS
❚ COMPILED BY ZEDECK SIEW
Editor’s
Pick
Exhibition
The Annexe Gallery
Central Market
Jan 25 — Feb 13
free admission
03-2070 1137
www.annexegallery.com
Remembering a
Journeyman — Tribute
to Teh Leong Kwee
Reconstruction:
Works by Hilal Mazlan,
Anniketyni Madian
and Syafiq Hariz
Exhibition
MAP KL, Publika, Dutamas
Jan 18 — 30
free admission
03-6207 9732
www.mapkl.org
This triple-bill show presents
mixed media (paintings, sculpture,
etc) works by Hilal Mazlan,
Anniketyni Madian and Syafiq
Hariz, sophomore artists in the
midst of revising their preferred
forms and techniques — hence
“reconstruction”. The art
looks competent enough. The
accompanying curatorial essay
is grandiloquent to the point of
silliness. It says things like: “Art
usually needs to be made in order
for it to be recognised as art”.
Does anyone need an art curator
to tell us that?
Readings
January [email protected]
Seksan Gallery
67, Jalan Tempinis Satu, Bangsar
Jan 29
free admission
017-2644 956 (Sharon Bakar)
The [email protected] platform
is perhaps the longest-running
live writers’ platform in town; it’s a
public afternoon where scribblers
and readers gather to hear newish
work being read by their authors.
The thing has seen enough
excellent stuff that its stewards —
Sharon Bakar and Bernice Chauly
— have seen fit to put together an
anthology of short fiction by writers
who’ve read at Readings. Said
book — called, naturally, Readings
from Readings — will be launched
in late February.
Meanwhile, January is Readings’
sixth anniversary, so go expecting
cake. Also enjoy fun stuff by Nizam
Zakaria, Fadli-Al-Akiti, Damyanti
Ghosh, Jamal Raslan Abdul Jalil,
and garrulous columnist Patrick
Teoh — who, incidentally, also has
a book out.
Artist and academic Teh Leong Kwee
passed away in 2008. He taught
many design and art institutions in KL,
like the Malaysian Institute of Art, The
One Academy, and CENFAD; he was,
by all accounts, an inspiring lecturer,
sharing questions about music,
travel, philosophy and typography
in ways that would engage young
minds. Teh left in his wake a body of
students who today are at the reins of
Malaysian creativity. He was a mentor
to young artists, including the vital
arts collective Lost Generation Space.
This tribute exhibition presents
Teh’s paintings, drawings and “a
display of unorthodox musical
instruments handcrafted by him”,
and intends to provide an insight into
the creative explorations of a man who helped many
embark on their own artistic journeys. Includes Teh’s
experiments in using rust as a painting medium, and
Chinese-ink drawings of the Ouroboros.
REVIEW
Model Citizens
S
ingapore’s The Necessary Stage (TNS) is a very
productive organisation, as befits a theatre company
from our island-republic neighbour. It produces an
average of two plays a year, invariably about pressing sociopolitical Issues. At a “Meet The Necessary Stage” event two
weeks ago, TNS in-house playwright Haresh Sharma revealed a merciless work ethic: “If you are not producing
work, any reason you might give for not doing work is an
excuse.”
Goodness knows that Malaysian English-language
theatre, susceptible as it is to faffing about, could use that
emphasis on output. But the TNS process, to me, is uncomfortably product-oriented, almost factory-floor-like: pick
a topic, research it, workshop it with actors, write a play,
stage, applause. Listening to Haresh, I couldn’t shake the
feeling that his primary aim was to put together a production, and less the effective and human exploration of a
headline subject.
The two previous TNS productions I’ve seen, Good
People and Gemuk Girls, appeared to suffer from this:
funny, witty and spiced with powerful moments of humanity — but with characters who were all too prone to
monologue about medical marijuana/the death penalty (in
the former) or detention without trial (the latter), with the
same depth of a newspaper op-ed.
Model Citizens ( Jan 19 - 22 , KLPac; a restaging of its
March 2010 debut in Singapore) is similarly un-gestated.
It has an arresting premise: a Malay cleaner knifes an MP
(PAP, of course; is there any other kind?) at a “Meet the
People” session. But we never get to see that bit of action;
the play cleverly decides to dwell on three characters: the
attackers fiancée, Indonesian domestic maid Melly (Siti
Khalijah); the stabbed MP’s Chinese-educated wife, Mrs
Chua (Goh Guat Kian); Melly’s employer, a middle class
Peranakan, Wendy (Karen Tan). The stabbing is a catalyst
for all three to entertain their anxieties.
Mrs Chua is galvanised by her husband’s absence: she
starts speaking to the press and clearing up his work. An
authoritarian, interventionist Singapore has made her bitter — here, Goh was movingly, convincingly angry: “You
wanted me to stop having anymore children. You changed
the rules, and forced me to get sterilised. Now
Karen Tan despairingly asked. “Why me?” was the
If you are unsaid follow-up.
you want more children,” — and in her newfound
power she imagines vengeance on the Anglo- not producing
The play was excellently acted, with all three
centric status quo. “Mandarin will be compul- work, any
performers (veterans of the Singaporean stage) doing
sory for all Singaporeans!” she writes in a speech
as well as their material allowed them to. But as acreason you
for Parliament.
tion began to centre on Wendy’s existential travails,
Melly is the untrustworthy Indonesian maid might give
I couldn’t help but read Model Citizens as an apolostereotype: she abuses her freedom by working as for not doing gia for the comfortable, English-educated, theatrea prostitute; her boyfriend, Zul, is a way to gain work is an
going middle class. Wendy’s fault is entirely justifiSingaporean citizenship. But Zul’s arrest unmoors excuse.”
able inaction; her tragedy is the result of an uncaring
her and forces her to examine why she wants to
society filled with Others: Chinese-ed politicians,
live in Singapore. By the end, she decides that Indonesia is home, Indonesians.
and is determined to return.
Why us, the play asks its viewers. Why are we having probWendy is, presumably, Model Citizens’ audience-surrogate. lems with immigrants? Why are the mainland Chinese taking
She has no obvious faults. She is forward-thinking in terms of over? Why are our children killing themselves? We did everyparenting and employment, espouses liberal views about race, thing right! But victimhood is not a helpful notion. It makes
language, and politics. She is also persecuted by grief. First her it too easy for the sort-of liberal middle class (of any society)
Aung San Suu Kyi-obsessed poet of a son commits suicide — to absolve itself of responsibility. Good art about the Big Issues
now this stabbed-MP business. “But I did everything right!” is honest: to its subject, to its characters, to ourselves.
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.

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