Anti-human trafficking units
12 & 13
April 8 — 10, 2011/ issue 19
Mourners carrying the remains of Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed into Surau Ar-Rahman at the Kelana Jaya Customs quarters yesterday afternoon. Stories on Page 2. – Pictures by
Anti-human trafficking units
By Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Enforcement officers from local governments will
be trained to spot victims of human trafficking and alert relevant
authorities as part of Selangor’s
initiative to stop the trade.
“We have instructed all local
councils to set up special units for
the task,” said Ronnie Liu.
The state executive councillor
said while local enforcement officers did not have powers of arrest,
they could still raid places suspected of trafficking and alert the
police and immigration department immediately.
Liu, whose portfolio includes
local government, pointed out that
enforcement officers were already
raiding entertainments outlets
under their jurisdiction.
The units, to be set up in all 12
local authorities, will be specially
trained to identify victims. The move was announced at a
press conference on Monday by
Liu and executive councillor Rodziah Ismail, who chairs the Selangor Anti-Human Trafficking
Council (Mapmas). Rodziah said that Selangor was
collaborating with Tenaganita,
which champions the rights of migrant workers.
The non-government organisation will handle the case management of victims for Mapmas. Meanwhile, local councils will
also revoke business licences of
companies found to be harbouring
victims. Briefings are also being organ-
ised for local councils, said Mapmas task force vice-president Rozaini Mohd Rosli.
The Klang Municipal Council
and its councillors were the first to
be briefed at its monthly board
meeting last week.
The Shah Alam City Council
and Subang Jaya Municipal Council are expected to be briefed at the
end of the month.
Rozaini expressed hope that
they would appoint a councillor to
champion the initiative at each
When contacted by Selangor
Times, Petaling Jaya councillor Cynthia Gabriel said the move would
help to increase awareness among
“It’s part of their job to raid illegal settlements (they usually treat
all illegal migrants the same way),
but there could be potential human-trafficking victims among
them,” said Gabriel.
Daniel Lo, a member of the
Mapmas task force, said it was important for enforcement officers to
distinguish between the victims and
treat them well.
“Victims are at the heart of
prosecution. They are usually the
sole witnesses,” said Lo, adding
that the victims would be afraid to
speak up if they were intimidated
or abused by officers.
Lo noted that both legal and illegal
migrants could be potential victims of
human trafficking, with women being
the predominant victims.
Meanwhile, Selangor has demanded access to victims as only the
Women, Family and Community
Development Ministry is allowed to
interact with them.
“We must determine the [human
traffickers’] operational process in
Selangor, who are the agents, [and]
how it is happening in order to be
able to intervene effectively.
“That’s why access to victims is
important,” said Tenaganita director
Irene Fernandez, who also attended
Monday’s press conference.
April 8 — 10, 2011
Grief and disbelief
By Alvin Yap
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
call for RCI
SHAH ALAM: Seventy-three groups have called for the
establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to
investigate the death of a Customs officer in the custody of the
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The non-governmental organisations said there must be an
“independent and thorough” probe into the officer’s death,
including MACC personnel involved and its power structure.
They added that half of the members should be nominated
by civil societies to ensure its credibility.
Human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia coordinator E
Nalini spoke on five demands on behalf of the groups at a press
conference on Thursday.
The NGOs include Amnesty International Malaysia, All
Women’s Action Society, Malaysians for Beng Hock and
Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia.
Besides the establishment of the RCI, they also want the
police to buck up and conduct a professional and independent
probe into the MACC to restore public confidence.
The groups took the police to task for not investigating or
acting on the 59 complaints lodged against MACC in the past
five years, resulting in the death of former political aide Teoh
Beng Hock in 2009 and now Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed.
They said MACC investigation director Datuk Mustafa Ali
and other officers involved should be suspended until the RCI
completed its investigation to prevent cover-ups or interference.
They also urged the government to enact the Coroner’s Act
and set up a coroner’s court to investigate all deaths in custody.
The NGOs lastly reminded the government to set up the
long-delayed independent police complaints and misconduct
commission to investigate abuse of power among enforcement
Eric Paulsen, from Lawyers for Liberty, said there have been
147 deaths in custody since 2000, but nobody has been held
accountable for the deaths.
Selangor Customs assistant director Ahmad Sarbani, 56,
was found sprawled on the first floor of the MACC building
on Jalan Cochrane in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday morning.
His death came in the midst of a RCI into the death of
Teoh, who was found dead at Selangor MACC’s former
headquarters in Shah Alam in 2009.
His death is being investigated openly for the second time
following dissatisfaction with an open verdict by a coroner’s
phone (603) 5510 4566
fax (603) 5523 1188
email [email protected]
Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling,
Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan
COPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang
Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
PETALING JAYA: Overwhelmed
with grief, the mother of Ahmad
Sarbani Mohamed collapsed while
viewing his body on Thursday.
Aishah Abdullah Rauf, 75, was seen
being carried out of the Ar-Rahman
Surau in the Customs quarters in
She had earlier been among loved
ones and colleagues who had waited
since 10.30am for his body to arrive.
Over 200 mourners were seen waking along with the hearse when it arrived from Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) at about
5pm before it was taken into the surau,
where it was prepared for burial
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who arrived shortly after, was seen expressing
his condolences to family members.
“I am sad for the family, we have to
find the truth. It is a great tragedy, but
we must ensure there are investigation
into MACC’s methods of interrogation and conduct,” said the Selangor
Ahmad Sarbani’s body was taken to
the Kota Damansara Muslim cemetery
Meanwhile, there was widespread
disbelief over suggestions that he had
committed suicide. “How could someone who is loved
by everyone, someone who is helpful
and smiling , commit suicide ?”
asked Aznijar Ahmad.
The University Malaya aeronautical engineering lecturer, who knew the
deceased when they stayed in Klang,
said Ahmad Sarbani had been a religious man.
“Our family is extremely sad. He
was a surau committee member,” said
the lecturer, whose wife is also a Customs officer.
He said Ahmad Sarbani had also
been the treasurer for the surau committee and had discharged his duties
“Are they going to write that
he committed suicide?” said a uniformed customs officer to his colleague.
“We do not know what happened.
We are sad and we are angry. His
death should not have happened,”
said another officer, who did not wish
Friends and relatives carry 75-year-old Aishah Abdullah after she fainted
upon seeing Ahmad Sarbani’s remains being taken to the surau at the
Kelana Jaya Customs quarters late yesterday afternoon.
to be identified.
Ahmad Sarbani was found dead on
Wednesday and is believed to have
fallen from the third floor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission
(MACC) headquarters on Jalan Cohcrane, Cheras.
The Selangor Customs assistant
director had been among 62 Customs
officers reportedly picked up for alleged graft. But the 56-year-old father
of five was released on bail on Monday.
A relative who spoke to the press
pointed out that Ahmad Sarbani’s
death was now a matter of speculation
in the media.
“There are many reports, and all
conflict with each other. Are the reports verified? Is it true?” said the man,
who refused to be identified.
Others who knew the deceased
described him as a person who had
always been smiling and helpful.
Among other VIPs who came to
visit the grieving family were state executive councillor Dr Halimah Ali and
Shah Alam Member of Parliament
Dr Halimah was seen hugging
members of the family and consoling
them over their loss.
Khalid Samad said nothing short of
a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI)
would suffice to find out the actual
circumstances behind the death.
“This is a high-profile case, involving millions of ringgit in graft, and the
death of a senior civil servant needs
nothing less than a RCI,” he said.
The MACC has suspended two officers for the purposes of investigation
into the death of Ahmad Sarbani on
According to a MACC statement
issued from its headquarters in Putrajaya, the officers were suspended because they had breached regulations
pertaining to witnesses and visitors to
“Two officers have been suspended
for the breach of regulations on witnesses or visitors to MACC premises,
whereupon the officers had failed to be
with the witness or visitor during the
whole time that they were at the
MACC office,” the statement read.
“The internal investigations will be
forwarded to the MACC Complaints
Committee, which is headed by former
Court of Appeals judge Datuk Mohd
Nor Abdullah and has three other
members,” it added.
State condemns latest MACC death
SHAH ALAM: Selangor has condemned the death of
Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption
Commission building on Jalan Cochrane in Kuala Lumpur.
“The state regrets that another MACC witness has died
under suspicious circumstances,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri
The 56-year-old assistant director from the Selangor
Customs Department, who was under investigation for graft,
is believed to have fallen from the third floor of the building.
Khalid said it was shocking that another tragedy could
“It looks like the MACC has not learnt anything from
[Teoh Beng Hock’s] case and is still not responsible for the
safety of witnesses or those detained by them,” he said.
Khalid also extended his condolences to the victim’s
He said this illustrated to all Malaysians that without
justice for cases such as Teoh’s, similar tragedies would
continue to occur.
“The lack of serious action against those responsible for
Teoh’s death has led certain parties to think they are immune
from the law,” said Khalid.
A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is being conducted
into the death of Teoh, the former political secretary to
executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.
Teoh was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth floor
of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, where the Selangor MACC
office was then located.
Khalid said the incident has strengthened the state’s
resolve to protect its civil servants.
The legality of Selangor’s circular preventing its civil
servants from being questioned by the MACC after office
hours and only while accompanied by a lawyer is being
challenged in court.
“We will appeal right to the Federal Court, the decision
[of the High Court] to nullify the circular,” he said.
He said the instruction was appropriate in the wake of
the two deaths.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 8 – 10, 2011 ⁄ 3
april 8 — 10, 2011
Yoga for Japan
Manasa Yoga, in collaboration with
Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, will hold
an outdoor yoga charity event for Japan’s
earthquake and tsunami survivors on April
17. The programme, which starts at 7am,
will be conducted by Manasa Yoga guru
and founder Manoj Kaimal and his wife,
Sandhya. Proceeds will be donated to Red
Cross Japan. For details, contact Susan at
012-3375955 or via email: [email protected]
Shelter Home for Children will organise its
annual Climb of Hope to Mount Kinabalu to
raise RM100,000 to help the abused and
refugee children’s education, healthcare
and protection from July 13-16. Those
interested are required to submit their
registration details before May 29. For more
information, call Edwin at 03-79550663,
email [email protected] or visit www.
Old boys’ dinner The Malacca High School Old Pupils
Association will hold its annual general
meeting and dinner at Dewan President,
Kelab Golf Negara Subang, on May 7. For
details, contact Robert Lim (012-2029116),
Leo Ann Mean (012-6068265) or Lim Koh
Chin (012-2136148). You can also visit www.
mahsopa.net or [email protected] Soka Gakkai exhibition
Soka Gakkai Malaysia will hold an
exhibition titled “Seeds of Hope – Visions
of Sustainability, Steps toward Change”
tomorrow until May 1 at Wisma Kebudayaan
SGM, 243 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala
Lumpur. The exhibition will be in Bahasa
Malaysia, English and Chinese. Opening
hours for public viewing are from 11am to
6pm. Admission is free.
World Parkinson’s Day
Lloyd Tan Parkinson’s Trust Fund, together
with Negri Sembilan Parkinson’s Society,
Lions Club of KL Central and Pantai
Hospital Cheras, will hold a meeting at
Crystal Crown Hotel PJ in conjunction with
World Parkinson’s Day tomorrow from 2pm
to 4pm. Parkinson’s patients, caregivers
and the public are invited to the event that
pays tribute to two Parkinson’s community
leaders. For details, call Patricia at 0240240060 or 012-2110065.
The Buddhist Gem Fellowship Counselling
Unit will hold its 12th Marriage Education
Programme on May 28 and May 29 at its
centre at 60A, Jalan 19/3 Petaling Jaya. The
programme includes the importance of the
family unit and effective communications.
The programme is open to non-Muslims.
Couples will have to pay RM50 for the
SmartStart programme manual. For details
contact Hooi Eng at 016-2930684 or Iris
Goh at 016-3025792.
Youth baking classes
The House of Bread offers baking courses
for youths who seek skills training. The
training also includes Moral and English
classes. For details, call 016-3178778 or
to protect forests
SHAH ALAM: Selangor became the
first state to make public inquiry compulsory before a forest reserve can be
The state assembly passed an amendment to the National Forestry Act 1985
Enactment on March 31 in an effort to
further safeguard its forest reserves.
“We want to provide an opportunity
for the public to give their opinion, suggestion and constructive criticism before
a forest reserve can be de-gazetted,” said
executive councillor on environment
Elizabeth Wong at last week’s state assembly.
Wong said the people could provide
feedback during public inquiry and help
protect forest reserves that are constantly
under pressure from development.
“A few years ago, the Kota Damansara
Forest Reserve was de-gazetted to make
way for a luxurious residential area.
“The transfer of land was only cancelled
after Pakatan Rakyat took over the state’s
administration,” said Wong.
She added in her press statement that
thousands of hectares of forest reserves
were cleared without public knowledge
from 2000 to 2007.
Wong said the state has yet to finalise
the mechanism for the public inquiry.
However, she gave assurance that the
public inquiry would be advertised on
billboards and newspapers early so that
residents and non-governmental organisations would be well informed of it.
Meanwhile, environmentalists have
applauded Selangor’s move. Environmental organisation TrEES congratulated the
state for its commitment towards protecting Selangor’s forest reserves.
Its directors, Leela Panikkar and Christa Hashim, hoped input collected from the
public inquiry would be a key factor in
deciding whether a forest reserve would
They also noted that public inquiry
should be held for land-use conversion
that does not require a change in land
status, such as the building of roads
through forest reserves.
Forestry expert Lim Teck Wyn also
welcomed the state’s amendment to its
“As a professional forester and someone who is born, bred and resident in
Selangor, I am very proud that the law has
been changed to protect our forests,” said
Lim in an email interview.
TI Malaysia wants
State to launch
petaling jaya: Transparency
International Malaysia (TI-M) is calling
for an independent, transparent and
speedy inquiry into the death of Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed.
TI-M president Datuk Paul Low said
in a statement the inquiry should also
cover the Malaysian Anti Corruption
Commission’s (MACC) current standard
procedures, processes and guidelines for
the investigation of cases of corruption. “Any person in MACC’s care, be they
a witness, suspect or visitor, must be accorded fundamental protection at all
times,” Low said.
He also called for the immediate implementation of recommendations and
proposals by the MACC complaints
committee, chaired by former Court of
Appeal judge Mohd Noor Abdullah,
made on March 31. It includes for MACC interrogation
rooms to be placed in the lobby or basement area to prevent untoward incidents,
SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government is ready to launch the third phase
of the People’s Economic Agenda, according to Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim
During the “Developing Selangor’s
Economy” Maqasih Syariah seminar at
the state government office yesterday, the
Selangor Menteri Besar said that the state
has already incorporated the establishment of a RM70 million micro credit
financing scheme in the Budget 2011 last
A RM20 million fund has been set
aside for urban areas while RM50 million
has been allocated for rural areas in the
micro credit financing scheme.
The seminar was attended by the state
civil service and held at the Dewan Jubli
Besides Khalid, Datuk Dr Siddiq
Fadhil and Selangor economic adviser
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also delivered
and closed-circuit television cameras in
the interrogation and waiting rooms. “This is to prevent allegations of rough
tactics used in interrogation and any
untowardly incidents,” Low said.
While expressing condolences to the
family of the deceased who died tragically at the MACC building on Jalan
Cochrane, Low said it should not in any
way undermine ongoing investigations
involving Customs officers.
TI-M strongly urged MACC to investigate without fear or favour and act on
all parties, including any “big fish” involved in corrupt practices. “The ongoing joint operation investigating Customs and the Freight Forwarding industry must continue without
outside influence or interference.”
It has been reported that MACC’s
preliminary investigations found billions of ringgit were lost annually from
underdeclaration of imported goods and
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ April 8 – 10, 2011 ⁄ 5
APRIL 8 — 10, 2011
Councillors want stiff penalties
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Stiff penalties for
polluters and biological filters are being
proposed by Petaling Jaya Municipal councillors to save the city’s dying lakes. “MBPJ has to stop polluters from spoiling
our lakes, We also have to look into using
wetland plants to filter and remove [remaining ] pollutants reaching the lakes,” said
councillor Chan Chee Keong. Last week, Selangor Times reported that
six lakes were in danger of becoming stagnant
pools because no contingencies were in place
to tackle widespread pollution.
MBPJ will also monitor nearby restaurants to ensure solid food waste is not thrown
into drains which ultimately end up in lakes. “It will now strictly enforce the [threestrike] rule, where eateries found to be flouting cleanliness and environmental by-laws
three times a year will be shut down by
MBPJ,” said Chan. More checks on grease traps in these restaurants will be carried out to ensure the
system is working to filter oil from waste
MBPJ is also looking into building “mini”
wetlands to trap and filter waste water flowing into the lakes. MBPJ and other agencies show the environmental condition of Taman Jaya.
Class III means very significant pollution.
Gabriel and Chan pointing to a layer of oil at Taman Jaya lake.
The lakes, which are dying due to decades
of pollution, are Taman Jaya, Taman Aman
and Kelana Jaya, which has four.
It was reported that RM1.8 million was
spent to clean the lake annually, but state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong has clarified that the cost is actually RM3 million. Wong pointed out that MBPJ should enforce a “no dumping and no grease” ruling as
a condition for licence renewal for restaurants.
“I don’t think restaurants will dare to dump
food into the drains or leave their grease traps
uncleaned if we enforce the [three-strike]
rule,” she said.
She also said MBPJ should conduct more
checks on sewage tanks with Indah Water
“IWK must inform the Department of
Environment of any treatment facilities that
Syabas: Water disruption
caused by demand spike
SHAH ALAM: The water disruption that affected around 9,000 consumers in Klang Valley
last Saturday was due to a sudden spike in demand.
“Increased water demand on March 31 and
April 1 has resulted in decreasing water levels [in
the reservoirs], causing unscheduled disruptions
in some areas, including Subang Jaya,” Syarikat
Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) said in a statement
“This incident shows that densely populated
regions in urban areas have started to experience
water shortages due to high consumption. The
main plants have reached their maximum capacity.
“Syabas would like to take this opportunity to
urge consumers to use water economically,” said
Syabas corporate affairs executive director Abdul
Halem Mat Som.
He said the disruption initially affected a small
area in Subang Jaya on March 31, but later spread
to more areas on April 1.
Areas affected in Subang Jaya on April 2 included SS12 to SS19, Wangsa Baiduri, U1, PJS1
to PJS12, USJ 1 and USJ 2.
SS1 to SS3, Section 14 and Section 22 in Petaling Jaya, Taman Lian Hoe, Kuchai Lama and
Taman Gembira also experienced disruptions due
to low water levels in reservoirs.
Abdul Halem said Syabas had deployed tankers
to supply water to residents after sourcing alternative supply from neighbouring reservoirs.
He added that reduced demand on April 2-3
had indirectly restored water levels in the three
reservoirs – Effingham, Bukit Gasing and Subang
Airport – to normal.
He said the current supply was exceeding de-
mand in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
The water distribution company urged the
government to develop alternative sources to meet
On Monday, the state demanded an explanation
from Syabas over the disruption.
“Syabas must clarify this matter with the state
at the MTES (Selangor Economic Action Council) meeting,” executive councillor Elizabeth
Wong said at a press conference.
Wong said water levels in the four dams in
Selangor were 94% to 100% full as of March 28.
“We will instruct Luas (Selangor Water Management Board) to investigate why water levels
in a few reservoirs have gone down,” said Wong.
Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh also
criticised Syabas for failing to alert consumers.
“Why wasn’t there an alert when water levels in
these three reservoirs dropped? Why didn’t consumers receive any notice before and during disruption?
“What happened to (Syabas customer service
centre) Puspel, and what is its call-handling capacity, especially during a crisis?” asked Yeoh.
She said her office had been “flooded” with calls
from residents who were unable to reach Puspel
Abdul Halem said Syabas would usually issue a
notice seven days ahead of any scheduled water
disruption, but they were unable to alert consumers last week as they did not anticipate it.
They issued a notice on April 2, which was
published in the media the next day.
Abdul Halem said Puspel had 60 lines to handle
calls from public, and some of the callers might
not have been able to get through.
are leaking raw, untreated sewage,” she said.
Councillor Cynthia Gabriel agreed that
drastic measure have to be taken to ensure the
lakes are no longer polluted. “Restaurants found throwing food or
rubbish repeatedly into the drains will be
shut down by the city council,” said Gabriel.
Under the “three-strike” rule, local authorities can close eateries for offences committed for 14 days.
She said MBPJ was finalising a pilot project
that involves regular inspections of grease
traps at restaurants in the surrounding Taman
Jaya lake area.
Gabriel said the city council was also carrying out studies on converting the monsoon
drain that flows into Taman Jaya lake into
Selangor to reform PKNS
the board of directors and new management.
members only met
four to five times a
With the ne w
email system, Khalid
said board members
can be informed of
decisions made by
the management immediately, regardless
of the amount of fiExecutive council members Ronnie Liu and Dr
Xavier Jeyakumar with Khalid during a press
conference on Monday.
“[So] that it beBy Gan Pei Ling
comes a collective
decision-making … the board members
SHAH ALAM: The state plans to can comment or give suggestions,” said
restructure the Selangor Development Khalid.
Corporation (PKNS), which has been
Meanwhile, the Menteri Besar rein the spotlight in recent months due to mained tight-lipped on the fate of
alleged mismanagement and wastage.
PKNS general manager Othman
Part of the state’s reformation plan Omar, whose two-year contract has
is to introduce a new audit committee expired and was supposed to have been
made up of “experienced and well-re- renewed in February.
spected” practitioners to scrutinise the
Othman’s contract is being renewed
state-linked company’s operations.
on a monthly basis until the comple“We want to change the culture of tion of the corporation’s ongoing audit
PKNS from a closed organisation to an ordered by Khalid.
open and well-informed one,” said
“ We’ll announce accordingly,”
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim Khalid told the press.
after chairing the executive council
PKNS’s misconducts were first
meeting on Monday.
brought to light at the state assembly
He said PKNS will also adopt a in November 2010 by Hulu Kelang
more transparent decision-making assemblyperson Saari Sungib.
structure by setting up an email system
Khalid subsequently ordered an
to ensure free flow of information to audit on PKNS.
April 8 — 10, 2011
By Basil Foo
SHAH ALAM: A state-wide District Youth
Futsal competition starts on Saturday with
RM70,000 in prizes up for grabs.
The third annual Selangor Gen-S Futsal
Championship Tour will see contestants from
each district compete for the local title before
battling it out in the finals for the state title.
“The first- and second-placed teams from
each local council will join the finals at a statelevel competition,” said Amirudin Shari during
the competition launch on April 7.
The Youth and Sports exco assistant said
futsal is a popular sport among youth
nowadays, and they are expecting a turnout
of 5,000, including futsal team members and
Amirudin, who is also the Batu Caves
assemblyperson, added that a female category
was added for the competition this year, which
will be held only during the finals.
“ We will see the turnout of female
contestants this year. If it is good, next year we
will have a separate female category,” he said.
Prizes for the district level-teams include
RM1,000 for first place, RM500 for the
runners-up, RM250 for third place and
Prizes for the state-level finals will be
RM3,000 for first place, RM1,500 for the
runners-up, and RM1,000 for third place and
The first stop of the competition will be at
Ferro Futsal in Subang Jaya on April 9, which
will be organised by the Subang Jaya Municipal
The last stop of the tour will be at the statelevel finals at Real Sports Arena in Teluk Pulai.
Those interested in registering must be
between 13 and 35 years old and must live in
the district they register in.
Payment is RM120 for a team of five players
and three substitutes, which must be given to
their respective local council officers before the
For more details on the competition and
registration deadlines for the respective local
councils, contact 012-6879936 or visit www.
Amirudin (far right), Selangor
State Sports Council director
Nor Zamri Ishak (second right)
and local council representatives
at the launch.
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april 8 — 10, 2011
Former landfill a problem
seven years on
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: A former landfill in
Taman Manja here should not be developed
if the land is found to be toxic and emitting
harmful gases, said state deputy speaker
Haniza Mohd Talha.
“We engaged an environmental consultant who said there should not be any development in the area for 15 years, maybe even
30 years,” she said.
The former landfill is private property and
a developer has started building a supermarket
on the edge of the area, she said.
The Taman Medan assemblyperson claimed
the mining pool-turned-landfill is still toxic
and unsafe even after seven years of treatment.
The toxic level reached dangerous levels in
2004, and the Petaling Jaya municipality spent
some RM4.8 million to treat the waste from
2004 to 2006.
Haniza also refuted the Petaling Jaya City
Council’s (MBPJ) claims that the area is free
“They can say that there’s no more toxicity, but the [former] landfill is very huge,”
She said the city council should take samples from “all areas” in the sprawling former
landfill which borders PJS 1, PJS 2 and PJS 3.
“It is impossible for them to say that it is
safe without extensive testing,” she added.
She also claimed that illegal dumping in
the area still takes place even with warnings
“There is still illegal dumping there, especially domestic waste,” she said.
Haniza said she was still receiving healthand environmental-related complaints from
residents there, some three years after their
health woes were highlighted.
An environmental consulting company that
was engaged to treat the contamination in
2006 had said they had managed to bring the
situation under control.
But solid waste and environment experts
cautioned against starting new projects.
In November 2008, Malaysian Waste
Water Association secretary Ismail Abdul
Aziz said the area at the landfill and its surroundings should not be developed further.
He said the soil could sink if it rained
continuously, and would pose structural
flaws to buildings.
Experts say landfills and garbage dumping
grounds should only be used as recreational
In view of the land being unsuitable for
Know Your Councillor:
Tan Heng Kim
By Basil Foo
TIRELESSLY serving the public for his
second year now, Klang Municipal
Council (MPK) member Tan Heng
Kim sometimes equates himself to having two jobs.
“As I am also the president of the
Chinese Society for the Handicapped
in Malaysia, I feel like I not only take
care of the public, but also take care of
the handicapped,” he said.
In a phone interview with Selangor
Times, the councillor for Jalan Meru
Batu 8 said Klang has more disabledfriendly facilities now compared with
A member of the disabled community himself, Tan said there has been an
increase in ramps, parking, and toilets
to specifically cater for the disabled.
“Even local government buildings
such as the halls in MPK have been
equipped with ramps up to the stage for
the easy access of people in wheelchairs,”
However, there has been widespread
misuse of the disabled parking lots, which
are frequently occupied by vehicles without the “disabled driver” sticker.
“There is a need for increased enforcement at the parking lots because
sometimes when officers come to put
compounds, the cars just come back and
park again,” said Tan.
He explained that the council had
already approved the implementation of
car towing and held an open tender meet-
ing in February to acquire tow trucks.
Already experiencing some delays in
the tender process, Tan said he hopes
the towing will be implemented as soon
as June this year, barring any further
“Usually major projects like these
take a longer time to settle, like a project
to resurface Jalan Pasar Malam in Bukit
Kapar last year, which took five months,”
Tan, who is married with four children, said he is able to drive himself and
walk using crutches.
He only relies on a wheelchair if he
has to move a long distance.
“As all my children have grown up already, it leaves more time for me to be a
councillor. But the only thing is, my zone
is mostly rural areas, so it can be difficult
to move around at times,” he said.
Illegal dumping is still happening at the former Taman Manja landfill.
development, Haniza has suggested to the
state and MBPJ to convert parts of the decommissioned landfill into recreational use.
However, she said the toxicity and gas
emission issues would have to be tackled
Haniza also said illegal settlers were put-
ting their lives at risk by cultivating the land.
“The land there is toxic, some places may
blow up [from gas build-up]. The fruits and
vegetables are not safe for consumption as
they are grown in toxic soil,” she said.
Selangor Department of Environment officials could not be contacted for comment.
MBSA mayor pledges
to improve connectivity
By Goh Chee Yuan
SHAH ALAM: Improving this city’s public
transportation system will be the top priority
of new mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan,
who was sworn in on Monday. “I intend to set up a Bus Rapid Transit
(BRT) system to improve connectivity in the
city,” Mohd Jaafar said.
The former director of Selangor’s Town and
Country Planning Department is the Shah
Alam City Council’s (MBSA) sixth mayor.
He said the BRT could help ferry commuters
to train stations.
Mohd Jaafar acknowledged that while the
project would require proper planning, he is
determined to help reduce the number of cars
on the road.
He also said MBSA would monitor the
construction of basic infrastructure at the four
proposed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations
in the city to ensure that the stations are accessible to the public.
Mohd Jaafar further vowed to develop the
city sustainably and improve the city council’s
service efficiency by adopting modern technology, including the internet.
Mohd Jaafar succeeded Datuk Mazalan Md
Noor, whose term ended on March 31 and who
has been transferred to the Public Service Department.
Mazalan was appointed as Shah Alam
mayor in 2007 and is the longest-serving
mayor in the city to date.
His biggest achievement during his tenure
was effectively resolving the floods in the city.
‘Take advantage of MBSA
By Alvin Yap
SHAH ALAM: The city council here is offering motorists a maximum 70% discount when
they pay their outstanding summonses effective
April 1 until May 15.
“This is to compel motorists to settle their
summonses before we take stern action on them,”
said a press release from former mayor Datuk
Mazalan Md Noor’s office on Wednesday.
The discount is also carried out to educate
the public on settling their traffic summonses
on time, the mayor’s office said.
Motorists settling the summonses from
April 1 to 14 are entitled to a 70% discount;
those who settle the summonses from April
15 to 30 will get a 60% discount, and those
who pay their summonses after this date will
get a 50% discount.
“As such, motorists are asked to check if they
have summonses and to pay it,” the press statement said, adding that motorists with accumulated compound summonses would benefit
greatly from the discount.
Motorists can go to Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) counters at G level at Wisma
MBSA, or to its branches in Kota Kemuning
and Sungai Buloh to settle their summonses.
Online payments can also be made through
the MBSA website at www.mbsa.gov.my.
APRIL 8 — 10, 2011
By Basil Foo
KEPONG: Confusion over land status of
homes in Taman Ehsan here was cleared up,
despite some tensions, during a briefing by the
Gombak Land Office last Sunday.
The owners were unaware that they had
previously been given “qualified” titles to
their homes and were informed that their
“final” leasehold titles were ready for collection. However, some owners thought they
could change their leasehold titles to freehold.
The event started with speeches by Selayang councillor Lee Khai Loon and Gombak
assistant district officer Nor Zaidi Ratiman
to about 300 seated residents.
But midway through the briefings,
the programme disintegrated into several
separate question-and-answer sessions as
residents began crowding around the
Lee and Nor Zaidi fielded questions from
groups of residents, while Subang MP RSivarasa took to the floor to address groups of
“The purpose of today’s briefing was to help
homeowners to change their temporary titles
to final titles,” said Lee after most of the crowd
had cleared the hall.
He said they came to brief the residents
because they had received many calls from
them after a land title issue in Taman Kepong
was resolved recently.
Most residents have been living here since
the 1970s and still hold temporary land titles, while newer house buyers already have
“The difference between the two titles is
only the name, and residents can still carry
out transactions with the temporary titles,”
This is because even when the land is sold
Subang MP R Sivarasa (seated right) talking to residents.
to a new party, they still have to reregister
with the land office and will receive a final
“They cannot change from leasehold to
freehold, and once they change to their final
title, they still will have the same conditions
– like 99 years, or 60 years,” said Lee.
Residents were also told they had to pay
a RM10 fee if they lost their premium pay-
ment receipt when heading to the Gombak
district land office to receive their final title.
Suresh Genyeh, a 43-year-old Taman
Ehsan resident, said this was the first he had
heard of this issue and would go to change
his land title immediately.
“A lot of my neighbours are like me, they
[didn’t] know about this matter only until
today,” he said.
Owners surprised by final land titles
By Gan Pei Ling
KEPONG: Residents of Taman Ehsan
and Desa Jaya were caught by surprise
when informed on Sunday that their final
leasehold tiles were ready for collection. The residents, some who have been staying at the housing estates for three decades,
were unaware that they had been holding
“temporary” or “qualified land” titles all
this while. A resident from Desa Jaya, who only
wanted to be known as Mrs Ho, told Selangor Times that she had not previously
known the difference between qualified
and final titles.
“We only realise now that we can collect
our final leasehold title from the land office,” said the 70-year-old homemaker,
whose family has been staying in Desa Jaya
since the 1970s.
An estimated 1,600 homeowners were
also oblivious to this fact and would have
remained so had it not been for a briefing
organised by Bukit Lanjan assemblyperson
During the briefing, Gombak assistant
district officer Nor Zaidi Ratiman said
most of the homeowners’ final titles were
ready but had yet to be collected from the
“They can come and collect anytime,”
Nor Zaidi added that final titles had
been given to new owners who bought
houses recently or who have applied for
change in ownership. Wong explained that owners holding
qualified titles could still sell their property but could not subdivide, change the
land boundaries, or combine the land with
Some residents also asked if they could
convert their land titles from leasehold to
Wong said the matter was out of the
state’s hands as the change in status could
only be decided by the National Land
Council chaired by the prime minister
with all states’ chief executives.
(From left) Nor Zaidi, Wong and councillor Lee Khai Loon taking down notes while a
resident asked a question on the land title.
Selangor moves to protect
alternative water sources
By Basil Foo
Around 180 residents attended the briefing on Sunday.
SHAH ALAM: Seventeen lakes, ponds,
and mining pools identified as emergency
water sources during droughts and shortages will be gazetted by the state.
“The state has agreed to the move as
alternative or additional water sources,”
said Elizabeth Wong in statement recently.
The state executive councillor for environment said the sampling of quality in
these water sources showed it is safe for use
However, the public is also encouraged
to implement water conservation techniques such as the use of the Rain Water
Harvesting System (SPAH), which was
launched last November.
Groups that have already implemented
the system include the Damansara Jaya
Residents and Owners Association, which
is using the water for their herb garden in
their community centre.
The system is also been used at the Sri
Kelana high school in Petaling Jaya for
watering plants, cleaning exercises, and to
supply water to their fish ponds.
The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ)
has also made the use of SPAH compulsory in all landed property projects in their
MBPJ will also give reductions in the
Infrastructure Service Fund for developments in their area that have been recognised by the Green Building Index.
Other local authorities in the state have
been encouraged to follow Petaling Jaya’s
lead in implementing these environmentalfriendly initiatives.
The Selangor Water Management Authority will also intensify its promotion of
the rain-harvesting system. Also in the pipeline are projects as well
as educational programmes that aim to
foster a culture of conservation to ensure water resources are preserved. News
April 8 — 10, 2011
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Claims that City Council (MBPJ) staff here are monopolising public
parking spaces in PJ New Town have been
brought to the attention of the mayor.
“Datuk Roslan Sakiman will be speaking to
MBPJ’s staff union on the issue,” said Derek
The city councillor was responding to the
allegation from the All Petaling Jaya Residents
Association Coalition (Apac).
Besides occupying scarce public parking
bays, Apac president Johan Tung observed that
MBPJ staff parked for free.
Tung also lashed out at MBPJ staff for depriving others of parking space on the first floor of
the multi-level parking lot behind Standard
These lots are designated as reserved bays for
MBPJ, while the public had to walk two floors up.
Fernandez suggested that the council staff swap
their reserved parking space in the multi-level
parking lot with that allocated for the public.
Under his proposal, MBPJ staff who need
to park their cars from 8am to 5pm would park
one floor up to make it easier for those who
might only park for a short while.
“Staff should park one floor above so that
someone who needs to park temporarily won’t
have to park on the higher floors,” he said.
Fernandez also blamed Menara MBPJ for
the lack of parking space, saying the imposing
tower was built without providing for more
parking space for MBPJ staff.
“It should never have been built,” he said.
Lee (second left), Wong (third right) holding employment contracts with other employees of the beauty salon.
By Basil Foo
KUALA LUMPUR: An employee of a
local beauty salon, who claims to have been
mistreated and threatened at her job, has
sought assistance to take her employers to
Wong Huey Siew listed a large number of
infractions, including unfair pay, charging
employees a severance fee, and sexual harassment by customers.
“We were also made to do work which was
out of our job scope, like painting and cleaning,” said the 25-year-old during a meeting
on April 4.
She said the unfair pay included a RM5
hourly overtime payment that was given to
employees working after 12am.
Her employers also charged her RM9,000
when she requested to leave the company.
Wong also had to work during public
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seeks legal aid
holidays, and sometimes worked for months
with only two days off.
“According to the contract, all therapists
get days off but not if they stay in the company hostel, which is in the service apartments
above Berjaya Times Square,” said Jenice Lee
“But according to the labour laws, employees should have at least seven days off in their
first year of employment,” added the Teratai
Lee hosted the meeting with Wong and
members of the media at her office in Taman
Muda on Monday.
She had previously arranged a meeting with
the employers on March 24 to resolve the
matter, but reached an impasse as she said they
were aggressive and uncooperative.
“Six of them came, two women and a man
who claimed to be directors, but they did not
produce any identification and just gave nicknames,” she said.
The other three who came to her office were
described as thug-like in appearance and behaviour, and, when asked who they were, reacted violently.
“I explained to them [Wong’s] rights but
they accused her of leaving to another company for more pay,” said Lee.
She added that Wong has since moved out
of the company hostel but had not looked for
a new job as she feared retribution from her
Lee would be assisting Wong in her court
case in the coming month.
She advised other employees who might be
facing similar situations at their workplace to
lodge a report with the labour court.
gets school its roof
PETALING JAYA: Sekolah Kebangsaan
Methodist will finally be getting its roof replaced after Petaling Jaya City (MBPJ)
councillors and the Ministry of Education
An initial request for the roof – which was
blown off in a storm on Feb 17 – was turned
down by the state education department because the school, being a missionary school,
was privately funded. (The state education
department comes under the purview of the
However, a change of heart occurred, and
MOE later stepped in to provide RM50,000.
This was after MBPJ councillors contacted
them and also held a press conference to
highlight the issue.
“The state education department said they
could not render assistance as SK Methodist’s
land belonged to the church.
“A few of us councillors then held a press
conference [the next day] to highlight the
issue,” said councillor Richard Yeoh.
The meeting with the press was also attended by fellow councillors Derek Fernandez
and Tan Suie Ko.
The freak storm on Feb 17 damaged three
classrooms on the top floor of the three-storey
Methodist kindergarten building.
Part of the roof of two of the classrooms
collapsed, causing rain to damage the desks,
chairs and tables.
Petaling Jaya Selatan Member of Parliament Hee Loy Sian and the three councillors
also donated RM15,000, with the school
board contributing RM10,000.
Yeoh also contacted Deputy Education
Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong’s office.
The ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Dr
Rosli Mohamed, toured the school and announced that funds would be provided for
Yeoh said SK Methodist was now 51 years
old and in urgent need of refurbishment to
repair the structure.
Yeoh urged residents in Section 5 and the
surrounding area to contribute towards a fund
to maintain the school.
The school’s Parent-Teacher Association
committee members have been told by MOE
to come out with a working paper on refurbishment plans.
MOE says it will match ringgit-for-ringgit
funds that the school board is able to raise.
April 8 — 10, 2011
s I sit down to write this a
lot of funny things are happening in my country. Sex
scandals. Snap elections threats.
Detailed explanations of when a
Bribe is not a Bribe but a Gift.
The list goes on, so much so that
it is almost impossible to have a day
pass without something to laugh
about. But sometimes, after the
laughter ceases, the same events
bring tears to our eyes.
Here’s something funny to start
with. Some days ago I commented
on my Facebook page about the
deputy prime minister proudly announcing that he feels that there is
“growing public support” for Barisan Nasional, which, to him, has
boosted the coalition’s confidence
in “wresting” back Selangor from
I commented that being the ruling federal government, there are
allegedly quite a number of ways of
cultivating “growing public support”. Like postal votes which ap-
He who laughs last…
pear magically from … somewhere
la, because nobody really knows or
says where they are from. (As far as
I know, only very few Malaysians
are allowed to send in postal votes.
Well, maybe not that few, actually.
No, ah? Anyway.)
Like illegal voter transfers. You
know what that is, don’t you? It’s like
you’re so very sure that you’re going
to be voting in Section This One.
“Ya la. Sure one! I do that before
ma.” On polling day you go to Section This One and are told: “Maaf
ya. Now you need to go to Section
That One to vote because you have
been transferred.” Do they need
your permission? No. Do they inform you or need to? No.
Like handing out “goodies” during or immediately prior to important elections. Which one minister
has already proudly announced that
it is not to be considered bribery. It
is merely the government’s way of
fulfilling its elections promises made
during the last elections.
Said minister’s explanation is far
funnier. Read this quote attributed
to the Yang Berhormat: “For example, the handing out of sewing
machines, if it is not given during
election, it would still be given out
at a later date. What is the difference? Is this an offence?”
prime minister fertilising the crops
in the state of Sarawak. And boy,
is he doing a great job. It’s promising to be a bumper crop I think.
RM73million is going to be distributed to schools in Sarawak.
Wah! Good innit?
And most of the recipient
schools just happen to be
missionary schools. A big
If you have lost a
portion of the funds will also
loved one, don’t despair. go to Chinese schools. With
that kind of manure sure will
The next GE is around
the corner, and I am quite get bumper crop, right?
But in the same cerita, the
sure that at least some
best line came from the chief
of you will be able to
minister of Sarawak when he
see returning parents,
said: “… A lot of assistance is
brothers, sisters, relatives needed, so the deputy prime
minister is giving a little at a
and friends very soon.”
time to solve the problem.”
Ha ha ha ha! Of course it is not Giving a little at a time to solve the
an offence la. It is merely the gov- problem? Something has to have
ernment’s method of public sup- been lost in translation!
port cultivation ma. Right?
An online friend of mine lost his
And as I am writing this I am mother to cancer some years ago.
also reading about the deputy And although it has been a number
of years since his mother’s passing,
this friend still misses her very much.
And so as a loving, filial son he
looks forward to each general election. Why? That’s when his mother returns to vote. At least, that’s
what the election rolls tell him.
If you have lost a loved one, don’t
despair. The next GE is around the
corner, and I am quite sure that at
least some of you will be able to see
returning parents, brothers, sisters,
relatives and friends very soon.
So, don’t forget to go and register
to vote at the next GE and also go
and check if your friends and loved
ones are going to make the trip back
from the other side, okay?
Also don’t forget to ask for your
gift from your YB. Don’t need to
be shy or feel guilty for being part
of this questionable practice. After
all, it’s only a gift ma. And what
they will give you is rightfully yours
anyway. So it’s just taking back what
they took from you. No?
A biblical perfect storm?
MAN IN BLACK
wong chin huat
istory is often written unconsciously.
When the Tunisian police confiscated Mohamed Bouazizi’s vegetable cart, then President
Ben Ali would never have thought
that the innocuous incident would
eventually bring him, Housni
Mubarak and perhaps a few more
Arab leaders down.
When the Shah Alam municipal officials tore down a Hindu
Temple in Klang on the eve of
Deepavali in 2007, little did then
Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri
Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo – let
alone former Prime Minister Tun
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – know
this demolition would eventually
cost them their jobs.
I believe when the Home Ministry officials stamped and serialised the 35,000 copies of Al-Kitab,
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein also did not
know this act would land him, and
more importantly Sarawak Chief
Minister (CM) Tan Sri Abdul
Taib Mahmud, into a huge political storm, when many Sarawakians
are already angered by land grabs
and deforestation under his 30year rule.
No, it’s not the taking of a cart,
the demolition of a temple, or
desecration of 35,000 copies of
Malay-language bibles that moves
the wheels of history. They are but
the last straws that broke the
One year ago, I asked my
Sarawakian friend in Kuching if
there could be a Dayak version
of Hindraf. The answer I got
was negative. The most oppressed among the Dayaks are
often uninterested in any fightbacks, I learned.
Even earlier, I had also wondered if there could be any
Martin Luther King Jr-like figure rising from the East. The
answer I’d got was negative, too,
at least not in the present. Chris- Martin Luther King Jr
tianity is not a yet a political
ideology capable of guiding voters
If it really happens, even if just ans were once firm believers of that
in the polling booth, I learnt.
one tenth of the targeted turn out, apolitical code of conduct. Only
Today, I am increasingly con- it would send shockwaves through after the Hindraf rally have they
vinced that a Christian version – the whole of Sarawak.
learnt that a show of strength can be
instead of a Dayak version – of
It’s eventually about breaking the a viable option.
Hindraf is here. They may not be the taboo that “politics” is “dangerous”,
For years, the Hindus had wanted
same as Hindraf, but the churches “sensitive” or “simply not to be dis- Thaipusam be declared a public
are now speaking louder for their cussed in public”.
holiday in Kuala Lumpur but to no
congregations, much like the Hinavail. However, following that
draf lawyers four years back.
rally, there are now specific proLike the Hindraf
No, we haven’t seen any Martin
grammes to help the Indians.
Luther King figure yet, but the
The “pray for religious freeactivists who found
churches – in Sarawak and beyond
dom” rally in Kuching has
an unexpected ally
– are certainly resembling more and
forced the PM Department
in Pas, Sarawakian
more like America’s Southern BapMinister Datuk Seri Idris Jala
Christians may find
tist churches which evoked the icon
to dish out a 10-point plan to
it unbelievable that
of Martin Luther King alongside
resolve the Allah 2.0 controPas is actually more
Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Manversy, which is over the banning
dela and Barak Obama.
accommodating than of Malay-language bibles. The
Kuching is a city that shies away
earlier controversy was over the
they had previously
from politics. Even outspoken inof the Malay edition of
imagined, at least on right
ternet opposition supporters hesiCatholic publication Herald to
the word ‘Allah’.”
tate to do a “Taib must go” sign in
use the word “Allah”.
But Idris’s 10-point comproBut three weeks ago, the KuchBut what’s wrong with voicing mise was shortlived. Before he could
ing Ministers Fellowship held an concerns in public? Why must even get all the major Christian
indoor prayer rally where 2,000 to public interests be kept to private groups to sign up, it has already been
3,000 people showed up.
conversations while the most pri- shot down by Hishammuddin.
A 100,000-person gathering is vate part of life is good for public
Understandably, the Umno
scheduled for tomorrow, three days discourse?
heavyweight has to entertain the
The Peninsular Malaysian Indi- right-wing Malay-Muslim NGOs,
religious officials and the bureaucrats who are angered by this compromise, and is worried that this
may precede the government’s
concession to drop the appeal in
the Allah court case.
For the rightwing Muslims, the
exclusivity of the word Allah is an
ideological battle that they cannot
afford to lose. Pas and progressive
Muslims who support the right of
non-Muslims using the word would
have been vindicated.
Just a year ago, Sarawakian Christians were relatively quiet compared
with their Sabahan counterparts in
the Allah row 1.0. That sense of exceptionalism evaporated when
5,000 bibles were confiscated in
Like the Hindraf activists who
found an unexpected ally in Pas,
Sarawakian Christians may find it
unbelievable that Pas is actually
more accommodating than they had
previously imagined, at least on the
But with the Al-Kitab issue heading nowhere for now, it’s increasingly looking like another perfect
storm brewing in Sarawak.
12 APRIL 8 — 10, 2011
FREE TUITION FO
Executive councillor Dr Halimah Ali (front centre) with students who attended the state-sponsored SPM workshop in 2010 in Shah Alam. By Gan Pei Ling
t has become the norm for students to attend tuition
classes these days. However, not all parents, especially
those from lower-income families, can afford to send their
children for extra classes.
As such, in 2009 Selangor began to offer free tuition classes
for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) candidates whose families’
income is lower than RM1,500 per month.
Priority is given to students with average grades. The
students are selected based on their Penilaian Menengah
Rendah (PMR) and Form 4 year-end results.
“We’re flexible. A student may still be accepted if his or her
parents’ income is say, RM2,000 a month but have 10 children
to raise in an urban area.
“The point is to reach out to students who need the extra
help but cannot afford them,” said Nurul Imma Mansor, the
state officer in charge of overseeing the free tuition programme
called Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor.
The free tuition programme coaches students in four
subjects: Bahasa Malaysia, English, History and Mathematics.
“Some have asked why can’t the state offer tuition classes
for Additional Mathematics or science subjects, but the state
has to be fair to students from all streams.
“So after much consideration, the state decided to stick to
the four core subjects that all students have to sit for in SPM,”
Nurul Imma told Selangor Times.
The state allocates RM3.45 million for Program Tuisyen
Rakyat Selangor each year. The programme falls under state
executive councillor Dr Halimah Ali’s education portfolio.
Since 2009, more than 8,800 students have benefited from
the free tuition programme – 4,333 students in 2009, and the
number has increased slightly to 4,508 in 2010.
This year, 3,794 students have been accepted into the
programme since registration started in February.
Transcending political divide to reach students
Despite its benefits, Selangor faced several challenges in
getting students and teachers to join the programme when it
was first implemented in 2009.
“Nobody had heard about Program Tuisyen Rakyat
Selangor then, but now it has become increasingly popular,
especially in the semi-rural and rural areas,” said Nurul Imma.
In 2010, the state’s free tuition programme was so wellreceived that 25 out of the 56 constituencies, mostly semi-rural
or rural, reached the state’s maximum cap of 100 students per
Thirteen out of these 25 constituencies are under Barisan
Nasional (BN). Among them, Dusun Tua and Semenyih even
exceeded their limit by having 130 and 160 students each.
This year, over 170 students from the Sungai Panjang
constituency (BN) have expressed interest in the programme,
but they can only accommodate a maximum of 140 students.
Nurul Imma said the coordinators from these constituencies
have to look for other sources of funding to support additional
In stark contrast, the free tuition programme only received
lukewarm response in urban and more affluent constituencies
like Subang Jaya, Bukit Gasing, Bukit Lanjan and Kampung
Subang Jaya only had 22 students last year, Bukit Gasing
20 students, while Bukit Lanjan and Kampung Tunku did not
Nurul Imma pointed out that students in urban areas have
more choices due to the abundance of private tuition centres
However, she said a lot also depended on the programme
coordinators’ individual ability to seek out students from
poorer families in urban areas.
A coordinator is appointed in each constituency in Selangor
to look for suitable students, experienced teachers and places
to host the free tuition classes.
The coordinators are central to the programme’s success.
Improvements after tuition
SIJIL Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) leaver Hazira Aziz used to fail
Mathematics, her weakest subject, in Form 4.
“I couldn’t understand what the teacher was teaching,” Hazira
told Selangor Times in an interview in Meru on March 27.
Fortunately, she was able to catch up after she joined the statesponsored free tuition programme last year.
“I like the maths teacher Cikgu Nurhayati (Haroon) as she taught
in a way that was easy to understand,” said Hazira, who used to be
an arts-stream student from Sekolah Agama Menengah Tinggi
Sultan Hisamuddin, Kampung Jawa.
Hazira was able to catch up on the subject subsequently as the
tuition teacher re-taught the Form 4 syllabus.
She went on to obtain an A for Mathematics in last year’s SPM.
Overall, Hazira scored six As, two Bs and two Cs. But the fourth
child out of a family of five children is most proud of her
achievement in Mathematics.
Muhammad Zamzurin Faiez Zambry, who was studying in
boarding school Sekolah Menengah Sains Muzaffar Syah in
Malacca, is another former SPM student who has benefited from
Program Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor.
The aspiring computer scientist used to score C or D in his
History, but managed to score an A- in SPM last year.
“There are fewer students in the tuition classes here, so I feel
more comfortable to ask questions,” said the teenager, who joined
the tuition class late last October.
He said the notes provided by the history teacher were also very
useful for his revision.
The two students are among many who have benefited from
Selangor’s pioneer initiative to provide free tuition classes for needy
SPM students since 2009.
They were recruited into the programme last year by Baharom
Basiron, the programme coordinator for Meru.
Baharom said his ultimate aim is to help the average students,
especially those from families who cannot afford tuition, to improve
their grades so that they can enter college.
The students attend the tuition classes every Sunday from 8am
to 1.30pm at Sekolah Agama Rendah Meru.
Most constituencies organise their free tuition classes on
Sundays. However, programme consultant Mohd Din Che Ramli
said some hold their classes at night, too.
He said in Kuala Selangor, for instance, the tuition classes are
held from Tuesdays to Thursdays at night.
Mohd Din said it was up to the coordinator to decide the best
place and time for the students and teachers, depending on the
availability of the centre.
He has to regularly visit the constituencies around Selangor to
check on the coordinators and classes to make sure things are
“Initially the schools were a little suspicious [of our programme],
but they later realised it’s good for them too if the students improve
after attending our free tuition classes,” said Mohd Din.
He added that some of their coordinators such as
those from Ijok and Sungai Panjang are former teachers.
As for the teachers providing free tuition for the
students, they are paid RM40 per hour regardless
Current participants in Meru taking a break during
their Sunday marathon tuition classes from 8am to
They must be able to maintain the students’ interest in the
classes throughout the programme. Otherwise, the students
may drop out halfway.
To recognise the coordinators’ contribution, the state
awards the best coordinator with an excellent service award
Not just a free tuition programme
Apart from tuition classes, six other free educational
programmes are also included as a package in Program Tuisyen
of constituency. The rate is markedly lower than the urban rate of
RM50 to RM60 per hour, but higher than the RM30 per hour in
Bahasa Malaysia teacher Zainudin Tarji, 42, has been teaching
for 16 years. While acknowledging that teaching tuition is an
additional source of income, he said the best satisfaction comes
from the students’ improvement in their examination results.
“Without a pass in BM, the students cannot get an SPM
certificate, so I always use this to motivate them to study harder,”
Meanwhile, English teacher Siti Hawa Husin said she would
identify the better students in her classes to help the weaker ones.
“We’ve to take a different approach with students of different
capabilities,” said Siti Hawa, 38.
Hazira (second from left) and Muhammad Zamzurin (centre)
with other former participants of Program Tuisyen Rakyat
Selangor in Meru last year. She observed that the students tend to ask more questions and
participate more in tuition classes if the group is smaller compared
to in school.
Siti Hawa said the most common weakness among her students
is the lack of vocabulary.
“I always encourage them to read more to increase their
vocabulary. As a tuition teacher, I can only guide them. So, they
must also put in their own effort and read more to improve their
English,” said Siti Hawa, who has been teaching since 1998.
Mathematics, History, English and Bahasa Malaysia are the four
core SPM subjects offered in the state-sponsored free tuition
Interested students or parents can visit tuisyenrakyat.blogspot.
com for more information and download the registration form.
Priority, however, is given to students from families whose
monthly income is lower than RM1,500, with grades of B, C or D
in the four core subjects.
Besides the core subjects, students get to attend the Smart
Learning Programme during the first quarter of the year to
learn how to study more effectively.
Closer to the SPM examinations at the end of the year,
they are invited to join Program Pecutan Akhir and a special
SPM workshop for tips and techniques to answer exam
“Besides academic performance, Dr Halimah also wanted
us to help develop the students’ characters and spirituality
through this programme,” said Nurul Imma.
As a result, the state has also introduced a motivational
programme called Youth SPIES for the students. SPIES stands
for spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social.
During a two-day, one-night camp, the students are exposed
to different modules that aim to develop their capabilities in
these five areas.
Besides that, Muslim students also get to take part in Solat
Hajat Perdana, where they are brought to visit mosques.
The students’ parents can also join a free programme to
polish their parenting skills and learn different psychological
tactics to encourage their children to excel in their studies.
Finally, when SPM results are announced, 10 students who
have shown the most improvement in the four core subjects
are honoured every year.
“These are the students who used to get C or D in Bahasa
Malaysia, English, History and/or Mathematics but improved
and scored A or B in SPM after attending our classes,” said
Executive councillor Dr Halimah would present the 10
students with an award at the official launch of Program
Tuisyen Rakyat Selangor each year.
“This also serves to motivate future students and show them
that they can improve their grades too if they put in the effort,”
said Nurul Imma.
Students in Meru attending free tuition class for
Mathematics on Sunday, March 27.
April 8 — 10, 2011
Free and fair elections?
eriously, will we ever have a free and
fair election focusing on bread and
butter issues for once? @firdaus_h via
Free and fair elections are different from bread
and butter issues. The truth is we don’t have
bread and butter issues. Since we’re in Malaysia, we tend to have more rice and rendang
issues. After all, how many Malaysians eat
bread and butter? Even if they do eat bread,
they won’t stop at just butter, but add kaya or
maybe just eat it with sugar. But hey, whatever
rocks your rojak.
The truth is, the rakyat for the most part are
focused on those issues. Most of the rakyat are
having a hard enough time just eking out a living, if not a leaving.
The problem is that the politicians
wouldn’t otherwise give
are not focused on these meehoon and
you when there are no
sambal issues. They are more interelections. You should not
ested in poorly made sex video clips,
also choose simply based
sodomy, more sodomy, sexual harasson a political party.
ment – and did we mention sex?
You should vote the
If the rakyat wants nasi lemak
candidate based on their
and sambal sotong issues, then they
track record and what
have to tell their state councillors
they will do to alleviate
and Members of Parliament their
pressing issues in the local
concerns. Tell them to push these
communit y such as,
issues for you. Don’t let them dictate
“What is your stand on
what the issues are. If they don’t
local council elections?”,
listen to you and address them, then
or “Do you think domesAsk Lord Bobo is a weekly column by
vote them out when you can.
tic marital rape should be
As for free and fair elections, of
where all your profound,
course we will get there. Eventually.
Ultimately this windabstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite,
The possibility of that kind of elecbreaking initiative aims to
sagacious, and other thesaurusdescribed queries are answered!
tions has been given an added boost
help Malaysian make an
with the recent launch of the Pusat
informed choice at the
Rakyat LoyarBurok (Pusat LB) –
that Rakyat centre of undiluted pure that you, as a voter, should base your
UndiMalaysia aims to educate
awesomeness in Bangsar Utama – choice of candidates on their stand voters on their rights so they can
which will soon launch its Lord on local community issues. You make an informed choice and ask
Bobo-inspired initiative cryptically should not give your votes away meaningful questions to the politinamed UndiMalaysia.
simply because someone gives you cians, instead of just relying on their
The idea behind UndiMalaysia is money or promises you things they ad-hoc promises made during the
It also aims to educate voters on
how to keep their elected representatives accountable and responsible.
So UndiMalaysia hopes to inspire
a new political culture where voters
make responsible and rational choices at the ballot box. When this is
achieved, you will find your elected
representatives slowly focusing on
kuey teow and cincau issues.
Finally, it’s important that you
understand that UndiMalaysia is
politically non-partisan, but we at
Pusat LB love to party, son.
hat does Lord Bobo
think of affirmative action? @fareez_shah via
Man. You don’t make it easy for us,
do you? We could do a three-volume
book with this question because Lord
Bobo is so very learned. But let’s try
our best to address this.
What was the ultimate goal of
an affirmative action programme in
the first place? It was first implemented on a large scale in the 1960s
at the height of civil rights movement in America.
First mentioned in the executive
orders by President John F Kennedy
and his successor, President Lyndon
Johnson, it was aimed at increasing
competitiveness and combating discrimination against non-whites and
other minority communities, who
were displaced and deprived of opportunities socially and economically because of their race, religion,
origin, or the colour of their skin.
Some of the policies were aimed
at empowering minority communi-
ties to compete on an equal footing.
Providing equal opportunity to
them would entail allowing them
access to institutions that would allow them to compete equally. Examples of this are quotas in educational
institutions and subsidies in economic opportunities.
However, as with everything,
there are two sides to the story. The
pros for such a programme are that it
tends to boost competitiveness even
for those sidelined economically, due
to history of events beyond their
control (like slavery and war).
It also facilitates economic redistribution and helps close the
income gap between the rich and
the poor, or, at the very least, slows
The cons to affirmative action are
that it discourages true competition
and creates a perception of unfairness
to those who do not have access to
Ultimately, Lord Bobo is not inherently opposed to affirmative action programmes, but understands
that it can be greatly abused if not
carried out honestly, meaningfully
It cannot also last too long or indefinitely. Affirmative action is simply a temporary measure to assist a
community or people who are hampered from competing on an equal
footing because of their economic,
social or political deprivation, which
happened to them sometimes without any blame on their part.
When it is abused, then affirmative action programmes become a tool of tyranny instead of
a springboard to a more equal and
as a food haven
Wong is joined by Storm Studio managing director Amri Rohayat,
Adam Swee, and Fazly at the launch of the competition.
KOTA DAMANSARA: Prizes and holiday
packages are up for grabs as the Selangorlicious! Food
Blogging Competition gets under way until May 31.
The quest to determine the best foodie is organised
by Tourism Selangor to highlight the state as a food
destination and collect entries for a food guide to
everything yummy in Selangor.
“The aim [of the competition] is to put Selangor on
the map as a food destination for local and foreign
tourists,” said Elizabeth Wong.
The state executive councillor for tourism said just
as health and education tourism have proven to be viable
ideas, food tourism will appeal to those who are keen
to try something new.
The joint organisers are Storm Studio and Bright
Lights After Midnight, two Klang Valley-based creative
agencies that came up with the unique idea to promote
A series of activities has been planned throughout
the year, making food tourism in Selangor an ongoing
June has been earmarked as the official food month
for Selangor, and the competition will kickstart the
event by highlighting the state as a food haven.
“The competition is a short cut to identifying the
best food available in Selangor by mobilising bloggers
to uncover delicious delights,” said Fazly Razally.
The Tourism Selangor events and marketing manager
said the blogs would encourage people to visit the
various districts of Selangor as the competition covers
the entire state.
Existing and new bloggers are encouraged to take
part in the competition, which begins on May 1.
Participants can visit www.selangorlicious.my for more
The competition is open to people of all ages.
Participants can write about their meals at any food
outlet, big or small, in 400 to 800 words. Blogging about
home-cooked meals is not accepted.
Each entry must be accompanied by photos of the
meal and submitted via the website.
1st – RM5,000 and a holiday package.
2nd – RM3,000 and a holiday package.
3rd – RM1,500 and dinner vouchers.
Consolation – 3xRM500 cash prizes and dinner
Best Food Photography – RM1,000 and a digital
Best Food Photography (Runner-up) – a digital
Best Food Photography (Consolation) – a digital
Weekly prizes – Goodie hampers.
April 8 — 10, 2011
By Basil Foo
with free car park
PETALING JAYA: A free car park has been built
in Section 10 on Jalan Gasing to alleviate the longstanding problem of insufficient parking space and traffic
“We are thankful for this great project, which we
were also involved in during the input-gathering sessions,” said Ronald Danker at the car park launch on
The Section 10 Residents Association president said
the traffic congestion, which had occurred for over 10
years, was made worse by the nearby SMJK Katholik
There were also regular occurrences of double or
sometimes triple parking because of the nearby St Francis Xavier Church.
“One of the problems of urbanisation is parking. This
is to ease some of your problems,” said Petaling Jaya City
Council (MBPJ) councillor Derek John Fernandez.
He said the budget for the project, at a cost of
RM465,000, was approved in 2009. But the car park
was only constructed this year and took three months
The parking lot contains 116 bays and is only open
to light vehicles like cars and vans. Heavy vehicles like
lorries and buses are barred using a height limit barrier.
Members of the public will be able to park their cars
from 7am to 9.30pm every day, but their vehicles might
get towed if they leave them past the
“At the moment there will not be
any overnight parking to avoid
people abandoning their vehicles
here,” said Fernandez.
The parking lot, situated next to
several well-known chicken rice
restaurants, aims to reduce the number of cars being parked on road
shoulders, especially along roads
10/1, 10/4, and 10/5.
In a council statement, the police,
beginning from April 15, will be
issuing summonses along those
(Front, from left) Bukit Gasing assemblyperson Edward Lee, SMJK
“We will also be installing closed- Katholik principal Lee Kim Lai, Fernandez, and Datuk Roslan.
circuit cameras (CCTV) in the car
park at a cost of RM33,000 and a under Tenaga Nasional Berhad will be about 12ft above the car park.
netting above it for RM100,000,” (TNB) electric cables.
“We will consult TNB for addihe said.
According to Fernandez, TNB tional advice, but putting the netting
The netting is a metal wiring to had approved the safety aspect of the is a long-term plan to keep the car
cover the car park as it is situated project, and the netting wire mesh park safe,” said Petaling Jaya mayor
Plan to ensure taps run clean
landfill sites at Sungai Kembong and Sungai Pajam are
PUTRAJAYA: World Health
being managed and treated to
Organisation (WHO) standards
prevent leachate from reachare now being used to safeguard
vital fresh water from the Seme“That programme is on
nyih river and dam.
track. Previously it was dicey
Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd
as no one was managing the
(Abass), which treats the water,
landfill,” explained Abas.
said the new standards are part of
He was referring to an
the company’s water safety plan Abas Abdullah (left) and Abbas senior
incident in September last
to safeguard drinking water. year when the water treatmanager Sazli Mohd Salleh.
Abbas chief executive Abas
ment plant here was shut
Abdullah said they continue to face ecological and envi- down for the whole day due to leachate leaking into
ronmental challenges in treating water from upstream. Sungai Kembong and Sungai Semenyih.
“The challenges at Hulu Semenyih are from landfills
The situation, he said, was currently under control due
at Sungai Kembong and Sungai Pajam. We are also af- to treatment and monitoring from World Wide Holdings
fected by illegal sand-mining activities,” he said.
under its subsidiary Worldwide Landfills Sdn Bhd.
“Another problem is ammonia content due to old
Abas said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had
Indah Water Konsortium treatment plants upstream.”
visited the landfill site at Sungai Pajam recently, and exAbas said the plan is part of the National Water Ser- pressed concern over the environmental issues.
vices Commission’s (SPAN) move to ensure safety of
He also said Abass is looking into ways to reduce
drinking water through the use of risk assessment man- sludge waste from treating upstream water.
agement from “catchment to consumer”.
Abas explained that the company is partnering with
The company is applying for International Standardi- local universities in carrying out research on turning
sation Organisation and Risk Management certification sludge into biodegradable waste.
with Moody’s Risk Management Agency.
The plant is part of the Sungai Semenyih Water Sup“The auditors from Moody’s will audit us on com- ply Scheme. It produces 135 million gallons of water
pliance with international standards in water produc- daily to parts of Bandar Baru Bangi, Klang, Petaling Jaya,
tion,” said Abas during the launch of the programme Puchong, Shah Alam, Sepang, Seri Kembangan and USJ.
at its Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant in PuAbass is partly owned by Kumpulan Perangsang
trajaya last Friday.
Selangor Berhad, a subsidiary of Kumpulan Darul
On the ecological challenges, Abas reiterated that the Ehsan Berhad.
By Alvin Yap
The free car park at Petaling Jaya Section 10, which was open for
public use recently.
Datuk Mohammad Roslan Sakiman.
Commuters were urged to take
care of the cleanliness of the parking lot as it is meant for public use,
and as the council cannot afford to
have weekly gotong-royong to
clean the place.
He also said a task force will be
formed to clamp down on litterbugs by issuing fines within two
months. Flyers on the decision will
be out soon.
Fernandez also said plans for additional free car parks in the city
have been considered, and the next
area would be near the Asia Jaya
LRT (Light Rail Transit) station.
“I have also begun an application
process to get the support of the
state government to use their fixed
reserves [for projects like this],” he
SELAYANG: The Selayang
Municipal Council (MPS) has
so far recorded the highest number of dengue cases in Selangor
A report monitoring dengue
cases in the municipality showed
151 positive cases from January to
While there have been no casualties, MPS plans to increase the
number of gotong-royong activities to increase awareness on the
“I urge councillors to work
with residents’ committees to
hold activities that will make
people aware of dengue mosquito
breeding habits,” said MPS chairperson Datuk Zainal Abidin.
He said dengue could only be
eradicated when the public heed
warnings that Aedes mosquitoes
breed in stagnated water.
In his speech at a council meeting on March 30, he announced
that 67 cases were reported in
February, with the MPS carrying
out fogging operations on 45,639
Out of 1,848 residential and
business premises that were
checked, 100 were found to have
positive cases. MPS has also issued 18 compounds to land owners who did
not adhere to dengue-prevention
methods under the Destruction
of Disease-Bearing Insects Act
“Out of the premises that were
checked, three areas have been
found to be dengue hotspots
(Dahlia and Palma Apartments in
Bandar Country Homes and Taman Muhibbah Batu 16),” he said.
When asked if MPS would
follow the Subang Jaya Municipal
Council’s lead in releasing mosquito eaters to destroy dengue
mosquitos, Zainal said, “If MPSJ
is undertaking the study to see the
effectiveness of the mosquito killers, there is no point in repeating
Also discussed at the meeting
was the collection of assessment
tax by the council, which until
February had received RM29.5
million from a total of RM35.1
Also collected were assessment
tax arrears of RM2.7 million.
“As this is the main income of
the council, we will continue to
push for payment of the remaining assessment tax [owed to us] so
that we can proceed with development projects,” said Zainal.
He added that the council
went to 1,979 premises for the
collections, with 38 premises having their properties repossessed
for failing to pay up.
April 8 — 10, 2011
By Basil Foo
onsisting of indoor and outdoor sections that were
always full of customers, The Little Pantry in IOI Mall
Puchong seemed to be a favourite among diners here.
The first time we noticed this restaurant was during
Valentine’s Day recently, but what attracted our attention
most was the prevalent use of pink and flowers.
The outdoor entrance was decorated like a garden patio,
and upon entering, we were greeted cheerfully by waitresses in French maid-like uniforms.
The expansive establishment also included a closed section, Flower decor at the indoor entrance of The Little Pantry.
possibly for private parties, which
looked like the dining room of a
meticulously designed house.
While restaurants usually just
throw anything on their walls for
a vintage feel, The Little Pantry
seemed to have been decorated by
a tidy person fond of gardening
and tea parties.
The menu presented us with a
wide selection of Western and
Asian cuisine. We opted for the
former this time.
Arriving as soon as our appetites were sufficiently whetted
from looking at the food on surrounding tables, the Spaghetti
Beef Bolognese (RM15.90) was a
hearty edition of the crowd staple.
Soft Shell Crab Salad.
While this dish usually suffers
from insufficient sauce or overly salad with, as its seafood taste can was featured on a full page in the
floury noodles, the flavours of this be quite overpowering if eaten on menu, we had high expectations
version were a pleasant blend with its own.
of this dish. We were not disapa side of Parmesan for taste.
The vegetables were crisp and pointed.
The savoury dish had a good fulfilled all the expectations of a
The lamb meat came easily off
balance of noodles and meat and salad, but the quantity of sauce the bone and was surprisingly tenretained its heat well, but none- left much to be desired. It could der, given that most other lamb
theless should be enjoyed as soon have been improved with more dishes we have tried have been of a
as it is served.
varieties of greens.
The Soft Shell Crab Salad
Next up was the centrepiece of
Mint sauce was not included in
(RM11.90) was a strong-tasting the whole meal – the Braised the original presentation but was
fried soft-shell crab with a mix- Lamb Shank (RM28.90) – which available upon request, and thyme
ture of greens dressed in creamy was arranged standing up on a was also used extensively in the
platform of mashed potato and dish’s sauce.
It is advisable to divide the crab mushroom sauce.
Another hearty dish was the
in enough portions to eat the
As an impressive photo of it S t u f f e d C h i c k e n B r e a s t
(RM23.90), which comprised
several chunks of the meat encasing mushroom ragout and served Stuffed Chicken Breast.
with mashed potatoes.
The dish was a warm blend of
wild mushrooms and its accompanying sauce, but perhaps its
flavours could have been better
enhanced with some cheese, like
a Cordon Bleu.
While probably costing more
than your average neighbourhood
restaurant, diners would be pleasantly surprised with The Little
Requests were promptly attended to by the friendly staff, and
overall food quality exceeded expectations.
The Little Pantry is located on
the ground level of IOI Mall,
Braised Lamb Shank.
Spaghetti Beef Bolognese.
ARPIL 8 — 10, 2011
By Amir Muhammad
he had six months to find him. She
would be reaching a milestone birthday
then, and if her friends gave her another
surprise cake, it would come with the customary
joke that a fire extinguisher would be needed
to extinguish all the candles.
She didn’t need a fire extinguisher; she just
wanted a guy beside her to help her blow.
Getting dates was the easy part, as she was
an eligible bachelorette. But each guy would
need to pass the satay test to go further.
The satay stall was a semi-autonomous
region across from a restaurant near her apartment. The restaurant really came alive at
night, which meant that it was more fun to
be there with someone else. Satay orders could
be made to the restaurant staff but payment
had to be made separately, upon delivery, to
the satay-maker Sam.
His stall closed only on rainy nights.
On a dry night in the first month, she
brought a guy named Rais. He was full of
florid praise for everything about her. But she
noticed he didn’t even look at Sam when
ordering. Worse, he complained too loudly
when there weren’t enough nasi impit cubes
for his liking.
You could tell a lot about a guy from the
way he behaved to people he considered beneath him. Rais was rude, and so he didn’t go
On a dry night in the second month, she
brought a guy named Daniel. He was punctual when he picked her up, which was such a
But she noticed that he didn’t eat any of
the kuah satay. When she asked why, he said,
“It makes things messy.” This made her look
at him in a new light. A man who couldn’t
handle messiness would also be less fun and
Daniel was dry, and so he didn’t go further.
On a dry night in the third month, she
brought a guy named Ivan. He had great taste
in clothes and aftershave. But she noticed
something off-putting when he ordered the
“We’ll have only the beef. Chicken’s lame,
and mutton’s gross,” he told Sam. She was
taken aback. Did she have no say in the matter of which slain animal she might like?
Ivan was inconsiderate, and so he didn’t
You could tell a lot
about a guy from the
way he behaved to
people he considered
On a dry night in the fourth month, she
brought a guy named Prakash. He had a very
nice car, the kind she could imagine disappearing into while forgetting the congestion that
might be on the road or in her head.
But something happened as soon as he ordered 10 chicken and 10 mutton sticks for
himself (she was not hungry this time).
“Why?” she asked, since it seemed to be
expected of her.
“It’s to remind myself that in life, we can’t
always get what we want. We have to deal with
even negative eventualities. So if I ordered only
chicken, which is what I love, I’d be lulling
image source: sxc.hu
myself into a false state of comfort. So I force
myself to also eat mutton.”
He went on and on, not noticing that her
eyes were glazing over. He didn’t want a date,
but an audience.
Prakash was ponderous, and so he didn’t
On a dry night in the fifth month, she
brought a guy named Ghani. He was in an
industry that was related to hers. So they had
many matters of mutual interest, and that
helped to keep the conversation lively. In
fact, everything seemed to go swimmingly.
She thought she’d finally found the ideal guy
for the birthday party, which was only a
She had no problems with how he chose,
ordered or ate the satay. It was only when he
ostentatiously used a stick, now stripped of
meat, as a toothpick that she felt dismay. He
kept doing it for the rest of the conversation,
which grew less scintillating as it progressed.
Ghani was gross, and so he didn’t go further.
Almost a month later, she was at the restaurant alone. It was raining.
Sam, who couldn’t open his stall, asked
shyly if he could sit with her. She was surprised
but was happy for the company.
They started talking. They’d had no reason
to speak to each other before; aside from the
capitalist barrier of customer/provider, she had
always been busy with her dates and he with
his orders. But now that they were unoccupied,
she found herself having fun. She didn’t even
mind not having satay, because they ended up
doing other things later.
Sam was sexy, and he skewered his way to
the next stage perfectly.
Double joy for
Talented 13-year-old figure skater Naomi Peh Ju Xian Haeger from Singapore.
Ryan Yee Zhi-Jwen,
15, Malaysia’s first
skater to pass
Skating Union (ISU)
By Alicia Mun
SUBANG JAYA: There was double joy for the Yee brothers last weekend as Ryan and Julian Yee managed to top their
respective groups during the 6th Malaysia National Figure
Skating Championships (MNFSC) held at the Sunway
Pyramid ice rink.
Older brother Ryan, who is already a veteran in the figure
skating scene in Malaysia, grabbed the Senior Men’s crown
with a total of 135.44 points.
However, the 15-year-old, who represented Malaysia in the
recent 7th Asian Winter Games (AWG), was the sole entry in
the Senior Men’s category.
Ryan said he felt good to be able to compete with expe-
rienced skaters of top level during the AWG in Kazakhstan
“I started skating since I was six as I used to follow my mum
to the ice rink,” he said. “Figure skating is fun yet challenging
and it is a very good sport.”
Younger sibling Julian managed to edge out three other
skaters to bag the Junior Men’s category with a convincing
Julian collected 108.85 points, while second-placed Bryan
Christopher Tan finished with 98.2 points. Third-placed Chan
Zhen Feng finished with 98.17 points.
In the Ladies Junior event, Raya Willoughby defended her
title again after finishing with 74.14 points, edging out the
other contestant Ching Siau Chian (66.66 points).
According to competition director Norrizah Ismail, the
winners of the respective categories will go on to represent
Malaysia in the various junior figure skating tournaments
“The junior season is expected to begin in July and there
are eight Grand Prix tournaments,” said Norrizah.
“But we are still waiting for the organisers to decide which
country will host the competitions.”
Last weekend’s championships drew 83 participants,
aged from six to 26, from seven countries: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, India and New
The panel of judges consisted of 2006 Winter Olympics
(Torino, Italy) referee Rita Zonnekeyn and Malaysia’s first
national judge Jennifer Low.
The 6th MNFSC is organised by the Ice Skating Association
of Malaysia (ISAM) with the support of the National Fitness
Council and sponsored by Sunway Pyramid Ice, 100PLUS,
Nestlé Milo and Shaklee.
ISAM president Datin Laila Abdullah said Malaysia’s biggest handicap now in terms of figure skating is the lack of an
Olympic-sized ice rink in the country.
“This has to be looked into urgently if we are looking at
being represented and achieving results,” she said.
april 8 — 10, 2011
Fishermen’s market of
A highway cruise to nowhere often leads to
surprising discoveries. LIN ZHENYUAN feels the
heartbeat of Pasir Panjang on a northbound journey
f you are on the road to Tanjung Karang
heading north, Sekinchan will soon meet
you halfway. Before long, you will be passing Kampung Sungai Leman.
A few more minutes later, Pasir Panjang
and its green acres will rush to meet you.
Anytime between 8.30am and 6.30pm, you
will probably come across the fisherman’s
market, or Pasar Nelayan.
The trading site is under the auspices of the
Fishermen’s Association of Sungai Besar. The
heartbeat of this place emanates from Kampung Pasir Panjang.
Pasir Panjang shares its boundaries with
Sungai Besar and Sekinchan. Kampung Pasir
Panjang also comes under the jurisdiction of
the Besut district council of Selangor. Besut is
situated near the border of Selangor and Perak.
More than three quarters of the population
of Kampung Pasir Panjang are descendants of
Javanese who settled here around 1915. The
population of this village is about 3,000.
Since the sea is within cycling distance, a
sizeable number of the residents here are
fisherfolk. Others are involved in agricultural activities like rice cultivation and the
planting of crops like eggplant, fruits, vegetables and chilli.
The rest of the people in this sparsely
populated area hold jobs in the private, public and manufacturing sectors. However, in
recent years, development has crept up on the
area and the look of Pasir Panjang is undergoing a gradual transformation.
About half of the residents are farmers
whose average income is about RM1,000 a
month. The farmers work on their own plots
of about one to 1.6 acres, and are mainly involved in oil palm or paddy. Their products
are sold to intermediaries and wholesalers
who distribute them to nearby towns around
On the day I stumbled upon the fishermen’s market in Pasir Panjang, business was The sign that tells you business is in full swing.
operating at full throttle. The amount of
agricultural produce was a feast to city eyes
area as it was sold in abundance. There was a
market vendor who came from Kampung
Petai seemed to be rather popular in this
Lope in Sabak Bernam near the Perak border
to do business here.
Others were selling “kue teaw goreng”
and keropok lekor. At RM1.50 per packet
of the fried noodles, it wasn’t considered
costly at all.
Other enterprising women were making
good money selling Malay dishes. On a table
were plastic bags of beehoon with pre-packed
ingredients and gravy that is usually packed
separately for customers.
There was an ice-cream seller who sold
his sticks of “ais potong” utilising an uncommon method. He had an aluminium tub
designed with cone-shaped slots. Inside the
tub, which could be rotated manually, were
chunks of dry ice. The vendor poured
chocolate milk or strawberry chocolate milk
from one-litre cartons into plastic tubes and
stirred the tub. Within minutes, the chocolate milk would solidify and a customer
would have his “ice cream á la kampung”.
Quite an ingenious way of pleasing and
enticing young children.
Near the fishermen’s market was a mini
market that looked more like a grocery shop.
Nevertheless, the owner saw it fit to advertise
Fried chicken and nasi lemak are
popular among kampung folk.
Petai lovers will love Pasir Panjang for its abundance.
his business outlet as a “mini market”.
Life is simple and fairly uncomplicated in Pasir Panjang.
april 8 — 10, 2011
Take 5 minutes to fill this form up and drop it off at
the nearest police station to have regular checks
at your house while you are away.
Fried mee and
koay teow for
Past-times in Pasir Panjang generally involve games
like sepak takraw, football and fishing. Anglers normally try their luck at the Kampung Pasir Panjang wharf
or at the nearby Sungai Nibong.
The Pasir Panjang district consists of 15 villages.
There is a local resort called the Nibong Beach Resort
located in Kampung Nibong near the Pasir Panjang
Visitors who come here on weekends or public
holidays are usually from Kuala Lumpur and Petaling
Jaya. Apparently, the most popular stretch is nicknamed the “23-mile beach”.
People from as far as Negri Sembilan and Malacca
come here to enjoy the sea, the beach, the food and
deep-sea fishing. Boats are available for hire for anglers
who “want to catch the big ones”.
But daily market activities centre on Pasar Nelayan.
It is the melting pot of Pasir Panjang.
The simple country lifestyle co-exists with the agro-
based culture of this rural settlement, where the
spirit of community co-operation or gotong royong is
practised in its best form.
Pasir Panjang is also well known for its version of
“tempeh”, which is a high-protein food made of partially fermented, cooked soya beans.
The origins of tempeh can be traced back to Indonesia. Malay housewives who are familiar with this
dish will tell you that tempeh can be prepared with
other ingredients like red kidney beans, coconut, small
white beans, wheat, oats and barley.
How it will all turn out depends very much on the
experience and culinary knowledge of the tempeh chef.
Apparently, Pasir Panjang has its share of tempeh experts.
Pasir Panjang is one of those small villages that’s
hardly a blip on a traveller’s radar, but when you stop
and have a good look, the sights and sounds will astound you.
Ibu pejabat Polis Daerah Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-5637 3722 Fax: 03-5631 9815
Memaklumkan tentang meningalkan rumah kediaman untuk
Kepada Kawasan Pentadbiran Balai Polis
Nombor telefon bimbit/kediaman: ........................................
Nombor telefon yang boleh dihubungi: ................................
Tarikh meninggalkan rumah: ................................................
Tarikh dijangka balik ke rumah: ...........................................
Kenderaan yang ditinggalkan (jenis model & nombor daftar
Have you checked
Before leaving your home for a holoday, have you
checked all your electrical switches and turned off
your gas tanks?
The ice cream
Call the SS17 Bomba for advise at
APRIL 8 — 10, 2011
Cheating with technology
or this week’s insight into chess, I would like to touch
upon a topic of some controversy that has been largely
ignored until the French Chess Federation, in an
unprecedented move, took action against members of its
own national team.
They had used an elaborate system of SMSes among themselves to communicate computer analyses of their ongoing
What was difficult to understand was how players of such
strength would need to do this, and if there were any real
Chess is today regarded as a sport. Computers are widely
used in training, from databases of your games and that of
your opponents to studying or playing training games from
preset positions added by computer analysis.
It was also interesting that a Grandmaster had moaned on
Facebook about how his rating was slipping because he no
longer studied openings as he wanted to just play chess, but
could not help getting into trouble with players who were avid
users of technology.
But the shocker came following a game played recently at
the European Championship in an article titled Massacre of the
Innocents by “Mishanp”, on the website Chess in Translation.
Sergey Fedorchuk (2662) – Saša Martinović (2504)
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.exd5
Nxd5 7.N2f3 Bb4+ 8.Bd2 0–0 9.Bc4
And this is where it begins.
9…e5! (Diagram 1)
By Peter Long
Knowing what followed, it’s easy to recommend
withdrawing the knight to e2, but at this point Fedorchuk still had not grasped the strength of his
opponent’s preparation. He simply didn’t know who
he was dealing with. It goes without saying that taking the pawn on e5, without having looked at it
beforehand, was problematic.
I think that after this move Sergey must already
have suspected that he was in trouble. But it was
already too late. The fight had begun.
In the line 11.Bxb4 Nxb4 12.Qxd8 Rxd8 13.Ne5
Nxc2+ 14.Ke2 Nxa1 15.Nxf7 (or 15.Rxa1 Be6
16.Bxe6 fxe6 17.Nc7 Nd7 18.Nxd7 Rac8! -+) 15…
Bg4+ 16.Ke3 Nc2+ 17.Kf4
Black would win with the exquisite blow 17…
Be2!! followed by 18.Nxd8+ Bxc4 19.Nc7 Nc6! and
Elegant geometry, don’t you think?
13.Kd2 Qxb5 14.Kc3
A desperate king dashes under fire and has allowed White to keep his pieces, but a new salvo
This was the first move in the game on which
improves in Selangor
SHAH ALAM: Selangor’s 12 local governments collected more than RM977 million, including outstanding arrears, from ratepayers last year.
Petaling Jaya City Council topped the list with close
to RM172 million in revenue last year, followed by
Shah Alam City Council (RM156 million) and Subang Jaya Municipal Council (RM155 million).
Councils from other urban areas such as Kajang
collected RM70 million.
In stark contrast, district councils from rural areas
such as Kuala Selangor, Kuala Langat and Hulu Selangor collected between RM13 million and RM26
Sabak Bernam district council, which has no subsidiaries, recorded the lowest income with RM3.65
million in 2010.
This computer trick could no longer have surprised anyone. There
16.Bxf8 Qe5+ 17.Kb3 (or 17.Kc4 Rxf8 18.Bd5 Qf4+ with mate)
17…Nd4+ 18.Kb4 Qb5+ 19.Kc3 (Diagram 2)
And if 12.Bxf3 Re8+ 13.Be2 Bg4 14.f3, then even
an amateur would see the elegant mating conclusion
14…Bxf3! 15.gxf3 Qh4+ 16.Kf1 Bc5 17.Be1 Qh3#!
Never mind the computer.
It’s also not hard to guess that the line 12.0–0
Qxd5 13.Bxb4 Qxb5 14.Bxf8 Kxf8 15.Qd6+ Ke8
16.a4 Qc4 17.Qg3 Be6 18.Qxg7 Qg4! (with a big
advantage for Black) would have been taken care of
by the great hurricane.
By Gan Pei Ling
Martinović spent even a little time thinking. Up to that point he still
had his original hour and a half on the clock. The 30-second increment
for each move had been more than enough to conduct the game.
The overall collection rate for all local councils was
90.87% for current collection and 58.57% for outstanding arrears.
Executive councillor Ronnie Liu told the press on
Monday that overall, the local councils’ revenue has
been increasing steadily since 2008.
Liu advised the local councils to use some of their
financial reserve to repair roads and improve local
facilities for the people.
On a separate matter, Selangor also announced on
Monday that it would fork out RM500,000 to rebuild
a burnt-down longhouse and repair mosques in
Black wins the queen. White resigned, not even having managed
to get to the 20-move mark! You’ll agree that was a massacre. A top
class player was simply wiped from the board.
Feast of international
KUDOS to the Malaysian Chess
Federation (MCF) for holding
both the National Age Groups
and Malaysian Closed Championships in March, as there are
many international events, both
official and traditional, that take
off this month.
Since the basis for the selection of national representatives
is already in place, hopefully
MCF will be consistent in the
criteria they have formulated
while remaining flexible where
necessary, because at the end of
the day, most of the top players
are not full-time chess players.
First up is the 11th Thailand
Open to be held at the Dusit
Thani in Pattaya from April 1117. This is the most “western” of
reg ular Asian International
Open Championships and is an
excellent choice for budding
amateurs. For more details, visit
Next is the Asian Cities Team
Championship for the Dubai
Cup, which will be held in Jakarta from April 21-29, and
where last year’s National Inter
State Team Champions Penang
will be representing Malaysia.
World Championship qualification starts with the superstrong Asian Continental Championship in Iran from May 1-11,
while all eyes will be on the Asian
Youth Championships in Subic,
Philippines from May 14-22,
where many of our top juniors
are expected to play.
Hopefully, Malaysia’s junior
champions will also try and make
it to the Asian Junior Championships in Colombo, Sri Lanka
from June 1-11 as this is the
banner event for aspiring young
talents, and a great platform for
our juniors to vie for an International Master title.
Concurrently, the Sri Lanka
Chess Federation is also organising the Asian Seniors Championship. The next tournament for
young players to look forward to
is the ASEAN+ Age Groups
Championships which will be
held in Indonesia (Kalimantan)
from June 12-21.
This year, too, the World Junior Championship returns to
Asia and will be in Chennai from
Aug 1-16, and is a much bigger
deal if Malaysia’s top young talents are serious to see where they
rank among their peers.
MCF also plans to send our
top juniors to the World U-16
Youth Olympiad in Sanliurfa,
Turkey from Oct 23 to Nov 1.
On the local front, the Malaysian Open will be held from July
SHAH ALAM: After the success
of townships in Damansara, Shah
Alam, Mont Kiara and Semenyih in
the Klang Valley, Sunway City Bhd
will unveil yet another iconic master
integrated development tomorrow.
Located just 3.8km from Kuala
Lumpur City Centre, the new development, Sunway Velocity, is about
to change the way people live, work
The mixed commercial development comprising service apartments
and retail shops will merge office and
home needs, recreation and wellness
with shopping and entertainment.
Sunway Velocity’s Phase 1A,
which comprises 124 units of shop
offices, is due to be launched tomorrow. Its service apartments are scheduled to be launched in the second
quarter of 2011.
Tomorrow’s launch will be at the
Sunway Velocity Sales Gallery from
6.30pm to 9.30pm, and will be held
together with the Velocity City
The retail shops are priced from
RM2.4 million, and office suites are
priced from RM1.2 million onwards. The indicative pricing for the
264 units of service apartments is
from RM600,000 onwards.
Unlike other developments, the
advantage of Sunway Velocity begins
with superb connectivity. This new
hub of activity will be connected via
major roads and highways, plus
public transportation including the
LRT and a proposed MRT station.
Sunway Velocity will also ease the
way traffic flows in this booming
quarter of KL with a direct tunnel
and underpass cutting across Jalan
The numbers and the facts are
equally impressive as KL’s next
landmark development features a
April 8 — 10, 2011
Environmental Deck at
lifestyle shopping mall of over a
million square feet, with more than
5,000 parking bays, a pedestrianfriendly environmental deck and a
two-acre Central Park.
Beautifully integrated with
luxury service apartments and topnotch shop-offices spread over 22
acres of valuable freehold land,
Sunway Velocity embraces the latest technologies in design and architecture to enhance your
life, day in, day out.
Sunway Velocity is also
where you can inject stylish
vigour into your life whether at work, business or at
home. The pedestrianfriendly elevated environmental deck links all three.
Basking in a lush, bright
and breezy ambience, you
can enjoy shopping or simply observe the scenes of
day-to-day outdoor living.
Al fresco dining and wining
takes on the ultimate in
style and comfort.
In the heart of it all is the huge
Central Park. In line with Sunway
embracing the Lohas philosophy,
the Central Park is a two-acre green
lung offering tranquil and wholesome moments to help balance the
pace of work with play and leisure.
For more details about the development and the launch, contact 03
-92055500 or 012-3189656.
GSC Alamanda celebrates third anniversary
SHAH ALAM: Ushering a new chapter in
the coaching industry in Malaysia, Corporate
Coach Academy (CCA), the Malaysian
Association of Certified Coaches (MACC),
and media network Omnicom Media Group
unveiled the first-ever handbook for the
Malaysian coaching industry – Coaching
Coaching Standards, which was launched
last Friday, aims to set the benchmark for the
coaching industry, guide coaches and coach
aspirants on the path to excellence, and enable
the sharing of best practices.
It also aims to educate the public to be more
discerning in differentiating between welltrained coaches and untrained ones.
“At PHD and OMD (leading agencies of
Omnicom Media), we believe in putting
people first above everything else, and we are
relentless in our efforts in engaging, motivating
and nurturing our staff to excel.
“The launch of Coaching Standards is about
success, self actualisation, and achieving
outstanding results. As a group, we firmly
believe in staying true to our 3Ps principle –
People, Product and Profit.
“Sponsoring the first-ever coaching
SHAH ALAM: Make your way to
Alamanda this month as Golden Screen
Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) Alamanda
celebrates its third anniversary.
From April 3, moviegoers will be
rewarded with a GSC “Buy 1 Free 1” or
“Buy 2 Free 1” voucher with ever y
purchase of two GSC Alamanda movie
tickets in a single transaction, while
At the GSC concession counter, grab
a Combo 2 and be rewarded with
a Cars 2 car decal.
The Cars 2 car decals are
available in two designs, featuring
Lightning McQueen and Mater on
the first, and the main characters
company they belong to. With their people
of the Cars 2 movie on the second
propelled to greatness through coaching,
companies will forge ahead of others and
This giveaway is for a limited
accelerate better results”, he added.
period, while stocks last.
Omnicom Media Group is the media
On April 10, GSC will also host
services division of Omnicom Group, Inc., a
the Hop Roadshow, featuring
global advertising, marketing and corporate
games, activities and movie precommunications company.
miums to be won.
ICF is a non-profit organisation formed by
Also be sure to catch the
professionals who practise coaching. With
upcoming movies in GSC Alamanda
over 17,000 members, it is the largest
this April such as Hop, Cun, Just Go
worldwide resource for professional coaches,
With It, Rio and many more.
and a source for those who are seeking a coach.
For showtimes and further
MACC is an independent and non-profit
information, log on to www.gsc.
national coach community of certified and/or
com.my or www.gscmobile.com.my.
trained coaches and coach-students of the
GSC is the leading cinema
International Coach Federation (ICF) and
exhibitor and distributor in
other coach-learning institutions
Malaysia, with a total of 180 screens
Coaching Standards is available free of cost.
in 22 locations around the country.
However, individual and corporate donations
Currently, GSC has 40 digital
will enable the printing of more books.
halls nationwide, which includes
To get a free copy, contact MACC at 03the larg est d ig ita l ha l l : the
62054488 or email [email protected] GSC Maxx on the 10th
floor of Berjaya Times Square.
Handbook on coaching standards
(From left) Vogiatzakis, Heah and Lim
during the launch last Friday.
standards handbook is in perfect sync with our
motto of walking the talk”, said Andreas
Vogiatzakis, managing director of Omnicom
Media Group, Malaysia.
Dr Michael Heah, CEO of CCA and
MACC chairperson, stressed that “one of the
key aims of this book is to help raise the
awareness in our industry, to become a catalyst
for change and to set an example for others
“Coaching is an increasingly critical tool
that is beneficial to both individuals and the
April 8 — 10, 2011
More than 3,000 students attended
the state-sponsored Sijil Pelajaran
Malaysia (SPM) workshop held in
Shah Alam late last year. The state
allocates RM3.45 million for this
programme, which is open to SPM
candidates whose families earn
less than RM1,500 a month.
About 300 students from
SM Teknik Sepang, Sekolah
Sultan Alam Shah, Sekolah
Sri Putri Cyberjaya, SMK
Precint (16) 1 Putrajaya and
Selangor Recreation Club
students were taught about
the water treatment
process by Konsortium
Abass Sdn Bhd last
Saturday in Putrajaya as
part of its public education
Residents raising their concerns to Bukit Lanjan assemblyperson Elizabeth Wong,
councillor Lee Khai Loon and Gombak assistant district officer Nor Zaidi Ratiman
after a formal briefing on land and local issues in Kepong last Sunday. Residents
of Taman Ehsan And Desa Jaya were surprised to be told that their final leasehold
titles were ready, as they were not aware that they had been holding temporary or
qualified land titles all this while.
Demonstrators protesting against
nuclear power plant development at
the jetty of Pulau Ketam on
Wednesday. The protest was
spearheaded by DAP division
chairperson Ivan Ho Fook Keong,
Pas secretary for the Klang branch
Mohd Prasad Hanif, and Klang MP
Charles Santiago (second from left).
On Charles’s left is Klang Municipal
councillor Yeo Boon Lye.
At the launch of a
campaign – part of
Pakatan Rakyat’s Layar
Rakyat programme –
at a morning market
in Taman Greenwood,
Selayang on April 3.
Divas bring Vegas to Shah Alam
April 8 — 10, 2011
By Basil Foo
SHAH ALAM: A Secretaries Week
luncheon at the Shah Alam Convention
Centre (SACC) turned out to be an
intimate affair when two celebrities took
to the floor to serenade 800 guests.
The show, dubbed Divas Las Vegas, saw
invited crooners Anita Sarawak and
Noryn Aziz show some personal touches
to their performance as they moved table
to table greeting the secretaries.
“I hope all of you are having a good
time; if you’d like, feel free to sing and
dance along with me,” announced Anita
after she entered the hall to cheers from
Dressed in a glittering pantsuit covered
by a large blue-feathered coat and looking
every inch the diva, she brought her own
brand of Vegas-themed entertainment to
Bursting into rock anthems like
Queen’s We Will Rock You and lounging
on onstage furniture while singing
sentimental Malay ballads, she also sang
Sinatra’s New York, New York.
“When I was performing in Vegas,
and although it is a song about a different
city, this song by Frank Sinatra was a
crowd favourite,” she said before singing
the song accompanied by Broadwaystyle dancers.
Noryn also took time between her
songs to chat up members of the audience
and take pictures with them.
Hosted by Raja Lawak runner-up
Zizan Razak and actress Juliana Evans,
Divas Las Vegas not only treated guests to
a lunch spread but also lucky draw prizes.
Up for lucky audience members was a
set of luxury furniture from Empire
Classic Furniture worth RM45,000, and
a set of green agate and pearl jewelry from
Elegance Club worth RM60,000.
The most well-dressed secretary was
chosen to win the Best Dressed award and
went back with a gown from [email protected]
Kapas worth over RM3,000.
“It is apparent we have the ability to
host events of international standard,” said
Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad.
The SACC chief executive officer
stressed that not only was a performance
by the two celebrities highlighted, but
SACC also guaranteed the quality of the
Noryn struts her stuff.
Theatre / Music / Dance
Compiled by Nick Choo
Indicine Live! 3
Theatre; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts
Centre; April 6-17, 2011; RM35 / RM25; www.
Dance; Sutra Dance Theatre; Kuala Lumpur
Performing Arts Centre; April 6-10, 2011;
RM53/RM33; 03-40479000; www.klpac.org
Following a sold-out 2010 season, Indicine
Live! returns with more sketch comedy
highlighting various aspects of Malaysian life,
directed by KLPac’s director-in-residence
Kelvin Wong. Featuring the writing of Patrick
Lee, Ema Mahyuni, Adriana Nordin Manan,
Nina Shah, Freddy Tan, Tung Jit Yang and
Amir Yunos; starring Siti Farrah Abdullah, Sani
Zanial Ibrahim, Oliver Johanan, and Shirin
Jauhari, among others.
Featuring works from contemporary Odissi
choreographers Sharmila Biswas (Kolkata),
Madhavi Mudgal (New Delhi), and Ramli
Ibrahim and Guna (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).
Comprising three dance performances –
Evocations, Pallavan and Kamala – each
drawing upon and and inspired by the
Odissi tradition, one of the most dynamic
Indian classical dance styles. “One takes us
back to its folk and rural tradition of games
and drums; another moves us beyond to
the experimental, creating new works with
compelling images and messages.”
Theatre; The Actors Studio
@ Lot 10; April 6-10,
2011; RM33/RM23; 0321422009 / 21432009;
Anita wows the crowd.
Polygamy. We hear about
it, we read about it, and
often we are told what to
think about it. What is it
like to be a madu (co-wife)
in a modern world? Writer
U-En Ng, in his directorial
debut, leads the audience
to contemplate the extent
of polygamy in Malaysia
and the controversial
issues that revolves
around it. Singaporean
playwright Alfian Sa’at’s
Madu II contains the quiet
hopes, shattered dreams,
compromised joys and
honest humanity of women
who live in polygamous
households. “It is at once
breathtaking as it is
heartbreaking, uproarious in its humour,
pathos and outrage.” Featuring real-life sisters
Elza Irdalynna and Inessa Irdayanty; in Malay
with English surtitles.
Concert; Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts
Centre; April 9 and 10, 2011; RM35 / RM15;
Fantastikal Strings’ programme features
folk songs and well-known classical pieces
such as Pachelbel’s Kanon, Mozart’s Eine
kleine Nachtmusik and Dvorak’s The New
World Symphony. The ensemble will also be
playing the theme song from the blockbuster
movie Titanic as well as an old favourite
popularised by the late Teresa Teng, The
Moon Represents My Heart. Conducted by
Dr Takahisa Ota, music director and resident
conductor of the KLpac String Ensemble.
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.