Lack of respect for the Constitution

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Lack of respect for the Constitution
Bedridden
youth needs
financial aid
p
8
Lack of
PJ hostels: an
respect for the unregulated,
blooming
Constitution
p
11
business p
10
November 25 — 27, 2011/ issue 50
community
More restrictions on
fundamental rights
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya’s Peaceful Assembly Bill is
coming under fire from various quarters for being even more
repressive and unconstitutional.
The new bill, tabled for a second reading on Tuesday and
debated this week in Parliament, is to replace current restrictions under the Police Act 1967.
However, the proposed law would allow protesters arrested
by police to be fined up to RM20,000, while organisers face
fines up to RM10,000 if no advance notice of a planned assembly is given to the police.
"The fines further restrict the ability of Malaysians to participate in assemblies. It does not guarantee the freedom of
assembly, but clamps down on dissent," said Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) campaign coordinator Nalini Elumalai.
She said the fines were aimed at financially punishing the
public, despite the fact that freedom of assembly is guaranteed
under the Federal Constitution.
She also pointed out that the law, if passed, would provide
the police with even more discretionary powers to impose restrictions and conditions.
The new law would require 30 days’ advance notice at “designated areas” defined by the home minister, and can proceed
unless there is objection by the police.
The bill restricts public gatherings at petrol stations, hospitals, fire stations, airports, railways,
land public transport terminals,
Ang Nyet Ngoh, a
ports, canals, docks, bridges, places
60-year-old tailor
of worship, kindergartens and
who has difficulties
schools, as well as dams and reserwalking and using
voirs.
her right arm,
received a motorised
It states that no street protests
wheelchair from
are allowed, and bars any assembly
state executive
in or within a 50-metre buffer zone
councillor Dr Xavier
around the listed prohibited areas.
Jayakumar (left) at
The home minister can also deher home in Taman
clare
any place as a prohibited area
Sentosa, Klang on
by
way
of a gazette, while Section
Wednesday (Nov 23).
15 of the Bill states that restrictions
Story on page 4.
and conditions can be imposed for
the purpose of “security or public
order”.
“The bill is written to further restrict Malaysians the right to assembly and to disrupt the avenues for
them to speak up against unjust
economic or public policies,” she
said.
The human rights activist said
the litany of restrictions barred legitimate public protest.
“For example, what if the public
has to hold an assembly near water
treatment plants to protest against
the price of clean water? What if
there are water safety issues that we
have to highlight?” she asked.
According to legal-reform and
human rights group, Lawyers for
Liberty, the new ruling still gives
the police too much discretionary
powers to approve assemblies.
Latheefa Koya, the group’s
spokesperson, described the regulations as still draconian.
The human rights lawyer and
Petaling Jaya City councillor blasted the 30-day waiting period, describing the move as impractical
due to the currency and urgency of
public policy issues.
“Is this a way for the government
to force a cooling-off period? Do
we have to wait one month to submit a memorandum?” she said.
Social activists also slammed the
• Turn to page 2
2
news
November 25 — 27, 2011
New measures to
regulate cybercafés
By Alvin Yap
SHAH ALAM: Restriction on permits for new cybercafés, which have been frozen since 2006, will be lifted
once new guidelines are in place to better regulate the
business in Selangor.
Under the new rules, patrons will be required to electronically register themselves with their MyKad before
using the computers, while owners must use fully transwith Tenaga Nasional Berhad and local municipalities and councils
parent glass in the premises.
“These are some of the requireSyarikat Bekalan Air Selangor to enough power to bring to book ilments that cybercafés have to satcut both electricity and water sup- legal cybercafés.
isfy to either apply for a licence or
ply to the shops,” he said.
He said unlicensed outlets often
for renewal,” said state executive
Liu did not mention if the state reopen in new locations even after
councillor Ronnie Liu.
would give a grace period for illegal having their premises sealed and
Liu, whose portfolio includes
cybercafés to adopt the new system, hardware confiscated, as they usulocal government, said the state has
but said premises are given two ally operate with fewer than five
been working with legitimate cyyears to carry out renovations on computer units.
bercafé operators to regulate the
their premises in accordance with
“The action taken by local auindustry.
the guidelines.
thorities doesn’t ‘hurt their pockIllegal cybercafés, which purHe further said cybercafés will ets’,” Liu said, adding that the new
portedly allow teenage patrons to
have to install closed-circuit televi- ruling specifies that operators must
gamble online or download por- A model of the approved cybercafé.
sion cameras as well as light up the have a minimum of 40 computers in
nography, have mushroomed across
premises.
order to get the cybercafé licence.
the country. These illegal outlets are
Liu reiterated that local governHe said Putrajaya should conHe quickly dismissed the idea state would not hesitate to come
also believed to be a front for gam- that the system and equipment down hard on them.
ments in Selangor still have their sider heftier fines and longer jail
bling dens.
“We will go all out to seal the hands tied on the matter, as the Lo- terms for those caught running ilcould be hacked, or that personal
The state, along with the Selan- information could be retrieved premises and will set up a task force cal Government Act does not give legal cybercafés.
gor Cybercafé Association, is at- from the database.
tempting to rehabilitate the image
Liu said the system has received
of cybercafés.
positive feedback from cybercafé
Liu said 20 cybercafés in Selan- operators, and that the study on
gor have been testing the MyKad the cybercafé monitoring system is
registration system for six months in the last stages.
now, and another 100 premises
“Once the study is finalised, and
have signed up to test the system.
the details and bylaws are ready, it SHAH ALAM: Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s adminis- party in order to invest.
The system tracks users and will go to the exco for approval by tration is willing to cooperate with Putrajaya to ensure
“If the investment is
alerts a database that will record late December,” he said, adding that development projects in the state proceed smoothly. beneficial to all, brings
The Menteri Besar, who was speaking at the Joint clean profits and boosts
their visits to pornographic web- the state would not fully enforce the
sites, together with their name, system until problems have been Annual Conference of the Malaysia-Japan Economic Selangor’s economy, we
Association (Majeca) and the Japan-Malaysia Eco- will approve the project
MyKad number and address.
ironed out.
It will also automatically limit
According to Liu, the new by- nomic Association ( Jameca) in Tokyo, said political without bureaucracy,” he
the time that an under-18-year-old laws will act to cull illegal cyberca- differences between Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Na- said on Tuesday.
patron may spend on the cybercafé fés in the state – said to be around sional should not get in the way of developments that
He asked his Japanese counterparts to continue incomputers to two hours.
vesting in Malaysia, especially in manufacturing, bank2,000 in number – and will give a benefited the people.
“The state has proven that it can work [with the ing and finance, and said taxes from new investments
“After the allotted time, the chance for the 650 legitimate opfederal government]. I’m part of the committee on would ultimately be utilised for public benefit.
computer will restart and lock the erators to survive.
person out from using the facilities
He told Japanese investors that they would benefit
He said feedback showed that the Greater Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley Project,
again,” he said.
cybercafé owners welcome the pro- and I work with them to provide land in Selangor for from starting up business in Selangor, which he said is
Liu said authorities will be able to posed ruling, and hoped that ille- development projects," said Khalid during the con- administered with accountability and transparency.
check the data to identify those who gal and unlicensed operators will ference.
Khalid said the Japanese business community repHe pointed out that cooperation between Shah resent the largest investors in Selangor, with some
have carried out illegal activities.
heed the new regulations as the
Alam and Putrajaya has ensured that the projects are RM1.2 billion worth of projects as of August 2011.
carried out with accountability and transparency.
Selangor, from January to August, had approved 18
Selangor WEATHER
He added that the public deserves the best benefit Japanese investments, which created 1,000 new jobs
from money allocated for development. Friday Saturday Sunday
in the state, he said.
“For example, I know that RM5 million has been
Khalid also visited the headquarters of electronics
allocated to develop and construct new sewerage sys- manufacturing giant Sony and met its vice-president,
Morning
tems in the Klang Valley. I hope that the tenders for Tsugie Miyashita. He also met representatives of car
the project will be open for local [companies] as well maker Toyota to discuss plans for the company to start
as those from Japan,” he said.
a factory in Rawang.
Part of Khalid’s three-day working trip, from MonDuring his inaugural visit to Japan since becoming
Afternoon
day to Wednesday, involved finding a way to cut red the Menteri Besar, Khalid also visited industrial and
tape for Japanese companies who want to do business financial group Nomura in Tokyo.
here. Khalid was accompanied by state executive council
He gave the assurance to Japanese investors that for investment, industry and trade Teresa Kok, Selaninvestment projects in Selangor will have the full sup- gor Selangor State Investment Centre chief executive
Night
port of the state and will not be delayed, and said in- officer Datuk Mohd Jabar Ahmad Kembali, and Shah
vestors need not lobby or pay commission to any Alam Mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan.
State ready to work with
federal govt on projects
Police still have too much
discretionary powers
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
phone (603) 5510 4566
fax (603) 5523 1188
email [email protected]
EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR
COMMUNITY EDITOR
KL Chan
Neville Spykerman
Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling,
Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng
COPY EDITORS Nick Choo, James Ang
WRITERS
DESIGNERS
ADVERTISING
ADVISORS
Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
Timothy Loh, Ivan Looi, Tony Kee
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
• From page One
RM20,000 fine which can be imposed on anyone refusing to disperse
at public assemblies.
Tenaganita director Irene Fernandez said fine was a hefty amount that
would hurt the pockets of any ordinary Malaysian who might join a
public assembly to voice their dissent
or unhappiness over public policy.
The veteran social activist and
non-governmental-organisation
leader describes the bill as “regressive”, and did not bode well for concerned Malaysians who wanted to
participate in democracy.
Political activist and university
lecturer Wong Chin Huat called the
bill “shameless” in its bid to stifle
dissent.
“The government should not
think of us as brainless,” he said, adding that civil society would resist the
To place your Advert in
Contact Timothy Loh 019-267 4488,
Ivan Looi 014-936 6698,
Tony Kee 016-978 2798
passage of the bill into legislation.
During an emergency meeting
at Suaram’s office in Petaling Jaya on
Wednesday night, various civil society groups unanimously supported
the setting up of another mass movement group called Himpun 2.0
According to organisers, it aims
to use social networking sites like
Facebook, Twitter and blogs to fight
the bill.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 25 – 27, 2011 ⁄ 3
4
news
November 25 — 27, 2011
Rice farmers protest raw deal
Events
Youth Leadership Programme
The protest in Sekinchan.
By Alvin Yap
SEKINCHAN: Some 200 paddy
farmers from across Sabak Bernam
staged a well-behaved albeit noisy
protest here against low rice prices and
subsidies set by Putrajaya.
The elderly farmers from Sekinchan, Sungai Burong and Sungai Besar
gathered at Parit 5 Sekinchan on
Tuesday morning to urge the federal
government to look seriously into
their welfare and protect their fundamental rights.
Their two main demands are the
implementation of fair trade for rice,
and an increase in subsidies from the
current RM24.81 to RM50 per 100kg,
in order to protect their livelihoods.
Currently Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) pays farmers RM1,300
per 1,000kg of rice, while seedlings for
replanting are sold at RM1,400 per
1,000kg.
The farmers are appealing for these
rates to revise to RM1,400 and
RM1,600 respectively, and pointed
out that even Thailand has recently
increased the amount paid to rice
farmers there.
They also urged the Ministry of
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry
to abolish the RM100 per 1,000kg
transport fee (from acquisition centre
to other states), which are charged to
farmers instead of the centre.
They said operating costs are getting higher day by day, and farmers
have seen their profits slashed. Sekinchan assemblyperson Ng Suee
Lin and Sabak Bernam district councillors were also present at the protest.
Ng Suee Lin said the Agriculture
and Agro-based Industry Ministry
cannot continue to ignore the basic
right of farmers.
He claimed that the current rates
paid to farmers have not been revised
for two decades.
“Presently, rice production is monopolised by Bernas… it is unreasonable as Sekinchan produces highquality paddy and seedlings,” he said.
Ng also pointed out there were others who are willing to buy the rice and
seedlings at higher prices, yet the government prohibits this. While acknowledging that there
were some subsidies and incentives
provided by the government, Ng
claimed that farmers are not benefiting
from them. “Farmers tell me they get fertiliser
of poor quality, while some say they
don’t get any harvesting incentives
from the government,” said Ng.
In addition, he expressed support
for the farmers’ call for the transportation fees to be abolished.
Ng further called on Agriculture
and Agro-based Industry Minister
Datuk Seri Noh Omar to explain what
happened to RM110 million worth of
incentives promised to rice farmers.
Putrajaya had allocated the RM110
million in 2010 for farmers to help
increase their rice production, but the
recent Auditor-General’s report revealed that the allocation was not distributed.
Aid for the disabled
KLANG: A 60-year-old tailor who
has difficulties walking and using her
right arm received a motorised wheelchair from the state on Wednesday.
“I’ve had to reduce my workload
recently because I get tired easily and
my hand hurts … I’m glad to receive
the wheelchair,” said Ang Nyet Ngoh.
State executive councillor Dr
Xavier Jayakumar handed over
the wheelchair, which cost RM4,000,
during a visit to her home in Taman
Sentosa on Wednesday evening.
Ang suffers from bouts of high fever and has been prone to falling since
she was 13. She relies on tailoring to
make a living.
The pain in her arm gets so unbearable at times that she is rendered im-
mobile and needs the motorised
wheelchair.
“Ang wrote to my office about two
months ago and requested for this
wheelchair, which was also recommended by her doctor,” Dr Xavier
said.
On the same day, Dr Xavier gave a
motorcycle with a side-trolley to florist Chettivellu Thangiah during a
visit to his home in Desa Mentari 2,
Petaling Jaya.
The vehicle, which cost RM3,000,
is to help Chettivellu with his day job
as he has to support his children who
are of schoolgoing age.
“Initiatives like these are continuously done by the state government,”
Dr Xavier said.
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Music concert
The Selangor Kuala Lumpur Orchestra and Choir (Skoc)
will organise a night of music titled Music of Hope Charity
Concert to raise funds for Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak
Cacat Taman Megah Petaling Jaya. The concert, which will
be held tomorrow (Nov 26) at the KL&Selangor Chinese
Assembly Hall from 7.30pm-9.30pm, aims to raise funds for
the construction of a new building for the centre. The concert
will feature classical songs and a choir performances from
the disabled home. Tickets are priced from RM30-RM00. For
details, call 012-326 2005 (Simon) or 012-391 3344 (Herries).
Premise licence renewal
Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is opening its doors
to premise owners to renew their 2012 business licences
from now until Dec 31. Renewals can be made at the MPSJ
headquarters in USJ5 or other MPSJ branch offices in Bandar
Puteri Puchong and Serdang from Dec 1. For details, call
the Licensing Department at 03-8026 3176, 03-8026 3177,
03-8026 4321 or visit www.mpsj.gov.my.
Learn sign language
A sign-language course will be offered to the public by the
Young Men’s Christian Association of Kuala Lumpur from
Nov 30. The course will be divided into basic and express
levels. For details, call 03-22741439 (Eeyong), 017-2320833
or email [email protected]
Charity fun fair
Desa Amal Jireh (home for underpriviledged children and
seniors) will hold a charity sale, food & fun fair on Saturday
(Dec 3) from 9am-3pm. The home accepts donated items
from the public to be sold at the fair. Those wishing to
contribute items are encouraged to deliver them directly or
call 03-8724 5153 / 03-8724 5158 (Catherine/Mala) or fax
03-8724 5160. Donations by money order, crossed cheque
or postal order can be made payable to Desa Amal Jireh and
mailed to P.O. Box 20, 43007 Kajang, Selangor.
Art workshops
FREE
3 Hours inspiring
talk on how you
can walk tall.
Extol Toastmasters Subang Jaya will hold their annual Youth
Leadership Programme for students aged between 12 and
18 from Dec 16-18 at No 2, Jalan SS19/1G, Subang Jaya.
For details, call 019-2319800 (Kwa Ngan Eng), 012-2323578
(SK Ratnam), 016-2160632 (Patricia Tan) or email [email protected]
gmail.com or [email protected]
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47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel: 603-5636 3881 Fax: 603-5636 3885
The Department of Extra-Mural Studies, Malaysian Institute
of Art (MIA) will organise art workshops from Dec 3. The
Bead Jewellery Workshop and Intensive Painting Workshop:
Oil Painting/Watercolour will be held on Dec 3 and 10.
On Dec 10, there will be a Handmade Silver Accessories
Workshop and Glass Printing Workshop for Families. The
Creative Designer Animal Plush Sewing Workshop will be on
Dec 11 followed by an Adult Glass Painting Workshop on
Dec 17. The workshops will be held at the MIA Art Centre
on Jalan Ampang KL. Call 03-2163 2337 or email [email protected]
gmail.com for details.
Forum for parents
Tung Shin Hospital and Nestle’s Nan Grow 3 will hold funfilled educational talks and activities for families on Nov 26
from 1.30pm-4pm. Parents can expect an array of exciting
activities, including lucky draws, children’s colouring contest
and free talks by the hospital’s leading pediatricians, Dr
Chew Bee Bee and Dr Lim Ee Tang, at 2pm. Admission is
free and early birds will walk away with free Nestle goodie
bags. To register, call 03 6201 1858 or visit www.weaning.
com.my for details.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 25 – 27, 2011 ⁄ 5
6
News
November 25 — 27, 2011
MDKL
to stop
licensing
errant
traders
KUALA LANGAT: Business
licenses for market traders in the
Kuala Langat District Council
(MDKL) will be terminated if
they fail to pay up on their outstanding rental.
“No more chances will be
given to those who owe the
council over three months in
rental arrears,” said MDKL
president Abdul Razak Jaafar.
Traders who continue to
disregard warnings or compounds issued by the district
council will have to face the
consequences.
The council’s Evaluation Department, which is responsible
for collecting fees, disclosed that
46 stalls have accumulated an
undisclosed amount of monthly
rental arrears.
Most were also found to be
flouting regulations set by the
council for market operations.
This includes failing to have at
least one rubbish bin for their
stall.
“The rules also [stipulate requirements for] hygiene, including having a proper place for
poultry and fish,” said MDKL
Evaluation Department head
Muhamad Nor Bahri Salleh.
These traders have been
warned that they face serious
action if they keep repeating
their mistakes.
He said some traders have
also been stealing water from
shops nearby.
“We’ve gave them warnings
and even issued summonses. If
they still disobey and steal, their
licences will be terminated as
well,” Muhammad Nor said.
By Brenda Ch’ng
KUALA LANGAT: Rubbish, littering and illegal dumping dominated the debate at the Kuala Langat
District Council (MDKKL) full
board meeting on Wednesday.
“There are signs everywhere saying ‘no littering’, but it’s disregarded
as rubbish is being strewn all over,”
said MDKL councillor Kelvin
Yong.
Ironically, there is more rubbish
found under the ‘No Littering’
signboards.
Yong was the first to raise the issue and moot the idea of shaming
culprits caught on camera.
“We can’t arrest them
as we don’t have the power, but our enforcement
officers can issue summonses,” said MDKL
president Abdul Razak
Jaafar (pic).
However, he said the
council does not have
enough enforcement officers.
“I think even hundreds of summonses won’t stop people from littering. We should educate them,
create awareness, and change their
mindset,” said Abdul Razak.
Garbage takes
centre stage at
MDKL meeting
He said the council should look into
“publicising” the faces of culprits caught
littering on closedcircuit tele vision
(CCT V ) cameras
placed at hotspots.
Enforcement officers will also be assigned to patrol these
areas more frequently.
Councillor Ridzuan Rahmat proposed that one
contractor be assigned to each area
to make rubbish collection more
effective.
“With one fixed contractor per
area, we can contact them
directly if there are any
rubbish problems instead
of going through the
council,” he said.
Currently, there are a
few contractors assigned
to collect rubbish at the 24 different
areas in MDKL, but some councillors are confused as to whom they
can call.
“Why not have a three-month
trial period to see if one contractor
for each area is effective?” suggested
Ridzuan.
After three months, if complaints
decrease, the council can implement
it long-term, he said.
However, councillor
Shaari Sarkoni was skeptical of the idea as some areas
are larger, and contractors
responsible for bigger areas
might have too much on
their hands.
“Instead of one contractor per
area, why not one contractor per
number of houses?” Shaari proposed.
He urged the council to study this
idea and work out a ratio on the
number of houses per contractor.
“I’ve already considered this and
even asked the state if we are allowed
to hire one contractor per area, but
it’s still being discussed,” said Abdul
Razak.
Stricter action on
Council to step
illegally parked trucks
KUALA LANGAT: Eleven huge
trucks that illegally parked on an
empty plot of land opposite a row
of 20 houses in Taman Mulia are
causing distress to residents there.
Owners of these trucks, who
have been parking there for over a
year, wake residents up at 3am every day with loud cranking
noises and thick fumes
from the vehicles.
“Residents are very unhappy as they can’t sleep in
peace, and it’s affecting their
working and schooling life
as well,” said Kuala Langat
District Councillor
(MDKL) Kelvin Yong (pic).
New disabled
committee formed
KUALA LANGAT: A new committee to look into providing disabledfriendly amenities has been set up by the district council here on
Wednesday.
This committee was formed to ensure all buildings in the Kuala Langat District Council (MDKL) are fitted with proper disabled-friendly
facilities.
“We have to look after the disabled community and ensure they are
taken care of by providing them with the proper facilities,” said Planning
Department head Muhamad Yusli Askandar.
He said the council will be engaging representatives of the Kuala
Langat disabled community to be part of the committee.
Council president Abdul Razak Jaafar revealed that among the committee members are four councillors, five MDKL officers from various
departments, and himself as the head to oversee the committee.
The disabled members will be included at a later date.
“It’s good to have this committee formed so we can ensure new developments have disabled-friendly facilities included in their plans,” said
Abdul Razak.
He said it could even be included as a clause in new developments
that disabled-friendly amenities are a must.
In the meantime, MDKL will also be looking into adding these facilities on the streets and to existing buildings.
He said during the council’s full
board meeting that the owners of
the truck start up their engines
every morning and leave them on
to warm up for half an hour or
more.
The noise and thick fumes have
forced residents to sleep in the
rooms furthest away
from the trucks opposite
their houses.
“This is bad for the
residents’ health as they
can’t get proper rest and
they are breathing in the
poisonous fumes every
morning,” said Yong.
Despite many complaints to the council,
Yong said nothing has been done.
MDKL Enforcement Department head Norlida Yasir said they
had checked out the site and issues
summonses and warnings t o the
owners, but these have been disregarded. She added that they will look
into this matter further and come
up with other ways to solve this
problem.
In the meantime, MDKL president Abdul Razak Jaafar requested
for the council to find out who the
empty land belongs to and what is
it supposed to be used for.
“If the truck owners are using the
land wrongly, then we can summon
them based on that,” he said.
Abdul Razak also pointed out
that the council can summon the
owners for trespassing and driving
their heavy vehicles on residential
roads.
“According to the council rules,
heavy vehicles cannot drive through
residential areas and drive on those
roads as it’s dangerous,” he said.
up enforcement
on heavy vehicles
KUALA LANGAT:
Eyebrows were raised at
the council’s full board
meeting on Wednesday
when the Enforcement
Department disclosed
that only one illegal
parked lorry was towed
this month.
“How can there be
only one heavy vehicle
towed away when there
are numerous reports of illegally
parked lorries lodged at the council?” asked district councillor
Razali Ahmad, who said he had
made several reports a month ago,
but no action has been taken.
Razali (pic) pointed out that
there is one illegally parked lorry
at Taman Sri Medan, which he has
highlighted to the enforcement
department numerous times.
“I see enforcement officers
there at the site on some Wednesdays. They give several compounds, but fail to take any further
action,” he said.
He urged the council to tow the
vehicle away immediately as the
heavy vehicle might damage the
road and drain where it is parked.
With the vehicle weighing over
20,000 tonnes, Razali is afraid that
the road might give way and the
drain would collapse.
“The council will have to fork
out more money to repair the
drain if it collapses,” he said.
Enforcement Department head
Nordila Yasir explained that the
lorry has not been towed due to
challenges faced by the
towing company.
“The company can
only provide us with a
machine which requires
the vehicle to be lifted
off the ground instead of
pulling it away,” she said.
Because of this, the
lorry, which is parked
too close to a lamp post,
cannot be lifted.
MDKL has been actively looking for other tow companies, but
not many have shown interest to
work with the council.
She added, however, that the
Land Public Transport Commission (LPTC) has stepped forward
and offered their services to help
councils tackle this issue.
“LPTC has asked us to send
them information on illegally
parked heavy vehicles that have
received three or more compounds,” she said.
With this information, LPTC
will take stricter action on unscrupulous vehicle owners.
Meanwhile, councillor E Munusamy also proposed for the
council to make those lorry drivers
pay for damaged roads in residential areas.
“Instead of issuing summons,
the council should consider asking
them to pay for the damage and
obstruction they cause to residents,”
he said.
The council will be looking into
all these proposals and study further on how to implement them.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ November 25 – 27, 2011 ⁄ 7
8
news
november 25 — 27, 2011
Flood mitigation to
start on Sg Rajah
Online payment
system for ratepayers
By Brenda Ch’ng
RAWANG: U-shaped concrete
walls will be fitted along a kilometre stretch of Sungai Rajah here to
improve drainage and prevent
flash floods in Kampung Rajah.
“This river upgrading project is
funded by the state and expected
to cost close to RM3 million,” said
Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei
Nei.
She said this is only first phase
for the project, which starts from
Kampung Lim Tan’s badminton
court and ends at the Rawang train
Gan explaining plans for the river.
station quarters.
In phase two, a further 200
metres of u-shaped concrete drain will be installed from Kam- a dialogue session with the Selayang Municipal Council
pung Lim Tan’s badminton court to Rawang town at a cost of (MPS), Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), municiRM2 million.
pal councillors and the contractor. “It will cost more than the first phase because the construcPhase one will begin this month and is scheduled to end in
tion works are more complicated along that short stretch,” said January 2013. The drain walls will vary in size and length,
Gan.
depending on the river depth and width.
A consultant has been hired to study the development plans
“We will start work immediately. Contractors hired will be
and upgrades for phase two, and construction will begin after monitored tightly to ensure the project is completed on time,”
the study has been done.
said DID Gombak district engineer Mohd Faud.
Gan explained the project to residents on Tuesday during
They will also be working with the Gombak District Land
Bedridden youth needs
financial aid
By Alvin Yap
KLANG: Bedridden S Kathravelan, who survived a near-fatal road accident in April, is battling
injuries that have been slow to heal due to the
weather and needs help.
“When it is warm, I sweat, and it makes my
wounds fester and stops the healing,” said the
19-year-old.
The former pest controller needs to be in a
fully air-conditioned room for there to be a
chance for the six separate wounds along his back
and legs to fully heal.
Kathravelan accepting the donations from
But the hefty electricity bills to keep the living Charles (second right), while his father (far right)
room cool are taking a financial toll on his father, and Raju look on.
Subramaniam Allimasammy.
Kathravelan’s legs were shattered when a car chase the dressings for Kathravelan’s wounds, which
knocked into his motorcycle, which threw him need to be changed three times a day.
some six feet away from the accident site.
This includes the cost of buying diapers for him
He is now semi-paralysed from the waist down, to relieve himself, as he cannot move from his bed
and has been through six operations to help him to go to the toilet.
on the long road to recovery.
Klang MP Charles Santiago, who visited the
Kathravelan and his family are appealing for family on Tuesday, said the public should act with
public donations to make ends meet.
compassion and come to the family’s financial aid.
His older and younger brothers are contract
“People must come out and support Kathravelabourers, while his father has had to give up his job lan, who has a life ahead of him to live,” the firstas a lorry driver to care full-time for his son, who term lawmaker said.
has not left his bed since coming home in July.
He later handed over cash donations to the famThe family spends some RM300 weekly to pur- ily, and promised that he would check up on the
youth’s recuperation progress from time to
time.
Klang Municipal Councillor V Raju,
representing Seri Andalas assemblyperson
Dr Xavier Jayakumar, said the state executive councillor would get in touch with
Hospice Klang to arrange for nurses and
volunteers to provide professional care for
Kathravelan.
He also said Xavier’s service centre
would be providing rice and other food
items weekly to help the family’s situation.
Those wishing to donate can call Subramaniam at 016-6288130.
BANTING: Ratepayers in Kuala Langat can now settle
traffic compounds and assessments via a new online
payment system.
“We want to make it easier for Kuala Langat ratepayers to pay their bills without having to queue up at our
counters here,” said Kuala Langat District Council
(MDKL) president Abdul Razak Jaafar.
Abdul Razak launched the “Cimb Clicks dan Clicks
Shoppe” online payment system on Wednesday.
Ratepayers can also lodge their complaints via the
short message system (SMS) to the district council.
Complainants can type MDKL ADUAN <details of
complaints> and send it to 15888.
To check on the status, ratepayers can type MDKL
SEMAK <reference number> and send it to 15888.
The public can also call 03-31872825/ 2732 extension 138 to talk to MDKL’s customer service staff.
Office to ensure the project does not encroach on private
property.
A number of homes in the village are located only a few
metres away from the river, and there are fears some homes
may be affected by the project. However, Mohd Faud could not discount the possibility
that some houses that are built on the river reserve may have
to be demolished.
“We will try our best to avoid tearing down any properties
and build the drain walls away from the houses,” said Mohd
Faud.
Contractors will also clean up the river and build a rubbish
catchment area to prevent flooding.
Lane closures on LDP
PETALING JAYA: The DamansaraPuchong Highway (LDP) near Persiaran Surian here was closed on Wednesday for upgrading works that are scheduled for completion in June 2012.
The construction is to upgrade a twokilometre stretch of the LDP between
Persiaran Surian and the Penchala Interchange into eight lanes to mitigate the
traffic congestion there.
Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd (Litrak) Group said one lane from the LDP
to the Penchala Link (Sprint Highway)
would be closed for 24 months, for
construction of an additional four lanes
to the existing four to ease congestion
during peak hours.
“Users are advised to adhere to the
traffic signs posted when approaching the
construction site,” said Litrak head of
communications Shah Rizal Momamed
Fawzi during a press briefing last week.
Once completed, the first three
lanes will be for traffic on the main
highway, while the next two will lead
to Penchala Link.
The last three lanes will be for traffic to Mutiara Damansara and Kota
Upgrading works on the highway.
Damansara.
The project will also see a two-lane
flyover constructed for traffic from
Mutiara Damansara and Kota Damansara to Kepong, completely bypassing
the LDP.
Currently, traffic snarls during peak
hours at the portion of the LDP exit
near Tesco and Ikano Power Centre are
caused by cars weaving lanes to enter the
Penchala Link ramp or to Kepong and
Sri Damansara.
Litrak said the flyover will be built by
April 2012, while the whole project is
due to completed by end of August.
The RM98.6 million cost is borne by
the concessionaire and is part of a
RM300 million upgrade package for the
LDP.
He said the project was on schedule,
with 50% of the work already carried
out.
Shah Rizal said traffic volume on the
LDP at the Bandar Utama to Kepong
stretch had doubled since it was opened
in 1995 due to rapid development in
Sunway Damansara, Kota Damansara
and the surrounding area.
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news
10
november 25 — 27, 2011
PJ hostels – an unregulated
and booming business
By Alvin Yap
Living room of one of the hostels.
PETALING JAYA: Illegal students hostels are mushrooming with impunity in the city because authorities feel clamping down on them would be futile.
“I admit that they’re all illegal. We are afraid that closing
down a hostel will lead to another one being opened,” said
Petaling Jaya City (MBPJ) councillor Richard Yeoh.
He said shutting down one premise would lead to
greater shortage of student housing in Petaling Jaya.
However, he said MBPJ would not hesitate to close down
a hostel if it was found to be overcharging students for accommodation, or if the premises was offering rundown
facilities that placed the health and safety of boarders at risk. Business licensing deputy Mohd Othman
Yeoh was among MBPJ councillors, engineers and en- Iksas (left) and Tan (blue shirt) with Chan.
forcement officers who conducted a spot check on two
from a tertiary education centre, revealed that
unlicensed premises in Damansara Jaya on Monday night.
some 10 female students were staying there.
Both premises could accommodate up to 10 students each,
Another unit – an intermediate lot across
but MBPJ did not issue any summonses or seal the double- the street – was also converted into a hostel that
storey terrace houses, which were partitioned into eight to 10 housed eight students.
rooms each.
Both hostels were decorated in the same style and are be“We came here tonight to check up on these hostels due to lieved to be operated by the same company.
complaints from the residents associations here,” said councilHowever, an individual named Chan who met the MBPJ
lor Terence Tan.
team declined to confirm this. Tan pointed out that home owners are now cashing in on
The hostels are well maintained, clean, and come fully
the lack of student accommodation, but MBPJ is not going furnished, and each student is paying between RM700
after illegal student hostels for now.
and RM850 for a room.
Instead they wanted to come out with guidelines to regulate
“Each unit comes fully furnished, with internet access. The
the booming trade.
kitchens are fully equipped with stove, fridge and other equipIn the meantime, MBPJ wants the media to highlight the site ment,” said Chan, who said he was the operations manager at
visits so that the public and illegal hostel operators know that the hostels there.
the council is keeping an eye on them.
However, no firefighting equipment, clearly marked exits
The check on the corner-lot house, a stone’s throw away signs, or emergency lighting was sighted at the two locations.
Yeoh said MBPJ will continue to conduct more site visits, and will come out with
a comprehensive report for full board meetings to discuss the regulation of the trade.
He added that the maximum number
Lower crime rates in SS15
thanks to floodlights
the field on Wednesday.
Tan Ai Mooi shared her relief with
the reduced crime rate as they had
previously faced many instances of
snatch theft by motorcyclists.
“Last time, we even had to exercise
on the field in the dark! But things are
brighter now,” said the 58-year-old
resident.
Tan, who has lived here for 30
years, said the area has been more
secure now since the lights were installed in September.
Also present was Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, who
encouraged other RAs to get better
organised so their voice and needs will
be addressed by the local council.
“Don’t just expect the authorities
to do everything. Do something as a
Floodlights installed in September. group and the authorities will listen,”
she stressed.
By Basil Foo
The floodlights, costing a total of
RM9,000, were installed by the SubSUBANG JAYA: Two newly in- ang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ)
stalled floodlights at the SS15/2E field with funds allocated to the Zone 1
here have resulted in a marked reduc- Residents Taskforce.
tion in crime, and relief for residents
Also at the event were MPSJ counwho no longer fear snatch thieves.
cillor Loi Kheng Min, MPSJ Engi“The new lights, together with a neering Department director Ismail
police outpost on the field and patrol- Shafie, and SS17 Police Station police
ling efforts by residents, have brought chief Sulaiman Baputty.
crime rates down to almost zero,” said
“On behalf of the residents, I
resident Michael Sundram.
would like to thank Yeoh, Loi and
The SS15/2 and SS15/3 Residents Sulaiman for their help in keeping our
Association (RA) secretary spoke to housing area safe,” said RA chairperreporters during a press conference at son Borhan Rahmat.
of people allowed in any habitation is specified in the Selangor
Housing and Real Estate Board (LPHS) guidelines and is
based on the size of the premises.
Renovations will have to satisfy Section 70 of the Street,
Drainage and Building Act 1974, which means the partitions
or rooms in the hostels will have to comply with fire safety codes.
The fire department would also have to certify that all specifications and requirements are complied with on the premises.
According to Damansara Jaya Residents and Owners Association (DJROA) chairperson Datuk Yew Cheng Hoe, individual home owners in the area, not the RA, had lodged the
complaints of illegal hostels to MBPJ.
He declined to comment on the presence of illegal hostels
in the neighbourhood, and did not comment on the need for
regulations on the premises.
Yew also said DJROA was leaving it to MBPJ to take any
action deemed necessary, and agreed that premises must be
checked for fire safety requirements.
Family fun day to benefit homes
KLANG: Over 400 residents attended a Healthy
Jog and Family Fun Day at Bandar Parklands, held
to promote healthy living and to benefit needy
children, on Nov 19.
Developers WCT Bhd organised the event as
part of its corporate social responsibility programmes last Saturday.
Joggers took a two-kilometre jog route around
the neighbourhood and were treated to gifts and
snacks along the way.
With the theme of “10 Parks for a Perfect 10 Healthy
Lifestyle”, Bandar Parklands was chosen to host this
event as it contains 10 parks at strategic locations.
Also participating were 75 children from the
Good Samaritan Home, St Barnabas Home, and
Waja Orphan Care Centre Home.
A dictionary was given to each of the children
to improve their vocabulary and help in their
school work.
The children also had a riotous time with game stalls,
popcorn and candy floss stands, a mini zoo, balloon
sculptors, glitter tattoo artists and inflatable castles.
There were also talks on nutrition and dieting,
magic shows, acrobat performances, and other fun
activities for the families who attended.
The event was also heralded as an ideal avenue
for family bonding in a time when parents are usually bogged down with work.
Participants at the Healthy Jog and Family Fun Day in Bandar Parklands, Klang held to promote
healthy living and in benefit of three charity homes.
views 11
november 25 — 27, 2011
Lack of respect
for the Constitution
I
t’s quite apt that it was during a mass
circumcision ceremony that Datuk Seri
Nazri Aziz made his announcement that
Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 is going to
be removed. We, the people of Malaysia, just
like the poor little nippers at that ceremony,
are going to be rid of something.
However, there is a difference between us
and the scores of little boys who will now be
wandering around gingerly holding their sarongs at arm’s length. Whereas they are safe
in the knowledge that their foreskins are not
coming back, we can’t really be sure whether
Section 27 of the Police Act is going to return
in another form.
Section 27 is the law that governs public
assemblies, and it has been heavily criticised
as being a stumbling block to legitimate peaceful gatherings. Now the government wants to
replace it with a new law. But we will have to
look at the proposed Peaceful Assembly Bill
very closely before we can say with any certainty that the draconian Section 27 is well
and truly consigned to the graveyard.
It’s all rather silly, actually. We would not
need a Peaceful Assembly law if there was a
true understanding of the law in the first place.
If one were to look at Section 27, it does look,
Tripping Zero 3
Sharyn Shufiyan
N
going the
distance
Azmi ShArom
on the face of it, a totally authoritarian law.
The police appear to have unlimited power to
decide whether a permit to assemble can be
issued or not.
However, there are limits to police powers.
It’s called the Federal Constitution. The constitution guarantees us the right to gather
peacefully. The only conditions are that the
gathering is non-violent, and not a threat to
national security or public order.
In other words, unless the police have
actual hard evidence that one or more of
these conditions will not be fulfilled, they
simply must give a permit. And if they make
a poor decision, then the courts should be
the final arbiter.
The problem is that there is no respect for
the constitution. The reason why nations have
constitutions in the first place is to ensure that
government has boundaries. Think about it,
they have tremendous power. They can tax us,
their agents can carry weapons, they can lock
Your community paper
with 100,000 copies
distributed weekly
across Selangor & Klang Valley
us up, they can make us listen to turgid patriotic songs. There has to be something in place
to ensure that this power is not abused. Hence
the constitution.
However, if one were to treat the constitution simply like some sort of manual, a sort of
“Governance for Dummies”, without understanding its true meaning and purpose – which
is as a guarantee and protector of the people
of this country – then anything can happen.
After all, the definition of “national security” can be so broad that it makes a farce of
constitutional provisions. The police could
say, “Asking for fair elections is against national security, so we won’t allow for a march
to happen”; and then the court says, “Yup, we
agree.” They will be following the letter of the
constitution, but certainly not it’s spirit.
But I think this argument for constitutionalism would roll off the government’s back. I
mean, when you have two cabinet ministers
saying that homosexuality is unconstitutional, you know that you are dealing with
people with zero understanding of what the
constitution is.
Because apparently, according to Article 3
of the constitution Islam is the religion of the
federation and homosexuality is against Islam,
then homosexuality must be unconstitutional.
First off, Article 3 does not make Malaysia
an Islamic state. According to the Supreme
Court case of Che Omar Che Soh [1988], it
was held that secular law governs the nation and
Islamic law is confined only to the personal law
of Muslims. Article 3 is taken to mean that as
far as official ceremonial matters are concerned,
Islamic form and rituals are to be used.
Furthermore, if we take the ministers’ line
of reasoning, the article that forbids slavery
must be removed from the constitution because Islam does not forbid slavery. In fact, the
Quran has several verses condoning it.
This country was built on the premise that
our secular government is limited, and that
the people have fundamental liberties that
must be protected.
But when those who are in power have no
concept whatsoever about this philosophy –
when years of uninterrupted power and a
pragmatic ruling style which cares nothing for
principles have ruled for over half a century
– we get the situation which we are in, where
laws that already exist are ignored, and a big
deal is made of new laws that do nothing more
than illustrate the ignorance of the government machinery.
Please flush after use
ovember 19th was World Toilet Day! What better way
to celebrate World Toilet Day than to address our toilet
habits?
Toilets are somewhat a taboo subject – how many of us had
made a boo-boo in a public toilet and rushed out so that we
wouldn’t get caught red-handed? I’m sure some of us have been
in a situation where the flush doesn’t work and it’s all clogged
up, so the next best thing to do is to pull down the seat cover
and walk out as innocently as possible and let the next person
deal with it. After all, it’s a situation that’s outside of our control; more of a maintenance issue.
But let me talk a bit about our habits that can be controlled.
Babies are adorable and all, but their crap is as nasty as an
adult’s. In some public toilets where there is no diaper room
provided, some “enlightened” mothers would use the wash
basin to wash their babies’ excrement.
I was recently using the ladies’ in the departure hall of an
airport, and in front of me was a mother washing her baby’s
bottom while a tourist was using the basin next to her. I was
so embarrassed for my own countryfolk that I didn’t dare look
up. When I walked out, I passed the tourist again and overheard her telling her friend about her restroom experience.
Needless to say, we didn’t paint a pretty picture.
I was recently enlightened by a practice by some of the male
species. While relating my airport experience, my colleague
shared that some men wash their members in the wash basin.
“So you can see it?” I asked gleefully. My colleague signed off
with a cheeky “Confucius say, man in bathroom with tool in
hand is not necessarily a plumber.”
I think that practice may not occur as often these days, as
some urinals are now equipped with flowing water. So what
do these gentlemen do? They cup the water and splash it onto
their members. God knows where the water has been. Maybe
it’s better to just flick it clean a few times.
That said, flicking it may set off a different kind of sensation.
Once, my brother was washing his hands in a public toilet in
a mall in Klang when he realised the person next to him was
pleasuring himself in the sink while listening to his Walkman.
Hello! Some things should be done in private!
Malaysians like to think that we are united and that we
understand each other. But sometimes, our toilet methods are
quite baffling. I’ve always thought squatting toilets are quite
standard for Malaysians, as in the old days people would
dig a hole to do their business. But I could not hold back
my laughter when my college mate sheepishly asked me
how people squat and not wet themselves. She figured that
your pants would be under you. I would have demonstrated it to her, but I didn’t want to risk flashing.
I reckon toilet paper must have been a new addition
since we don’t really use it. They either end up on the wet
floor or clogging the jamban. We do, however, like to depend on the water hose or the classic pail and bucket.
And although we do wash ourselves – and wash ourselves
thoroughly we do until the seat is all wet – it seems like we
don’t like to dry ourselves. My colleague from Ecuador made
a careful observation when using public restrooms: She
would hear the person next to her wash, but realise that
none of the cubicles were equipped with toilet paper.
“So, how do they dry themselves? Do they carry tissue
paper in their bag?”
“I hardly think so. They’ll just pull up their panties. They
will eventually dry.”
Washing ourselves is one way to maintain hygiene, but
I imagine walking around in damp panties, especially in our
hot climate, can be pretty uncomfortable. Comfort is one
thing, health is another. Moisture can encourage the growth
of fungus yeast, which leads to infection. Keeping ourselves
dry is equally important as washing regularly. So, ladies, if
you start feeling itchy down there, you might want to reflect
on your toilet habits.
World Toilet Day was established by the World Toilet
Organisation in 2001 to raise awareness on the lack of clean
and proper sanitation of 2.6 billion people in the world. While
most Malaysians are blessed to be equipped with access to
clean water and functioning toilets (well, count our lucky stars
for the ones that do function!), we tend to abuse this privilege.
We wet the floors; we leave shoeprints on the toilet seats;
we leave diapers and unwrapped sanitary pads in the cubicles;
we often forget to flush (it’s not funny when the flush does
work!); we leave tissue paper everywhere.
Maybe we think that there will be other people to clean up
our messes. But what’s more baffling is that some paid public
toilets are in worse conditions than the free ones!
I’ve been in toilets where the cleaner is just sitting there.
And sometimes, the restroom exterior is so posh, but when
you push the cubicle door open, it’s like a whirlwind had hit
from inside. Even signs seem to not do the trick.
It’s one of the many Malaysian mysteries I have yet to solve.
Public toilets are an indicator of quality. How often do we size
up a place by checking its toilets first? Trust is built once we
approve of its toilet.
But more importantly, our toilet habits are really a reflection
of the kind of society we really are. We take shortcuts – we
think just enough is good enough.
It may not be a big deal to some, but it’s a big deal as to how
foreigners perceive us.
And even if we don’t want to care about foreigners, at least
care about the next person in line. Many times I’ve lost the
urge to go – and it’s really painful, you know.
Insight
12 November 25 — 27, 2011
Bullish amid
uncertainties
Stagnant wages, rising prices and a soaring
budget deficit had left concerned Malaysians
anticipating the Federal Budget 2012 with bated
breath.
“Now that the curtains have been raised,
economic observers have weighed in on how
the budget measures up against the backdrop of
global economic uncertainty.
“We foresee a 4.8-5.5% economic growth rate
for Malaysia due to global concerns,” says MIDF
Amanah Investment Bank Bhd chief economist
Anthony Dass.
He says they are looking at a more bullish situation compared with the government’s projection
of a 5-6% growth rate next year.
Dass says growth will largely depend on
whether the economies of our export-oriented
nation’s trading partners pick up within the year.
Although economic conditions in the United
States and Europe remain a cause for concern,
there are ways in which the budget aims to boost
growth figures.
“Large infrastructure projects have been identified by the government to kick-start growth as they
will be working with private investment,” he says.
Projects like the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT),
integrated transport terminal and highway construction will allow the government to collect taxes
on corporate revenue.
Involving the private sector will lead to increased employment opportunities and line the
people’s pockets with more income.
“The government will then be able to collect
more personal income tax, and because consumers will be spending, more sales and excise tax,”
he said.
Increased incomes will help workers weather
the increase in prices that will come about due to
the gradual removal of subsidies.
However, Dass says the government is not
expected to remove subsidies entirely as they will
have to make sure income growth is first present.
“If income growth is faster than the increase
in prices, then you are not eroding the standard
of living,” he explains.
He maintains that subsidies remain relevant
as our open economy relies much on the external
supply of basic goods.
The importing of commodities like energy and
food from external sources makes the country
vulnerable to supply disruptions which can cause
price hikes.
“For example, the recent floods in Thailand
resulted in our food supply being stuck, so
prices may stay up beyond Malaysia’s control,”
says Dass.
He says policies should be balanced between
subsidising a portion of increasing prices while
not totally sacrificing economic growth.
He lauds the government’s aim to trim down the
budget deficit to 4.7% or 4.8% of Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) as a good policy move.
“However, everything depends on the global
scenario to determine whether we can bring
it down to 4.7% or somewhere closer to 5%,”
Dass says.
He warns that if Europe goes into a recession
or the US falls into a double-dip recession, the
government will have a hard time reducing the
budget deficit.
On the outflow of Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI) that Malaysia is experiencing, Dass says
the government is moving into newer areas of the
market to offset the loss.
“Instead of attracting labour-intensive FDI
when our labour cost is expensive, we are focusing on capital-intensive FDI with knowledge-based
people coming in,” he said.
He explains that the new capital-intensive FDI
areas include oil and gas, telecommunications,
hospital industries, and renewable energy.
He maintains that there is no need to sound
the alarm bells over the FDI outflow as we are not
the only ones experiencing this.
“There have been high labour-intensive FDIs
moving out of China and going into Indonesia and
Vietnam,” he says.
Dass says a better way to go about it is to move
into new growth areas such as high-end products
to maintain growth.
Doing m
The Sha
By Basil Foo
A
iming to manage resources
more effectively and raise the
standard of living in the country, Pakatan Rakyat presented its first
Shadow Budget on Oct 4.
Released ahead of the Federal
Budget 2012, the Shadow Budget
2012 was touted as doing more
with less.
Among the tenets of its basic
framework is raising revenue by
curbing tax evasion and spending
government money more effectively.
“The Shadow Budget aims to do
that by auctioning off the Approved
Permits (APs) worth RM1.8 billion and curbing the illicit cigarette
trade worth RM2 billion,” says Teh
Chi-Chang.
The Research for Social Advancement (Refsa) executive director says
the APs, which are used to import
vehicles, should not be awarded to
certain parties.
Instead they should be auctioned
off to the highest bidder to enable the
government to reap the maximum
amount of revenue available from
the permits.
“Now, four out of 10 cigarette
packs sold are illicit. More can be
Teh: Incomes of Malaysians
should be raised by soft
infrastructure.
done to curb the illegal trade of
cigarettes,” he adds.
Teh, who is also an “expert independent contributor” to the Shadow
Budget, takes a swipe at illegal gambling centres, which he claims are as
many as their legal counterparts.
He says the government stands to
derive more revenue from weeding
out illegal 4D gambling centres.
Apart from bolstering revenue, the
Shadow Budget aims to tackle highincome inequality by redirecting subsidies to those who really need them.
2012 Forecasts
BN
Revenue
Expenditure
Budget deficit
Nominal GDP
Deficit as
percentage of GDP
RM
RM
RM
RM
4.7%
All chart sources: Refsa
Teh at a presentation of the Federal and Shadow Budgets on Nov 14.
Derived from 2008 average househol
New Economic Model (pg 58).
more with less:
adow Budget 2012
“I think everyone can agree that
subsidies should be given to the poor.
The problem is subsidised commodities like petrol benefit the rich more
than the poor,” he says.
The basis for his argument is
that the rich can afford more cars
to drive to more places and hence
use more petrol.
For every litre of subsidised petrol
used, it can be said that more subsidies are going to the rich.
Retargeting the more needy segments of society, the Shadow Budget
has allocated RM1.7 billion for the
low-income elderly in the form of
RM1,000 bonuses.
“A total of RM3.6 billion will be
channelled through RM1,000 bonuses for homemakers or in the form
of childcare support for low-income
households,” says Teh.
The ultimate aim is to wean
people from subsidies. Quoting the
“teach a man to fish” analogy, he says
freeing people from subsidies allows
them to pursue their own economic
endeavours independently.
A reduction of subsidies would
also help save the government money
as the subsidy bill has ballooned from
RM2.6 billion in 2000 to RM33 billion in 2011.
However, it would seem that
subsidies are here to stay as incomes
remain low, with the bottom 40%
of households averaging monthly
incomes of RM1,500.
“A majority 80% of households
Govt
M186.9bil
M230bil
M43bil
M918bil
%
Pakatan
RM181.3bil
RM221bil
RM39bil
RM890bil
4.4%
ld income data published in the
incomes of Malaysians should be
raised by soft infrastructure.
This can be accomplished by raising productivity and skills, and by
encouraging private enterprise.
To raise the productivity of workers, the Shadow Budget plans to introduce a minimum wage of RM1,100.
Teh says with a reduction of
foreign labour, the gap can then be
filled by local workers. “The plan is
to develop technical and vocational
education and training as a respected
career pathway,” he says.
The private sector should also be
encouraged to take the lead through
offering apprentice programmes and
skills-based training for youths.
To encourage new
businesses, Teh says an
open procurement policy should be adopted to
eradicate the current need
for paying fees and commissions to agents.
Ultimately, government interference should
be reduced to encourage
the formation of new
businesses by private entrepreneurs.
He criticises government-backed companies
and initiatives like the
Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia
(KR1M) for acting as a
stumbling block to private enterprise.
“The KR1M would be
a conflict of interest to loExpected 2011 operating expenditure breakdown by BN government.
cal mom-and-pop grocery
Source: Economic Report 2011/12
average a monthly income of only
RM2,500,” he adds.
While fresh university graduates
may command a salary of RM2,500,
Teh says 70% of the workforce only
have Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)
qualifications.
Instead of large-scale construction of mega projects, he says the
shops which cannot reduce their
prices too low,” he stresses.
Teh says the government should
complement and not crowd out the
private sector with its hand in various
industries like telecommunication
services, airlines, public goods and
automobile manufacturing.
On the mounting budget deficit
that the government has incurred
over the years, he says measurement
of deficit should be based on disposable income.
“This would be a better indicator
as the ability to service debt is based
on income and not Gross Domestic
Product (GDP),” he says.
As of 2010, Malaysia has incurred
a RM577 billion household debt,
which was pegged as an equivalent
to 77% of the GDP.
Teh says this amounts to 140% of
personal disposable income, which
is far higher than that of the United
States (123%) and Singapore (105%).
With better management of available resources, cutting down on waste
and boosting revenue, the Shadow
Budget has forecast a budget deficit
of RM39 billion, compared with the
Federal Budget forecast of RM43
billion for 2012.
views
14
november 25 — 27, 2011
Shopping, hoping
and missing
Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com) where all your
profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite,
sagacious, and other thesaurus-described
queries are answered!
I
read that the goods in Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia aren’t
really cheaper than some hypermarkets. Which led me
to wonder, where does Lord Bobo do his shopping?
Hassan Jaffar, via email
HIS Supreme Eminenceness was quite intrigued by that story,
too. At first, we had to double-check that it wasn’t some advertisement for specific hypermarkets. You know, those ads
where celebrities (in this case, politicians) come up and say,
“Hey look, this product is cheaper here by 50 sen!”
The whole KR1M concept is flawed anyway. It is supposed
to be a way of making cheaper goods available to the needy
rakyat – but it is open to all, which means that those stingy
Penang Datins can ask their servants to head to a KR1M to
do their shopping.
Wouldn’t the resources be better allocated by distributing
provisions directly to the poorest of the poor? Then again, we
suppose that this model gives rise to more opportunities for
contracts. Someone has to run the stores, supply the goods,
set up the distribution logistics, etc.
D
ear Lord Bobo, I’m a single mother struggling
financially and emotionally to raise a child. May I
ask you for some parental advice on raising children
in Malaysia?
My 15-year old son recently declared that there is truly no
“1Malaysia”, only “Zero Malaysia”. He recently decided that
the moment he is old enough, he will leave Malaysia for good
– for elsewhere; anywhere! You may say my son should be
focusing on his studies and leave the “1Malaysia” thing to the
grown-ups instead of getting so worked up about it. But how
can he, when for five agonising years, he has been taunted,
ridiculed, and even beaten up for his ethnicity?
When he was 10, and playing alone at a public playground
nearby our house, a group boys came along and beat him up.
After doing so, they called him names and warned him never
to play at that playground again. My badly beaten son staggered
home to me, crying relentlessly. This incident continues to
traumatise him. School, from Form 1 until now, has also been
agonising for him.
So, dear Lord Bobo, please advise me how to raise up my
traumatised child in Malaysia. Incidentally, he recently said
this: “Malaysia is not a melting pot (of different races living
in harmony), but a high-pressured pot (of hatred and discrimination) just waiting to explode.”
He has chosen to suffer in silence for now, waiting for the
day he can leave. He actually doesn’t want me to publicise
this issue, and he says the situation is hopeless.
Thank you, Lord Bobo. A Very Distressed Mother, via email
(Note: the email was edited)
THIS is the saddest email that
Lord Bobo has ever received
through this column. It is obviously terrible that your son has
had to go through all these
experiences as part of his childhood. However, Lord Bobo
would ask that you remind him
that not all Malaysians are like
that – we would say that most
Malaysians would feel very sad
and outraged to read the account above.
We understand that it may be difficult to change your son’s
mind about leaving Malaysia. Our advice to you is to surround
him with the love and care of friends and family. Don’t let a
group of racist and immature students be his enduring memory of his childhood.
If you want, both of you would be more than welcome at
the LoyarBurok Rakyat Centre. We have kids as young as 15
who are active in the many initiatives that are run there. The
UndiMsia! citizen empowerment group are planning many
exciting and fun-filled programs in the coming months. Challenge him to get involved and link up with a whole new circle
of friends.
Lord Bobo knows it is tough. But you, and your son, must
be optimistic. For it is from optimism that the courage and
commitment to bring about change will come about. There is
no guarantee that he will not have bad experiences in whichever country he decides to leave Malaysia for. We must hope
and believe that things will be better. And what better place
is there to build a future than this nation we call home?
D
ear Lord Bobo, why are you always so negative and
cynical when it comes to Malaysia? We have a lot of
good food here you know! Negaraku, via email
THIS is a misconception. Lord Bobo loves Malaysia. After
all, of the hundreds of countries on this Earth (not to mention
the countless number of planets, galaxies, and universes), His
Supreme Eminenceness chose to reveal Himself and His continuous wisdom and guidance to a bunch of Malaysians!
As for the government, ah, perhaps the reason you feel that
Lord Bobo is negative or cynical is because we sometimes
criticize what the government gets up to. The problem is, many
Malaysians have been brought up thinking that the definition
of “Malaysia” is “the government”. This is, of course, a fallacy.
The country is not the government.
Now, as the Lord is passionate about human rights (selflessly, despite being a monkey), His minions naturally speak
up strongly against violations of human rights in Malaysia.
This often translates into criticism of the actions of the government, as quite understandably, it is the government of the day
that would be more likely to commit violations of human
rights. Not because they are evil dwarves in bush jackets, but
because the government of the day would have the most resources and access, and hence opportunities to commit acts
go against human rights principles.
So, to be clear, His Supreme Eminenceness is not antiMalaysian. The Lord is not even anti-government (we are
non-partisan, remember?). We are all about love, harmony,
group hugs, and car-pooling. And hey, of course Lord Bobo
knows Malaysia has good food – didn’t you read our article
about durians?
L
ord Bobo, we notice that you were missing from
Selangor Times again last week. What gives? Ashley
K, by email
DEAR Ashley, did the editorial team put you up to this? Or
are you some sort of self-appointed class monitor? Please go
and harass the columnists who have a lot of free time, like that
Patrick Teoh fler. Lord Bobo has all sorts of world domination
related activities to get up to. Or better still, use your observations skills to keep an eye on where the taxpayers’ money goes
to – cows, diamonds, condos, shopping trips – it’s all very
confusing.
may 13
recoll:
ection
reconc
s&
12 & iliation
p
Where to get your
LRT Stations (Distribution by hand) –
Morning
Ampang – Sentul Timur
Ampang
Cahaya
Cempaka
Pandan Indah
Pandan Jaya
Sentul Timur
Sentul
Kelana Jaya – Terminal Putra
Kelana Jaya
Taman Bahagia
Taman Paramount
Asia Jaya
Taman Jaya
Universiti
Sri Rampai
Wangsa Maju
Taman Melati
Sri Petaling – Sentul Timur
Taman Melati
Sri Petaling
Bukit Jalil
Bandar Tasik Selatan
Salak Selatan
Shopping Malls
(From Saturday noon)
1 UTAMA
Tropicana Mall
Sunway Pyramid
The Curve
IOI Mall
Plaza Damas
Ikano Power Centre
Empire Subang
MetroPoint
Centro Mall, Klang
Bangsar Shopping Complex
Hypermarkets
(From Saturday noon)
Tesco (Puchong, Kajang, Mutiara
Damansara, Rawang, Bukit Tinggi,
Setia Alam, Ampang, Extra Shah Alam,
Kepong)
13
TI-M
ad
disputhe
es
Christia
n
state cl
aim
p
4
Wesak
a time Day:
giving for
commun
p
15
ity
May 20
By Will
Giant (Puchong,
Kajang, Bandar
Kinrara, Klang,
Pandamaran,
Bandar Selayang, Kota Damansara,
Taman Setiawangsa, Putra Heights,
Taman Connaught, Kelana Jaya, Bukit
Antarabangsa, Subang Jaya, Bukit
Tinggi, Setia Alam, Kota Kemuning)
Carrefour (Bukit Rimau, Subang Jaya,
Wangsa Maju, Sri Petaling, Kepong,
Puchong, Ampang, Jalan Peel, Jalan
Kapar, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, S23
Shah Alam)
Jusco
(Bukit Tinggi,
Tmn Maluri,
Wangsa Maju, Bandar Baru Klang,
Mahkota Cheras)
Commuter Stations
(Distribution by hand) – Morning
Sentul – Port Klang
Port Klang
Bukit Badak
Shah Alam
Subang Jaya
Jalan Templer
Petaling
Rawang – Seremban
Kuala Kubu Baru
Sungai Buloh
Kepong Sentral
Kepong
Morning Wet Markets
(Saturday morning)
Jalan SS2/62
Taman Medan
Jalan 17/27
SS15 Subang Jaya
Taman Kuchai Lama
Taman OUG
Pasar Taman Megah
Pasar Jalan Othman
Pasar Jalan 17/2
Pasar Sek 14
— 22, 2011
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Colleges
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College Bandar Utama (KBU)
Universiti Kebangsan Malaysia
/ issue
25
Upgrades in the works
for low-cost development
By Neville Spykerman SUBANG JAYA: A “white knight” has emerged to help
low-cost-flat owners here finally get their strata titles and
improve their facilities.
Nadayu Properties Bhd has agreed to step in to help residents of Indah Courts, who were left in the lurch when their
original developer went missing due to mounting debts.
“We hope that the residents will be happy with the results
of the upgrading work [which will be carried out],” said Nadayu executive chairperson Hamidon Abdullah.
The public listed company has entered an agreement with
the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to take over the
master title for the surrounding four-hectare land parcel, including the 140-unit Indah Court flats.
For upgrading Indah Courts, the company will in turn get
to develop two of the four acres into a commercial and residential hub. Besides obtaining the strata titles for Indah Courts, Nadayu
Properties will foot the bill to upgrade and carry out a one-off
maintenance at the flats.
The existing open-air parking at the flats will be converted
into a four-storey car park with lifts and covered walkway.
The plans also call for a new surau, with additional amenities to be constructed on top of the multilevel car park. SELAYANG: Abandoned for the past 10 years, the
Astana Square project may yet see the light of day,
provided purchasers agree to collectively pay more for
its funds for its construction.
“If the purchasers want
to revive the project, we
need extra funding from
them,” said GTC Corporate
Advisory Sdn Bhd executive
director Chu Siew Koon.
Chu, who represents the
liquidators of the previous
de veloper which face d
bankruptcy, spoke to about
Chu
100 purchasers during a
meeting at the Selayang Utama Hall last Sunday.
He said they need an additional RM4.6mil to fund
the project, which he estimated would take another
18 months to complete.
“To share the cost, each purchaser has to pay an
additional 15% on top of their original sale and purchase price,” he explained.
The Astana Square project, which includes 160
serviced apartments and 16 shop lots, has been left
abandoned since 2001.
Owners of units have been burdened with bank loans
despite the units being nowhere nearer completion.
Astana Square Owners Association secretary Tam
Voon Cheong hopes for the project to recommence as
soon as possible once the purchasers give the go-ahead.
“I purchased a shop lot for about RM680,000 which
has not been completed for years,” he complained.
The reconstruction would need a unanimous agreement from the purchasers in order to source sufficient
funds for the project.
However, out of 130 purchasers, the liquidation
company has so far been unable to contact 26 of them.
“Market prices for properties here have risen, so
even if the purchasers pay an extra sum, they might
still recoup their investment,” said Selayang MP William Leong.
Speaking to reporters at the meeting, he said abandoned projects like this are proof that the law needs
to be changed to protect buyers.
Leong said the “10-90” model, where buyers initially pay 10% and only pay the other 90% upon
project completion, should be implemented.
“Selangor currently has 141 abandoned projects,
which we have been working to revive since 2008,” he
added.
Residents flee damaged condo
AMPANG JAYA: A 50-metre-long crack in the
parking lot of Pandan Mewah Heights has led some
fearful residents to abandon the homes.
During a site visit to the condominium on Monday, state executive councillor Iskandar Samad said
a Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID)
report has cited soil erosion as the cause of the
cracks.
Iskandar, whose portfolio includes housing, said
water had been making its way underground due to
another crack in the retaining wall of a nearby drain.
The cost to repair the retaining wall has been estimated to be RM3 million, and Iskandar will be requesting for state funding.
The crack was 20 metres in length when it first ap-
november 25— 27, 2011
In addition, the company has agreed to
upgrade the sewerage system, and rework the
drainage and electrical wiring at the flats.
The upgrading work, slated to begin by midDecember, will also see the facade of the flats
receive a new coat of paint while there will be
better lighting in the surrounding compound
and corridors.
The almost 550 residents at the PJS 11 flats
have had to fend for themselves for the last 19
years. “The residents association here has been
running the show since 1992, collecting money
for garbage collection, arranging for plumbers
and contractors to carry small-scale maintenance,” said chairperson Mohd Abu Noh on
Monday.
Mohd Abu said they were looking forward to
the upgrades the company would bring.
Hannah (second left), Hamidon (blue tie), Mohd Abu Noh and other
MPSJ had facilitated a series of dialogues residents outside Indah Court.
since 2008 between the company and residents
about the upgrades at the flats, which will be
upgrade package during a press conference last Sunday.
carried out in stages so as to minimise disruption to the comShe added that Nadayu had agreed to fund and construct
munity there.
the renovation at Indah Court as part of its condition of reSubang Jaya assembly person Hannah Yeoh announced the ceiving its developer’s permit from MPSJ.
More funds needed
to revive Astana Square
By Basil Foo
news 15
peared on Nov 16, and had increased to 50 metres in
length and 25cm in width five days later.
The condominium’s Joint Management Body
( JMB) chairperson, Michael Yap, said this was the
worse damage he has seen.
Also at the site visit were Lembah Jaya assemblyperson Khasim Abdul Aziz, and Selangor DID deputy
director Nor Hisham Mohd Ghazali.
A building manager said water has been seen continuously flowing underground from the nearby
monsoon drain.
He said residents have been told to move about 25
cars away from the affected area as the car park road
was also sinking due to the crack.
The 528-unit condominium was built in 1990.
New hospice centre
for cancer patients
By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: New land has been
allocated for the Klang Hospice
Centre, which has been seeking
to expand its services to more terminally ill patients for the last
three years.
Last Saturday, Dr Xavier Jayakumar announced that a one-acre
lot at Bayu Mas will be allocated
by the state for a new centre.
“The state fully supports Hospice, and we’ve been actively
searching for a suitable piece of
land for them,” said the state executive councillor at a charity
dinner to raise funds for the organisation on Saturday.
Dr Xavier, whose portfolio includes health, said the application
for land is currently with the Land
Office and will be handed over to
the centre as soon as possible.
The non-profit organisation,
which provides daycare, counselling and other services from a
double-storey terrace house in
Taman Sri Andalas, is facing an
uphill task in accommodating the
growing number of patients and
their needs.
The centre, which does not
house patients, also provides free
services including home visits,
medical supplies for the poor, and
loans of hospital equipment such
as wheelchairs and beds.
The centre caters to almost 300
new patients every year and conducts over 250 home visits to the
terminally ill every month.
The annual Hospice Klang fundraising dinner was held at SJK (C)
Kong Hoe hall, and the organisation is aiming to collect monetary
donations to build the new centre
besides funding current operations.
“Our hope at Hospice is to care
for the sick and continue to make
this care possible,” said Hospice
Klang chairperson Dr Michael
Yoong.
He hopes the community will
continue giving their time and
money or both to help Hospice
Klang grow.
For those who would like to
donate, contact the centre at 0333242125 / 4740.
Dr Xavier (centre) with Dr Yoong (third left) and Hospice Klang
members during the fundraising dinner.
media
16
november 25 — 27, 2011
Service apartments near
KLIA launched
By Brenda Ch’ng
SEPANG: Service apartments located next to the Salak
Tinggi ERL station, five minutes from the Kuala Lumpur
International Airport (KLIA), are now on sale.
The Kota Warisan @ Airport City Business Centre, a project by Gema Padu Sdn Bhd, is an integrated township consisting of 1,000 apartment units in four blocks, along with two
commercial blocks. “This township is well connected to many places, and it’s
good for people travelling to and from KL as there is no traffic congestion on the highways,” said Gema Padu director Lee
Kuan Yong.
The Premier Service Apartments are strategically located
between KLIA and Putrajaya. Besides easy access to KLIA,
residents can get to the Kuala Lumpur city centre under 30
minutes via the Maju Expressway.
The township is also easily accessible via the DamansaraPuchong Highway (LDP).
The apartments are located a 10-minute drive away from
Lim Kok Wing University and Alice Smith International
School.
In addition, Mutiara Warisan is also 10 minutes away
from Alamanda Mall, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Giant &
Nilai Square.
“This apartment is a good investment property as there
will be a high rental demand from KLIA staff and also
university students nearby,” said Lee.
Buyers at the apartment launch on Saturday.
Currently, only one block of 250 units is open for sale,
while the other three will be launched in phases after each one sizes range from 765 square feet to 1,259 square feet.
sells out.
The nine-acre complex is also part of the 15-year-old resiEach unit is priced from RM185,790 per unit, and the dential development at Kota Warisan, with 4,000 houses
TGV opens at 1Shamelin
with free movies
SHAH ALAM: TGV Cinemas opened its 17th
multiplex last Monday at the 1Shamelin Shopping
Mall in Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Cheras.
The TGV 1Shamelin, with eight screens and a
total seating capacity of 1,714, offers numerous upgrades and improvements, including larger seats and
Lifestyle café Cantina.
more spacious leg room for added comfort.
It also features Cantina, the very first lifestyle café with free movie passes redemption from Dec 9-16.
in TGV Cinemas in the Klang Valley.
Each customer can redeem a maximum of two tickTGV Cinema chief executive officer Kenny Wong ets per day by presenting a promotional leaflet at the
said: “TGV Cinemas is committed to enhancing the ticket counters. These leaflets will be dropped at
cinema-going experience for everyone. Within the residential areas in the vicinity.
next 12 to 18 months, we shall be opening six new
Patrons of TGV 1Shamelin will also be able to
cinemas while carrying out refurbishment of our enjoy the facilities at the Cantina, with a selection
older locations.”
that ranges from Illy coffee and Häagen Dazs iceTo celebrate the new opening, TGV 1Shamelin cream to croissants. Patrons can enjoy a quick bite
is showing free screenings of selected movies until here before they head in to the plush cinema halls
Dec 9.
for their movie.
Some 8,000 free tickets will be given away to paLocated on Level 5 of the 1Shamelin Shopping
trons for screenings of English, Malay and Chinese Mall, this latest multiplex follows the newly refreshed
blockbusters, including Rise of the Planet of the design concept introduced by TGV Cinemas in 2010
Apes, X-Men: First Class, Nasi Lemak 2.0, Kongsi, at its Wangsa Walk outlet.
KL Gangster, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa and
It features a contemporary design that is dynamic
Men Suddenly in Love, among others.
and youthful, in line with TGV Cinemas’ efforts to
The celebration at TGV 1 Shamelin continues appeal to the younger generation of movie buffs.
Lee showing the model of Mutiara Warisan apartments.
ranging from bungalows to low-cost terrace houses.
“Residents do not need to worry as this is an old establishment fully equipped with facilities like national schools for
children, commercial shops, and parks,” said Lee.
The proposed completion date for the development is
within three years.
For more information, contact Gema Padu at 03-87068188
/ 8118 / 8868, or call 012-203 6772, or email [email protected]
gemapadu.com.my.
RM54k raised
for Montfort Boys
Montfort students displaying their works of art.
SHAH ALAM: In just three
months, Magnum Youth In Action
(MYIA) has raised RM53,891.40
for Montfort Boys Town.
The funds were raised to help
Montfort equip its computer maintenance department with new
computers and servers.
The money will go towards 12
new computers, five servers and
server software.
The fundraising was made possible through the TLC Promise Me
Season 2 Campaign, where 12 corporations helped fulfill the Golden
Wishes of 12 selected charity organisations.
To raise the amount, MYIA organised a charity dinner at the
Montfort school, and sold bookmarks and greeting cards during a
month-long donation drive at selected Magnum sales outlets.
The newly furnished computer
lab is for Montfort students to progress to Level 3 of their computer
technician course.
The che que wa s g iven to
Montfort director Bro John Albert by Magnum chief executive
officer Lawrence Lim on Nov 18
during the launch of the computer lab.
Also present were Magnum
chief financial officer Loh Minjiann, TLC chief executive officer
Julia Chong, and TLC executive
director Khaw Chay Tee.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ NOVEMBER 25 – 27,2010 ⁄ 17
FICTION
The Fourth
Assault
Fiction by Czi Lim
K
RRRAANNNGGG!
JANNNNG JANNNNG
JANNNNG!
“Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancing to the jailhouse ro–”
He managed to blast these precious few
lines through the school’s sound system
before Puan Juni and Sir broke pass the
flimsy barricade of chairs and plastic tables,
eyes wild and arms akimbo.
“Oi! You again! For the last time, Azi,
you’re going to be in big trouble!”
“Aww, I’m doing everyone a favour!
Who wants to listen to chamber music
during lunch break?
“Shut it down!”
THAT day was a great success for Aziz.
Normally, he would be halted by the Audio
Club members at the entrance of the audio
room. This time, only two bratty bespectacled juniors stood guard. Azi took 30 seconds to send them flying.
However, his
regular invasion
of the school’s
airwaves had invited the wrath
of several teachers, who condemned his insolent disregard for
school tradition
and, to his mortification, his
taste (or the absence of it) in
music.
Come on,
who would object to the King
of Rock?! A little
INXS wouldn’t
hur t a ny o n e .
Jeez, even Joan
Je t t a n d t h e
Blackhearts would trump any of the
mournful tones dribbling out of the loudspeakers. People would think the school
was run by tone-deafs and the eternally
depressed.
“Aziz! That was awesome! Haha!”
“Yeah, can you play Hotel California by
the Eagles next?”
“Red ears again Aziz! Puan Juni pulled
hard today, huh?”
Aziz growled, “You guys, always the
requests, but when I make the real invasion,
not even your shadows were there to help!”
“Sorry la, Ziz, you know Kam and I have
librarian duties. Have to go immediately
after lunch. No time at all.”
“Yeah right, as though you have duties
every day of the week. Bull!”
Kam and Nain. His best buddies since
primary school. Like Aziz, they shared a
taste for classic, alternative or hard rock,
however one would like to categorise it.
It all started the day Nain’s father uncovered a mountain of vinyl records back at his
grandparents’ house in Kelantan. When the
dusty turntable was also restored to its
former glory, the three of them holed up in
Nain’s room and spent a glorious night
discovering gems like Bo Diddley, Patti
Smith, Simon & Garfunkel, and his personal favourite, The Police.
Since then, they never looked back. Aziz
got hit the hardest; he would spend every
spare sen of his allowance hunting down
second-hand 50s to late 80s records in
obscure music shops.
Soon, he became convinced that he
should spread the wisdom. Down with
stuffy art music, he’d say. It was high time
his peers in school received Enlightenment.
“So what are you planning to play next?
Some AC/DC? Yes, I’m baaaaack! Back in
black!”
“It doesn’t matter what we play next. We
have a problem: the teachers are getting
serious… I might not be able to even walk
past the school audio room after today. Did
you see how Puan Juni came after me like
a tiger? Terror!”
“Really? I want to help, but my dad…
one notice from the school, I’m toast.”
Typical of Kam, who would hesitate to
touch trouble with a 30-foot pole. “But
didn’t Sir once comment that there is no
explicit rule saying you can’t – ah – commandeer our airwaves? Maybe you can
reason with her.”
“ Na h , y o u
know her. Shoot
b efore a sking
questions. We
need a plan.”
S u d d e n l y,
Na in er upte d
into giggles: “I’ve
got it – try asking
Suzanne!”
Aziz pale d.
Suzanne, the
prettiest girl in
school and, alas,
also the president
of the school’s
Audio Club. Last
week, she’d issued a bounty on
Aziz’s head. Their
enmity over his
constant attack
of their sacred club room was fast approaching legendary status.
It didn’t help that Aziz had developed a
crush on her.
He resisted the urge to punch Nain. “Are
you nuts? I’m not going near that–”
“Aziiiiz!”
All of them froze. Speak of the devil.
Suzanne Ong. A vision of swinging braids
and swishing skirts. Aziz could barely
squeeze out an automatic apology when she
pushed a tape into his hands.
It was a Queen single. Bohemian Rhapsody.
“Err, this certainly has objectionable
contents.”
“Shut up! Didn’t you say you need
help?” Oddly, Aziz was not the only one
who was blushing. Suzanne was beetroot
red from neck up.
“Sir wants you to play this next.”
“What?”
“He secretly supports your antics. Not
all of us swoon over lunchtime’s music
programmes. Although as the president of
the club you persistently break into, I hope
you would consider an alternative route,
like talking to the principal for instance.”
With that, she stormed out. Aziz’s head
was spinning. Beside him, Kam and Nain
were shaking with silent laughter.
“Be Bop A Lula, what a lady huh, Ziz?”
TECHNOLOGY
18
NOVEMBER 25 — 27, 2011
By Edwin Yapp B
y now, many would know that the world’s most
famous consumer electronics company, Apple Inc,
has launched its latest phone, the Apple iPhone 4S.
The smartphone debuted in seven countries in October,
and now, 22 more countries have it, including our neighbours
across the causeway.
Malaysia is only slated to receive its stock in January 2012
– or so I’ve been told by industry sources. That said, it’s never too early to talk about Apple products.
So I thought I’d go through some of the differences between the older iPhone 4 and the 4S,
and round up with some tips as to
whether you should upgrade or not. iPhone4 is coming
to town… again
ed to offer it to 4S customers exclusively. Siri was an independent company that was bought by Apple in 2010, and as such, all development for this software goes
into the iOS 5 software, the latest iteration of Apple’s operating software. What’s interesting about Siri is that it’s not just
another software voice-activated function on the phone, but
it can actually recognise natural language instruction. So instead of the 4’s Voice Control commands, Siri can make more
sense out of instructions you would give a person instead.
For example, on Voice Control, you could tell the 4 to “Call
James” and it would duly dial James’ number from your address
book. But with the 4, you can’t use the Voice Control function
to ask, “What is James’ number?”, which you can with Siri. Siri can do much more than that. Say you want to send a
text to your wife to remind her to pick up the dry-cleaning on
Siri to the rescue?
The biggest difference between the
4 and the 4S
must be Siri,
the softwaredriven personal
assistant that
comes on the
4 S . S i ri wa s
available as an
app for the 4,
Contact:
but since the 4S
Timothy Loh 019-267 4488 came out, Apple has disconIvan Looi 014-936 6698
tinued that app
Tony Kee 016-978 2798
and has decid-
Be on target
when reaching out
to Selangor and
the Klang Valley
Under the hood, the
4S comes with a faster
processor, a better camera, an
all-new personal virtual assistant
named Siri, and twice the storage
of its predecessor – if you don’t
mind paying for it, that is”
Is it worth the upgrade?
What’s the difference?
The first thing to note about the 4S
is that it’s virtually identical to the 4,
save the weight – three grammes more
to be exact. Apart from the dimensions,
there is nothing that separates the two
looks-wise. Under the hood, the 4S comes with
a faster processor, a better camera, an
all-new personal virtual assistant named
Siri, and twice the storage of its predecessor – if you don’t mind paying for it,
that is. The processor on the 4S is now the
dual core (two-core processor) A5
compared with the A4 in the 4, which
means that it has the same processor as
the iPad 2 but running at a slightly
slower speed of 800MHz compared
with 1GHz on the iPad 2. Memor y-wise, it’s still 512MB,
which is kind of a disappointment to
me as I certainly think the 4S could do
with more memory. The 4S comes with
a 64GB variant for those who need the
power-hungry storage option. One other major difference is that
the 4S supports quad band frequencies,
which practically means that the 4S can
support every major operator and you
can virtually roam anywhere around the
world for both voice and data. Screen resolution remains the same as the Retina display
version on the 4, but the panel is still
quite good compared with other technologies in the market such as Super
AMOLEDs (Active Matrix Organic
LEDs). The new eight-megapixel (MP) camera compared to the
5MP doesn’t mean better quality, but reviewers have again
said in this case it’s better. The 4S also has new lenses that
sport an f/2.4 aperture versus the old f/2.8. What has improved according to common opinion is the
speed at which the Camera App is called up when you want
to take a picture. Video capture is also top-notch, and many
have found the footage to be clear and bright. her way home from the gym. You can just say, “Tell my wife
pick up laundry.” Siri will send your wife a message saying,
“Pick up laundry.” How does Siri know who
your wife is? Well, she doesn’t at first, but
she’ll ask, and once you tell her she’ll remember. With Siri, you can send e-mails, check
your calendar and to-do list, set alarms, ask
for directions, ask for recommendations of
food joints, ask the meaning of words, and
a host of other things you would do with
a person. Battery life and performance
Without having actually tested the 4S,
all the major reviewers have noted that the
4S performs better than the 4, as it should
due to the faster processor. Battery life is
slightly better on the 4S, where reviewers
have clocked it at about eight hours with
heavy use of data, video, e-mail and other
activities. This is often a difficult question
to answer, partly also because I’ve
not actually reviewed the 4S. But
here are some general guidelines.
If you’re a 3GS owner, and have
a wealth of apps you want to keep
by porting them over to the 4S,
then it’s a no brainer – upgrade
the first chance you get, as after
all, the lifecycle of your 3GS is up
anyway. If however, you’re not already
an iPhone user or a 3GS user who
would like to sample another
ecosystem of phones, then unlike
three to four years ago, you have
plenty of brands to choose from
besides the 4S, namely the Android-based smart phones.
If, however, you’re a big fan of
Apple’s App Store, the 4S is a
good bet. That said, some may feel that
the 3.5-inch 4S screen to be too
small, and that its specifications
are not as good as some of the
Android-based phones such as
HTCs or Samsungs out there.
Also, the Android marketplace
isn’t a bad place to get apps, as
many of the same Apple developers have also posted some good
stuff in the Android store If you’re a 4 owner, as I am, I don’t
see any marked technology improvements on the 4S to warrant an upgrade. Except for Siri, which
can be pretty cool to use, I can’t see an upgrade in sight,
unless your contract with your operator is up or you’ve got
a lot of cash to spare. For a comprehensive look at the differences between the 4 and 4S, go to
http://www.apple.com/iphone/compare-iphones.
Filled and
fulfilled at
Fat Spoon
food 19
November 25 — 27, 2011
Exterior of Fat Spoon.
By Basil Foo
S
ituated in the Damansara Uptown commercial square, Fat Spoon
is not easily found as it faces the Petaling Jaya SS21 residential area
just off the Damansara-Puchong highway.
The eatery’s tagline is “Grandma’s recipes, good coffee”, and seemed
to have attracted a mixed crowd of families and friends during dinnertime
one Tuesday night.
Searching for a parking space proved to be not as daunting as most
would expect because of its location further away from other
The charming interior.
eateries.
Its unassuming façade of mismatched furniture, large creaky
doors, and fat spoon door handles
keeps its lively dining atmosphere
well hidden.
Friendly staff were readily on
hand to usher customers to their
seats and place old children’s picture books on tables – the menu
was glued onto the pages inside.
Indeed, the interior seemed intent on transporting its diners back
in time, with old pots and pans
dangling from the ceiling and a
bunch of vintage clothes on sale in
a corner.
There was also a lengthy menu
scribbled on a blackboard on one
Cempedak spring
of the walls from which customers
rolls with vanilla
could pick out their choice of
ice cream.
dishes.
Under the “home-cooked dishes” section was the perut ikan
(RM15) which turned out to be
a concoction of fish belly, pineapple, brinjal and a mix of other
ingredients.
The thick gravy reminded one
of the heady mixes of herbs and
spices prevalent in Nyonya cooking, and only had a tinge of spiciness. The fish belly did not stand
out in taste, probably because it was
smothered in the thick gravy.
Similar to the previous dish was
the ikan merah cutlets in assam before biting into it as it might
pedas (RM39), which ditched the contain bones.
The gravy was satisfying with the
use of pineapples, resulting in a
heady smell of fish and a generous
gravy that was less sour.
The fish was firm in texture, and drizzle of bunga kantan, which
we were warned to take caution made the dish taste kind of like
Menus in old children’s books.
Ikan merah
cutlets in
assam pedas.
Perut ikan.
For dessert, the cempedak spring
rolls with vanilla ice cream
(RM9.90) was one of the more
eye-catching dish titles on the
menu.
From the spring-roll wrapping’s
satisfying crunch to the soft gooey
cempedak within, this dish was one
of the highlights of the night.
The sweet fruit mixed with
asam laksa.
Next up was fried kunyit chicken (RM15), which was picked
from a lineup of different cooking
methods – curry, steamed, and soy
ginger.
The generous hunks of chicken
were tender and juicy, with a crispy
outer layer that tasted more delicious than that at most fast food or
café chains.
The meat was not overly smothered in batter for a more supple
bite, and this dish received glowing
reviews from the whole table.
Not wanting to leave out the
restaurant’s centerpieces, the Fat
Spoon tofu (RM15) came in an
earthen pot with pieces of tofu
floating in a savoury sauce.
The dish is a solid addition to
any dinner as it comes with pieces
of meat and the broth is both thick
and flavourful.
cold creamy ice cream melted
satisfyingly in the mouth, producing an instant craving for one more
piece – certainly worth coming
back for.
Overall, Fat Spoon was a cozy
and filling experience, perfect for a
quiet date in a quaint atmosphere
or a boisterous reunion in yet another concept eatery.
food
20
november 25 — 27, 2011
Quacking good roast
at Loong Foong
Turkey or roast duck for Christmas dinner? Due to the yearly escalating prices of x’mas
turkey, LIN ZHENYUAN reveals why roast duck has gained the upper hand
T
here are so many roast duck shops and stalls in Klang
Valley, it would take months to count them all. But
there are only a handful that have withstood the test of
time and the relentless criticism of discerning diners in Selangor. We who are devotees of roast duck have sworn on the last
crispy drumstick that some of the worst-kept secrets about the
best roast duck in town are written in bold in the diaries of
housewives, sons-in-law and grandfathers.
Come next month, Loong Foong Restaurant in Paramount
Garden, Petaling Jaya, will again be swamped with pre-orders
for roast ducks. Last year, in a mistaken belief that there was
ample time for pre-Christmas orders, I showed up at Loong
Foong and was turned away because the restaurant had filled
its festive season quota.
I couldn’t believe it. I was there two weeks before Christmas.
It seemed that a few hundred customers had beaten me to the
Christmas dinner duck list.
Loong Foong is not only the restaurant that claims the
lion’s share of duck orders. Further up the road, closer to the
main traffic lights junction, is Sunrise Restaurant. Sunrise is
well known among roast duck lovers for its superlative crispy
quack-quack. Its roast ducks are just as good than those sold
at Loong Foong.
Personally, I find it difficult to cast my lot with either Loong
Foong or Sunrise in terms of excellence. Each has its own
unique merits. Suffice to say, if anybody buys me a roast duck,
the choice of either restaurant will be just dandy with me.
The price of roast duck in any one of these two restaurants
has seen gradual increases over the years. Due to the insatiable
appetite of PJ folks, the roasted farmed ducks are constantly
in high demand.
On one occasion, I was at Sunrise at around 1pm. My objective was to order half a roast duck as takeaway. Business was
good as usual. There were customers aplenty, and those who
waited were offered glasses of Chinese tea. That was definitely good PR on the part of Sunrise. It is not without ample
evidence that Sunrise has been doing roaring business for as
long as I can remember. It would be safe to say that 20 years is
At least two ducks have achieved the right colour after
the allotted number of minutes in the oven.
a conservative estimate.
Recently, I was at Loong
Foong again. It was one of
those quiet afternoons after
4pm when the place is firing
up its giant metal ovens for
producing the evening’s
quota of roast ducks. As I
pulled up and parked my
car in front of the shop,
there were at least two other customers ahead of me.
They, too, were there to
order takeaways.
A family member had
reminded me to buy two
boxes of nyonya acar or acar
awak. The mildly spicy
pickled veggie mix is a
nyonya dish that has found
great favour among nyonya
parents and their children.
Fo r a l o n g tim e , I
thought Loong Foong had
its staff make the acar as a
side-dish. I discovered this
wasn’t the case when an
elderly uncle showed up
with boxes of acar that he
extracted from his car. It
turned out that his wife
was the secret chef who had
been supplementing her
income with the homemade acar.
I couldn’t resist telling
the man to convey my
compliments to his
wife for her fine culinary skills. He
s e em e d q u i t e
pleased. I was
sure I was responsible for
adding a little
bounce in his
step as he
walked back to
his car. The pinkish
ducks that were
being shipped out
from a no -entr y
corner of the kitchen
aroused my curiosity.
The person in charge of turning the ducks into the beloved Pretty and tasty roast
golden honey-coloured dish was ducks all in a row at
quite responsive to my discreet Loong Foong.
enquiries about the roast duckmaking process.
The ducks are obtained from farms, I was told. Thus, almost
all are about the same size before they are considered to be at
the optimum weight.
After the de-feathered ducks have gone through several
processes, they are taken out and hung up and blown dry by
heavy-duty industrial fans. The Chinese describe this as “foong
kon”, or being dried by the wind. After the allotted cooling-off
period, the ducks are put into the ovens.
If memory serves me right, about four to six ducks are put
in each oven for about 20 minutes or so. There is no use trying
to remember the various steps in roasting a duck to its optimum
colour and taste. An apprentice or novice will almost never
get it right. It is all done by experienced “duck doctors”. We
A duck is sliced and cut
into right proportions for
waiting customers.
The specially prepared ducks are dried by an
industrial fan.
ordinary mortals should be content just to buy and relish them
as a special treat on our dining table.
There are at least three big metal ovens at Loong Foong.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ november 25 – 27,2010 ⁄ 21
news
LEMBAGA PERUMAHAN DAN
HARTANAH SELANGOR
TINGKAT5,PODIUMUTARA,
BANGUNANSSAAS
40503SHAHALAM,
SELANGORDARULEHSAN
PERINGATAN LEMBAGA PERUMAHAN
DAN HARTANAH SELANGOR:
The boxes of acar for customers who like them as a side-dish for dinner.
They looked fairly unspectacular to me,
but the roast ducks that eventually emerge
from the specially designed ovens really have
a taste that leaves lingering memories.
There are usually at least two persons serving customers. All of them are quite adept
with the cleavers as they surgically slice the
duck meat into manageable pieces.
The bones, heads and innards are cut,
chopped and extracted with the greatest of
ease. And the aroma ... ahhh, heavenly! A
styrofoam box containing a full-sized roast
duck makes the car ride home rather exhilarating because the whole interior is filled with
the aroma of the freshly roasted duck.
If you have not tried roast duck of this
quality, it is definitely your loss. It would be
too hard for me to explain to you the extreme
sensory pleasures of munching and chewing
on a roast duck that can almost bring tears to
the eyes.
If you want to purchase a roast duck of
undisputed quality, be prepared to hand out
a RM50 note. If you want a box of acar, take
out a few more ringgit. Believe me, it is worth
the small investment.
Loong Foong Restaurant
1, Jalan 20/13, Paramount Garden.
Tel: 03-78769045
Sunrise Restaurant
31, Jalan 21/1, Sea Park, PJ
Tel: 03-78769689
Know Your
Councillor:
Lee Khai Loon
By Brenda Ch’ng
SELAYANG: Trying to improve infrastructure in Desa Jaya in the face of budget
constraints is an uphill task for Selayang
Municipal Councillor (MPS) Lee Khai
Loon.
Upgrades of roads and drains at the
30-year-old housing development, which
comprises 1,000 homes, are long overdue.
“Nothing has been done there since the
1980s when the residents first moved in.
Major improvements need to be done,” says
33-year-old Lee.
The two-term-councillor has been been
pushing for major upgrades, but has been
repeatedly told that MPS has insufficient
funds.
“If MPS allocates the budget for this
project, then they would not have any more
money for other minor projects proposed
by residents in Selayang,” says Lee.
As councillor in charge of Desa Jaya,
Desa Aman Puri and Bukit Desa, Lee says
his annual infrastructure budget of
RM60,000 is only enough for four to five
small projects.
This allocation will be divided among
the areas in his zone, and is mostly used for
patching up potholes or covering drains.
“We can’t do much with the small
amount of money, but we try to prioritise
the more urgent projects,” says Lee.
Together with the residents committee,
which consists of representatives of residential and commercial committees, they meet
once a month to discuss problems faced in
each area.
“Sometimes there will be a repeat of
demands and issues highlighted by the
residents, but
we can’t do
anything because of the tight budget,” says Lee.
He finds it hard to please everyone, and
is sometimes stressed out by the pressure
and high expectations from the residents.
“Residents expect councillors to do a lot
more, but there is only a limit to what we
can do,” says Lee.
Though he faces many challenges, he
strives to serve the people better by fostering closer ties with MPS officers and residents.
Lee also educates the public on how to
send in complaints to the council via the
online complaints system on the MPS
website.
For the future, Lee hopes a master study
will be carried out on the drainage system
around Desa Aman Puri and the neighbouring development in Sri Damansara.
The master study is needed to address
flooding problems on the main roads of
Desa Aman Puri.
This study will involve intercouncil
meetings between MPS and the Petaling
Jaya City Council (MBPJ).
According to Lee, the floods are caused
by water flowing in from the recent residential development in Sri Damansara.
“I think the drainage system was not
upgraded or checked when the development took place, and now it can’t channel
rainwater out to monsoon drains or rivers,”
says Lee.
Apart from floods causing damage to
roads and potholes in Desa Aman Puri,
residents also get stuck in traffic jams during
heavy rain.
BERHATI-HATI DENGAN PENIPUAN
BAGI PENDAfTARAN PERMOHONAN
RUMAH KOS RENDAH DAN
SURAT KELULUSAN PALSU
BAGI PEMBELIAN
RUMAH KOS RENDAH DI SELANGOR
Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor ingin memberikan peringatan
kepada orang ramai supaya berhati-hati dengan cubaan penipuan dan pemalsuan yang dilakukan oleh individu tertentu yang menggunakan nama Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor bagi tujuan mendapatkan keuntungan dan wang dengan memperdaya orang ramai.
Modus operandi yang digunakan oleh suspek untuk memperdaya mangsa
adalah seperti berikut:• Mangsadijanjikanunit-unitrumahkosrendahyangbelumterjual(walhal
tiada kekosongan) dengan syarat pemohon dikehendaki untuk membuat
sejumlahbayaran(antaraRM1ribu–RM3ribu)sebagaifipendaftaran
dan proses kepada suspek.
• Mangsa akan dikehendaki untuk mengisi borang SPP01 dan mengemukakan dokumen-dokumen sokongan yang berkaitan. Suspek berjanji
untuk menguruskan semua proses berhubung permohonan sehinggalah
surat kelulusan dan tawaran tersebut dikeluarkan ke atas nama mangsa.
• Suspekakanmemalsukandokumenyangberkaitansepertisuratkelulusan/ tawaran dan mengemukakan kepada mangsa.
• Suspek memberi jaminan dan menyakinkan mangsa akan memperolehi
rumah yang diinginkan walaupun tidak memenuhi syarat dan kelayakan
bagi memiliki rumah kos rendah di Selangor.
Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor tidak pernah melantik manamana ejen, syarikat, badan atau mana –mana orang sama ada secara individu mahu pun berkumpulan untuk menerima permohonan orang ramai bagi
mendaftarsebagaipembelirumahkosrendahdiSelangor.
Sebagai langkah pencegahan, orang ramai dinasihatkan supaya tidak terpengaruh dengan sebarang janji dan jaminan yang disampaikan oleh mana-mana
pihak dan dinasihatkan untuk mendapatkan penjelasan dan pengesahan maklumat berhubung permohonan bagi mendapatkan rumah kos rendah secara
terus di Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor melalui :1.MenghubungiLembagaPerumahandanHartanahSelangorditalian0355447078/7196/7646(UnitPenawarandanSetinggan);ATAU
2. Datang sendiri ke pejabat Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah SelangordiTingkat5PodiumUtaraBangunanSultanSalahuddinAbdulAziz
Shah,42503ShahAlamSelangor;ATAU
3.MelayarilamansesawangLembagaPerumahandanHartanahSelangor
di http://lphs.selangor.gov.my
LEMBAGA PERUMAHAN DAN
HARTANAH SELANGOR
TINGKAT5,PODIUMUTARA,
BANGUNANSSAAS
40503SHAHALAM,
SELANGORDARULEHSAN
Gallery
22
November 25 — 27, 2011
Subang Jaya
assemblyperson
Hannah Yeoh
and Subang Jaya
Municipal Councillor Loi Kheng Min
cutting a ribbon
to officiate new
floodlights at the
SS15/2E field on
Wednesday.
Looking on are
SS17 Police
Station police
chief Sulaiman
Baputty, and
SS15/2 and SS15/3
Residents
Association
secretary Michael
Sundram.
Participants of the state’s Bakti Siswa programme at Kampung Sesapan Batu Minangkabau, with
Semenyih constituency coordinator Nor Azlan Mohammad (red shirt) and village head Waris Ahmad
(white shirt) on Nov 18.
A resident getting her blood pressure tested during a free
health camp held at the Damansara Jaya Residents and
Owners Association community centre in Petaling Jaya
last Sunday.
Cracks in the parking lot of Pandan Mewah Heights condominium
in Ampang Jaya have sent residents fleeing out of concern for their
safety.
Hulu Kelang Assemblyperson Saari Sungib
at the close of the sepak takraw championship organised by his office, held outside
the multipurpose hall on Jalan E 5, Taman
Melawati, last Saturday (Nov 19).
SS15/2 and SS15/3 Residents
Association chairperson
Borhan Rahmat (left) presenting a gift to MPSJ councillor Loi
Kheng Min on Wednesday. The
municipal council had installed
two floodlights at the SS15/2E
field here, which has resulted in
a drop in crime.
Participants at the Healthy
Jog and Family Fun Day in
Bandar Parklands, Klang,
held last Saturday to promote
healthy living and in benefit of
three charity homes.
Culture 23
November 25 — 27, 2011
REVIEW
CALENDAR
By Dominic Luk
Not knowing what to expect,
I went to watch What’ll Break
You / Apocalips, a double bill of
plays produced by Catwoman
Productions and Big Eyes
Entertainment. Staged at the Kuala
Lumpur Performing Arts Centre
from Nov 3-13, the two plays were
playwright Ivan Yeo’s first works for
the stage.
The show featured names like
Datuk Zahim Albakri, Gavin Yap,
Vince Chong and Ash Nair, along
with Stephanie Van Driesen (who
was last seen in The Secret Life of
Nora) and newcomer Tania Khan. Walking into the theatre, I was
intrigued by the simple set. There
were reflective walls placed under
lights, and a table in the middle
with an actor already seated
there quietly. It felt like I was in an
interrogation room.
True enough, when the first play
(What’ll Break You) started, we
saw Zahim interacting with Yap.
It almost felt like I was watching
a stage version of Law & Order,
especially since the story was set
in the US.
The plot evolved as Zahim’s
Mr Whitacre admitted to killing
someone, and then went through
a whirlwind of emotions as he
explained what really happened.
Although Zahim managed to
captivate the audience and
allowed us to relate to his
character, his inconsistent
American accent was
distracting at times. Yap stole the spotlight
with his portrayal of Mr
Schmidt, Whitacre’s lawyer
– or at least we were made
to think that’s who he was!
What’ll Break You
required a lot of attention
as it solely evolved around
the dialogue between the
two men.
The ending caused
me to want to bite all my
twenty nails, as we were
left with a cliffhanger that
was unsettling. Spoiler
alert: Schmidt exited the
room, claiming he wasn’t
really who he said he was.
After all that drama, it was
hard to figure out the truth:
Was he really a lawyer?
Was he actually a reporter? Did
he really exist, or was he purely a
figment of Whitacre’s imagination?
The truth, alas, is never
revealed.
Apocalips, the second item
of the evening, was equally
interesting. It revolved around three
couples that tried to find the truth
about love, and the truth about
truth itself. It was entertaining
from beginning to end, with all six
performers on stage.
Again, I felt that Yap was
Compiled by Nick Choo
Send your events to: [email protected]
Tapestry… Inspired by the Animal Kingdom
Dance; 22-26 Nov; Experimental Theatre, Aswara Campus, Kuala Lumpur;
03-26971777; RM20
The Faculty of Dance of Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan
announces its last production of the year, a showcase of traditional folk
and classical dance. The title of show refers to the colourful collage of
dance cultures that make Malaysia what it is – and this time around, to
look at how many traditional dances have drawn inspiration from the
animal kingdom. From Johor and Kelantan to Sarawak, it is fascinating to
note that a common source of ideas for choreographers is nature, keeping
the idea that folk traditions can be fun, too. Featuring around 60 dancers;
dance restaging and reconstruction
based on original choreography by
Mohd Hazlami Harun, Gloria Patie,
Mohd Yunus Ismail, Norbaizura Abdul
Ghani, Kishore Kumar and Hajijah
Yaacob, among others.
As You Like It
Van Driesen and Zahim in Apocalips.
An engaging,
explosive
double bill
The hilarious Chong
and Yap.
outstanding as Jude, a scientist
who claimed he had found a way to
make people blow up if they kissed
each other on New Year’s Eve. With
a fancy touch of science fiction
and a look into the realities of love,
we saw how Nicole (played by Van
Driesen) and her boss, Senator
Troy (Zahim) tried to discover their
hidden love for each other.
We were also introduced to
Chris and Wendy, played by
Ash Nair and and Tania Khan
respectively, who were engaged
but were having trouble moving on
to marriage.
The most uproarious
plot line of Apocalips was
the “one-way” love affair
between Jude, and Vince
Chong’s Fr Benjamin,
who was convinced he
was only in love with God.
Despite Jude’s many
attempts to remind Fr
Benjamin of his carnal
feelings towards him, the
priest denied it, being
married to his religion…
until the end, when, out
of panic, the good padre
spilled everything out in
the open. The awkward
yet hilarious chemistry
between Chong and Yap
and their characters was
what gelled the story together. Throughout, I resisted blinking
so that I wouldn’t miss anything –
although once, my mind did nearly
drift away when Chris and Wendy
were discussing their problems.
Unfortunately, it felt like the bond
between Nair and Khan was weak
half the time. However, Khan
played her character well enough,
and it certainly wouldn’t have been
an easy task for a newcomer to
play such a heavy role. Thanks to the Yeo and director
Ida Nerina, these two plays were
worth every minute in the theatre.
What’ll Break You, in particular, is
one I would love to see expanded
into a short film or full-length play.
Concert; 26 & 27 Nov; Kuala Lumpur
Performing Arts Centre; 03-40479000,
www.klpac.org; RM30 / RM25
Featuring jazz standards, popular
songs, movie themes, and
showstoppers from musical theatre;
presented by the members of Kuala
Lumpur Children’s Choir and the
Subang Jaya Children’s Choir.
Nyoba Kan:
Butterfly Lovers
Dance; 30 Nov & 1 Dec; The Actors
Studio @ Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur; 0321422009, www.theactorsstudio.
com.my; RM50 / RM30
An innovative creation inspired
from the old Chinese legends of
Liang Shan Bo and Zhu Yin Tai.
Solo dance and live music will tell
the story of well-known chapters
from Studies, Eighteen Farewells,
Cries The Grave, and The Butterfly,
among others. Presented by
Nyoba Kan.
Magic Mirror:
The Musical
Musical; 25 Nov-4 Dec; Istana
Budaya; 011-12828859 / 8860,
011-12880399, www.guanyin.org.
my; RM100-RM300
In the Western Pure Land of
Great Bliss, the embodiment of
all the Buddha’s compassion,
Guan-yin is entertained by the
singing and dancing of her
attending goddesses, but her
heart, however, is perturbed.
She contemplates the welfare of
beings, and, hearing their laments,
decides to help by teaching
villagers and bandits about love,
compassion, patience, tolerance
and concern. Presented by
Yayasan Guan Yin.
STOMP ‘ll
Theatre/Musical; 29 Nov-4 Dec; Plenary Hall @ KL Convention Centre; 0378807999, www.ticketpro.com.my; RM78-RM268
London’s West End theatrical sensation returns. With unstoppable
energy and toe-tapping exuberance, STOMP takes the clutter and
junk of everyday life – bins, lighters, and even the kitchen sink – and
transforms it into a pulsating, witty, utterly irresistible theatrical event!
Aladdin: The Musical
Musical; 25 Nov-2 Jan 2012; Sunway Lagoon; 03-87754666
(AirAsia RedTix), 03-56390000 (Sunway Lagoon ticketing);
www.airasiaredtix.com/Events/Aladdin; RM50-RM300
Zahim and Yap in What’ll Break You.
Get whisked to a land far, far away, filled with adventure, magic, and
excitement in this production from the West End! Set against the mystical
kingdom of Askabar, go on a musical journey featuring international
artistes and dancers with exotic costumes, a flying carpet and a stunning
stage. Witty dialogue, hit songs and a spellbinding spectacular.
Selangor_Clover Follow-up_26-27_FAOL copy.pdf
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Published by Selangor State Government and printed by Dasar Cetak (M) Sdn Bhd No. 7, Persiaran Selangor, Seksyen 15, 40000, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.

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