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Transcription

p 10 – 12 p 2, 4, 6 - 7
State Assembly Submarine
buy under
Sitting
probe
Women on
the march
p
10 – 12
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2, 4, 6 - 7
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14
March 23 – 25, 2012/ issue 66
community
By Basil Foo
SHAH ALAM: A spike in new
voters, movement of voters across
constituencies and discrepancies in the
electoral roll have been brought to the
attention of the Malaysian AntiCorruption Commission (MACC).
Subang member of Parliament R
Sivarasa, along with a delegation,
submitted a five-page memorandum
to Selang or MACC assistant
enforcement officer Nelmy Amrizal on
Tuesday.
“There has been a sudden high
increase in voters. In the four years
since 2008, there have been 29,564
new voters, or a 35 per cent increase,”
Sivarasa said.
The sudden spike was extraordinary
and also raised suspicions over
inconsistent numbers in the Election
Commission registration records.
A discrepancy of 3,364 voters has
been detected in the EC’s own records.
“When the additional voter rolls
for the first, second, and third quarter
for 2011 were displayed, the total
presented was 110,614,” he said.
However, he was shocked when
113,978 voters were gazetted in the
official voter list for the three quarters
last year.
The movement of voters across
constituency borders was also detected
when checks were made on the voter
lists provided by the EC. A total of
208 voters were identified as having
been moved.
“These voters have been moved to
the Subang parliamentary constituency
from neighbouring constituencies,” he
said.
A total of 178 voters were from
Kelana Jaya and another 23 from Shah
Alam.
He called on MACC to investigate
the irregularities and for a written
report to be made public without
delay.
Earlier, Sivarasa submitted the same
memorandum to the Selangor EC.
Hanky-panky
in electoral roll
Sivarasa (front row,
second from left) at
the Selangor MACC
office on Tuesday.
Publication Date
• 20 April , May 18 & 22 June 2012
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copies weekly, will be publishing a higher education supplement to help
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The supplement will be targeted especially at SPM, STPM, O-Level &
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It will also be a platform for universities and colleges to get their
message across on what they have to offer and at what cost.
Our experienced editorial team will also be on hand to further promote
what institutions of higher learning have to offer.
Sultan of Selangor
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris
Shah being escorted
into the legislative
hall by Menteri Besar
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim
(fourth from left), State
Assembly Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim
(fourth from right) and
Selangor police chief
Datuk Tun Hisan Tun
Hamzah (right) before
the start of the State
Assembly on Monday.
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• 06 April , 04 May & 08 June 2012
Material Deadline
• 16 April , 14 May & 18 June 2012
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2
news
march 23 — 25, 2012
New rules to help flats get
free water
By Chong Loo Wah
SHAH ALAM: Flat residents without individual meters can
register with their local council’s Commissioner of Building (COB)
to enjoy Selangor’s free water programme from next month.
“This new mechanism will replace the old coupon system,” said
executive councillor for housing Iskandar Samad yesterday.
Under the new scheme, management councils, joint management bodies or developers will only have to inform the COB on
the number of units at their apartments to receive the 20 cubic
metres of free water per home.
Iskandar said the state would then pass on the information to
Syarikat Air Bekalan Selangor (Syabas) to make the deduction
from the bulk water bill.
“The deduction must be shown to the COBs,” the Cempaka
assemblyperson added.
He said the COBs would also conduct spot checks on low-cost
Selangor WEATHER
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Morning
Afternoon
Night
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
phone (603) 5510 4566
fax (603) 5523 1188
email [email protected]
EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR
COMMUNITY EDITOR
KL Chan
Neville Spykerman
PRODUCTION EDITOR
C Gunasegaran
Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling,
Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng
COPY EDITORS James Ang
WRITERS
DESIGNERS
ADVERTISING
Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
Timothy Loh, Samantha Sim, Ivan Looi, Tony Kee
ADVISORS
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
flats to ensure the number of units reported is accurate.
Iskandar said the move would benefit residents without individual meters who currently have to rely on the coupon system.
He said the state started the free water programme in 2009, but
Syabas was unable to replace bulk meters with individual meters
in all flats.
He said 252,591 homes have applied for individual meters since
2009 but only 51,859 applications have been approved.
In addition, the low-cost flats must settle their arrears with
Syabas and obtain residents’ approval to apply for individual
meters.
“So we started the coupon system, allowing residents to claim
for the deduction using the coupons but the procedures is complex
and the results aren’t satisfactory,” said Iskandar.
However, he said the latest scheme is just a temporary measure
as low-cost flat residents must continue to apply for individual
meters.
Iskandar
Economic picture not what
it seems, says Ong
SHAH ALAM: Malaysia’s economic condition may
not be as rosy as it is made out to be by Putrajaya’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu),
according to political analyst Dr Ong Kian Ming.
In a column entitled “What has changed?” in The Edge
Financial Daily on Wednesday, he pointed out that subsidies had gone up despite Pemandu’s aims of reducing it.
Coupled with higher government spending and expected increases in contingent liabilities due to the MyRapid Transit project, Pemandu’s rationalisation plan
which was introduced in May 2010 may be cause for
concern.
“The subsidy bill, which was of such concern to Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala in 2010, has actually increased
from RM23.1 billion in 2010 to RM32.8 billion in 2011,
according to Ministry of Finance figures, despite increases in the price of sugar, electricity, petrol and diesel.”
Ong said this was puzzling as sugar prices worldwide
had actually fallen over the past two years.
As for oil prices, the higher subsidy was expected as
there were no changes to RON 95 (RM1.90) since July
and Dec 2010 despite rising fuel costs.
“While government revenue did increase beyond expectations, by 14.9 percent from 2010 to 2011, so did the
government’s operating expenditure, by 18.9 percent from
2010 to 2011. In other words, there are no clear signs that
our subsidy bill and the government’s operating expenditure are on a downward trajectory,” said Ong.
Responding to Idris’ column in The Star on Monday,
Ong also disputed the Pemandu CEO’s assertion that
Malaysia was on the right track due to a higher average
GDP of 6 percent for 2009 and 2010.
“Despite having a full year of the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) in operation, the real growth rate
in 2011 was just 5.1 percent, below the 6 percent growth
rate target set by the ETP.
“It is disingenuous of Senator Jala to average the 2010
and 2011 growth rates to get at 6 percent since 2010 was a
bounce back year from the 2009 economic crisis as well as
the fact that the ETP was only launched at the end of 2010.
“At least some portion of this growth was driven by
increases in government consumption, which increased
by 16.8 percent, compared to a 6.9 percent increase in
private sector consumption,” said the UCSI lecturer.
Two more reasons why the economy may not be better
is the Prime Minister’s decision to scrap the proposed
civil servant remuneration
scheme (SBPA) and the sizable amount of bonds
needed to finance the My Rapid Transit (MRT) project.
“The new revised scheme that would raise the pay of
civil servants by 13 percent is likely to further increase
the government’s operating expenditure. An additional
RM6 billion (quoted by some reports) is to fund this new
scheme compared to the additional RM2 billion that was
set aside for the now scrapped SBPA scheme.”
On the RM36-billion MRT project, even though the
full cost of this project will not be reflected in the deficit
figures, the responsibility for this contingent liability will
ultimately still fall into the hands of the federal government, said Ong.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ MARCH 23 – 25, 2012 ⁄ 3
4
News
March 23 — 25, 2012
AT THE SELANGOR STATE ASSEMBLY
Lawmakers push for
true separation of power
Events
Diabetes Workshop
Yayasan Kebajikan SSL Strok will organise a free
workshop on Mar 31 from 9am-1pm at the SSL
Diabetes Care Centre. The talk will focus on healthy
living and managing diabetes. The programme will run
for a few months over four sessions. All sessions will
be presented by a team of doctor, nurses, dietitians
and diabetes educators. For more information and
registration, call 03-5882 9115 or 03-5891 1476.
Organic Day
Centre for Environment, Technology and Development,
Malaysia (CETDEM) will be having their 9th Organic
Day on Saturday (March 24) from 8.30am-2pm at
Taman Bandar SS2, Jalan SS2/63 Petaling Jaya.
Highlights are making eco enzyme, recycling
kitchen waste into compost, dying hair organically
and composting and growing organic vegetables. The
public is also encouraged to bring their used cooking
oil for recycling apart from shopping bags and food
containers. For more information, call 03-7875 7767,
visit cetdem.org.my or email [email protected]
Earth Hour
Everyone is invited to support Earth Hour by joining
an event organised by WWF-Malaysia and Sunway
Pyramid from Mar 24-31 at the shopping centre. Green
booths will be located on the LG1 and G floors at
Sunday Pyramid.
There will also be booths on the G floor, North
Boulevard, Sunday Giza. On Mar 31, there will be a
countdown to Earth Hour at 8.29pm and a dance in the
dark at Sunday Pyramid. Participants are encouraged
to buy glow-in-the-dark Earth Hour T-shirts sold at
Sunway Pyramid and Sunway Giza.
Charity Climb
Shelter Home for Children, which cares for abused,
abandoned and neglected children, will be organising
an adventure climb to Mount Kinabalu from Apr 2528. The climb is only open to the first 30 people who
register and is aimed at raising funds for the shelter. For
more information, call 012-2574305 (Edwin Jalleh), 0379550663 (Brian), or visit shelterhome.org.
By Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Selangor lawmakers
are calling on the state to table a bill to
set up an independent service commission for the House in a push for greater
democracy.
“In order to become a first-class state
assembly, we need to have a service commission under the Speaker that’s independent of the Executive and free from
political influence,” said Lau Weng San
(Kampung Tunku-DAP).
He said only a truly autonomous
legislature can monitor and scrutinise the
state administration effectively as practised in advanced democracies like the
United Kingdom.
Currently, the state assembly’s administration and budget are controlled by
the executive council. Lawmakers have
little say.
“The House cannot be considered
independent until it has its own service
team that is free from the public service,”
said Lau, who had returned from a parliamentary seminar in London two
weeks ago.
He noted that the Parliament had its
own service commission under the Parliamentary Service Act 1963 until the act
was repealed in 1992.
Lee Kim Sin (Kajang-PKR) also
called on the executive council to table
the bill at the next state assembly sitting
Lau: The House cannot be considered independent until it has its own
service team that is free from the public service.
since the draft is ready.
“When I was attending the London
seminar, I was ashamed to tell (lawmakers from other countries) that Selangor
has yet to have its own service commission,” said Lee.
Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim
had told Selangor Times on March 12
that the draft for the Selangor Legislative
Assembly Service Commission Enactment (SELESA) was ready.
Halimah calls for educational reform
SHAH ALAM: A concrete and detailed plan for education
reform should be drafted by the Education Ministry to improve the school system and prevent problems from arising
in future.
“It’s time the Education
Ministry came up with a
‘road map’, with a detailed
explanation of their vision
Persiaran Semarak Api, Cyber 1, 63200 CYBERJAYA, Selangor Darul Ehsan
and mission for the future
of education,” said state
executive councillor for
education Dr Halimah Ali
1. Tender adalah dipelawa daripada kontraktor – kontraktor Bumiputera yang berdaftar dengan Pusat Khidmat
Kontraktor dan CI.D.B yang masih dibenarkan membuat tender bagi kerja – kerja berikut :
on Thursday.
The Batu Tiga assemblKelas Kepala
Bil No.Tender
Tajuk Kerja
Harga Dokumen
yperson was responding to
& Sub Kepal
MAJLIS PERBANDARAN SEPANG
KENYATAAN TENDER
1.
MP.SPG.4/TD01/
JLN/DG/12 KEJ
Cadangan Kerja –Kerja Penstabilan
Jalan Mendap Di Jalan Putra Prima
Utama Dan Jalan Putra Tengah,
Taman Putra Prima, Puchong,
Selangor Darul Ehsan Untuk Majlis
Perbandaran Sepang.
Kelas C :
Kepala 1 Sub-kepala 1
RM500.00
2.
Dokumen tender boleh dibeli pada waktu pejabat di Tingkat 3, Jabatan Khidmat Pengurusan (Bahagian
Pengurusan Perolehan). Dokumen tender akan dikeluarkan mulai dari tarikh 3 April 2012 hingga 15 April 2012
dengan harga yang ditetapkan bagi senaskah (tidak dikembalikan). Dokumen Tender hanya dijual kepada kontraktorkontraktor Bumiputera atau wakil yang mengemukakan Surat Lantikan Wakil, Sijil Pendaftaran (CIDB), Sijil Pusat
Khidmat Kontraktor (PKK) dan Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Selangor (UPEN) yang asal. Bayaran hendaklah dibuat
secara Tunai, Wang Pos atau Bank Draf yang berpalang atas nama ‘Yang Dipertua Majlis Perbandaran Sepang’.
3.
Kontraktor-kontraktor adalah diwajibkan untuk membuat lawatan tapak bersama Pegawai Penguasa atau wakilnya.
Hanya penender yang hadir pada lawatan tapak tersebut sahaja yang layak untuk memasuki tawaran ini. Penender
dikehendaki menghadirkan diri ditempat, tarikh dan masa seperti tersebut :Tarikh
Masa
Tempat Berkumpul
Teng said the House would have full
control of its own budget and staff with
the establishment of an independent
service commission.
He said the service commission
should be chaired by the Speaker, with
representatives from the Backbenchers’ Club, opposition and the executive.
However, he said the executive council has yet to approve the draft bill.
: 02 April 2012
: 10.00 pagi.
: Bilik Melati , Tingkat 1, Majlis Perbandaran Sepang, Cyberjaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
4.
Dokumen Tender yang telah lengkap diisi hendaklah dihantar dalam sampul surat bermeteri dengan menulis No. Tender
disebelah sudut kiri sampul dan dimasukkan ke dalam peti tender di Ruang Lobi Utama, Tingkat 2, Majlis
Perbandaran Sepang, Cyberjaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan sebelum atau pada jam 12.00 Tengahari pada 16 April 2012.
5.
Majlis Perbandaran Sepang tidak terikat untuk menerima tender yang terendah atau memberi apa - apa sebab tender itu
ditolak dan juga tidak bertanggungjawab ke atas sebarang kos perbelanjaan berhubung dengan tender ini dan sebarang
keputusan adalah muktamad.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong’s announcement that 1,294 vacancies at Chinese schools would be filled
by temporary teachers.
“They should act more professionally and systematically.
They shouldn’t find temporary teachers only after Chinese
school activists prepare to stage a protest,” she said at a press
conference.
Making sure there are enough teachers at all schools nationwide is a critical factor to ensure the students education process
is not disrupted.
Dr Halimah pointed out that teachers are the backbone of
schools and the ministry should lay out plans to ensure there
are always sufficient teachers at all schools.
“I hope the ministry will visit all schools and see what else
is lacking,” she said.
More funding for new villages
SHAH ALAM: Development allocations
for Selangor new villages have been increased
from RM200,000 before 2008 to RM5.4
million in 2009, to help with infrastructure
upgrades.
“In the past, each village was only allocated RM2,500 annually but this amount
isn’t enough for development,” said state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah (Seri
Kembangan-DAP).
Ean Yong said said this in response to a
question from Lau Weng San (Kampung
Tunku-DAP).
In 2011, RM5 million was allocated
for de velopment proje cts and pro grammes.
Allocations will be further increased this
year as an additional RM1 million will be
allocated from the Selangorku grant, bringing
it up to RM6 million.
Vice dens: Local authorities cannot act alone
SHAH ALAM: Full cooperation between
local and federal enforcement authorities
along with utility companies is needed to
curb illegal entertainment centres.
“Local councils only have the power to
confiscate belongings, issue summonses and
shut down illegal outlets,” said state executive
councillor Ronnie Liu (Pandamaran-DAP).
Liu, who was replying to a question by
Datuk Abdul Rahman Palil (Sementa-Umno), said councils do not have the authority
to jail illegal operators or bring them to court.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ MARCH 23 – 25, 2012 ⁄ 5
6
news
march 23 — 25, 2012
AT THE SELANGOR STATE ASSEMBLY
Sultan: Set aside political
differences
By Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: The Sultan of Selangor on Monday advised all state lawmakers, regardless of political affiliation, to cooperate with the state administration for the sake of the people’s
welfare.
“Political differences shouldn’t be a
barrier (for any assemblyperson) to assist the state in (carrying out) measures
that would benefit the people,” said
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah when
opening the state assembly.
He reminded the elected representatives to put the people’s and state
interests before party interest.
He added that lawmakers play a key
role in scrutinising policies and programmes to ensure they have a positive
impact for both people and the state.
The Sultan also advised lawmakers
to debate intellectually, not emotion-
ally, and to voice out the views of the
people in the House.
“Every matter (debated in the
House) should be judged wisely and
fairly, based on the merits and substance of the proposal itself, not just the
person who made it,” he said.
He praised the state for achieving 5.9
per cent gross domestic product (GDP)
growth last year and attracting RM8.74
billion investments.
However, the Sultan also reminded
the Selangor government to protect the
state’s forest reserves, water catchment
areas and river reserves.
“Encroachment must be eradicated
and approval shouldn’t be given for
development projects in these areas,” he
said in his address.
Finally, the Sultan also cautioned the
state to preserve Malay reserve land and
prevent it from being transferred to
non-Malay individuals or companies.
The Sultan inspecting a guard-of-honour before opening the state assembly sitting.
356 benefit from Private
Two city councils, municipality
Residential Ownership Scheme benefit from waste transfer station
SHAH ALAM: Three hundred and fiftysix home owners have benefited from the
state’s Private Residential Ownership
Scheme since it was launched last June, the
Menteri Besar told the state assembly on
Wednesday.
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said out of the
356 successful applicants, 226 were Malays
(63 per cent), 32 Chinese (nine per cent)
and 98 Indians (28 per cent).
He added that the most number of approved applications came from the Hulu
Langat district (136), followed by Kuala Selangor (89), Petaling (65) and Gombak (48).
The state has received RM356,000 from
the approved applicants.
Khalid was answering three oral questions posted by Yap Lum Chin (BalakongDAP) on the progress of the private home
ownership scheme.
SHAH ALAM: The waste disposal
capacity of three local governments has
increased with the operation of a transit
station in Shah Alam.
The transfer station located at Section
21 has cut down on trips
each garbage truck has to
make from Petaling Jaya,
Subang Jaya and Shah
Alam, state executive councillor Ronnie Liu (pic) told
the state assembly on Tuesday.
L i u ( Pan damaranDAP), whose portfolio
includes local government,
was responding to a question by Saari Sungib (Hulu
Kelang-PAS) on the operations of the transfer site
operated by waste management concessionaire Worldwide Holdings Bhd.
Liu said the site initially received
wa ste f rom th e S ha h Alam Ci t y
Council(MBSA) but has since started
taking garbage from the Petaling Jaya
City Council (MBPJ) and Subang Jaya
Municipal Council (MPSJ).
The transfer site, which started operations on Jan10, processes some 1,110 tons
of waste a day.
The five-acre site
c o s t s Wo r l d w i d e
RM800,000 a month to
operate.
The concessionaire
will soon increase its
capacity to send the
waste there to a sanitary
landfill in Jeram with
the purchase of more
trucks.
Liu said contractors
ser ving MBPJ and
MPSJ could only manage one to two trips daily (to the landfill)
before the transfer station was in operation.
“The trip to Jeram in Kuala Selangor
was too far for the contractors to travel.”
No special plan to develop
Malay Reserve Land
SHAH ALAM: Selangor currently has 456,754 acres of Malay Reserve Land but the
state does not have specific policies at present to develop the reserves, the state assembly
was told on Wednesday.
“Most of the Malay Reserve Land located in strategic places like Klang, Hulu Langat
and Sepang are already being developed,” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
He added that no state-linked companies were involved in development projects on
Malay Reserve Land over the last three years.
Responding to Ng Suee Lim (Sekinchan-DAP), Khalid said the Sabak Bernam district
currently has the largest amount of Malay Reserve Land - 172,823 acres.
Petaling, which is also the most developed district in Selangor, has the smallest area at
2,733 acres.
news
march 23 — 25, 2012
7
AT THE SELANGOR STATE ASSEMBLY
Support for setting up
environmental court
SHAH ALAM: State executive councillor Elizabeth Wong
said Selangor welcomes the idea that specialised environmental courts may soon be introduced in the country.
“The state is in support of an environmental court in its bid
to bring to trial and convict polluters in Selangor,” Wong
(Bukit Lanjan-PKR), who holds the environmental portfolio,
told the state assembly on Tuesday.
Wong said the courts were currently ill equipped to hear
pollution cases, as it took some four to five years to conclude
a hearing and pass a decision.
She was responding to a supplementary question by Lee
Kim Sin (Kajang-PKR) on the lack of expertise by the current
courts to hear pollution cases.
She said this in reference to a recent report quoting Chief
Justice Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria that environmental courts may
soon be introduced in the country, at the opening of the
2012 Legal Year and Conference of Judges in Putrajaya in
January.
Earlier, Wong responded to Datuk Raja Ideris Raja Ahmad
(Sungai Air Tawar–BN) on the number of pollution cases
brought to court by the state’s Department of Environment
(DOE).
She said 2011 saw some 194 cases brought for hearing, with
95 successful convictions.
Another 42 cases resulted in acquittals and 57 cases were
discharged not amounting to an acquittal.
She said the DOE had slapped 194 offenders with fines
totaling some RM1.12m for various water, air pollution and
Auto industry boost for north
SHAH ALAM: New industrial areas in the
north have spurred economic growth in Hulu
Selangor, said state executive councillor for
trade and investment Teresa Kok. Among the areas that have benefited from a
rise in the manufacturing industry are Bandar
Baru Kali Hulu Yam, Bukit Beruntung, Kundang and Serendah.
“The growth in manufacturing services has
contributed to the growth in these areas,” said Kok
during a state assembly sitting here on Tuesday.
Kok (Kinrara-DAP) was responding to
Azmin Ali (Bukit Antarabangsa-PKR) on the
initiatives to increase economic growth in 2012.
She said the district was being promoted
during trade expositions overseas and added
that the state would push for mixed industries
at the Hulu Selangor – Tanjung Malim –
Slim River corridor. Kok said growth in the area was due to landowners transferring the land usage from agricultural to commercial zones.
Serendah and Hulu Selangor have been earmarked as a potential site for the proposed Se-
Selangor shines with six
million tourist arrivals
SHAH ALAM: Selangor registered 6.04
million visitors last year on the back of
marketing by Tourism Selangor.
This is an increase from 5.83 million in
2010, state executive councillor for tourism
Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan-PKR) told
the state assembly on Tuesday.
“The Selangor Shines programme has
been successful in drawing tourists to the
state since it started in 2010,” said Wong,
who was responding to a question by Mohd
Isa Kassim (Batang Kali-BN).
She pointed out that the construction
of more hotel rooms had led to the growth
in travellers as well as better tourist products and services.
She said the state was targetting to attract
some 6.2 million visitors for 2012, a figure
she described as “modest and realistic”.
Wong said the state would be organising
an “Appreciation Night” party for tour
operators, hotels and restaurants to thank
them for their part in attracting domestic
and foreign visitors to Selangor.
“We want to thank the tourism and
leisure industry for their part in bringing
in the six million tourists.”
She pointed out that there were some
200 tourist spots in the state, consisting of
theme parks such as Sunway Lagoon and
also eco-tourism spots like Bukit Malawati
and Kanching Forest Reserve.
Wong said Selangor would be concentrating on the coastal areas in the north
such as Sekinchan and Sabak Bernam, along
with Hulu Langat in the south.
“ We have allocated funds for the
Visit Sekinchan programme, to be disbursed by the Sabak Bernam District
Council,” she said in response to Ng Suee
Lim’s (Sekinchan-DAP) supplementary
question.
Amnesty programme to be extended
SHAH ALAM: Some 857 businesses, out
of 1,021 applicants, have successfully legalised their operations under a state amnesty
programme since 2008.
The businesses, many of which were operating on agriculture land, were allowed to
convert their property to commercial status
- a move which raked in RM112.26 million
in land premium for the state.
“The Gombak and Klang districts had the
highest number of applications as of May
2011,” executive councillor Ean Yong Hian
Wah (Seri Kembangan-DAP) told the state
assembly on Tuesday.
Ean Yong, who is in charge of illegal fac-
tory settlements, was responding to Khasim
Abdul Aziz (Lembah Jaya-PAS) on the
status of the state’s amnesty programme for
factories.
Selangor had extended the amnesty period for factories to legalise operation to the
end of the year
Local authorities are empowered to issue
temporary business licences to factories
which were waiting on the Land and District Office to change the status of their
land.
Ean Yong said factories operating illegally must apply for the temporary permits
to avoid being slapped with fines.
open burning offences.
Wong added that there were reports of pollution in the state
that were filed under No Further Action (NFA) by the DOE
due to lack of evidence or because witnesses or suspects could
not be located.
She said local governments had the power to shut down
polluting factories and the DOE would provide technical
assistance in determining the severity of the offences.
Wong told the state assembly that the environmental
agency could only take action against illegal dump sites if the
premises emitted toxic gases, as provided under the Environment Quality Act 1974, adding that illegal dumping grounds
were under the jurisdiction of local governments but the DOE
would also assist in the cases.
langor Automotive Belt, which would be home
to the automotive industry in the north.
“We already have manufacturers in the area,
who are vendors to Perodua, Nissan and Proton,” she said, adding the state, through the
Selangor State Investment Centre (SSIC), is
currently promoting the location to foreign
investors.
Kok said the state was awarding land to car
industry giant Tan Chong Motor to set up a
manufacturing hub at Serendah to build its
Nissan model cars.
Kok
8
News
March 23 — 25, 2012
Illegal hawkers get licences
SERI KEMBANGAN: Hawkers
trading illegally for over 20 years at
morning markets here have finally
got licences and stalls to call their
own.
A total of 266 licences were
handed out to traders by representatives from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) Licensing Department on Monday.
Altogether, 110 wet stalls and
156 dry stalls costing between
RM90 to RM120 per month are
now being rented out to them at the
new Seri Kembangan Bazaar Rakyat.
“I’m so happy to finally have my
own stall and licence. Now I can
trade in peace knowing that I
wouldn’t get summonses from MPSJ
officers,” said poultry seller Chan
Yuk Lan.
The 59-year-old used to sell
chicken and duck meat by the roadside, outside the morning market
along Jalan Besar everyday.
Stalls lined up along Jalan Besar
were blamed for causing traffic congestion especially in the mornings. Chan will join hundreds of other
hawkers at the bazaar located along
Jalan SK6/1 when it opens on April 2.
“I didn’t have a proper stall before
as I used to trade by the roadside.
Thankfully I’ve been assigned one
State’s fourth
anniversary
carnival
Poultry seller Chan Yuk Lan picking her stall number while other
traders and MPSJ officers look on.
now,” said egg seller Chan Kim Har.
The 45-year-old sells chicken eggs
together with his wife everyday at
various morning and night markets
around Seri Kembangan. “I’m so happy to get my licence.
Trading inside a proper building its
easier than by the roadside,” he said. Also present to help MPSJ officers hand out licences were councillors Chong Hoon Ming, Tai Cheng
Heng, Pooi Weng Keong and Ng Sze
Han.
“The majority of these licences
were given out to illegal hawkers
trading at Jalan Besar, Jalan Panggung, Jalan Panggung parking lot
and Jalan SK10/1,” said Ng.
He explained that they only had
to pay a fee of RM30 to get their licence, which must be renewed
yearly.
Ng hopes this move will ease the
traffic congestion in those areas and
curb illegal hawkers around Seri
kembangan.
MPSJ had also opened up vacancies at the market to single mothers,
less fortunate families and the disabled.
“More than 20 single mothers
and disabled were given licences and
they will be trading at the bazaar
next month,” Ng said.
SHAH ALAM: Stand a chance to win attractive prizes at
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Selangor Administration’s Fourth Anniversary celebrations at “Karnival Terima Kasih Rakyat” this
Sunday at the Kuala Selangor stadium.
Five iPad 2, five Samsung Galaxy S2 handphones and a motorcycle are up for grabs in lucky draws during the event.
Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu said the daylong event was to mark the important milestone with the people. Celebrations will kick off in the morning with futsal competitions, followed by colouring competitions, pony rides and a
football clinic.
The crowd will be entertained with performances by Kumpulan Sixth Sense, Kumpulan OAG, Fify Emielia, Blank Gamma,
and the Shah Alam and Putrajaya Jazz Community.
Information on the various welfare and state schemes for the
elderly and youth will also be available at booths to be set up
there. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will launch the event
at 5.30pm.
Joining him at 9pm will be Selangor Economic Adviser Datuk
Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and Bersih 2.0
chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.
Congratulations
To
To
From
President, Councillors, Management & Staff
Pakatan Rakyat
on its
YEARS
Administration
ofSelangor State
Majlis Perbandaran aMPang jaya
From:
A city without history
I
love Berlin
for her
h i s t o r y.
You don’t have
wong chin huat
to go to the
Brandenburg
Gate, Berliner Dom or Charlie Checkpoint to feel
it. It’s everywhere in the city.
Just around the corner, in my neighbourhood
U-Bahn (underground) station, Fehrbelliner Platz,
you can find photos of the train station in the 1900s.
As I travelled in the city every day and marvelled
at her charm and the Germans’ achievements in the
past seven decades after the end of World War II, I
couldn’t help remind myself of the history of the city.
The roads that I walked on were previously used
by East Germans (if in the old East Berlin) just some
22 years ago, or by Nazi Germans just some 67 years
ago, or by Weimar Germans some 90 years ago, or
Prussians some 150 years ago, or by Napoleon’s invading army just 206 years ago.
The list goes on and on for the German capital
city that was built in the 13th century, which now includes
some older small towns like the picturesque Old Spandau.
History is not pleasant for the Germans. Many still feel
guilty for what their forefathers had done in the war. And
many former East Germans had to deal with the pain of betrayal by families and friends who spied on them as informants
for the communist one-party state.
Typical of Central-Eastern Europe, Germany has had countless changes of boundaries. Many places that were historically
German (of course non-German if you go back in time a bit
further) are now foreign land.
Remember the great philosopher Immanuel Kant? He was
from Konigsberg, then the capital city of Prussia. You still find
the name of Konigsberg in Berlin’s train stations, but for the
wider world now, it is called Kaliningrad, Russia.
Once the backbone of the German Empire, Prussia has now
completely disappeared from the Germany map. The old territories of Prussia are now partly Lithuanian, partly Russian
and partly Polish. Only Brandenburg remains in Germany.
My point is: history is messy. It is bitter-sweet. It disturbs
you. And it can make you cry. But you can’t live without it. A
city without history is a metropolis without soul.
Running away from your past will only haunt your present
and future. Erasing or distorting history is denying your soul
of memories.
MAN IN BLACK
Unlike the Japanese whose war criminals were revered in
the Yasukuni Shrine, the Germans only have a solemn memorial for the Holocaust victims and a fascinating museum for
the persecuted Jewish.
War. Peace. Human Rights. Nationhood. Philosophy. Art.
Culture. Walking on the streets of Berlin gets me thinking of
all these.
What gets you thinking when you walk on the streets of
Kuala Lumpur? Do the street names mean anything to you?
Have you stopped by the bridge on Lebuh Pasar Besar,
looked at the beautiful Masjid Jamek and reminded yourself
that is the cradle of our city?
Have you ever thought of who walked on Jalan Raja Laut
a hundred years ago? Who was Raja Laut anyway? For one, I
don’t know much about the son of Selangor’s third sultan.
Have you wondered who was there in the colonial Coliseum Restaurant on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (then Jalan
Batu) to talk politics about 60-70 years ago?
Among those who were there was Dato Onn Jaafar, the
organiser of the demonstration and civil disobedience campaign who also founded Umno. Nothing in the restaurant now
points to the corner he and his friends sat. I found out about
this only from his biography by Ramlah Adam.
Well, so, who is Haji Abdullah Hukum? This leader of the
Kerinchi community who now has a village and a LRT station
named after him. And who is Chan Sow Lin, and who is Th-
views
march 23 — 25, 2012
ambypillai? Have you thought about this when
you drive through the roads named after them?
We know so little of our city, not because our
city has only about one fifth of Berlin’s age, but
because the city does not evoke our recollection
as we cannot wait to erase those bygone days.
Forget about mansions like the Bok House or
the soil of Dataran Merdeka.
As if the city does not have enough shopping
malls, we can’t wait to tear down the walls of
historical Pudu Jail. Sometime ago, developers
wanted to turn the green lung which housed eight
cemeteries and crematoriums into another commercial district. There is nothing we can’t sell or
won’t sell.
I am annoyed every time my foreign friends
praise the Petronas Twin Towers, as if that is the
most beautiful thing in town.
I was therefore thrilled to see thousands of
Malaysians flood Jalan Sultan on the eve of Chap
Goh Meh. This was no ordinary Chinese New
Year celebration officiated by your ministers and
whatnots.
The lantern festival was organised by artists and community groups to protest against the acquisition of Jalan Sultan
for the Mass Rapid Transit project.
The participants wanted the MRT to use an alternative
route which would go beneath Jalan Cheng Lock without
affecting the historical houses on both sides. They invited the
prime minister to come and listen to the public voice. He did
not, probably believing that the protest would end the same
way as the Pudu Jail demolition protesters. After all, they say
“Malaysians mudah lupa”.
Among the protesters was a kompang team from the Kampung Pantai Dalam community, who fought off acquisition
by standing together. A teacher from the kampung said it so
well: the Jalan Sultan heritage does not belong to only the
Chinese community. It belongs to all Malaysians.
Well, according to conservationist Teoh Chee Keong, the
street was named after Sultan Abdul Samad when he travelled
from Klang to Kuala Lumpur. He was housed on the hill, near
Stadium Merdeka now. The hill was called Wong Kah Shan,
which would be Bukit Raja in Malay, and incidentally, Konigsberg in German.
We probably won’t have our Immanuel Kant if we can’t wait
to do away every Konigsberg we have to – sometimes just to
build an ugly 100-storey Mega Tower.
Erykah Badu and the free speech paradox
Youthology
F
ree speech has its limits. That’s the
paradox of the First Amendment.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press; or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances.”
Whereas in the Malaysian Constitution,
Article 10 states:
“Subject to Clauses (2), (3) and (4) –
(a) every citizen has the right to freedom of
speech and expression;
(b)all citizens have the right to assemble
peaceably and without arms;
(c) a ll citizens have the right to form
associations.”
Needless to say, the paradox is more obvious in our version. From the first two words
itself, which are “Subject to …”, we get this
tiny sense of discomfort (just a tiny sense)
that it’s self-contradictory.
What is speech? And from that definition, what does its freedom entail? These
questions are important because it forms the
basis on how we understand free speech.
Especially in the United States, free speech
and its legal embodiment in the First
Amendment is no mere legal technicality
that can be easily glossed over. Its significance
is everywhere. The difference is whether it is
Lee Lian Kong
explicit or implicit. Some are subtle, they
attract less attention, are ignored or just
simply not within our proximity. We don’t
realise we are exercising freedom of speech.
Examples include the everyday newspapers
we read or our daily conversations.
Its significance becomes explicit for two
possible reasons. Firstly, it has a history of
being within the gray area i.e. society is torn
or can’t make up its mind. A good illustration of this is swearing. One section of society swears against it and the other swears to
no end.
The second way freedom of speech is
made explicit, is when there is a sudden,
concerted press coverage of it. It is the second category that the Erykah Badu issue has
fallen under. If her tattoos containing Arabic
words were not brought to the attention of
the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, it
would have remained implicit. (And we
would have got some sublime live music in
Kuala Lumpur for once)
A tattoo may not be verbal and falls outside the conventional understanding of
“speech”. However, it has long been accepted
that non-speech is speech too. Writings,
9
articles, actions may not vibrate the particles
in the air to produce sounds. But as long as
they contain enough elements of communication and the reasonable man can understand the underlying message and there is
intention to do so, such conduct is protected under freedom of speech as well.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights provides the most comprehensive definition : “Everyone has the right
to freedom of opinion and expression; this
right includes freedom to hold opinions
without interference and to seek, receive and
impart information and ideas through any
media and regardless of frontiers.”
In this case, her medium was her skin,
specifically on her shoulders. The ministry’s
reasons for banning her show was to protect
the religious sensitivities of the nation. Here
we see this freedom limited by religion and
this is socially acceptable. Freedom of speech
can be limited by justifications based on
religion. Never mind the paradox inherent
in that statement itself. That’s the way Malaysia operates, let’s just go along that line of
thought. OK let’s not get any tempers flaring
and ban the concert. The question then is,
why ban the concert? Why not just ask
Erykah to cover her shoulders? There’s precedence to support that suggestion. Katy
Perry and Gwen Stefani were allowed to
perform as long as they dressed modestly
(How a nude coloured skin tight suit is
considered modest is beyond me). The tattoos can also be removed because they were
temporary body art.
Let’s step back a little further and ask why
they considered her tattoo to be offensive?
It is not good enough to say the general
person will be offended. The intention behind the tattoo is equally as substantial. Was
it ascertained that she had every malice to
offend both the religion and culture of Islam
and Malaysia? If she did, that would surely
take the prize of the best marketing strategy
ever : Offend your customers so they will buy
your music.
There were alternatives we could have
easily have a discourse towards. From the
removal, covering and a chance to plead her
case. There were ways where freedom of
speech and cultural and religious sensitivities
could have met in the middle. Or, at least
tried to.
But the ministry denied audience to her
and alas, we will never know. What we do
know is freedom of speech comes with a side
of limits. And if we follow the trajectory set
by this incident, with freedom slowly being
chiseled away, limits will be all we have left.
Lee Lian Kong wishes she could limit her
coffee intake. She welcomes all feedback to
[email protected]
Insight
10 march 23 — 25, 2012
Super Women
to the fore
By Gan Pei Ling
Make women’s
voices heard
Wanita Suara Perubahan calls upon all women voters to take
part in the 13th GE and choose good leaders in both state and
federal governments who will accept and make our demands
real.
As we celebrate International women’s day in 2012, WE
DEMAND:
1 A GOVERNMENT FREE OF CORRUPTION: Accountability
and transparency is institutionalised in all key institutions
like Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)
and Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct
Commission (IPCMC). They must come under Parliament
and not under the Prime Minister’s Office. A Right to
Information Act must be enacted. Make all government
income and expenditure transparent; all ministers and senior
officials at the federal and state levels must declare their
assets.
2 A DECENT LIVING WAGE: All women and their families
enjoy decent standard of living and a decent living wage
beginning with a basic minimum of RM1,500 a month with
increased statutory benefits being regulated for all workers.
3 A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE: In order to achieve a
higher quality of life for all, especially the marginalised, all
privatisation programmes related to health, transport and
public housing must stop. The government must ensure
access to health for all; decent housing for all; and effective
and affordable public transport system.
4 AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND ALL
GENDERS: End violence against women and all genders,
including children in all forms, and increase access to
justice for survivors of violence. An independent special
commission has to be established to critically evaluate the
situation, review all laws and develop effective reforms and
mechanisms to ensure gender justice.
5 REPEAL THE PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY ACT: Ensure our
constitutional right to assemble peacefully is upheld at all
times.
6 FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS: Ensure women’s right to
construct a democratic nation with free and fair elections
as stated in Bersih 2.0’s eight demands.
I
t was a rare sight last Sunday as a sea of purple and white descended
upon Petaling Jaya. Starting at 2.30pm, some 3,000 women of different
ages and races marched from Taman Jaya and Masjid Bulat in Section
14 to Padang Astaka.
The march was significant as a similar rally around International Women’s Day last year in Kuala Lumpur only attracted about 300 participants.
Feminist researcher Tan Beng Hui told Selangor Times the local contemporary women’s movement first rally against gender-based violence in
1985 only attracted around 200 people.
“The highest number of people we had was in 1995. It was also a walk
in celebration of International Women’s Day where we had about 1,000
people then,” Tan recounted in a phone interview.
Women’s Aid Organisation executive director Ivy Josiah noted that this
was also the first time women, including Orang Asli and female plantation
workers, had gathered in such a number.
Wearing purple blouses and tees, the ladies endured the scorching
afternoon heat to strike a chord on political issues.
Calling themselves Women’s Voices for Change or Wanita Suara Perubahan, the “super women” want more say in the country’s male-dominated
political arena.
Set up only two months ago, the coalition is made up of 41 civil society
groups and six political parties.
Amplifying women’s voices
With dozens of different non-governmental organisations fighting on
women’s issues, why is there a need for another umbrella body like Wanita
Suara Perubahan?
“Women’s voices tend to be overlooked by policymakers. How often
are women’s views sought by our federal, state or local governments?” said
Empower programme officer Janarthani Arumugam.
The former local councillor added that political parties from both sides
of the divide rarely invest in training women politicians who are mostly
relegated to the women’s wing and excluded from the highest decisionmaking positions.
“Why do we have to beg for a 30 percent quota (of female representation in positions of power) when we make up half of the population?”
questioned the 37-year-old.
Currently, women representation in state assemblies ranges from zero
in Terengganu to a meagre 14.3 percent in Selangor.
At the federal level, only 23 out of 222 members of Parliament are
A rally participant dressed as a nun.
female. In other words, women only have a litt
the Dewan Rakyat. According to the 2008 Natio
27.7 million citizens are women.
Janarthani pointed out that female politica
double burden of taking care of their family wh
“Many women leaders we’ve trained say th
children at home before rushing out to condu
leaders face similar problems?
“Does anybody ever ask a male member of Pa
family while being a politician?” said the forme
tle over 10 percent representation in
onal Census, 49 percent of Malaysia’s
al leaders often have to shoulder the
hile juggling their political work.
hey’ve to cook and take care of their
uct meetings, how many of our male
arliament: How do you manage your
er English lecturer.
Groups in
Wanita Suara
Perubahan
Civil society
1. All Women’s Action Society (Awam)
2. Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
3. Ikram
4. Perak Women for Women
5. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
6. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
7. Sisters In Islam (SIS)
8. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
9. Tenaganita
10. Women Centre for Change (WCC)
11. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
12. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia
13. Asian-Pacific Resources & Research Centre for Women
(ARROW)
14. Bersih (Perth)
15. Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
16. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
17. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development
Centre Berhad
18. Community Action Network (CAN)
19. Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisations (Prima)
20. Health Equity Initiative Sdn Bhd (HEI)
21. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
22. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit)
23. Kumpulan Kerja Jaringan Wanita Orang Asal SeMalaysia
24. Lawyers For Liberty (LFL)
25. Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement
(DEMA)
Janarthani (right) and Women’s Aid Organisation
president Mok Chung Lian.
26. Malaysian Indian Network Development Society (MINDS)
27. Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
28. Pahlawan Volunteer
29. People’s Green Coalition
30. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
31. Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua
32. Persatuan Kemajuan Pelajar-pelajar Tamil Malaysia
33. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
(Prihatin)
34. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan
(Permas)
Her organisation, Empower, has trained 452 female grassroots political
leaders, mostly former election candidates and local councillors, from both
Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat since 2010.
“Even if they can afford to hire maids, the housework is still done by other
women.
“And if their family faces problems, the women leaders are expected to give
up their political career,” said Janarthani, noting that women politicians have
to cope with more cultural barriers compared to male politicians.
35. Pertubuhan Orang Cacat Penglihatan Malaysia
Translating votes to power
41. Women Equity Association
Apart from having more women in positions of power, the ordinary woman
must also be aware of the political power they hold as citizens of the country
to effect political change, said Janarthani.
“As half of the country’s voters, women hold a lot of political power in
their hand. They should be angry if the people in power are not listening to
them and taking care of their needs.
“For example, how much do local councils invest in lighting to make our
neighbourhoods safe? Are women’s views sought in the decision-making
process?” she asked.
As such, Wanita Suara Perubahan has forwarded six demands, including
calling for better equality of life and an end to all forms of violence against
women.
• Turn to page 12
36. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas)
37. Rainbow Gender Society
38. Rumah Anak Teater
39. Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia)
40. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
Political Parties
1. Democratic Action Party (DAP)
2. Parti Islam Semalaysia (Pas)
3. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)
4. Parti Maju Sabah (SAPP)
5. Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM)
6. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
Insight
12
march 23 — 25, 2012
• From page 11
All Women’s Action Society programme
officer Smita Sharma said any woman in Malaysia can adopt the six demands and match
them against the manifesto of any politician
or political party.
“When we say better quality of life it includes better access to healthcare, affordable
housing and an effective public transport
system.
“And violence against women includes
sexual harassment, domestic violence, rape
and any other forms of violence against
women,” she explained.
The 27-year-old admits that the six demands are not perfect but women are welcome to adopt the demands, write to their
lawmakers and ask them to state their stand
on the issues.
Their six demands
Wanita Suara Perubahan has mailed a
copy of the six demands and a pair of white
gloves symbolising clean governments to 576
state lawmakers nationwide on International
Women’s Day.
On March 13, they also visited Parliament
to lobby federal lawmakers on the six demands
as well as invite them to attend Sunday’s rally.
“This is an election year and it’s the best
time to remind your MP and adun (state
lawmaker) the changes you wish to see in this
country,” said Sharma.
Migrants and refugees for a clean government.
FOE INFOGRAPHICS FINAL.pdf
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5:40 PM
What’s next?
Josiah from Women’s Aid Organisation
said the coalition would be evaluating how
political parties and governments match up
to the six demands from now on.
“Whether it’s the state or federal government, it should be clean. We will also be
monitoring the outcome of the PSC (parliamentary select committee) on
electoral reforms,” she said.
In addition, Wanita Suara
Perubahan will monitor the
number of female candidates
fielded by political parties in the
upcoming general election.
Spearheaded mainly by the
women’s groups, the coalition is
also actively looking for partners
to expand its reach to women
from all walks of life.
It is currently funded by public donations, civil society within
the alliance and the Selangor
government.
When asked whether there
would be more rallies leading up
to the elections, Janarthani said
the coalition would employ different strategies to make women
voices heard.
“Marching and showing up in
numbers is just one of the tactics.
Smita Sharma (front) and
other women bikers at
Sunday’s rally.
It’s not the only way to effect political change,”
she added.
Nevertheless, with the rise of election
watchdog Bersih 2.0 last July, followed by the
anti-Lynas groups, and now the emergence of
Wanita Suara Perubahan, Malaysians may see
the rise of more civil society coalitions before
the next general election.
news 13
march 23 — 25, 2012
Field to stay despite
development
By Brenda Ch’ng
SHAH ALAM: Residents of Sungai Way New Village have
been assured that their green lung will not only be left untouched but expanded with upcoming development in the
area. “The field will not disappear. In fact it will be 0.22 acres
wider after development works,” said Kampung Tunku assemblyperson Lau Weng San.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Lau said the
0.22 acres adjacent to the field had been earmarked for a house
of worship but the religious plot had been allocated elsewhere.
Residents who feared that the commercial development on
5.12 acres would jeopardise their field held a protest last Sunday. But Lau pointed out that only 1.89 acres of the entire plot
would be developed,
A further 1.78 acres will remain as recreational land and
the remaining 1.45 acres used to build roads and walkways. Residents who staged the protest however argued that they
weren’t consulted before approval was given for the development.
A public hearing was also not held between residents and
the developer before plans were approved.
They are afraid that development may lead to more traffic
congestion in the area.
However, Lau pointed out that the development plan was
approved by the former state government in 2007.
“Residents should be asking the former Kampung Tunku
assemblyperson for an explanation.”
In addition, the then state government had asked the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to draw up a Build Operate
Transfer Contract.
Under the contract, the developer is to build and hand
over the development to MBPJ after maintaining it for 20
years.
“When we took over, we simply wanted to honour the
contract,” Lau said.
During the protest last Sunday, residents also claimed that
MBPJ sold the land to developers for RM7.5 million.
However, Lau rebutted the claims as MBPJ didn’t sell the
land to any developer.
“The last land evaluation was done in 2007 and it was
valued at RM12.5 million. MBPJ didn’t sell the land for
RM7.5 million.”
Mr Prime Minister, What are you hiding?
M A L AYSIA calls itself a democracy but the
government
remains
complacent and nonchalant about the
aspirations of the people. Never mind their
safety or health…it does not even factor in the
UMNO-led government’s to-do list.
For precisely these reasons, I believe that
the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC)
on Lynas Corp is a waste of time. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself gave
a clear indication of this when he said the PSC
would not decide on the fate of Lynas.
Instead the committee would only serve to
repeat Najib’s propaganda by trying to convince the people that the RM700 million
plant is safe.
Clearly Najib and his administration do
not care about the fate of the uneducated
Chinese community in Bukit Merah, Perak,
which saw eight cases of leukemia over five
years, severe birth defects, lead poisoning,
congenital diseases and infant deaths.
Sometimes, Najib’s government has selective amnesia. It has also forgotten about the
US$100 million clean-up cost of the Asian
Rare Earth factory, said to be the highest in
the industry.
And yet Najib and his cabinet are finding
devious ways to get the factory, which is almost complete, to start operations by the end
of June .
We have been told that Lynas paid
RM500 million as undertaking fee for the
project, raising questions if the government
is only interested in using this money for
its election campaign, given that UMNO
and Barisan Nasional are capable of putting
the craze for power above the health of the
people.
If this is not enough, the flip-flop decisions
made by Najib and Health Minister Datuk
Seri Liow Tiong Lai are worrying.
Now let’s look at a time-line of events:
1. January 2012, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) gives Lynas Corp a
two-year Temporary Operating License
(TOL).
2. Feb 21, 2012 - The Australian government reiterated it would not accept responsibility for any waste material produced by
Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd. An excerpt from
Western Australian Minister for Mines and
Petroleum, Norman Moore, states that “national legislation stipulates that Australia will
not accept responsibility for any waste product from offshore processing of resources
purchased in Australia such as iron ore, mineral sands and the rare earth produced by
Lynas Corporation”.
3. On Feb 27, 2012, Najib said: “ Lynas
Corp’s rare earth plant in Gebeng has been
reviewed by the government and found to be
safe.”
4. On March 1, 2012, Liow told the Sin
Chew Daily that Lynas would have to send
the waste back to Australia even though the
Western Australian government has said it
would not take back the residue from the ore
mined from Mount Weld.
Liow said the government has listened
to the people who want the waste to be
shipped back. He further said now it was
up to Lynas to deal with it.
5. March 1, 2012 - Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) said Australia’s refusal to accept radioactive waste should not
affect Lynas Corp’s efforts to return residue
from its rare earth plant.
AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz
Raja Adnan said - “Western Australia said
it will not accept radioactive waste from
third countries. They never said Lynas residue”…
Raja Abdul Aziz has also downplayed
the cracks in a network of pipes in the plant,
saying they were part of a fire safety system
and are not pipes which would be used in
the refining process.
6. March 2nd, 2012 - Najib said the waste
material from the plant would be placed in
an inhibited place although it would be
scientifically safe as it may haunt the community psychologically.
Najib further added the plant would not
have received an operating license if the
government was not convinced it was safe.
And now here is my list of questions to
the prime minister:
1. What is the real story behind Lynas
Corp? And why are yourself, Liow and
Raja Abdul Aziz scrambling about to
cover each others’ clumsily thought-out
statements?
2. The TOL is subject to Lynas sending the waste back to Western Australia.
if it fails to do so, would the TOL be
revoked ? Can the g overnment and
Health Ministry give this to the people
of Malaysia in writing?
3. And even if that’s the case, how safe
is the process of extracting rare earth from
ore as the crushing of ore releases thorium
and also radon, which could travel thousands of miles depending of the direction
of the wind?
4. Why didn’t Lynas set-up the rare earth
plant near its source of extraction in Western
Australia as it would have saved huge shipping
costs?
5. Why didn’t Lynas obtain an approval
from the Western Australia authorities to start
the plant there?
6. Could the Western Australia authorities be concerned about possible health
hazards?
7. Should this not raise the red flag with
the Malaysian authorities?
8. Is the RM700 million in foreign invest-
ment more important to you and your government than the lives of your citizens?
Clearly there are more questions than answers to the hasty manner in which the government has bulldozed down the setting-up
of Lynas in Kuantan. And therefore my final
question to Najib is this - Mr Prime Minister,
what are you hiding?
Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang
Twitter:@mpklang
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news
14
march 23 — 25, 2012
French court probes
Malaysia’s submarine
purchase
By Alvin Yap
PETALING JAYA: The Scorpene submarine scandal which has dogged the Malaysian
political landscape for almost a decade now is
the target of a judicial inquiry in France.
The French courts last week decided that
new evidence unearthed by public prosecutors
acting for human rights group Suara Rakyat
Malaysia (Suaram) contained sufficient
grounds for an official investigation under the
country’s laws.
“The courts in Paris have decided that there
is sufficient prima facie evidence for an official
inquiry to be opened,” said Suaram executive
director Cynthia Gabriel here on Sunday.
She added that among new evidence in the
possession of the French Public Prosecutor’s
office were records and other commission
payments, travel invoices and vouchers made
during the procurement of three submarines
– two Scorpene and one Agosta class submersibles.
She said the “unprecedented” evidence
would shed light on how much and what
forms of commission payments were made to
intermediaries or government officials here in
Malaysia for the purchase of the submarines.
She explained that initial investigations by
the prosecutor’s office had turned up “other
names”, individuals who had acted as go-betweens and brokers for the deal that was alleged to have cost some E114 million in
kickbacks payments.
The names included officials in France and
also Malaysia.
“We are not at liberty to divulge the names
now; they will have to remain unidentified for
now,” Cynthia said.
The non governmental organisation
(NGO), in December 2009, filed a civil suit
against French submarine maker DCNS –
then DCN - for allegedly paying millions in
kickbacks to a Malaysian company.
The company, Perimekar, is claimed to be
the local intermediary that routed the kickbacks to Malaysian officials.
The RM7.3 billion purchases in 2002, was
inked after France ratified the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention (in 2000) which
makes parties involved in corruption of foreign government officials liable to 10 years
imprisonment and a €150,000 fine. French investigations of alleged kickbacks
in 2008 pointed to DCNS having allegedly
paid the money, through intermediaries, to
unidentified Malaysian officials via Perimekar.
Two judges, Roger Le Loire and Serge
Tournaire, have been tapped to head the inquiry in the Tribunal de Grande Instance, a
high-level court in France that deals with
civil litigation cases.
“On March 16, we heard from our lawyers
that the case has been officially registered with
the French judicial system and will now be
heard before a court,” said Cynthia. She pointed out that Suaram had no other
recourse but to file the case in a French court
Cynthia looking on as Nadia explains that Malaysian officials might be subpoenaed
to testify at the hearing.
due to Malaysia’s repressive Official Secrets
Act which kept the procurement details of the
submarines “top secret”.
The rights group filed the case against
DCNS in December 2009 at the Paris courts,
citing “active and passive corruption, trading
of favours and abuse of corporate assets”.
Cynthia said the Petaling Jaya-based rights
group - as plaintiffs – would have to be present
at the inquiry to give an account and to provide testimony in the case.
She added that Suaram would gain access
to the case files through their French lawyers,
William Bourdon and Joseph Breham.
According to lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri,
the inquiry might also result in defence min-
istry officials being subpoenaed by the French
court to give their testimony in the case.
Fadiah, who is Suaram’s lawyer coordinating the case here, said Defence Minister Datuk
Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi could likely be the
person who might be called by the courts to
provide testimony on the matter.
However, she said Zahid could choose to
ignore the summonses from a foreign court if
he so chose to as the French courts could not
compel him to provide testimony.
The case has cost Suaram some E18,000 in
legal fees, so far, since they hired the lawyers
last October to pursue the suit.
It also cost the NGO some E1,000 to file
the hearing in the French courts.
Radiation still high at closed rare earth refinery?
By Basil Foo
IPOH: Save Malaysia, Stop
Lyna s ( S M S L ) a c ti vi sts
claimed high doses of radiation
were found at the former Bukit
Merah rare earth refinery site
last Saturday.
“The radiation emission
here is 2.0 millisievert (mSv)
per year. If we hang around
here long enough, our health
will be affected,” said SMSL
chairperson Tan Bun Teet.
They took radiation readings using a Japanese-made
Environmental Radiation
Monitor at the entrance to the
former refinery site, which was
ringed by concrete walls and The SMSL group outside the former Bukit Merah rare earth refinery site.
metal gates.
According to the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984
The Kuantan-based SMSL made a cross-country factRadiation Protection (Basic Safety Standards Regulations finding mission to Bukit Merah last Saturday.
1988), the annual dose limit for a member of the public is 1
They met with like-minded local group Anti Lynas Rare
mSv.
Earth Refinery Assistance Committee.
Tan said the dangers of radiation were well-known – from
SMSL activist and chemical engineer Au Yon Wei Kiat,
the testimonies of former workers at the Bukit Merah refin- who acquired the radiation monitor, remarked how radiation
ery whose children developed deformities.
levels remained above normal even after many years.
“We are worried that what had happened here would
“Even after 20 years, the readings are still higher than
happen in Kuantan.”
normal. Prolonged exposure, through inhalation, will cause
tumour growth,” he said.
However, he added that it would take
an exposure over the long term, more
than just one or two years, for one’s health
to be harmed.
SMSL vice-chairperson Ismail Abu
Bakar, who was also at the site visit, said
they remained sceptical over assurances
made over the plant in Kuantan.
“They said Lynas is not as bad as Bukit
Merah but we are not confident,” he said.
He explained that over 200,000 residents, the fishing and agriculture industries in Kuantan would be affected should
an environmental disaster occur.
The group also took readings at a
purported illegal dumpsite for radioactive waste that was used by the refinery
decades ago.
The highest levels of radiation recorded at the dumpsite, only 50m down
the road from the refinery site, was 1.7 mSv per year.
“Since some parties claimed the waste and soil is safe now
and can be used for gardening, we will dig up some soil here
and send it to them,” Tan said.
The group also visited the Long Term Storage Facility
Decommissioning and Disposal Project which lies about 10
minutes into the jungle from Bukit Merah, at Kledang Hill.
A radiation reading of 2.7 mSv per year was recorded at
the entrance of the project.
technology 15
march 23 — 25, 2012
Three tablets,
smartphone
greet consumers
By Edwin Yapp
Samsung Galaxy 7.7
Samsung has been one of the most innovative
tablet makers in the market. Featuring at least three
sizes of tablets for various segments, the latest to join
the fray is the Galaxy Tab 7.7. What makes this one
stand out from the previous models is that it’s the
first tablet that incorporates Samsung’s Super
AMOLED Plus display technology, delivering more
brilliant colours. Super AMOLED Plus has the best colour gamut,
contrast ratio, sharpness and response time that
makes viewing text clearer and sharper. Powered by
a powerful 1.4GHz Dual Core Processor, the GALAXY Tab 7.7 allows multitasking, faster webpage
loading, smoother user interface transitions and ultra-fast power-up.
It sports Google’s Android Honeycomb platform, and has been refined
to offer the better user experience on
a wider range of tablet devices.
What’s more is that media files can
be loaded directly from the MicroSD card.
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 also
works as a mobile phone, and
its call function has been
upgraded to let you make
and receive voice calls
privately by using Receiver Mode in public
places. You no longer
need a headset or
Bluetooth for voice
calls. Weighing in
at 340g and measu r i n g
only 7.89mm
thick, it is one
of the slickest
tablets there
are in the
market.
Samsung
tors and displays, as well as an optional ThinkPad
quality Keyboard Folio Case with optical TrackPoint. The tablet includes anti-theft software and the
ability to disable the tablet if the device is lost or
stolen with Computrace. Asus Transformer Prime
The second generation tablet from the Taiwanese computing giant has been the talk of the industry since it was launched. Now available in
Malaysia, the Prime is the world’s first tablet that
is powered by NVIDIA’s quad-core processor, the
Tegra3 and the first tablet running Google’s latest
Android 4.0 operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Weighing in only at only 586 grams and measuring
a mere 8.3mm
thick, the all aluminium
encased Prime sports a
super IPS screen 178°
viewing angle display and
comes equipped with
scratch-resistant Corning
Gorilla Glass. It has an 8MP
rear auto-focus camera with
LED flash, 32GB of memory
and an 18-hour rated battery
life when connected to the
keyboard dock. The Prime’s suggested retail price IS RM2,199.
Nokia Lumia 800 & Lumia
710
The latest smartphone to be introduced in town is Nokia’s first
batch of Windows Mobile-based
software, the Lumia 800 and its
younger sibling, the Lumia 710. Last
year, during the Consumer Electronic
Show in Las Vegas, the Finnish mobile
phone giant decided against developing
their own operating software for its range
of smartphones and has instead turned to
the world’s largest software company to supply Windows mobile to all of Nokia’s smart-
Galaxy 7.7
ThinkPad Tablet
New from the Chinese PC maker, the ThinkPad
tablet offers a 10.1” WXGA (1280x800) display
weighing 0.75 kg. It also comes with an IPS display
for a 178-degree viewing angle and scratch-resistant
Corning Gorilla Glass. What sets this apart from
other tablets, Lenovo says, is that this is a businessclass device that has been designed to keep professionals connected, productive and entertained while
they’re away from the office and their home.
Users are able to view and edit Microsoft Office
documents with the preloaded full version of the
Documents to Go app. With WiFi connectivity,
2GB of free cloud storage, a standard size USB
port and SD Card Reader, the ThinkPad Tablet
also offers an unique file copy utility, as well as the
sharing of media files and documents with other
people. Presentations can be extended to an external
monitor via the built-in mini-HDMI port. Users
can keep in touch with friends and business contacts
using Lenovo’s exclusive SocialTouch app, which
puts social networks, email, and calendar notices all
in one easy-to-use interface.
The ThinkPad Tablet includes an optional digitizer pen, a full-size USB port, full-size SD card slot,
and mini-HDMI for connecting to external projec-
Nokia Lumia 800
ThinkPad Tablet
phones going forward. With the Lumia now
available, there now exists a third operating
software to chose from, besides Google’s Android
and Apple’s iOS.
The Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 were launched
in the last quarter of 2011 in 15 markets and as
of February 2012, they’re available here in Malaysia. Both the Lumia 800 and 710 are similar
in specs, with slight differences. They both sport
a 3.7-inch AMOLED display (800x480),
1.4GHz processor and 512MB of memory. The
Lumia 800 has a higher resolution camera at 8MP
as opposed to 5MP for the Lumia 710. The
other main difference in the Lumia 800 is that its
display is a curved glass integrated to the body of
the phone. The Lumia 710 however has interchangeable covers that may be popular with the
younger generation. There are also a variety of
Nokia accessories that you can chose from. For
more go to www.nokia.com/lumia. The Lumia
800 retails for RM1,650 and the Lumia 710 for
RM999.
Nokia Lumia 800
food
16
march 23 — 25, 2012
The sun
also rises on
roast duck
Non-vegetarians always have a field
day in Petaling Jaya. LIN ZHENYUAN
finds out to his delight that there are
some excellent roast ducks right up
his street in SEA Park.
Getting up
close and impersonal with
the roast duck.
This employee is quite deft with her cleaver.
I
t would be nice if not so many peoThe vegetables mixed with
ple like roast duck. My reasoning is
oyster sauce is tasty and
slightly crunchy.
simple but selfish. Some years ago, a
roast duck in its entirety, meaning from
beak to webbed feet, cost an affordable establishments do not clash,
RM42.
roast duck connoisseurs
However, now that we are into the currently live in culinary
third month of the Year of the Water heaven.
Dragon, there is at least one restaurant
Some members of my family
in Petaling Jaya that has kept up with the actually prefer Loong Foong’s roast
times and it has now priced its roast duck. They claim that whenever we
duck at RM52 each.
bring home a whole roast duck from this
That eatery is Restoran Sunrise and restaurant, the entire house is filled with
hardly a day goes by when it is not filled its fragrance.
to its rafters with customers, especially
However, Sunrise’s roast duck is not
from noon to about 2.30pm.
without its admirers and fans. My
There are no customers on
verdict on Sunrise restaurant
Monday because it is
is that its duck is best
closed. It is interesting
eaten at the venue.
to note that there’s
The skin is crispy
a sign that says its
and the duck meat
business hours are
is gentle on the
The golden ducks that attract people to brave the hot
from “11.30am
teeth. Even the
sun and heavy traffic.
to ‘sold-out’ ”.
soup that comes
That c o u l d
with the rice is par
only mean that if
excellence.
the restaurant is
Whoever heard of a
bursting at its seams,
free bowl of soup that
then probably by 2pm,
tastes simply marvellous.
the establishment will be
It can now be revealed
out of ducks. And there are
that the soup at Sunrise
This big bowl of oily inno chickens because that’s gredients gives the meal restaurant is superb, and
not its specialty.
I say this without fear or
an extra oomph.
As far as I am concerned,
favour.
there are only two problems with
The quality of the soup is no doubt
Restoran Sunrise. One, parking is a huge enhanced by the substantial amount of
problem during lunchtime. Second, tomatoes and some not-so-secret
there’s keen competition among ingredients.
customers for tables.
I believe the “sweetness” of the soup
When I was there with my lunch could be in part due to the long hours
partner, we were seated at a table meant on the boil. Normally, customers also
The bowls of tasty soup and the oyster sauced veggies.
for four. Within five minutes, a waitress order a plate of vegetables.
came along to ask for
When I asked the waitress if there
our permission to allow was a choice of vegetables, she said no.
two office girls to share They have only one type, so one can take
our space.
it or leave it. I ordered that.
Na t ur a l l y, w e
According to some people who are
understand the cravings long-time residents of SEA Park,
of a roast duck fanatic, Restoran Sunrise has been around for
and in that instance, about 30 years.
two “duck devotees”.
So the management is quite confident
For some years now, of its longevity regardless of the
there has been a silent economic outlook on the domestic or
rivalry between Sunrise international fronts.
restaurant and Loong
As a seasoned roast duck connoisseur,
F o o n g r e s t a u r a n t my only gripe with this restaurant is that
further down the road. the duck is not surgically spliced up.
Fortunately for the That means you have to watch out for
sa ke of residentia l bone splinters and not have one tiny
stability and business bone lodged in your gums.
harmony, Loong Foong
Some restaurants which sell roast
operates from 4.30pm duck have their experts ser ving
to 9pm . Since the customers only the fragrant flesh and
business hours of both some negligible tiny bones.
Lunchtime customers having a great time at Sunrise restaurant.
Perhaps it is
because the volume of human traffic is
barely manageable every day, that’s why
the two women serving the roast duck
are moving at lightning speed to keep
up with customers’ orders.
My servings that lunchtime consisted
of two plates of rice with roast duck.
Unlike other customers who ordered
either a quarter duck of half duck, ours
were just duck pieces covering the rice.
The price for an ordinary plate of
duck rice is RM8. If you want additional
meat, the price goes up to RM11. The
prices for a plate of vegetables with
oyster sauce are RM6, RM8 and RM12
(small, medium and large).
Sunrise restaurant is quite precise in
its pricing for different parts of a roast
duck. A whole duck is RM52. Threequarters top part of duck is RM39.
Three-quarters bottom duck is
RM41.50.
Don’t ask me why the bottom part
costs more. Perhaps the Bishop’s Nose
has something to do with it. Half duck
costs RM26.50. Quarter top is RM14.50
and quarter bottom is RM15.
The two young women who shared
our table ordered half a duck, making
the two of us look like we had an
appetite of children.
It has since come to pass that members
of my family are divided in their opinions
about the quality of Sunrise roast duck
and Loong Foong roast duck.
When I left the Sunrise restaurant, I
had ordered a whole duck for our family
dinner that evening. So we actually had
a little debate about the goodness of roast
ducks that came from that part of PJ.
In the end, we all agreed to disagree.
Loong Foong’s duck has its merits and
its sauce is splendid. Sunrise’s duck skin
is almost non-pareil and the quality of
its meat is extraordinary.
Nonetheless, it is now common
knowledge that roast duck is no longer
a cheap item on the menu. But come
Christmas, we go duck hunting again.
The price of a roast turkey has already
surpassed RM200, so now roast duck
rules the roost on any given festive
season.
travel 17
march 23 — 25, 2012
A KTM worker at Tanjung Malim getting
ready to wave the green flag.
Senandung Malam, Ekspres
Sinaran Pagi, Ekspres
Rakyat and Ekonomic Siang
are some names you may
be familiar with if you are
a regular train commuter.
LIN ZHENYUAN boards
the ETS and returns with
some pleasant memories.
A
long time ago, but still within living
memory, going anywhere by train
meant dozing off intermittently
because of the awfully long rail journey.
That was during the time when a journey
from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh involved the
travelling along the trunk road through Rawang, Serendah, Tanjung Malim, Slim River,
Kuala Kangsar, Sungai Siput, Taiping, Bukit
Tambun, Butterworth and finally Penang.
That was also a time before the appearance
of the North-South Expressway and the only
way to get to Penang island was aboard the
ferry from Butterworth and disembarking at
Weld Quay on the island.
Those were the days when travelling by car
could sometimes mean watching out for stray
cows and buffalos, and occasionally goats.
If you are returning to KL from Penang in
the evening, it would involve booking a sleeping berth and hoping that the person occupying the lower or upper berth wasn’t a chronic
snorer or having an insufferable body odour.
Those of us who have the nostalgic privilege
of travelling on the Sinaran Petang would
know that the lethargy of the journey would
only be alleviated by a couple of hours of
wandering in dreamland on the slightly lumpy
mattress.
Those were the interesting old times. These
days the ETS or the Electric Train Service has
irrevocably changed the face and fate of KTM.
The only pleasant memory I have retained
about the old Malayan Railway is the buffet
lounge when there were Hailam cooks,
freshly fried delicious beehoon and the smell
of strong local coffee.
One had to hold on to the porcelain cup
and saucer at times because at certain stretches of the long rail track, there could be unexpected bumps.
On Aug 12, 2010, the ETS began and almost immediately gave the express bus plying
the KL-Ipoh route a run for its money. Since
KL to Ipoh in two
hours or less
Passengers having a cosy time in the air-conditioned coach.
I am always game for a little benign adventure grumpy ticket conductors who were part of actually see how fast the train is moving. It has
I tried the ETS recently.
the Malayan Railway landscape about four been noted that it has reached a top speed of
After all, it has been a long time since I made decades ago.
150 kph.
the KL-Ipoh
Since May
Of course at certain stages during the KLjourney by
last year, three Ipoh route, it will reduce speed for safety
train. When
ETS classes purposes because of the terrain. Overall, travit first starthave been in- elling on the ETS is actually rather pleasant.
ed, the ETS
troduced :
I am most happy to report that it has surpromotion
P l a t i n u m , passed all expectations, at least on my part,
price from
Gold and Sil- regarding its performance. The electric train
Ipoh to KL
ver. Platinum journey provides opportunities to read, snooze
was RM30.
costs RM45 and leisurely gazing at the changing landscapes
The jourone way and of various towns, kampungs and suburbs along
ney took
breakfast is the rail route.
about two
provided. The
When the train finally arrived in Ipoh, I
hours. I aljourney takes deliberately stole a look at the big clock on the
m o s t A touch of the grand old days at a restaurant in the
1hr 58 mins platform. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the
couldn’t be- stately Ipoh railway station.
b e c a u s e clock indicated that the train was right on time
lieve that it
it makes only – two hours 15 minutes.
took such a short time from station to station. one stop, KL main railway station, before arThat was certainly a first for me and perhaps
Back in the bygone era, taking an express riving at destinations on either ends -- Ipoh or for even Malayan Railway, KTM or ETS as the
bus meant making a trip to Puduraya in down- KL.
case may be. That was in total contrast to the
town KL. It was messy, tiresome and exasperGold class is RM35 one way and the jour- old days when trains were almost never on
ating when traffic conditions were very much ney takes two hours 15 minutes. It has six stops time.
less than pleasant.
between KL Sentral and Ipoh. Silver class
In the old days, by the time we disembarked
The ETS, as it is right now, makes stops at ticket costs RM25 one way because it has 12 we were more tired than when we first started
Kepong Sentral, Sungai Buloh, Rawang, stops. The trip takes two hours 30 minutes.
the journey. Now with the speed and comfort
Kuala Kubu Baru, Tanjung Malim, Behrang,
As for the departure times, the ETS website on board the ETS, it is almost like a walk in
Slim River, Sungkai, Tapah, Kampar and Batu has complete schedule.
the park.
Gajah before finally arriving in Ipoh.
I wouldn’t have made that fateful trip to
For an occasional train passenger like me, Ipoh if not for my adventurous family memit was most delightful to discover that the seats bers who were tired of experiencing my erratic
are now much wider and more comfortable. driving and occasional yawning which they
Even the passageway seems much cleaner and found alarming.
more spacious.
Anyway, there are TV shows on the ETS,
The automatic doors of the restrooms and if you like cartoon shows, you are in luck.
turned out to be a bonus. Naturally, I was most However, depending on which class of ETS
curious about the dining section or what some you are in, there is time for only one full length
of us called Food Lounge. The menu is limited movie.
but the popular snacks are readily available.
Don’t expect multipole choices of movies
ETS workers wore uniforms and most of like those on board international flights. Even
them were young people. Their manners were the food on board ETS is sold out pretty fast,
almost impeccable.
especially when there are many children on Passengers getting ready to board the
various trains at KL Sentral.
I almost missed the gruffy and slightly board.
I had the ill luck of competing with a kid
So if you want to have a bowl of Ipoh curry
for a seat near the window in the food lounge mee, Ipoh white coffee and maybe even the
because the little one wanted to stare out of genuine Ipoh chicken rice with beansprouts,
the window. Well, so did I and I was having a you can board the ETS first thing in the mornbig cup of Milo. The kid was only fooling ing and be in Ipoh two hours later.
around. His mother wisely took him away.
You have plenty of time to roam the city,
Since I am a stickler for rules, schedules and sight-seeing, visit some relatives, maybe even
all matters involving time, I look at my watch have a couple more meals than usual and take
whenever the train slows to a stop at one of the the evening ETS train back to KL. Everything
designated stations. Most of the time, the stops accomplished in a single day.
do not take more than 30 to 40 seconds.
It is fairly affordable and great fun. OrganThe speed of the electric train is displayed ise a party of four to five friends and you can
Single-storey houses are seen along the tracks as the train approaches a town.
on the TV screen in all coaches. So you can have a city-to-city outing without any hassle.
Media
18
March 23 — 25, 2012
Thematic shops and
exclusive brands at
Tangs @ 1 Utama
Wonder
and
beauty
at dance
series
PETALING JAYA: Interwoven themes of prayer, love and
dance have always been expressed through Indian classical
dance forms.
In its first programme for
2012, PJ Live Arts resident
company Sutra Dance Theatre
will give an enlightening interpretation to the age-old themes.
The internationally-acclaimed local dance company
will present “Pray Love Dance”
– a series of Bharata Natyam and
Odissi dance forms from March
22 to 25.
Choreographed by Ramli
Ibrahim and Guna, the dance
series will showcase seasoned
and new Sutra talents at 8pm
nightly.
Having been under the artistic direction of Ramli for almost
30 years, the wonder, spirituality
and beauty of dance will be presented in a refreshing new light.
The dance company has also
bagged various awards like Best
Foreign Odissi Institution at the
International Odissi Festival
2011 in India.
Ramli also received the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi
Award in Odissi.
Admission is RM40 per person and tickets may be purchased by calling 017-2289849
or at the PJ Live Arts box office
in Jaya One between noon and
7pm daily.
To purchase the tickets online, visit www.tix.my.
As part of its efforts to promote the appreciation of Indian
classical dance, neighbourhood
performing arts centre PJ Live
Arts will hold a pre-show talk for
ticket holders.
Ramli will be sharing the origins and symbolisms of these
colourful and ancient dance
forms.
The talk will be held at 7pm
in the studio and admission is
free.
Shoppers at the opening of Tangs on Thursday.
UK experience for
MBA students
PETALING JAYA: Exposure to various
global cultures and its working customs will go a
long way if one is attempting to carve out a career
in business.
However, making lengthy trips overseas can
cause a drain on one’s finances and the right connections may not be easily found.
That is why the KBU International College’s
Master of Business Administration (MBA) course
is offering participants a chance to spend a week
in Europe at no extra cost.
Students will be exposed to the business environment, culture, economy and technology of a
foreign country while gaining an insight by visiting companies.
They will also gain experience working with
students from various countries and benefit from
talks by industry specialists, learning lectures,
cultural events and tours.
Two KBU students, Lim Hui Xin and Nathan
Tan, were recently sent to Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus last month.
They joined students from the Netherlands,
France, India and Thailand for a week packed
with talks by business owners and seminars on
entrepreneurship and leadership.
The two MBA students also visited ARM plc,
Abcam plc, and Cambridge University.
Lim praised the event and said it had benefited her tremendously.
During the course of her trip to the UK, she
By Basil Foo
PETALING JAYA: Promising an
evolution of the Malaysian retail
scene, lifestyle store Tangs opened its
doors at premier shopping destination1 Utama on Thursday.
“We are presenting a shop-in-shop
concept where each store has its own
theme,” said Tangs Department Store
(Trading) Sdn Bhd chief executive
officer James Loke.
A mixture of vintage and modern
designs spanning 41,000 square feet
over two floors will have shoppers
spoilt for choice on the number of
exclusive brands offered.
International apparel stores like
Superdry, German-based Gin Tonic,
Greyhound from Bangkok and Nixon
from the United States are some of the
brands which are only available here.
“Getting these big names sets us
apart from the rest. The country’s
shopping scene is changing, but
whether Malaysians are ready for it we
shall soon see,” Loke added.
Other premier brands are offered
by men’s shoes store Bruno Cascinelli,
women’s shoes and handbags store
Sacha London, Nike 6.0 and Balenciaga fragrances.
A more relaxing experience is also
available for shoppers at the Decleor
spa where guests can indulge in aesthetic treatments.
Personalised service is also offered
for women shoppers looking for intimate wear in the Wacoal store, where
specialists are on hand to provide advice on fittings.
For its opening weekend, Tangs
will hold in-store promotional activities like American Tourister Duffel
Bag giveaways to five customers daily.
Juice Box LOMO camera giveaways and discounts at Island Shop,
gordonMax, Thierry Mugler, Martina
Pink, Mitch & Marc, and John Langford also await shoppers.
To receive a 5 percent instant rebate when shopping at Tangs, shoppers can opt to get hold of the Tangs
Fashion Lifestyle Card, with members
enjoying privileges like exclusive invites to sales previews, fashion shows,
workshops, events, birthday treats,
parking rebates and more.
(From left) Tan, Lim, Marshall of Cambridge Aerospace Limited chief operating officer
Grahame Nix, Cambridge Entrepreneurship and Innovation lecturer Robert Jones and Lord
Ashcroft International Business School principal lecturer John Rayment.
met with Dutch and French students who she
noted were more expressive and offered their
opinions freely.
Tan said he managed to bond with friends
from diverse cultural backgrounds and that had
boosted his self-confidence.
He was also excited to share his experiences by
presenting a slide show to his course mates back
home.
KBU’s MBA, which is conducted in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University in the UK,
is designed for young executives and senior managers.
The academic calendar for KBU’s MBA con-
sists of two semesters a year, from January to April
and September to December.
Each semester is spread over 14 weeks which
gives students some space to balance their professional, personal, and university life.
The programme is based purely on coursework
assignments.
Tuition fee payment, which is payable by semester, can be facilitated through RHB Bank
which provides a 0% interest instalment plan with
the RHB credit card.
For details, call KBU International College,
Bandar Utama at 03-77273200, email [email protected]
kbu.edu.my, or visit kbu.edu.my.
Follow The Yellow
Brick Road!
By Dominic Luk
“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high.
There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby.”
We all know this song, since it’s probably
another household tune that almost everyone can
sing to (if you don’t know the words, you at least
know the tune). Dorothy Gale from Kansas sings
this song at the start of the famous movie, The
Wizard of Oz, which has probably become one
of the most magical musical movies ever made.
Everyone knows of how the young Dorothy Gale
ends up meeting magical creatures like munchkins
and witches and monkeys (oh my!). I remember
watching the movie as a young kid and knew all
the songs by heart.
I especially can recall getting frightened when
the green wicked witch appeared to Dorothy and
demanded for the red ruby slippers.
Still, magical tales like The Wizard of Oz bring
warmth to our hearts, because these timeless
stories challenge our imagination and bring us to
places that only our minds dare to bring us.
The most amazing part of this is that PAN
Productions will be taking us on that journey from
April 28 to May 6 at the Kuala Lumpur Performing
Arts Center.
PAN Productions has previously successfully
produced musicals like ‘Cabaret’ and ‘Always In
Wonderland?’.
A stellar cast has been put together to shine
light on the yellow brick
culture 19
march 23 — 25, 2012
CALENDAR
Pray Love Dance Dont miss Sutra’s talents as they
string various repertoire of Bharata
Natyam and Odissi, unfolding the
wonder, spirituality and beauty
of dance in an entertaining and
enthralling presentation.
Theatre @ PJ Live Arts
22-25 Mar | 8.30pm | RM40
Box Office:
Phone 017-2BUY-TIX | 017 2289
849
Online w w w . t i x . m y Pre-Show Talk @ CABARET
Curious about Indian classical
dance? Join us daily at 7pm for
an introduction to the origins and
symbolisms of this ancient and
colourful dance form. FREE admission to all ticket-holders!
Yellow Malaysians
Arts: Mar 24-25; The Annexe Gallery, Central Market, KL; Free.
Green Malaysians have assembled. Rainbow Malaysians tried to
assemble. And Purple Malaysians are assembling. Where would
Malaysia be if colours stayed in the closet? Come celebrate all the
different ways colours can assemble at The Annexe Gallery’s popular
art bazaar cum fringe fest.
Check out our 50 colourful arty crafty booths, including those of
Jerome Kugan, Carolyn Joan Lau, Buku Fixi, Bibichun, They, Nizam
Abdullah, Distrobuku, I Heart Badges, and also many Art For Grabs
virgins.
The free booths sponsored by Annexe Gallery for our favourite
causes include Gerai Orang Asli, Pawsome animal shelter, Raleigh
International, Ecopalooza, Tanma Federation (of Burmese refugee
women groups) plus the Gentle Birthing Group up in the loft with an
alternative delivery method and philosophy for moms!
a s s h o w s b y PA N
Productions usually get
sold out very quickly.
And trust me, this is a
musical worth watching
with your family and
friends.
Tickets will be available
from the KLPAC website
(www.klpac.org).
Be sure to catch this
musical and watch the
magic unfold as you
journey on the yellow
brick road to the merry
old land of Oz!
Collecting Malaysian Art
road, with performers Stephanie van Driesen
(as Dorothy), Radhi Khalid (playing the Tin Man),
Zalina Lee (the Cowardly Lion), Peter Ong (the
Scarecrow), Suhaili Micheline (Glinda the Good
Witch), Tria Aziz (the Wicked Witch of the West),
and Mano Maniam as the Wizard. And in case you
were wondering, Toto will be played by a real dog!
This stage version of the musical will be
directed by Nell Ng, with musical direction by
Eric Hah.
Tickets will be on sale from 24 March onwards,
and it’s always best to get your tickets early
Caipifruta Revelations
Music: Mar 27-28 (8.30pm); The
Actors Studio @ Lot 10 Roof Top,
KL; 03-2142 2009; theactorsstudio.
com.my; RM35.
Caipifruta’s first major project was
in July 2010 where they made their
international debut at the World
Choir Games in Shaoxing, China,
competing in the Jazz and Pop
Open categories. Together with
virtuoso pianist Tay Cher Siang, they
returned triumphant with a Gold V
diploma in the Jazz category and a
Gold II diploma in the Pop category. They also released their debut EP,
‘Introducing Caipifruta!’ that same
month.
Art: Mar 24 (4-6pm); White Box, [email protected];
www.hbart.com.my; 017-4333298 (Sylvie); Free (limited seats).
Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers is back with its second installment of
Public Art Programmes in 2012! The second of its series ‘Collecting
Malaysian Art: Three Sides of A Story’ will feature Jalaini Abu Hassan
(Artist), Mohammed Nazli Abdul Aziz (Founder & MD of Galeri Chandan)
and Bingley Sim (Private Collector). It will be moderated by art writer
Rachel Jenagaratnam. Admission is free but seats are limited.
Freshwater Secrets
Photography: Mar 21-April 3 (weekdays
only);
Centre of Design & Architecture, Taylor’s
University, Subang Jaya; www.roggo.ch;
Free.
In this exhibition, the award winning
photographer Michel Roggo presents 32
prints of selected work of his collection.
As he says, “Water is Life”. His intention is
to strengthen the willingness to save the
environment, leveraging on the power of
expression and the tremendous beauty
and uniqueness of the various biospheres
in freshwater. Apart from the underwater
landscapes, there are also several
pictures featuring underwater life forms
existing in freshwater including fishes and plants in the Amazon, in
Britisih Columbia as well as in the rivers of Quebec.
He also presents three freshwater locations of the Swiss Alps with
outstanding natural beauty: a small spring creek in Gruyère, the
mountain torrent Verzasca and the Sense river. Gallery
20
march 23 — 25, 2012
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris
Shah visiting the new Sime
Darby Medical Centre Ara
Damansara with Sime Darby
Healthcare chairman Tan
Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid
Mohd Noordin and Selangor
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid
Ibrahim (second row, left).
Also present at the event
were Sime Darby president
and group chief executive
Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh
and Selangor state executive
councillor for health Dr Xavier
Jayakumar.
Hulu Kelang assemblyperson Saari Sungib (right) helping a senior citizen
pick ikan bilis during a Jom Shopping programme at the Batu Caves Giant
hypermarket last Saturday. It was the fifth round of the programme for the Hulu
Kelang assemblyperson ‘s office.
Youth and Sports Exco Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (sitting, centre) showing the iPad2 and
Samsung Galaxy S2 handphones which can be won in this weekend’s Karnival Terima
Kasih Rakyat. This carnival is being organised by the state government in conjunction
with the fourth anniversary of Pakatan Rakyat’s rule in Selangor. He is flanked by Awie
(left) and Fareez Undertaker (right) along with other members of Alternative Riding
Club (ARC) which will be performing at the event.
Executive councillors Ronnie Liu and Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (both in formal attire) promoting Selangor
PR administration’s upcoming fourth anniversary celebration carnival on Sunday at Stadium Kuala
Selangor, at the state assembly on March 20.
Bukit Lanjan assemblyperson Elizabeth Wong briefing hawkers
at Medan Selera Sri Damansara on the alternative location
for them, which had been proposed by the Petaling Jaya City
Council (MBPJ), on March 16.

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