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p 10 –11 - Selangor Times
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traders urged p 2
over PPSMI
10 –11
Make a trip
to the toy
Group for Parent
Malacca Action
in Education
March 2 — 4, 2012/ issue 63
A family of eight, from
K a m p u n g Te n g a h ,
Puchong, lost their only
means of making a living
when RM25,000 worth
of traditional cakemaking equipment was
destroyed during a fire
last Saturday. However
1 4 - y e a r- o l d N o o r
Azzieyati Azmin (left),
her aunts Amaliah
Kayoon, 44, (centre)
and Siti Norhizayah
Kayoon, 29, who are
holding Noor Azzieyati’s
younger siblings, had
a reason to smile on
Thursday. Kinrara state
assemblyperson Teresa
Kok donated RM5,000
to help the family rebuild
their kitchen and restart
their business. The family
also received RM200
from Subang councillor
Azizan Jamaluddin and
will also get a new flour
grinder from Petaling
assistant district officer
Idzahar Rasidi..
‘Drought’ over but
residents still angry
By Alvin Yap
AMPANG JAYA: The agony of
enduring 12 days of dry taps is over
for residents of a walk-up apartment at Pandan Utama 2, but they
remain bitter with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas).
"Water is something basic. The
supply should not have been disconnected over money and
cheques," said Mohd Azam Meor,
55, a resident of the five-storey
apartment in Jalan Cempaka 1.
He was among 70 residents
whose supply was disconnected on
Feb 14 when it was discovered that
the developer had been stealing
water from a Syabas main and piping it to the two-year-old apartment.
Supply was turned on again on
Feb 25 after the developer forwarded a letter of undertaking
dated Feb 20, promising to furnish
Mohd Azam
says that water
have been
over money
disputes while
(seated) says he
is relieved.
a bank guarantee of RM1.9 million to Syabas by Feb 27.
The amount was to ensure the
developer completed building infrastructure needed to supply water to the apartment within a year.
While relieved to have water,
residents remain sore with Syabas
for cutting supply in the first place
as the action had affected children
and senior citizens.
“What if the developer couldn’t
promise the bank guarantee? Would we still
be without water?”
asked the father of three.
Syabas officials, during a meeting with residents on Feb 20, said
they had to stop water theft from
Initially, Syabas demanded the
developer settle a RM185,000 bill
for stealing water.
The company later issued a
post-dated cheque for RM40,000
and also hammered out a deal to
pay the arrears in four instalments.
But in an about-turn on Feb 23,
Syabas slapped the developer with
an additional demand for the
RM1.9 million bank guarantee
before water was reconnected.
Resident Iskandar Abu Hatan,
44, is relieved that the matter is finally resolved. “Imagine, for 12
days we had to carry heavy pails of
water every two to three hours to
flush our toilets, wash our dishes
and bathe,” he said.
The office administrator pointed out the matter was resolved due
to the assistance of Cempaka assemblyperson Iskandar Samad,
who had called for meetings between the developer, residents and
March 2 — 4, 2012
MB: KJ’s
a step back
for Bumis
SHAH ALAM: Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who was among the
founders of Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB), is questioning the appointment of Khairy Jamaluddin as the head of the
“The appointment clearly shows that political affiliation, not
capability and experience, makes the cut for top positions in government-linked corporations,” said the menteri besar.
Khalid pointed out that the Unmo Youth chief and Rembau
member of Parliament had not shown the “capability nor experience in running a successful corporate body”.
The Oxford graduate was appointed to replace Tan Sri Mohd
Abu Bakar Mohd Noor, who was the president of Malaysia Airlines
from 2002 to 2010, and Oriental Bank Bhd from 1997 to 1999.
Khalid said Khairy’s appointment smacked of “conflict of interest”.
He noted that PUNB’s Board of Directors has always been made
up of corporate professionals who have no conflict of interest in
either being part of a political party or politically-affiliated groups.
“(This) does not augur well for the future of the Bumiputera
community and Malaysia. In building the nation, our leaders have
to look beyond political affiliation.”
PUNB was set up in 1991 under Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputra
to nurture Bumiputera entrepreneurs from small and medium enterprises.
Traders warned
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Selangor WEATHER
Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) President Datuk Mohamad Yacob (front, in red tie) posing with
councillors on the last day of their appointment on Feb 29.
AMPANG JAYA: Traders using "runners" to renew
their business licences with the local council only have
themselves to blame for late renewal fines. “Stop using middlemen to renew business licences as
it can result in business owners getting their renewals
late,” said Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) president Datuk Mohammad Yacob on Wednesday.
He said MPAJ has sufficient counters and there was no
reason for traders to turn to runners.
"In addition, renewals can also be done online. We set
up the system last year but the response has been poor,”
he said after MPAJ's full board meeting.
Less than 10%, or 2,000 licence renewals, have been
done online out of the 9,000 registered businesses in Ampang Jaya since Dec 31 last year.
Some 3,000 traders missed the deadline and were fined
RM200 when they renewed their licences on or after Jan 1.
Mohammad Yacob said traders who renewed their
licences after yesterday (March 1) would be fined
Contractors given three
months to prove themselves
Source: Malaysian meteorological department
By Alvin Yap
phone (603) 5510 4566
fax (603) 5523 1188
email [email protected]
KL Chan
Neville Spykerman
C Gunasegaran
Tang Hui Koon, Chong Loo Wah, Gan Pei Ling,
Basil Foo, Alvin Yap, Gho Chee Yuan, Brenda Ch’ng
Jimmy C. S. Lim, Chin Man Yen
Timothy Loh, Samantha Sim, Ivan Looi, Tony Kee,
Faekah Husin, Arfa’eza Abdul Aziz
AMPANG JAYA: Newly-appointed cleaning and garbage contractors have 90 days to prove their
worth or face dismissal by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council
“We’re serious with the new operators. If they do not perform in
three months' time, we will terminate
their contracts,” said MPAJ president
Datuk Mohammad Yacob after a
council meeting on Wednesday.
The 47 public cleaning operators
along with 36 solid waste contractors
started work on March 1.
Mohammad Yacob said the coun-
cil had retained only five contractors
from the previous year.
Nonetheless, MPAJ’s Environmental Health Department will
monitor the performances of the
contractors while the Public Complaints Unit will look into complaints from residents.
“We want the contractors to take
action to solve problems within two
hours of us forwarding the complaints to them,” he said.
Mohammad Yacob pointed out
that two hours was sufficient for the
operators to get to the area and rectify the problems.
However, MPAJ’s in-house backup teams will be sent to the affected
areas if contractors are slow to act.
“If this happens, we will dock
RM500 each from the contractors'
monthly claims,” he said.
He said ratepayers can call MPAJ’s
Public Complaints Department at
03 4296 8044 (8am-6pm) to lodge
grouses related to public cleaning
and solid waste.
Mohammad Yacob said MPAJ
spent RM40 million last year on
public cleaning and solid waste management.
He said appointing and managing
their own contractors would save the
council RM10 million, which will be
used to fund corporate social responsibility programmes.
Barisan MP gets
six years for graft
SHAH ALAM: Sabak Bernam
member of Parliament Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakri (pic) and his aide
Mohd Rosli Busro were each sentenced to six years’ jail and fined
RM400,000 for graft yesterday.
However, the Sessions Court
granted them a stay of execution
pending appeal.
Session judge Azhaniz Teh
Azman Teh found the Barisan Nasional lawmaker guilty of eight
counts of making false claims
amounting to RM80,000 and also
fined him RM50,000 or a year’s jail
for each charge.
Abdul R ahman, 47, was
charged under Section 11 (c) of the
Anti-Corruption Act 1997 and
CYBERJAYA: An awareness campaign has been launched to get restaurants and stalls to stop discarding
their used cooking oil into Sungai
“We will try the soft approach first
by briefing them about caring for the
environment,” said Sepang Municipal
Council (MPSepang) councillor P
He said they had identified more
than 50 outlets in Kg Baru Sepang,
Pekan Sepang, and commercial areas
along the river which have been doing
the dumping.
Night-market hawkers who sell
fried chicken, pisang goreng, and
keropok have also been identified as
some of the main offenders.
He said the issue is still being investigated further by the council but
the briefings for food outlet operators could begin as early as this
“A layer of oil forming on the
surface of the water has caused mangrove trees along the river to start to
wilt,” he said.
About 90 tree saplings purchased
by the council and planted along the
riverside two months ago are also
being threatened because of the pollution.
Sivakumar said the environmental
impact of the used oil polluting the
sentenced under Section 16 of the
same act for making claims of
RM10,000 each time between Jan
21 and Feb 4, 2008.
Mohd Rosli was found guilty of
abetting Abdul Rahman while he
was the Sungai Air Tawar state
lawmaker before the 2008 general
Azhaniz ordered the six-year
prison sentence to be served concurrently and the fines, if not paid,
would result in another eight years’
No by-election is required
under the law despite the guilty
verdict because the parliamentarian
is more than two-thirds into his
Discard used
cooking oil
river can be clearly seen now as more
shops have been set up over the years.
“Some shops have existed for 40
years. The effects weren’t so bad then.
There are more shops now since the
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
(KLIA) was built,” he said.
During the council’s full board
meeting on Wednesday, he suggested
that the council contact companies
which collect used oil for recycling.
He said the briefings could also
educate food operators to store their
used oil in containers for these recycling companies to carry away.
“We will be looking for companies
to come and help,” said council
president Mohd Sayuthi Bakar.
But he said it would be difficult to
attract companies however, as the
population size in the area does not
produce enough used oil to make
recycling commercially lucrative.
More forms for affordable
housing projects
SHAH ALAM: Application forms
for the state’s affordable home
schemes have been reprinted after the
initially batch of 2,700 copies were
snapped up by the public.
“The forms were sold out after the
launch of Selangor State Development Corporation’s (PKNS) affordable housing project in Bandar Baru
Bangi,” said state executive councillor
for housing Iskandar Samad yesterday.
New forms are available at RM5,
which includes the processing fee, at
the Selangor Housing and Real Es-
tate Board (LPHS), fifth floor, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah
building in Shah Alam.
He added that the project in
Bangi had some 640 applicants for
the 124 units currently being built.
The names of successful bidders
were listed on LPHS’s website beginning Dec 16 last year.
Iskandar said they had to print
more forms because more affordable
homes would be built in Sungai
Long, Kajang, in September.
For details, call LPHS at 03-5544
March 2 — 4, 2012
Tom Yam stalls
By Basil Foo
CYBERJAYA: Popular roadside stalls including those serving up tom
yam throughout Sepang will be regulated under new guidelines being
drawn up by the council.
“By legalising the stalls and creating guidelines, we can regulate their
business practices,” said Sepang Municipal Council (MPSepang) president
Mohd Sayuthi Bakar.
Mohd Sayuthi, speaking after the council’s monthly full board meeting
on Wednesday, said illegal roadside stalls were one of the main causes of
rampant rubbish dumping.
The guidelines, which are being finalised and slated to be completed
this month, will address issues like land ownership, cleanliness, and rate
“It is unfair if they don’t pay anything but enjoy the services provided
by the council, like rubbish collection, which are paid for by other ratepayers,” he said.
He added that many Tom Yam roadside stall owners, who have built
permanent structures, operate by renting agricultural land in village areas
from the land owners.
By law, these stalls must have their own land titles meant for business
Meanwhile the council is also drawing up separate guidelines to allow
crime-prone neighbourhoods to set up security posts and hire guards.
Councillor Mohamad Azif Mohamad Aris said the guidelines will be
completed tentatively by April and the council hopes the move will help
reduce crime rates across the municipality.
Mohamad Azif said he sympathised with residents living in his zone,
especially those in Taman Salak Indah, and supported the move to allow
them to place barriers across roads.
“As they stay near the main road, Jalan Salak, they are exposed to more
crime. There have been three break-ins there so far this year.”
He added that protection provided by guards and road barriers is important as housing areas are left empty during the daytime when residents
leave for work and school.
March 2 — 4, 2012
Korean Gala
Korean culture enthusiasts are welcome to join
a Korean Carnival on March 3 organised by
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Centre for
Extension Education from 10am-6pm. It will be
held at their premises at PD Block, Level B1,
No 9, Jalan Bersatu 13/4, Petaling Jaya. For
details, call 03-7957 2818/016-223 3563 (Sia,
Syed or Eileen), fax 03-7957 3818, visit www.
facebook.com.UTARCEE or email [email protected]
Education Seminar
The “Next Hottest Education Destination”
seminar will be held on March 3 and is open
to those interested in studying in China. It will
be held at Mid Valley City Kuala Lumpur, from
9.30am to 1pm. Admission is free but seats are
limited, so hurry and sign up now. For details,
call 03-7728 7732 or visit www.easyuni.com/
Adventure Sports Expo
AsiaEvents Exsic Sdn Bhd will be organising
its first Adventure World Expo 2012, which
showcases extreme sports and travel
adventure activities for those who love a thrill.
The expo will be held this weekend (March 2-4)
at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC)
Ballroom 2 from 11am-8pm. It will feature air,
land and sea adventures. There will also be
talks by experienced rock climbing, mountain
climbing and adventure tourism professionals.
Music Open Day
Yamaha Academy of Arts and Music will be
organising an Open Day on March 3 for qualified
SPM holders interested in getting a Diploma in
Music in their March 2012 intake. The open day
will be held at its Kelana Jaya headquarters
from 1pm-6pm. Admission is free. For details,
call 03-7803 0900 ext:233/264.
Postgraduate Open Day
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) will
be holding its Postgraduate and Professional
Development Day on March 10 from 9.30am
to 4.30pm at its Petaling Jaya campus at Jalan
Bersatu 13/4. For details, call 03-76250328
(Justin or Nigell), email [email protected]
or visit www.utar.edu.my/ppdd.
Toddler’s Gym Class
The Institute of Play (IOP) TumbleTots Ara
Damansara will be conducting a complimentary
gymbabes class for toddlers in March. Register
your children and enjoy exciting and challenging
sessions in a safe, caring environment. New
term begins in March and registration is now
open. For details, call 017-6606285 or email
[email protected]
Independent owner and operator of
By Alvin Yap
KAJANG: A temporary halt to summonses for illegal home renovations in the
municipality has been ordered until new
rules and rates for fines are determined.
“This is to finalise the guidelines on the
fines as well as the amount,” said Kajang
Municipal Council (MPKj) president
Datuk Nawawi Abd Rahman on Tuesday.
Councillors in the task force committee
on illegal residential extension had sought
a one-month reprieve until the issues are
worked out.
Nawawi said the council would hold a
series of meetings during this time to work
out details and procedures.
“By that time, hopefully we will have the
categories of fines and the amount we can
slap on house owners who carry out illegal
extensions.” he said after a MPKj full board
He added that the legal department
along with the building control department
would also utilise the one-month period to
streamline their records.
He pointed out that many ratepayers
had pleaded ignorance upon receiving
summonses, claiming that they were not
aware that they should have obtained
building permits before carrying out the
On claims that some renovations were
carried out by previous owners, he said:
“After we tidy up our records, we should be
able to ascertain the claims and look into
them on a case-by-case basis.”
Nawawi said that enforcement officers
would still carry out site visits next month
to check on residential units that have carried out renovations.
The majority of summonses have been
issued to ratepayers who did not submit
renovation plans to the council.
Nawawi warned house owners that insurance companies could decline to pay
compensation to unauthorised extensions
on illegal
(From left): MPKj councillors Ong Seng Peng, Chandra Mohan and Datuk
Noorshisham Ishak who are part of the task force on illegal residential
which are damaged by fire.
Councillor Chandra Mohan said
some 22,913 houses in the municipality
area had undergone renovations.
“Of that number, we have given out
summonses to 3,864 house owners who do
not have renovation permits,” said the
MPKj task force chairman.
Landfill proposed for Kajang
KAJANG: Selangor is considering
building a state-of-the-art sanitary landfill
nearby Kajang to store solid waste collected daily by the local council.
“Among the requirements is that the
new landfill should be within 20km radius of Kajang Municipal Council’s
(MPKj) jurisdiction,” said president Datuk Nawawi Abd Rahman on Tuesday.
He said the council collects some 500
tonnes of waste daily, and almost 30 percent of it is unfit for recycling and has to
be disposed of at landfills.
Nawawi said currently, MPKj waste
management contractors had to travel to
a landfill in Ijok to dump their garbage.
He said the council wanted its contractors to travel shorter distances to landfills
to maximise the turn-around time per trip.
The request, which was put to the state
late last year, was forwarded to waste
management concessionaire Worldwide
Holdings Berhad.
“Worldwide then proposed that the
new landfill should be near the Kajang
local government area,” Nawawi said after
a MPKj full board meeting.
He said Worldwide and Selangor had
agreed that the landfill should be at least
70 acres in size to accommodate the
growth in waste collected from MPKj
Another option was for the waste
management company to rehabilitate and
refurbish an existing dumpsite in Sungai
Kembung in Ulu Bangi.
The dumpsite would need to be excavated and filled with concrete to prevent
toxic waste water from seeping into the
ground water.
Nawawi said the decision to either
build a new sanitary landfill or rehabilitate the existing Sungai Kembung dumpsite would be announced in a month’s
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SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ March 2 – 4, 2012 ⁄ 5
March 2 — 4, 2012
By Tang Hui Koon &
Gho Chee Yuan
SUBANG JAYA: Families can
now bring their children on Saturdays to a toy library set up by the
Subang Jaya Municipal Council
(MPSJ) in its Children Creativity
Centre (Kompleks 3C) in Jalan
“We want the children to play
and learn new stuff,” said Kompleks
3C senior assistant director Haini
Mohd Salleh.
The newly-expanded and refurbished toy library is divided into five
main zones: “My Home”, “Transport”, “My Hometown”, “Roleplaying” and “Scrabble”.
Its walls are painted with colourful graphics and the 100-sq-ft space
can now fit around 50 children.
Equipped with the latest toys as
well as traditional games like cong-
Subang toy library
promises fun time
kak, it has been opened to the
public for free from 9.30am to 5pm
on every Saturday since Feb 18.
However, Haini said the children
must be accompanied by adults.
Apart from the toy library, Kompleks 3C also houses a petting zoo,
reptile’s aquarium, library, art gallery and café garden.
Located on a five-acre plot of
land, the learning centre was opened
in August 2006 and only accommodated three to four-year-old
Over the years, it started a preschool programme for five to sixyear-olds and a nursery for toddlers
to children aged 12 of MPSJ staff as
Now, it also hosts sewing, cooking and ballet classes and other
programmes for children and parents with partners such as Creative
Arts & Design Centre, FTIM Designing Centre and the National
Autistic Society of Malaysia.
Children playing
a traditional
game at the toy
JKR responsible
for flyover
By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: A move by the Public Works Department ( JKR) to
extend the warranty over the problem-plagued Klang town flyover
has tied the council’s hands from intervening with repairs.
“We aren’t allowed to fix street lights or address complaints from
motorists because JKR is still in charge,” said Klang Municipal
Council (MPK) acting president Ikhsan Mukri.
This extension was announced during the council’s monthly full
board meeting on Wednesday.
He said more than three-quarters of street lights along the flyover
are faulty, leaving the bridge in darkness for over six months.
This was caused by stolen street light chokes, which have been
missing since last year.
JKR was supposed to replace the chokes but their warranty
guidelines stated that they only cover maintenance of faulty facilities and not vandalism or missing items.
In addition, the underpass below the flyover floods every time a
heavy downpour occurs.
“The flood causes more congestion in the area, especially during
peak hours. However, we can’t do anything now because PWD is
in charge,” said Ikhsan.
MPK will have to wait for another six months before upgrading
the road and repairing the damage there.
However, this did not sit well with councillors present at the full
board meeting.
“They shouldn’t have extended their contract as they aren’t even
maintaining the flyover properly. Now motorists have to wait six
more months for repairs,” said MPK councillor Ivan Ho.
Longer display for PJ draft plan
PETALING JAYA: More information will
be added to the Petaling Jaya Special Area
Draft Plan 2020 which will be on display at
the city council headquarters for another
“The public is welcome to view the updated
display and give their feedback, comments and
objections by the end of March,” said Petaling
Jaya City Council (MBPJ) mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman.
He said at a MBPJ full board meeting on
Tuesday that they had received complaints
about the current exhibition missing pertinent information like road names and footnotes.
Also, the council has failed to include explanations for certain proposed changes in
the draft plan.
“Now, we will include details about the
things we are changing in Petaling Jaya and
why we are doing it,” said Roslan.
MBPJ has already filled in the road names
in the new display and will be inserting explanations and footnotes immediately.
Residents, councillors and lawmakers can
view the draft plan and submit their feedback
by March 31.
Once feedback is collected, objections will
be reviewed before a public hearing is held.
The plans can be viewed at MBPJ’s headquarters in New Town while the plans can be obtained from the council’s Planning Department,
2nd floor, Jalan Yong Shook Lin,
Khalid slams Najib for
discriminating against PR leaders
SHAH ALAM: Selangor Menteri Besar Tan
Sri Khalid Ibrahim criticised Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Razak for not inviting
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state leaders to the 114th
Meeting of Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers recently.
Describing the move as “undemocratic”,
Khalid said such a practice went against the
principles of good governance and the spirit
of federalism under the Federal Constitution.
“If the federal government is funding the
meeting, how can the prime minister arrogantly say that it’s a common practice (to invite
Barisan Nasional leaders only), and that there
is nothing wrong with it? Khalid said last
He added that Najib had set a dangerous
precedent in encouraging civil servants to
discriminate against PR state chiefs.
Najib had said on Feb 24 that the national
meeting between federal and state government
leaders last Tuesday was only restricted to menteris besar and chief ministers of BN states.
He said Putrajaya does invite PR state leaders to meetings of the National Land Council,
local councils and those involving financial
committees as required under the constitution.
However, Khalid said if the meeting was
strictly restricted to BN leaders, then the Chief
Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Sidek
Hassan, should not have attended it.
“The chief secretary should have had the
courage to inform the prime minister that the
meeting was discriminatory and that he
should be exempted,” said Khalid.
He added that Najib must set a better example to civil servants if he is committed to
implementing genuine transformation.
for PJ
By Brenda Ch’ng
PETALING JAYA: A proposal to turn
Jalan Yong Shook Lin into the next outdoor entertainment hub was mooted
during the council’s full board meeting on
“PJ Walk will be like Jonker Street in
Malacca. People no longer have to travel
far to spend a day shopping and eating
outdoors,” said Petaling Jaya City Council
(MBPJ) mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman.
Flea markets, food stalls, restaurants
and performances will line the stretch of
road opposite the MBPJ headquarters in
front of the commercial area.
During weekends, the road will be
closed for a few hours to make way for
performances and street activities.
The concept of turning the street into
an outdoor recreational area was approved
by the councillors present at the full board
MBPJ is targeting to get this done in
June, in conjunction with the council’s
sixth anniversary celebration.
SELANGOR TIMES ⁄ March 2 – 4, 2012 ⁄ 7
March 2 — 4, 2012
SPAD passes buck
over MRT land acquisition
By Gan Pei Lin
over appeals by Jalan Sultan land
owners to realign the Klang Valley
My Rapid Transit (KVMRT) project were swiftly side-stepped by the
Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) on Tuesday.
“You shouldn’t ask us. We’re the
wrong party for you to ask. What
we’ve done is to approve the (line),
the rest of it is up to the developer
and operator to sort out,” said
SPAD chairperson Tan Sri Syed
Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar.
He said the commission had
done “what’s necessary” and the
Jalan Sultan traders had three
months to submit their feedback
on the alignment during the public
consultation period last year.
“Land acquisition doesn’t involve us. You should speak to MRT
Corp,” Syed Hamid told reporters
at the launch of SPAD’s enforcement division building at Persada
Plus on Tuesday.
MRT Corporation had issued
an ultimatum to Jalan Sultan land
owners to sign the mutual agreem ent wi th th e c omp any by
Wednesday or the government
would have to undertake compulsory land acquisition.
Land owners are worried that
their properties would be seized for
the project as they had received
acquisition notices from the Land
on taxi
SPAD enforcement officers celebrate having their own operations centre at Persada Plus in Petaling
and Mines Department.
However, MRT Corporation
chief executive officer Datuk Azhar
Abdul Hamid assured the traders
that they would continue to hold
property rights under the mutual
He added that the traders would
need to vacate their premises for
six months for tunnelling work but
they would be fairly compensated
for the relocation.
Azhar said only two of the owners at the historical street had yet
to sign the mutual agreement.
Despite that, the Committee for
the Preservation of Jalan Sultan is
still hoping the authorities would
realign the KVMRT Sungai BulohKajang line to Jalan Tun Tan
Cheng Lock.
Committee chairperson Stanley
Yong had said on Monday that they
would resort to “physically” stopping the construction work if
Several protests and signature
campaigns have been carried out
since last year to protest against
land acquisition in Jalan Sultan
over fears that the historical buildings would be demolished.
Ailing bus lines to
receive aid soon
PETALING JAYA: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD)
is at the final stage of processing bus operators’ application for financial
aid from Putrajaya.
“We’ve processed many applications, including from Cityliner. There’ll
be an announcement (soon),” said SPAD chairperson Tan Sri Syed Hamid
Syed Jaafar Albar at a press conference at Persada Plus on Tuesday.
SPAD is expected to disburse RM100 million in the first quarter of
2012 to financially-constrained bus companies in Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang.
Putrajaya had approved RM400 million last December to bail out
ailing bus operators nationwide but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib
Razak said the move was only an interim measure.
Najib said the bus operators must find a way to make their operations
financially sustainable and they are welcome to seek help from SPAD.
On Dec 13, Konsortium Transnasional Bhd’s bus fleet, Cityliner,
stopped providing services for unprofitable routes in Selangor, particularly in rural areas such as Banting, Tanjong Karang, Sekinchan and Sabak
Consequently, an estimated 80,000 commuters were stranded and had
to scramble to look for alternative transport.
Public Transport Commission
(SPAD) is conducting a research
on the viability of a standard taxi
coupon system to prevent taxi
drivers from overcharg ing
SPAD chairperson Tan Sri
Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar
said universities are carrying out
surveys among the public and
taxi operators to seek their views.
“In two to three months’ time,
we should come out with a policy. In the meantime, we’re still
engaging [stakeholders] to find
out their views,” said Syed Hamid
on Tuesday.
He said the commission was
conducting the study to overcome the problem of taxi drivers
overcharging customers, especially foreign tourists.
“We received a complaint recently when a taxi driver charged
a tourist RM450 for a trip from
KL Sentral to KLCC,” said Syed
Hamid, adding that SPAD was
probing the case.
He noted that consumers and
taxi operators are still undecided
over the need for a taxi coupon
Consumers who want the
coupon system think it helps to
reduce haggling, but others feel
that it is more expensive than the
meter system.
Taxi operators who are against
the coupon system say their
meagre earnings would be further reduced as coupon operators would skim off as much as
20 percent from the fare.
SPAD chief executive officer
Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed
Kamal said the taxi coupon
system was initiated by premise
owners, particularly shopping
malls like Kuala Lumpur City
Centre (KLCC).
“It’s not our initiative [but]
we’re conducting a study on the
need for it and whether it’s justifiable,” said Mohd Nur Ismal.
The public can also submit
their suggestions to www.spad.
March 2 — 4, 2012
Fahmi Fadzil
Tale of two gatherings
his past week saw several different yet,
from my point of view, important gatherings of people standing up for what
they believe in. I want to write a little bit about
two gatherings in particular, and highlight
what we may (hopefully) learn from each.
Friday, Feb 24 - About a hundred Umno,
BN, and Perkasa members gathered outside
the PKR headquarters at about 4pm, with
the intention of delivering a memorandum
to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim protesting his
recent comments in a newspaper about politics in the Middle East.
The memorandum, handover, was not
announced to the public, and I myself had
only learnt of it via SMSes sent by concerned
individuals. After verifying the news, I made
my way to the PKR headquarters in Merchant
Square to observe, monitor, and tweet about
the event (in fact, some members of the media
only found out about the gathering after reading tweets about it later).
It was a rowdy affair. The gathering began
about 150m away from the HQ, and they
marched up to about 30m from the entrance.
Shouts of “Hancur, hancur!”, “Takbir!” and the
occasional unsavoury permutation filled the air;
banners declaring Anwar to be this and that
were unfurled and carried along at the head of
the gathering; even the actual delivery of the
memorandum - which no one officially received
as everyone was in Kuantan for a retreat - was
punctuated with shouts of “Ambik lah!”.
After the memorandum was left at the
entrance, some of the hot-headed Umno-BNPerkasa members appeared unsatisfied, and
started calling some of the PKR members who
were present names that is fortunately unfit
for print (clue: something about being a dog,
and your mother’s … ). Thankfully the police
stepped in and stood in between them, so
nothing untoward happened. Not long after,
the gathering dispersed.
Sunday, Feb 26 - Depending on who you
read, between 5,000 and 15,000 people turned
up at the MPK 4 field in Kuantan to rally
against the setting up of the Lynas Corp rare
earth refinery plant in nearby Gebeng. The
gathering, called ‘Himpunan Hijau 2.0’ after
the first gathering on Oct 10, 2011, was to
manifest the on-going protest of Malaysians
against the potentially ecologically-catastrophic refinery, slated to begin operations
in June.
Thousands turn up at the MPK 4 field in Kuantan to rally against the setting up of the Lynas Corp rare earth refinery plant in nearby
Unlike many previous public gatherings Bersih 2.0, most notably - Himpunan Hijau
2.0 was not barred from taking place, although
the local authorities did mischievously shift
the venue two days prior (the original field was
dug up and fenced for “upgrading” reasons),
and the police laid down 12 conditions on the
organisers within 24 hours of the gathering.
Nonetheless, the gathering took place without
a hitch and with much fanfare.
In fact, there were multiple Himpunan
Hijau 2.0 locations: in KL (Maju Junction 2,000 attendees), Penang (Padang Kota - 500),
and several others. Only the event in Penang,
based on tweets, faced some thuggish obsta-
cles - basically disruptive behaviour by some
Mat Rempit.
Otherwise, Himpunan Hijau 2.0 took
place without a single untoward incident to
its credit.
Now, what, if any, are the key learning
points from comparing the two? While not
definitive, I propose the following:
* Peaceful public gatherings, no matter the
purpose, are a right as declared in our Federal
Constitution - as such, all Malaysians irrespective of (political) affiliations have the right to
exercise this fundamental liberty.
* The act of mobilisation (calling others to
the gathering) is in itself a political act - do
you declare to the public ahead of time, or
do you send out clandestine SMSes to rally?
How the attendees are called out reveals the
thinking of the organisers - something lastminute is either an emergency gathering or
an afterthought!
* The language used by the organisers and
the attendees reveals the spirit of the gathering - are those in attendance civil or juvenile?
Those are but some thoughts that crossed
my mind when comparing the two gatherings.
Hopefully there will be many more (peaceful
ones, especially), so that these ideas may be
refined, corrected, or supplemented in the
near future.
Nation of idiots in the making
e are on the brink of becoming a
What makes things worse is that there
nation of idiots.
appears to be no sense of outrage from those
An argument is made, and if
who hold the reins of power. The people
one disagrees with it, one makes a counter
who froth at the mouth about how public
Azmi ShArom
argument. This is the rational way. The intelgatherings can degenerate into chaos say
ligent way.
nothing when those who commit such acts
The idiot’s way is to scream, shout, honk motorcycle horns, wear their shirts and are their minions.
let off firecrackers, hurl racial abuse and physically attack the
Developed country by 2020? At this rate we should be
person who is saying things you disagree with. Sometimes the lucky if we are not a failed state by then. Forget elections, foridiot’s way is loud and obnoxious as in the example above; other get human rights. Whichever group can yell the loudest and
times it can be more measured, for example by countering an threaten the most harm, they will rule. They will determine
opponent’s point not with reasoning but with that lowest form the fate of the nation.
of wit: sarcasm.
If you don’t like something, don’t bother coming up with a
Whichever method is chosen, the idiot’s way does seem to coherent argument against it, just say you will create violence
be on the rise.
and the powers that be will skitter and scamper to do your
The people of this country deserve to be able to listen to bidding.
different points of view. They have a right to listen to different
Which raises the question, are the powers that be truly the
points of view. It is bad enough that they have to turn to the powers that be? Or are they now mere playthings of the loutInternet and alternative media to obtain some semblance of ish, the crass and the crude? I have to wonder.
balance, but when mobs can break up peaceful gatherings then
If one believes in freedom and human rights, one must
we know that any thin facade of a civilised nation that we may believe it holds true for everyone. And as hard as it may be to
have worn is slipping away.
swallow, nobody must be stopped from saying what they think,
going the
no matter how disgusted you may feel at what they have to say.
It is the burden of those who truly cherish and understand
freedom to not allow personal or intellectual distaste from
infringing upon the rights of others. Unfortunately such noble
aspirations are not shared by the thuggish. Yet, not for one second must we be tempted to retaliate and
stop others from expressing themselves for that means we are
lowering ourselves to the guttural level within which they lurk.
There is a limit to freedom however, and that is when you
use your freedom to infringe upon the freedom of others.
In the past few weeks we have seen this happening many
times as the boundaries of freedom are breached again and
again by the mob. If this trend continues, it does not bode well
for the future of Malaysia.
I said at the beginning of this article that we are on the brink
of being a nation of idiots. I stopped myself from saying that we
already are because I want to believe, I want to have hope, that
there are enough of us who will not let it happen. That there
are enough of us who will stand up and say that we have no
time for those who seek to suppress others by brute force and
we have no time for those who through inaction and political
cowardice let them have their way.
10 march 2 — 4, 2012
By Basil Foo
he shift in education policy from
teaching Science and Mathematics in English to Bahasa Malaysia
has riled anxious parents who fear the
move has jeopardised their children’s
Among the most vocal proponents for
the policy are the Parent Action Group
for Education (PAGE) and Concerned
Parents of Selangor (CPS).
These non-governmental organisations
have been pushing for the reinstatement
of The Teaching and Learning of
Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy.
PPSMI was scrapped by the
government in favour of the Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and
Strengthening the English Language (MBMMBI) policy which
began this year.
Parents protesting the abolition
of the PPSMI policy in front of
SMK USJ 12 on Jan 7.
Importance of teaching in
An argument for keeping the
PPSMI is because of the wealth of
knowledge in English on Maths and
“In higher education, 99 per
cent of the knowledge is in English. Also, the language of the
Internet is English,” said PAGE
chairperson Datin Noor Azimah Shamsudin.
Abdul Rahim.
She argues the teaching of the subjects in she said.
English could be done effectively as young
Noor Azimah said anstudents had more pliable minds which ab- other excuse g iven by
sorb knowledge easier and faster.
school principals for not
Utilising the knowledge acquired with that teaching the subjects in
language, students could then continue English was insufficient
studying in higher education institutions, English textbooks.
which mostly teach in English.
“Even students who
“PPSMI would eventually address the have those books now have
current shortage of children in the science been using them since 2003
stream. We will produce a generation of and they are not in good
creators and inventors instead of consumers,” condition The ministry
she said.
should reprint the English
CPS coordinator Shamsudin Hamid con- books,” she said.
curred, saying that the PPSMI policy is the
The interpretation of
key to this country’s ability to become a high the ministry’s ruling by
income nation by 2020.
schools regarding MBHe said studying Science and Maths in MMBI has also left Shamsudin perplexed
English would not only allow students to ac- when a school backtracked on its lancess the global body of scientific knowledge guage policy.
comfortably but help with their future careers.
He said the school in Puchong had
“Our children, once they have graduated, classes teaching Science and Maths in
will be more employable, even overseas,” he English since the year started but sudadded.
denly reverted to BM after the Chinese
New Year holidays.
Interim Measure Distorted “This obviously caused a lot of comSince the start of MBMMBI this year, plaints from the parents over the fears of
there have been complaints regarding discrep- confusion among their children,” he
ancies between the ministry’s directive and added.
the schools’ implementation.
Noor Aziamah has rejected arguments
The allowance given to parents to place that PPSMI was discontinued because of
their children in classes teaching Science the inability of some teachers and rural
and Math in either English, Malay, or both, students to cope with Science and Maths
has reportedly been ignored by some in English. schools.
“If teachers can’t even teach Year One
The interim measure was slated to last Science and Maths in English, something
until 2015 when the final batch of students is wrong with them,” she said.
who began studying during the PPSMI years
She added that English should not be
complete their secondary education.
disregarded just because of claims that
“We get calls from parents daily. They want the majority of students are weak in
their children to be taught in English but the English.
schools come up with many excuses to deny
Shamsudin said claims that students
them their rights,” said Noor Azimah.
in the rural areas found it difficult to learn
She said the principals of some schools in in English were far from the truth.
Cheras, Kuantan, Ipoh and Penang claimed
“That claim is a type of propaganda.
that only textbooks in Bahasa Malaysia were An example to debunk it would be the
MARA Junior Science College (MRSM),”
Some principals even announced that the he said.
exam questions would be in BM to discourage
He explained that while 90 per cent of the
parents from insisting that their children learn intake for MRSM comes from rural areas, its
the two subjects in English.
students still excel in the courses offered,
“The questions should be bilingual. Hope- which are Cambridge O- and A-Levels.
fully the Education Ministry will clarify this,”
In comparing the PPSMI with the MB-
She said the MBMMBI should not
replace but work together with the
PPSMI – which was not intended for
children to learn English outright but to
facilitate the learning of Science and
Actions and demands
Malacca Action Group for Parents
in Education (MAGPIE)
MMBI, Noor Azimah was alarmed that the
newer policy appeared to be replacing scientific English with conversational English.
“The MBMMBI’s objective is to improve
the mastery of the Malay and English languages. It has nothing to do with Science and
Maths,” she said.
For PAGE, Noor Azimah said they
have been an information resource to
parents who want their children to study
in English.
“We’ve been telling parents to work in
groups to be more noticed by the school
authorities,” she said.
She explained that if there were
sufficient requests by parents, the
school would have to start a separate
class to teach Science and Maths in
Merely moving class would be much
easier than changing school – a process
which would affect children once they
have grown attached to their peers.
“The Education Ministry should be
headed by a non-politician,” declared
He said there has been adequate
precedence when the government took
in an industry expert to assist with
The examples he gave were Tan Sri Nor
Mohamed Yakcop who is in charge of the
Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and Datuk Seri Idris Jala who helms the Performance Management and Delivery Unit
What the leaders say
THE Teaching and Learning of Science and
Mathematics in English policy (PPSMI) was
rolled out in 2003 to help prepare students face
an increasingly globalised world.
The policy was introduced during the administration of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in place of the Bahasa Malaysia
medium used previously.
He reportedly said PPSMI would help keep
students abreast in the fields of Science and Maths
as most research conducted in the two fields was
in English.
“It’s not a question of lacking nationalism… In
fact, it is true nationalists who want their people
to possess more knowledge, not just be able to
speak in Malay,” he said.
Dr Mahathir, who is a trained medical doctor,
said the policy would enable students to learn the
latest developments in the two fields without
having to wait for translations.
He said new scientific findings, discoveries and
theories, which are produced everyday, are not
recorded in BM but in English.
He added that the government could still
decide to reintroduce the PPSMI, despite having
replaced it with the Upholding Bahasa Malaysia
and Strengthening the English Language (MBMMBI) policy.
“It is never too late. These are man-made laws,
not God’s laws. There is no such thing as fixed
“This way, there won’t be a policy
change every time a new education
minister comes in,” he said.
Meanwhile, CPS along with other
organisations expects to attract 5,000
parents to a rally to push for their demands at Dataran Petaling Jaya on
March 10.
Shamsudin said parents from all
over the country are expected to converge at the Parents for PPSMI (P4P)
rally at Padang Timur, opposite Amcorp Mall, at 10am.
“(We are) gathering in protest of
the deplorable state of the education
system in general and with regards to
the abolition of the PPSMI policy in
particular,” he said.
Other organisations which will be
taking part include PAGE, Malacca
Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) and Herald of Penang
Education (HOPE).
Interested parents have been advised to follow updates on the rally on
laws that cannot be changed forever,” he said.
Introduced by deputy prime minister Tan Sri
Muhyiddin Yassin, the MBMMBI policy replaced the PPSMI to teach Science and Maths
wholly in the national language.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister,
said the new policy was already mooted in 2009
and its soft-landing was rolled out this year.
The new policy comes into total effect in 2015
when the final batch of students who began
studying during the PPSMI years complete their
secondary education.
He has rejected calls for the reinstatement of
the PPSMI policy.
“The matter is closed. Full stop. People can
push and demand all they want… but the government’s decision is final,” he said.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka
Siong added that the country would not be left
behind in the fields of Science and Maths with
the abolishment of the PPSMI.
He gave China as an example where the rapidly-developing nation emerged as a key player in
the global arena despite its citizens learning Science and Maths in Mandarin.
Wee added that the transition period from
PPSMI to MBMMBI would take time, much like
when the initial medium of instruction shift from
English to Malay which he said took 12 years to
(From left): Khoo Phaik Hong from CPS, Mak Chee Kin from Malacca Action Group for Parents in
Education (MAGPIE), Shamsudin and CPS vice-chairman, Nanthakumar announcing their plans
at a recent press conference.
PPSMI opponents advocate ethnic languages first
EDUCATING young students in their mother tongue is
the best way for them to understand the subject matter and
not just memorise to pass exams, claimed a local youth group.
“Research has shown students benefit by using their
mother tongue,” said Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement
(Abim) deputy secretary-general Muhammad Faisal Abdul
Abim is part of the Abolish PPSMI movement (GMP).
Muhammad Faisal referred to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
study which found disparities in the development of minorities.
The study showed educational programmes which use
ethnic languages along with national and international languages significantly improved educational achievement.
“The PPSMI caused students not to appreciate what they
learn in school. The purpose of a curriculum should be to
help students understand,” he said.
He added that students must at least understand the subject
matter at its most basic form first, instead of just memorising
facts, to avoid difficulties upon entering university.
He said the PPSMI caused rural areas in Sabah and
Sarawak to suffer from teacher shortage and some schools
used English teachers to teach Science and Maths.
Muhammad Faisal said this led to ineffective teaching
which was made worse when students were given English
textbooks which contained subpar information.
“The textbooks dropped in quality during the PPSMI
years. Before that, they had better quality content.”
He also said that as a result of the shift to English textbooks, students merely memorised facts without understanding as they were rushing to sit for their final exams.
On the claim that students found it hard upon entering
tertiary institutes, he said English was not an issue as they
could enrol into matriculation courses.
“That’s the point of matriculation. These pre-university
courses like A-Levels and O-Levels help improve their English.”
The use of English was further decried as a non-issue when
he said many professionals came out of the vernacular and
village schools systems.
He said before PPSMI came into effect, Malaysia was still
able to produce scientists and doctors.
“Based on these reasons, we hope the government upholds
the Education Ministry’s decision to abolish the PPSMI,” he
On the Parents for PPSMI rally which will be held on
March 10, Muhammad Faisal said the parents have every
right to hold a demonstration.
The GMP previously held an anti-PPSMI rally at the Sogo
shopping complex in the city centre which saw a turnout of
about 100 on March 7, 2009.
Among the protesters was national laureate A Samad Said,
poets Dinsman and Pyanhabib, writer Ainon Mohd, and
theatre activist Khalid Salleh.
March 2 — 4, 2012
Damned If You Badu
ord Bobo, what do you make of the
Erykah Badu concert cancellation?
Surely we cannot allow foreigners
cavorting with “Allah” tattoos to perform
here, right? If it had been allowed, we may
well have seen riots and pure chaos. (Von
D, via email).
The cancellation is ridiculous for many,
many reasons.
Uno, it shows that for all the talk, the era
of government knows best is most certainly
not over. This is a direct example of the authorities telling us who we can and cannot
see in concert.
Dos, His Supreme Eminenceness does
not see who would be upset by the tattoos.
It wasn’t a derogatory statement, or insulting
depiction. If a handful or small percentage of
individuals would be upset, so what? Since
when is our nation governed based on the
feelings of a super-minority?
Tres, Malaysian leaders like to talk about
being “moderates” – and here we have a concert cancelled at the last minute because of
what seems to be the judgement-on-a-whim
of an individual, Rais Yatim.
Best of all? Erykah is gonna leave Kuala
Lumpur to perform in Indonesia, the world’s
most populous Muslim nation. Malaysia
In a given salary slip, there are the following deductions – EPF employer, EPF
employee, SOCSO employee, SOCSO
employer. I have a friend whose prospective employer mentioned that there will
be no EPF & SOCSO contributions
throughout the probation period. Is this
legal? I’ve contacted
proved fund” under Secthe EPF and was given
tion 52.
the opinion that conThe employer should
tributions from both
deduct the employee’s
employee and employer
contribution from the
are compulsory as long
employee’s wages and then
Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by
as salary is paid by emactually pay the amount
LoyarBurok (www.loyarburok.com)
ployer to employee. Is
deducted, together with
where all your profound,
abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite,
there any proper black
the employer’s own contrisagacious, and other thesaurusand white on mandabution, to the EPF under
described queries are answered!
tory EPF and SOCSO
Section 45 of the EPF Act.
contribution by both
Crucially, the EPF
employee and employer
Act makes no distinction Malaysia.
as long as the employee
between a probationary
“Probationary” employees are therefore
(permanent, contract,
employee and a confirmed still “employees”.
temp, probation) is
employee. The only peoIf after all this, your friend’s employer still
paid a salary? (Twisted
ple who do not have to refuses to pay up, you can tell your friend that
Mind, via email)
contribute are those who his employer will commit an offence under
What shenanigans are
are not considered “em- Section 45(4) of the EPF Act. Better yet, tell
these!? The short answer
ployees” under the EPF your friend to get a copy of this delectable
is that your friend’s emAct (defined in Schedule newspaper and read this for himself. Or to
ployer cannot withhold
1 of the Act, and including go over to www.selangortimes.com or www.
EPF and SOCSO payments during the pro- “nomadic aborigines” (unless the Director LoyarBurok.com to read the online version!
bationary period.
General of Aborigines specifies otherwise),
All the directors of the Company will be
For the EPF, the obligation lies in Section most “domestic workers” (except if they liable to be prosecuted under Section 45(4),
43 (1) of the Employees Provident Fund Act work in an embassy or high commission) and to a civil suit under Section 65 by the EPF
1991 which states that “every employee and and certain foreigners temporarily working in Board for recovery of contributions. The penevery employer of a person who is
alty is a jail term up to three years,
an employee within the meaning
or to a fine up to RM10,000, or
Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme both. Lord Bobo might also send
of this Act shall be liable to pay
Eminenceness by emailing [email protected], a plethora of purple bananas up the
monthly contributions on the
stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or employer’s posterior.
amount of wages for the month at
tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and
the rate respectively set out in the
The same principles apply to
using the hashtag #asklordbobo. What the hell are you SOCSO payments, and the cor3rd Schedule”.
waiting for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although responding provisions in the EmThe only exception is where
trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! ployees Social Security Act 1969
the employer has established its
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news 13
Pay JMB fees and get
a free coat of paint
March 2 — 4, 2012
SUBANG JAYA: Repainting for free - that’s the promise to
residents of Subang Mutiara low-cost flats here who pay their
management fees.
“The RM100 per household painting costs will be waived for
units that have settled their Joint Management Board ( JMB)
fees,” said Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh during a
family day event last week.
The state will bear 80 per cent of the RM300,000 cost to repaint the 22-year-old flats at PJS7/15 which leaves some
RM60,000 to be shared among the residents there.
Each unit will have to pay RM100 for the repainting but Yeoh
announced that residents who have settled their JMB fee arrears
will not have to pay the amount.
Yeoh said the developer, Sunway Group, had stepped in and
paid the remaining amount first to paint the 10 blocks of walk-up
flat, which they will bill the residents later.
The flat was chosen by the state government under the Pangsapuri Ceria scheme to undergo a facelift and other maintenance
JMB chairperson Kok Kim Swee, 59, said the waiver was an
incentive for residents to settle their fees.
“The fees are used to pay for maintenance of the infrastructure,” Kok told residents during the family day event, which saw
Timmy the clown entertain children with a magic show.
Residents were also treated to an afternoon tea buffet sponsored by the state.
Later, Kok handed out a token of appreciation to Mohamad
Wahad, 53, who was appointed the contractor to handle the
facelift at the flats.
He said the repainting, which started on Feb 8, will continue
for three months and was slated for completion around early
Timmy the Clown leading the children in games during the Sunway PJS7/15 low-cost flat family day
RM1.5m boost for school’s Selangor targets
better results in
expansion project
2012 Sukma
By Alvin Yap
Well-wishers and donors at the fundraising dinner at the Klang Hokkien Association Hall.
By Brenda Ch’ng
KLANG: One of the oldest Chinese schools here will
soon be able to cater to more students thanks to the
financial assistance of the community and state.
“I would like to thank all the donors for contributing
and making it possible to build the double-storey activity centre,” said SMJK (C) Chung Hua Klang’s board
of governors chairman Lee Teng Kee
Lee was speaking during the 50-year-old vernacular
Chinese secondary school’s anniversary and fundraising
dinner on Monday.
A total of RM1.5 million was collected during the
dinner and the school needs another RM1 million before upgrades can begin.
The school has 1,400 students.
With the expansion, which includes an additional
canteen, multi-purpose hall and three extra classrooms,
the school expects to increase enrolment by 100.
Also present to launch the fundraising was state Assembly Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim.
“I’ve contributed RM10,000 from my office funds
to help this school build new facilities,” said Teng.
He added during his speech that the state would also
be contributing RM50,000 towards the activity centre.
SHAH ALAM: Selangor’s contingent at the upcoming Sukan
Malaysia (Sukma) is aiming for a
better medal haul than at the last
games two years ago.
The state, which has emerged
champions seven times since the
national sporting event started in
1986, wants to bring back more
gold and silver medals from the
26 categories it is taking part in
at the Pahang event from July
“We want to be champions in
the 2012 Sukan Malaysia. We
will improve our medal tally this
July,” said state executive councillor for youth and sports Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (pic).
He said Selangor had allocated RM30 million in this year’s
budget to improve the performance of state athletes.
This includes the cost of fulltime sports trainers and physiotherapists to help athletes perform better.
He said this when addressing
representatives from 26 sports
associations at a dialogue at Blue
Wave Hotel here on Monday.
The Sijankang assemblyperson said Selangor wanted its
athletes to compete in the world
sporting arena as well as develop
themselves academically.
On a related matter, he said
the state would use part of the
budget to maintain sporting halls
and complexes under local governments.
“The places are for our young
to play futsal, squash and badminton. They deserve the best
(infrastructure) we can give,” he
“They are, after all, our future
march 2 — 4, 2012
Houses in villages repaired,
thanks to PKNS
By Brenda Ch’ng
Iskandar launching the CSR programme last Saturday.
SABAK BERNAM: Dilapidated homes in villages
in the district were repaired by the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility last Saturday.
The state subsidiary has allocated RM396,000 to
repair and upgrade leaking roofs and faulty toilets for
22 homes and the work is scheduled to be completed
by April.
“I’m so grateful for this help as without it my brothers and I might not have a roof over our home soon,
especially with the frequent thunderstorms,” said Bagan
Terap villager Zamri Sakiman.
Zamri, 39, said their belongings have also been destroyed by the rain which seeps in through the broken
roof almost every night.
Living with his three disabled brothers, Zamri explained the difficulties in supporting them and the
hardship of saving money for repairs.
“I earn RM600 a month as a security guard and the
money is only enough to feed us. We don’t have money
for repairs,” he said.
He also pointed out that his disabled brothers tried
helping by planting palm trees on an empty plot beside
their home.
By selling palm oil to a nearby village, they get an
additional RM200 a month.
However, this is still insufficient as everything in their
home is falling apart one by one, including electrical
appliances like lights and ceiling fans.
PKNS will be building them a new roof, constructing
Wanted - 1,000
volunteer forest
SUBANG JAYA: Transparency International – Malaysia (TI-M) aims
to enlist 1,000 committed volunteers this year to help monitor the
forests in the country.
“Anybody can join our Forest Watch Project and become a forest
ranger,” said TI-M Forest Governance Integrity Programme project
manager Victor Soosai at a conference at Grand Dorsett Hotel last
He said members of the public can sign up to be a volunteer via the
Forest Watch Project website (www.timalaysia-forestwatch.org.my).
Launched on Feb 1, the website enables the public to report illegal
deforestation using Google Earth’s real-time satellite imagery and aerial
Soosai said the volunteers would be classified based on their degree
of commitment and participation.
He added that TI-M would roll out more public engagement programmes this year to publicise the initiative and train citizens to become
the “eyes and ears” of Malaysia’s forests.
He said TI-M targets to process 500 cases this year.
TI-M’s monitoring and advisory team would review the complaints
submitted via the website before passing the information to the relevant
government agencies for action.
Public agencies taking part in the project include, among others,
Peninsular Malaysia Department of Wildlife and National Parks and
the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia.
The three-year-long Forest Watch Project is part of TI-M’s Forest
Governance Integrity Programme (FGI).
The FGI has also been implemented in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, China and the Solomon Islands by Transparency International to
strengthen forest management in these countries.
a new bathroom with proper facilities, repairing the
piping in their kitchen and painting the exterior walls.
“All these repairs will cost about RM18,000 and are
scheduled for completion on Tuesday,” said PKNS
administration and development deputy manager Noraida Mohd Yusof.
She said the 22 families were chosen based on references by the Selangor Zakat Board and village heads
from six villages in Sabak Bernam.
Among the villages involved are Tebuk Pulai, Bagan
Nira, Sepintas, Kampung Tok Khalifah, Jalan Masjid
and Bagan Terap.
“We chose the families who really need help, like the
disabled and those with a monthly income of about
RM300,” she said.
PKNS hopes to improve the lives of these less fortunate families with the repairs.
Noraida pointed out that PKNS will be helping
other villagers in other districts to repair their homes
after this project in Sabak Bernam is completed.
Also present to launch the event was state executive
councillor for housing Iskandar Samad, who was pleased
with PKNS’ move.
“I will also be pushing for the state to set up a fund
to help repair more homes in the other Selangor districts,” he said.
During his speech, he explained that there were many
more villages in the rural parts of Selangor which
needed help.
“I hope PKNS will consider adopting this village and
give them the guidance they need to improve their lives
and social development.”
Nik Mohd Shah says Malaysia
targets to maintain at least 50
per cent forest cover.
Inventory of forest underway
By Gan Pei Ling
SUBANG JAYA: The Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia is expected to complete its national
forest inventory by this year.
“Our officers have been going to the ground to verify our forest cover since last year,” said the department’s
deputy director-general Datuk Nik Mohd Shah Nik
The national inventory is carried out every 10 years.
Nik Mohd Shah added that Peninsular Malaysia was
estimated to have 44 per cent forest cover, including
rubber plantations located within forest reserves.
He explained that a certain amount of forest must
be preserved as it provides essential ecological services
such as acting as carbon sink, water catchment area and
wildlife habitat apart from supplying timber, medicine
and other forestry products.
He was speaking to a 60-odd audience attending
the Regional Conference on Sustainable Forestry
through Good Governance at Grand Dorsett Hotel
last Thursday.
Nik Mohd Shah said Malaysia targets to maintain at
least 50 per cent forest cover in each state but Selangor
- the most developed state in the country - only has 30
per cent forest cover due to rapid development pressure.
However, Nik Mohd Shah said Sabah and Sarawak,
which are governed by separate forestry laws, conduct
their own forest assessments.
Dr Affendi Suhaili from the Sarawak Forestry Department said there was currently around 70 per cent
forest cover, including plantations located within forest
reserves, in Sarawak.
Sabah Forestry Department senior officer on sustainable forest management Mashor Mohd Jaini also said
there was more than 50 per cent forest cover in Sabah.
news 15
March 2 — 4, 2012
Know Your Councillor:
Dr Teo Lian Sang
Khalid (second from right) presenting the cheque to Herbert (second from right) as Bro John
Albert (left) and state executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar look on
Montfort Boys’
expertise sought
By Alvin Yap
SHAH ALAM: Montfort Boys Town has been
urged to consider allowing its students to help out
in the maintenance of low-cost flats in Selangor.
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who visited the vocational school on Monday, said he wanted to see
students apply their skills by helping to maintain
infrastructure or leading gotong-royong initiatives.
“Think of it as internship. We have the finances
to maintain the flats but we don’t always have
enough people to assist us,” said the Menteri Besar
in reference to the state’s Caring Government for
Residents Aid Scheme (Ceria).
The scheme funds initiatives to repaint and
refurbish older low-cost flats in the state.
Khalid said students could contribute towards
uplifting the well-being of residents at the low-cost
flats by helping to repaint the units and maintaining the amenities there.
Montfort director Brother John Albert said the
vocational school would consider Khalid’s request.
Khalid also lauded Montfort’s efforts in producing highly-skilled workers for the manufacturing
and service industries in Selangor.
“As I understand it, Montfort’s students have
jobs waiting for them at various corporations and
companies even before they graduate,” he said.
The Ijok assemblyperson also said that he
wanted INPENS International College, a vocational training centre in Kuala Selangor, to cooperate with Montfort Boys Town on various curriculum and syllabus issues, especially in welding
He added that the oil and gas industry, in which
Malaysia aspires to be a key regional player, was in
need of specialist welders.
Montfort Boys Town is among a few vocational learning centres with oil and gas industry
accredited welding courses in Malaysia.
He later presented a mock cheque for
RM100,000 on behalf of the state government to
its chairperson of the Board of Governors, Tan Sri
Clifford Herbert and Brother John Albert.
He said the state was aware that the vocational
training school, which is celebrating its 53rd anniversary, operated through public funds.
Herbert said the donation would be used to
maintain and upgrade the sports facilities at Montfort.
He said many of the facilities spread out among
the 13-acre land were in need of rehabilitation due
to “40 years of wear and tear”.
The former civil servant said some 5,000 students have graduated from Montfort armed with
skills training, since it was founded in 1958.
SEPANG: Having a drain outlet
installed at Taman Arked to prevent
stagnant water and floods is one of the
main priorities councillor Dr Teo Lian
Sang has on his list.
For over seven years now, residents
at the neighbourhood have to live with
muddy water and rubbish clogging the
drains outside their homes.
“Water cannot flow out of the
neighbourhood because the developer
didn’t built a drain outlet here,” said
the Sepang municipal councillor
The two-term councillor has been pushing
for the developer to
build a proper outlet
here for almost two
years, but nothing permanent has been done
so far.
Teo, 41, said the developer only dug a hole
for water to flow out of
the neighbourhood, as
a temporary solution.
However, the developer had promised to
build a proper drainage
outlet soon, which will
lead to a nearby river.
“They promised to
do this before their
new development project nearby is
completed. The outlet will have to be
installed before they can get the CF
(certificate of fitness) from the council,” said the kindergarten owner.
He hopes the developer will keep
their promise and upgrade the drainage system as soon as possible to prevent Aedes mosquitoes from breeding
in the neighbourhood.
In addition, floods happen often in
the area as the water is trapped in the
small drains around the neighbourhood.
“There isn’t a way out, so water
overflows and travels down towards
the houses located on lower ground,”
said Teo.
In the meantime, MPS has assigned
contractors to dig up rubbish and clear
the clogged drains.
Apart from that, Teo is also pushing
for MPS to create an online system to
monitor and track cleaning and rubbish collection contractors.
“There have been numerous complaints about uncut grass, areas not
cleaned according to schedule and
rubbish uncollected at times,” he said.
With this online system, which will
be open to the public, contractors will
have to clock in their working hours
and the tasks they have completed.
By doing so, both the council and
residents will be able to track the work
contractors do and
ensure they are not
Currently, this system is already being
carried out in his
area, involving a log
book and the cooperation of residents’
“Contractors had
been told to sign in
the log book every
time they do cleaning
jobs or collect bulk
waste. Complaints
have been decreasing
ever since,” said Teo.
However, MPS
has rejected his proposal to have the online monitoring system to be implemented for the whole of Sepang.
For the future, Teo wants to foster
closer ties with the Public Works
Department (PWD) and get them to
repair roads and street lights which are
in bad condition.
“It’s been a tough ride trying to get
PWD to work with us. They seem
reluctant to cooperate with us no matter how hard we try,” he said.
There are stretches of winding road
from Dengkil to Banting which are
full of potholes and faulty street lights,
making it dangerous for motorists
driving at night.
Also, some potholes are filled with
sand with grass growing in them.
“If they don’t fix this, soon the road
will be gone and be replaced by more
sand and grass,” he said.
Help for fire victims
By Khaulah Azwar
Dr Halimah
meeting the
KLANG: Two families whose rented
home at Jalan Yadi was burnt down on
Feb 15 have received financial assistance
from Selat Klang assemblyperson Dr
Halimah Ali.
“We hope all fire victims stay patient
and calm while overcoming this misfortune. In the meantime, my office will be
assisting them as well,” said Halimah.
The half-wooden and brick houses
were razed at 7.45am, leaving the victims
“The cause of the fire is still unknown
and the police are still investigating,” she
Residents living in the neighbour-
hood had sought the assistance of
Halimah’s assistant, Kamaluddin Rahmat.
“After receiving the news, I called the
police and fire department immediately
to put out the fire which was getting out
of control,” said Kamaluddin.
The fire was brought under control at
8.20am and put out a few minutes later.
“If it weren’t for the quick response,
I’m sure the fire would have spread to the
other neighbouring houses,” he said.
The victims also received help from
the Welfare Department, Klang Municipal Council (MPK) and Selangor
Zakat Board.
Besides money, they were also given
daily necessities like food and clothing.
march 2 — 4, 2012
Beyond that rusty and dusty realm
of discards, hand-me-downs and
storage junk, there are some
things that are deemed precious
by others. LIN ZHENYUAN checks
out a market that specialises in
the antiquated and archaic.
here is a “club of sorts” that draws hundreds, if not
thousands of shoppers, grandfathers, retirees, treasure
hunters and collectors, every Sunday.
It takes place on Saturdays and Sundays at the Amcorp
Mall in Petaling Jaya. The flea market, which started around
1997, has since grown to become arguably the biggest and
most successful flea market in the sprawling district of PJ.
According to an official of the Amcorp Mall management,
about 200 people come to set up their stalls as early as 8am on
Sundays. The Saturday flea market is less crowded but nevertheless it still takes place.
The mall management puts a strong emphasis on antiques
and collectibles.
But it is on Sundays that everything and almost anything
under the sun is sold on four levels of the shopping complex.
The lower ground level has the greatest mix of stalls.
There are numerous stalls that sell stamps, First Day Covers,
coins (foreign and local) and items relating to numismatics
and philately. Everything that is on display can be bought -- at
a price, of course.
Recently, I came upon a first edition book by Frank Thomas Tan (left) and Che Mat are tactical gear stalwarts at the Amcorp Mall flea market.
Swettenham entitled The Real Malay. It was a rare occasion
when such a book is seen and put up for sale. The only problem,
at least for me, was the price -- RM1,200. I decided to give it
a miss because I wasn’t carrying that amount of spare change.
There are also traders who specialise in various types of
Malay keris and other ancient weapons that have rusted over
the decades or perhaps centuries.
One trader candidly admitted that he sometimes journeyed
out of state and into kampungs to look for the collectibles that
others might have missed. This included spear heads and blades
without handles that have been accidentally dug up by farmers
tilling their fields.
It has become the norm for traders
and flea market specialists to book tables for two days. The charges are
RM80 per table for two days.
If you want to sell your grandmother’s clothes for only one day, then
it will have to be Saturday and you have
to pay RM30. Table cloth is not provided. You will have to bring your own.
Individuals representing companies
who have proper credentials can book
a table for outdoor business for three
days. The fee is RM250. For the socalled outdoor flea market activity,
table cloth is provided.
Registration for flea market tables,
I understand, takes place on Tuesdays
at 11am on the first floor of the Amcorp Mall office.
The people who come to Amcorp Old bottles,
tiffin carriers
Mall to peddle their wares are a mix- and even a
ture of professionals, part-time traders bicycle seat
and houseowners. Regular Amcorp find their way
flea market visitors usually know which into the flea
stalls to approach if they seek objects market.
of their desire.
This streetwise trait comes from years of banter with
certain stall owners who only specialise in selling certain
items. I have been told that several ordinary-looking uncles
manning stalls are actually PhD holders who work full time
at tertiary institutions during weekdays.
The visitors and shoppers who throng the four-level flea
market comprise mainly of adults, mostly men, and families Shops like this one attract more customers
out to have a good time.
on Sunday at Amcorp Mall.
It is obvious that this particular flea market has become
an unofficial meeting place for retirees who find that yesdecorate their upbeat rooms.
teryear’s keepsakes and souvenirs bring them much joy and
Permanent shoplots found on the various
nostalgia, even if they do not take home with them any of the floors of Amcorp Mall do enjoy better business
on Sundays. Thus, most of these shops, includWho would be able to appreciate an old cangkul or a vinyl ing the restaurants and small eateries, are always
record that has sound tracks from an era long forgotten. Teen- in full swing when the flea market is operating
agers are a rare sight at Amcorp Mall on Sundays.
at full throttle.
The word is these youngsters wouldn’t want to be caught
Books are among some of the favourite items
dead browsing through somebody’s grandfather’s discards to sought by collectors and avid readers. The flea The flea market operates on four levels at Amcorp Mall.
and collectibles
focus 17
march 2 — 4, 2012
Story-telling feast
at PJ Live Arts
Motivational books and audio tapes find buyers every weekend.
Playwrights, actors, writers, activists and media personalities:
A roundup of the Saya Sebatang Pensel essay readers. (from
left) Alfian Sa’at, Elza Irdalynna, Sharaad Kuttan, Sharon
Bakar, See Tshiung Han, Susan Lankester and Uthaya Sankar
Old postcards and stamps represent a
niche market among discerning philatelic
market traders of course have to compete with the
Book Xcess outlet on the third floor because of the
narrow price difference.
Personally, I have found some out-of-print first
edition books of great personal value at Amcorp
Mall in the past. A consequence of finding and buying too many of such books has earned me the ire
of family members complaining of shrinking walking space in the house.
Goods sold at the flea market fall under several
categories. They are “over-priced, over-rated, under- Families like to browse through the hundreds of objects
appreciated and under-valued”. In past years, I had at the scores of stalls.
spotted some well known university professors scavenging for rare
books that might have missed their
proper and final destinations like
museums and university libraries.
Sometimes, it is that inexplicable urge to possess a relic of the past
that seems to conjure so many precious memories. As a result of such
impulse buying, I have on occasion
asked myself while driving home,
“why am I lugging that piece of
junk home?”
If you like 30-year-old Coca
Cola bottles with their metal caps
still attached or some rusty old
scissors of mysterious origin, you
may develop a strange love affair
with the Amcorp Mall flea market. Ordinary trinkets and ornaments may attract selected visitors with
I have a friend who collects only specialised interests.
items from a particular brand of
beer. He has gone to flea markets abroad and domestiThis is one of the reasons why the older generation
cally in search of these items. So naturally, when he likes this flea market so much. It reminds them that the
comes to Amcorp Mall on Sundays, his eyes are peeled memories from their past still live on through objects
wide for any elusive item that might have escaped his and artefacts that some diligent person has dug up from
eyes on an earlier outing.
his backyard, found in his granny’s trunk or discovered
Sometimes while walking along the corridors of the while clearing the storage room.
first floor, you may catch refrains of old songs that pluck
There is no denying that the Amcorp Mall flea
at your heart-strings. Hold on to your aching heart, it market has a large following in PJ and KL. Life is such
is just that vendor who only sells music CDs with ever- that although we constantly plan for the future, we
green songs by Bobby Vinton, Pat Boone, Cliff Richard, also hold on steadfastly to the past because they reNeil Sedaka, Johnny Tillotson, Frankie Avalon, Louis mind us so much of the things and people we miss in
Armstrong and Johnny Mathis.
our daily lives.
PETALING JAYA: Everyone loves a good story, and better yet,
society has always appreciated a good storyteller who is able to hold
the audience by the way they tell the narrative.
From March 15 to April 1, theatre group PJ Live Arts is bringing
back the lost art of storytelling at the upcoming Story Fest 2012.
“Story telling is the most primitive and basic performing arts in
society,” said PJ Live Arts executive director Diong Chae Lian at
their premises in Petaling Jaya recently.
Highlights at the event include “A Home is not a Fairy Tale”,
where narrators read four locally written and highly acclaimed
children’s storybooks that focus on issues faced by vulnerable children.
These include Cats in the Rubbish, about street children, and
The Little Dancing Bear, about child labour .
Readings of Fin the Brave and Kailash deal with the issues of
statelessness and refugee children.
The festival will also see the Asian debut of a musical stage adaptation of The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by bestselling
children author Jill Tomlinson.
Renowned performing arts group Blunderbus Theatre Company
from the United Kingdom will perform the musical, which is
suited for children aged three to seven.
According to Diong, the art of storytelling is not totally lost
amidst the hustle and bustle of the digital age.
“Telling Tales” is an all-day workshop for adults to hone their storytelling skills and is suited for teachers and parents who want
to sustain the attention of a child during class or at home.
Led by Judith Shaik and Anne Ooi, the interactive workshop
will make participants into better storytellers.
Diong explained that by becoming a better storyteller, adults can
create in children a love for reading and stories.
“Story Fest 2012” has something for everyone, children and
adults alike. We’ve drawn up a family-friendly programme and hope
it will bring out the inner storyteller in everyone,” she said.
The festival will also revisit and reminisce about our primary
school essays.
Malaysian storytellers consisting of writers, stage and television
actors will present the Saya Sebatang Pensel reading of essays which
include If I were a Billionaire, Cita-cita Saya and My Family. Among essay readers lined up are Amir Muhammad, Susan
Lankester, Dina Zaman, Bernice Chauly and Fahmi Fadzil.
Admission is free for “A Home is not a Fairy Tale” readings while
the rest of the festival programmes is priced from RM40.
For more information and updates on the programmes, call PJ
Live Arts Box Office at 03- 7960 0439 or visit www.pjla.com.my
and www.facebook.com/pjlivearts.
The event is presented by PJ Live Arts, in partnership with Jaya
One, Gardner & Wife Theatre, and children’s advocacy group Voice
of the Children.
It is also to celebrate World Storytelling Day, which falls on
March 20.
March 2 — 4, 2012
Healthy Lifestyle
Expo in June
By Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Selangor’s first
Healthy Lifestyle Expo, featuring
140 booths, will be held from June
22-24 at the Shah Alam Convention
Centre (SACC).
SACC signed a memorandum of
understanding with the expo organiser, SMV Associates Sdn Bhd, on
Tuesday to hold the health expo at
the convention centre for the next
five years.
Themed “Go Green & Be More
Healthy!”, the expo will showcase
health, fitness and beauty products
and packages from local and multinational companies.
“We want to raise the public’s
health awareness and encourage
them to adopt a healthier lifestyle,”
said SMV Group & SMV Associates
group managing director Faizal
Ridza Alwi at a press conference.
He added that various programmes such as health screenings,
cooking demonstrations, sports
coaching and appearances of healthcare specialists will be held at the
He said SMV Associates chose to
hold the exhibition in Selangor as
the state has the largest population
in the country.
SACC chief executive officer
Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad said they
expect to attract thousands from
Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and Klang
to the expo.
Meanwhile, Zulkifli said SACC
had embarked on a five-year plan to
turn its conventional centre into a
at NZ
green building.
“We’re changing our light bulbs
in stages into energy efficient LEDs
(light emitting-diodes) and are
looking into converting our food
waste into fertiliser.”
He added that the convention
centre has already replaced its centralised air-conditioning system
with a split system to save energy.
He said SACC also plans to repaint its building with heat-shielding paint to reduce its energ y
consumption, particularly from
air-conditioning during the day,
and reduce its RM100,000 monthly electricity bill by up to 20 per
Also at the memorandum of
understanding signing ceremony
were SMV Event Sdn Bhd Hamirul
(From left) Hamirul, Faizal, Hasan, Zulkifli and Mohd Rawi at the
MoU signing ceremony.
Aizat Hamidi, SACC senior sales
manager Mohd Rawi Abu Bakar
and Selangor State Investment Bhd
chief executive officer Hasan Azhari
Businesses interested in becoming exhibitors at the expo can call
Aizat (019-275 3858), Faizal (012474 1747) and Syaiful (019-208
Creative product
designers at fair
(from left) MRM senior general manager Futom Shikh Jaafar,
Ong, and Matrade deputy CEO Datuk Mohamad Kamarudin
Hassan at the launch.
Gauthier says a vibrant outdoor life is in store for
international students in New Zealand.
SUBANG JAYA: Students seeking academic guidance for their tertiary education made a beeline for the
New Zealand Education Fair 2012 held at a hotel here
last Sunday.
Accompanied by their parents or friends, students
aged 17 to the early 20s came looking for advice on their
tertiary studies from academic advisers.
“I think I want to study in New Zealand as I like the
outdoors and prefer a more laidback environment,” said
Sarah Cheng, 20, whose career path is in finance and
The Subang Jaya resident said she was considering
studying in New Zealand as her father, Paul, 56, graduated in the early 1980s from a university there.
Puchong resident Ng See Wei, 20, is considering New
Zealand as his home for the next three years as he looks
for a suitable university to do his engineering course.
The annual education fair highlighted some 16 tertiary level institutes of higher learning located around
New Zealand.
It showcased universities and colleges and polytechnic centres located on both North and South Island.
According to Bruce Osborne, director of International Business at Universal College of Learning
(UCOL), New Zealand offers a good environment for
students because of its political stability and an excellent
educational system.
“This system gives students the ability to enter and
exit any course of study at foundation, graduate and
post-graduate levels,” said Osborne, who manned
UCOL’s counters.
UCOL is an academic and vocational centre of learning located in three main cities on North Island.
The head academic adviser said New Zealand’s
population of 4.2 million, with its high standard of
living, embraces technology in everyday life.
This, he said, meant that the education syllabus was
geared towards producing a highly technical and skilled
Similarly, Elle Freestone from the University of
Waikato said learning in New Zealand was through the
“applied method” in small class sizes.
The International Recruitment Adviser pointed out
that that the Hamilton-based centre of higher learning
aimed at getting its graduates ready for the workforce.
“Graduates are competent to work anywhere in the
world,” she said.
For students who are considering agriculture, business
or environmental science, Lincoln University offers Environmental Management studies at its Christchurch campus.
The centre of higher learning has historical links with
Malaysia as students in the 1960s were sent to Lincoln
under the United Nations Colombo Plan.
The university’s Ian Douthwaite said quite a few of
the head forest rangers in East Malaysia’s national parks
graduated from Lincoln with degree and postgraduate
degrees in Sustainable Forest Management.
“It’s fitting that our motto is ‘New Zealand’s specialist land-based university’,” he said.
Academic adviser Sarah Gauthier said New Zealand
offers both a laidback lifestyle with a vibrant nightlife
in all the cities and towns where campuses are located.
“Surfing and skiing are some of the outdoor sports
students can look forward to while studying in New
Zealand,” she said.
She represented Otago Polytechnic, a top-rated
centre of learning in city of Dunedin in Otago.
The higher learning institute is ranked one of the top
universities by the country’s Qualification Board.
The New Zealand Education Fair, a trade education
expo organised by the New Zealand High Commission
here will be at Penang and Kuching early next month.
By Basil Foo
KUALA LUMPUR: Unearthing new talents is among the goals
of the upcoming Fourth Kuala
Lumpur International Gifts,
Premium and Stationery Fair
(KLIGP 2012).
The event, to be held at the
Putra World Trade Centre
(PWTC) from June 13-15, will
showcase the works of creative
and innovative local product
These product designs will be
from the winners of the Authentic, Innovative and Creative
Product Contest (APC) and the
Product Design Contest (PDC)
held before the fair.
“Creating unique products
will set local companies apart
from the competition,” said Malaysian Gifts and Premium Entrepreneur Association (MGPA)
president Alan Ong at the official
launch of K LIGP 2012 at
PWTC on Feb 28.
In line with the fair’s theme,
“Innovate to Differentiate”, the
PDC is free for all exhibitors to
join and submit their product
designs by May 18.
Fresh innovations are expected as companies jostle for the top
spot by creating original products
like bags, apparel, jewellery, stationery, electronics and more.
Judging criteria includes orig-
inality, functionality, performance, manufacturing and environmental impact.
The APC, much like the
PDC, is open for creative product designers to submit their
ideas and drawings, but with a
special focus: the participants
must be students.
“The winners of the APC will
be invited for all three days of the
fair to present their concept to
the fair participants,” said MGPA
executive committee member
Mark Chua.
This will help budding young
talents showcase their product
More information on prizes,
terms and conditions, and registration for both competitions can
be found on the fair’s website at
KLIGP 2012 is open to corporate businesses and traders for
the first two days and to the
public only on its final day. Admission is free.
Visitors can expect about 350
booths with exhibitors from
seven countries presenting a host
of products such as useful daily
items, decorative gifts, and school
and work items.
The fair is endorsed by the
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade)
and supported by the Malaysia
Design Council (MRM).
culture 19
march 2 — 4, 2012
There’s always
time for creativity!
Shakespeare on Film
Film: Feb 12-Mar 18;
Indicine, Kuala Lumpur
Performing Arts Centre, KL;
03-40479000; www.klpac.org; Free.
Paul Loosley’s Shakespeare on Film
is back for the sixth series and after
more than 30 movies adaptations
of the Bard’s works are still flowing.
Among the offerings this series are
Julie Taymor’s The Tempest (Feb 12),
George Cukor’s Romeo and Juliet
(Feb 19) and John Farrell’s Richard
the Second.
By Dominic Luk
Make some time to find out about these events happening in the next
few weeks. It’ll be a great way to spend more time with your family and
friends, and perhaps a good chance to do something different for once.
Be sure to check them out!
The ASWARA Dance Company, formed in 1994, promises an evening
of mind-blowing dance performances. With artistic direction by Joseph
Gonzales, the show is made up of three acts: Bharatanatyam - Netranthi
Nerathile, Makyung - excerpts from Dewa Indera Indera Dewa, and
Contemporary - Plan B. It’ll run until March 4 and tickets are RM20 for adults
or RM5 for students. Visit www.aswara.edu.
my to know more about the show.
Sometimes it’s the little things in life that are worth paying more attention
to. We’re so used to seeing things on big screens and forget that we should
take time to look at the details of the smaller things around us. Drop by WeiLing Gallery from 9 March to 10 April to check out their exhibition on miniature
artworks by Malaysian artists. Admission is free so there’s no excuse for not
opening our minds up to the world of fine art. Wei Ling Gallery’s website can
be found at www.weiling-gallery.com
Weave Exhibition
Art: Feb 27-Mar 11;
Pentas 2 Lobby, Kuala Lumpur
Performing Arts Centre, KL;
03-40479000; www.klpac.org; Free.
Faizal Sidik focuses on collective
conscience, an idea he investigates using
a variety of mediums. His earliest works,
the War Series, use traditional techniques
of drawing to comment on war and dissent,
victimization and silence. The pathos of
the images is intense, with figures skillfully
enhanced by dark colour combinations.
The Merchant of Venice
Play: Feb 29-Mar 2;
Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts
Centre, KL; 03-40479000;
www.klpac.org; RM15-RM20.
When Jean picks up a dead man’s cell phone in a café, her life
changes. Our cell phones have become such a big part of our
lives; they’re with us everywhere we go. Literally, everywhere!
Jean finds out how this lifeless gadget is able to bring new life
to her in a twisted series of events. The play will be directed
by Christopher Ling, and will feature a stellar cast comprising
Sandee Chew, Payal Vashist, Anrie Too, KT Lim, Amir Yunos, and
Alexis Wong. Be sure to get your tickets before the show opens
on 14 March. Ticketing information is available at KLPAC’s
website: www.klpac.org
The Merchant of Venice is one of
Shakespeare’s most exciting plays,
filled with laughter and darkness, love
and hate, forgiveness and revenge.
The Jewish moneylender Shylock
makes a loan to Antonio, a Christian
merchant. Their loan contract;
steeped in prejudice and centered
on the play’s infamous “pound
of flesh,” sweeps the two men and
everyone in their worlds into chaos.
The insightful Portia boldly intervenes
to try and save Antonio, with unforeseen consequences for all.
[email protected]
Drama: Mar 1-3 (8.30pm), Mar 4 (3pm) ;
The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 Roof Top;
www.theactorsstudio.com.my; RM35.
A monodrama themed 60 minutes before the end of the world
featuring : Redza Minhat, Lim Yoon Kean, Ong Hong Yi, Samuel
Lee, Jeff Lau, Damian St, William Yap, Season Chee, Royce Tan,
Sunny Cheong.
We’ve always loved stories, and when we were schoolchildren, we had to
constantly write essays and create our own stories; what a great way to make
our imagination run! Sadly, as we grow older, we tend to forget about how
fantasies could be as real as we want them to be. Growing up has made us less
colourful and more inclined to the serious side of life. Check out this event at
PJ Live Arts from 15 to 18 March, where a fantastic bunch of Malaysian writers
and performers will gather to tell their stories based on primary school essay
titles (for example, “My Family”, “Saya Sebatang Pensel”, “Cita-cita Saya”).
Visit www.pjlivearts.my and see what’s it’s really all about!
March 2 — 4, 2012
Enforcement officers from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) performing martial art self-defence moves during the launch of their new office at
Persada Plus in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim meeting Montfort Boys Town students after
presenting a RM100,000 allocation to the vocational training centre for upgrading
its sports facilities.
These happy faces say it all! Zamri Sakiman (second from left) with
his brothers Tukimon (first from left), Mohd Yusrizan (second from
right) and Mohd Saharudin standing outside their home in Bagan
Terap, Sabak Bernam. Their house was among the many that were
repaired by the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS)
as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility last Saturday.
Concerned Malaysians at the Himpunan Hijau anti-Lynas protest at Maju Junction last Saturday.
About 1,000 people turned up to protest the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Kuantan.
A protester with hair
cut from passersby symbolising the
detrimental effects that
critics say Lynas will pose
if it is allowed to operate.
PJ Selatan member of Parliament Hee Loy Sian (centre) and
Taman Medan state lawmaker
Haniza Talha launching the PJS
1 and PJS 3 “Gated & Guarded
Community”on Feb 19.

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