Thursday, December 18, 2008

Appeal from Zakaria Md Deros’ family rejected - Star

SHAH ALAM: Dec 18, 2008

The Selangor state executive council on Wednesday rejected the appeal by the family of the late Datuk Zakaria Md Deros for temporary occupation of the state land where the fencing of his infamous mansion in Port Klang had been constructed.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the executive council would now hand the matter over to the Klang district office and municipal council for a decision on what action to take next.

“We will ask the district office and municipal council to hold a dialogue with the surrounding residents to gather their feedback on the use of the state land.

“We will leave it to the residents in the area to decide on whether to turn the land into an open area or then to sell it to the family,” he told a press conference after chairing the state executive council meeting here.

Zakaria’s family had submitted a letter of appeal to the district office on Nov 17 following Khalid’s announcement on Nov 12 that an earlier application for temporary occupation of the 2,267 sq m of state land had been rejected.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ronnie Liu sues Khir Toyo - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Oct 6, 2008

Selangor state exco Ronnie Liu filed a defamation suit against former Selangor MB Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo on Monday for allegedly defaming his character, including allegedly describing Liu as immoral and being involved in vice activities

Dr Khir had allegedly accused Liu in May of obstructing a prostitution raid at a hotel in Puchong and claimed he was therefore not fit to be in charge of the state’s local government.

Liu said the accusations were baseless and was aimed at attacking his political reputation and tarnishing his name.

He is seeking an unspecified amount of general, aggravated and exemplary damages. The suit was filed at 11.30am at the KL High Court

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kapar MP to quit PKR if no action is taken - Star

KLANG: Sept 30, 2008

Kapar MP S. Manicka­vasagam has threatened to quit as the Selangor Parti Keadilan Rakyat liaison committee deputy chairman if no action is taken against council officers involved in a Hindu temple demolition exercise in Ampang re­­cently.

Manickavasagam, who is also a PKR supreme council member, said he might even quit the party if he was not satisfied with action taken by the state government.

He said action should be taken against the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) president, its en-forcement chief and other officers involved as the matter was not referred to the state govern-

ment before the temple was demolished.

“The council president also did not inform the two Indian representatives in the council’s board of the action. I have recently learnt that MPAJ sent notices of demolition to 10 other temples in the municipality.

“I feel action must be taken especially against those directly involved as this is serious,” he said. Selangor Health, Estate Workers and Caring Government Committee chairman Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said he was not satisfied with the council’s interim report.

“MPAJ is conducting an internal probe as the demolition took place without the knowledge of the state exco or MPAJ president, who was in Mecca when it happened,” he told reporters when he visited the temple on Sunday.

Dr Xavier said the temple committee should also take responsibility as they did not apply for permission from the state government to build the temple.

“The mistake is on both sides. The demolition without prior notice from the state government and the building of temple without the state’s approval,” he said.

Temple committee chairman S. Murugiah said they did not receive any notice for the demolition.

Selangor govt suspends Hamid - Star

SHAH ALAM: Sept 30, 2008 By CHRISTINA TAN and CHRISTINA LOW

Ampang Jaya Muni­cipal Council (MPAJ) deputy president Hamid Hussain, who allegedly ordered that the Sri Maha­kaliaman temple be demolished, has been suspended for a week effective today.

State Local Government, Research and Study committee chairman Ronnie Liu said Hamid was being suspended pending investigations.

The decision to suspend him was made yesterday.

He said the state three-man committee on non-Muslim religious affairs comprising Teresa Kok, Dr Xavier Jayakumar and himself has begun their investigations into the temple demolition.

“We are expecting the investigation results by Monday and we will look into the next course of action after that,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The 19-year-old temple near Kampung Tasek Tambahan, which was built on forest reserve land, was ordered to be destroyed by the MPAJ about two weeks ago.

Liu said the council president was on leave when the temple was demolished and Hamid, as the deputy, had reportedly decided on the matter.

He said the state government was dealing with the demolition of places of worship very seriously and would find a solution to the problem of the Sri Mahakaliaman temple soon.

Liu said so far 27 permits for places of worship, including churches, Hindu temples and Chinese temples on government land, had been given since the Pakatan Rakyat took over the state government.

This showed that the state government was very concerned and sensitive to religious matters, he said.

However, Liu said, the state government hoped not to see any new places of worship coming up on land designated as forest and river reserves.

He said the people should understand that these reserves should not be occupied for other than the intended use.

When contacted, Hamid, who is on leave in Langkawi, said he

did not know anything about the council’s decision to suspend

him.

“I’m on Hari Raya leave now and I don’t know what is going on,” he said, adding that he had not received any notice from the state government or council.

When contacted, MPAJ president Datuk Mohammad Yacob said that he had been informed of Hamid’s suspension. “The suspension is the state exco’s decision,” he said.

“We will follow whatever decision the state exco makes as we are all here to serve the public.”

Mohammad declined further comment but said that he would wait for an interim report on the issue next week.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

K'jaan S'gor desak Teresa dibebaskan - Malaysiakini

Jimadie Shah Othman | Sep 13, 08 7:02pm

Kepimpinan utama negeri Selangor meminta kerajaan persekutuan supaya membebaskan segera exco negeri itu, Teresa Kok dan Raja Petra Kamaruddin yang ditahan di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) semalam.

Wartawan Sin Chew Daily, Tan Hoon Cheng yang turut ditahan di bawah ISA semalam, telah dibebaskan hari ini.

Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim menuntut Teresa, yang juga ahli dewan undangan negeri (Adun) Kinrara itu, dibebaskan dalam tempoh selewat-lewatnya dua hari.

Abdul Khalid berkata, tidak ada sebab pemimpin DAP itu perlu ditangkap.

Beliau yang kesal dengan penangkapan Teresa, meyifatkan penggunaan ISA sebagai tidak menyelesaikan masalah dalam negara.
Menurut Abdul Khalid lagi, penggunaannya juga "tidak sesuai, tidak munasabah, 'low class' dan menjatuhkan nama baik Malaysia di peringkat antarabangsa".

"ISA tidak lagi perlu di saat rakyat matang dan bakal menyambut ulang tahun kemerdekaan negara ke-51," katanya dalam sidang media bersama Adun dan wakil rakyat Pakatan Rakyat di kediamannya di Shah Alam petang tadi.

Ekoran itu, tegas Khalid, kerajan negeri akan memberikan bantuan guaman dan kosnya akan ditanggung oleh kerajaan negeri.

Katanya, beliau akan berbincang dengan penasihat undang-undang Selangor dan memfailkan petisyen habeas corpus.

Kecam tangkapan Teresa

Diminta mengulas kesannya sekiranya usaha itu gagal, Abdul Khalid berkata, Teresa masih lagi "ada kerusi" sebagai Adun dan ahli parlimen.

Jawatannnya sebagai exco kerajaan negeri juga tidak berubah, tambahnya.

Sementara itu, kebanyakan wakil rakyat Pakatan memberikan reaksi tidak selesa dan mengecam penangkapan Teresa itu.

Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri Selangor, Teng Cheng Khim yang terkejut dengan penahanan itu berkata, beliau terkilan dengan penahanan itu sejurus selepas Teresa (foto) memberikan taklimat kepada delegasi pelabur dari Guang Dong, China malam tadi.

"Bagaimana orang yang menarik pelaburan asing dari luar negara boleh dianggap sebagai mengancam keselamatan negara?" katanya.

Exco pendidikan, Haliman Ali pula berkata jika penangkapan Teresa dibuat atas alasan beliau melarang penggunaan pembesar suara untuk azan di masjid di negeri itu, perkara itu tidak boleh diterima.

Dalam mesyuarat exco Rabu lalu, katanya, Teresa telah menafikan bahawa beliau terlibat dalam larangan itu.

Menurut Adun PAS itu, dalam Islam, kalau benar beliau bersalah sekalipun, penangkapan tanpa bicara tetap tidak boleh dilakukan.

Kesan trauma

Menurutnya lagi, ISA "tidak lagi mempunyai tempat dalam Malaysia, dalam dunia dan dalam era ini".

Ahli parlimen Kuala Langat, Abdullah Sani pula berkata, dakwaan Teresa melarang laungan azan di negeri itu datang dari pembangkang di Selangor.

Mempersoalkan penangkapan itu, beliau berkata: "Kenapa pembangkang tidak ditangkap?"

Beliau meminta Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar prihatin dengan perkara itu dan membebaskan Teresa segera.

Adun Ulu Klang, Shaaari Sungip yang telah dua kali ditahan di bawah ISA berkata penangkapan kali ini sama dengan Operasi Lalang yang menggunakan alasan agama dan perkauman dan diperkukuhkan
melalui media.

Beliau berkata, penggunaan ISA boleh memberikan kesan trauma.

Beliau menyifatkan tindakan itu tidak demokratik sedangkan Teresa dipilih oleh rakyat secara demokratik melalui proses pilihanraya.

Exco kesihatan, Xavier Jayakumar mahu dihentikan penggunaan undang-undang "drakonian" seperti ISA dan akta Hasutan, dan sebaliknya menggunakan saluran undang-undang dan dibawa ke mahkamah.

Datuk Dr Hassan Ali pula menyifatkan penangkapan itu sebagai usaha BN menggagalkan pembentukan kerajan baru kerajaan oleh Pakatan.

"Perubahan kerajaan akan tetap berlaku sama ada sebelum atau selepas 16 September," katanya.

Hannah Yeoh turut menunjukkan ketidakselesaan terhadap penangkapan itu.

Selangor govt may also sack ‘uncooperative’ council presidents and employees - Star

KLANG: Sept 13, 2008 By CHRISTINA TAN

The Selangor government has identified several “underperforming and uncooperative” council employees, including council presidents, and plans to take stern action against them, even to the point of sacking them.

State Local Government, Study and Research Committee chairman Ronnie Liu said the performance of local council employees had been monitored since the Pakatan Rakyat began to helm the government in March.

“We have to take stern action because all of them had been repeatedly told what they should and shouldn’t do.

“Some of them not only refused to cooperate with the government, but deliberately went against orders.

“It is September now and six months is enough,” he said after attending the opening of the new centre of Klang Municipal councillor Tee Boon Hock at Bukit Tinggi here on Thursday.

Citing an example, he said some of the council presidents failed to decide on the zoning of areas that local councillors would service.

“It is ridiculous, it has been two months already (since they were told to do so) and all of them know the importance of zoning,” he said, adding that those in the council should know their duties well because the state government held monthly meetings with them.

Also on the list were officers of Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) who went overboard on Thursday by tearing down a Hindu temple despite a state government directive not to destroy places of worship, he said.

Liu said the officers also by-passed the committee on non-Muslim affairs headed by Teresa Kok, Dr Xavier Jayakumar and himself.

“This is a very clear offence and there is no excuse at all (for the actions),” he said, adding that he was waiting for a written report on the number of officers involved.

Liu added that he had asked MPAJ to lodge a report with the police and state government to allow action to be taken against the officers involved.

“We have a provision to sack them although they are federal officers,” he said, adding, however, that the process of termination would take time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

PAS MP lodges report against Khir Toyo - Sun

SHAH ALAM (Sept 11, 2008): By Maria J.Dass

Kota Raja Member of Parliament Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud has lodged a police report against former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and website pembelamelayu.com for spreading malicious slander and lies about certain quarters pressuring the state authorities to tone down the call to prayer at mosque and surau in the state.

When contacted, Siti Mariah, who is also PAS central committee member, said the police must investigate and act on this immediately as malicious lies can ruin racial and religious harmony.

Pembelamelayu.com quoting Mohd Khir in his blog said Seputeh MP and Puchong Assemblyman Theresa Kok had supported a petition by the Chinese in Kinrara against the azan (call to morning prayer) in their area.

The website also alleged that Seri Serdang assemblyman Satim Diman had raised the issue at the state assembly but did not get a response.

In her report lodged at the Dang Wangi police headquarters today, Siti Mariah said Mohd Khir’s statement, published in Utusan Malaysia on Tuesday, was “malicious and aimed at raising the anger and anxiety of Malay Muslims”.

“This action by Khir, the blog and Utusan Malaysia is an obvious attempt to manipulate the sentiments of the Malay and Muslim people,” Siti Mariah said.

She said newspapers should verify the facts before publishing such reports.
(The Utusan Malaysia report quoted Khir, but Kok's name was not mentioned.)

"As a Muslim, I was upset when I read the article, but upon checking with Teresa, I found out that she had not been involved in the petition at all.”

She added that she obtained a copy of the state assembly Hansard from the Speaker’s office and found that allegations that Satim was ordered to remain seated when he brought up the issue at the state assembly was unfounded.

She said it is understood that committees of the mosques involved have also lodged reports with the police against the unfounded allegations.

When contacted, Mohd Khir said: “Let the police to investigate the allegations.”

Asked if he stood by the statements made, Mohd Khir said: “A report has been lodged, so I don’t want to say anything more on the matter.”

On Wednesday, Kok, referring to the article published on PembelaMelayu.com, denied even receiving such a complaint from residents and said she personally had no problems with the prayer calls.

Kok had also demanded a retraction and apology from Mohd Khir, Utusan Malaysia, its writer Zaini Hassan and Satim.

RONNIE LIU: All Selangor councillors clean - NST

SHAH ALAM, Thurs: Sept 11, 2008

All local councillors appointed by the PKR-DAP-Pas coalition government in Selangor two months ago do not have criminal records.

State Local Government, Study and Research Committee Chairman Ronnie Liu said this confirmation was obtained through a letter sent by the Home Ministry two weeks ago.

Hence, he said, all previous allegations hurled by certain quarters at the local councillors were clearly not true.

Ronnie said the confirmation, however, did not include bankruptcy cases.

"With regard to bankruptcy records, there is no letter yet and we have to wait for the report from the Insolvency Department,” he told reporters here today.
Earlier, he attended a function where Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim presented appointment letters to 74 Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) chairmen.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Free parking for the disabled - Star

Sept 9, 2008

THE disabled people living in the Subang Jaya municipality have been urged to apply for free parking stickers at the council.

They are also requested to carry their cards at all time to be eligible for their privileges.

Apply now: Yeoh showing the stickers for the disabled while Adnan looks on.

According to the Petaling welfare office some 298 disabled people in Subang Jaya are registered with it, but only 23 of them had applied for the council’s free parking stickers this year.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said not many disabled people were aware of the stickers.

“This is not a new thing as the council introduced it in 2006,” said Yeoh during a press briefing together with the MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan.

“The stickers will enable the disabled to park their cars for free at public parking spaces that are managed by the MPSJ, so that they need not go through the inconvenience of paying at the parking meters.”

The stickers are not applicable at private complexes or shopping malls.

It is learnt that only seven disabled people had applied for the stickers in 2006, while in 2007, only 17 applications were received.

Yeoh said this was one of the first steps undertaken towards making things more convenient for the disabled.

Adnan added that since 1995, there was a compulsory by-law for any submissions of development order and building plan to include facilities for the disabled.

“However, it was only enforced two years ago,” he said.

Yeoh said she would be having a meeting on Nov 1 with the disabled community in Subang Jaya to be held at the MPSJ building.

“I’ll arrange for some councillors to be around during the meeting so that they can listen to the hardships faced by the disabled and work towards a solution.”

For more information on the stickers call Yeoh’s assistant Cherrinee Lee at 012-291 3358 or e-mail: cherrinee@gmail.com.

Subang Jaya rep meets residents - Star

Sept 9, 2008 By LIM CHIA YING

The proposed LRT route to Subang Jaya and USJ is yet to be confirmed. It was the first information relayed by Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh at her first town hall meeting with residents of Goodyear Court 7, 8, 9 and 10 last Saturday.

“Prasarana is waiting for the engineering design and survey of the proposed hubs before submitting it for approval.

“Once the approval comes through, the residents will be asked for their feedback and to put in their objections, if any,” Yeoh said.

Her update on the issue comes after the recent announcement in Budget 2009 by the Prime Minister that the LRT line into Subang Jaya and USJ will complement the existing LRT route from Kelana Jaya and connect to the Ampang line via Putra Heights and Puchong.

“The process of finding a proper route and land is tough, as Subang Jaya is already a developed township and residents do not want the proposed route to pass through their property.

“However, Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat has said that residents will be given at least three months to submit their objections and comments,” said Yeoh.

She added that she would also be proposing to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) president to set up a task force to work with Rapid KL and Prasarana on how to improve public transportation in the township.

During the hour-long meeting, she spoke to the residents about various issues and activities she is working on and things to be ironed out with the relevant authorities.

Present at the meeting were MPSJ secretary Slamat Hamzah and department directors Rosli Mohammad Yunus from engineering and Dr Abdul Rahim Ahmad from health.

With regards to the road from Kesas highway to USJ 1, she said at present, only a one-way route had been approved.

“I understand from the MPSJ that it has submitted to the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) for a two-way route.

Yeoh also spoke on the frequent congestion at Persiaran Tujuan and said the MPSJ would be carrying out an independent assessment study.

“The council will have to study and see which junctions can be closed.”

Later, Yeoh took some questions from the residents, who voiced their concerns on congestion and environmental issues.

Yeoh will continue with her town hall meeting at different places each month.

Selangor free water offer extended until Dec 31 - NST

KUALA LUMPUR, Tues: Sept 9, 2008

Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) will extend the 20 cubic metres free water facility for consumers in Selangor until Dec 31.

Its executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, in a statement today, said the facility actually was to end on Sept 30.

“The extension was made possible following Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB) agreeing to bear the cost of the facility for the months of October, November and December,” said Rozali.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sept 16 plan still on track: Selangor MB - Star

KLANG: Sept 6, 2008 By CHRISTINA TAN

The PKR’s plans to get Barisan Nasional MPs to cross over are still on track, said Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

“Plans to form a new government on Sept 16, led by PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, are still very active,” he said.

When asked if the Sept 16 claim would become a reality, Khalid, who is also state PKR chairman, said the party did not want to say anything yet.

“We don’t speculate. We are going to be evaluated by the results not speculations,” he told reporters Saturday after presenting donations to some 1,000 storm and flood victims in the Klang district at the Teluk Pulai community hall here.

Anwar has claimed the Opposition would topple the Barisan government by Sept 16.

He also claimed that some 30 Barisan MPs, particularly from Sabah and Sarawak, were ready to cross over.

On aids for the disaster victims, Khalid said more than 1,000 people would benefit from the various emergency aid provided by the state government.

Some 900 homes in Klang and Kapar were damaged by strong winds and flood waters during a freak storm early last week.

Khalid said the aid came a bit late because the authorities needed some time to go down to the ground and get in touch with the victims to ensure the aid reached the people effectively.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

MB: Takeover won't affect water quality - NST

SHAH ALAM: Sept 4, 2008

The takeover of Selangor's water supply by Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad from Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) will not affect the service and quality of water in the state, said Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
Abdul Khalid was responding to a memorandum by the Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Consumers Association to the prime minister, protesting the restructuring of the water industry in the state.

On Monday, the association presented a memorandum which included a petition signed by some 53,000 people in the three states asking the Federal Government to intervene in the state government's plan.

Abdul Khalid also maintained that the service and water quality would remain the same as Syabas would supply water to Selangor.

"The state government's restructuring of the water industry involves Syabas. Syabas will remain in the water industry and though the shareholders may be different, the duties of the company remain the same," he said after the weekly exco meeting here yesterday.
He said to ensure that water quality and services would not be affected, regular assessments of the industry would be done by the state government and relevant bodies under the Energy, Water and Communication Ministry.

"I'm sure the ministry is experienced in comparing the performances of water providers of all states. If they are efficient, it will be reflected in the revenue and operations cost."

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New directive on open spaces - Star

Aug 31,2008 - JADE CHAN at the MBPJ full board meeting

THE Selangor government has issued several new directives to the local authorities recently, including those related to gazetting open spaces and the constructing of billboards.

Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman announced this at Wednesday’s full board meeting of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).

“So far, most local councils have gazetted about 30% of their open spaces, but the MBPJ has gazetted about 50%, covering about 200 areas,” Roslan said.

“The state government has urged all the local councils to expedite the gazetting before the end of this year,” he said.

According to Roslan, the state government has imposed a new policy on the construction of new billboards in all local council areas.

Under the policy, the land office can only approve TOL (temporary occupational licences) applications for the construction of billboards for the local councils and not to private individuals or companies.

“The local councils can then lease out the approved pieces of land to billboard operators at a rate of 30% of gross income revenue from the billboards,” Roslan said.

“For the existing billboards built on government reserve land without the TOLs but are allowed to remain, a local council must apply for the TOLs and then lease them to existing billboard operators or other operators,” he said.

“The land office has been told to help the local councils in expediting the TOL applications for the billboard sites,” he said.

Roslan estimated that the council could earn a conservative figure of RM5mil annually from the lease of billboards.

He said the local councils had been instructed by the state government to remove all Mesra Rakyat and old Merdeka campaign billboards featuring photos of leaders from the previous state government.

The directive also reminded all local councils to practise a transparent concept in their administration and that a test of trust is a test of character.

Councillor Kamarudin Suhaimi suggested that the MBPJ look into the issue of Muslim cemeteries in anticipation of future problems.

Among his suggestions were standardising the size of the graves and the “reusing” of graves by collecting bones and relocating them to other sites.

Roslan said the issue would be brought up with the state fatwa committee to seek their views.

On complaints to the MBPJ, Roslan said the council had several working committees like the Road and Traffic Gang under the Engineering Department and the Waste Buster to attend to public complaints.

“The Road and Traffic Gang handles issues like patching potholes and repairing damaged signages,” he said.

“The Waste Busters are contractors appointed by Alam Flora to collect rubbish according to various zones in Petaling Jaya.

Each lorry is paid about RM250 for a full load of rubbish taken to the landfills,” Roslan said.

Councillor asked to explain action - Star

Aug 31, 2008 By ELAN PERUMAL and LIM CHIA YING

COUNCILLOR Keshminder Singh, who had questioned the presence of Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh at the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) full board on Thursday will have to submit a written explanation.

State Local Government Committee chairman Ronnie Liu, who described the incident as uncalled for, said this was necessary to prevent such incidents repeating in the future.

The lull before the storm: Yeoh seen here with her laptop seated at the councillors’ table.

Saying Yeoh had every right to be at the full board meeting, Liu said PKR’s Keshminder would be asked to explain his action.

He said he spoke to Keshminder on Thursday and felt that it was only fair that a written explanation was obtained from him.

“I have been hearing several versions of the story and that is why the written explanation is important before we decide on the next course of action,” he told StarMetro

As the people’s elected representative, Liu said, the Subang Jaya assemblyman was only doing her job, by being at the council meeting.

Furthermore, he said, findings also revealed that she had obtained the permission of the MPSJ president to be there.

Meanwhile, several DAP councillors of the MPSJ have submitted a petition declaring their dissatisfaction over Keshminder’s objection to the attendance of Yeoh.

Eight DAP councillors submitted their signatures to the MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan yesterday at the council to voice their displeasure over the remark Keshminder made.

Under the Local Government Act, there is a clause that states that state assemblymen and even MPs can attend full board meetings as observers.

Also present at the petition handing over in MPSJ were Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo-Burne, Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San and Yeoh.

Councillor Tan Jo Hann, who was quoted earlier as concurring to Keshminder’s remark, clarified his statement.

“I agree with Keshminder in principle that not anyone can sit at the council’s table, but in this case, the YDP and Hannah have given sufficient explanation about the technical part.

“So it’s definitely a non-issue,’’ said Tan.

Yeoh, in her blog, said she had not occupied any councillor’s seat and was only sitting at the end of the table on an extra chair.

“I did not speak at all (as an observer) and was only at the table to use the plug point, with no intention of pushing my way through as an assemblyman,

“This incident would not affect me and I will continue to be present in future full board meetings,” said Yeoh.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Village heads barred from using Selangor facilities - Star

SHAH ALAM: Aug 30, 2008 By EDWARD RAJENDRA

Selangor village heads appointed by the federal government three months ago have been barred from using state-owned public facilities that include multipurpose and community halls.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said that the state government has barred the 362 federal government village head appointees from using the public facilities to hold festive gatherings or to meet the people.

“Our reason is simple, we do not recognise the federal government appointees under the Village Safety and Development Committee - Federal (JKKKP) as we have our own appointees under the Village Safety and Development Committee (JKKK),” he said.

On Saturday, Khalid handed 366 appointment letters to village heads, mostly graduates chosen by the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government to represent the Klang, Petaling, Kuala Langat, Hulu Langat, Sepang, Gombak, Kuala Selangor, Sabak Bernam and Hulu Selangor districts.

He added: “We expect our appointed village heads to outperform the JKKKP in providing efficient community service to all irrespective of political affiliation, race or religion thus the JKKKP will become irrelevant.

“The appointment of village heads by the federal government through the Rural and Regional Development Ministry is against the state’s administration regulations as the appointment of village heads comes under the purview of the state government.”

JKKKP was only implemented in the PR government run-states after the village heads gave up their positions so as not to serve under a non-Barisan Nasional coalition.

All of the village heads were then placed under the JKKKP in four states (Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor) to ensure effectiveness in the implementation of federal government projects at the village level. Khalid said that the state decided to appoint its own village heads for a six-month probation period before confirming them because it wanted representatives who would conduct themselves without bias.

“We can’t afford to have 362 village heads who are adamant to serve members from one party only due to their affiliations. One point that I would like to make clear is that the 362 federal appointees were given a choice to continue but they were adamant to quit,” he said. He added that the current appointed state village heads have a social obligation to serve the villagers irrespective of their political standing and their RM450 allowance is from the public’s purse. Khalid said Kampung Seri Jambu and Kampung Sungai Batu in Hulu Langat are the only two villages that still don’t have a village head as the state government is in the process of getting committed candidates.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crackdown on open burning after environs laws are amended - Star

Aug 27, 2008 By LIM CHIA YING

THE Selangor government will start cracking down on the culprits responsible for open burning and illegal dumping as soon as the environmental laws are amended to provide for heavier penalties.

While the amendments are being drafted by the state authorities, lawyer Derek Fernandez, an expert on local government and environmental matters, has submitted some proposals to state environmental committee chairman Elizabeth Wong.

The amendments, once in force, should be able to effectively deal with the problems of open burning and illegal dumping of waste.

Fernandez said pending an amendment to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 to put more substantial and specific provisions with effective penalties and enforcement power, he had proposed various methods for the state to effectively deal with the problem.

“First, I’ve proposed that the state evoke the National Land Code to forfeit the land, even if it’s a private land, because illegal dumping constitutes a breach of condition of land,” he said.

“For example, if an agriculture land is used as a dumping ground instead of farming, the state could evoke the procedure of forfeiture and serve notice on the landowner,” Fernandez said.

Secondly, he said, the local authorities could also execute powers in relation to public nuisance and protection of health under the Local Government Act 1976 Section 72.

“The local council’s power includes sealing the land, barring access to the land and imposing fines and other enforcement actions on the owner,” he said.

“The local authorities must also have full power to deal with health threat and to take necessary steps to preserve and promote public health and prevent or remedy any nuisance or condition likely to be dangerous to public health,” Fernandez said.

He said the proposed forfeiture was an effective method to seal off the scene of environmental violation and legally seize the land.

“Residents who experience asthma attack can take legal action against the landowners by filing a suit for public or private nuisance in court for compensation,” Fernandez said.

Recently, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) closed an illegal dumpsite in Bukit Lanchong near Putra Heights and will be sealing the road leading into the site.

For years, the Putra Heights residents had been putting up with hazardous smoke from the burning activities and foul stench at the site as a result of the garbage burning.

The MPSJ finally sealed the vacant land, and will be taking action soon against its three owners for illegal dumping activities. So far, the owners have been fined RM25,000 each.

Fernandez said the environmental laws pertaining to open burning had been in the books since 1965, but no stern action had been taken against such culprits, some of whom deliberately burn openly.

“There has been a lack of use of existing laws to combat serious threat against public health,” he said.

Fernandez said an effective solution would be for the Federal Government to arm the Department of Environment (DoE) with sufficient legislative powers by way of effective amendment of the environmental laws to deal with dumping and burning.

“One way is to make an offender of open burning and illegal dumping a strict liability offender, which means that the landowner has to be liable unless he or she can show they have taken reasonable steps to prevent their land from being misused,” he said.

“If the offence is strict liability, then the owner should be accorded a defence if he had no knowledge of the activities and has taken reasonable steps like cutting grass, fencing up the site, yet unable to prevent trespassing from happening,” Fernandez said.

“In cases where burning is done with intention, then mandatory jail terms must be imposed on top of fines together with compensation for affected residents,” he said.

Fernandez added that to avoid the issue of locating owners, service of documents of last known address or by way of advertisement in the newspapers should be made legally sufficient based on particulars of the land title.

Monday, August 18, 2008

No reason for PKR supporters to attack journos: Selangor MB - Star

By DHARMENDER SINGH

SHAH ALAM: Aug 18, 2008

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has voiced his doubts that PKR members were involved in Saturday’s incident where two journalists were attacked outside the nomination centre in Permatang Pauh.

Khalid, who is also the Selangor PKR chairman, said he was worried over the consistency of the attacks on journalists and agreed that they should be protected and those identified should be stopped from repeating such incidents.

However, he said he felt that the party’s supporters in Permatang Pauh were generally well disciplined and had no rational reason to resort to attacking journalists as Pakatan Rakyat realised the need for media support in its fight against Barisan Nasional.

He said there was also no question of any ill feelings being harboured by party members as the media had been supportive of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who enjoyed a close rapport with pressmen.

“Press photographers have been vital in showing the public and the Federal Government the large crowds that turned out to support PKR at events including the Bersih Rally and the nomination of candidates in Permatang Pauh,” he told reporters Monday after the monthly meeting with state government officials here.

On Saturday Berita Harian’s Siren Hafiz and Halim Berber of France’s HBL press news were allegedly attacked outside the nomination centre at the Tuanku Bainun Teacher’s Training College in Jalan Penanti-Mengkuang Titi in Penang.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Khalid defends proposal to open UiTM's doors to others - Sun

SHAH ALAM (Aug 13, 2008)by Karen Arukesamy

The Selangor government's proposal for Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) to open its doors to non-bumiputras is to help raise the standard of education in institutes of higher learning in the state.

"Opening a 10% admission quota will help raise standards via healthy competition among a multi-ethnic student population," said Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

"It is a holistic proposal. Neither is the proposal a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or Parti Keadilan Rakyat's policy, so there is no reason for it to be politicised," he added.

Speaking in his weekly post-exco meeting media briefing today, Khalid said he was saddened that certain quarters chose to politicise education for political mileage.

"My statement was made in the context to enhance UiTM's academic quality in this era of globalisation and to open up more opportunities for both Malay and non-Bumiputra students to have healthy academic competition.

"In fulfilling the Malay aspirations, UiTM should not just focus on quota matters but concentrate on lifting its standard and university facilities to a higher and more reputable level," he said.

Asked if the state government was going to apologise to UiTM, Khalid said: "There is no need to apologise on this issue. All it needs is a proper explanation on the statement."

He said the important matter is that all universities and institutes of higher learning in the state should cooperate with the (state) government in its effort to raise their status to be national and international recognition.

The protest led by UITM students yesterday.
"One of the ways to achieve is the openness and the students' active participation in open dialogues and sharing of ideas. The PR state government regrets that my statement was reported out of context and skewed into a racial issue instead," said Khalid.

He reiterated the state government's stand that it never meant to discuss the bumiputra's special rights.

"I am aware UiTM was set up to raise the status of bumiputra students and the state government still respects the Federal Constitution which includes Acticle 153 which speaks of Malays special rights," he said.

"Stop harping on and distorting the proposal. I urge UiTM students not to be influenced by certain quarters' propaganda," said Khalid.

Some 5,000 UiTM students marched to the Selangor State Secretariat in Bangunan Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah from Dataran Shah Alam to hand over a memorandum of protest over the MB's suggestion that 10% of UiTM quota be opened to non-bumiputras and foreigners.

The protest, led by UiTM student body president Luqmann Ulhakim Mohamad Idris, saw the students carrying banners and placards with various declarations - "Jangan Rampas Hak Kami" (Do not take away our rights), "Selamatkan UiTM"' (Save UiTM) and "UiTM di Hatiku"' (UiTM in our hearts).

The memorandum was received by Khalid's press officer Hazril Abu Hassan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Selangor state comes to fruit growers’ aid - Star

Aug 12, 2008 By EDWARD RAJENDRA

FRUIT growers in Selangor are slowing switching to plant oil palm which fetch better profits.

The State Agriculture, Modernisation, Natural Resources and Entrepreneur Development committee chairman Yaakob Sapari said the state government was concerned that several fruit growers had reduced their acreage and had replaced it with oil palm trees.

“We need to have a fine balance of fruit orchards and oil palm plantations.

“Fruits from Selangor actually have a good demand if it is marketed direct from the farms,” he said.

He added that consumers shied away from local fruits as the price was not reasonable.

“Fruit growers had told me that the wholesalers who bought the fruits pushed up the prices forcing the retailers to further charge extra to make a profit.

“Our aim now is to help the orchard owners to market the fruits direct to the consumers,” he said.

Yaakob said the state would enlist the guidance of Selangor Agriculture Develop-ment Corporation (SADC) to guide the fruit growers on direct marketing, creating various products from the fruits and venture into innovative production practices.

“For the fruit growers to achieve a good profit, the state has plans to organise a Friday fruit bazaar where growers would be encouraged to bring their produce and sell it in Shah Alam,” he said.

Earlier, Yaakob, who organised a fruit fiesta for the 900-odd State Secretariat staff, said the fruit bazaar would begin in next month.

“We are also working with SADC to choose quality local fruits for the export market. Other countries like Thailand exports their mangoes while Singapore buys fruits from Selangor, cans it and sells it overseas. So, Selangor has to come up with innovative products and not be left behind,” he said.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who also attended the fruit fiesta, called upon the people to support the local fruit industry.

Friday, August 8, 2008

DOE takes landowner to court for open burning - Malaysiakini

A downpour helped quash much of a fire that had been ranging in Dengkil, Selangor, since early this month. However, that will not save the owner of a 658-hectare piece of land from being charged in court for open burning.

Selangor executive councillor in charge of tourism, consumer affairs and environment Elizabeth Wong said the state government had ordered that the owner of the land, Pertubuhan Peladang Negeri Selangor (PPNS), be charged under Section 29(a) of the Environment Quality Act 1974.

If found guilty, PPNS directors face a fine of up to RM500,000 or five years jail, or both.

Wetlands set to re-open soon - Star

Aug 8, 2008 By GEETHA KRISHNAN

THE Paya Indah Wetlands Sanctuary in Selangor will re-open on Nov 25, Selangor Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said during a recent working visit to the wetlands.

The date has been sanctioned by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. Paya Indah has been closed since Feb 1, 2005 and was previously managed by the Malaysian Wetlands Foundation on behalf of the Federal Government.

Opening soon: Wong, Salman (centre) and Sepang Municipal Council deputy president Abdul Razak Jaafar admiring a bunting promoting the Paya Indah Wetlands.

Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) park superintendent Salman Saaban said the wetlands were located in the Kuala Langat district and covered 3,100ha, of which 450.67ha had been gazetted.

“Some of the threats faced by Paya Indah include the clearing of the forests nearby for housing and the dip in the water level within the water cells.

“The peat fires that occur are also keeping the birds away,” he said.

At a press conference later, Wong said the Selangor government had no intention of reviewing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the previous state government and the ministry on Aug 1 last year.

The memorandum gives the Wildlife Department the responsibility for conserving and managing the wetlands for 30 years.

“We will work closely with Perhilitan to manage the park and aid its conservation efforts. We need better water management techniques and must identify the right type of trees to attract birds,” she said.

Wong, who also visited the North Kuala Langat Peat Fire Operations Room, was told the fire in several areas had been put out with only 63ha still burning out of the initial 130ha.

The fire on Sunday started in the 658ha of agricultural land between the North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve and Paya Indah.

“It was deliberately set by the landowner who wanted to clear the land to plant fruits.

“He will be charged under Section 29A of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 that carries a maximum fine of RM500,000 or a five-year jail term, or both,” she said.

“It is a serious offence because the land is close to Paya Indah and the forest reserve. The water level in the wetlands has already dropped.

“From a macro management point of view, we hope to find a way to close the ecologically sensitive area,” Wong added.

More than 200 firemen and government agency staff have been deployed to fight the blaze.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No gifts please

Posted by Hannah Yeoh (http://hannahyeoh.blogspot.com)

Ever since the election, I have been invited to numerous functions by my constituents. Malaysians love food. Each function I attended, I felt obliged to "eat a little" because the organiser would have gone to great extent in preparing food for us. Many would give souvenirs or a token of appreciation to me for attending their functions. May I say this? I want to be polite here and hopefully not offend anyone - please do not give me gifts. I am no great VIP but a mere people's representative and an ordinary person. Many people still find it hard to believe when I turn up at functions in my own little 4 year old Hyundai Getz. So in view of rising costs, I will just say this openly - don't have to prepare lavish meals and don't have to give me souvenirs, I am happy just attending the function without them.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Portal a boost for single mothers - Star

Aug 4, 2008

THE Selangor government has launched an e-ibu portal as a platform to gather data on
single mothers in the state in order to provide aid to them.

The site, e-bu.selangor.gov.my, enables single mothers to go online to register with the government as well as offer various aids and programmes offered by the government.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the portal would make it easier for the mothers to reach the government and vice-versa.

“Information gathered will help us in our efforts to provide aid and incentives to the single mothers,” he said.

Showing interest: Khalid visiting one of the booths at the Wanita Anggun 2008 carnival at Stadium Melawati in Shah Alam.

Khalid said this after launching the new portal and announcing Selangor Wo­­men’s Action Plans during the Wanita Anggun 2008 carnival at Stadium Melawati in Shah Alam.

Welfare, Women’s Affairs, Sciences, Technology and Innovation committee chairman Rodziah Ismail said the decision to set up the portal came after meetings with women’s non-governmental organisations.

“We feel that more has to be done in a bid to help the women and give them a better livelihood,” she said, adding that the portal was the commitment of the government to help as many single mothers as it could.

At present, some 12,000 single mothers had registered with the government, she said.

Information provided in the portal include various programmes planned for single mothers, entrepreneurship and online complaints.

Rodziah also said the state government was expected to distribute allowances for single mothers beginning next year.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Selangor has no plans to change cars - The Star

SHAH ALAM: Jul 26, 2008 By CHRISTINA TAN

The Selangor government has no plans to change its fleet of Proton Perdana cars yet, said Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

“We have no plans now to change the cars, which were bought and used by the previous state executive councillors.

“If (the cars are) not good, we will repair them and continue to use them,” he said Saturday after launching the Selangor Book Fair 2008 organised by the state government and the Selangor Public Library Corporation here.

He said the state government would look into its budget and the length of time that the cars had been on the road.

“I’m unable to explain the maintenance costs in detail now, but we do know that the cost is higher if the car is older,” he said, adding that there were however no plans to replace the cars this year.

Also present were state executive councillors Dr Halimah Ali and Dr Xavier Jayekumar as well as director of Selangor Public Library Corporation Mohdi Darim.

When asked what car the state executive councillors would prefer if they decided to change the cars, Khalid said, it was difficult to make a comparison as all councillors and state department heads used only Protons.

“We will have to study whether we want to replace the cars with newer Proton Perdanas or cars of other makes,” he said, adding that national interest, financial feasibility and minimum wastage would be among the state’s considerations in deciding.

He also said that all states were starting to consider their expenditure and trying to use cars that were more economical, which was a good move.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What are the roles of councillors? - The Star

Jul 25, 2008 - By SALINA KHALID

THE 288 new councillors for the two city councils and 10 municipal or district councils in Selangor have been assigned zones within their respective councils.

Much has been discussed and debated about the selection and appointment of these councillors since the Pakatan Rakyat state government invited nominations from the community for the councillor posts following the March 8 general election.

Much has also been said about certain characters with doubtful backgrounds and underworld connections who were selected as councillors.

One nominee was alleged to have used his appointment letter to throw his weight around to prevent enforcement officers from doing their duty.

Arpah: Councillors have to reside in the council they are serving.

One thing, however, has not been thoroughly discussed and articulated in public, and that is the roles and functions of a councillor.

What roles and responsibilities do the local councillors have?

Under the public administration scheme, the local council is the third tier of government after the federal government and state government.

A recent street poll revealed that most people are not clear and certain about what the functions of their local councillors are.

Many people do not know whether the council appointees are there to represent them or simply given the post as political rewards or to guard the interests of their political parties.

Petaling Jaya resident Hamzah Mohamad thinks that councillors are the eyes and ears of the local council and are those whom people go to when dealing with matters concerning the local authority

“They are like an agent of the local council to me. Yet I do not know exactly what their role is,” he said.

Hamzah, who has been a resident in Petaling Jaya for about 10 years, said he had met several councillors for various reasons, including for assistance in local council matters like parking problems in his residential area.

He knows that the councillors meet every month at a full board meeting to discuss and decide on matters concerning the community.

Other than that, he doesn’t know what else do the councillors do.

Hamzah is not alone. Most people are also in the dark like him.

According to a former councillor, councillors should serve as the eyes and ears of the council so that they can serve the people and at the same time advice the council on what is going-on on the ground.

“They should listen to the needs of local people and take their views into account when making decisions,” he said.

A source in the Federal Local Government and Housing Ministry describes councillors as community leaders who work in partnership with the respective local authority.

Khalid: Councillors must strive to improve the quality of the delivery system.

According to Federal Local Housing Department director-general Datin Arpah Abdul Razak, an appointed councillor has to be reside in the area of the council’s jurisdiction he is serving and have a wide experience and expertise in the local government matters. She said this in a recent talk.

Section 10(2) of the Local Government Act 1976 states that “councillors of the local authority shall be appointed from among persons the majority of whom shall be persons ordinarily residents in the local authority area who in the opinion of the state authority have wide experience in local government affairs or who have achieved distinction in any profession, commerce or industry, or are otherwise capable of representing the interests of their communities in the local authority area”.

Although it is the duty of a councillor to represent the whole community, he also has a duty to serve the local government as a member of its administration.

A councillor must know what is going on in his area, and to help solve any problems or answer the queries that the community may have.

The councillor’s job involves helping to solve the people’s problems, such as garbage collection, clogged drains, floods, as well the general welfare of the people.

The councillors are among the decision-makers of policies and practices of the council.

They are responsible for helping the people understand the policies and projects of their local councils.

Councillors, hence, are important because they are supposed to be the voice of the community and play a vital role in the functioning of democracy.

They are the community representatives and champion the local issues to enhance the quality of life and development in the area that they serve.

Meanwhile, the newly-appointed local councillors in Selangor comprises party workers, professionals, NGOs, the disabled and women.

Previously more than one councillor was assigned to a zone, but now each has been assigned a zone.

Each will be assigned an office and staff to assist him in his work to serve the community.

Under the Pakatan Rakyat state government, the state assemblymen are not appointed as councillors, unlike the previous Barisan Nasional state government.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in his speech during last month’s mass swearing-in of the councillors reminded them that they were to serve the people.

He said the process of awarding contracts through direct negotiations had been abolished in Selangor and there would be no exception at the local council level.

“These councillors must strive to improve the quality of the delivery system and find ways to increase revenue and ensure that every ringgit is wisely spent,” Khalid said.

He said the councillors were expected to practice good governance at all times and ensure that decisions made at the sub-committee and full board meetings were favourable to the people.

“They must be impartial and should not allow any parties to exploit their positions to serve unscrupulous interests,” he said.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Umno-PAS rule in S'gor - 'Anwar ruined it' - Malaysiakini

Syed Jaymal Zahiid | Jul 22, 08 4:13pm

PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim had used his influence in PAS to derail the possibility of Umno and the Islamic party forming a joint government to rule Selangor in the wake of the March 8 polls.

This was revealed by former menteri besar and Umno supreme council member Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

selangor adun ceremony 220408 khir toyoIn a posting on his blog, Khir said Umno had offered its arch-rival PAS the menteri besar post during a dialogue session held shortly after the elections.

Apart from this, he said PAS was also offered the deputy menteri besar as well as four executive councillors posts if it agreed to form the coalition.

Khir also said he was willing to be left out of the state government line-up if that would encourage PAS to accept the partnership.

"I brought them (PAS) for a muzakarah (dialogue) with the prime minister and suggested to Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) that PAS leaders in Selangor be offered those posts," he added.

He said Umno and PAS could form a synthesis in championing Malay interests in the state which fell into opposition control.

'Anwar blocked it'

"Unfortunately the influence of Anwar in PAS through the party's secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaafar blocked the initiative.

anwar ibrahim freed from police ipk detention pc 170708 06"As long as Anwar is important in Pakatan Rakyat, the muzakarah will not succeed. Anwar does not want to see Malays unite and that is why he formed Pakatan that thrives on the ideals of equality to the extent of elevating other religions on the same par as the primary religion in this country, Islam," he added.

Khir said this was proven by the fact that Anwar was being supported by 'extremist' Chinese and Indians via opposition party DAP and the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

Monday, July 21, 2008

MPS: Complain to land office on illegal dumping - The Star

Jul 21, 2008 Story and photos by STUART MICHAEL

The Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) says it does not have the authority to stop the illegal dumping of construction debris on private land.

Its president, Zainal Abidin Azim, said: “We cannot do anything to the dumpsite operator unless they are dumping household rubbish and not construction material.

“The complaints must be referred to the Gombak District Land Office for action to be taken.”

Last week, Zainal Abidin together with MPS Health and Licensing director Dr Razif Zainal Abidin and three Selayang councillors visited the dumpsite in Jalan SG9/8, Taman Sri Gombak, where lorries were dumping construction debris on the private land owned by several landowners.

Sign of danger?: Smoke coming out from amid the debris dumped at the site.

“We can’t do anything as it is outside our jurisdiction. Even if we seal the premises, the contractors might just remove it the next day,” said Zainal Abidin.

“The best solution is for the landowners who are against the dumping to sue the landowners who gave consent to the contractor to dump construction debris.

“MPS and the land office can be a party to the suit,” he added.

Zainal Abidin said some the land owners had applied to the Agricul-ture Department to start planting on their land but feared they could not go ahead with the plan due to the dumping activities.

A mess: Piles of used wood on the private land at Taman Sri Gombak.

Zainal Abidin said he had a letter from the former Selangor mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo allowing the dumping of construction debris on the land.

Terence Miranda, a representative of the landowners, said the dumping had been going on for more than two years.

During the visit to the area smoke could be seen coming out from the debris, raising fears that it could be toxic.

“There are lorries coming in every now and then but they stop coming when MPS officers arrive,” said Terence.

He said the councillors present wanted Selangor state tourism, consumer affairs and environment committee chairman Elizabeth Wong to visit the site.

SS3 folks upset by Syabas’ action - The Star

Jul 21, 2008 By OH ING YEEN

RESIDENTS of Taman Seaport in SS3, Petaling Jaya, were appalled by the sight of the bulldozed slope in Jalan SS3/51.

The residents had only wanted Syabas to trim the trees around the reservoir, said SS3 Taman Subang secretary Musa Abdullah.

“Syabas had promised to cut down only the trees that were growing within the gridline and to replant them, but as it turned out, they just cut down all the trees,” he said.

According to a letter from Syabas, it had received a complaint from residents in Jalan SS3/51 regarding soil erosion and fallen trees near their houses. It is also stated that the MBPJ landscape department had asked Syabas to cut down the trees that had fallen or were on the verge of falling, as the trees were of a species that was prone to rotting.

Musa said many of the trees that were felled were in good condition.

Denuded of trees: Musa (third from left) voicing his unhappiness over Syabas’ felling of trees near the reservoir in SS3/51 to Pua (second from left) and Lau (right). With them is Chang.

He also pointed out that this could lead to clogged drains and suggested that the authorities cover the drains.

“We want the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to have a landscaping proposal within a week and get the residents’ agreement as it affects us,” he said.

Resident Alfred Chang was worried that his garden would be demolished as part of Syabas’ project.

“It was designed by the previous owner and I continued tending the garden after I bought the house.

“Although the garden is part of the authorities’ land, I see no need for it to be demolished as there’s no problem of soil erosion because we have used concrete terracing,” he said, adding that it was ironic the issue was cropping up at this time, just after the celebration of International Green Day.

According to Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San, Syabas wanted to cut down the trees to insert ports to strengthen the stability of the soil.

“When we asked, Syabas said it had obtained a permit from MBPJ to do so but the latter denied it,” he said.

A stop-work order was issued on April 12, but work resumed after a month.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said even if Syabas owned the property it had to obtain the residents’ agreement as it affected them.

“Syabas resumed work, stating that none of the residents had objected to it.

However, everything should be in black and white.

“Syabas should submit landscape plans to the MBPJ,” he said, referring to the verbal agreements made by Syabas.

Also present was newly-appointed MBPJ councillor Tiew Way Keng, who promised to raise the matter during the council’s full board meeting.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Selangor gets tough on illegal sand mining - The Star

Jul 19, 2008 By Christina Tan

THE Selangor government loses over RM100mil in revenue every year due to illegal sand mining activities in the state, said state Modern Agriculture Methods, Natural Resources and Entrepreneurship Development committee chairman Yaakob Sapari.

“We have identified seven places, including Bestari Jaya, Rawang and Kuala Langat, where the illegal sand minding is widely carried out.

“The activities at certain places have been going on for more than 20 years,” he said after meeting police, Drainage and Irrigation Department representatives and other enforcement officers.

The meeting was held to discuss operations to curb illegal sand mining in the state.

Yaakob said the state government had issued 46 sand mining permits on private land.

Yaakob said the state government had set up a committee led by his assistant, Shuhaimi Shafiei, to look into the matter.

Shuhaimi said some of the culprits involved in illegal mining were those who had applied for permits and were waiting for approval.

He warned those carrying out illegal sand mining that the state government would not hesitate in taking stern action against them.

“The lorries, trucks or vehicles that are used for such activities will be confiscated,” he said.

Shuhaimi said no one had been brought to court for such illegal activities so far and the state government was reviewing the system.

He added that the state government hoped to start a standard system by July.

Shuhaimi also said a hotline would be launched for the public to lodge complaints on illegal sand mining.

Company says billboard is for the community - The Star

Jul 18, 2008 By LIM CHIA YING

OUTDOOR advertising company Setia Media Sdn Bhd said the billboard depicting Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim at SS2, Petaling Jaya, was a form of community service.

Setia Media managing director Peter Tan said the billboard was meant to carry civic messages as a way of showing its support for the new state government.

Tan was responding to the article published by StarMetro yesterday (June 12) about the new billboard.

Residents felt the billboard glorified politicians and was a waste of money.

They wanted particulars like contact details of their elected officials posted on the billboards.

“I wish to thank the residents who alerted our company. I'll get my team to add the contact numbers,” Tan said.

He said the billboard was placed on a previously empty board, which was given to his company by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) after being relocated from its original spot across a drain.

The company's deputy managing director Johnson Tan claimed the cost of billboards was fully sponsored by Setia Media.

He added that the company had also obtained approvals and licenses to put up some 20 billboards.

State local government committee chairman Ronnie Liu was quoted in yesterday's story as saying that the state government had not forked out a single cent for the billboard.

Johnson said if the company chances upon an empty board, it would try put up something after licenses have been approved.

“We hope to help the people have easier access to their state assemblymen or MPs especially in the case of emergencies,” said Johnson.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Selangor CPO: Stay away from Sunday's rally - The Sun

SHAH ALAM: Jul 3, 2008 By Charles Ramendran

Police today warned that stern action awaits those who take part in a planned rally to protest the recent fuel price hike organised by the Coalition Against Inflation (Protes) for Sunday at a field opposite Amcorp Mall in Petaling Jaya.

Selangor police chief DCP Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the rally is illegal as it's organisers have not applied for a police permit.

He said he had met with the Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Tuesday and discussed the difficulties the rally may cause to the public, should it go on.

The police chief said the venue of the gathering could cause major traffic issues as the place was confined with narrow roads.

He said police had suggested to the Mentri Besar that the rally should alternatively be held at either the Shah Alam stadium or Melewati stadium here.

He said the Mentri Besar told him he would consider the police suggestion, but to date, he had yet to revert to the police.

"I hope those who are planning to turn up will stay away from the gathering which is illegal," said Khalid at a community policing programme launch by Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors Sdn Bhd at it's head office at the Temasya Industrial Park near Glenmarie.

"Our personnel are prepared for the event and action will be taken if our orders to leave the area are defied."

Keadilan vice president Azmin Ali when contacted welcomed the state police chief's suggestion

He said in a dicussion with his party it was agreed the rally be held at the Shah Alam stadium as the indoor Melewati stadium was not large enough and could only accomodate about 15,000 people.

However, he said the suggestion could not materialise as the Sultan Selangor Cup soccer match between Malaysia and Singapore will be held at the Shah Alam stadium on the same day.

"It coincides with the match and we do not was to disrupt this programme. We are expecting a large turnout for the rally and there may be inadequate parking lots for the rally participants and football fans." he said.

He said the rally themed the "One Million Rally" as the organisers are expecting a million people to turn up will see a list of events including concerts and family-orientated events.

"We expect a large turnout due to the fuel hike and recent political developments. The people are enraged by what is happening. There will be no marching. The people will gather and the organiser will address the crowd on current issues.

I hope the police will cooperate with the organisers and help in managing the traffic conditions on the day. We do not want any provocations from either side. We want it to go on smoothly and peacefully." Azmin added

Ex-convicts among councillors?

Jul 3, 2008 By Nuradzimmah Daim, Azira Shaharuddin and Neville Spykerman


SHAH ALAM:

The Selangor government is going ahead with the appointment of Ampang Jaya councillors on Tuesday despite the possibility of three of them having criminal backgrounds.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is determined to proceed with their appointment along with 21 others with a promise to resolve the matter "later".

This may mean sacking them at some time in the future if investigations prove their ineligibility for appointment.

"If, for whatever reason, their appointments are against any policy, we will de-list them.

"I hope this setback will not hamper us from going ahead with the appointment of the councillors," said the state leader already embroiled in a controversy surrounding allegations of abuse of power involving his Parti Keadilan Rakyat government.

At least three candidates, already issued appointment letters as councillors, are being scrutinised following claims by an Ampang resident that two had police records for robbery and involvement with the underworld.

Another is alleged to have served time under preventive laws.

Checks with the police confirmed that at least one had a criminal record.

Caught completely off-guard when told about the allegations at a press conference after the weekly state executive council meeting yesterday, a fuming Abdul Khalid said he would act against them at a later date "if for whatever reason their appointments are against any policy".

Abdul Khalid said the new councillors would be re-assessed after their appointments.

Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) president Datuk Mohammad Yacob also expressed shock over the allegation, saying he was unaware of the situation.

"Everything was going as planned with the councillors receiving their letters of appointment. We are just following the directive of the state government," he said, declining to elaborate.

The incident has cast more doubts on the credibility of the Selangor government after Abdul Khalid admitted that the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) had determined that his office had solicited donations for the celebration of Pakatan Rakyat's 100 days in office.

Abdul Khalid's office came under scrutiny recently after it was reported that letters bearing the official letterhead of the office of the menteri besar were used to solicit donations for the celebrations.

The menteri besar said the Selangor ACA director had briefed him on Tuesday, saying there was basis to the allegations.

"The incident happened without my knowledge and involved the officer who was initially suspended but later resigned," he said, referring to his former aide, Yahya Sahri.

Abdul Khalid said this was the second case involving Yah-ya, who was earlier implicated for alleged abuse of power.

"The misuse of the office of the menteri besar cannot be tolerated by Pakatan Rakyat, which upholds corporate governance."

Abdul Khalid said auditors from Ernst and Young had been appointed to trace money which may have been donated, with the money being returned if the allegations were true.

"We also urge companies which have made contributions to come forward," he said, adding that officers from state-linked companies would also be called to provide information.

Case to answer - The Star

SHAH ALAM: Jul 3, 2008 By DHARMENDER SINGH

The Selangor Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) has found grounds for a case against a former officer with the Mentri Besar’s office in relation to the solicitation of funds for the 100-day-in-office celebrations, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said yesterday.

He told a press conference that state ACA chief Jaafar Mahad conveyed to him on Tuesday there was misuse of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official letterhead.

“As MB, I have to be informed of any use of the official letterhead. In this case, I only found out after the letters (seeking donations) were sent out to companies being approached to contribute towards the state celebrations,” he said.

Khalid said Jaafar also informed him that the same former officer had also used the letterhead to secure cleaning and garbage collection contracts in Petaling Jaya.

The ACA started to investigate the case after former PKR stalwart Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor claimed that the Mentri Besar’s office collected RM200,000 in funds for the celebrations and deposited the cash into the PKR account instead of the state coffers.

On Tuesday, Ezam lodged a report with the state ACA over alleged misuse of power and corruption at the Mentri Besar’s office in soliciting funds for the celebrations.

He handed over to the ACA documents bearing the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official letterhead and the former officer’s name that were used to solicit the funds.

Khalid said the state government’s own inquiry was continuing and the international auditing firm of Ernst & Young had been hired to look through the PKR accounts.

“We will return the money to the companies. We will seek details from these companies on what had transpired.”

When contacted, Jaafar declined to elaborate on Khalid’s statement but said the ACA investigation into the matter was almost over and investigation papers would be handed over to its Prosecution Division for further action.

On June 23, Yahya Sahri, a former senior aide to the Mentri Besar, was suspended by Khalid for two months pending a probe into allegations of misuse of office facilities.

Yahya then resigned, claiming he had lost confidence in the Mentri Besar for suspending him without hearing his side first.

Yesterday, Yahya told a local daily that he wanted to set the record straight and clear his name.

“I did not do anything wrong. It was just a miscommunication and it has led to so many problems,” he said, adding that the “problems” would not have occurred if Khalid had spoken to him directly.

“I am a politician and I have my pride. How can he send me an SMS to say I had been suspended (for two months). Why couldn’t he have called and talked to me. That is why I resigned,” said Yahya, who is a member of the PKR supreme council and also the Selangor PKR state liaison secretary.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Seven non-political councillors among 24 sworn in - The Star

Jul 2, 2008 By LIM CHIA YING

SEVEN new councillors appointed from among professionals and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were among the 24 sworn in yesterday for the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).

The others are Pakatan Rakyat nominees, with eight from the DAP, six from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), and three from PAS.

There are eight Malays (33%), 11 Chinese (45%), and five Indians (20%) in the new council.

The inclusion of NGO representatives and professionals is a fresh change from what was previously made up by only politicians.

One for the album: The new batch of 24 councillors posing for a group photo together with the MPSJ president and deputy president in front of the MPSJ building after their swearing-in ceremony yesterday.

The non-political appointees are Arumugam Kalimuthu (Tamil Foundation), Chang Kim Loong (House Buyers Association), Choong Yew Lim (Petaling Bus and Ind Association), Rabiah Omar (All Women's Action Society), Datuk Dr Subramaniam Nadarajan (Rotary Club), Tan Jo Hann (Permas), and Theresa Ratnam John Ratnam (residents association).

After the councillors were sworn in, MPSJ secretary Slamat Hamzah briefed them on the standing order and procedures at council and full board meetings

MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan then thanked the previous councillors who had served their term that ended officially on Monday.

“I ask for the cooperation, dedication, and patience of all the new councillors today to work closely together to serve the people and resolve problems they face,” Adnan said.

“It’s important for us to also have integrity, and instil the confidence in the public that we will do our best to serve. Cooperation from everyone is required to disseminate information to each other in order for us to take action fast,” he said.

The term for the councillors is a year, expiring on June 30 next year. Their renewal is subject to satisfactory performance and stirring services.

Adnan said like previously, four councillors would sit in the One-Stop Centre (OSC) meeting and that they would be placed in the various internal committees based on their background, expertise and the organisation they represent.

According to Theresa Ratnam, who stays in SS17 Subang Jaya and is active with the residents association through the Residents Committee previously, it is an honour for her to be appointed a councillor.

“I can now serve the community from a different level than when I was with the JKP. This allows me to see things from a different perspective,” she said.

“I want to ensure compliance in upholding the various legislations. Pressing issues in Subang Jaya like the perennial traffic chaos, illegal hawkers, and land use are some things I would want to look into,” she said.

Rabiah Omar, who is with the All Women's Action Society (AWAM) and a resident at Section 9 Putra Heights, said it had always been her aspiration to serve the community.

“The crime rate in Subang Jaya is a major concern for me as I'm a mother of a young daughter. For now, I wish to also work closely with the MPSJ to stop the open burning at Bukit Lanchong which I could smell again this morning,” she said.

Asked if the JKP still exists, Adnan said it would be reshuffled and rezoned from previously 29 zones to 24, each to be presided by a councillor.

He said with the NGO representatives and professionals in the council, it would be different this time.

Adnan said what was most important was that the councillors could convey the message to the people and hopefully, this would take some pressure off the MPSJ.

On whether having most of the councillors coming from Subang Jaya could create an imbalance on issues presented, Adnan said he could not comment as the appointments were made by the state government.

Seri Kembangan has just one representative and Puchong a handful.

Present at the ceremony were Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne, Seri Kembangan assemblyman and state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah and Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh.

Former councillor Datuk Lee Hwa Beng said now that the council was finally in place, it was important to give the councillors a chance to perform.

“Hopefully, they will fulfil the expectations of the public. With Theresa Ratnam and Dr Subramaniam in the line-up, the people will obviously contact them often,” Lee said.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Traders hold meeting with elected reps - The Star

Jul 1, 2008 By DEBBIE CHAN

THE Sungai Way Small Traders Association organised a meeting with their newlyelected representatives, PJ Utara MP Tony Pua and Kampung Tunku state assemblyman Lau Weng San, for the first time to discuss various issues affecting the traders.

Most of the traders were from the Seri Setia wet market and the biggest issue that has remained unresolved for years is the lack of parking bays for market customers.

Due to this, customers would just park their vehicles illegally and they often get summoned for it.

“The lack of parking bays and the strict enforcement has led to fewer customers at the market as many fear being summoned,” Lau explained.

“This is a important issue that must be looked into and resolved because it is affecting the business,” he said.

The traders were also concerned about the rise in the number of illegal petty traders and hawkers in the surrounding areas as it has affected business in the market.

Among other concerns that were voiced out was the poor maintenance of the market facilities, from the drainage system to the lightings.

“The MBPJ has never helped us maintain or upgrade the facilities here.

“They have always expected us to do things ourselves, which is not fair,” said trader Hajah Hasenah.

“On top of that, we are puzzled by the different rental rates charged for the stalls here. Even though the stalls are of the same size, we pay different rates,” Hajah said.

Crime is also a growing concern as many of the stalls have been broken into, especially during festive seasons.

“It’s a puzzle how this can happen despite the market being situated right next to a police station,” Lau said.

Lau and Pua promised the traders that all parking bays available would remain as parking bays and not be zoned for other development.

“The parking bays will not be reduced and I have also written to the police to be more compassionate with regard to the current situation and not be so stringent in their enforcement of the law in this area, but this is only a short-term solution,” Lau said.

They will look into other options, including using the underground car parks available in the Kg Baru Sg Way Multipurpose Hall, which is opposite the market.

“On infrastructure and facilities issues, I believe that the MBPJ should help us solve these problems holistically.

“It has been close to 20 years since the market was built and it is about time that a major upgrade and revamp was done.

“We will request for upgrading works to be included in the MBPJ’s 2009 budget so that there will be resources allocated to improve this area,” Lau added.

Mass swearing-in for councillors in Selangor - The Star

Jul 1, 2008 By DHARMENDER SINGH

THE 288 newly-appointed local government councillors in Selangor will attend a mass swearing-in and briefing on their duties at the state secretariat in Shah Alam on July 5.

State Local Government, Research and Study Committee chairman Ronnie Liu said the briefing would be simple and the councillors would be sent for a two-day training stint at the state-run Local Government Training Institute in Jugra later to allow them to have a full understanding of their duties.

He said each council would send four of its 24 councillors at a time and the state government would organise the training starting next month.

“Since we are the only state with such a training institute, an offer to train councillors has been extended to all the other Pakatan Rakyat-led state governments. We are also open to requests from the non-Pakatan states,” he told a press conference after attending the weekly executive council meeting at the state secretariat building recently.

According to Liu, the group attending the first study trip arranged by the state government left for Singapore on Thursday by stage bus to see how the Singapore Housing Board manages its township to ensure it is clean and green.

The group was to look into how Singapore managed its highrise residential developments, maintained smooth traffic flow and ran an efficient public transportation system.

He said the group of 37 on the trip funded by local councils included himself, the heads of all 12 local councils in the state and a few officers from the Landscape Department.

No other politician or spouses of those going on the trip joined them and the hotel at which they stayed was not a five-star hotel, he added.

He agreed that there were local experts who could provide assistance on landscaping and local council management but said there was no harm in learning from a country that had a world-acknowledged local planning and management system.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Khalid: It was necessary for Anwar’s brother to go - The Star

KLANG: Jun 30, 2008

The resignation of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s younger brother Rusli as special adviser to Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB) president Datuk Abdul Karim Munisar was necessary, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said.

He said he had personally advised Rusli to resign from the post about two weeks ago.

“I was not aware of Rusli’s appointment as adviser. He acted on his own accord when accepting and later resigning from the post.

“It is a tough and sad thing (the resignation) but as a transparent and responsible state government there cannot even be a perception of a conflict of interest,” he told reporters after launching the 1,000 Youths Gathering programme here yesterday.

Rusli, 59, resigned from the post on June 25 following allegations by former PKR stalwart Ezam Mohd Nor that he was appointed as an adviser to KDEB because he was Anwar's brother.

Ezam said this went against Anwar's stand that there should not be nepotism in politics.

Rusli criticised Ezam on Saturday saying he was appointed as a special adviser to Karim based on his corporate experience and not because he was Anwar’s brother.

He had also claimed that both Anwar and Khalid were not aware of the appointment.

On the termination of the services of Universiti Industri Selangor (Unisel) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Razali Agus on Friday, Khalid said state secretary Datuk Ramli Mahmud would explain today the rationale for the decision by the university’s board of directors.

Khalid, who is the chairman of the Unisel board of directors, said Prof Razali was not sacked.

“The board had merely decided not to extend his probationary contract, which will expire at the end of July,” he added.

Khalid said that Prof Razali had not appealed against the termination of his services yet.

“But he can discuss the matter with Ramli and put forward his name for the list of candidates to be considered for the vice-chancellor’s post.

Asked to comment on allegations that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had sodomised his aide, Khalid said the state PKR would stand by Anwar’s denial of any involvement.

He, however, refused to comment further saying there was no need to do so as Anwar himself had denied it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Unisel V-C shown the door - The Star

SHAH ALAM: Jun 28, 2008

Universiti Industri Selangor (Unisel) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Razali Agus yesterday became the second head of a state-owned establishment to have his services terminated in three weeks.

The termination at the state-owned university comes less than three weeks after Selangor Museum director Maimunah Mohd Saidas was told to leave on June 9.

Taken by suprised: Prof Mohd Razali leaving after press conference in Shah Alam yesterday.

Prof Mohd Razali, 52, said he was attending a meeting at the university’s Batang Berjuntai campus when the termination letter was delivered to his personal assistant at his office here at about 4pm yesterday.

He said there was no reason stated for the termination in the letter signed by Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in his capacity as chairman of Pendidikan Industri Yayasan Selangor Sdn Bhd (PIYSB), which owns the university.

He said the letter stated that his termination would take effect at the end of July but he was given a month-long leave with full pay until then.

“I am in total shock because I have given my best to manage the university and to help make it one of the fastest growing universities in the country,” he said at a press conference here.

Prof Mohd Razali, who was deputy vice-chancellor at Universiti Malaya for over four years prior to his appointment at Unisel, said there had been no indication of the termination until he received the notice.

“I have not decided on my next course of action. I need to consider my options before deciding whether I will appeal against the decision or seek legal recourse,” he said, adding that he had not yet contacted the university’s pro-chancellor Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor over the termination.

He also refused to comment on whether there was any truth to rumours that he had written to the Education Department claiming he was not comfortable working under the Pakatan Rakyat state government.

It is learnt that Prof Mohd Razali is an Umno member as well as a committee member of the Overseas Umno Clubs Alumni.

Khalid, in a statement issued last night, said PIYSB did not sack Prof Mohd Razali but merely decided not to extend his service after the second six-month period of his probation expired.

He said there was no ulterior motive involved in terminating Prof Mohd Razali’s services and it was based on a unanimous decision by the board of directors.

“It was the previous Barisan Nasional government that decided to extend his original six-month long probation instead of confirming him because they were not satisfied with his services.

“The six-month extension was coming to end and at the PIYSB board meeting yesterday (Thursday) it was unanimously decided that we were still not satisfied and should let him go,” he said.

He said the board had followed all the legal requirements and had even given him one month's notice as stipulated in his employment contract.