Saturday, May 31, 2008

Green Everyday programme by The Star and partners to create awareness on environ

The Star, May 3l, 2008 By DEBBIE CHAN

ENVIRONMENTAL issues have been grabbing the headlines of late and it's an issue that affects everyone on a global scale.

As part of the efforts to help bring awareness about environmental issues to our community, The Star will be organising the Green Everyday – Act Now celebration which will culminate in a day-long event on June 8 at Bukit Kiara Park.

The place: Bukit Kiara park.

To kick off the campaign, The Star’s group chief editor Datuk Wong Chun Wai and Bonuskad Loyalty Sdn Bhd general manager Victor Goon will be pinning their pledges on the ‘MY Act’ Board as a start of their commitment towards doing their part for the environment on June 2. Bonuslink is the sponsor for the Green Everyday – Act Now event.

The MY Act board serves as a platform for people to pin their pledges to help support the green cause. The pledges could range from simple acts like reducing the use of paper to more large-scale commitments like companies taking on more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. The pledges are significant of the commitment to act now and change little habits in our everyday lifestyles to help save the environment.

In the run-up to the event, The Star has gathered personalities and leaders of our communities to come join and support the green cause.

On June 3, Selangor state exco holding the portfolio of environment and tourism cum state assemblyman for Bukit Lanjan Elizabeth Wong will be pinning her pledge on the MY Act board. Since sworn into office, Wong has spearheaded many new projects to bring environmental awareness to the local communities. Local actress and singer Maya Karin will also be joining her.

Wong: Spearheading projects that are sensitive to the environment.

Friends of Gasing Hill, the non-governmental organisation that has been fighting for years to protect Bukit Gasing from indiscriminate development, would also be pledging their commitments on June 4. Friends of Kota Damansara Park will also be making their commitments to the environment on June 7.

Subang Jaya state assemblyman Hannah Yeoh will be making her pledge on June 5 while June 6 will see youngsters and peer educators making their pledges. Many other personalities, sportsmen and celebrities will also be making their pledges on June 8 at the event itself.

Part of the Green Everyday-Act Now campaign, StarYouth also organised the P2P Greeniz programme which saw 31 youngsters travelling to Kinabatangan River to learn about environment conversation and sustainability efforts. The programme was to give youngsters an opportunity to become peer educators and to spread the green message to their friends and families back home.

On June 8, there will be an array of activities from various environmental and community groups at the park. Look out for more information on the participants of the event in StarMetro.

Put politics aside, says Tan - The Star

PETALING JAYA: May 31, 2008 By TEH ENG HOCK

A defiant Federal Territory Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong called on those who had asked him to resign for taking up a post in Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor to rise above politics.

He said with many issues currently troubling the people, it was time to rise above political interests for the greater good of the country.

Dr Tan, who was issued a show-cause letter by his party for taking up the post as co-chairman of Selangor’s special task force on land issues, said he had yet to decide whether to reply to the letter.

He told The Star that he fully understood the implications of the letter.

“As a former vice-president, I have previously taken part in many disciplinary actions, including sending out show cause letters.

“I have until June 7 to respond. I have not decided (whether to reply),” he said.

Dr Tan is the second Gerakan leader to take up a post with a Pakatan Rakyat-led state after deputy secretary-general Lee Kah Choon.

Last month, Lee accepted the Penang Government’s offer to take up the posts of InvestPenang executive chairman and Penang Development Corporation director.

He then resigned from Gerakan.

Asked if he had sought advice from Lee, Dr Tan said he spoke to him briefly but did not ask for advice.

“There is no need for advice. It is very clear. I have been in politics a long time and have given this (the appointment) careful thought before accepting it,” he said.

On Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s statement that Barisan Nasional members who want to take up posts in Opposition-led governments should just quit the party, Dr Tan thanked him for the advice but said it was time to rise above politics for the country’s interest.

Dr Tan said one must be brave and look back at why one became a politician.

“We must go back to our initial struggle – regardless of whether it is me, my Gerakan colleagues, or even DAP politicians.

“It is my humble desire to serve (the people). Individuals do not count and do not matter,” he said

Stop the blasting! - The Star

May 31, 2008 Story and photo by STUART MICHAEL

ENOUGH is enough! After suffering deafening noise pollution for five long years, residents of Taman Rawang Perdana 2 in Rawang have decided to take action to stop the irritation.

Representatives of some 100 households held a meeting with Rawang state assemblyman Gan Pei Nei on Thursday to discuss the noise problem caused by rock blasting at the nearby quarries.

The three-hour meeting was held at Gan’s office in Taman Bersatu in Rawang. Present were the quarry operators and officials of the Selayang Municipal Council, Public Works Department, Geo-Science and Mineral Department and Department of Environment (DOE).

The meeting decided that a survey be conducted in the residential area to check on how bad the shockwaves from the blasting were.

A serious problem: Taman Rawang Perdana 2 resident Chan Pak Nean (standing) speaking about the problem while showing a map during the dialogue.

There are two quarries – Sunwaymas Rawang and Rawang Granite – carrying out blasting in the area.

According to SunwayMas Sdn Bhd project manager William Oh, the blasting at Sunwaymas Rawang is done according to the specifications and the blast is only conducted twice a month. The project will be completed within the next eight years.

Mahumas Sdn Bhd assistant project manager S. Ramasamy said that the company’s Rawang Granite quarry was located away from the residential area and the project would be completed by July next year.

Taman Rawang Perdana 2 Residents Association chairman Ong Siew Hang queried that if the blasting was done according to the regulations and the quarry was located about 500m away from the residential area, how was it that the houses were still damaged?

“The blasting is carried out between 300 and 800 times a year and it is affecting the foundation of the houses. We have been very patient and are fed up with the answers given by the quarry operators,” Ong said.

“At a meeting in February 2006 that we had with the then Rawang assemblyman Datuk Tang See Hang, Sunwaymas told us it would stop operations in six months while Mahumas promised to provide an answer in 14 months,” she said.

“But, till today, none of the quarry operators have stopped. Besides, our residential roads are badly damaged by heavy usage of the quarry lorries and we also are plagued by the dust and smell pollution,” Ong said.

She said many residents were afraid that their houses would collapse and had moved out.

Gan, meanwhile, said she had requested Geo-Science and Mineral Department representative Nurul Huda Ramli and DOE representative Affendy Nasrudin to conduct a survey at the residential areas during the blasting to check on the shockwaves.

“We will make a decision on the matter after the results of the survey are known. We will meet with all the relevant parties on June 6 to decide on the matter.

“An independent committee will be set up which I will head. The committee together with DOE officials and Geo-Science and Mineral Department will conduct this survey to monitor the situation here,” Gan said.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Discrimination and graft the reasons for illegal factories - The Star

May 30, 2008

DISCRIMINATION against local industry players and corrupt practices have been cited as the main causes for the existence of illegal factories in Selangor.

According to Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Foundry and Engineering Industries Association (SFEIA) president Fan See Hai, the local industry players were often snubbed by the authorities, who seemed to show preference to the foreign businessmen and investors.

Listening hard: Ean Yong and Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh chairing the meeting with the association.
Fan said this during a dialogue with Selangor State New Village Development and Illegal Factory Task Force Committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah in Shah Alam on Tuesday.

“As Malaysians, we face a lot of hassle even before we can start our businesses while the foreign investors have everything made so easy for them whether it is in making land applications, constructing factories or starting operations,” Fan said.

He said the process of setting up a legal factory by a local businessman, for example, could take as long as three years for approval to be granted.

“Unless the factory owner has lots of time and money to spend, the setting up of the factory would have been doomed before it could even start operations,” Fan said.


Fan: We face a lot of hassle even before we can start our business.

“On top of that, we face a lot of pressure from the authorities, especially the local governments, because we have to pay all sorts of ‘extra charges’ for all kind of applications,” he said.

Fan said his association had 330 members, mostly among small and medium scale industries operators, but 45% of them were operating without permits or business licences while others occupied land without industrial status.

He said that the total number of unlicensed factories in the state was much more than the figure on the association's list.

According to Fan, illegal factory problems have existed since the independence of the country.

Fan said the association hoped the new Pakatan Rakyat state government would bring changes and ensure fairer treatment for local business operators, as they did not want to operate without licences due to the legal risks involved.

He said the problems they faced included constant pressure from enforcement officers and difficulty in getting loans from banks.

Ean Yong, meanwhile, pledged that the state government would look into the plight of the local business operators and review ineffective policies and practices.

Funds allocated for all in Selangor - The Star

Funds allocated for all in Selangor

May 30, 2008 By TAN KARR WEI

The Selangor state government has allocated RM500,000 in development funds for all constituencies in the state, including those being held by opposition parties.

According to local government committee chairman Ronnie Liu, all assemblymen would be required to document how much money they spent each time.


All together now: Lim (second from right) launching the service centre of Cheah (second from left). With them are (from left) Pua and Liu.

He said they have gotten a list of how the previous state assemblymen spent their money and found a lot of discrepancies.

The present assemblymen would be required to follow strictly the guidelines on how the money could be spent.

“We want the parliament to do the same. Right now, only the Barisan Nasional MPs are getting the allocation of RM500,000 a year. The same amount should be given to all the MPs, even those from the opposition, then it will be fair,” Liu said during the opening ceremony of Damansara Utama assemblyman Dr Cheah Wing Yin's service centre in SS2/24, Petaling Jaya.

Among those present to grace the event were DAP central policy and strategic planning commission chairman Lim Kit Siang, PJ Utara MP Tony Pua, Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San, Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne, Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh and PJ Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian.

Pua said that this was the fourth official service centre for the PJ Utara team and would support their intent to better service the people in the constituency.

Dr Cheah said the Damansara Utama Support Team, or DUST, would help him out at the centre.

He also launched his website www.drcheah.webs.com.

The service centre is open from Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 4pm while Dr Cheah would be there every Friday from 10am to noon. Address: 54A, Jalan SS2/24, 47300 Petaling Jaya. Phone/Fax: 03-7875 0555.

MPS told to stop the blame game - The Star

May 30, 2008

THE Selayang Municipal Council should do its job and come up with a solution instead of blaming residents or hawkers at the wet market at Jalan BRP7/2, Subang MP R. Sivarasa said.

He added that the MPS should not heighten the existing tension between the two parties.

Problem solving: Sivarasa (seated, right) speaks to the traders and residents representatives.

According to him, some traders had blamed the residents for complaining about them to the MPS. However, the residents said they were looking out for the best interests of the community and had asked for the traders to be relocated to a more suitable location. “If MPS has already identified a permanent site for the traders, it should make the proper decision. The relocation is not an issue but a lack of transparency in the process is,” Sivarasa said.

He was speaking after meeting with a group of traders from the morning market as well as representatives from the residents' association.

The traders, who had been trading at the site for the past four years, had staged a peaceful protest against the decision to relocate them.

Last year, MPS had given the traders’ notice of the relocation to a site some 1km away.

The traders claimed that the developer of the new site had asked them to contribute towards construction cost. They also alleged that they were required to pay RM1,500 per trading bay in addition to rental and utility bills.

At a meeting on May 14, it was decided that the traders' temporary business permits, which expire on June 21, would not be renewed.

Sivarasa said he would be meeting the MPS president to find out its stand on the issue, adding that MPS had a responsibility to resolve the issue.

“We will try and get MPS to allow the traders to continue at the present site until a decision has been made.

“We are still waiting for the new councillors line-up and MPS is expected to hold its first full board meeting at the end of next month,” he added.

Sivarasa also questioned the background of the developer of the new site and said he would refer the matter to the Anti-Corruption Agency if necessary.

Local councils told to buck up - The Star

May 30, 2008 By LIM CHIA YING

THE local authorities in Selangor have been urged to buck up and be more responsible in monitoring housing projects.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said the local councils must also bear responsibility for a developer’s irresponsible actions that caused financial losses and suffering to buyers.

Yeoh: Most developers are not involved in just one project.

According to Yeoh, many developers are taking advantage of loopholes in the existing laws to escape accountability when winding up their companies or abandoning projects.

“It should be the local council’s responsibility to closely monitor a project by site visits and checks on the work. The local authorities should take action against a developer immediately if there are irregularities in the project,” Yeoh said.

“The council should be looking after the welfare of the people,” she said.

Yeoh was commenting on the case of the Mutiara Court apartment project in PJS 7 Bandar Sunway, whose developer Westcourt Corp Sdn Bhd was wound up in 2007.

The controversy surrounding the project was brought to light when certificates of fitness for occupation (CFs) were issued despite the fact that no water supply and electricity connection had been installed.

The project is a middle-cost development comprising 232 units launched in 2002.

According to Selangor State Local Government Committee chairman Ronnie Liu, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) had issued the CFs following the implementation of the one-stop-centre (OSC) system.

“After the OSC was introduced, the MPSJ did not have to visit and check on the project, but left it to the developer to deal directly with Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Syabas for electricity and water,” Liu said.

“The OSC scheme was meant to speed up the issuance of the CFs,” he said.

Yeoh, however, insisted that the local authorities should check that everything was in order before authorising the issuing of a CF.

She said that when a CF was issued, it meant that the place had been certified fit for occupation and that everything was in place.

Yeoh said it was time for the local authorities to be stricter with developers.

“Most developers are not involved in just one project, but have other development schemes.

“The local authorities should check their previous records before giving approvals and licences for subsequent projects,” Yeoh said.

She said that if a developer was found to have abandoned a previous project or violated any law, it should be blacklisted and denied approval for subsequent projects.

She said that there were housing development companies that just closed before completing their projects, leaving the buyers of the projects in a financial lurch.

“The purchasers may not even get to claim the last 5% of payment held by the lawyer and shareholders that is reserved for claims during the defect period since many creditors are queuing up for the same pool of money,” she said.

Liu admitted that such cases happened due to the easy certifications by the local councils.

“The state will ensure that the local councils will closely monitor the development projects from now on. The local authorities should be more careful when issuing CFs or giving approvals,” he said.

“I’ll work with all council presidents to make the necessary changes and revise the existing guidelines that are deemed not good,” Liu said.

“We urge the people to give us their views and suggestions on how to make improvements and make changes to tackle such problems,” he said.

Cheras residents in stand-off to protect toll-free road - Malaysiakini

Bandar Mahkota Cheras dispute: Khalid brings down barricade - NST

Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim told the Kajang Municipal Council to remove remnants of the barricade

KUALA LUMPUR: May 30, 2008 By Kalbana Perimbanayagam

An enforced "truce" is in place between Grand Saga Sdn Bhd and Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents over free access to the Cheras-Kajang Highway.

One day after police urged Grand Saga not to put up barricade, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim summoned the Kajang Municipal Council to completely remove the remnants of the barricade.

Abdul Khalid, who visited the site yesterday, also urged Grand Saga and Bandar Mahkota Cheras developer Narajaya Sdn Bhd to solve the impasse, saying residents should not be victimised in their dispute.

Residents claimed they were promised free access to the highway by Narajaya but Grand Saga said they were never a party to such an arrangement. A court case is now pending.

Abdul Khalid said a letter had also been sent to Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed, requesting him to look into the problem.

"We hope all parties will be patient and try to solve the problem amicably.

"I don't want any trouble or fight over this issue."

Residents and Grand Saga have been engaged in a contest of wills as residents would remove the barricade only to see it replaced almost immediately.

On Tuesday, residents claimed they were assaulted by thugs while trying to remove the barricade.

Grand Saga has denied using thugs.

Meanwhile, Selangor MCA chief Datuk Ong Tee Keat said he has evidence that secret society members were involved in Tuesday's ruckus which ended up with five people injured.

He said he would provide the information to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan soon.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Selangor ups poverty line to RM1,500 - NST

Selangor ups poverty line to RM1,500
By : Neville Spykerman

May 29, 2008

SHAH ALAM: The state government has raised the poverty line to RM1,500 per family of five.

State Health, Plantation, Workers and Caring Government Committee chairman Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said yesterday that the raising of the poverty line from RM760 per family of five would allow more people to receive aid, in view of the soaring prices of food and commodity.

"We recognised that many people, especially in the urban areas, are struggling and we want to help."

Dr Xavier said the state government had also placed an order for RM500,000 worth of rice, which will be distributed to the poor.

"Many will be hit by the global shortage and the rice will be given to those who need it the most, throughout the state."

Barisan Nasional constituencies would also be included in the scheme, he said after the weekly executive council meeting.

On another matter, Dr Xavier said new funds had been allocated for small projects in all constituencies.

However, BN state assemblyman will not handle the funds in their constituencies.

"They have already spent their annual allocation and the new funds will be disbursed by representatives of the state government."

He said RM375,000 had been allocated for each constituency and would be used during the course of the year.

Dewan Rakyat: It's full moon for House newbies - NST

Dewan Rakyat: It's full moon for House newbies
NST picture by Rosdan Wahid.

May 29, 2008

Two Pakatan Rakyat members of parliament, Loh Gwo Burne (picture above, left) (Parti Keadilan Rakyat-Kelana Jaya) and Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) distributing red hard-boiled eggs to newsmen at the Parliament lobby yesterday to mark their first month in the Dewan Rakyat.

It is customary for Chinese couples to give relatives and friends red hard-boiled eggs to commemorate their babies' full moon (one month after birth).

FT Gerakan chief must leave party, says Najib - NST

PUTRAJAYA, THURS: May 29, 2008

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today Federal Territory Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong cannot keep his position in the Barisan Nasional (BN) component party after joining the opposition government.

Morally, such a move was necessary, the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after attending a closed-door meeting with the National Students Consultative Council at a hotel, near here.

The BN was concerned over the development where two Gerakan leaders had joined the opposition government and hoped that other Gerakan members would remain in the party and have faith in the future of BN, he said.

Dr Tan was reported to have been accepted by the Selangor government to head a task force to improve the administration and policies concerning the problems of land ownership.

Earlier, former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon had accepted the post of director of the Penang Development Corporation and InvestPenang from the Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang.

Former Selangor MB denies any irregularities in projects approved by him - The Star

May 29, 2008 BY ELAN PERUMAL

PROJECTS implemented under the former Barisan Nasional government in Selangor have contributed towards the growth and prosperity of the state and its people, said former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo.

Khir, who is now the Opposition leader in Selangor, said the nation's most developed state had achieved rapid economic growth in recent years.

All done accordingly: Khir insists projects served its purpose.

He said the hardwork done by the Barisan government who had ruled for 50 years enabled the people to enjoy good infrastructure such as roads, housing and commercial development.

“All the things that we are enjoying today are the fruits of the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the Barisan government.

“It is unfair to say that Barisan has not done much for the state,'' Khir said at the Selangor State Assembly in reply to allegations that the previous government had spent unwisely on mega projects that were underutilised or had stalled.

Several assemblymen from the Pakatan government took the previous government to task for carrying out too many mega projects that ended up as “white elephants”.

They include the Exco Village at Shah Alam, Marine Park in Sekinchan and Shah Alam Stadium.

Ng Swee Lim (Pakatan-Sekinchan) had said that the marine park did not attract visitors and was a waste of public funds.

He said the cost of the project had been stretched from RM10mil initially to RM21mil and it was done through a direct-nego concept and no open tender was called.

Hanizah Mohamed Talha (Pakatan-Taman Medan) said the previous state government should be held accountable for projects, which were abandoned and the facilities were underutilised in Selangor.

Khir said every development project in the state was carried out for the benefit of the people.

He said all the projects were implemented accordingly and denied any form of irregularities aimed at serving the interest of certain parties including himself.

“During my tenure as mentri besar, I was responsible for approving projects that were worth more than RM10mil and all the projects were carried out properly.”

“I have been investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency and police and have been cleared of any wrongdoing,'' he said.

Contempt of court - The Star

May 29, 2008 By DHARMENDER SINGH

THE Selangor government may take legal action against the concessionaire for the Cheras-Kajang Highway for violating an undertaking not to obstruct the access road in Bandar Mahkota Cheras without state approval.

State local government, research and study committee chairman Ronnie Liu said the concessionaire, Grand Saga Sdn Bhd, gave the undertaking in court after Bandar Mahkota Cheras Open Access Road Committee chairman Tan Boon Wah sought an injunction to stop the company from closing the access road.

“The injunction by Tan was struck out but the concessionaire gave an undertaking in court that it would not erect a barricade along the stretch of the access road build on state land.

“We (the state government) are upset that the company has now gone against the undertaking by re-erecting the barricade and we are looking into the possibility of filing for contempt of court proceedings,” he said, when contacted yesterday.

He said the state government’s next course of action would be discussed at the state executive council meeting.

Liu however has appealed to Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents to remain calm and not do anything hasty such as attempting to remove the barricade on their own.

“I urge the residents not to take matters into their own hands and let the state and federal governments to resolve the matter,” he said.

Meanwhile Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim when met at Parliament yesterday told reporters that he had raised the Bandar Mahkota Cheras barricade issue with Works Minister Datuk Ir. Mohd Zin Mohamed and sought the latter’s assistance to resolve the matter soon.

Gerakan’s Tan ‘joins’ Pakatan - The Star

SHAH ALAM: May 29, 2008 By DHARMENDER SINGH and CHRISTINA TAN

Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong became the second Gerakan leader to take up a post with an Opposition-led state government.

The Federal Territory Gerakan chief and former Deputy Land and Cooperative Development Minister was named as co-chairman of Selangor's special task force on land issues.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the other co-chairman was former Land and Cooperative Development Ministry secretary-general Prof Datuk Dr Nik Mohd Zain Nik Yusof.

The appointment of Dr Tan means he will now be working for the Pakatan Rakyat state government.

Last month, Gerakan deputy secretary-general Lee Kah Choon accepted the Penang government's offer to take up the posts of InvestPenang executive chairman and Penang Development Corporation director. Lee later quit Gerakan.

Khalid said Dr Tan and Prof Dr Nik Mohd Zain would head a six-member task force that would study the management of land in Selangor and related policies, issues and problems before submitting suggestions for improvement.

“We decided to appoint the two men for their vast experience in land management. Dr Tan served as the deputy minister from 1999 to 2004 while Prof Dr Nik Mohd Zain was secretary-general from 1996 to 2002,” he told a press conference after chairing the weekly state executive council meeting here yesterday.

Dr Tan said he would not resign from his Gerakan post after taking up the special task force co-chairman position.

He said news of his appointment was announced at 6pm yesterday, adding that no party official had called him to seek clarification over his decision to work with the Pakatan Rakyat state government.

Dr Tan said Khalid, whom he has known for more than 20 years, contacted him two weeks ago with the offer to head the committee in an area which was vital but also most lacking in terms of efficiency.

“I said yes to the offer because I joined politics to serve the people and country. The post provides me the chance to continue this work while Gerakan feels I have no value in terms of serving the party and the people,” the 61-year-old politician said when contacted last night.

He said he also had a lot of respect for the first-time mentri besar as he had highlighted and worked to solve many of the issues that many before him had failed to address.

The task force would start work in two weeks, Dr Tan said, as the other members had yet to be picked.

It will have three months to submit recommendations to the state government.

Previous News:

Keng Yaik blamed for Lee’s departure

KUALA LUMPUR: April 30, 2008

Gerakan adviser Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik is to be blamed for Datuk Lee Kah Choon leaving the party, said some leaders from Kuala Lumpur-Federal Territory Gerakan.

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/4/30/nation/21100152&sec=nation


Note: Gerakan should think about dissolving the party and join Pakatan Rakyat enbloc now that it has become irrelevant.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Selangor Pakatan Rakyat Government roped in Gerakan FT Chief Dr. Tan

May 28, 2008

Malaysiakini (FT Gerakan chief to head Pakatan's task force) reported today that Gerakan FT Chief Dr. Tan Kee Kwong, former deputy land and cooperative development minister, has been roped in by the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State Government to be its co-chairman together with Dr Nik Mohd Zain Nik Mohd Yusof as part of a six member task force for land management.

Tan Sri Khalid in announcing this today said both Dr. Tan and Dr. Nik are very experience in land matters.

Khalid said that the state government considers the issue of land management very seriously. Khalid said that the task force will be set up as an independent body to “study and analyse state land administration, policies, issues and problems as well as ways to resolve land problems in Selangor”.

“In addition, the task force will be evaluating the effectiveness of the state government’s e-tanah (online) system.”

The body will make recommendations to the state government on improving the system.

“The issue of overlapping land claims and land status has always cropped up. This is not a new matter in Selangor since all other states face the same problem,” Khalid told journalists after chairing a meeting of the state cabinet.

Will Dr. Tan incur the wrath of Gerakan as happened to Lee Kah Choon???

More news at www.malaysiakini.com

Some fishy stories about Grand Saga???

S'gor MB: State firm owns 30% of Grand Saga
May 28, 08 3:08pm


Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim revealed today that a state-owned company holds a 30 percent share in toll concessionaire Grand Saga, which is embroiled in a dispute with Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC) residents.

“We are holding an executive council meeting this evening and we will come up with our position. I have to listen to all the facts and study the reason why the situation has to come to this stage,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

More news at www.malaysiakini.com

Several records set by assembly - The Star

May 28, 2008

THE first sitting of the 12th Selangor State Assembly which was adjourned on Monday night will go into history for setting several new records.

It was the first time in the history of the state that the assembly was not convened by the Barisan Nasional or its predecessor the Alliance coalition.

The assembly sitting, led by the new Pakatan Rakyat state government, also went on with the session until 9pm on Monday, the last day of its first sitting. The State Constitution does not allow proceedings to go beyond midnight.

Thirty-one representatives from both the Pakatan and Barisan participated in the debate. The usual morning tea break at 11am was cancelled to allow more time for debate.

There was live coverage of the entire proceedings via Internet broadband streaming to allow the people to view the sessions from their homes and offices.

The assembly also made history for being the first in the country that passed a bill calling for the abolishment of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

In terms of press coverage, an average of 30 members from the various media were present at any one time throughout the sitting, which started last Wednesday.

State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim, the first Chinese to hold the post, has also demonstrated real professionalism and impartiality in his debut as the Chair. Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid has highly commended Teng for his sterling performance.

It was the first time that 31 representatives had taken part in the debate on the royal address.


“By cutting out the tea-breaks and by extending the session for an additional hour on Friday and several more hours on Monday night, we have actually gained an extra day,'' Khalid told the assembly at the conclusion of the proceedings,

State assemblyman Datuk Karim Mansur (Tanjung Sepat-BN) perhaps sums up the whole first meeting best when he said: “I see this as a different sitting from the previous ones as the representatives are very focused on the issues they are taking on,''

Karim, a two-term assemblyman, said he was impressed with the performance of most of the assemblymen for being very objective and informative with their views.

“The flow of the sitting was smooth and I witnessed a good command of language from all the assemblymen,'' he said.

KL pledged fair treatment for Pakatan states, assembly told - The Star

May 28, 2008

THE federal government has pledged that it would not discriminate against the five states under the control of the Pakatan Rakyat in terms of foreign investments and incentives, according to a Selangor state executive councillor.

Selangor State Trade, Industry and Investment Committee chairman Teresa Kok said this was the answer given to her by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) to a question she had asked as the MP for Seputeh in the Dewan Rakyat on May 5 this year.

Teresa had asked if Miti would continue cooperating with the five Pakatan Rakyat states in foreign investments and if it would continue giving incentives to foreign investors who were investing in the five states.

“The ministry, in its answer to my question, said all incentives, whether existing or new ones, will be continually given to all states,” Teresa said.

“It also said the government would always ensure that the fruits of investments would be equally shared by all citizens,” Teresa said in her winding-up speech at the Selangor state assembly in Shah Alam on Monday.

She said that Miti had also said that foreign investment was an important factor which contributed to the country's development.

“The federal government has, therefore, pledged that it would not discriminate against any state governments. So the state governments in these five states are encouraged to continue with existing policies that are business-inclined,” she said.

Teresa also said Miti had advised the five state governments not to introduce or execute new policies at the state level that were not proactive investment-wise, or that were inconsistent with or opposed to the policies and rules executed at the federal level.

“This is said to be important in continuing the traditionally excellent performance of the federal government in attracting foreign investments,” she said.

Teresa also read out the increase in figures of investment capitals in the state from 2006 to 2007.

While 2006 recorded more than RM5.3bil of investments, the following year saw an increase to RM 11.1bil of investments.

“In 2006, 312 factory projects were approved by the government, while in 2007, there was an increase to 318 approved projects. And from January to March this year, 58 factory projects were approved in Selangor with an investment value worth more than RM1.7bil,” she said.

“From this figure, 18% is local investment while the rest are foreign,” Teresa said.

She said the state government had also formed SSIC Berhad that would function as a one-stop agency for foreign investors who invested in Selangor.

According to Teresa, the company will help investors obtain information and assist them in getting approvals from the respective agencies.

“When it comes to approval of applications, we will also speed up the process like the approval for application of building plans and others through the one-stop centre that has been established in every local authority,” she said.

'Pembangkang cuba politikkan Islam Hadhari' - Najib - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: May 28, 2008 oleh NURUL AIN HUSSAIN

"Pembangkang cuba politikkan Islam Hadhari,". Demikianlah komen Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak ketika mengulas mengenai isu Kerajaan Selangor yang mengharamkan sebarang pelaksanaan program berkonsepkan Islam Hadhari di negeri itu semalam.

Najib berpendapat kenyataan itu bersifat peribadi dan menegaskan Islam Hadhari merupakan satu pendekatan untuk memperkenalkan Islam sebagai sebuah agama.

Semalam, Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Tetap Hal Ehwal Agama, Adat-adat Melayu, Infrastruktur dan Kemudahan Awam Negeri Selangor, Datuk Dr Hassan Mohamed Ali berkata, konsep Islam Hadhari tidak diperlukan di Selangor memandangkan ajaran Islam yang diamalkan di negara ini lengkap dan menyeluruh dari segala aspek kehidupan.

Justeru dengan arahan itu, semua masjid dan surau di negeri itu tidak dibenarkan menyentuh soal Islam Hadhari dalam khutbah sembahyang Jumaat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

At the Selangor Assembly: Committee to question Khir - NST

May 27, 2008 By Neville Spykerman and V. Shankar Ganesh

DATUK Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo will be called before the Special Select Committee for Competency Transparency and Accountability when it investigates the Wives of Selangor Assemblymen and MPs Welfare and Charity Organisation (Balkis).

State Islamic Affairs, Malay Customs, Infrastructure and Public Amenities Committee chairman Datuk Dr Hassan Ali said: "It will be an opportunity for him to clear the air because he has staunchly defended the controversial decision to dissolve the charity and transfer its funds."

The select committee was established by a motion at the state assembly yesterday.

It will be headed by speaker Teng Chang Khim (DAP-Sungai Pinang). Its members include deputy speaker Haniza Mohamed Talha (PKR-Taman Medan), Mohamed Azmin Ali (PKR-Bukit Antarabangsa), Saari Sungib (Pas-Hulu Langat), Edward Lee (DAP-Bukit Gasing), Sulaiman Abdul Razak (BN-Kawasan Permatang) and Ismail Sani (BN-Dusun Tua).

The select committee will be empowered to summon officials from the state government, state-linked companies and assemblymen to scrutinise maladministration.

During his winding-up speech in the assembly, Dr Hassan said the state government would no longer encourage the preaching of Islam Hadhari in mosques, surau and state religious schools.

Dr Hassan said the move was not to antagonise the federal government but "we believe Islam is perfect and there is no need for Islam Hadhari".

Meanwhile, all Pakatan Rayat states will move towards forming a tourism corridor since the Tourism Ministry has dissolved agreements with the five Tourism Action Councils.

State Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said the states were launching the initiative so that the tourism sector would not be adversely affected by the actions of the federal ministry.

She said the Selangor Tourism Action Committee, formed to facilitate tourism activities, had received instructions not to co-operate with the state government.

As a result, all tourism events could not be carried out because funding had been withdrawn by the federal government.

Wong said there had been a move to freeze state tourism projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

"The Tourism Ministry has instructed that all projects in which the contractors had not been appointed before May 5 are to be put on hold."

Wong said the federal government should be more sensitive because the projects would have benefited the nation as a whole and its action could affect Malaysia's image as a tourist destination.

She said 10 tourism projects under 9MP worth RM25.5 million could be affected, but the state still hoped to attract 5.4 million tourists this year.

State to take over water treatment, supply firms

THE state government will take over all four companies involved in the treatment and distribution of water in Selangor.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the takeover would be carried out through its wholly-owned company, Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd, with the move to be finalised by September.

The companies involved are Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash).

All are involved in the treatment of raw water, with Syabas also handling water distribution in the Klang Valley.

Puncak Niaga's subsidiary, Syabas, has the concession to distribute water in Selangor and also owns 29 water treatment plants.

Konsortium Abass has the concession to operate and maintain the Sungai Semenyih Water Supply Scheme while Splash is the concessionaire of the Sungai Selangor Water Supply Scheme phase 1 and 3.

With this move, Abdul Khalid said the state would have a free hand to review all concessionaire agreements, which he had described as lopsided.

Abdul Khalid said KDEB would acquire all the shares of these companies, adding that the cabinet had given the nod for the deal in January.

He said the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry had issued a letter to the state government on Feb 5 giving the approval.

He said though it was the previous government that initiated the move, it was more for economic restructuring.

The scheme to provide free water for the first 20 cubic metres was included in the reorganisation scheme.

Abdul Khalid said he would meet with ministry officials to find an amicable evaluation for the restructuring exercise.

Asked how much the takeover will cost he said: "It will cost money to buy. But it is viable in returns to KDEB. It will not be to the extent that the risks and returns are not acceptable to the people."

Abdul Khalid said KDEB had shares in some of these groups. In the takeover, it would offer cash or shares for acquisition of rights in the companies.

He said it would also be done through purchase of assets and offers of long-term financial facilities at certain rates.

He said Selangor would study the terms of the companies' agreements and their financial models. "We will ensure the benefits flow back to the people."

Asked what would happen if the concessionaires refused to sell the companies, he said they would if the price was right.

"Even if they refuse, they will have to eventually as the water belongs to the state."

'Lopsided' concessions to be reviewed

PARKING, advertising and garbage collection concessions may be up for grabs soon with the state government's decision to review all agreements.

State Local Government Committee chairman Ronnie Liu said yesterday the reviews were necessary as they were grossly unfair to the state government and people, adding that the agreements were lopsided in favour of the concessionaires.

He cited the example of Alam Flora operations, which had been criticised by various people.

"Based on the complaints and also due to the large allocation of funds for this, the state is now looking at the possibility of terminating the contract and setting up a Selangor waste management board. The proposal will be tabled when we complete our studies."

Met later, he said he was unhappy with the standard of service offered by Alam Flora and would discuss the matter with state subsidiary Worldwide Holdings Bhd, which operates landfills.

On parking, he said local authorities had signed long-term contracts with two companies, Suasa Efektif Sdn Bhd (25 years) and Godell Parking Sdn Bhd (20 years).

Liu said the concessionaires received 70 per cent of the profit from all fees and summonses collected.

"It does not make sense how such a contract could have been signed," he said, given that local authorities did all the work collecting summonses but the companies got the lion's share of the collection.

He said the companies had been summoned to explain their operations.

Also, Liu did not understand why parking was privatised as it brought much revenue to the local councils.

On advertising, he said up to 80 per cent of billboards in the state were illegal.

"With each billboard advertising costing between RM2,000 and RM10,000 a month, the state is losing millions in revenue."

He has asked local authorities, especially the Petaling Jaya City Council and Subang Jaya Municipal Council, to provide actual figures and details of billboard owners.

Liu said the previous state government had signed a contract with Karisma Vista Sdn Bhd to put up signboards and Mesra Rakyat advertisements for assemblymen.

He said the contract spelt out that each assemblyman would be given three billboards and the company would get six for commercial purposes.

He said the current state executive council had decided that each assemblyman would get only one billboard and the remaining two would go to local councils for commercial purposes.

Karisma's contract, which expires in December, would not be renewed, he added.

Shaziman: State govts can take over water companies - The Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (May 27, 2008): By Giam Say Khoon

State governments are allowed to take over all water-related assets if they have sufficient budget, said Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor.

However, he said the state governments have to get a "special licence" from SPAN (National Water Services Commission) before they can buy over the assets.

"If they want to own the assets and do not want to sell it to PAB (Water Asset Holding Company), they can do that. But when it comes to rules and regulations, they still have to adhere to SPAN," he told a press conference in Parliament lobby today.

"But I do not see a reason why the state government wants to do that because we are giving them loans with lower interest rate and longer periods," he added.

Shahziman said the federal government has no problem with the Selangor government to take over the water services companies in the state.

"It is in line with the ministry's policy when we enacted the Water Services Industry Act in 2006," he said, adding that the state government has to give a golden share to the federal government.

Shaziman said this is to allow the federal government to step in should there be anything that could burden the people or jeopardise the water industry.

He added that the ministry is yet to receivce a proposal from the Selangor government.

Shaziman also said SAPN is planning to implement a mechanism to standardise the calculation of water rates in the various states.

For that reason, he doubted the plan of the Selangor government to give 20 cubic metres of free water from Sunday (June 1).

"This is because the federal government will act to ensure that profit margins are kept very low as it is a basic necessity. Once they have gove through the mechanism and where a ceiling will be imposed on the profit margin, I do not think any state can give free water," he said.

Asked about the price of the water, Shaziman said he was "not sure" whether the tarriff will be lower.

However, he said there will be some adjustments and probably the water rates of some states will go up and some will fall.

"I have not seen the numbers yet. But certainly we can lower the rate of water treatment," he said.

In an immediate response, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim disagreed that the standardisation of water tariff by the federal government will stop the state from giving free 20 cubic metres of water to the people.

He said the federal government will only set the tariff on water supplied by Syabas.

"We have a different set of calculation for the 20 cubic metres of water and it will not be affected by the new tariff," he told reporters when met in Parliament lobby.

On whether subsidy will be provided to water concessionaires in the state, Khalid said the subsidy issue was yet to be discussed by the state government.

He clarified that the water industry can be classified into three categories and water sources from the rivers and treatment plants did not fall under the jurisdiction of the ministry.

Free water not doable, says Shaziman - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: May 27, 2008 By SIM LEOI LEOI

As the June 1 deadline approaches for Selangor to receive free water, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor doubts the Pakatan Rakyat government will be able to do it.

This is because once the mechanism to calculate water tariffs have been standardised across the states, profit margins would be kept very low, Shaziman said.

"I doubt they will have the capability to do so because the federal government will act to ensure that profit margins are kept very low. This is because water is a basic necessity.

"For now, the Selangor government has not gone through the mechanism yet so it's still possible for them to give 20 cubic metres free water.

"Once they have gone through the mechanism and where a ceiling will be imposed on the profit margin, I don't think any state can give free water," he told reporters Tuesday at the Parliament lobby here.

Shaziman said the only way that the Selangor state government could give free water was by subsidising the water operators and pay them the difference in funds.

He said the ministry also welcomed Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's statement that the state would take over the four companies involved in water production and distribution in the state through its subsidiary Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd.

The state has three water producers – Konsortium ABASS, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holdings Bhd (Splash) – while Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) distributes water.

Shaziman said however he had yet to receive any proposal from the Selangor state government.

"I have talked to Tan Sri (Khalid) last week but he has not made an appointment to see me. If they are really interested in taking over, they should forward the proposal to us so this can be studied.

"However, they must still maintain a golden share for the federal government in order for us to step in to protect the interests of the consumers," he said.

Shaziman also said once the mechanism had been standardised under the Water Services Commission, there should be an adjustment to water tariff rates.

"For instance, some water treatment plants in Selangor are charging too high for their services," he said.

When asked, Khalid said that the Selangor government would calculate its water tariff rates "differently" from that worked out by the federal government.

"This is because the federal government only controls the water tariff to consumers but not the costs of raw water and that from the treatment plant. The free water plan still goes on," he said, adding that he would also be writing a letter to explain the state's water restructuring plan soon.

State government wants to reduce unemployment - The Star

May 27, 2008 By TAN KARR WEI

THE Selangor Government is looking into ways to reduce unemployment in the state.

Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong said besides insufficient police personnel, unemployment was one of the reasons for the high crime rate in many areas in the state.

The other reasons include migration of people from rural to urban areas and the failure of town planning committees to include police stations and beat bases in new residential areas.

“A lot of graduates are unemployed. We are trying to get more investors into the state to provide more jobs. We also want to intensify agriculture where locals can be involved, make transparent the licensing process for traders and hawkers and make welfare more accessible to those in need,” said Wong, who is also Selangor tourism, consumer affairs and environment executive councillor.

We want better security: Sivarasa (in blue shirt) and Wong (in red T-shirt) flagging off the Bandar Utama crime prevention walk with (from left) BURA chairman Datuk Manpal Singh Sacdev, Damansara Utama police station deputy head Sjn Mejar Jipa Langob, Sarif and BU6 chairman Victor Liew.

Together with Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah, Wong joined about 150 residents of Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, in a walk around the neighbourhood to raise awareness of crime prevention.

Sivarasa said Malaysia had a ratio of about one policeman to 260 citizens while the international recommended ratio is 1:250.

“The problem lies in how they are deployed. Out of the 100,000 police personnel, one-third are doing administrative work while another one-third are in the public order and safety department. In short, we have a police force that is not deployed efficiently,” said Sivarasa.

He added that residents now had to organise safety measures like setting up guardhouses and boom gates at their own expense, which was not the long-term answer to the problem.

“This walk organised by the Bandar Utama Residents Association (BURA) is a strong signal to the authorities that as taxpaying residents, they want better security,” he said.

Wong added that the ratio of one police officer to every 1,800 people in Selangor was unacceptable.

“We will continue to pressure the government to deploy more officers for crime investigation,” said Wong.

Damansara Utama police station head C/Insp M. Sarif Siran said there were 84 officers in the station, which serviced an area with about 500,000 residents.

“We understand the problems faced by residents and we urge residents to co-operate with the police. They must report any crime to the police immediately,” said Sarif.

He said it was sad that many people did not even know who their neighbours were and there had been cases of houses being broken into right before the eyes of the neighbouring residents.

Wong announced that Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman had agreed to allow boom gates in the Bandar Utama area to remain in place for the time being.

The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) had earlier issued notices to residents to remove boom gates set up in several areas.

“It was a good move by the mayor to allow these boom gates until there is a more comprehensive solution to reduce crime in the area,” Wong said, adding that there should be a revision in council bylaws to accommodate security measures initiated by residents.

Only inefficient contractors' services terminated, says Liu - The Star

May 27, 2008

THERE was no truth in the claims that the services of all contractors providing maintenances at the various municipalities have been terminated, said state local government chairman Ronnie Liu.

Liu said the state had only directed the council presidents and mayors to terminate the services of inefficient contractors.

He said there were contractors with poor records and their services were terminated after the Pakatan Rakyat formed the government.

Liu said they have retained all the 12 council presidents and mayors with their heads of department.

“Since my appointment as the state exco, I have been working very closely with the council presidents and mayors so to improve the the image of the local authorities in Selangor.

“We know the image of the local authorities in have been tarnished with various allegations related to lack of good governance and we have to work very hard to win the confidence of the people,'' he said in his winding speech at the sitting.

To a question from assemblyman Lee Kim Sin (Pakatan - Kajang) on appointment of the local councillors, Liu said the names of the new councillors would be released by end of this month.

He said some 25% of the local councillors would be made up of members of the NGO, which included professionals, activists and the disabled.

”The new councillors will be sworn-in early next month,” said Liu, adding that the with the cooperation of the Federal Government, the election of the local councillors was expected to be introduced in years to come.

Abandoned projects to be revived - The Star

May 27, 2008

By ELAN PERUMAL, LIM CHIA YING and SALINA KHALID at the Selangor State Assembly in Shah Alam

ABANDONED projects in Selangor will be confiscated for redevelopment if a proposal from the State housing committee gets the nod from the state government.

State property, housing and maintenance committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad said the move was aimed at salvaging the abandoned projects.

Iskandar: This is the best we can do since some of the developers have not only abandoned these projects but have also absconded.

He said most of the projects could be rescued if the state was allowed to seize the affected land and hand it over to a new developer.

“This is the best we can do since some of the developers have not only abandoned these projects but have also absconded.

“Otherwise such projects will remain abandoned increasing the misery of buyers especially that of residential projects,” he said during the winding up session by the government representatives.

Iskandar said the Housing and Local Government Ministry has the power to confiscate such land and hoped the state would also be given the authority to do so.

Abandoned housing projects, Iskandar said, had created a lot of problems for housebuyers especially financially with banks coming hard on them.

He said the state had issued letters to the affected house-owners so the banks would show some conside-ration.

“We hope the banks will allow the housebuyers to reschedule their loans and postpone the repayment period until the projects are revived,'' he said

He said a special task force led by Hulu Klang assemblyman Shaari Sungib had been formed to revive the abandoned projects.

Iskandar said there were a total of 140 abandoned projects in the state of which 108 were housing projects .

He said so far the state government had revived 30 abandoned projects.

“This was done with the close cooperation of the existing and new developers and the government agencies,'' he added.

2,805 illegal factories in Selangor - The Star

May 27, 2008

THERE are a total of 2,805 illegal factories operating without permit in the Selangor state.

State New Village Development and Illegal Factory Task Force Committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah revealed this in reply to a question by assemblyman Yap Ee Wah (BN - Sg Pelek) on illegal factories.

Yong: He says the illegal factories are a liability to local authorities.

Ean Yong said these illegal factories were a liability to local authorities as they did not contribute to the revenue collection while their activities also caused pollution.

He said a committee had been formed to tackle and resolve the issue.

“The first step we are taking is to identify and classify these factories according to their categories. Then, we are looking into relocating them to proper locations,” said Ean Yong.

He added that the committee would also look into re-zoning the industrial areas as to ensure that factories could operate legally.

“All these measures undertaken will continue through until 2010. We also want to encourage landowners to change their use of land from agriculture to industry to boost industrialisation since land is scarce these days.

“However, taking into consideration the measures the state government will want to implement, we will not tolerate illegal factories.”

To a question by assemblyman Dr Nasir Hashim (Pakatan - Kota Damansara) on the presence of illegal factories that have resulted in shallower rivers and flooding over the past 10 years, Ean Yong said the state acknowledged the matter and is working on resolving it.

Assemblyman Lee Kim Sin (Pakatan - Kajang) also pointed out that the previous state government had said permits would be given in-situ and that many of the factories were located in unsuitable areas.

Ean Yong said the state government would use a different approach this time, like the Sg Buloh furniture factories that would be relocated elsewhere.

“The furniture factories are important in boosting the economy in the state,” he said.

Meanwhile, the breakdown of existing illegal factories according to areas are Petaling Jaya (1,236), Klang (556), Gombak (37), Hulu Langat (658), Kuala Langat (209), Hulu Selangor (14), Kuala Selangor (35), Sepang (44), and Sabak Bernam (16).

Cheras saga continues - toll operator vows to rebuild wall - Malaysiakini

Cheras saga continues - toll operator vows to rebuild wall
May 26, 08 6:37pm

Toll operator Grand Saga has today vowed to rebuild the concrete barricade to block a toll-free access road to the Cheras-Kajang Highway in Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC).

Notice is hereby given that the company will be constructing the barricade this week,” said Grand Saga’s executive director Zainal Abidin Ali in a terse press statement.



More news at www.malaysiakini.com

S'gor to aid ISA families - Malaysiakini

S'gor to aid ISA families
May 26, 08 6:54pm

The Selangor government will provide financial and welfare assistance to families of those held under the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows detention without trial.

Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said these measures would be taken up by the state government to help the wives and children of these detainees to ease their burden during the difficult period.

He added that his government will look into bearing the travelling costs for families to visit the detention camp every week.

At the same time, he said that children of the detainees may apply for state government scholarships to further their studies.

The wives too will be encouraged to look into various ways to become involved in businesses to help them earn a living, he said.

"Life can be difficult for them but they must continue to fight," he said after receiving a memorandum from the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) today.


Protest by Indian group

Earlier Khalid also said that the state government shared GMI's views on the abolition of the ISA as well as the Official Secrets Act.

GMI chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said some of the detainees were being held since 2002.

"Six years is not a short period - these sole breadwinners have lost their jobs and their children are suffering the consequences.

"There are also two detainees whose wives have sought divorce because of the long detention," he added.

Meanwhile, a group of Indian protested at the Selangor state secretariat in Shah Alam to express their disappointment with the failures of the state government in fulfilling election pledges.

The group, numbering about 80 and calling themselves Selangor Indian Community, handed a memorandum covering 13 issues to the office of Khalid.

Company sold for RM50,000 - The Star

May 27, 2008

Brisdale Holdings Berhad, a subsidiary of state-owned company Kumpula Hartanah Sdn Bhd has been sold for just RM50,000 and this this was enough for the Selangor state government to conduct an investigation.

In a research carried out by assemblyman Hannah Yeoh (Pakatan - Subang Jaya), Brisdale Holdings Berhad was sold to GMB Construction Sdn Bhd in a sales agreement that was concluded on August 10, 2007.

Yeoh said the sale was a public knowledge as it was announced at the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) and was also published in Kumpulan Hartanah's 2006 report.

Usually the shareholders agreement is needed for a sale like this... HANNAH YEOH

“Kumpulan Hartanah had sold its subsidiary Brisdale through SAP Holdings Berhad (which is also part of Kumpulan Hartanah) to GMB Construction,” said Yeoh.

“Usually the shareholders' agreement is needed for a sale like this, but because the company was sold for less than RM250,000, no such agreement was needed.”

Under Brisdale Holdings, it has 12 subsidiary companies, and had previously owned plenty of land and properties.

Yeoh said she was surprised to see that one of the properties previously under Brisdale is the Kelab OUG clubhouse, which is worth RM7mil.

“With one clubhouse already worth RM7mil, how can you justify for the entire company, land, and properties to be sold for only RM50,000?” she asked.

Yeoh said she hoped the state government would investigate into investments and sales of such state assets.

Due to the change in ownership, as GMB Construction is now the new owner of Brisdale and its subsequent land and properties, Yeoh said people who have bought the respective properties are now victims.

“Purchasers who have been dealing with Brisdale all this while would not know whom to approach,” she said.

Assemblyman Lau Weng San (Pakatan - Kampung Tunku) concurred with Yeoh, and showed evidence from the Kumpulan Hartanah of names of several BN assemblymen who sat on the board of directors for Kumpulan Hartanah.

He added that besides the importance of exposing such a case, the state government might have to look at contractual provisions on how to recover some of the losses.

SELANGOR GOVERNMENT: Get on with your job, please - NST

Letters to Editor:

AZIZAH RAHMAD, Shah Alam

AS a citizen of Selangor, I am disappointed that the newly-formed Pakatan Rakyat government has not really done anything much for us till today, except for reminding us how the previous government had supposedly done wrong during their term in office.

The state administration can rest assured that we have all got the message.

It was relayed and repeated often enough during the election campaigns through the ceremah, pamphlets, blogs, text messages and what have you to the people of Selangor.

What I want to know is when is the new government going to start the real work for Selangor? When will you start to deliver as per your election promises to the people?

Saga continues - The Sun

PETALING JAYA (May 26, 2008):

Hope that an end was in sight on the issue of non-toll access to the Cheras-Kajang Highway by Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents, which has resulted in mass protests, were dashed today when the highway concessionnaire said it will re-construct the barricade across the access road this week.

This move shows that Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim's effort to get all parties to resolve the long-standing problem within seven days has failed.

Grand Saga Sdn Bhd business development and corporate affairs executive director Zainal Abidin Ali said in a statement this evening: "On May 13, the Mentri Basar of Selangor had given Grand Saga, (developer of Bandar Mahkota Cheras) Narajaya Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Highway Authority seven days to reach an amicable solution. The issue unfortunately has not been resolved after the lapse of the seven days."

He added: "Notice is hereby given that the Company will be constructing the barricade this week."

The company had built a barricade across the access road in May 2005 to prevent unlawful access to the highway via the access road from Bandar Mahkota Cheras.

The barricade became the subject matter of a suit in the High Court, because Narajaya feels it has the right to construct the access road to allow residents to by-pass toll payment.

The barricade was demolished by a group of residents on April 21, 2008.

Since then a series of events have occurred which led to further proceedings being instituted in the High Court by a resident of Bandar Mahkota, including an application to restrain the Company from re-erecting a barricade. This was rejected by the High Court.

On May 13, following representations by the residents, Abdul Khalid gave Grand Saga, Narajaya and the Highway Authority seven days to reach an amicable solution which lapsed last week without any resolutions.

Zainal Abidin said the barricade is necessary to protect its interest as well as to ensure the safety of highway users at the Bandar Hussein Onn Interchange.

"As such, GrandSaga will construct a barricade on the right of way at the indisputable portion of the concession area.

He said the public should respect the decision of the court and should not be misled by certain parties over the issue of right of access or in the construction of the barricade.

Last evening, when approached at the state assembly in Shah Alam, Abdul Khalid reiterated that this is a problem between two business entities.

He said the state government wants the road to be opened for the convenience of the people but did not give any indication how this will be done.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mahathir - Condemn Islam Hadhari

Our ex-prime minister Mahathir criticize about Islam Hadhari & Badawi's ideology.

Kerajaan Selangor haram program berkaitan Islam Hadhari - BHarian

SHAH ALAM: May 26, 2008

Kerajaan Selangor mengharamkan sebarang bentuk program yang mempunyai kaitan dengan Islam Hadhari mulai hari ini kerana tidak mahu konsep yang diperkenalkan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dikembangkan di negeri itu.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Tetap Hal Ehwal Agama, Adat-adat Melayu, Infrastruktur dan Kemudahan Awam negeri, Datuk Dr Hassan Mohamed Ali, berkata selaras dengan arahan itu, semua masjid dan surau tidak dibenarkan mengadakan program, termasuk khutbah yang menyentuh atau ada hubung kait dengan Islam Hadhari.

Beliau memberi alasan konsep Islam Hadhari tidak diperlukan kerana ajaran Islam yang diamalkan umat Islam di negara ini sudah lengkap dan menyeluruh membabitkan semua aspek kehidupan manusia sejagat.

"Kita tidak mahu konsep Islam Hadhari dikembangkan di negeri ini. Ini kerana, ajaran Islam yang kita amalkan sudah lengkap dan ajaran inilah yang kita mahu sandarkan untuk memerintah Selangor," katanya pada sesi penggulungan hari terakhir sidang Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) di sini.

Pesuruhjaya Pas Selangor itu juga menafikan pemimpin Pas di negeri itu pernah berjanji untuk menutup semua pusat hiburan dan kilang arak sekiranya mengambil alih tampuk pemerintahan negeri.

Beliau mencabar mana-mana pihak supaya tampil memberikan bukti yang menunjukkan ada pemimpin Pas, termasuk dirinya yang membuat janji itu kepada rakyat pada pilihan raya.

"Jika ada yang mendakwa saya dan ahli Pas lain yang membuat janji ini, sila tunjukkan bukti, " katanya.

Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Gombak Setia itu berkata, Pas yang bergabung dengan Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dan DAP untuk membentuk Pakatan Rakyat mahu mentabbir Selangor dengan menegakkan prinsip sama rata dan keadilan.

"Kita tidak mahu mengamalkan pentadbiran 30 peratus komisen, 50 peratus komisen atau memberi tender kepada kroni.

"Malah kita ubah tender yang diberi secara runding terus kepada tender terbuka kerana tidak mahu membuat dosa," katanya.

Hassan mendakwa, pembinaan Jalan Sekinchan-Sabak Bernam adalah contoh pemberian tender secara runding terus yang diakui oleh Jabatan Audit Negara sebagai projek yang dibina tanpa mematuhi peraturan Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR).

Ketika itu, bekas Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo (BN-Sungai Panjang) bangkit mencelah dan memberitahu kes itu sedang disiasat Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR).

"Projek ini ditentukan oleh JKR. Apa-apa tindakan pun mestilah kepada JKR. Bagi saya mudah saja, apa-apa cadangan yang dibuat ikut peraturan saya akan luluskan.

"Bagi kes Balkis, misalnya, jika ada salah guna kuasa atau wang sila buat laporan," katanya.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Selangor free water plan to go ahead - The Star

SHAH ALAM: May 25, 2008

The Selangor Government will go ahead with its plan to give consumers in the state 20 cubic metres of water free every month from next month, and a tariff increase expected next year had no bearing on the matter, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said.

He said Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) had no powers to determine tariffs and only the Water, Energy and Communications Ministry could make changes.

“That (water tariff) is something that we will address later. As it is, no decision has been made on it yet. We will go ahead with what we have planned (give the free water),”' he told a press conference here yesterday.

Abdul Khalid said this is in response to the revelation by Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim in the state assembly on Wednesday that consumers in the Klang Valley would face a 37% tariff increase for water, which would make a cubic metre cost RM1.90 from next year. – Bernama

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kok hopes more companies come forward to help needy - The Star

May 24, 2008

DONATIONS from the public for eight-year-old Rexson Jed who needed eye surgery has been overwhelming with RM19,000 collected and the excess will benefit two others with heavy medical burdens.

P. Panneerselvam, 22, a leukaemia sufferer received RM2,000 while kidney patient Loo Guat Kgoh, 66, received RM5,000.

“I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia two years ago. Every month I'd need about RM1,000 to pay for medication and treatment and sometimes I'd be admitted to the hospital for two to four weeks at a stretch when my condition worsens,” Panneerselvam said.

Grateful: (From left to right) Panneerselvam, Jed, Kok, Loo and Kok’s special assistant Gary Chong during the cheque-presentation ceremony.

He finds it difficult to eat because the skin in his mouth breaks easily and his jaw swells up often.

To make matters worse, he also suffers from constant pain in his legs and body.

The former mechanic now depends entirely on his extended family for any kind of support, including a place to live in as his mother does not work and his father has passed away.

Loo, the other recipient, has had to undergo dialysis regularly.

“I've written a letter to the hospital director, asking for a cancellation of the treatment cost for Loo as she couldn't afford it,” Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said at the cheque-presentation ceremony.

Kok said the amount given to Loo and Panneerselvam was insufficient and urged the public to once again lend a hand as they have done for Jed.

“More private entities should start setting up a medical welfare fund and contribute back to society, especially to the needy,” Kok said, adding that Mewah Club had donated RM8,000 for Jed's surgery.

To donate, write out a cheque made out to “DAP cawangan Seputeh”.

State your name, contact number and donation cause at the back of the cheque and send it to L-02-01 Pusat Perniagaan Kinrara, Psn Kinrara Sek 3, Taman Kinrara, 47100 Puchong, Selangor.

Makkal Sakhti a much-used word at assembly - The Star

May 24, 2008

THE term “Makkal Sakhti” which means people power in Tamil was widely used, especially by the Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen during the proceedings of the state assembly.

Mohd Azmin Ali (Pakatan – Bukit Antarabangsa) had used the term more than five times in his speech in which he said that people's power was behind the change in government in Selangor.

He said people's power must be respected as it reflected the mindset of the people in the state who had used their rights wisely.

“We must thank the “Makkal Sakhti'' movement for giving us this victory and which also contributed to the defeat of the Barisan Nasional government in Selangor,'' he said

Cheah: 'Also attributed Pakatan Rakyat's victory to Makkal Sakhti'
Dr Cheah Wing Yin (Pakatan – Damansara Utama) who also attributed Pakatan Rakyat's victory to “Makkal Sakhti'' repeatedly used the term during the question-and-answer session on Thursday.

Cheah even took a dig at Khir, saying that the people became angry because the local authorities were ineffective during the previous government's rule.

“Makkal Sakthi was too powerful and that is why we are now ruling,'' he said.

Jennice Lee Ying Ha (Pakatan – Teratai) also used the term during her speech.

With the blessing of the people's power, she said the government was determined to give their best to the voters.

“We owe it to Makkal Sakhti which caused the political tsunami on March 8,'' she said.

Hannah wants probe on fellow assemblyman - The Sun

SHAH ALAM (May 23, 2008): By Maria J.Dass

Subang Jaya assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh has asked the state to probe into the involvement of Seri Serdang assemblyman Datuk Mohamad Satim Diman’s involvement in the Mutiara Court development in Bandar Sunway which received its certificate of fitness for occupation from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) despite not having any water and electricity connection.
In her maiden speech at the state assembly today, Yeoh said she had received complaints from buyers of the apartments and this included the unavailability of water and electricity connection, the absence of taps, light switches and even toilet bowls.

Referring to a Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) announcement document dated June 14, 2004, she said: "KLSE had announce the sale of Westcourt by Merge Housing Bhd on June 11, 2004 to Datuk Mohamad Satim Diman and Wong Kam You. If I’m not wrong, this is the name of the Seri Serdang assemblyman who was also MPSJ councillor at that time."

She said the probe should look into whether there was conflict of interest.

"This is why the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government doesn’t want state assemblymen to act as councilors at the same time," she added.

Yeoh also questioned the sale of Pembangunan Brisdale Sdn Bhd by Kumpulan Hartanah Sdn Bhd to GM Build for RM50,000. The sale included 400 acres in West Port and OUG Club among others. GM Build has now put up the OUG Club for sale for RM8 million.

"Isn’t this a form of corruption where a state government-linked company lets go of state-owned properties for a song only for others to make a profit out of it later?" she asked.

At the Selangor Assembly: Panel to probe Balkis, RM27m funds - NST

May 24, 2008 By Neville Spykerman and Halim Said

TWO issues will be referred to the state's Special Select Committee for Competence, Accountability and Transparency which will be established on Monday.

The committee will probe how RM27 million or 90 per cent of the annual allocations for the state's Barisan Nasional assemblymen in the previous administration was spent in the first two months of the year.

The second issue is the controversial dissolution of Balkis, a welfare and charity organisation set up by the wives of Selangor assemblymen and MPs.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, speaking at a press conference after the morning session of the legislative assembly yesterday, said the committee would be set up by way of a motion in the House on Monday. It will comprise both Pakatan Rakyat and BN assemblymen.

Yesterday, the New Straits Times reported that the committee would be empowered to call on civil servants to account for the decisions they had made and how public money was spent. The committee will hold public inquiries.

Abdul Khalid said he would leave it to the committee to determine the action to be taken against wrongdoers.

Earlier, Abdul Khalid told the assembly that three letters had been sent to the Registrar of Societies on April 11, April 23 and May 15 for clarification on the status of Balkis.

However, there had been no response, he added.

Abdul Khalid said this in reply to a question by Lau Weng San (DAP-Kampung Tunku) and Dr Shafie Abu Bakar (Pas-Bangi).

He said past office bearers of Balkis should explain why they transferred RM9.9 million to the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti) because the money was obtained from state-owned companies.

"Balkis was supported by state-owned companies and the past office-bearers should explain why the money was transferred."

Abdul Khalid said between 2006 and 2007 Balkis received RM590,379 from the Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS) for the opening ceremony of Komplex Wawasan Balkis

The funds were also used for dinners and annual programmes while land was also allocated to the charity.

Last year, Kumpulan Darul Ehsan gave RM300,000 to the charity to run its activities.

He said the records showed that Kumpulan Darul Ehsan had donated RM670,000 to date.

Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) had given RM5.1 million over the years.

Abdul Khalid said contributors to charities were entitled to free copies of their annual financial reports, but Balkis had failed to furnish these to the donors.

He listed how Balkis had spent some of its funds.

In 2006, RM50,000 was spent on donation of beef in conjunction with Hari Raya Haji and another RM50,000 was used for the upkeep of orphans.

A sum of RM250,000 was spent on Balkis' welfare programmes and RM49,000 on souvenir programmes.

Last year, RM100,000 was spent on uniforms, RM30,000 on food for their sports activities and RM36,000 on souvenirs for VVIPs.

Abdul Khalid, replying to a question by Ng Swee Lim (DAP-Sekinchan) said RM29.5 million was allocated to BN assemblymen for small projects this year.

Ninety per cent of the money was spent before March.

Former executive council members were allocated RM600,000 while assemblymen received RM500,000.

Abdul Khalid said it was strange that the former speaker, who was not an assemblyman, was also allocated RM600,000 which he had used up.

He added that fresh funds had been allocated for the new assemblymen.

Form your own charity, Khir tells Pakatan Rakyat

PAKATAN Rakyat has been told to form its own charity instead on harping on the dissolution of Balkis, a welfare and charity organisation set up by the wives of Selangor assemblymen and members of parliament.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said the Pakatan Rakyat state government should stop trying to find faults with their predecessors and move forward.

He said the establishment of a new charity would end the controversy and it could compete with Balkis.

Dr Mohd Khir was commenting on a move by the state government to refer the Balkis controversy to the state's Special Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency.

He said there was nothing wrong with the dissolution of Balkis which is under the purview of the Registrar of Societies and not the state government.

"It usually takes one month for a society to be dissolved."

Dr Mohd Khir said Pakatan Rakyat appeared to be on a fault-finding mission.

"I am afraid this will affect the economic growth of the state."

He said the state government should take those involved in wrongdoing to court instead of politicising the issue.

"It's a waste of time and they should change their attitude."

He reminded the Pakatan government that they were now the government and they should behave like it, adding that they must bring prosperity to the people.

Dr Mohd Khir said the allocation and distribution of RM500,000 to BN assemblymen for small projects was above board.

"Assemblymen had the discretion to distribute the annual allocations according to their own time frame."

He said it did not matter if the funds were distributed in 10 days or a year. Dr Mohd Khir said the former state government had to distribute the allocations quickly as many of the state assemblymen applied for speedy approvals.

"The important thing here is there was no hanky-panky."

Dr Mohd Khir said the allocations were not for the assemblymen's personal use but was distributed among non-governmental organisations, places of worship and schools.

"The state should not mislead the public by claiming the allocations have been used by the previous assemblymen for themselves."

Speaker lauds reps for good turnout

AS of yesterday, 31 assemblymen had taken part in the debate on the Sultan's address, setting a record for the highest number of participants.

Speaker Teng Chang Khim said of the 44 assemblymen, 22 from Pakatan Rakyat and nine from Barisan Nasional spoke.

"Excluding myself, the menteri besar and the state councillors, only 13 assemblymen have yet to take part.

"I believe, this is the highest number since the formation of the state assembly in 1959," he said.

Teng commended the high standards set by several new assemblymen, some of whom had brought up subjects that were well researched.

"Batu Caves' Amirudin Shari, Subang Jaya's Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan and Hulu Klang's Saari Sungib have shown sterling performance."

Teng said he was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism shown by some of the opposition assemblymen.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said he was proud that almost all assemblymen gave their views and support and had represented their constituencies in the motion thanking the Sultan for his address in the first Pakatan Rakyat-led session.

On Ezam joining Umno, he said it was Ezam's decision to make.

"He is no longer a Parti Keadilan Rakyat member, so it is up to him to take the next step for his future. As somebody who knew him personally, I wish him all the best in his undertakings."

Abdul Khalid said the party could not stop him as he left PKR before the general election.

"PKR did extremely well in the general election, so we do not feel the loss of his contribution to the party," he said.

The state assembly will resume on Monday.

Council taken to task over approval for cemetery

TERATAI state assemblyman Lee Ying Ha is questioning the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) for not informing residents when it earmarked a two hectare plot of land for a cemetery.

In her debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address, Lee said she was shocked when told by the council that there was no need to inform her, as the previous state assemblyman had already been notified.

Lee said the cemetery had been an issue in her constituency for years.

"The matter has been discussed with MPAJ in 2000 but to date no solution has been found.

"Why did MPAJ fail to study the development plan for the area and allocate the land for a cemetery near a housing scheme?"

Meanwhile, Ismail Sani (BN-Dusun Tua) was upset that flooding was still a major issue in his constituency.

"The state government must do something to prevent further flooding in my area. A lot of residents are affected," he said.