Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Motorists fume at selfish lot

Source: http://www.nst.com.my/node/46489 (BY DAWN CHAN  27/10/2014)
KUALA LUMPUR: MOTORISTS are irked to see parking bays permanently occupied by abandoned vehicles in Medan Putra Business Centre, Bandar Menjalara, a busy commercial area where parking space is at a premium.
Almost 20 vehicles are parked in the public parking bays and in the back lanes, depriving motorists of precious parking space and City Hall of revenue from parking meter fees.
Many of these vehicles have been stripped of their engines, windows and doors. Some have been left there for years.
Restaurant manager Jimmy Ong, 34, said the abandoned vehicles were an eyesore as well as an inconvenience.
“City Hall should be proactive and act fast when it comes to matters like this. It is obvious that these cars have been left here for many years, which is frustrating because these spots can be freed up for motorists here,” he said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who visited the area on Saturday, said the owners did not want to take responsibility for the vehicles, yet did not want them to be towed away.
“When City Hall officers came and wanted to tow the vehicles away, some car workshop operators here said the vehicles belonged to their customers,” he said.
Lim said he had recently brought up the matter to Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, who had promised to get the council’s enforcement team to remove the abandoned vehicles.
“But nothing has happened so far. Phesal told me the towing of the vehicles could be carried out immediately as he was doing away with the old process of removing vehicles of this sort,” he said.
The process required City Hall to place a notice on the vehicle with instructions for the owner to remove it.
The owner is notified three times and given a grace period of over two weeks to comply, Lim said.
“However, when I spoke to Phesal recently, he said this process would be done away.
“According to him, there will be no questions asked or notices given. I brought up the matter again yesterday (Friday) but the vehicles are still here today,” he said.
Meanwhile, the new one-way traffic flow in the commercial centre becomes effective today. Directional signs have been repainted to reflect the change.
“This is done after a six-month study by City Hall. I hope motorists here will be patient during the transitional process.
“The one-way system is to combat the traffic congestion here and is for the improvement of the commercial centre,” said Lim.

MP: Traffic police chief statement confusing

Related news: Clarify outrider issue, minister told http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/10/28/clarify-outrider-issue-minister-told/

Saturday, October 18, 2014

DBKL detailed budget disclosed to MPs but labelled confidential

In an unprecedented move City Hall, better known by its Malay acronym DBKL, has disclosed its next year’s budget to all 12 federal territory MPs but placed a caveat by classifying the document under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
Lauding the move Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said never before has DBKL been so upfront on its plans and proposed expenditure but rebuked the caveat placed on the budget noting that it is taxpayers’ money.
“The City Hall’s detailed budget was personally handed to us at our service centre three days in advance so that we can scrutinise and prepare for the meeting this morning and the officers were all prepared to answer to all our queries,” he told Malay Mail Online.
“This is surprising… usually they invite us, give us a few pages with a vague list on what they are going to spend on and it was always a one-way briefing,” said Lim.
Lim said every page was stamped confidential and upon clarification, he was told by Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib that the secret document was given to the MPs “based on trust”.
DBKL decided to keep it under wraps as the budget has not been finalised and will be embargoed till December 31 after it is approved by the mayor, added Lim, after attending the three hour briefing this morning.
“But I don’t agree with the decision to list it under OSA when they are spending public money for public services and infrastructure… it is not like it is an issue of national security. 
“It is also unacceptable because the national Budget is only embargoed until the prime minister announces it in Parliament, after which it is debated and passed by the Dewan Rakyat,” Lim pointed out.
Echoing Lim’s sentiments, Lembah Pantai PKR MP Nurul Izzah Anwar tweeted today expressing disappointment as she was looking forward to the briefing.
“Brimming w excitement @ d sight of detailed DBKL budget during meet w Mayor today. Then. Oh, it’s under #OSA,” posted Nurul Izzah.
DBKL came under attack earlier this year following an upward revision of taxes in January after residential and commercial property owners in the capital had cried foul after receiving notices from DBKL informing them of increases between 100 and 250 per cent to their existing annual rates.
Following public outcry, the City Hall agreed to rework the rates and reduced the per centage property owners had to paid.
It came under the spotlight again in July when Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor announced that soup kitchens would be barred from operating within a 2km zone in the city centre as their operations are encouraging homelessness and reflected poorly on the image of the nation’s capital.
The soup kitchens had, however, refused to budge until DBKL came up with more concrete solution to combat vagrancy. 

Related news: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/277870 MPs: KL city budget under Official Secrets Act

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/277945 Why OSA? Does DBKL have things to hide?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Walk For Peace and Freedom held by the Malaysian Bar

I walked with them this morning to call for the repeal of the Sedition Act.