Friday, May 29, 2009

Outsource the investigation of PKFZ

Even before Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) was audited by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), countless reports to the then Anti-Corruption Agency (now MACC) have already been submitted by various parties, numerous police reports were lodged too, Bursa Malaysia and the Parliament Public Accounts Committee also looked into the matter, but no action was taken. This clearly shows that MACC and the relevant regulators are below par or rather have failed. Why then Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat still refers the PwC report of PKFZ to MACC? I suggest perhaps the government should just outsource the entire investigation of this controversial project to a capable private firm such as PwC.
Lim Lip Eng

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Worsening faulty street lights at Jalan Duta interchange

I took this photo on 26.5.2009 evening opposite Lembaga Peperiksaan building
Despite numerous complaints and a press conference to highlight the issue, street lights at Jalan Duta multi-level interchange are still not working, it is now being further extended to Lembaga Peperiksaan building from indoor hockey/tennis stadium since  one month ago.
After a press conference held on 5.5.2009, city hall has replied to the media that the responsibility is with Work Ministry’s contractor who built the interchange as the ministry has yet to surrender the roads to city hall. During my early enquiries on this issue, I was pushed around by city hall & TNB and now we have another new player, the Work Ministry. It cracks my head to know that Work Ministry cannot even fix prolonged minor issue like faulty lights whilst the same ministry is given the task to build & maintain billions' worth of highway projects.
Lim Lip Eng

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

1-way street causes problems for Segambut residents

The Star Online > Central. Tuesday May 26, 2009. By PRIYA MENON

No idea: A motorcylist not adhering to the No-entry sign placed at the entrance of Jalan 4/42A.
RESIDENTS in Segambut are angry that Jalan 4/42A has been turned into a one-way street since May 1. The change was to accommodate the DUKE highway exit along Jalan 1/42A. More than 15,000 residents from Taman Sejahtera, Taman Kok Doh, Taman City, Kampung Pasir Segambut and Taman Lawa are affected by the change. Before the road change, motorists were allowed to turn out into Jalan 1/42A and those coming from Jalan Jambu Mawar and people coming from Jalan Duta could turn into Jalan 4/42A. Now, residents coming from Jalan Jambu Mawar heading towards Jalan 1/42A cannot turn right into the street, causing much confusion among residents. “They never informed us of the road change. Just before May 1, we suddenly saw signboards erected indicating that it is a one-way street,” said the vice-chairman of the Komuniti Bestari of Taman Sejahtera, Emran Hasbullah, 52. Due to the change, residents now have to walk half a kilometre away to Taman Kok Doh to catch the bus to get out of the residential area. “The only exit we have is at Taman City so the bus has to go that way causing more inconvenience for the residents,” said another resident, S. Maniselvan, 40. The Taman City exit is now jammed at peak hours as it is the only entry and exit point for the residents and traders. As the buses have stopped plying the route, those businesses along the road have suffered losses as people do not frequent their shops as often as before. “In the mornings, those catching the buses will stop by for breakfast before going to work. Now they have to walk further so they don’t have time to grab a bite,” said Chee Cheong Fun seller, Ang Lay Peng, 46. Ang said she suffered 50% business loss in the past month alone. Emran questioned Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) move of changing the roads without consulting the residents.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who organised a press conference to highlight the issue, said according to DBKL’s by-law they should ask the residents’ opinions before making any changes to streets, buildings or development. “I sent a letter to the DBKL office asking if they took into consideration the residents’ opinions but I have not received a comment yet,” added Lim at the conference last Friday. Lim said now a number of accidents had occurred in the last one month due to the road direction change. “The accidents usually happen at night as some residents are still unaware of the change,” he said. Emran added that there were no signs showing the way to the Taman City exit. “All we want is for them to change it back to a two-way road or if they can’t do that, provide an alternative route for us with proper signage, yellow box and traffic lights,” he said. Lim, on the other hand, asked DBKL to build a road next to the Jalan 4/42A as it is located a little further from the DUKE exit. “If DBKL still feels it’s dangerous, they can place traffic lights at the junction,” he said.
© 1995-2009 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Police raid DAP HQ, seize PC, DVDs

Taken from The Malaysian Insider. 24 May 2009. By Shannon Teoh
Ooi (in orange clothes) with DAP leaders during the police raid on the party headquarters. — Picture courtesy of DAP headquarters
PETALING JAYA, May 23 — Police raided the DAP national headquarters for the firs time ever this evening, carting away a computer and 19 digital video discs (DVDs). The search and seizure, made without a warrant, was in relation to leaflets found when arrests were made during a candle-light vigil two nights ago in Pandan Indah, Kuala Lumpur, calling for fresh polls in Perak. It is the latest in a series of crackdowns on Pakatan Rakyat (PR) attempts to gain public support on the Perak crisis which includes repeated arrests and banning of videos of the chaotic May 7 Perak assembly sitting where Speaker V. Sivakumar was dumped. "First time in the 42-year history of DAP, police raiding our HQ," DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang posted in his Twitter account. Three unmarked cars arrived at the headquarters and 11 plainclothes officers entered the building on the quiet Jalan 20/9 residential area in Petaling Jaya at 6.25pm. They had brought Ooi Leng Hang, a party worker and one of the detainees from that night, who gave them the password to unlock the digital lock on the front door. The handcuffed Ooi, who is DAP Socialist Youth political education chief, then led the police to his workstation, where police began to detail the items on his desk to be taken away. They include his computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, earphones, external hard drives and DVDs including those related to the May 7 assembly and one labelled "Photos of Port Dickson Camp." Treasurer Fong Kui Lun and vice-chairman Tan Kok Wai were the first DAP lawmakers to arrive at about 6.50pm followed by lawyers Gobind Singh Deo and Lim Lip Eng. Gobind had asked the officer in charge if he had a warrant and what provision they were conducting the search under. ASP Kamal Khan Mohd Sharif said he did not have a warrant and had to call his superior, a DSP Goh, before telling Gobind that the raid was done under Section 11 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act. Gobind, DAP's legal affairs chief, allowed Ooi to sign a form detailing the list of items taken but later told reporters that the Act still requires a search warrant. "He did not even know which provision. This shows that the police do not know what they are doing," the Puchong MP said, adding that he would lodge a report against the "trespass" and also write to the Selangor police chief on the matter. National organising secretary Teresa Kok called the raid another "scare tactic" after several arrests made at vigils to quash dissent against what is perceived an undemocratic takeover of the Silver State. "They arrested people just for wearing black and holding candles," the Selangor senior executive councillor said. DAP Socialist Youth national secretary Loh Chee Heng condemned the raid, calling it "the latest despicable act by the police in their ongoing crackdown on the nation’s democracy." "The police’s possible ludicrous move to charge Ooi, DAPSY deputy chairperson Jenice Lee and the other 14 DAPSY members and supporters under the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act is extremely regrettable," Loh said, demanding the immediate unconditional release of those who were arrested at Thursday night’s vigil. The police left the DAP headquarters after about an hour.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

KL Rivers

River of filth: Sg Keroh at Tm Sri Segambut when i visited last week
Water Quality Index shown in the Draft Kuala Lumpur 2020 City Plan
Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 (KLSP2020), which was gazetted in 2004, laid down official measures to improve river quality. Water Quality Index (WQI) of KL rivers, according to KLSP2020, is between 51.9 and 76.5 whereby index below 80 is considered polluted.
4 years after KLSP2020 was announced to be public policies, DBKL spent millions not on tackling river pollution but to come out with another greater plan called Draft Kuala Lumpur 2020 City Plan (Draft KLCP2020) in May 2008. A 2004 river water quality status report was used in Draft KLCP2020 which gave a poorer result than in KLSP2020 (refer chart above).
The 2 plans were conceived during Zulhasnan Rafique’s term as FT minister. Will the new minister Raja Nong Chik carries on his predecessor’s policies or will he idea another grand plan while our city’s rivers become mere conduits of sewages?
Lim Lip Eng

Friday, May 8, 2009

A “Protected” Slum


Yesterday, I, accompanied by some locals Malays and a policeman, went to a slum of 30 over foreign families at somewhere between Taman Sri Segambut & Taman Cuepacs. The slum is built underneath electricity pylons and close to a filthy river. This illegal quarters have been there for 25 years and now well equipped with electricity and water connections. No TNB meter is installed at each house but wire cables can be seen linking all houses from a TNB pole nearby. I was told by one of the foreigners that he is paying monthly electricity fee to a leader who is staying there. According to a Malay businessman who runs a goat farm along the riverbank, these foreigners will bring in motorcycles and throw the skeletons into the river after dismantling the machines. The goat farmer has lodged few futile complaints about the foreigners with the authorities and he was threatened by the foreigners 2 weeks ago that his farm will be burnt down. It seems to me that with some protection arrangements, even illegal foreigners can be able to enjoy privileges over and above the locals.

Lim Lip Eng

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Motorists left in the dark

By Noel Achariam 2009/05/05

KUALA LUMPUR: For the past four months, motorists using the Jalan Duta interchange have been driving in the dark. The street lights have not been working along the 800m stretch, but no one seems to know who is responsible for their maintenance. Segambut member of parliament Lim Lip Eng, who highlighted the matter, said there had been several accidents in the area since early this year. "When the problem was brought to my attention four months ago, I immediately contacted City Hall. One of the officers I spoke to acknowledged that the street lights were faulty. However, he said the street lights were not under the care of City Hall, but falls under the jurisdiction of TNB (Tenaga Nasional Bhd)," Lim said. When Lim contacted TNB, however, he was told that City Hall was responsible for the street lights. Lim contacted City Hall again, and was given the same reply: the street lights were under the care of TNB. "I contacted TNB again, and they said they would investigate the problem. "After their investigations, the TNB officers told me that the cause of the blackout was missing cables, which were believed to have been stolen." Lim urged whichever party responsible for the street lights to act fast as about 10,000 motorists used the highway daily. "The problem has been going on for a few months and nothing has been done. I fear that if this issue is not resolved soon, there might be more accidents," he said. 
Motorist C. Yadev, 33, who lives in Jalan Ipoh, said he used the Duta interchange daily to commute to his office at Siemens Tower in Damansara. "I have noticed that the street lights have been out for sometime now. It is dangerous for motorists to use the interchange. I hope the local authority can solve the problem soon," he said. A TNB spokesperson told Streets that they had received several complaints on the street lights. "Our officers have checked and the in-coming supply is fine. The problem lies in the street lights and they do not belong to us," he said. 
A City Hall spokesman said he would check on the matter.

© Copyright 2009 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Condo residents jittery after blaze

Scene of devastation: One of the three damaged units that were hit by the fire.

By Christina Low, The Star

IT WAS a near miss that residents of the Amandari Condominium at Segambut in Kuala Lumpur will not forget easily, and they are now living in fear of a fire outbreak. Lightning struck three units recently, causing a fire and the residents now feel jittery each time there is a thunderstorm and flashes of lightning in the sky.But the real risk during the fire last week was when the firemen arrived and had a hard time driving the fire engine through the condominium’s main entrance. Precious time was wasted as the fire engine had to squeeze through the gate. The residents want the developer to ensure that the two condominium blocks are safe, particularly with arrester rods in working condition and ensuring the easy accessibility of rescue vehicles such as fire engines. The residents raised the issue at a meeting with Azmal Shah, an official of the developer Sheyher Develop-ment Sdn Bhd. The meeting was arranged by Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng.

On the fateful day when the fire broke out, neighbouring residents who heard the loud bang rushed out of their homes but did not realise that a fire had broken out. According to resident K.P. Tiam, it was the foreign workers from the construction site opposite the condominium who saw the fire and alerted them by shouting. Tiam said the residents then called the fire and rescue services department which promptly sent a fire fighting team in a fire engine, but they had a hard time struggling to get past the narrow main entrance. “Much precious time was wasted as the fire engine had to squeeze its way through the gate,” he said. “The condominium developer should do something about the entrance and exit points because during an emergency, getting to the problem area fast is essential to protect life and property,” Tiam said. In addition to the lightning and fire risk, residents of the four-year old condominium also have a bagful of complaints to highlight. “We have been suffering from water leakages and our walls are cracking.” said Ng Yee Kim, 28. Ng said she had been diligently paying her maintenance fees, but when she lodged a complaint on her unit with the developer, the company just ignored her. “I keep reminding the company about the problem but no action has been taken to rectify the situation,” said Ng, who then decided to stop paying her maintenance fees from January this year.

According to Azmal, the residents of the two blocks owed the company more than RM240,000 in maintenance fees. “Sometimes, we manage to collect about 50% of the maintenance fees from the 88 units, but there are times when we only have about 30% to 40%,” Azmal said. He blamed the residents for not taking the initiative to attend meetings organised by the developer, saying that usually only about 20% of them were present. Azmal said some units had gone through various renovations and rectifications which might be the cause of the leaking problem and other defects, but a thorough check had to be conducted. Asked about the fire incident, Azmal said the company was still waiting for the full report from the fire and rescue services department which would take about two weeks. He also said if the residents were not satisfied with the developer, they should perhaps ask the housing tribunal to mediate on the matter.

Meanwhile, Lim said he had discussed the matter with the developer last year when he visited the area but the situation had not changed much since then. Lim said he understood that the developer needed to collect at least 70% of maintenance fees monthly for works on the building, but he did not blame the residents for not wanting to pay as their complaints were not attended to. “I have discussed with the developer urging the company to rectify certain parts of the condominium first to let the residents know that there is value for their money,” he said. “Once residents see that things are being done, I am sure they will pay their fees,” Lim said. Lim said he would wait for the report from the fire and rescue service department to discover the cause of the incident, especially with regard to the safety of the two blocks.