Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vendors at TTDI market warmly received Jalur Gemilang from Lim Lip Eng

In conjunction with the upcoming Merdeka day, MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng distributed some 300 Jalur Gemilang to vendors at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail market and members of the public in his effort to ignite the patriotic spirit in the area. Out of the 300, only 30 national flags were provided to him by the government. The rest were purchased partly from his own pocket and partly from kind donation from the public.

“To hoist a national flag in from of your stall is a way to express one’s patriotic spirit,” he said adding that the response from the vendor and members of the public have been very encouraging.

Lim urge his electoral not to lose the spirit of Merdeka as it is important to remember the country’s struggle for independence.

“We can’t lose the spirit of patriotism to our nation after we have just been independent slightly over half a century.

“How much does it cost to buy a Jalur Gemilang and a handle to hang it from?,” he said.

Lim said our forefathers have sacrificed dearly to ensure a better future for us all.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AG Chambers finally upload latest inquest video

Source: (26/8/2010)

The Attorney-General's Chambers have finally uploaded the video clip of the Aug 18 inquest proceedings to determine DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock's cause of death. The video clip was uploaded at 3.41pm, more than a week after the lively proceeding which saw the renowned Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand taking the stand.

Spanning nine hours and 39 minutes, the video file is a huge 805mb in size. It can be downloaded from the AG Chamber's website. During the proceedings, Pornthip ruled out suicide and was engage in a colourful exchange with DPP Abdul Razak Musa asked a series of baffling questions. Among others, Abdul Razak asked Pornthip if she had experience jumping off buildings and whether it was possible for Teoh to strangle himself.
The uploading of the video clip comes just a day after Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng raised a ruckus over the missing clip and accusing the AG's Chambers of lacking transparency.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DAP MP calls AG’s Chambers biased for omitting inquest video

Source: (By Yow Hong Chieh, 28/8/2010)

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng has accused the Attorney-General’s (AG) Chambers of taking sides in the Teoh Beng Hock inquest after it failed to upload the video clip of the latest proceedings as previously done. He said the department had so far posted video clips of each session on its website the following day but has yet to put up the clip of the August 18 proceedings, in which Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand had an exchange of words with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) lawyer Datuk Abdul Razak Musa.

Dr Pornthip was testifying for the second time at the inquest into Teoh’s death. The DAP political aide was found dead last July 16 on a fifth floor landing at Plaza Masalam, the previous Selangor headquarters of the MACC where he had been questioned overnight. Dr Pornthip had testified that she disagreed with the findings of Dr Peter Vanezis, the British forensic pathologist brought in by the MACC to observe Teoh’s second post mortem last year. Dr Pornthip was also an observer.

“Why are they [trying] to hide something which is public... from the public?” Lim told a press conference here. He said he considered the recordings of the inquest public since the AG’s Chambers had made it a point to upload them “from day one” to show that they were transparent and not biased. “But why not the latest recording? The latest recording is supposed to be the funniest, full of surprises and our government lawyer will be the laughing stock in the whole legal profession and the whole world. So they purposely tried to hide it,” the lawyer said.

During the proceedings, Abdul Razak had questioned Dr Pornthip’s qualifications, which were not recognised in Malaysia, prompting her to inform the court that her university was among the top five in Asia.

“He (Abdul Razak) also doubted whether Pornthip is qualified to help in this Teoh Beng Hock investigation because Pornthip has not jumped off a building before. And he also proposed that Teoh Beng Hock could have strangled himself and he even demonstrated in court,” Lim said.

“All these, the people want to watch it.”

While conceding that the AG’s Chambers were not required to upload videos from the Teoh inquest, Lim dared them to backtrack on their policy of uploading videos from every proceeding thus far. “Say it. I challenge them to say... ‘it’s up to us whether to put which one and where,’” he said, saying that such an admission of selective uploading would backfire on them. He was also sceptical of AG’s Chambers’ explanation that they had technical difficulties in uploading the video and might also have misplaced the recording in question.

Lim then demanded that they put up the recording of the August 18 proceedings within 24 hours, failing which they should remove all inquest videos currently online as omitting one defeated the purpose of putting the rest up in the first place. “If the AG Chambers don’t want to do anything, or even if they put up a tampered one, edited one, I will ask Gobind (Singh Deo) as a lawyer for Teoh Beng Hock’s family and Malik Imtiaz (Sarwar) as a lawyer for the Selangor government, to make a formal application or a formal complaint in the coming inquest,” he said.

Related news: Latest TBH inquest video 'missing' from AG's website

Monday, August 23, 2010

Working hard to ease Segambut's woes

Source: (By Stephanie Sta Maria, 23/8/2010)
SPECIAL REPORT ON KL Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng has been issued an ultimatum by his constituents -- either relieve Jalan Segambut of its snarling rush-hour traffic or prepare to be relieved of his seat during the next general election. It's a tall order for the first-term MP and he knows it. The perpetually congested Jalan Segambut is traversed by about 50,000 residents not just from within the constituency but also from neighbouring ones, who use it a shortcut to the city and Petaling Jaya. The already nightmarish traffic flow is further worsened by multiple roads converging into a single lane and traffic lights that confuse motorists. “I've witnessed it myself and it's terrible!” Lim nodded. “Some residents have to leave their houses as early as 6am to avoid the chaos and if they're late, the consequences include a one-hour crawl to cover a mere 100 metres.”
The solution lies in the form of a RM95 million road expansion project by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) that spans 4km and is split into two phases. The first 1.4km phase involves transforming the current single-lane road into a dual carriageway and building a flyover intersection at Jalan Segambut and the SPPK junction. It is a light at the end of the tunnel but one that irate residents have been waiting to glimpse for a decade now. Patience has been wearing thin and reached breaking point when the project appeared to face yet another delay early this year. Kuala Lumpur mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail has asked residents not to lose faith just yet and gave his assurance that the project would start as soon as DBKL receives funding approval from the Economic Planning Unit. But this has done little to pacify Lim.
“The delay in itself is unacceptable.” he asserted. “And I blame it on the former KL mayor Abdul Hakim Borhan and former Federal Territories minister Zulhasnan Rafique. They completely messed it up.” Since taking office, Lim has been deluged with complaints from his constituents who “don't care which side you're on or how you do it but you better solve this issue fast”. Taking heed, he asked DBKL for a temporary solution, to widen the 100-m stretch from the Jalan Segambut-Jalan Jambu Mawar junction to ease the traffic bottleneck there. That request, along with three letters to the current Minister of Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin on the issue, has been met with stony silence. But Lim refrained from blaming Ahmad Fuad. “I have to give credit where it is due,” he said. “Ahmad Fuad is a good guy and is trying his best to work with us but there are hidden hands holding him back.” And here, he made no attempt to hide exactly to whom those hidden hands belonged. “Raja Nong Chik is an Umno stooge and he's ignoring Segambut because it's not under the Umno banner. Since taking office, he hasn't attended any of the quarterly meetings among the KL MPs. Instead, he said that he's had discussions with Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, which should suffice. But what does Khalid have to do with KL?” “Instead of spending time with KL MPs to understand and help fix the city's issues, he is busy bullying the Lembah Pantai MP (Nurul Izzah Anwar). It's very clear that he is only interested in snatching back Lembah Pantai for his party.”
Lim is also frustrated over the limited communication channels which, he said, had prevented him from properly explaining the situation to his constituents. Being an opposition member, he said, meant less access to the mainstream media, which has led him to turned to social media instead. “Unfortunately, this has only reached 20% of my constituents,” he noted ruefully. “The rest are still very upset with me over what they see as non-action. As far as they are concerned, they gave an opposition member a chance in a BN stronghold and nothing has changed.” And then he unexpectedly delivered a sharp rebuke to the latter group, calling them “selfish” and “insular”. “They don't care about the crime rate or flash floods in the city, they just want their issue solved,” he said. “It's understandable but there is a bigger picture here. There are innocent people dying in police custody. And squatters who have been waiting for a new home for 20 years. So don't come down hard on me over a road.”
A squatter dilemma
Traffic congestion is only the tip of the Segambut's woes. The other two issues trailing it are the squatter situation and the rising crime rate. While Lim is counting his lucky stars that the squatter issue in Segambut is nowhere near as serious as that in Lembah Pantai or Titiwangsa, he is also scratching his head over an unusual quandary. “The squatters in Segambut are confined to two areas – Kampung Sungai Penchala and Kampung Segambut Dalam,” he said. “Almost all are illegal immigrants who have set up longhouses in the hillside and back lanes.” The irony, he explained, is that the local residents are happy to live alongside them and have even asked Lim to leave the squatters alone because they are “good people”. Lim expressed admiration for their benevolence, but added that he could not turn a blind eye towards what he considers a potentially serious issue. Already, the squatters have integrated themselves into the community by setting up their own sundry shops and eateries by the road. “It almost seems like KL is an outlaw country!” said Lim. “I don't want Segambut to be a small-scale Sabah where half the population are foreigners. So every quarter of the year, I file a complaint with immigration, the police and DBKL. And here's where it gets interesting.”
“The police will conduct a raid in the morning, detain the squatters and release them by evening. It has become a routine. These days I feel reluctant to lodge a report because I'm merely creating an opportunity for the authorities to... you know what I mean.”
Not less crime, just fewer reports
As for the crime rate, not a day passes without a break-in, snatch theft or robbery sullying his constituency. Lim pours scorn on KL chief of police Muhammad Sabtu Osman's report of a 30% drop in the KL crime rate during the first two months of this year. “It's not the crime rate that has fallen but the number of police reports made because people have lost confidence in the police,” Lim opined. “And the crime rate in Segambut is solely the government's doing.” According to Lim, certain plots of land in Segambut which belong to the ministry and DBKL were once earmarked as sites for police stations. One plot is in Sri Hartamas and the other in Sri Sinar. The former now functions as a hawker centre while a badminton court and hypermarket sit on the latter.
“I confronted the former minister about this and he admitted that the sites were meant for police stations,” Lim said. “He told me that neither the police nor the government had funds to build one so rather than leave the land vacant, they decided to sublet it to generate income. This is the nonsense that's going on.” “I've also repeatedly asked Bukit Aman and the Home Ministry to set up mobile police stations or even pondok polis in the area but nothing has been done. The only development has been in Taman Sri Sinar where a police officer begged me to ask Bukit Aman to send more personnel to his station.” “Apparently, he is the only officer on duty during the day and is obviously unable to be at two crime scenes at one time. I put in the complaint and two officers have since been sent over. But the rest of the police stations in my constituency are severely understaffed.”
Forging ahead
Aside from putting pressure on the authorities, Lim also has two ideas which he believes would reduce the crime rate in Segambut. The first involves the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at 1km intervals. He has already submitted this proposal to the government only to have it shot down due to the projected high cost.

But Lim is undeterred; he is pressing forward with his second proposal: setting up an official Neighbourhood Watch. This would be different from the Rukun Tetangga, which he called a “failed project”. Even so, there was a hint of pride in his voice when he said that Malaysia's first Rukun Tetangga (RT) was set up in Segambut. But then his tone changed as he added that the centre is now locked up. “The RT people in Segambut are all from BN,” he said. “And since the government allocates RM600 a month to maintain and run an active RT centre, they hold a function there once a month and then lock it up again.” On his Neighbourhood Watch idea, Lim explained that it would require residents to contribute a certain sum to the Residents' Association for the hiring of guards to be stationed at each entry point into the residential area. This initiative is already in full swing in his residential area. “Some 90% of the residents are in favour but the 10% – who are senior citizens – can overturn the whole project,” he said. “In Taman Tun Dr Ismail, the senior citizens hated the guards monitoring the comings and goings of their guests, so they complained to DBKL and Bukit Aman and that was the end of it.”
Segambut isn't the ideal initiation constituency for a first-term MP and two years is long enough to decide whether you're in or out of the game. Lim doesn't have to think twice. He's in it for the long haul. “Maybe it's my youth,” he laughed, then turned serious. “I genuinely enjoy the challenge. But because I'm not part of the ruling government, I can't promise much on the infrastructure. What I will guarantee is to fight corruption and push for fairness and transparency in government agencies.”
While on the subject of government agencies, he was quick to commend DBKL and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) for their services. “Not many MPs say this but I am actually happy with DBKL,” he said. “I can honestly say that out of 10 complaints, it has resolved eight. The two unresolved ones could be due to political intervention or a genuine lack of resources.” “As for Syabas, it is the best government agency I have worked with. I would even call it superb! It responds to every single complaint with a report of its investigations and the action it will take and resolves the problem within 12 hours. If all government agencies followed suit, there would be many very happy MPs and constituents.”
Watch video here:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Death threat to MP: A closer look into a shoddy police investigation

I was with Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua at his office in Damansara Jaya on 11/8/2010 at about 6pm when he first saw the envelope which contained the death threat and a live M16 bullet.

To ensure not to compromise the evidence, we used office stationery materials to deal with the envelope, and subsequently we placed it on a piece of newspaper to be brought directly to Damansara Jaya Police station.

At the police station, despite being informed of the suspicious circumstances of the envelop and the threat contained therein, the police used their bare hands to handle the envelope, passing it around the letter in the police station from one curious police to another. Their conducts have raised questions whether the police investigation is flawed from the beginning.

It does not take a forensic scientist to know that the police’s shoddy action has definitely compromised 90%, if not all, of the evidence, thus it is redundant for the police to have Tony and his aide’s DNA samples and fingerprints taken yesterday.

The police said the DNA samples and fingerprints were required to ensure that Tony and his aide did not send the package. However, I doubt the real reason for their evidence to be taken, a week after the statutory police report was made.

Related news: Pua & aide give DNA samples in probe over death threat

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Congestion nightmare over Ramadan bazaar at TTDI

Not right: Traders ignoring the white markers of DBKL’s designated lots and occupying the parking bays instead

Source: By Priya Menon, 19/8/2010)
Traffic congestion has become a nightmare for people in Taman Tun Dr Ismail due to the relocated Ramadan bazaar of Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 3. Shop owners who face the brunt of the problem every day are perplexed that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall has allowed the traders to set up their stalls along a main road. The bazaar has been operating every year along Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 3 and 1 whereas most of the night market stalls, opened only on Sundays, are along Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 4 and 2. Although they are sympathetic towards the bazaar traders, many feel the planning was not done wisely.

“The food is great, but maybe the bazaar should have been placed on a road with one exit point,” said a trader who wished to be known as J.C. Traders have also resorted to putting stalls on designated parking areas although DBKL has drawn white markers on the sidewalks for them to trade. There is also a carpark along the same road used by those working around the area and many sometimes cannot move their cars until the bazaar closes around 8pm.

Down the road, another shop owner, W.C said the non-TTDI residents were also caught off guard by the bazaar. “They park and come back several hours later only to find their cars blocked by the traders. I have seen this problem so many times. Some of the considerate traders move their stalls so the car owners can take their cars out,” he added. He suggested placing banners and notices around the area to inform others of the bazaar.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng urged residents to bear with the bazaar since it would only be there for a month but also emphasised the traders’ role in ensuring they did not obstruct traffic. “Traders also have to be reasonable, the last resort would be for DBKL officers to issue summons and take action against errant hawkers,” he added.

DBKL corporate communication manager Anuar Mohd Zain said the local authority would send enforcement officers to ensure the temporary hawkers adhered to the rules in operating the food stalls during Ramadan. “We will look into the requests by the residents to place banners to inform the public about the Ramadan bazaar operation hours,” he added.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cops knowingly violated the law

One cop admitted in the case of the biggest syabu bust in the country that he and another two colleagues hid 4 syabu packages in bushes from police as a “reward for their hard work”. Kpl Mohd Aan Abdul Karim said this when cross-examined by the accused’s counsel during the trial at Kuantan High Court on 13/8/2010. He also said it was the instruction from his superior that they were going to split the profits (

Pertaining to Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Kpl Mohd Aan and his “accomplices” should be sentenced to death for drugs trafficking. However, only police disciplinary action had been taken against them.

The above disclosure is giving a wrong impression to the public that law enforcers are used to “shortchange” the evidence they seized from criminals and if they are caught, they will only face disciplinary action without being charged in the court of law.

According to a poll last year, Malaysia's corruption ranking had fallen to 56, from 47 the previous year ( It also brought one unusual message: How could the ranking fall even the government has been calling to fight corruption?

The government must take action against Kpl Mohd Aan and his gangs in order not to further weaken people’s thinking and assessment of the state of corruption in our country.

The Investigation Officer or the Deputy Prosecuting Officer in the case must lodge a report with The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on the public admission of a commission of crime by Kpl Mohd Aan.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

DAP MP gets death threat, M16 bullet for family, in an envelope posted from Tangkak

PJ Utara MP Tony Pua received an envelope with a death threat and a live bullet enclosed on Wednesday afternoon. The package was posted to his office at Damansara Utama from Tangkak. It was open by his office assistant at about 4:30pm.

The assistant lodged a police report at Damansara Utama police station at about 6:30pm accompanied by Tony and DAP lawyer, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng.

Police have confirmed it was a local made M16 bullet.

In May 2008, DAP chairman & Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh too received an envelope with a death threat and a live bullet.

CCTVs needed in Segambut

Source: (By Veena Babulal, 11/8/2010)

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng has repeated his call for the government to provide closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at 1km and 2km intervals here to prevent crime. Lim claimed there was one break-in a day in his constituency as there was not enough surveillance. "If there were more of such facilities, police and local council officers would be able to zero in on the crime when it is taking place and nab the criminals red-handed," he said.

He said such facilities were also cost-effective as the federal government would not have to deploy more cops to patrol the area. He said there were no CCTVs installed by City Hall in the area, to his knowledge.
"The only CCTVs installed were by the police along a number of federal roads such as Jalan Kuching," he added. The installation of cameras have decreased the number of crime in these areas. Lim also claimed that his appeals for police beats in high-crime rate housing estates like Taman Sri Sinar, Taman Segambut and Bandar Menjalara have fallen on deaf ears.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Public win only 5pc of High Court cases against government, IGP

Source: (By Yow Hong Chieh, 11/8/2010)

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng today revealed that less than one in 20 High Court suits filed by civilians against the government and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in the last five years has gone their way. Only 4.4 per cent of High Court suits favoured civilians, in contrast to the much higher proportion of such judgements in Sessions Court (54.6 per cent) and Magistrates Court (66.3 per cent).

“I can’t speculate on that,” said Lim, a lawyer by training. “But it seems that, if you want sue government or the police, you bring it to the lower courts,” he joked. “You stand a higher chance. It seems that way.”

From 2005 to 2009, 2,881 suits were filed against the government, 1,871 in High Court, 774 in Sessions Court and 236 in Magistrates Court. During the same period, 253 suits were filed against the IGP, 90 in High Court, 125 in Sessions Court and 38 in Magistrates Court. Of the total number of suits filed against both parties, 1,550 have been concluded.

Lim received the figures in a written reply to a question he had submitted for Parliament’s April session. Calling the figures “the tip of the iceberg”, he claimed that the cases listed in the reply were not an accurate representation of the true number of aggrieved civilians. He said this was because civilians had to have enough money, time and courage before they could sue the government. He gave the example of Pandamaran assemblyman Ronnie Liu, whose 21-year-old suit against the police was only concluded last year in his favour.

“Simple case — cops beat up civilian — can drag for more than 20 years,” Lim said. “If you die young, too bad.”

He said that, by his estimation, for every civilian who sued the government of IGP, there were 10 more who lacked either the money, time or courage to take their case to court. Lim commended the Bar Council, which last month said it planned to set up a law committee to provide legal aid to those who cannot afford it. “I welcome the announcement, and I want the government to fully fund this committee,” he said. “This is for the rakyat, not for us lawyers.”

Monday, August 9, 2010

Faulty street toilets a waste of public funds

From left: Lim Lip Eng and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun (Photo from Sin Chew Daily)

Source: (By Noel Achariaml, 8/8/2010)
Almost half of the 19 Automated Street Toilets (ASTs) built at the cost of RM400,000 each, are not in working order. This has caused many to question whether the money was well spent.
The matter was recently highlighted by Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, who claimed that at least 10 of the AST were faulty. A check by Streets yesterday found eight out of the 10 toilets identified by the two MPs were not working. The one at Laman Budaya, near Istana Budaya, kept rejecting the coins, and the rest had notices on the doors stating that they were under maintenance. The faulty ASTs are located in Jalan Bukit Bintang, near McDonald's and near Lot 10; Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, near the Bangkok Bank; Jalan Pudu, near Puduraya; Jalan Telawi 1 in Bangsar; Jalan Ara Kiri 1 in Bangsar; and Jalan Hang Tuah, near the monorail station.

Student Hafiz Khir, 23, said City Hall should not have spent so much money to build the ASTs if it could not maintain them. "The ASTs were built with taxpayers' money. City Hall should be more prudent with their spending," he said. Hawker Eddy Malik, 33, who has a stall near the Jalan Ara Kiri 1 AST, said City Hall should conduct regular checks at all the ASTs. "The AST here has been out of order for weeks. We have seen some contractors coming to inspect the AST, but nothing was done," he said. Tourist Azigai Mona, 21, from the Philippines, said public toilets were a basic facility. "Public toilets must be properly maintained at all times. It's quite distressing to have to rush to a toilet and find that it is out of order," she said.
Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk M. Saravanan said he would get City Hall to act immediately on the problem. "I will instruct City Hall to check on the faulty ASTs. We should be able to rectify the problems in the next few days," he said.
Lim, who visited the AST in front of the Lot 10 shopping centre, said that the City Hall status report he received stated that the water tanks were leaking, the automated doors not functioning, the ceiling damaged, the air-conditioning faulty, the shutters broken and the autoseat faulty. "This area (Jalan Bukit Bintang) is a tourist hotspot. Why are the toilets not properly maintained by City Hall? A lot of money was spent to build the toilets. This is a sheer waste of public funds," he said. He said the ASTs were handed over to City Hall after they were built and as such, it was the local authority's duty to maintain them. "If it cannot handle the task, then it should look at hiring a contractor to handle the maintenance work," Lim said. Fong said they had received many complaints about the ASTs and urged City Hall to maintain them as malfunctioning toilets would have a negative impact on the city's image.

The ASTs were built by Tetuan GHB Bathroom Products Sdn Bhd. The first AST was built in 2006 in Jalan Bukit Bintang. Each of the prefabricated AST comes with two cubicles featuring one squat toilet and one modern western water closet. State-of-the-art sensors automatically trigger water, soap and the hand-dryer upon use. The sensors also activate the flush after each use and the toilet seats automatically cleaned. The ASTs, which are disabled-friendly, also have a pull-down table for diaper-changing.

Related news:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

KL on hardcore poor 'list of shame'

Source: (Hazlan Zakaria, 5/8/2010)
Segambut parliamentarian Lim Lip Eng expressed his shame and bafflement that Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur is included in the list of hardcore poor-hit cities. This, he said, is according to written answers he received from both Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin on the cities identified as hardcore poor areas. Lip Eng said that he submitted his questions in April prior to the last Parliament session and received both answers via post last week. “How can KL, which was just ranked as among the top meeting destinations in the world, have hardcore poor?,” asked the DAP elected representative during a press conference at his service centre in Segambut today.
Yesterday, English daily the Star reported that the International Congress and Convention Assocation had placed Malaysia 22nd in its rankings for most preferred cities for conventions and meetings worldwide, making it one of the highest ranked cities in the Asia Pacific as a meeting destination.
Lip Eng expressed concern that the answers did not give any details as to what criteria was used to label an areas as hardcore poor-hit and pointed out certain glaring differences between the two ministerial answers.
'Answers raise more questions'
“The answers raised a lot more questions,” said the Segambut MP. He distributed copies of both answers to reporters and pointed to the different data given. Raja Nong Chik's answer said there are 135 hardcore poor areas while the PM's answer stated 92. Both answers, he added, gave no further details in the number of hardcore poor or why the areas are considered hardcore poor. The PM's answer, he said, listed areas of hardcore poor which made up the majority of the populated areas in all 13 states and two federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan. “Looking at this, I can safely say that Malaysia is a country of hardcore poor,” he quipped. However, if the answer are true, added the parliamentarian, then Malaysia is no different than a third world country and the government should really work hard to alleviate this problem before things become worse.
“The 2020 KL City Plan is to increase population density. I wonder if they increase the population, will they be able to help the hardcore poor?” “I believe it will only increase the number of the poor,” he opined. He urged the government to solve the problem of Kuala Lumpur hardcore poor in the near term before going on record calling Malaysia a successful and prosperous country.
Learn from Tawau, Penang
“It is not hard to do, if the PM or Raja Nong Chik does not know how to do it I can refer them to people that can help.” He explained that he was referring to the mayor of Tawau and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who, he said, have both managed to overcome hardcore poverty in their areas. He quoted a Bernama report last Sunday that Tawau is the first hardcore poor-free area in Sabah. This was reported only two months after Tawau was still in the hardcore poverty list updated up to June. Similarly, he said, Guan Eng had claimed late last year that hardcore poverty has been eradicated in Penang. “How can Tawau do in two months and Penang in three years since Pakatan took over, what the federal government has failed to do after more than 50 years in power?” asked Lip Eng. However, in the answers provided by the prime minister and Raja Nong Chik, major districts and towns in Penang, including Georgetown, as well as Tawau are still listed as places plagued by hardcore poverty. According to Lip Eng, since the answers accounted for data gathered up until June, Tawau may have changed its status by now.
As for Penang, Lip Eng contends that he is more inclined to believe Guan Eng's claim that the state is hardcore poor free since exact figures and details were provided, unlike the vague ministerial answers which simply named cities and districts.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Post office headache for Segambut residents

Source: (By Priya Menon, 3/8/2010)

A simple service due to every Malaysian seems to be lacking in Segambut as residents are forced to travel more than 20 minutes for a post office. Some 40,000 residents of Segambut are forced to travel to Jaya Jusco in Kepong to carry out their postal transactions and bill payments. People from seven different residential areas including Taman Sri Bintang, Taman Sri Sinar, Taman Prima Impian, Kampung Segmabut Dalam and Taman Bukit Maluri only have two post-boxes to drop their letters into. There are several mini post offices run by private companies that sell stamps and charge a nominal fee for postal services.

“It takes us close to half an hour to travel through the traffic congestion, find a parking spot and head in to the post office. Then it takes another hour to queue and get our business done in the busy office,” said resident Lee Thiam Chaw, 53. Lee said he had been living in the neighbourhood for 20 years and there had not been any proper post office.

Mohd Aizat, 25, said public transportation in the area was also in a terrible state, making it difficult for residents without their own transportation to get to the post offices in Kepong and elsewhere. “The people here have been suffering from this problem for many years now. My father travels to Chow Kit to carry out his transactions because the branch there is large so he does not have to wait too long,” he said. Aizat added that the matter was brought up to the Government in 2008 but it has not been solved to-date.

Chua Chong Yin, 49, pointed out that although bills could be paid online, members of the older generation were still not well versed with the Internet. “Teenagers are more adept at using the Internet to pay bills but we still need a post office to help other members of the community,” he said. Chua said for registered posts he sometimes had to travel to the post office in Sentul or Brickfields to pick up his packages.

Residents highlighted their plight to Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng who held a press conference regarding the issue last Saturday. Lim said in the past, postmen were paid a paltry wage but now that the government announced a raise worth 11% to over 9,000 workers, the time has come to raise the issue. “I understood the predicament in the past but now that the allocation has increased, it is time for them to set up a branch here,” he said.