Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lawyers stage protest march

Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee spoke to the crowd of lawyers & NGOs at the Lake Garden before the Walk For Freedom march (Photos by Lim Lip Eng & Ooi Leng Hang)
Source: (By REGINA LEE, 30/11/2011)
The idyllic Lake Gardens here saw a different scene when hundreds of lawyers gathered to protest against the Peaceful Assembly Bill. Led by Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee, they marched about half a kilometre to Parliament House to hand over a memorandum and their own proposed amendments at noon yesterday.
Joining them in the Walk to Freedom were civil society activists, including Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.
Lim said the Attorney-General had consulted the council several weeks ago over the drafting of the Bill. “But the version that was tabled was very different,” he said.
The PKR representatives in the march included MPs Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang), Loh Gwo Burne (Kelana Jaya) as well as Seri Andalas assemblymen Dr Xavier Jeyakumar and officials N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya.
The DAP representatives included MPs Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and Wong Ho Leng (Sibu) while PAS was represented by Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa and central committee member Hanipa Maidin.
Constitutional law committee chairman Syahredzan Johan said the provisions were “ridiculous”.
As they marched towards the Parliament building, another group, calling itself Pertubuhan Putra Malaysia, appeared at the opposite side of the road to protest against “free sex” and homosexuality. Numbering about 100, they wore yellow T-shirts and carried banners condemning sexuality rights festival organiser Seksualiti Merdeka. They attempted to drown out the lawyers’ chants of “freedom of the people” and “freedom of assembly” with their own cries of “anti-sodomy” and “no free sex”. Seksualiti Merdeka founder Pang Khee Teik was spotted among the lawyers and made no fuss over the other group’s protest.
The crowd began to disperse at 1.30pm, about 20 minutes before a downpour. Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman said no untoward incident occurred during the protests, adding that the crowd of about 500 were cooperative. “They complied with police instructions,” he said, adding that they only led to traffic complications in the area.
Related news: More than 1,000 march against Assembly Bill

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TTDI market relocation sparks protest

The TTDI market attracts shoppers from all over the Klang Valley. It is also notable for being among the cleanest wet markets in the city. Pic by Nurul Shafina Jemenon
Source: (By NOEL ACHARIAM, 29/11/2011)
The Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) Residents' Association (RA) and TTDI Market Traders Association are saying no to the demolition or relocation of the market. Instead, they want the 25-year-old complex upgraded. The associations also want a pedestrian bridge and a multi-storey car park built for the convenience of the shoppers and commuters, in line with the development of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT station, near the Caltex petrol station.
TTDI Market Traders Association deputy chairman Mohd Zaini Zainal Abidin said they had heard two years ago that the market would be demolished to make way for development. It was only last month that it was confirmed that a development proposal had been submitted to City Hall. "We want this market to be retained. Not a single one of us will agree to any new development here. We had stated so when there was a proposal for an MRT station here. Together with the TTDI RA, we will submit a proposal to City Hall for the construction of a pedestrian bridge to connect the market, and a multi-storey car park on the parking lot adjacent to the market. This way, it is a win-win situation for both market goers and those wanting to board the MRT "Building these could be a form of corporate social responsibility, and the connectivity could boost MRT ridership," he said.
Currently, the market has 150 parking bays catering for an average of 1,000 visitors daily from all over the Klang Valley.
The market, he added, was in dire need of upgrading. The areas needing attention are the public toilets and leaking pipes. The last enhancement work to take place was about five years ago, when the walls on the first floor were given a fresh coat of paint. The market's traders were relocated here from the former Central Market in Jalan Hang Kasturi. TTDI Market Traders Association advisor Ramli Ismail said the market must be maintained for its sentimental value and history. "We must think about how difficult it was for the traders to shift here back then, and how they have worked hard to make their business grow. "It is not fair to them. We will be sad if this market ceases to exist here. Where would the shoppers, who have been coming here for so long, go?" he said.
Also present were TTDI RA chairman Mohd Hatim Abdullah, TTDI Market Traders Association president Jenny Loo and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng. Lim said he was informed of the proposal by a private developer to redevelop the land on which the market sits by Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail. "However, he told me it has neither been approved nor rejected. He said the opinions of the traders would be taken into consideration before a decision was made. The views of residents should also be taken into account. I will support the majority's view," he said.
Jenny Hong, who has sold soya bean milk and tau fu far at the market for as long as the market has stood, was unhappy about the proposal to demolish the market, which she said was a second home to her. "I have formed a special bond with the residents and visitors. We have become friends after so long," she said.
Fishmonger Ng Kean Leong, whose grandfather started the business in Central Market back in 1987, said there was no need of re-development in the already high-density TTDI. "More importantly, I cannot imagine not doing business here. My family was in Central Market and here for a very long time," said the 27-year-old.
Lawyer M.Idris, who has lived in TTDI and shopped at the market since 1986, said: "This market needs to be upgraded, not moved. It is a meeting place for TTDI folk, and where families go to shop. "It is nice and clean, and it caters for not only TTDI folk, but also Damansara Heights, Seri Hartamas and Kota Damansara folk."
Related news: TTDI traders hope for integration with MRT line

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pile of waste by the road an eyesore

Long trail of rubbish: One side of Jalan 1/42 that has become a garbage dump.
Source: (By CHOONG MEK ZHIN, 28/11/2011)
For years residents of Kampung Segambut Luar and Kampung Segambut Permai have been living near a rubbish dump. The dump in Jalan 1/42 can also be seen from Jalan Kuching that runs parallel to the road.
Pensioner Khairuddin Karim, 56, said the rubbish collection truck came on schedule once every three days but within that short span of time, a big pile of garbage would have accumulated at the spot.
One of the main worries of the villagers is that the pile attracts stray animals and rodents. “At night, a large group of stray dogs scavenge for food at the pile of rubbish and in the process garbage gets scattered everywhere. Rodents are also attracted to the pile,” he said. Khairuddin said they feared the pests could cause diseases. He also highlighted the problem of clogged drains which could caused flash floods.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said about three years ago, there used to be large metal rubbish bins where the dump was located. “However, some residents claimed that these bins were taken by scrap metal collectors,” he said, adding that about 100 households used the spot to dump garbage.
Lim hoped DBKL would provide some new communal bins to keep the area clean. “The pile of rubbish is an eyesore and creates a bad impression of the city as well,” he said.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Group protests against Assembly Bill

Peaceful demo: The group protesting at KLCC park yesterday.
Source: (27/11/2011)
KUALA LUMPUR: A group gathered at KLCC park to protest the proposed Peaceful Assem­bly Bill 2011. Dressed in yellow and carrying yellow balloons, the group assembled at the park at about 2pm yesterday and chanted slogans against the proposed Bill. They were told to disperse by the police and KLCC security personnel at about 2.45pm.
Also present were Klang DAP MP Charles Santiago and Segambut DAP MP Lim Lip Eng.
Campaign organiser Wong Chin Huat deemed the Bill unconstitutional. “We are here to illustrate that we as Malaysians can gather peacefully without disrupting public order,” he said.
On whether the amendments to reduce the advance notice period from 30 days to 10 days was acceptable, Wong said it was not. “There are countries where organisers only need to give notice to the police a day before a gathering. An acceptable period should be one or two days,” he added.
Meanwhile, a group of people gathered at Dataran Merdeka for a candlelight vigil at about 8pm. They marched to the Bar Council about 200m away and dispersed 30 minutes later.
Related news: 400 protest at KLCC against 'unconstitutional' bill
NGOs protest Peaceful Assembly Bill in KLCC park

Friday, November 25, 2011

UUCA amendment just ‘window-dressing’, says Pakatan

Source: (By Clara Chooi, 24/11/2011)
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers poured cold water today over Putrajaya’s plans to lift the ban on students in politics, saying it was a window-dressing move aimed to woo young voters. Several MPs pointed out that the unexpected announcement made by Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament this morning had come with several disclaimers — that students must be aged above 21 to become political party members; that politics would remain prohibited from campuses; and that the government would still appeal a recent court ruling declaring the ban unconstitutional.
“The bottom line is — nothing has changed,” said DAP’s Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng. “On the one hand, you said you will amend the law, on the other, you say you will appeal the decision. On the one hand, you say they can become political party members, on the other, you say politics are not allowed in campus. “Only one word to describe this — oxymoron,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
PAS’s Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad agreed, and accused Najib of attempting to woo young voters with the “window-dressing” move. “Only one thing is for certain...they are doing this for the sole reason of winning over young voters. To me, there is no two-ways about it — they should just completely abolish the law,” he said. When tabling a motion to lift three Emergency declarations this morning, Najib said the government would soon amend Section 15 of the University and University Colleges Act (UUCA) to allow students aged above 21 to become members of political parties. He stressed however that the government would still appeal the recent court ruling declaring the section unconstitutional and that politics in campuses would still be strictly prohibited.
In a majority 2-1 judgement earlier this month, a three-man panel of judges ruled that Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) had breached Article 10 of the country’s highest law when it disciplined four students involved in a political campaign last year under Section 15(5)(5)(a) of the UUCA.
“This is what I call a great confusion. With elections looming so close, Najib and his team are trying out this window-dressing move, pulling wool over the people’s eye to hoodwink them into thinking the government is their saviour,” said Dzulkefly. He added that universities presently have their own respective by-laws and constitutions, which he said was enough to govern its operations, including student movement.
PAS’s Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the government’s decision to appeal the decision would contradict its plan to amend Section 15 of the law. He said Putrajaya should not proceed with the appeal to prove its sincerity in amending the law, adding that Najib, in his speech this morning, had not detailed if the proposed amendments would grant students total freedom to participate in politics, including holding positions in political parties. “What is important to me is that students and academicians be given full opportunities to discuss openly ideas and matters of national importance both inside and outside the campus... it is not just about allowing them to join political parties,” he said. Dr Dzulkefly said the government needed to allow greater freedom to students and academicians in order to breed more intellectuals in society. “We want alert-minded intellectuals, enterprising graduates, morally upright, intellectually superior... you cannot have that in an environment that breeds bigotry. Bigots are not intellectuals,” he said.
PKR’s Subang MP R. Sivarasa concurred and pointed out to the declining state of Malaysian universities, saying local institutions do not provide an “atmosphere of open, critical thinkers”. He also accused the government of practising double standards, saying that while politics was banned in local campuses, Umno has student clubs formed in foreign institutions.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rottweilers’ owner fined

Source: (By MAIZATUL NAZLINA, 18.11.2011)
KUALA LUMPUR: A senior citizen was fined RM1,500 in default two months’ jail after his three Rottweilers attacked a tractor driver at a fish pond.
Pond caretaker Cheah Soo @ Ah Peng (pic), 67, was sentenced by magistrate Zulkpli Abdullah after he admitted to a charge of being negligent by not preventing an animal in his possession from being a danger to humans. The offence, under Section 289 of the Penal Code which carries a jail sentence of up to six months, fine of RM2,000, or both, took place at the pond in Orkid Desa Phase 2, Sungai Besi, Cheras, here at about 3.20pm on Sept 18.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Haderah Siri urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence in view of public interest. She said the victim, Ting Soon Teck, could have died from the attack. “Ting had to have multiple stitches on his hands and legs and was advised by his doctor to rest for eight months,” Haderah said. She added that he lost his income during the period.
Pleading for leniency, counsel Lim Lip Eng said Cheah suffered from various ailments and his wife had had a stroke. Lim said Cheah, who stayed in a squatter area, had already paid the RM300 fine to City Hall.
City Hall had since taken away the dogs and Ting had also forgiven his client, Lim added.
The tractor driver was attacked by the dogs when he was making a payment at the counter after fishing there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taxi driver sues cop and Govt

Source: (10.11.2011)
A taxi driver has filed a negligence suit against the Government and a policeman for wrongfully firing a gunshot and injuring both his legs while he was taking a nap in his cab.
Yeow Leong Kang, 42, is claiming RM214,000 in damages, interests, costs and any other relief deemed fit by the court over the shooting incident. He has named Detective Lance Corporal Norhesham Mohd Nor from the Cheras district police station’s narcotics criminal investigations division and the Government as the defendants.
Yeow filed the lawsuit at the Sessions Court registry through his lawyer Lim Lip Eng yesterday.
In a statement of claim, Yeow said that Detective L/Kpl Norhesham had negligently fired a shot without any warning. At the time he had parked his taxi beside a bus stop near the Jalan Pudu post-office at 4.30pm on Sept 23 last year. He is contending that Detective L/Kpl Norhesham had failed to ensure the safety of the public. He said he was taken to Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for treatment and discharged after three days. He claimed that he suffered humiliation as he was shot by the police in a public place and this also caused him to suffer tremendous psychological and mental stress, pain and loss of dignity.
In the lawsuit, he claimed that Detective L/Kpl Norhesham had visited him at the hospital and apologised to him repeatedly and admitted that he had wrongfully shot him. Yeow made a police report at the Pudu police station over the incident on Dec 10 last year.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Majlis korban di Segambut Luar

Pagi ini, saya bersama-sama penduduk-penduduk di majlis korban anjuran Haji Khairuddin dengan PAS Segambut.

Segambut MP's Deepavali open house

On 5th November 2011, with limited publicity, some 200 turnout at DAP Segambut MP's Deepavali open house in Kampung Kasipillay.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Too many massage centres worry Desa Sri Hartamas folk

Large signs: Some outlets offer special prices during lunch break
Many signs: The numerous signboards along the walkway.
In the backlanes too: There are about 30 massage and foot reflexology centres operating in Desa Sri Hartamas.
Promotions: All sorts of discounts.

The mushrooming of massage, foot reflexology and spa centres around Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, has not gone down well with the residents in the township. There are over 30 massage and foot reflexology centres in the area, however, a check with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) revealed that only 10 outlets, or one-third of the total had been issued licence to operate while the rest are deemed illegal.
DBKL deputy director-general of socio-economic development Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz confirmed that only 10 outlets were licensed to offer foot reflexology, massage and spas in the Desa Sri Hartamas. Amin said DBKL had stopped approving licences under the Health Establishment Licensing Bylaw WPKL 2003 for massage and relexology centres since 2009 to curb the sudden increase in the number of such centres in Kuala Lumpur. “We have not issued any licences since July 2009. We will not approve any applications as there are already too many in Kuala Lumpur. Even if people apply we will reject their applications,” he said. When asked about what action will be taken against these illegal centres, Amin said they would continue issuing compounds to those who operated without licences. “In the city, there are already too many of these massage centres. We cannot force them to stop their operations but we can only compound them for not having a licence as many of them operate without licences and if they still continue to operate we can bring them to court. “However, these operators are very stubborn as some of them still continue to operate. They are not afraid of us. “Many of them have been fined several times but they still continue to operate without licences. We will have to continue with our raids more regularly,” he said, adding that DBKL carried out raids twice a week to check on these premises around Kuala Lumpur. “We try to monitor these centres including those with licences. We have done raids with the police to try to stop these massage centres that offer sexual services. “We have to do this to ensure that they do not misuse their licences for vice activities. If the licensed centres are found offering sexual services, we can compound them or take their deposit and even revoke their licence,” he said.
However, Amin said based on investigations carried out from early this year up to September, no licensed premises had been found to be offering sexual services. “Consumers also have to be aware of a massage centre’s condition and surroundings. “Do not visit a suspicious-looking centre,” he said, adding that consumers should be able to differentiate illegal and licensed centres as licensed centres were required to display their premises licence to prove that they were operating legally.
Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said the police would carry out spot checks on centres offering sexual services. “If the public has any complaints about centres they suspect were operating without licence, they can report to us and we will conduct checks and take action,” he said.
A Desa Sri Hartamas resident who only wanted to be known as Cheong, said he noticed a sudden increase in the number of massage, foot reflexology and spa centres operating in the township. “I love living here, it’s a peaceful community with a pleasant environment but now more and more massage centres have set up business here,” said Cheong, who has lived in the area for the past five years. “It is absurd to have so many massage centres concentrated in just a small area. There are more than 30 such centres here now,” he said. Cheong said he and many other residents were concerned about this phenomenon in their area because they had reason to believe that some of the massage centres also offered sexual services. “I was informed that some of these centres offer sexual services instead of just the normal hand, foot or body massage. This is very disturbing.
“I know this from friends who patronise these centres. I fear the negative impact such activities might bring to this township. These outlets are so close to our homes,” he said. Cheong said DBKL and the police should conduct a survey and check the legality of these centres or conduct raids to prevent vice activities. “Some parents also fear that the proximity of these centres to their homes would provide their children with easy access to vice activities as the centres are located amid family restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses,” said Cheong, who has contacted Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng to inform him about the issue. Lim confirmed that he was aware of the problem and would be bringing up the matter with the KL mayor.
A random check by StarMetro found about 30 massage centres, spas and foot reflexology centres operating in Desa Sri Hartamas. Many of the foot reflexology centres have banners placed outside their outlets stating the price of the various services offered. A foot massage costs between RM20 and RM40 while a body massage is from RM50 to RM70.
Most of the centres are located in Jalan 23/70a, 24/70a, 28/70a, 30/70a and 31/70a. The interior of some of the massage parlours we visited were dimly lit and the cubicles were partitioned with curtains or other impermanent structure to offer customers privacy. A cubicle normally contains nothing but a small mattress and dim lights. Then there are centres with scantily dressed female staff compared with those which provide their employees with uniforms.
To evade the authorities, all these centres are equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTVs) at the entrance to the lift area, corridors and to the main door. Some of these centres have even employed individuals who lurk outside these centres to warn the operators in case of raids by the authorities.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ex-ISA detainees now being probed for money laundering

Source: (3.11.2011)
Eight Immigration Department officers suspected of being involved in a human smuggling syndicate are now being investigated under the Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.
However, the Home Ministry offered no explanation as to why the officers, freed after being detained for more than a year under the Internal Security Act (ISA), were not being probed under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 for the crime they were originally accused of.
Also, no reason was given as to why these officers were now being investigated under the terrorism financing law in the written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) who asked for the rationale in freeing the officers and the legal action taken under the anti-trafficking law.
"The eight Immigration Department officers were released based on the evaluation and the reports from the police as well as the prison authorities that they are no longer a threat to national security," Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.
"As of now, they are being probed under the Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 and once investigations are concluded, the investigation papers will be presented to the Attorney-General's Chambers for follow-up action," he said.
The eight officers were released in August and the reason, Hishammuddin said, was because they "had shown awareness and remorse over their mistake, and had promised never to repeat it".