Saturday, December 10, 2011

MOF: Hotline or Scam-line?

Under the 2012 budget, the Federal Government had promised a one-off allocation of RM500 for households earning an income of under RM3000. This is intended to relieve the burden of inflation for these families.
On Thursday 8th December, the mainstream press published a hotline number for the public to call in order to see if they are eligible for the relief and how they can obtain it. However, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng had received several complaints from the members of the public who called the hotline but were unable to get through to the operator.
“They complained to me that when they tried calling, they were told that all the operators were busy. However, after waiting for long periods of time they still could not get through,” he said.
Lim has called the hotline personally and has instructed both of his assistants to call the hotline sixteen times at half hour intervals between 9am and 12pm today, but with no success.
Clearly frustrated, Lim was angry that the public would be so inconvenienced as a result of the non-responsive hotline. “If the Ministry of Finance was really genuine about helping the people, why did they set up a useless hotline?”
Lim called on the Federal government to stop misleading the people, and he hopes that this issue can be resolved quickly.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shoddy repair job along Jalan Burung Hantu

Lousy job: The potholes are causing traffic congestion as cars tend to slow down.
Source: (By FAZLEENA AZIZ, 7/12/2011)
POTHOLES have reappeared in Jalan Burung Hantu, three days after Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had patched up the affected stretch. Residents from Bandar Manjalara, Sunway SPK Damansara and Desa Park City were irked by the shoddy work.
Many motorists said their vehicles had been damaged and the potholes were slowing down traffic, thus causing congestion. The residents have been complaining about the bad road condition for about three months.
Chua Chew Huat, 57, from Desa City Park said it was wrong for the authorities to carry out a shoddy job. “Car tyres can get punctured if motorists keep driving on such bad roads. They need to do a proper job,” he said.
Stoney Liow, 58, from Sunway SPK Damansara said he could have done a better job using cement if this was the kind of repair work DBKL carried out. “The potholes have even caused accidents,” he said.
Lai Keun Ban, 55, from Bandar Manjalara, who moved from Malacca a year ago, was disappointed to see such bad roads in the capital city. He said the potholes were getting bigger by the day and accidents were becoming frequent. “The contractor who dug up the road and did not patch up the road properly and DBKL, too, did not do a good repair job. “This is just shoddy workmanship and a complete waste of money,” he said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said Jalan Burung Hantu did not even have a signboard to indicate its name. “Many complaints have been made about potholes and this is the most serious of all as it is causing traffic congestion. “We are not aware which contractor came to dig up the road and they just left without doing a good job.
“The Kuala Lumpur mayor said DBKL had allocated RM200mil to repair roads next year, which is a waste of taxpayers’ money. “This problem is not caused by the people, so DBKL should go after the irresponsible contractors,” he said.
Related news: Potholes still after shoddy work

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bukit Segambut Apartment's legal tussle with the developer

I was explaining to the owners of Bukit Segambut Apartment on the legal dispute with their developer involving strata titles, CF and liquidated agreed damages...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

‘Peaceful Assembly’ protest turns poetry recital

A. Samad Said (left) recites a poem to those gathered in the city centre park, Kuala Lumpur December 3, 2011.
Lim Kit Siang (left), Samad (centre) and Wong sing the ‘Negaraku’ to end the demonstration on December 3, 2011.
Pictures by Melissa Chi
Source: (By Melissa Chi, 3/12/2011)
The second KLCC protest against the new assembly law became a poetry recital session instead, with national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said reciting his latest poem, Merindu Ruang to a crowd donned in yellow clothing.
“Make yourself comfortable, it’s going to be a party,” Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Wong Chin Huat told a crowd of about 200 today at the park adjacent to the Petronas twin towers and prominent city building. “We will fight violence with the beauty of literature,” he added.
The crowd was joined by among others, DAP lawmakers Lim Kit Siang, Tony Pua, and Lim Lip Eng.
Today’s demonstration, last half an hour, was the second to be organised by the Freedom to Assemble Campaign, a coalition of over 30 NGOs. A week ago, almost 300 people gathered here to protest the Peaceful Assembly Bill. Both occasions ended with KLCC security personnel requesting the crowd to disperse.
Today, Wong was told that he needed the permission from KLCC’s management to gather in the park. But he told reporters later that they will continue to hold protests every Saturday at KLCC until the law is revoked.
The Peaceful Assembly Bill, which bans street demonstrations, was passed on November 29 on BN votes after the opposition Pakatan Rakyat bloc staged a walkout.
Related news: 200 brave water sprinklers to protest Assembly Bill

Mont Kiara residents against proposed development

Photo by Leow Mei Chern

Photo by Fazleena Aziz
Fighting for a common cause: Residents voicing out their concerns during a meeeting recently.
Source: (By FAZLEENA AZIZ, 3/12/2011)
Residents from the La Grande, Kiaraville and Tiffani Kiara condominiums are protesting against a proposed commercial development nearby in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. About 50 residents carrying placards stood in front of the proposed site near Changkat Mont Kiara expressing their disappointment with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for approving the project. Residents said the project, consisting of a 26-storey office block and nine floors of car park on a 0.45ha site near the Soho KL @ Solaris Mont Kiara would aggravate the traffic congestion in the area.
The site is now being used as a car park.
On Nov 16, the residents had attended an objection hearing and voiced their concerns. The residents are objecting against Mont Kiara slowly losing its residential status and becoming a commercial centre. Some residents are planning to get an injunction against the development. Tiffani Kiara chairman Carol Lee said the land status was marked as institutional but had been converted to commercial in 2009. She said DBKL had informed that only Kiaraville had the right to object at the hearing. “However, Tiffani and Le Grande should be included because we are directly affected as well,” she added, Lee said the residents were not allowed to ask technical questions during the hearing.
Le Grande chairman Terry Openshaw said the plot of land was a landfill and piling work in the area would affect nearby condominiums.
Frankie Chow from Kiaraville said with commercial centres like Soho KL, Plaza Mont Kiara and 1Mont Kiara in the area, there was no need for another development. It is a small plot of land and this development will just aggravate the traffic congestion in the already high-density area.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who was present at the meeting, said the residents should be united in their stand to get a positive outcome.

Friday, December 2, 2011

EC ready to use indelible ink

Source: (By Hazlan Zakaria, 2/12/2011)
The Election Commission (EC) is ready to adopt indelible ink usage during elections, pending the final approval from the National Fatwa Council.
"EC secretary Kamaruddin Ahmad Baria told us they are ready and can use indelible ink. "They are waiting final approval from the National Fatwa Council to ensure that the materials used in the ink comply with syariah (Islamic law)," Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng told reporters after a meeting between DAP parliamentarians and Kamaruddin in Putrajaya today.
Among the issues include halal content of the ink and whether it interferes with the process of ablution. However, fellow MP Teresa Kok, who joined Lim, said Kamaruddin told them at the meeting, lasting over an hour, that voting abroad is still under careful study by the commission and implementation will not be anytime soon. Both overseas voting and indelible ink usage are part of 10 interim recommendations that the bipartisan parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform had tabled and were endorsed by the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, on the final day of its sitting for this year. Agencies such as the EC, which were named as implementers, have two weeks from today to give the timetable for the execution of the recommendation or list out to the PSC the hurdles to be overcome.
Electoral roll irregularities also raised
During the meeting, the DAP also raised several complaints with the commission on electoral roll irregularities and difficulties faced by voters who want to amend their voting records at post offices. Kok said the EC secretary pledged to accept the hundreds of voter registration forms, which had been stranded after the EC, without notice, implemented a new regulation requiring all new voter registrations to be accompanied with photocopies of the MyKad. “It is a huge relief for us, as we have hundreds of forms that were stranded,” said the MP.
Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai told reporters at the same press conference that he brought up the case of a 24-year-old voter who tried to change the address in his voter registration at two post offices, to no avail as the staff on duty were unable to find his records, and in he ended up registering as a new voter. Tan said that the EC admitted at the meeting that it was their mistake, since some of the more than 600 post offices nationwide authorised to handle EC business were not given access to the up-to-date electoral roll.
Lim said the EC also admitted that the current crop of postal workers are not adequately trained on EC procedures, relating instances where postal workers themselves were unable to tell voters how to fill in the forms.
'Last training session was five years ago'
“Kamaruddin admitted to us that the last training session for postal workers was five years ago and since then, there has been a staff turnover, seeing many new postal workers. But he promised to hold more training sessions for post office staff.”
Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Loon, who was also at the meeting, had complained about two men aged 83 and 52 who found that they were listed as “deceased” in voting records. “They blamed the National Registration Department for this. The EC had recorded that the duo were ‘orang dah mati’ (already deceased),” Fong said.
Concern whether the use of indelible ink would contravene Muslim restrictions from permanently marking their skin and body was raised by Independent Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, when debating the PSC report. Ibrahim worried that the ink could render Muslims unable to perform their ablutions, as water may be prevented from reaching the skin by the layer of ink, thus making them unable to perform prayers during the 24-hour period that the ink is applied.

TTDI Market has no heritage value

MAKING WAY FOR DEVELOPMENT: Ahmad Fuad said City Hall wants to maximise the use of the land which is valued at RM60mil
Photo & story from: (By MEENA LAKSHANA, 2/12/2011)
The 25-year-old wet market in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) that is slated for demolition does not have an heritage value. Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail said this following objections from residents and traders on the proposal to have the market make way for new development.
This sparked an uproar among traders and residents who wanted the market spared and upgraded instead. The traders, who were relocated there from the former Central Market in Jalan Hang Kasturi, argued the market should be maintained for its sentimental value and history.
Stressing City Hall had not decided on the development at the market site, Ahmad Fuad said it would provide better facilities for both traders and customers. “The market has no heritage element. We want to maximise the use of the land, which is valued at RM60 million. The revenue we receive from the proposed development, when completed, would trickle down so we can provide proper facilities to traders and their customers. “Under the proposed development, there would be an extra 200 parking spots available for the public.” The mayor said City Hall was losing out on land capitalisation, as the market’s 300 to 400 traders were only paying RM10 in monthly rent for the past 30 years. Ahmad Fuad said the proposed development involved service apartments that would be linked to the proposed Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station nearby. He said City Hall had, however, imposed conditions on the developer for it to monetarily compensate traders or provide them an alternative business site. “We have already identified a 0.5-acre plot of land nearby but the developer has to get back to us with their decision.”
When contacted, TTDI Market Traders Association president Jenny Loo said City Hall should explain details of the plan to them. She said the market was being patronised by residents from Sungai Buloh, Hartamas and Kota Damansara. TTDI RA chairman Mohd Hatim Abdullah said they opposed the proposed development, pending its details. He said City Hall had yet to meet residents on the proposed development.

RM200m for better roads, funds for resurfacing of tracks in KL next year will also be increased

AHMAD FUAD: Not all roads fall under City Hall’s jurisdiction

GAPING HOLE: Lim (2nd from left) indicates to the dangerous pothole at a parking lot behind Hong Leong bank at Jalan Segambut Utara
Photos & story from: (By MEENA LAKSHANA, 1/12/2011)
Kuala Lumpur City Hall will allocate RM200 million for road maintenance and resurfacing works next year. Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail said the council was taking seriously the rapid deterioration of roads around Kuala Lumpur in deciding to increase the allocation. “This year we assigned a total of RM117 million for road maintenance, out of which RM56 million was for road resurfacing,” he said during a press conference at City Hall headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut yesterday. “Next year, we are allocating an additional RM83 million for the exercise. Half of the (RM200 million) allocation will be specifically for road patching,” he said. Although City Hall were criticised by residents for the poor quality of roads in the city, Ahmad Fuad said not all roads fell under their jurisdiction. He said about 60 per cent of roads in the city which are in dire conditions were caused by utility companies conducting upgrading works at midnight without City Hall’s knowledge. Ahmad Fuad said the council had already informed the utility companies involved to use a new method called horizontal directional digging in their upgrading works.
“This technology uses a machine that digs underground sparing the entire stretch of road from damage,” he said. “Most utility companies complained it is three to five times more expensive than the conventional method. So far, only Gas Malaysia Berhad utilises the technology with Maxis about to start.”
Ahmad Fuad said City Hall also proposed to utility companies to set up a fund for road resurfacing works. “For the time being, only Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) had such a fund,” he said.
Ahmad Fuad said other contributing factors to bad road conditions included the rainy season, spillage of diesel and concrete on roads, as well as illegal digging of roads. He said out of 49 roads identified for resurfacing this year, a total of 37 roads were completed. This included Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Petaling, Jalan Pudu, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Sentul, Jalan Damansara, Jalan Kepong, Jalan Pantai Baru, Taman Sri Petaling and Jalan Damansara. He said 10 other roads were in the midst of completion and City Hall was in the process of appointing contractors for the two remaining roads namely Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz and Jalan Genting Klang.
MP claims City Hall using old ways to resurface roads
Kuala Lumpur City Hall should do away with outdated technology in repairing potholes around the city. Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng claimed City Hall’s present contractors used outdated technology to resurface damaged roads. “They should embrace new technology. Nowadays, City Hall were using steam rollers to patch up roads, which required a longer time,” he said after a press conference to highlight three large potholes at a parking lot behind Hong Leong Bank at Jalan Segambut Utara earlier this week. Lim said he received an average of three complaints on potholes daily at various locations in his constituency. “This shows the quality of roads in KL is inferior and resurfacing work is of substandard quality,” he said.
Lim pointed out the biggest of the three potholes in Jalan Segambut Utara measured five feet in diameter (152cm) and six inches (15cm) deep. “The potholes were here for three months and getting wider by the day and Jalan Segambut Utara is not even a busy street,” he said. Lim said complaints were lodged with City Hall but no action was taken to patch the holes. “The contractors just covered it with sand,” he said.
When met, Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail said the potholes at the parking lot are not under City Hall’s jurisdiction. Refuting claims it was using dated technology to resurface roads in the city, Ahmad Fuad said materials used for resurfacing roads took precedence over the type of technology used.
Related news: Utility firms may have to pay deposit

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Potholes a menace to motorists

Pic from Sin Chew Daily

The huge pothole in Jalan Segambut Utara poses a danger to motorists. Pics by Salhani Ibrahim
Source: (By VEENA BABULAL, 30/11/2011)
Three large potholes in a free parking lot behind the RHB bank in Jalan Segambut Utara is a menace to motorists of the business district. The largest of the holes was found to measure about 1.5m in diameter and 15cm deep. Streets found that the holes were so large that motorists entering the car park would try to avoid one hole but would inevitably end up in another. Some unsuspecting motorists ended up in all three holes as the cars parked there had blocked the view of the holes. The parking lot as well as the surrounding roads of Jalan Segambut Tengah and Jalan Segambut Pusat were also riddled with potholes.
Cheryl Chia, a visitor, said the problem was compounded by insufficient parking space in the business area. "Car owners using the parking lot which has ample parking space risk getting a flat and their undercarriage damaged. Motorcyclists can also fall and hurt themselves badly as the road is slippery and full of puddles now," said the 52-year-old housewife.
Segambut member of parliament Lim Lip Eng said based on the complaints received, the holes appeared at least three months ago. Since then complaints about the three gaping holes have accounted for most of the complaints he has received on potholes. "I have informed City Hall numerous times. However, besides temporarily covering the holes with sand, no follow-up action by City Hall has been taken," he said.
"I find it strange that the holes would appear at the parking lot and back alley of shops since heavy vehicles do not ply there. Most potholes appear on busy roads and in residential areas," he said, adding that the building material used for the construction of roads in the city was generally of inferior quality. The patch-up jobs were shoddy, Lim claimed.
"Potholes seem to be re-appearing so often that I wonder whether the contractors are doing the patching job according to proper specifications," he said, adding that he received at least three complaints on potholes daily.
Lim claimed that he could not reach the call centre on weekends and public holidays, contrary to media reports on its working hours.
When City Hall call centre was launched last year, reports stated that members of the public can contact it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lim said the service provided by the call centre lags behind that of other countries, citing United Kingdom as an example. Complainants there have only to log on to the council's website and register their problems and it would be followed up immediately. He urged mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail to consider his suggestion of setting up a 10-member squad team to respond to complaints on potholes as well as survey the roads in search of potholes to patch.