Monday, August 26, 2013

Minister delays gazetting KL Plan as protests arise over green concerns

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 26 — The gazette of the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 scheduled next month will be delayed pending a review with Federal Territories lawmakers, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said today.
Asked what objections there were to the plan, Tengku Adnan said there were “1,001 things”, but did not elaborate further. “We will look at DBKL’s master plan,” he told reporters after a meeting here with Federal Territories MPs across the political divide.
“We’ll relook at it,” he said, adding that this would be done together with the lawmakers from the Federal Territories.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said separately after the meeting that there were environmental concerns with the draft KL Plan.
“We want it to be gazetted as a green lung permanently,” Lim told reporters.
English daily The Star reported in March last year that the draft KL Plan was exhibited for public objection in 2008. The plan was amended based on public hearings and included feedback on government policies like on the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley, the National Key Economic Areas, as well as the mass rapid transit (MRT) project.
But the plan was delayed from gazette in 2011 due to the amendments, as well as the need to resolve other issues on public transport, waste management, the redevelopment of Kampung Baru, and Greater KL/Klang Valley projects.
Related news: Gazettement of KL Draft City Plan postponed

Sunday, August 25, 2013

DAP offers to help AGC convict ‘correct’ Altantuya killers

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 ― The DAP legal bureau today offered its services to prosecutors in the high-profile murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, suggesting that an overworked Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) may have led to the acquittal of two former policemen previously convicted of the killing. This comes as Segambut MP and bureau member Lim Lip Eng (picture) lodged a police report in Jinjang here over the Court of Appeal’s decision to free ex-police commandos Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar of their conviction in 2009 of the gruesome murder.
“Give DAP legal bureau the fiat (authorisation order), we will make sure the correct person is prosecuted and convicted,” Lim said in a statement here.
Speaking to The Malay Mail Online on the phone, Lim said the bureau was offering its help to the AGC due to the high-profile nature of the case. “Maybe the AGC is short-handed. We just want to offer our help; together we can solve the case,” he said.
He pointed out that the move was permissible by law, citing the recent appointment of lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as public prosecutor in the appeal against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II acquittal. Muhammad Shafee was given the authority by the Attorney-General to lead the prosecution team in its appeal against Anwar’s acquittal on a charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Anwar’s defence team, however, filed a motion in the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya yesterday to disqualify the appointment.
Earlier today, PKR’s R. Sivarasa criticised the Court of Appeal over the two former policemen’s acquittal, saying it should have ordered a retrial instead. The Subang MP stressed that the appellate court was empowered to do so, especially when there were a number of key witnesses who were not called during the High Court trial that led to the duo’s conviction in 2009. “There is ample power under the law in section 60 of the Courts Judicature Act 1964 to order a retrial which is regularly done in appeals,” Sivarasa said.
In a decision that stirred controversy yesterday, a three-man panel of the appellate court unanimously allowed Azilah and Sirul’s appeal. Azilah and Sirul, both formerly with the police’s Special Action Unit (UTK), had been found guilty in 2009 of the murder of Altantuya in Mukim Bukit Raja in Klang between 10pm on October 19, 2006 and 1am on October 20, 2006.
The Mongolian model’s murder trial had been surrounded by political intrigue due to links drawn from the personalities involved in the case. Azilah and Sirul had been part of a security detail for then-Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak while Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged with and later acquitted of abetting the duo, was a former adviser to Najib. During the course of their trial, it was revealed that Altantuya was shot and her body blown-up with explosives in a jungle clearing on the night of October 19.
The duo had been charged under section 149 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction. Sirul and Azilah were both released from Tapah Prison yesterday after the Court of Appeal overturned the decision.
Related news: 'Hand over Altantuya prosecution duties to DAP'

Friday, August 23, 2013

No cutting corners in RM14.2mil pedestrian bridge

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad has denied cutting corners in the construction of a RM14.2 million pedestrian bridge linking the Sultan Ismail LRT to the Medan Tuanku monorail.
Prasarana group director of infrastructure services Masnizam Hisham  reaffirmed that the construction of the bridge had kept to the original design. "We wish to reaffirm that the finishes of the bridge had remained the same as it was designed," she said.
Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng had raised several complaints over the pedestrian bridge, including the fact that half its lights were not working.
Masnizam explained that this was due to cable theft and electricity supply was restored on Aug 19 when the cables were replaced. She added that Prasarana will step-up the deployment of auxiliary police to prevent a recurrence of cable thefts.
Steps taken to address complaints
She also addressed several other complaints about the bridge by the MPs, including:
·         Lifts and escalators are under going testing by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health and will begin operation in November.
·         CCTVs not part of the bridge's scope of work but will be installed in future to enhance security.
·         Automatic plant watering system is working but only at night for pedestrian's convenience. Plants wilted by searing heat will be replaced.
Masnizam stressed that Prasarana had obtained the project through open tender and the construction cost had factored in the area's the busy and confined environment.

TI-M wants all procurement documents declassified

Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) is urging that all procurement documents, including those for the Automated Enforcement System (AES) be declassified.
"Official secrets or top secrets should only apply to sensitive government documents involving the procurement of military defence equipment; all other documents should be made available to the people's representatives for scrutiny.
"This will also help restore public confidence in the government, which in the past, has always been seen as operating in a cloud of secrecy," it said in a statement yesterday.
The corruption watchdog was responding to Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng's press conference on Wednesday highlighting that the concession agreements with AES' concessionaires Tegap Sdn Bhd and Ates Sdn Bhd are state secrets.
This is based on inquiries to acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussien, to which he said in a parliamentary written reply on July 17 that the documents are classified.
"For the attention of the Honourable House, the terms and conditions of the concession agreement are classified/secret documents," said the minister.
"Therefore in line with Rule 23(1)(f) of the Standing Orders ‘a question may not request for an explanation on anything that is secret', the contents of the agreement cannot be disclosed in the August House."
Remove cloud of secrecy
TI-M said it is disappointed to learn of this development, saying that there is no reason to classify the documents as official secrets.
It also urged the government to consider abolishing the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and - if it is serious about fighting corruption - emulate Selangor and Penang in enacting freedom of information laws.
"Removing the cloud of secrecy around public procurements is the best way to ensure all procurements are done above board," said the anti-corruption watchdog.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why is AES a national secret, asks MP

Ahli Parlimen Segambut Lim Lip Eng (kanan) akan menggunakan Dewan Rakyat untuk bongkar rahsia AES. Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Nazir Sufari, 21 Ogos, 2013.
Lim Lip Eng has lashed out at acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, questioning why the Automated Enforcement System (AES) is a “national secret”.
Lim was referring to Hishammuddin’s announcement yesterday that the government was planning to take over the AES from the two private companies running it and that compensation may be paid. Lim told reporters today, “I think all Malaysians will want to know how much compensation will be paid to the two companies and what the terms of the original agreement were.
“I raised the question in Parliament last month and the minster replied that the documents were classified and secret. “This is about the installation of cameras by the roadside and he says this is a national secret. So secret that even MPs can’t know about it?” the Segambut MP asked.
The AES was set up last September and concessionaires were given to Tegap Sdn Bhd and Ates Sgn Bhd to operate the AES road-side speed cameras nationwide.
Lim said that he would raise the issue again in the coming Parliament session and that it was up to Hishammuddin to come clean on the deal.
“I will ask the acting transport minister to come clean, disclose to the public what actually transpired, and what compensation will be awarded to the companies.
“The Najib (Abdul Razak) government’s transformation programme has ceased to transform, it is dead in this AES project,” Lip Eng added.
Related news: DAP akan guna Parlimen, bongkar “rahsia” syarikat konsesi AES

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Residents upset with plans to convert houses into 10-storey condo

Source: (BY STEVEN DANIEL, 19/8/2013) 
Unhappy lot: Lim (fourth from right) and Lee (third from right) and other residents holding a notice of the proposed plan to build the 10-storey building. Behind them is the double-storey house earmarked for the development.
PLANS to convert two double-storey terrace houses — one a corner lot — in Jalan Sri Hartamas 17, Kuala Lumpur, into a 10-storey condominium has left residents in the area fuming.
Sri Hartamas Residents Associa-tion (RA) committee member Joseph Ki, 52, an architect, said the RA first found out about the proposal for the project in January. “We saw a public notice in several newspapers in January. Following this, a meeting with residents was held and we submitted a petition, with 104 signatures, protesting against the proposal. “We also complained to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL),” he said during a press conference in Plaza Damas yesterday. He said the 10-storey structure was proposed to be built on two lots of double-storey link houses measuring no more than an estimated 15,000 square feet.
“The developer plans to construct a high-rise building on land gazetted for low-density residential development. If this project is approved before the KL City 2020 plan is gazetted, other residential areas could see high-rise buildings taking shape. Anyone can just buy several houses and convert them into high-rise buildings. “It is shocking,” said Ki.
Since the discovery, the RA had written numerous letters to DBKL but has yet to receive any response.
“We only got a reply when Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng wrote to the Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. He said the minister’s office replied that the project was approved,” said RA chairman Gerald Lee. He said they were shocked as over 90% of the residents had objected to the proposal.
Ronnie Ng, 62, a retiree whose double-storey terrace house is located beside the proposed location of the 10-storey condominium, said he was appalled by the move. “Not only will there be massive construction work beside my house for the next two years, it will also cause noise and dust pollution as well as safety and security problems. The price of property here will also go down as the area will be marred,” said Ng.
Ki said the developer and DBKL were also not transparent about the entire project because they had found out that the 10-storey structure would also include two levels for offices. “The roads here are meant for residential usage. If the developer includes office units as well, it will lead to traffic woes in the area. As it is, the area is already congested, with illegal parking around the Plaza Damas area. “With the KL City 2020 plan about to be gazetted, we have no choice but to turn to the media to highlight this problem. Our next course of action is to hold a peaceful protest in front of DBKL and we may also resort to taking legal action against DBKL,” Lee said.
Lim also promised to bring up the issue with the FT minister at a meeting on Aug 26.
Meanwhile, when contacted, DBKL mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, via SMS said: “DBKL cannot simply change and convert any land/lot use without following a proper process as stipulated under the Federal Territories Planning Act,” he said, adding that they would look into the RA’s claims.
Related news: Condo project raises ire of Sri Hartamas folk Condo project raises ire of Sri Hartamas folk - Central - New Straits Times

Monday, August 19, 2013

Call for City Hall to take on rubbish collection

Rubbish strewn all over Jalan Arafah in Segambut Industrial Park. Pic by Stephen Ng
Source: (By STEPHEN NG |, 18/8/2013)

LONG-STANDING ISSUE: The authority has been asked to step in to resolve the problem of illegal dumping in Jalan Arafah at the Segambut Industrial Park
Member of parliament of Segambut Lim Lip Eng wants a permanent solution for the illegal dumping in Jalan Arafah, Segambut Industrial Park. According to Lim, the issue has been around for more than a decade.
"Both City Hall and Alam Flora say that it is not their responsibility to clear the rubbish in an industrial area, unless the owners pay the contract fees," he said.
In other words, if the area has not been handed over to City Hall, it is still under the jurisdiction of the developer, and the collection of rubbish will not be carried out by the solid waste concessionaire, Alam Flora.
Lim, however, said he has been getting help from Alam Flora to collect the rubbish at the junction of Jalan Arafah, Segambut, from time to time. "Alam Flora has been kind enough to do it once in every few weeks," he said.
Lim urged City Hall and the developer to solve the issue once and for all.
"If the contract has to be awarded to Alam Flora, City Hall can then charge it to the developer," he said. "This would force the developer to immediately work out a handover plan which will eventually benefit the industrial lot owners and reduce illegal dumping activities in the area."
Alam Flora area service manager for Kuala Lumpur Nurulhuda Md Shariff said that he is aware of the problem.
"Although we are not directly responsible for the job, we try to do our best to help, but the moment we clean up the area, it starts all over again," he said. "There are, in fact, 250 active and repetitive illegal dumping sites on our schedule."
Nurulhuda said sometimes it is contributed by the illegal hawkers, renovation contractors and unlicensed rubbish collection contractors and pasar malam traders in the area who take advantage of the situation to dump their own rubbish, instead of putting them into bins that are allocated for them. "We will continue to do our part as this is our job," he said.

Flaws dog new RM14.2mil pedestrian bridge

The public elevated walkway connecting the Sultan Ismail light rail transit (LRT) station to the Medan Tuanku monorail station. — Pictures by Choo Choo May
Source: (Story by Ram Anand, 17/8/2013)
Despite costing RM14.2 million, a recently launched pedestrian bridge connecting a monorail station and a LRT station has not been functioning properly. Half of the lights on the 680 metre bridge broke down within a week after its launch, said Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun.
The MPs said the escalators and lifts on both ends of the bridge also never functioned. The bridge connects the Medan Tuanku monorail station with the Sultan Ismail LRT station, launched on July 8. It was commissioned by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and built by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad.
"Also, there was supposed to be CCTV cameras at the bridge for pedestrian security. But that has not been installed," Lim noted. He said that there were also supposed to be benches for the elderly and pregnant women, but even that are absent. "The blind pedestrian track ends halfway across the bridge, and the plant watering system has not been working, causing the plants to die," Lim said. He said that the condition of the bridge after just one month of its launching seems to suggest that "cutting corners" was involved in s the project.
'Cement from Mars?'
Lim noted that at RM14.2 million the bridge was not cheap. "I don't know what the cost was for. I don't know what cement costs so much. Maybe the cement was from Mars," he quipped. Lim said that he had checked the status of the bridge with DBKL and was informed that the builders Prasarana has yet to hand over the management of the bridge back to the council. "They said there was no electricity so the lifts were not working yet," Lim said. "DBKL has never succeeded in any project. We need to revamp DBKL's delivery system," he added.
Fong, meanwhile, said that there should be a maintenance period of at least six months undertaken by Prasarana to ensure the bridge's facilities are fully functional before the handover to DBKL. He noted that taking into consideration the length of the bridge, construction works had consumed around RM20,000 for every metre.
Related news: After a month, pricey RM14m bridge looking worn out -

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paint sprayer claims identity theft, now owes banks RM245,000

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 16): A 25-year-old car paint sprayer is at the risk of being declared bankrupt after two cars were bought using his stolen MyKad.
According to hire purchase papers from AmBank and RHB, Wong Leong Chun bought two Nissan Sylphy sedans worth more than RM114,000 each in a matter of weeks in July 2011. However, Wong, who earns RM1,500 monthly, said he had neither purchased the cars nor signed up for the loans.
"In fact, he was not aware of this problem until he received a legal notice from Ambank, which has initiated bankruptcy proceedings against him," said Segambut DAP MP Lim Lip Eng, at a press conference today. Speaking on behalf of Wong, Lim said the former has lost his MyKad twice and it has been verified by the National Registration Department (NRD).
Wong had approached Lim last month after no action taken on the police reports the former had lodged in December last year and in January this year regarding the confusion. Wong who is only to communicate in Mandarin only, managed say a few words when asked on the case. "I've not been able to be at peace, to sleep."
According a letter from the NRD, Wong lost his MyKad for the first time in Nov 19, 2007 and for the second time when his wallet was stolen on Aug 1, 2011, a month after the cars were purchased.
"This is why there is a doubt of identity theft because once a new MyKad has been issued the old one should be automatically terminated," said Lim. Moreover, in the process of sanctioning a loan, a bank would have to verify the individual's detail using the biometric system and the borrower has to be present before the bank officer and agent when the documents are signed, he said. "As the loans were not serviced, Ambank has taken him (Wong) to the High Court here and wants him to pay RM113,784.94 or be declared a bankrupt.
According to RHB hire purchase documents, Wong owes the bank RM131,480.
"The legal notice was served on Dec 22 last year following which Wong had lodged another police report stating that he had lost MyKad twice and that it could have been misused to purchase the cars, but there has not been an investigation," said Lim.
According to the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) database, Wong has been blacklisted as a result of the two unserviced borrowings. Upon the shocking discovery of his credit status, Wong had again lodged another police report on Jan 16 on similar grounds in order to compel Bank Negara to clear his credit ratings.
Lim said he has written to both the banks asking for verification documents signed by Wong as well as to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar on the progress of investigations on the reports lodged, but to no avail.
"Wong was supposed to appear in court on July 11 but he didn't go. I'm not sure when is the bankruptcy case will come up again but we will raise this issue when it does or appeal on the judgment," said Lim. Lim, who is also a lawyer, added that he will write to Bank Negara on Wong's behalf to compel the national financial institution to investigate the case and obtain reports from the two banks.
"He (Wong) has been having sleepless night because he is so afraid he would declared bankrupt for something he has no memory of.
"From the police reports he has lodged, we must at least give him the benefit of doubt," said Lim, noting that the crime could have  been committed by sales agent or a banking staff. He has urged the police department to blacklist both the cars in order to get to the root of the matter.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Need to complete road widening in Jalan Segambut


Monday, August 12, 2013

MP questions possible plan of using TTDI's Rimba Kiara for relocation project

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 9): Part of the Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail may be allocated towards the relocation of former Kiara rubber estate workers, raising questions if the recreational park would be compensated with another parcel of land. 
According to a reply from Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor in Parliament last month, a total of 12 acres between Taman Tun Dr Ismail and the Kelab Golf Pekhidmatan Awam (KGPA) has been identified for the relocation project.
"Part of the Rimba Kiara Park would be taken over for the relocation project but my question is whether the area taken for the project would be replaced?" Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said at a press conference this morning. Rimba Kiara Park is a popular recreational spot among local and nearby residents. It has several trails making is a favourite among hikers. 
However, Taman Tun Dr Ismail resident's association chairman Mohd Hatim Abdullah said the allocation of part of the park for the relocation project is not certain. "So far, there has been no concrete information about the 12 acres of land in question," he said. "However, if a public hearing is held, we will object it. We want the park land to be preserved," he added.
According to Lim, the land of Taman Rimba Kiara is gazetted as open space.
Tengku Adnan had said that the development plan would comprise 350 units of houses, each with a floor space of 850 sq ft. Out of the 350 units, 183 houses would be sold at RM25,000 to the former estate workers and RM150,000 to the second generation of families. The remaining 167 houses would be sold at the open market. Tengku Adnan had also revealed that the proposed development is still in the early stages of planning and would be subjected to amendments and approvals from all related agencies.
However, Lim cautioned the longhouse residents about the government’s plans. "I told the residents not to get overexcited because nothing is finalised yet." 
MIC chairman for Bukit Kiara longhouses T Arumugam said the residents are happy that the federal government had acceded to the requests of the former estate workers. “We have been living here for the past 30 years. We were promised houses for a long time now but nobody had helped us,” he said.
In 2009, former Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan had said that the residents would be given houses as promised and would be able to move into their new abodes over the next two years.
The wooden houses are in poor condition and in desperate need of repairs. Kuala Lumpur City Hall is in charge of maintaining the longhouses but service is slow. "They take a long time to conduct repairs. Sometimes, they take two to three months to do the repairs," said Arumugam.
Mohd Hatim of TTDI residents' association said the families deserve proper housing. "Just look at their homes. It is made of planks. It won't last long. They deserve proper houses." 
A total of 100 families of the original workers at the rubber estate were relocated from Bukit Kiara to the longhouse in Taman Tun Dr Ismail in July 1982. The relocation was meant to be a temporary measure until the familities were given proper housing. The number of families has increased to 183 families, comprising the second generation of estate workers.
Related news: Unclear over fate of Bkt Kiara park
Settlers want to join discussions on housing project

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin daripada kami sekeluarga Lim Lip Eng.