Saturday, October 31, 2009

Regular meeting with residents

Below are just some photographs captured during my regular meet-the-people session at different areas in my constituency:
Dialogue with residents of Pangsapuri Permai in USJ 1 together with councillors Roslan Shahir and Tony Chang, COB Ms Tee, officers from MPSJ and the Joint Management Body

A lot of owners turned up for the dialogue

One of the many issues raised was on issuance of strata titles. The Developer has recently submitted the application to Land Office and the residents are now awaiting the issuance of strata titles.

At Masjid Darul Ehsan in SS15

Meeting the residents of USJ 11/2 and we had a discussion on gated & guarded. Security is of utmost importance to many residents in USJ. MPSJ councillor Rajiv Rishyakaran, USJ RA Chairman Mr Melvin Lee and SJ Alert Mr Robert Chan were also present.

With the pro-tem committee of USJ 11/2

Friday, October 30, 2009

REVOKED subject to confirmation by the State Planning Committee

The councillors in MPSJ made a decision to revoke the Development Order given to the developer for the development of a 9 storey commercial building on Telekom's land reserved for telecommunication use in USJ 6. According to S25 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, no revocation shall have effect until confirmed by the State Planning Committee (selected State Excos are members of the State Planning Committee).

As reported in Malaysiakini on Oct 28:

The Subang Jaya town council today unanimously agreed to revoke its order granting permission to Telekom Malaysia (TM) to build a nine-storey commercial building on land designated for public utilities.

The council agreed at a special meeting that allowing the development to proceed would be detrimental to the residents in the area. Nevertheless, the council's decision has to be endorsed by the state planning committee.

The MPSJ decision comes at a critical junction as public utility companies have been gunning for a precedent to allow for commercial development of their public utility land.

If such a precedent had been allowed in Subang Jaya, the value of their land banks would multiply overnight. However, much of the land is situated within residential areas, resulting in residents getting up in arms over such development proposals at their doorstep.

"We are putting the people first," said Subang Jaya councillor Tony Chang. "We would like to set a state wide precedent. We believe that public utility companies - now corporatised - should not be allowed to dispose off their unutilised land banks for profit.

"Instead the land should be offered back to the state, to be maintained as a green lung for the public benefit," he added.

The spokesperson of the effected residents Philip Soong welcomed the council decision.

"We are happy that the council has decided that utility land should be kept at such, it makes no sense to allow for such development in residential areas."

"I would like to thank the Subang Jaya state assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh for her support and for the councillors for making the right decision,"

"It's nice to see the government respecting the rakyat," he said.

Conflicts avoided

Yeoh said she supported the council decision fully.

"It was the right decision. If the development goes ahead, it will set a precedent for all utility land and we will have conflicts everywhere," she said, adding that the state planning committee should endorse the decision of the town council.

Today's MPSJ decision comes after years of attempts by TM to develop the land.

Under the previous BN government, the Subang Jaya town council twice rejected applications to sub-divide the land, stating that it should remain as land for public utilities reserved for telecommunication use.

However, a new application to develop the land as part of a joint venture with developer Pujangga Budiman was approved by the state planning committee in November 2008, as the land title had mysteriously been re-designated as commercial land.

USJ residents then challenged the development approval, stating that the land has always been recognised as public utility reserve and there has not been any process to covert the land to commercial land.

The same was also reported in The Star and NST. Read more about the issue here. I hope the State Planning Committee will do the right thing by preserving utility lands. We await their decision. I am committed to this cause - to ensure that unsustainable development does not take place under the Pakatan Rakyat government in the Subang Jaya constituency.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Deepavali cheer

As many would know by now, being an elected representative is no easy task - I mean being a true wakil rakyat representing the needs of different groups in a constituency. I have made my stand known very clear from the start : I detest racial politics. I do not believe in speaking up for one particular race only.

Last year, I took time to visit different areas in DUN Subang Jaya to understand the needs of the people in each housing area. I believe in spending time with the people to effectively debate and engage in policies affecting them. For Deepavali this year, we visited selected Hindu families that are in need all over my constituency to provide essential goods like rice, sugar, cereal, beehoon and etc. This can ease some of their financial burdens. Soon, my office will be coordinating employment opportunities for some of these families. Empowerment is better than charity. Below are some photographs captured during those visits:
Meeting the families from the flats in SS19

Meeting the families from Good Year Court 2 in USJ 6

Meeting the families from the flats in SS13

Meeting the priests from Sri Varatharajah Perumal Temple in SS13

Meeting the families from Bandar Sunway

Presenting a cheque of RM10,000 on behalf of the Selangor State Government to Sri Samundi Easwary temple in PJS 9. A representative from Hindu Sangam was also present.

Updates on Lagoon Perdana (uncompleted units)

Below are the updates (in blue) on Lagoon Perdana (uncompleted units) which I received from the Developer:

Blocks 1, 8 and 3
Waiting for TNB to bring in the equipment by Dec 09. However we are trying to start the preliminary inspections for Blocks 1 & 8 with MPSJ in Nov 2009.

Block 7
We had submitted the revised proposal to MPSJ for planning approval in mid-Sept.

Kementerian Perumahan Dan Kerajaan Tempatan (KPKT) is monitoring this project. I have also spoken to TNB and have urged TNB to ensure there is no further delay. TNB has verified that works for TNB substation should be completed in early December 2009.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A(H1N1) and tremors

Recently I visited the family of the teacher of SMK USJ 12 who passed away suddenly because of A(H1N1). I handed a cheque of RM2500 pledged from my annual allocation to the mother of the late teacher. Mr Chim of Subang Jaya Buddhists Association (SJBA) was present together with me and he too presented a token from the devotees of SJBA. The family is still very saddened by the sudden demise and I encouraged them to remain strong to face the days ahead. Even though we do not read much about A(H1N1) in the media recently, I do urge all residents to continue to exercise caution and to practice good hygiene.
While I was still at the house of the late teacher, I received news about the tremors felt by residents of Angsana flats in USJ 1 as a result of the earthquake in Indonesia. I rushed to the site immediately. Some residents were afraid and they gathered at the car park for more information and instructions.

Members of Jawatankuasa Penduduk Zone 4 (JKP) led by MPSJ councillor En Roslan Shahir were present together with the rescue team from MPSJ, bomba, police, developer and also staff of MPSJ from Jabatan Bangunan.

Yang Dipertua of MPSJ also arrived and we jointly visited the flats. No apparent cracks were found by Jabatan Bangunan of MPSJ.

We set up some canopies at the car park for the residents in the event of further tremors (thankfully none!). I have also spoken to OSC councillor Roslan Shahir to consider and discuss the technical requirement for future developments in view of earthquakes in neighbouring countries.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Proposed KJ LRT route extension to Subang Jaya/USJ

Dear Residents,

As most of you maybe aware the LRT is coming to Subang Jaya/USJ, and it will effect you and your family in more ways than one, be sure you keep yourself abreast of details of what is happening, more so because you are a resident of Subang Jaya/USJ/Bandar Sunway.

Where to view the Display of the Proposed LRT Route
Details of proposed LRT route and station details are now on display for public viewing/comments at:
Display Venue : Lobby, MPSJ Complex in USJ5, Subang Jaya

You can gather additional information about the LRT Extension at the following blogsite setup specially for this purpose
http://lrttosubangjaya.blogspot.com/

Ad-Hoc Action Group
An ad-hoc Action Group comprising Community Representatives from JKP Zones 1 - 3, Subang Jaya Residents Association, USJ Residents Association, Bandar Sunway Residents Association, SJ Alert & Transit has been formed to address various concerns, social and environmental impact issues pertaining to the Proposed LRT line extension into Subang Jaya.

Comments/Feedback Forms
Please note that the ad-hoc Action Group have prepared a special form to gather your Feedback/Comments and these are now available at the display area of the LRT Route in MPSJ Complex, ADUN Subang Jaya Office, participating JKPs and Residents Association it can also be downloaded from:
http://lrttosubangjaya.blogspot.com/2009/10/lrt-to-subang-jayausj-feedback-comment.html

How/Where to submit the Feedback Form
Special Note: Comments/Feedback Forms must be complete to be considered valid and must be submitted by: Wednesday, 25/11/2009

1. By Hand: Drop into the designated box provided at the Lobby MPSJ Complex - USJ5

2. By Fax: 03-5631 2757

3. By Mail: P.O.Box3215, 47509 Subang Jaya, Selangor D.E.

Your Feedback/Comments will help the ad-hoc Action Group to prepare the necessary submissions and/or new recommendations to the Department of Railways and Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad.

You are also welcome to submit feedback in your personal capacity, details of which are available at the Department of Railways Website: http://www.lrtextension.com/

In the coming days, banners will be put up along the proposed LRT routes and on overhead bridges along Persiaran Kewajipan and Persiaran Tujuan as well as all proposed LRT Station sites in Subang Jaya/USJ for your added attention.

Inform your neighbours and friends of what is being done to ensure that our Community addresses the various impact issues before the Line is being built. Support this effort by sending in your Comments.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conference for Students

My office is working with FamilyLife Malaysia to organise this conference for students in DUN Subang Jaya. I want to see young people in an urban area like Subang Jaya lead a healthy lifestyle and families strengthened. Details as follows:-

Date : Saturday, 24 October 2009

Time : 8:30am to 5:00pm

Venue : Lecture Theater 6, Sunway University College

Click here to register (limited to 100 students only). Admission by registration only.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"No comment"

Last Thursday, I called for a press conference together with devotees of Subang Jaya Buddhist Association on the promised pedestrian bridge at Persiaran Kewajipan. Persiaran Kewajipan is under the jurisdiction of JKR (a federal agency). This issue was first published during the campaign time for the General Elections 2008. Read about the promise made here. After the elections, residents of Subang Jaya (who are still paying income tax to the Federal Government!) were only given a "No Comment" reply when they asked for the promised pedestrian bridge.
Suicide road
Reported in the Malay Mail on Friday, October 9th, 2009. See reports in NST, Sinar Harian and The Star.

THE Subang-Kelana Link has never ceased to spark controversy. The latest, when the Public Works Department (PWD) failed to keep its word in building a pedestrian bridge along Persiaran Kewajipan, Subang Jaya.as promised to Subang Jaya Buddhist Association (SJBA) members Subang Jaya State assemblyman, Hannah Yeoh said an official letter had been sent to Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) by PWD to confirm that a bridge to connect SS13 and SS14 would be built. However, PWD allegedly decided to pull the plug a few months ago to the dissatisfaction of residents.

“On Feb 18, 2008, a letter was sent to MPSJ indicating that a pedestrian bridge would be built to accommodate SJBA devotees and its neighbour, a Hindu temple.But they decided not to build the bridge and when we asked for an explanation, they only said ‘no comment,’” Yeoh said.

Meanwhile, SJBA chairman, Chim Siew Choon said many devotees found it difficult to cross the road after the opening of the link.

“The link was supposed to make the road less congested but it’s getting worse. We're just concerned with the safety of residents, especially senior citizens and children.

There were cases where devotees had been knocked down. We don’t want to wait until something fatal occurs for us to open our eyes,” he said.

Subang Jaya resident, Claire Chan, 71, said that it used to be easy for her to visit the association before the link was built. As construction progressed, the difficulties started.

“I believe that people can die anytime, anywhere, but I am an old lady devoted to my religion and I want to go there as often as I can.Back then, it was easy for me to travel on my own by cycling across the street but with the heavy traffic congestion, I now have to cross the busy road three times. I am in my 70s, how am I supposed to use the pedestrian bridge located so far away?” she said.

Another resident, Cheah Suan Cheng, 70, agreed, saying it took her more than an hour to reach the association each time from her home.

“I stay in USJ1 and it's really near the association. But the traffic is unbearable. Last Sunday, many of us were caught in a traffic jam where we had to spend 45 minutes to an hour to get to our destination. The link does not help the congestion at all, it's only making it worse,” she said.
Yeoh said: “The main issue is, they've promised us. We want PWD to honour its promise. If it can spend so much on building the stretch, what's a pedestrian bridge going to cost?”Chim said the association is planning to take the matter further with a signature campaign which will be presented to Public Works Minister, Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor.

“So far, we’ve obtained more than 850 signatures and we expect to get more than a thousand by the end of the week. We’re willing to go that far to get PWD to reconsider the plan,” he said.

Together with devotees of SJBA at Persiaran Kewajipan

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The real 1Malaysia

I just came home from a discussion on issues related to places of worship. I sat there for at least 3 hours listening to the numerous yet different suggestions, feedbacks and opinions from various groups present. One resounding message that sticks out like a sore thumb to me is this: if we continue to operate and regulate everything in this nation based on race and religion, there will be no end to it. Laws and regulations must not recognise skin colour.

Race-based politics have infiltrated our society so much so that for things to change, we need to totally eradicate it and start anew. We must leave no room for exceptions for the survival of race-based politics.

I have been blessed by an encounter I had in Angsana flats in USJ 1. I was invited to visit a young gentleman there who is wheelchair-bound. His name is Chin Kit. When I arrived in Chin Kit’s house, I was informed by his parents that he was out with his friend.
At Chin Kit's house with USJ Residents' Association
I waited for him to return home. I was curious to find out about his transport arrangement. When Chin Kit returned home, my eyes were fixed to his wheelchair. Behind his wheelchair was another young man, Azizul his name.

As we chatted, I discovered that Azizul lives in Pantai Dalam, KL. Azizul would travel from KL to USJ 1 just to spend time with Chin Kit. Azizul also suffers from disability on his hand.

Chin Kit and Azizul
In Chin Kit’s own words:
Azizul used to be my school mate. We studied in the same school before. Now he is one of my best friends. Whenever I want to go to a public place I will call him and he will surely take a bus to come to my house. Then after that we will take a public taxi to travel wherever we want to go. When we get a taxi, he will help carry me in and out of my heavy wheelchair. When we are in public places, we live like normal people, window shopping, buying things, watching movies, and just hanging-out like normal people. So I'm very appreciative and I thank God to have a friend like Azizul. Hopefully our friendship will last forever.”

That encounter had a lasting impression on me. When I came home, I shared this experience with my husband.

Ram as he usually would, said something profound to me, “Do you know why they have such a strong friendship?

Why?”, I asked.

It is because they focus on their similarity, they share in their disability”.

Ram can’t be any more true. Discrimination happens when we magnify our differences. Race-based politics is all about highlighting our differences. Instead of celebrating our similarities as Malaysians, we discriminate and highlight our neighbour’s weaknesses and boast of our own strength. We falsely imagine that we could survive without others.

Chin Kit and Azizul knew their limitations and chose to embrace each other and celebrate their similarity. They know very well that their limitations would grow even more if they focus on their differences. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. They combine effort and have a good time! There is strength in unity.

Whether you are of Malay descent, or of Chinese, or of Indian, Kadazan, political, apolitical, young, old, businessman, professional, trader, community leader or just an ordinary resident – we need to remember this one truth: If as one people we begin to speak the same language, then nothing we plan to do will be impossible for us.

Those of us who are involved in community work will understand this concept full well. Nothing moves an inch when we are divided. In an urban township like Subang Jaya, if each of us becomes selfless and begins to look out for the interest of our neighbours, nothing will be impossible for us. We will be able to rid illegal dumping, stem the rising crime rate, eliminate double parking and many more cases of public nuisance which annoy and inconvenient others around us.

May we be humbled by the lesson learned from Chin Kit and Azizul. We need many more like them to make 1Malaysia a reality and not just a political motto.