Saturday, April 23, 2011

Focus on the family


This month, my focus turns to families. Focus on the Family Malaysia, a smart partner of the National Population & Family Development Board (LPPKN) approached my office and asked if I was keen to participate in their Couple Checkup program. This Couple Checkup (details of which you can find in the column below) is now made available to residents of DUN Subang Jaya for free!! (the ordinary price is RM60 per couple). I am once again channelling the state allocation provided by the Selangor State Government for programs in Subang Jaya back to the people. It is my hope that married couples would seize this opportunity to participate in this program. The Checkup report would be given to each couple to assist them in improving and enriching their marriage.

Marriage is the oldest and most sanctified institution in our society. Subang Jaya residents are often busy with work, activities for their children and friends. Sometimes these can cause stress on our marriages. I am married too, so I understand the demands of work which can subtly come in between husband and wife. When marriages are healthy and fulfilling, we become more productive in our work and our children will be blessed. A stressed marriage can have negative impact on our children. 

I am constantly finding ways to improve the lifestyle of residents in this constituency. Whilst MPSJ focuses on improving infrastructure facilities, I hope to play my part in improving the areas less talked about (which are equally important to a thriving neighbourhood).

So please make full use of these benefits, limited to first 100 married couples only. You will need to sign up at my office (both husband and wife). Addresses must be verified to confirm that you’re a resident in this constituency and then collect a voucher which provides the password for the test to be done. You will be given private space to do this test in my office. Contact person is my assistant, Debbie Phang - debbie@dapsj.com

Whether you’re newly married or will be celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary, this test will benefit you! Suitable for all races.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Details of spending for RM500,000 allocation

Just like the previous 2 years (2008) and (2009), we are now publishing the details of our spending for RM500,000 allocation for 2010. You may click here to read the details.

This yearly allocation granted by the Selangor State Government for each constituency is to be used by the State Assemblyman for grants, programs and expenses for constituents and the running of the State Assemblyman's office.

All applications are submitted to the Petaling Land Office for approval and also audit. If you wish to view the receipts and photographs for any of the grants given and programs organised, kindly contact my assistant Debbie Phang for an appointment during our opening hours.

We believe in being accountable and transparent to the constituents of Subang Jaya. Afterall, this is all about managing and being responsible with taxpayers' funds. I have reiterated this many times and will do it again this time : taxpayers' funds must go back to taxpayers for their benefit.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Zairil Khir Johari speaks

April 19, 2011
 
19 APRIL — Saya berasa amat kesal dan kecewa dengan kenyataan terbaru Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yang mendakwa bahawa parti DAP telah berjaya membawa politik perkauman kepada Sarawak. Tuduhan sedemikian adalah tidak bertanggungjawab dan tidak berasas sama sekali.

Sebaliknya, adalah sindiran-sindiran yang sebegitu rupa yang menjadi punca ketegangan antara kaum di Malaysia. Sebagai seorang bekas Perdana Menteri dan negarawan yang dihormati ramai, beliau sepatutnya lebih matang dan tidak mengapi-apikan tohmahan yang boleh memecah belahkan rakyat.

Sebagai seorang yang telah terlibat secara terperinci dalam proses perancangan, perangkaan strategi dan pelaksanaan kempen DAP untuk Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak baru-baru ini, saya boleh mengesahkan dengan tegasnya bahawa tiada sedikit pun unsur perkauman yang cuba dibangkitkan oleh parti kami.

Sepanjang kempen, isu-isu yang telah kami tekankan adalah seperti masalah pentadbiran, penyalahgunaan kuasa, rasuah yang berleluasa, polisi ekonomi yang tidak memanfaatkan rakyat, inflasi yang kian melambung dan kegagalan kerajaan untuk mengatasi masalah-masalah di atas.

Mungkin dalam pendapat Tun Dr Mahathir, hanya masyarakat Cina sahaja yang mengambil berat tentang isu-isu sedemikian? Bukankah itu satu penghinaan kepada rakyat Sarawak dan rakyat Malaysia secara umumnya?

Sebaliknya, pihak yang telah cuba menakut-nakutkan pengundi dengan isu-isu perkauman adalah parti-parti daripada BN seperti SUPP, PBB dan MCA.

Namun, rakyat Sarawak telah membuktikan kematangan mereka kerana tidak termakan umpan bersifat parokial seperti dakwaan bahawa “masyarakat Cina” akan kehilangan perwakilan dalam kerajaan jika wakil-wakil Cina daripada BN tidak berjaya dalam pilihanraya.

Seperti yang sudah sedia maklum, keputusan pilihanraya jelas menunjukkan bahawa rakyat Sarawak menolak sama sekali unsur-unsur politik perkauman dan sebaliknya inginkan wakil-wakil yang memperjuangkan keadilan dan kebenaran!

Tambahan pula, kenaikan undi yang diperolehi parti DAP bukan hanya daripada satu kaum tertentu. Dalam kawasan-kawasan seperti Meradong, Dudong dan Kirudong, kejayaan kami adalah hasil tambahan undi kaum Dayak yang cukup memberangsangkan. Di Batu Kawah pula, kemenangan DAP di situ tidak mungkin akan berlaku tanpa undi-undi orang Melayu/Melanau yang telah meningkat dalam sokongannya terhadap DAP.

Hakikatnya, saya yakin bahawa Tun Dr Mahathir sedar dan memahami dinamik politik di negeri Sarawak dan juga di seluruh negara. Namun disebabkan motivasi politik, beliau mimilih untuk memainkan sentiment sempit perkauman untuk menjaga kepentingan BN. Sekali lagi, rakyat boleh melihat dengan sendiri bagaimana pemimpin-pemimpin BN akan menggunakan taktik pecah dan perintah untuk mengekalkan kuasa mereka.

Sebagai pengakhir kata, saya ingin mencadangkan satu pepatah bahasa Inggeris: “If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.” Jika anda tidak mempunyai apa-apa yang bernas untuk dikatakan, usahlah meluahkan walau sekata.

* Zairil Khir Johari adalah Setiausaha Politik kepada YAB Lim Guan Eng, Setiausaha Agung DAP.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Warming up to fire safety measures



NST - 12 April 2011

SUBANG JAYA: Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh has called on the Subang Jaya Municipal Council and the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Department to discuss the possibility of encouraging new housing developments to install fire prevention equipment in homes in the future. 

Speaking after launching Rakan Bomba III on Sunday, Yeoh said it was important that a consensus be reached between both parties as there are no guidelines to make it compulsory to have such fire fighting equipment in residential homes.

"Currently, there are no guidelines in the council and they are only relying on the representatives from the department that sits in the One-Stop Centre meetings to endorse a development or otherwise. The council and department do not regulations which make it mandatory for residential homes to have fire fighting equipment like an extinguisher.

"The department does not have authority either, so they can't go into houses to carry out checks. I will get both parties to discuss this matter further," she said. 

Yeoh said she had written to the Housing and Local Government Ministry few months ago requesting for a mobile fire brigade to be stationed in the USJ area.

She said it was vital that a mobile fire brigade to be allocated to the area as the nearest fire and rescue department is in SS17.

With the vehicle and the fire fighting equipment, Yeoh said the mobile fire brigade could respond to a distress call quicker and work on putting out the fire first while waiting for assistance from the Fire and Rescue department.

"There is an industrial area in USJ and when there is a fire in a factory, the damage can be substantial and a mobile fire brigade can help to alleviate the situation.

"I am still waiting for a favourable reply from the ministry," she said, adding that the vehicle could be stationed in the Subang Jaya Municipal Council headquarters in USJ 5.

The Petaling Fire and Rescue Department head Ahmad Fisal Ahyat, who was present at the launch, was agreeable to an earlier suggestion of setting up of a voluntary fire brigade in Subang Jaya, adding that it could help save lives and property.

"We will be ready to render any help to the volunteers," he said.

Yeoh, who also supported the suggestion of a volunteer fire brigade, said Subang Jaya residents were ready to take on the challenge of starting the voluntary fire brigade.

"This is an avenue for our young adults to contribute to the community. It is a healthy activity which will benefit the volunteers as well. I will help to make it a reality," she said.

The SS17 Fire and Rescue Department head Mohd Khairi Daud, who was transferred from Alor Gajah, Malacca, said he looked forward to engaging the community in fire fighting and prevention initiatives.

"I look forward to working closely with residents' associations in this constituency, to teach them to use fire extinguishers in emergencies, and to identify potential fire hazards."

He said it was important for residents to report on faulty fire hydrants without delay for the department to fix the faulty on the same day.

Rakan Bomba III, which started in 2009, is an awareness initiative to bring the Subang Jaya folk and the department closer.

Highlight for the children - learning to use the fire extinguisher!

The Rakan Bomba III held at the Subang Ria Park featured a water rescue at the lake, a demonstration by the department's K9 unit which uses dogs and their handlers in search and rescue operations as well as fire fighting techniques.

It attracted more than 100 participants and visitors.

All photos courtesy of SJ Echo

Monday, April 11, 2011

Syabas' explanation & residents' responses

Why Syabas can't give prior notice

NST : 2011/04/06 

KUALA LUMPUR: No prior notices will be issued for unscheduled water disruption, says Syabas corporate affairs division executive director Abdul Halem Mat Som. 

In a statement sent by Syabas late Tuesday evening, Abdul Halem said the recent water disruption that affected over 9,000 Subang Jaya households was due to an unscheduled water disruption.

He said it was not within the company's standard operating procedure to issue immediate notices when there is an unscheduled disruption in water supply. Whereas, the company is obliged to issue a seven-day notice prior to a scheduled water disruption date.

"The alerts will be sent to the media as well as to Yakin (Unit Kerjasama Informasi Pelanggan) which is under the Customer Services Department. Our Industrial Customer Unit will also be notified, so consumer will be prepared and have time to store water prior to the scheduled water disruption." 

In an earlier statement issued late Saturday, Syabas said the disruption was due to the receding water levels at Effingham, Bukit Gasing and Subang Airport ponds.

Halem said Syabas also faced difficulties filling up the affected ponds as the level of water was at its lowest point and consumer usage was at maximum capacity.

"We had acted swiftly by activating the Emergency Action Plan on Saturday at 3.30pm which included deploying water trucks to the affected areas both in Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. The next day, the water demands had lessened and we managed to restore the supply."

He said the water supply is in a dire strait as usage in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya is very high. "We urge the Government to develop an alternative source of water supply to meet the escalating needs."

By Dawn Chan

NST : 2011/04/07

KUALA LUMPUR: Subang Jaya Residents Association (SJRA) chairman A.S. Gill has described the water disruption incident as unacceptable.
 
"The announcement could have been made as they must have known that the water level was dropping.

"I am not sure if the reason given for not announcing the disruption is acceptable. SJRA members are extremely upset and would like somebody from Syabas to take responsibility. That would be the honourable thing to do," he said.

Echoing Gill, was SS152 and SS15/3 Residents Association chairman Borhan Rahmat.

He said it was unacceptable that Syabas did not alert the residents over water shortage as part of their standard operating procedure (SOP).

"Syabas is a privatised and a commercial house and holds the monopoly, so they should be responsible and sending out alerts has to be made part of their SOP.

"It is their duty to advise the residents so that the latter will be prepared for the situation. Not notifying the residents is unacceptable and the unscheduled water disruption alert should be made part of their key performance index," Borhan said.

He said Syabas should always ensure that the water levels at their reservoirs are sufficient. It was a surprise to Borhan to learn that the supply had receded when it had rained heavily a few days before the disruption.

"Logically, can water supply in a large reservoir recede in a matter of hours? It would take at least a few days for that to happen. Didn't Syabas realise this?" he asked.

Borhan, however, was one of the lucky callers to get through Syabas's 24-hour toll free hotline, Puspel, but his neighbours were not as fortunate as him.

SS19/1 Residents Association secretary Mohamad Noh Samik said although it was an unscheduled water disruption, Syabas should have informed the residents in whatever way deemed appropriate.

"I had no answers and I called the hotline six times on Saturday but each time I was put on hold for about 10 minutes before the line was cut off. Syabas should have been more pro-active and tell the public the situation.

"Maybe it is not their fault but it is their obligation to keep the residents informed.

"This is common courtesy. The incident would have been more forgivable if we got answers through the hotline," said Mohamad Noh.

Syabas, he added, could have taken the step to inform SJ Alert, which in turn would have disseminated information through its short messaging service.

There were other alternatives such as Twitter and Facebook as well, said Mohamad Noh.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has summoned Syabas to the next Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) to answer three questions:

  -Why wasn't there an alert when water level at these 3 reservoirs dropped?

  -Why didn't consumers receive any notice (prior to and during disruption)?

  -What happened to Puspel's call centre and what is its call-handling capacity especially during a crisis?

Yeoh said the Selangor state government has been making attempts to restructure the water industry in Selangor but has received no favourable response from Syabas.

Speaking to Streets yesterday, Yeoh said, "We'll wait for the next MTES sitting as the state exco has announced, based on reports in March, that there was no water shortage problem."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Water disruption in Subang Jaya

SS12 to SS19 Subang Jaya experienced water disruption in the last few days. When residents' calls to Puspel (Syabas' Customer Service) went unanswered, my office was flooded with calls from residents. Residents from these affected areas informed me that there was no prior notice by Syabas on the water disruption. My office and I then made attempts to contact Syabas for information.

As my office continued to receive calls from residents,  we found that many were unsure as to who is responsible for the operations and service of Syabas. We had to explain that Syabas  is a privatised company and it has its duty to inform its own customers.  However, due to the critical nature of this disruption, I had to step in and assist residents in obtaining timely information. I immediately contacted one of the Executive Directors of Syabas who promised to look into the matter. Due to lack of information and response from Syabas towards residents' calls, I assisted to provide updates from Syabas via Twitter as and when I received them.

While awaiting water supply to be restored, I requested for water tankers to be deployed to these affected areas. I was told as of 9pm last night (Sat Apr 2nd), 10 tankers made a total of 32 trips to various parts of Subang Jaya as and when requested by residents via Puspel.

Today (Sun Apr 3rd), I understand from Syabas and residents that water supply has been restored. This water disruption was caused by a decrease in water level at 3 reservoirs in Effingham, Bukit Gasing and Subang Airport and has affected water distribution to 9000 customer accounts.

I have also informed the Menteri Besar of Selangor YAB Tan Sri Dato' Seri Khalid Ibrahim on this matter and these are the following issues which I will pursue with Syabas following this incident:
  • why wasn't there an alert when water level at these 3 reservoirs dropped?
  • why didn't consumers receive any notice (prior to and during disruption)?
  • what happened to Puspel's call centre and what is  its call-handling capacity especially during a crisis?
For those who are not aware, the Selangor State Government has been making attempts to restructure the water industry in Selangor but has received no favourable response from Syabas. For more details on this effort - kindly visit www.airuntukrakyat.net.