Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Posts Tagged ‘Bandar Utama

A Show of Support

cmc_eliz_story3_web

The outpour of support for Elizabeth since she made her offer to resign has been overwhelming. It even surpassed the public outcry and support given by the public when Teresa Kok was detained under ISA! I myself have scores of emails from her supporters clogging my inbox.

I did some research online and its safe to say that over 90% of bloggers and commenters support her and don’t want her to resign. I figured that with this level of support, the backlash against PKR (i.e. lost votes) would be severe. Wouldn’t she have to come back?

Sources within the party say it is highly unlikely, even with the public reaction as it stands now. At best she may resign the Exco position and remain an ADUN.

I’m sure right now everyone is angry, hurt and confused. We don’t know why she offered to resign. We can speculate, but we know so little. After the unending outpour of support, Elizabeth issued another statement (link) saying that she intends to resign. No more ambiguity.

I choose to respect her wishes. To chase her and plead her to stay or ask her why – this would only be more hurtful.

A Book of Support

Last Wednesday (18/2) a signature campaign was started in Bandar Utama to gather personal messages by voters and friends. Not a petition, just a way to write a few kind words to show our support.

We got 40 signatures the first day, and reached 100 the next day. A trip to the CNY dinner event opposite Amcorp Mall on Friday brought the total to 190.

wednightelizsign3_web

Wednesday night

A couple of pages from the signature book are below, where you can see the messages penned by her PKR ADUN & MP friends:

elizsignbook1_web

Sivarasa, Tian Chua, Gan Pei Nei, William Leong

elizsignbook2_web

Wan Azizah, Azmin Ali, Syed Husein, Hee Loy Sian, Loh Gwo Burne, Ronnie Liu, Irene Fernandez

A banner of support was also put up at the Sony Bridge interchange next to Bandar Utama:

wednightelizsign2_web

The book will be at the service centre in BU3 from Tuesday (24/2) onwards. I hope those of you who are able, drop by and sign the book. It is easy to spend a few minutes to write an email, send an sms or write a comment, but to make the journey there takes real love and dedication that I’m certain she will appreciate during this difficult time.

A Petition to the Menteri Besar

A group of NGO’s and RA’s (Residents Association) started an online petition last Wednesday which at this time has 5000 signatures. They are also running a physical petition in parallel with that. The petition is addressed to the Menteri Besar and is intended to show the level of support by her voters and friends. You can read more about it here (link).

There was a road trip today to various places in Elizabeth’s constituency to get as many signatures as possible to be submitted to the Menteri Besar on Tuesday/Wednesday. I dropped by the first stop at BU3, group photo below:
sundayrallyeliz1_web

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Written by ak57

February 23, 2009 at 2:52 am

BU Walk The Talk Event Report

A Crime Prevention Awareness Walk was held on May 17th 2008 in Bandar Utama, organised by the BU6 Area Commitee. In attendance were:

  • Sivarasa Rasiah (Subang MP)
  • Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan ADUN)
  • Muhammat Sarip bin Siran (Police Chief, Damansara Police Station)
  • Jipa A/K Langob (Deputy Police Chief, Damansara Police Station)
  • Bandar Utama Residents Association (BURA) Committee Members
  • St. Johns Ambulance representatives
  • Bertam Security guards
  • Metro Security guards
  • 290+ Residents of Bandar Utama
  • A police helicopter

People started gathering at the BU3 Community Hall before 4 pm. Before the walk started, various VIPs gave speeches, summaries follow:

Sivarasa Rasiah

Sivarasa Rasiah

Sivarasa Rasiah (4.15 pm)
The police are in charge of safety, and nationwide we have 100,000 policemen. The best ratio of police to citizens is 1:250, and in our country we have 1:260 so it is not too far off. The real problem is deployment. I had asked in Parliament how many policemen are in the Special Branch, and was informed that the numbers cannot be divulged as they are under the Official Secrets Act.

One-third of the police are in administration, while another 20% are in ‘Public Order & Security’, the duties of which are not known to us. Roughly 7000 – 8000 officers are in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which only amounts to 8% of the force in total. Eight percent in charge of investigating crime.

Turning our communities into walled enclaves with guards is not the answer to crime. We want our police force to be deployed strategically to fight crime, not for political reasons.

Elizabeth Wong

Elizabeth Wong

Elizabeth Wong (4.20 pm)
I had met Tony Pua recently and spoken to him about the ongoing crime issue. He informed me that for the PJ area the ratio is 1:1800. I asked him how recruitment of new officers is coming along, and he replied that it was slow. 36% of the police force are in administration.

Someone I know personally in Damansara Jaya had a break-in at his home recently, so it is obvious that the robbers have merely shifted their targets away from Bandar Utama to nearby areas. We will continue to push for the IPCMC suggestions to be implemented.

I have spoken to the Mayor about the directive to remove the boom gates in Bandar Utama. He has assured me that MBPJ will not remove them for one month, in the meanwhile we will have a meeting to discuss further on the crime issues.

Muhammat Sarip bin Siran (4.30 pm)

Muhammat Sarip bin Siran

Muhammat Sarip bin Siran

There are only 84 police officers to cover half a million citizens for the Damansara Police Station. Many neighbours don’t know each other and this makes it easier for burglars to break in. Many people also do not know the phone number for the police station, which is 03-77222222.

Dato Manpal

Dato Manpal

Dato’ Manpal, BURA Chairman (4.35 pm)
The purpose of this event is to foster collaboration between the police and the residents. We need to reduce the opportunity for criminals to break-in by implementing crime prevention measures. We have been too reliant on the police for protection, and recent events such as MBPJ’s directive to remove the boom gates have not helped matters.

The ratio of 1:4000 ~ 1:5000 for the area covered by the Damansara police is clearly inadequate. We need greater numbers of police to increase patrols in Bandar Utama and the surrounding areas.

The Walk (4.45 pm)

After the speeches were made, Jimmy Tan (BURA) instructed the crowd on how to perform warm-up exercises.

Jimmy Tan

Jimmy Tan

Then the security guards, St John’s Ambulance, police, VIPs and residents assembled and marched into the BU6 Area, some carrying banners with ‘Walk the Talk in Crime Prevention’ printed on them. It was hard to gauge the distance travelled but everyone was back at the hall in just under an hour. The VIPs, press and interested citizens then headed upstairs for a press conference.

The Press Conference (5.45 pm)

Dato’ Manpal pointed out that The Star, NST, Sinar Harian, Nanyang, China Press and Sin Chew Jit Poh were present for today’s event. He then went on to say that at least 289 people attended the Walk today which was quite a good turnout. Summaries of the other VIP’s press briefing follows:

Sivarasa Rasiah (5.52 pm)

The effectiveness of the police force has become a big issue, particularly in Klang Valley and Selangor where the crime rate is very high. Residents have been forced to hire guards and build walls, resulting in paying a double tax (regular tax to Government plus fees to the security companies).

The Prime Minister has said that the ideal ratio of police to citizens is 1:250. The ratio we have here of between 1:4000 and 1:5000 is quite disparate. We will continue to bring up this issue in Parliament, and the need for implementing the IPCMC suggestions.

It is clear that PDRM itself should have better facilities, pay and housing to make it more attractive for new officers to sign up. Their allocation for these things is not enough.

Elizabeth Wong (6 pm)

We need to look at the cause of the high crime rate – the high level of unemployment coupled with the migration of people from rural to urban areas has resulted in an increase of population beyond what was planned. This is a failure of town planning, and we need to look at allocation of land for the police. Local councils play an important role in helping to alleviate the situation we have now (Dato’ Manpal mentioned at this point that a police beat station is scheduled to be built in Bandar Utama).

Muhammat Sarip bin Siran (6.08 pm)

I have been here for 10 years, at a time when there was much less crime. There are far more residential areas today compared to that time, such as Bandar Utama, Damansara Utama, Damansara Jaya and so on. Given that the police force stationed here is small, we hope there will be more cooperation from the residents in helping to be our eyes and ears to watch for suspicious activities.

Question & Answer Session

Q: What specific changes to the police are needed?

Sivarasa: The police force is imbalanced e.g. 33% are in Jabatan Keselamatan Awam. They should redeploy members from Special Branch into CID.

Last Sunday I was at a HINDRAF gathering at KLCC, and there were over 100 police and Special Branch officers. Why do they need such numbers to monitor us, when they could be out investigating crime?

Police are becoming documenters of crime, not investigators – this has led to citizens being reluctant to report crime. Their pay rate is also another issue; they should be compensated according to the risk they take.

Q: What about the relation between migrant workers and crime?

Sivarasa: This is a common misconception by the public – the fact is that only 1-1.5% of crimes are done by foreigners, as related to me by the Home Minister.

Q: I feel that responsibility for security lies with citizens, police and town councils. We should re-examine current laws because town councils are seen as impedance e.g. the boom-gate dismantling issue here in BU. Maybe we can use the Rukun Tetangga law? A lot of pressure should be applied by legislators to solve the police issue – why is that traffic roadblocks get ten officers, but crime investigation only two? We need to reduce this ratio.

Elizabeth: We are aware of what you have mentioned, in fact we have had a meeting between the ADUNs and Chief of Police on this and will continue to have discussions with them.

Sivarasa: We will push with the Inspector General of Police for reforms – look at Kayu Ara, where the crime rate is getting worse every day. The urgency for change is clear.

Q: Can we tap into FRU or Military Police for help in policing residential areas?

(No answer)

Q: I noticed more police stations being set up – are they going to dilute the police force in Damansara police station, or allocate more cops to this area to accommodate the new stations?

(No answer)

Read more for additional photos.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

July 12, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Bandar Utama Meets The OCPD

The rising crime rate in Bandar Utama these past few weeks has the residents worried. Thanks to the efforts of Bandar Utama Residents Association (BURA) members, Lim See Meng and Dr. Tok, a meeting was quickly arranged with OCPD Arjunaidi (Police Chief of Petaling Jaya) and CID Chief Mazlan Mansor.

It was hoped that during this meeting the police would be able to provide some reassurance to the residents that steps were being taken to improve their safety, as well as advise us on ways to improve our safety.

The meeting took place between 10pm – 12.30 am at Starbucks Centrepoint on 2nd May 2008. In attendance were:

  1. OCPD Asst. Comm. Arjunaidi
  2. CID Chief Mazlan Mansor
  3. Elizabeth Wong (ADUN – Bkt Lanjan)
  4. Dato’ Manpal Singh (BURA Chairman)
  5. Lim See Meng (BURA Deputy Chairman)
  6. Various BURA Committee Members
  7. Various BURA Area Committee Members
  8. Bandar Utama residents, including victims of recent break-ins

After a brief introduction by Dato’ Manpal, Arjunaidi stated that the police are aware of the snatch thefts and break-ins and are trying to have more patrols in the area. He suggested keeping the police station number close at hand to call immediately if residents see anything suspicious.

Questions, Observations by Residents & Arjunaidi’s Answers

Q1: During the time the robberies occurred people are inside the home, and not aware of what is going on outside. Either that or they are not at home. They are therefore unable to observe suspicious goings-on.

A1: Residents should get to know their neighbours to differentiate non-locals.

Q2: What are the police doing to identify and catch these gangs? (A five-man Chinese gang has already been identified as the major criminal group in the area)

A2: It is difficult to identify all the criminals involved.

Q2 (follow up): You should enforce harsher punishments, not jail them for six months and release them. Is there an information network that you are tapping into?

A2: Yes, but obviously we cannot inform you further on that. How we solve crimes is for us to know.

Q3: You should have road blocks, working together with the security guards as a deterrent. It shows the police presence in the area. (Elizabeth Wong also commented at this point that robbers have the perception that the police are weak)

A3: We will consider the road blocks, and study where best to put them. However working together with your security guards presents legal issues as they are not empowered to stop vehicles on the road.

Q4: What about a barricaded community with card access? This will prevent the robbers’ scouts from coming in.

A4: It is illegal to do so, because Bandar Utama is not a gated community. (Dato’ Manpal interjected at this point to say that 100% approval by the residents is needed to get gated community status, this is due to MPPJ law. Any attempts to barricade without approval will result in MPPJ demolishing them)

Q5: Johor has faced worse crime problems than us. Maybe the police and MPPJ can get advice from them on what measures proved effective?

A5: We will look into that.

Mazlan’s Comments
CID Chief Mazlan explained that the role of the system is to catch robbers, but we can only hold them so long after which they go back to the street. Moreover the time allowed to investigate individual crimes is too short. He then added that it was not right for the police to be questioned on how they work, and they had come to this meeting to discuss crime prevention.

Having said that he got up to leave, whereupon the meeting quickly dissolved.

Personal thoughts
Overall I felt this meeting did not turn out as well as it could, due to a number of factors:

1. Arjunaidi being the most soft-spoken man in the world
I refuse to believe that he got where he was speaking in such a manner, it was only after the meeting did I realise that he spoke that way on purpose. By limiting the range at which his voice could be heard, only the ADUN and a few BURA Committee members could hear him, thereby protecting him from any backlash from residents (and making this reporter’s life very difficult ;)) .

Arjunaidi is a very smart man.

2. The choice of Starbucks as the venue
Starbucks did not seem like the right choice for a meeting with a crowd of 20-odd people. It was noisy and the armchairs further distanced us from each other. Other than the aforementioned people next to the OCPD, the rest of us were left in the dark as to what was going on. It was almost like the majority of the crowd was eavesdropping on a private conversation between the ADUN, OCPD, CID Chief and four BURA members.

I must give kudos to the BURA Chairman for announcing what was mentioned by the OCPD at periodic intervals, so we were not completely lost. Thank you, sir.

3. No timeline or commitment by the police
Answers such as ‘we will look into it’, and so on are fine if a follow-up date is established. Without that the meeting resulted in a lot of ideas and no decisions. If I was a victim I would have wanted the police to make strong assurances such as ‘we will increase patrols within the week’.

Written by ak57

May 28, 2008 at 12:34 am