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Posts Tagged ‘Sivarasa Rasiah

The Fuss Over Jantan and Betina

I was surprised to learn that several Pakatan MPs took offense at Nazri’s usage of the phrases ‘anak jantan’ and ‘anak betina’ in Parliament today. Curious to see what the fuss was about I chose to do some investigating.
Just to clarify, for animal breeders the terms mean:

  • Anak jantan; jantan = male
  • Anak betina; betina = female

Malays also use the terms the following way in reference to men:

  • Anak jantan = brave; strong man; champion
  • Anak betina = coward; weak; American equivalent of ‘pussy’

Betina on its own is also used to refer to promiscuous women (slut), and also I believe to unmarried women who are pregnant. The reasoning for that is that those women behaved like animals by having illegitimate sex, so they should be labelled as such. I don’t recall jantan being used in a derogatory fashion.

Colloquialisms are context-sensitive. I understood the chosen interpretation that Nazri was using and guessed who he was referring to on my first reading.

I read the Hansard and from page 72 – 94 (21 minutes excluding Saifuddin’s speech) this was the sequence of events:

1.    After some discussion/argument with the Deputy Speaker, the Pakatan Rakyat MPs obtained permission to respond to the issue of ‘misleading the House’ brought up by Abdul Rahman Dahlan (Kota Belud), which he had done in response to Anwar’s accusing the government of using alleged Israeli agent APCO to promote 1Malaysia. Saifuddin Nasution (Machang) was nominated to speak.
2.    Saifuddin Nasution stated that the Minister, Nazri Aziz (Rantau Panjang) had referred to the obsolete Ordinance 69 in discussing the limits of Kelantan’s border)
3.    Deputy Speaker asked the Minister to explain
4.    Hatta Ramli (Kuala Krai) and Mahfuz Omar (Pokok Sena) made some jibes at Nazri, ‘that he need not answer now, he can take a week if he likes’ and ‘has he read the obsolete laws yet?’
5.    Nazri responded that he need not fear, because he was ‘anak jantan’
6.    Hatta Ramli asked him to prove that he was ‘anak jantan’
7.    Nazri continued that what he had stated previously was not intended to mislead the House and he was ready to be investigated because all that was needed is to refer to the Hansard. Because he was anak jantan he had no fear. The anak betina on the other side however, were scared of being investigated.
8.    Lilah Yasin (Jempol) remarked that anak jantan ‘plays in the front, not in the back’
9.    Lo’Lo’ Mohd Ghazali (Titiwangsa) accused Nazri of being sexist and asked him to retract the word betina
10.    Siti Zailah (Rantau Panjang) stated that the word was an insult to women
11.    Arguments erupted between Sivarasa (Subang), Lo’ Lo’, Bung Moktar (Kinabatangan), Haji Ismail (Maran), Nazri and the Deputy Speaker
12.    Nazri explained that jantan and betina were references to the gender of animals. The ones standing in front of him were humans, so how could there be a question that he was referring to the human women as betina. Therefore they had no reason to get angry.
13.    Saifuddin countered that meant Nazri just stated he was the son of an animal
14.    Lo’Lo’ asked him to retract the word regardless of his reasons
15.    Nazri said he meant no insult to the women
16.    Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang) asked him to retract the word
17.    Nazri explained the Malay saying goes that ‘anak jantan’ are brave and ‘anak betina’ are cowards
18.    Deputy Speaker stated that Nazri had no ill intention
19.    The discussion went back on topic, regarding whether Kota Belud had misled the House and whether he had the right to use the Standing Orders to make the speech
20.    Lo’Lo’ quoted Standing Order 36(4) that states a Member of the House may not used words that are improper or rude. She asked the Speaker to make a ruling on the phrase ‘anak betina’ because it is an insult to all women even if it was directed at everyone
21.    Deputy Speaker stated that the Minister had explained the context of the terms used was bravery
22.    Pakatan MPs continued to ask for the word to be retracted. Arguments erupted.
23.    Bung Moktar retorted that it was just a Malay saying (peribahasa)
24.    Mahfuz Omar accused Puteri UMNO of not having brains, because they had not objected to the use of the word
25.    Ibrahim Ali (Pasir Mas) requested to debate the Royal Address
26.    His request was ignored and the argument continued for 10 minutes. Some quotes:
a.    Zuraida argued that any Malay that understood the meaning of the word would not use it in that manner, and questioned whether any Malay uses ‘jantan’ or ‘betina’
b.    Deputy Speaker reiterated multiple times that the words were used in a different context than what the protesting MPs was referring to
c.    Mahfuz Omar questioned whether betina was ever analogous to coward
d.    Lo’Lo’ and Zuraida demanded that the word be retracted and its usage in any context be forbidden in the House. They had no objection to anyone using ‘anak jantan’
e.    Fuziah Salleh (Kuantan) stated that within context ‘anak jantan’ meant brave, but ‘anak betina’ was sexist
f.    Zuraida later stated that any statement that refers to gender whether lelaki, perempuan, jantan or betina was itself sexist. She did not change her position on anak jantan
27.    Deputy Speaker told the MPs not to misinterpret the words as their meaning and context had already been explained. The argument ended with Ibrahim Ali giving his speech while Pakatan MPs asked the ‘cowardly Minister’ to retract.

Imagine that, 21 minutes spent on this issue. Now who was Nazri referring to when he said betina?

It is clear that as Saifuddin’s speech was in response to Kota Belud’s request that Anwar be referred to the Special Rights & Privileges Commitee (the Commitee), then ‘anak betina’ used in this context likely refers to Anwar Ibrahim. Jempol’s immediate follow-up statement that anak jantan plays in the front, follows that interpretation as Anwar has been accused of sodomy (main belakang, playing in the back). I myself thought betina was referring to Anwar.

But Pakatan is critical of the government stand that Anwar be referred to the Committee if he does not prove his allegations on APCO. So Nazri’s statement can be interpreted as being directed at the whole bloc, which includes men and women. So he just referred to women as betina!

If only Nazri had said ‘anak betina dari Permatang Pauh’ then there would be no misinterpretation and less time would have been spent on the issue.

I see it as a colloquialism to be treated with care. Jantan and betina are not curse words and only betina has a negative meaning attached to it. I don’t believe it is commonly used either, searching online I only found it used negatively in the context of coward and not slut.

Given the evidence I feel that Pakatan MPs were trying to stir up trouble. If the word was slut; prostitute; whore; instead of betina, then the slur is clear. Today I didn’t see Nazri as being sexist, just crass. I would say he is ambiguously sexist at most.

Compare that with politicians like Bung Moktar Radin (Kinabatangan) who made the infamous ‘women leak once a month’ remark, or Badruddin Amiruldin (formerly Jerai) who made the ‘boleh nampak terowong tak?’ remark, both in 2007.

Sexism in Parliament is an ongoing problem, and it remains as long as we have boors as elected representatives. I hope that when there is a change in government that a code of ethics is drawn up to prevent sexist and racist remarks from being uttered in Parliament.

Parliament Hansard 22nd March 2010 (link)
Pakatan to campaign against sexist MPs (link)
Shouting match after motion to refer to Anwar (link)
MP: Anak jantan berani tapi anak betina penakut (link)
Badruddin apologises for ‘terowong’ comment (link)
MPs apologise for sexist remarks in Parliament (link)

Written by ak57

March 24, 2010 at 4:30 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

The Results Are In

It took ages for me to get around to writing this – my health problems finally proved too much to bear forcing me to spend most of the past three days in bed recuperating. Nevertheless, the laughter must go on!

Sivarasa Rasiah and Elizabeth WongElection Night

I got to the Bilik Gerakan a bit late, some time after Elizabeth Wong had been declared a winner – not that I was surprised of course, given Yong Dai Ying’s less impressive public presence and lack of even basic things like banners and such. Shortly thereafter (10.30 or 11 PM) we left for the Nomination Centre (some community hall at BU3) to claim victory, but no motorcade as police had banned victory parades. By the way, until today I have no idea what they were claiming, I’m guessing a boring looking government document 😛

When we got there along with Sivarasa Rasiah and his supporters (yes, he won too!), only a limited number of people were allowed into the hall (I think it was candidate + representative + 18 random supporters for them to choose). I decided to wait outside, figuring it wouldn’t take more than an hour.

I was so wrong – scarcely had the doors been closed when the cops told us to leave the compound and wait behind the fence, in the drizzle. PAS/PKR/PSM supporters all waited outside for what felt like ages (just over three hours I think).

The PSM candidate came at one point and didn’t take too long to claim his prize, after which the PSM supporters cheered, sang some song then left. I realised that there were a ton of cops around, the ratio of cop to supporter felt one to one. They looked as bored as we did, poor chaps.

The waiting wasn’t too bad I guess, I managed to chat up a Bangsar resident and found out that there were multiple Residents’ Associations and that they don’t stand up to Shahrizat, or listen to the residents at all! I had heard stories before about Shahrizat ignoring major complaints by her constituents and even the RA one time, so I guess the RA lost whatever teeth they had.

The current hot issue is the relocation of the pasar malam, which from the sounds of it looks like Shahrizat was planning to push it as far as possible from the ‘upper class’ bars and restaurants that pretty much dominate the Telawi area now.

Amusing rumours were flying in…Khir Toyo burning/shredding/stealing documents from his office…unrest in Bangsar…fourteen (14!!!) ballot boxes suddenly discovered in Bangsar. Well that last one turned out to be true, but fortunately did not affect the count of votes.

Where could fourteen boxes magically appear from?

Elections #11

Eventually everyone was allowed inside the hall at 1+ AM which was a great improvement really – well lit, ample seating and shelter from the rain! Apparently there was some ‘technical problems’ with Sivarasa’s vote count, hence the delay. So the SPR official had to leave for the Selangor SPR headquarters to straighten things out.

I got a bit worried really, this sounded like a ploy to sneak in some uncounted boxes or postal votes. We were even locked in ‘for our safety’. We eventually found a way to amuse ourselves, and I even managed to use my notebook to do some cartooning while we waited.

The SPR guy returned at almost 3 AM, and Sivarasa was declared victorious at 3.20 AM.

Sivarasa Rasiah and Elizabeth Wong

No wrap party as I expected, so everyone decided to head back home, apart from a handful who returned to the Bilik Gerakan.

You know what surprised me? Nurul Izzah won! Wow! I have hated Shahrizat for years for various reasons…and now she’s gone! I hope those banners of her devouring a baby are gone next time I drive up Bukit Bandaraya 🙂

Written by ak57

March 12, 2008 at 12:02 am

Last Day of Campaign

Last day to campaign today – Elizabeth Wong, Sivarasa Rasiah and their supporters will be visiting as many areas as possible in their 10-car motorcade:

Elizabeth Wong Motorcade
Half the motorcade (other half sped off before I could snap them)
Decorated Kelisa

Written by ak57

March 7, 2008 at 9:14 am

Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar Utama

Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar UtamaA PKR ceramah was held in Bandar Utama at the BU3/6 field. The speakers were, in order:

  1. Sivarasa Rasiah
  2. Elizabeth Wong
  3. Irene Fernandez
  4. Tian Chua

Attendance was far greater than the Gerakan ceramah from the previous night, at least three times the size (500+ people). Attendees were mostly young and middle aged people. Donations from the crowd was very generous, PKR managed to raise funds amounting to RM10,154.

I arrived late at 8.45pm and Sivarasa was just about to start fielding questions from the audience. Please note that unless otherwise stated, all answers written in this article are not quoted verbatim as I was unable to get an audio/video recording of the proceedings.

Sivarasa Rasiah Q&A

Q: When is the New Economic Policy (NEP) going to end?

Anwar Ibrahim (defacto leader of PKR) has for the past two years stated that the NEP cannot continue in its present form. It is PKR’s view that the NEP has to be revamped and its benefits given regardless of race. Instead the benefits should be based on merit. These statements have not been challenged by the majority of the Malays because they know that the NEP has been abused, and the abuse is wrong.

Q: What are your views on the cancellation of indelible ink?

The Elections Commission has misled the public on this matter since it was proposed last year. First they wanted to consult the Fatwa Council to get approval, which was given after a couple of months. Then they discussed what kind of ink, and how many bottles they should buy. They delayed as much as they could, and now the cancellation of it allows the EC to retain the same power to cheat and deny us a win, as in previous elections.

Q: Najib has mentioned that the oil subsidy is not sustainable, how does that stack against reducing corruption?

An increase in subsidy can be used to control inflation by controlling the price of essential goods. If you want to see wastage due to corruption, look at the purchase of the Scorpene submarines, and Sukhoi jets- RM 1 billion was wasted there alone. By reducing wastage such as that, we can increase the subsidy.

Q: What is the check and balance that ensures that candidates will follow the manifesto and remain clean

I don’t believe that presigned resignation letters work. The real solution is to amend/repeal the Official Secrets Act, the Printing and Publications Act and the Police Act to allow transparency, and to empower the citizens to take action. These amendments will restore democratic rights to the citizens.

Q: How will you deal with candidates who are ‘bought’ and switch parties?

(Siva cited a case in 1990 of two PAS members who switched parties. It was not clear but the impression given was that there was no by-election)

If this happens PKR will have a by-election in the seats held by those candidates.

Q: Will the serial number be on the ballot?

No more. In previous elections what happened was that the serial number of the ballot paper was written next to the name of the voter, so the government can track your votes. But you need not fear that anymore.

Sivarasa Rasiah @ Bandar Utama
Sivarasa Rasiah fielding questions from the crowd

Elizabeth Wong’s Speech (summary of talking points, quotes in italics)

  • Gave examples of Exco members’ wastage, such as an ‘educational trip’ to Egypt, quote, “To learn what? To learn belly dancing!”
  • The clearing of 1200 hectares of forest by PKNS, also due to the Exco members – when Khir Toyo (head of PKNS) was asked, he claimed to not know
  • “What are the features of a developed state? It is not tolls, high assessment fees, factory housing or traffic jams”
  • A developed state or country does not have to wait for residents to come up to them and present their problems on what’s wrong in their neighbourhood, it would have monitoring in place for maintenance work like that
  • There is a Master Plan for Petaling Jaya, but this has not been followed
  • The solution to the damage done by the Exco members is to have proper town planning and a neutral, elected local council so they are held accountable for their actions
Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar Utama
  • The funding allocated for development is for the citizens, not pocket money to be spent freely for personal use
  • Problems such as the traffic jam caused by the Chinese school nearby can be solved by reopening the Damansara school down the road, not to close this school or widen the road
  • “Why after 50 years, have the citizens become beggars, having to beg to fix problems such as potholes and traffic lights?”
  • Spoke about having a policy about lease of land for places of worship
  • Need exposure of spending of State money
  • Unlike BN, the Opposition brings up problems publicly, no talking behind closed doors or secret deals

Elizabeth’s Five Immediate Actions (once elected)

  1. Initiate a Private Member Bill on freedom of information, so the people know reasons such as why assessment rates have gone up
  2. Ensure no more demolition of places of worship
  3. Regazette the Sungai Buloh Forest Reserve
  4. Work on reducing the crime rate, most police are in administration and Special Branch, we need to have more active police officers and do away with the Special Branch
  5. Have local council elections
Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar Utama

Elizabeth Wong Q&A

Self-Q: On Khir Toyo’s recent statement that there will be no allocation for Opposition members in the State Assembly

On 10th of March the Opposition will initiate a lawsuit against Khir Toyo for his statements. We will ensure that we get the allocation due to us and are held accountable for our spending. For example, look at Permatang Pauh, where 2-3 times more money is being put to work for the community compared to its neighbours.

Q: Will you create a service centre in Bandar Utama?

I hope to establish three service centres, because there are many areas in Bukit Lanjan that need attention, such as Desa Jaya, Desa Pandan and Kayu Ara.

Q: What is your plan for health service?

There has been too much privatisation of hospitals that has led to high insurance fees and medical fees. (rest of answer unclear, believe the plan is to cut back/stop privatisation)

Elizabeth Wong @ Bandar Utama
 Elizabeth Wong speaking to an appreciative crowd
Irene Fernandez @ Bandar Utama
Irene Fernandez
Tian Chua @ Bandar Utama
Tian Chua

Written by ak57

March 7, 2008 at 7:41 am

Elizabeth Wong @ Centrepoint

Elizabeth Wong @ CentrepointElizabeth Wong and Sivarasa Rasiah launched their Mobile Keadilan campaign today at Centrepoint at 10.15 AM. They along with their throng of supporters campaigned at the following areas:

  • BU 11/16, Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
  • The Curve
  • Bandar Sri Damansara

They (minus Sivarasa who had an appointment elsewhere) returned to Centrepoint at 2 PM to meet and greet locals who were there. Also present to lend a hand were En.Hassan and Nasir Hj Jaini, residents of Kampung Kayu Ara that we had met previously.

Response was quite good, many residents appeared to be pro-Opposition or at least anti-BN. One woman listed out the issues she had with Bandar Utama presently:

  1. The rising cost of assessment
  2. The lack of accountability for the assessment money
  3. The burden of the tolls
  4. The traffic jams she endures in the morning due to poor road design and maintenance
  5. The water rate
  6. The fact the the combined increase of assessment and water rate made her flat difficult to rent out

Elizabeth did not hesitate to discuss issues such as these with the residents at great length, and it was obvious that even if their position had not swayed, they did appreciate the concern and attention given.

After covering all the restaurants we then settled down for a late lunch until about 4.30 PM whereupon everyone retired to the Bilik Gerakan.

En. Hassan highlighted the areas of Kampung Kayu Ara left for us to cover, along with the racial distribution for each road. He had gone himself to talk to the residents before but as he was not a candidate he could not convince them to vote Opposition. It is a testament to the dedication he has to the people of the area that he is willing to go door to door, gather demographics and get a feel for the area. Most likely I will be returning there soon to cover the next walkabout.

Elizabeth Wong, Sivarasa Rasiah and supporters
Video of Elizabeth’s speech

More pictures below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

March 2, 2008 at 11:33 am

Elizabeth Wong @ Kg Sg Kayu Ara Selatan Flats

Elizabeth Wong Speaking to ReportersThere was a press conference held at 11.10 AM today in the lobby of the flat along Jalan Cempaka in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara (I forget the name, its the tallest flat in the area). Elizabeth Wong and Sivarasa Rasiah along with a few prominent residents of the flat were there to inform the media of the problems faced by the flat residents, among which were:

  • a lack of CF (Certificate of Fitness)
  • a high maintenance rate to be paid by residents (RM70/month, far too high for a low cost flat)
  • non-working lifts
  • poor maintenance of the flats itself
  • misuse of the land surrounding the flat, most obvious of which was the construction of a shopping complex next to it instead of amenities for the residents

The residents had previously complained to their current State Assembly rep, Datin Paduka Yong Dai Ying but to date she had only listened to their complaints yet taken no action. Also worth noting was the ownership of the company that developed the land by UMNO (council?) members. The names of the registered owners of the company (Antaravista Sdn Bhd) were given to the press, along with a number of other related documents. Elizabeth Wong pledged to help the residents solve these problems once elected as their representative.

Elizabeth Wong and Sivarasa Rasiah Speaking to Reporters

I spoke to one of the local residents (Nasir Hj Jaini), who informed me that the residents had been complaining about these issues since before the 2004 election, so it is clearly a case of negligence on the part of Yong Dai Ying. He also said the flat was around 6 years old, though that might be misunderstanding on my part (my command of Bahasa Malaysia is rather poor)…the flats must be very badly maintained indeed because they look more than a decade old.

It surprised me that the Bilik Gerakan MIC is at a ground floor lot of the flat itself, given the obvious dislike the residents must have for their non-functioning representative. When asked what the previous 2004 Opposition candidate had pledged to do, he could not remember – the impression given was that said candidate did not have the time to meet the residents and discuss their problems.

Group Photo of Elizabeth Wong, Sivarasa Rasiah and residents of the flat
(click for larger version)
Sivarasa Rasiah speaking to reporters

Written by ak57

March 1, 2008 at 11:54 pm