Sunday, 20 October 2019

MISERY FOR RESIDENTS OF DAMANSARA PERDANA AND MUTIARA DAMANSARA




Resident of Damansara Perdana and Mutiara Damansara protested the routing of part of the Damansara-Shah Alam Highway above the road right past their homes but the Pakatan Harapan state government of Selangor ignored them and the highway is now under construction right through their neighbourhood.

These videos in four parts are of the residents' protest demanding the highway be routed away from heavily populated residential areas but their protests were ignored.

Say No to DASH protest Damansara Perdana 2016-03-20 Part 1

Say No to DASH protest Damansara Perdana 2016-03-20 Part 2

Say No to DASH protest Damansara Perdana 2016-03-20 Part 3

Say No to DASH protest Damansara Perdana 2016-03-20 Part 4

Now back in April 2012, Bukit Lanjan State Assemblywoman (PKR) Elizabeth Wong expressed her support for the residents opposed to DASH.

Elizabeth Wong talks about the background story of DASH during the protest at DP

In March 2016, she did not turn up at the protest despite being invited and neither did Selangor Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) Azmin Ali turn up despite being invited by the protest organisers.

What changed between 2012 when Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was Menteri Besar and 2016 when Azmin Ali was Menteri Besar, Liz dearie?

I had thought that a Pakatan Harapan state government would more strictly control and regulate such development in favour of the people's interests and wishes but they have shown themselves to be no different from the former Barisan Nasional state government of Selangor.

Or are we just useful idiots whom you turn to with empty promises when you need our votes to get you into power, after which you fart in our faces.
  
Free Malaysia Today article on 21 October 2019 follows below:-

DASH building works bring sleepless nights for condo residents

Joel Shasitiran - October 21, 2019 9:00 AM

PETALING JAYA: Residents of a condominium at Damansara Perdana are up in arms over noise from the construction of the Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway or DASH which they say has been giving them sleepless nights for about two years now.

According to a resident who asked to be known as Firdaus, construction work is taking place too close to the Metropolitan Square condominium.

He told FMT that many were bothered by the sound of cranes and loud hammering even early in the morning.

"I have to come down and scold the construction workers every now and then, just for them to stop their work and allow people to sleep," he said.

The Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 states that construction work can only be done from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday with the exception of public holidays.

But Firdaus said work sometimes began much earlier than 8am and continued past the cut-off point. He shared several video clips of him scolding a construction worker for the noise at about 4am, and said there were other videos of work continuing after 6pm.

He said the proximity of the work site to the condominium was a problem.

Criteria for environmental impact assessments by the Department of Environment state that construction work cannot be done too close to residential units to prevent noise pollution.

According to a construction plan shared by Firdaus, work on the highway would take place at least 14m from the residential area.

However, a closer look showed that several pillars were only a few feet away from one of the condominium blocks.

Firdaus said traffic congestion was another concern for the residents, with bumper-to-bumper conditions on most weekdays.

"You can barely go over 5km an hour here," he added.

When it rains, he said, driving conditions deteriorate as roads often flood.

A restaurant owner in the area who identified himself as William said businesses are also suffering from the noise and dust of the construction.

He indicated one of the expressway's pillars which had been erected close to his restaurant, which he said had affected his business.

"The previous tenant closed his shop because business was getting bad," he said.

"I just started mine here, and I can tell that pollution and parking is a problem because of this construction."

William is hopeful that things will get better once construction is over, but fears that parking will remain an issue.

The land at Damansara Perdana where the expressway is being built is owned by Saujana Triangle, a subsidiary of MK Land. The expressway as a whole is owned by Prolintas.

According to Firdaus, property prices have also been affected by the highway construction.

"Before the construction, units were priced at RM500,000 to RM600,000," he said.

"Now, selling them off for even RM300,000 is difficult."

Before construction began, he said, he had gone door-to-door to collect signatures for a memorandum against it but to no avail.

"The very least they could do is compensate us for our trouble since there is no way to stop the construction now."


Yours trully

SELANGOR SCHEISS

Thursday, 9 May 2019

A MERE TOKEN GESTURES TO "PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT" AND "SAVE WILDLIFE"

I'd really like to know by how much as these "No free single-use plastic bag" and "no plastic straws" rulings have actually achieved to protect the environment and save wildlife in Malaysia, when almost everything else we buy comes packed or wrapped in plastic, to the extent that my dedicated garbage bin for plastic to be recycled ("hopefully" ) fills up faster than my bin for other refuse.




This "no free single-use plastic bags" ruling began with no free single-use plastic bags on Saturdays in Penang shortly after the Pakatan Harapan won the state government in 2008 and it was introduced by the Pakatan run Selangor state government in 2010 and in 2017, the ruling was extended to include all days of the week.


The Federal Territories Ministry, under the Pakatan Harapan government since 10th May 2018, also mandated "no free, single-use plastic bags" within Malaysia's federal territories such as Kuala Lumpur and Labuan from March 2019.


The other day, I went for a root beer in one of those chain outlets which had a sign saying that they had stopped giving out plastic straws but they had put a plastic spoon in the glass of root beer, which made this campaign a big joke.


In many ways, I feel that these rulings are mere token gestures to look "good" and "environmentally responsible" whilst they are a proverbial drop in the bucket in terms of reducing plastic waste, when almost everything else we buy comes packed or wrapped in plastic and container loads of plastic waste are being illegally imported into Malaysia, with non-recyclable plastics being falsely declared as "recyclable".


"Checks show dirty plastic still being smuggled into Malaysian ports"

https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/482312/checks-show-dirty-plastic-still-being-smuggled-malaysian-ports


Also, most plastics cannot be recycled.


According to environmental advocacy group Greenpeace, only 9% of plastic produced in 2015 was recycled, 12% burnt and 79% ended up in landfill.


"With the spike in the production of plastics and a broken recycling system, the world now generates huge amounts of plastic waste each year. Approximately 6300 Mt of plastic waste have been produced by 2015, of which 9% was recycled, 12% incinerated while the bulk - 79% - ended up in landfills or the natural environment [3]. The amount of plastic waste generated per year is growing and is projected to reach a cumulative amount of 25,000Mt by 2050, compared to 6,300Mt in 2015."


https://www.greenpeace.org/archive-seasia/PageFiles/936685/The%20Recycling%20Myth%20-%20Malaysia%20and%20the%20Broken%20Global%20Recycling%20System.pdf


However, similar figures especially for Malaysia are hard to find, especially the extent to which "no free, single-use plastic bags" and "no free plastic straws" rulings have had on protecting our domestic environment and save our wildlife, so we end up having to rely on worldwide figures or statistics from the developed countries.


Australia treating Malaysia as a garbage bin and a toilet for other countries' waste.


"Exposing Australia's recycling lie | 60 Minutes Australia"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqrlEsPoyJk


So what's the point of subjecting us ordinary consumers to such inconvenience or expense when bigger culprits get away with it?


The Malaysian Reserve article of 9th May 2019 follows below:-





Millions collected for plastic bags end in retailers account?

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN


RETAILERS could pocket millions of ringgit from the 20 sen charged to customers for each plastic bag used as the pollutant charge ends in the businesses' bank accounts instead of funds for "green" efforts.


A few states have implemented the "No Free Plastic Bag" policy to discourage consumers from using the environmentally damaging plastic bags. Customers, who insist on the plastic bags, are charged 20 sen each.


But it is generally believed that the collection from the sale of the less than five sen worth plastic bag would go to authorities or consolidated collection accounts.


Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) said based on feedback from its members, the levy collected has not been channelled to the government as they are not bound to channel the money to any authorised fund.


"The money doesn't go to the state. If you read their website, retailers are only encouraged to do corporate social responsibility (CSR), otherwise, the retailers retain the funds," MRCA told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) in a text reply.


The "No Free Plastic Bag" has been somewhat successful as consumers have started to bring their own bags to carry their purchases, which subsequently reduce the number of single-use plastic bags.


Dubbed as pollution charge, the fee on plastic bags has been implemented in Penang, Selangor and Melaka.


Penang is the first state to have implemented the "No Free Plastic Bag" policy almost a decade ago. It started to charge 20 sen for each plastic bag every Saturday since 2009 before extending it to every day in 2011.


Melaka introduced the same policy in 2014 for every Friday, Saturday and Sunday before it was extended to every day from January 2016.


Selangor introduced the policy on Saturday in January 2010 before a mandatory "seven days a week" was implemented in January 2017 and each plastic bag is charged 20 sen.


Presently, the collection involved supermarkets and food outlets with the majority of the collection comes from supermarkets. Selangor is already looking to have a total ban on plastic bags by 2030 in line with the national aspiration.


Kedah has also started to charge consumers 20 sen for every plastic bag since April for purchases conducted every Friday and Saturday.


But there is no policy that requires retailers to channel the plastic bag sales to any authority.


It was reported that around RM2 million was collected in Selangor in the first half of 2017, while businesses in Penang secured about RM9 million of plastic levy since the state pioneered the project in 2009.


Association for the Protection of Natural Heritage of Malaysia (PEKA) Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said the promised campaign has not materialised for states that implemented the the plastic bag charge.


"I have never come across of any supermarket or business that pays back the 20 sen to any non-governmental organisation or any charity work. So, the campaign did not materialise. It did not work and has failed," she told TMR.


Shariffa Sabrina said PEKA has queried about the pollution charge but there is no concrete answer. "So, I suppose it goes back to the company," she said.


The Selangor government is mulling to take over the fund manager role with the local government authority (PBT) collecting the money.


Selangor exco for Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the current collector is not doing their best as no significant campaign awareness has been seen in the last decade.


"We found that some of them are doing the CSR job, but some are not. That is why we want to take over," he told TMR.


Since 2010, supermarkets in Selangor have been "encouraged" to charge the fee which would be used for environmental campaign and programmes including using more recycled bags.


Hee said the role will be taken over by the state before year-end and the money will be parked in a trust fund for environmental awareness campaign and CSR purposes.


Hee said initially, the government planned to impose the rule by July 1 but had to defer the date as it needs to find the best collection mechanism.


"We are studying the system now in which retailers can report directly to the PBT on a monthly basis for each and every plastic bag charge they have collected.


"Once the system is ready, we will implement it," Hee said, citing the Penang government collection mechanism as one of the options.


"But in Penang, there are just two PBTs. We do have 12 in total. So it may be easier for them to manage compared to us," he added.


On March 15, the Federal Territories Ministry has also mandated the "No Free Plastic Bag" for retailers under its jurisdiction.


https://themalaysianreserve.com/2019/05/09/millions-collected-for-plastic-bags-end-in-retailers-account/


Given the above, The above "no free, single-use plastic bags" an "no plastic straws" rulings are as meaningless as token gestures as the unused bicycle stands in the Petaling Jaya New Town Centre in Section 52, Petaling Jaya, which hardly anyone come to by bicycle from other parts of Petaling Jaya, partly due to the hot and humid climate and the risk of getting knocked down on the roads leading to this centre.




However, I suppose this is the Petaling Jaya City Council's (MBPJ's) idea of "making Petaling Jaya into a liveable city" comparable to world class cities in the developed countries where bicycling along the streets during the day is more more practical due to the cooler climate.


I suppose this is a symptom of a cut and paste culture, whilst the MBPJ has approved more building of monstrous high-rises in Petaling Jaya - which will turn our home city into a concrete jungle and a heat island.


This video shows the experience of Singapore where researches measured an increase of 4 degrees C between an outlying area of Singapore and 29.1 degrees C on Orchard Road in central Singapore.


"Why Singapore Is Heating Up 2x Faster Than The Planet | Why It Matters | CNA Insider"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrQ9zjvmD6k


Yours trully


Selangor Scheiss

http://selangorscheiss.blogspot.com/



Saturday, 4 May 2019

DOING A "SYRIZA" ON RESIDENTS

"What does doing a Syriza mean?", you ask.

Well, back in July 2015, Greece's "radical left" Syriza government betrayed the Greek people's vote by 61% in a referendum which said "no" to further neo-liberal, globalist austerity measures imposed upon them by the European Union.

However, a week later, the Syriza government yielded to European Union pressure and agreed to accept more austerity measures to be imposed on Greece and her suffering people - doing a 180 degrees U-turn against what Syriza had been voted in for, and 180 degrees opposite what the Greek people had voted for.

On 11 July 2015 the BBC put it very nicely:-

Just over a week ago, Alexis Tsipras stepped on to a podium in Syntagma Square in Athens. In his trademark open-necked white shirt, his sleeves rolled up, he punched the air.

"I call on you to say a big 'no' to ultimatums, 'no' to blackmail," he cried. "Turn your back on those who would terrorise you."

His thousands of fans roared in approval. The Greek public followed his lead and 61% voted "oxi" ("No").

Roll forward seven days and Greece's prime minister signed the very measures he had fought against. Corporate tax and VAT will rise, privatisations will be pursued, public sector pay lowered and early retirement phased out.

In a late-night speech to parliament, a chastened Alexis Tsipras compared negotiations to a war, in which battles are fought and lost.

"It is our national duty to keep our people alive and in the eurozone", he said. There was not a fist-punch in sight.

The old adage of a week being a long time in politics could not be more relevant. But even for us Greece-watchers, the past few days have left us scratching our heads. 

Thus since then, I coined the term "doing a Syriza" to mean  elected leaders of governments which betray the will of the people who had voted for them.

More recently, we have seen the both the Conservative government and opposition Labour parliamentarians join hands to try and do a Syriza upon the British people's referendum choice that the United Kingdom leave the European Union of what's popularly known as "Brexit".

Oh! how people loved how U.K. parliamentary speaker John Bercow said "Or-d-e-e-e-e-e-e-r!"

It's great that the Conservatives and Labour got hammered in the U.K. local elections.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VagWy8t60mg

However, the problem is that the Liberal Democrats (Lib-Dems) are opposed to Brexit.

We believe that Britain is better off in the EU. That's why we're fighting for an Exit from Brexit.

https://www.libdems.org.uk/brexit

Anyway, closer to home, the Pakatan state governments of Penang and Selangor had been doing a Syriza on the people of these states since they were elected to power back in March 2008 and the Syriza show" has continued not only in Penang and Selangor but also under the Pakatanfederal government since 10th May 2018.

You can read Anil Netto's blog posts about the issues they face with the Pakatan Harapan state government of Penang and the "development" which has been allowed up there since Pakatan won Penang in 2008, whilst I focus on issues in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.


Just yesterday I posted a blog about what Petaling Jaya activist resident Mak Khuin Weng said about how the Pakatan state government of Selangor has been doing a Syriza on us people.

 
In the Free Malaysia Today article of 4 May 2019 below, Derek Fernandez, Petaling Jaya City Councillor for Zon 12 (Section 5 and 10) 2018/2020, critises the Federal Territories Ministry and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for continuing to make it difficult for residents of Kuala Lumpur to obtain critical reports and documents, such as the development impact proposal report and the traffic impact assessment report, among others.

Here, Kuala Lumpur members of parliament and Kuala Lumpur residents, such as those of Taman Tiara Titiwangsa, who had gone to court to get a ruling which would require that the relevant authorities make such documents available to the public who needed them, so that they can present their case in a meaningful way under Rule 5 of the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982, which allows public participation in areas of planning and development control.

The court had ruled in the residents' favour but now the Federal Territories Ministry and DBKL have appealed the court's ruling.

Before the 9th May 2018 general elections, the Pakatan Harapan which was then in opposition, condemned the Federal Territories Ministry and the ruling Barisan Nasional government which it came under, for denying public access to such key information and Pakatan had promised to "uphold principles that were 'essential to competency, accountability and transparency' if elected", whatever that political gibberish means.

However now, that Pakatan Harapan had won the Federal Government almost a year ago, and by that control of the Federal Territories Ministry and the DBKL, they have continued to do the same as had been done under Barisan Nasional rule.

Basically, after all their election promises to be a "government for the people" if elected, now that they have been elected, the Pakatan Harapan state government of Selangor and the Pakatan Harapan federal government of Malaysia have been doing several Syrizas on us the people. 

The Free Malaysia Today article referred to follows below:-



Nothing's changed, says expert after DBKL appeals court decision favouring residents
FMT Reporters -
May 4, 2019 2:31 PM

PETALING JAYA: A local government expert has slammed the Federal Territories ministry and City Hall (DBKL) over the latter's decision to appeal a court's decision that would grant Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents access to important documents.


Derek Fernandez said prior to the May 9 polls, Pakatan Harapan MPs in Kuala Lumpur attacked the Barisan Nasional (BN) and the former FT minister after residents were denied access to critical reports and documents, such as the development impact proposal report and the traffic impact assessment report, among others.


He said this led to KL MPs and many KL residents to claim that they were denied a fair hearing when objecting to development projects.


Fernandez said subsequently, many KL MPs promised residents in the capital that if PH won, they would uphold principles that were "essential to competency, accountability and transparency".


"This is the mantra PH repeatedly chanted when in the opposition, with their war cry of 'Reformasi' and 'Ubah' in governance," he said in a statement.


But DBKL, Fernandez said, is now appealing a decision of the Court of Appeal which held that residents have a right to such documents which were denied to them during the BN administration because of abuses by the previous administration.


"This shows clearly to KL residents that nothing has really changed and it is business as usual as far as the Federal Territories ministry and DBKL is concerned."


On March 13, the Court of Appeal nullified a public objection hearing on a high-density project in Taman Tiara Titiwangsa awarded to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP).


The court accepted the residents' argument that they were unable to present their case in a meaningful way under Rule 5 of the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982, which allows public participation in areas of planning and development control.


The residents said DBKL failed to give a detailed explanation of the project and did not meet their request for disclosure of technical reports such as those related to the project's impact on traffic flow and social well-being.


Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad has since defended the DBKL decision to take the matter to the Federal Court, saying it was a legal dispute.


"This is not a question of politics. DBKL will still need to follow the legal procedures," he was reported to have said.


https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/05/04/nothings-changed-says-expert-after-dbkl-appeals-court-decision-favouring-residents/


C'mon Derek, whack the Selangor state government and the Petaling Jaya City Council publicly as strongly as you have done the Pakatan Harapan controlled Federal Territories Ministry and the DBKL above.


Whack the Petaling Jaya City Council publicly for allowing the continuation of rampant high-rise development in Petaling Jaya which could either lead to lot of unsold or unoccupied properties on the one hand or to massive traffic congestion on the streets if they are occupied.


Whack them publicly for the potholed and uneven roads which we suffering residents of Petaling Jaya have had to endure all these years.


Whack them publicly for our dubious "honour" of having the highest rates of dengue in the country.


Whack them publicly for the high density transit-oriented developments (ToD) projects approved in and around Petaling Jaya and in Selangor.


Whack them for not providing enough recreational parks, green spaces and tree-lined roads for us the Petaling Jaya and Selangor public.


Whack the Selangor state government publicly over the water problems especially those of us on higher ground, such as some residents in Section 14 Petaling Jaya are facing.


Whack the Selangor state government for allowing the Damansara-Shah Alam elevated Highway (DASH) to run through Damansara Perdana and Mutiara Damansara despite residents' repeated demands that DASH should be routed away from their residential and commercial area.


Yours trully


Selangor Scheiss

http://selangorscheiss.blogspot.com/

Friday, 3 May 2019

MAK KHUIN WENG BRIEFS SECTION 14 RESIDENTS.

On 30 April 2019 I attended a talk by Petaling Jaya residents rights activist Mak Khuin Weng at the Section 14, Petaling Jaya Residents Association cabin.

Mak Khuin Weng is a former journalist and a former Petaling Jaya City Councillor for three terms and some of what he said is in his Facebook posting below the picture.

Mak also told us that the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) keeps on adding new projects to the Petaling Jaya Masterplan, when once decided upon, these masterplans which have a date should be frozen and not be added to.

Also, whilst the MBPJ gives residents the opportunity to formally file objections to the MBPJ, however it is very difficult for residents to obtain detailed documents related to the proposal, so find it difficult to put forward a credible objection and that is the same case with filing credible objections to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), and residents in neighbouring Kuala Lumpur, which is adjacent to Petaling Jaya face the same problem as us.

Thus we residents have to firefight to defend our interests. 

Well, all this under Pakatan Harapan state and federal governments, which we who voted for them had hoped that they would stand by us.

Well it looks like whoever we vote for, the government won and screws us just the same, whether Pakatan Harapan or Barisan Nasional. 



This s what Mak wrote one year ago.

Mak Khuin Weng
17 April 2018 ·

It's April 2018 and Pakatan Harapan still haven't taken a stand on their Transit Oriented Development Policy that was revealed in January due to a proposal to redevelop the A&W PJ.

Just to recap, in January this year, MBPJ approved a plot ratio 8 development on the A&W PJ site using TOD rules. This rule has not been formally adopted yet and the existing limitations is a plot ratio of 4.

Although the DAP ADUNs and Councillors staged a dramatic walkout of the MBPJ full board meeting in protest of the development, they still said that TOD rules are valid, although they have not explained when or how MBPJ adopted the TOD rules.

If you want the specifics, there will be links to my previous posts at the bottom.

Today's post is actually about how MBPJ cheated all of us back in 2012 even before they had a formal consideration of the TOD rules to increase development plot ratio from 4, and that evidence comes from the One-Way Loop Interim Report.

According to the report, one of the many justifications for the One-Way Loop was to make traffic smoother for development projects that had been approved in 2012. I have attached Pages 12, 13 and 14 for you to read.

Out of those 'committed projects' that necessitated the One-Way Loop, two of the projects had a plot ratio of 6. Both were projects near the Asia Jaya LRT Station. This was the precursor to the TOD Rules that they didn't even bother telling anyone about. They just quietly did it and then used the approved development projects to justify the One-Way Loop project.

I presented this at the RTPJ1 Hearing in July 2015 when MBPJ wanted to amend the local plan. Of course, my arguments were ignored, even though there was a blatant disregard by MBPJ when it came to enforcing their own rules.

This is one of the many reasons why I'm supporting a BN candidate now.

Mr Tan Gim Tuan actually spoke up against this sort of nonsense too: https://www.thestar.com.my/…/review-decision-on-much-talke…/

You can read more about how MBPJ screwed us over with the TOD rules in these previous posts:




You can go through the slide presentation which I uploaded three years ago here: https://www.scribd.com/…/2714234…/RTPJ1-Hearing-13-July-2015


Yours trully

Selangor Scheiss

Thursday, 2 May 2019

HOPEFULLY WE WILL SEE SOME PROPERTY DEVELOPERS GO BANKRUPT WITH THE PROPERTY GLUT

In my previous post - HIGH-RISE MONSTROSITIES, MORE QUIT RENT REVENUE FOR SELANGOR?  I criticised the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and the Pakatan state government of Selangor of 11 years now for allowing rampant building of high-rise monstrosities which could lead result in massive traffic congestion.


Furthermore, the additional number of residents occupying these condos and landed properties could well lead to an overload of our water and electricity supply networks.

Well the good news is that many of these new properties will be unlikely to be sold due to weak demand, whilst property developers are facing financial difficulties and a few bankruptcies amongst them will serve them right.

Following below is an article by Thean Lee Cheng, a former colleague at The Star and a former Section 14, Petaling Jaya resident. 

Payment woes for contractors

Monday, 22 Apr 2019

by thean lee cheng

PETALING JAYA: The weak property market in recent years has resulted in a competitive tendering environment for building construction jobs, with some contractors willing to cut prices in their efforts to secure new jobs, said Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) president Foo Chek Lee.

"It is a very competitive tendering environment now. For some tenders, we see more than 100 contractors bidding and it impacts all levels of contractors.

"Even big contractors are feeling the pinch and are tendering for jobs in lower-volume brackets just to tide over the challenging business environment," Foo said in an email response to comments from building construction sources that contractors are willing to accept a small loss in order to secure job contracts.

Last month, engineering and construction company Zelan Bhd filed a statement with Bursa Malaysia initiating arbitration proceedings against NRY Architects for RM305.4mil and other contract breaches for the construction of buildings of International Islamic University Malaysia in Kuantan.

A second Zelan statement to Bursa claimed RM3.34mil in outstanding payment for construction works from BBCC Development Sdn Bhd.

BBCC Development is the project owner of the multi-billion-ringgit Bukit Bintang City Centre, a joint venture between Eco World Development Group Bhd , UDA Holdings Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund.

Eco World disputed the claim.


An industry source said one construction company does not sour the entire sector, but three other sources said building contractors are feeling the strain of the weak property market.A source said he personally knows of one which closed down a few years ago when the property market began to weaken in 2014.

Another source said contractors would have to continue to play the game because of equipment purchased during the good times.

This second industry source said: "Previously, they could make more money and now they have to cut down their profits. They have their overheads and margins. They cannot retract too much because when the job comes back, there are not enough workers. We don't know where the economy is going."

MBAM's Foo said the key is "to tender the price fairly". Foo is also executive director of construction and civil engineers Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd .

"If a contractor prices too low, he may have problems delivering the project at the end of the day," Foo said.


The weak property market has resulted in an oversupply of residential units which lack demand on two counts – they are located in places which lack demand because the surroundings lack facilities and infrastructure, or they are priced out of reach of the ordinary folk.

The weak demand has resulted in developers putting the launch of new units on hold, or delaying their launches, impacting the building construction industry.


The construction industry is generally divided between building construction and infrastructure. The infrastructure boys, according to industry sources, seem to be faring better.Foo said most contractors would have experienced delays and non-payment problems. He hopes contra arrangements, giving properties in exchange for payment, are not very high."Contractors should be paid for work done – and not be paid in kind – to ease their cash flow," he said.


He said that as long as there are contractual arrangements and freedom between parties, contractors will continue to face payment issues.


"These issues (late or delayed payment or contra arrangements) not only happen in the property development or the construction industry, but also in other industries.


"This is part of the 'occupational hazard' and risk of the industry if you are unlucky to have a 'slow payment' or 'non-payment' client," he said.


Foo said MBAM has heard about such incidents "for quite some time".


"Sometimes, due to the prevailing market situation, contractors may have no choice but to accept payment in the form of properties and hopefully be able to dispose of them later and recover some of their money/payments. Sometimes, it might be due to contractual disputes," he said.He said this situation of delays or payment in kind has come about due to cash-flow problems and other contractual-related reasons.


https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2019/04/22/payment-woes-for-contractors/


This next article in The Star by Thean Lee Cheng reveals the weaknesses of the neo-liberal policy towards public housing inherited from the previous Barisan Nasional government and continued by the Pakatan Harapan government.

 

PR1MA public housing may be dissolve

Thursday, 2 May 2019

11:59 AM MYT

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia may be dissolved pending due diligence and a turnaround plan, its chairman Tan Sri Eddy Chen said.

He said on Thursday: "We found it very challenging because of the business model is numbers driven. It was given a big number to build and very little land to work on".

PR1MA was established under the PR1MA Act 2012 to plan, develop, construct and maintain high-quality housing with lifestyle concepts for middle-income households in key urban centres.

Its objective was that the housing units would be priced between RM100,000 to RM400,000.

The housing units were to be built in key strategic urban areas nationwide, PR1MA was open to all Malaysians with a monthly household income between RM2,500 to RM15,000.


Friday, 26 April 2019

HIGH-RISE MONSTROSITIES, MORE QUIT RENT REVENUE FOR SELANGOR?

I've often complained about the mushrooming of high-rise mixed developments in Petaling Jaya, when I had hoped that with the then Pakatan Rakyat having won the right to be the Selangor state government in the 2013 general elections, we would have seen changes to the Petaling Jaya "development" masterplans inherited from the previous Barisan Nasional state government, which would more tightly regulate and limit high-rise developments in favour of more people-friendly developments such as public gardens, parks, fewer potholed roads, better public facilities and so forth.

Whilst I can understand that such developments approved under the former Barisan Nasional government and which had already begun would have to be allowed to continue under the new Pakatan Selangor state government, however by around 2010, the new government could have begun to impose restrictions and regulations on future high-rise developments, with changes in policies for the benefit of the people of Petaling Jaya and of Selangor as a whole.

However, high-rise construction has continued unabated through the 2013 an 2018 general elections until today, 11 years of Pakatan governance of Selangor state, under which comes the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) as well as other local councils in Selangor.

Why?

Well late last year, Peter Foo, my neighbour and Deputy-Chairman of a residents' association in my neighbourhood complained to me that the quite rent or cukai tanah in Malay (land rent) on his apartments in Millennium Square, Section 14, Petaling Jaya had been increased by eight times since he bought his apartment, in which he lives.

And, today 26 April 2019, Star Metro highlights Peter's and other high-rise residents' complaints.

This raises questions as to whether the Selangor state government has continued to allow high-rise mixed developments categorised as commercial or limited commercial in Petaling Jaya and Selangor, so that  they can collect more quit rent for the Selangor state coffers.

Star Metro's article follows below:-


Drastic quit rent hikes after change shock apartment owners

Friday, 26 Apr 2019


OWNERS of high-rises in Selangor are seeing a drastic increase following the conversion of quit rent to parcel rent last year.


Residents living in stratified buildings, either commercial or residential, are seeing an increase of between 500% and 800% from the previous amount


Petaling Jaya resident Peter Foo, 76, has to pay RM292 – compared to RM34.11 previously – for his unit, which is categorised as a commercial development. This is a 756% hike.


Foo has been living in his apartment in Section 14 for 13 years, and finds the sudden increase illogical.


He said he was kept in the dark about the new fees.


"As citizens, we accept that the government should raise rates once in awhile but it should not be this high. If the rates are reasonable, we can accept it," he said.


Foo said 20% of the people living in his building were retirees and the parcel rent rates, on top of increases in water and electricity bills for commercial lots, would add to the cost of living.


Ninety-year-old Khaw Tee Joo was also affected by the sudden rise in quit rent. He now has to pay RM358 for parcel rent since last year, instead of RM41.86 formerly.


Florence Wong is now paying RM272 a year instead of RM31.78 for her 82sq m unit.


She said she was shocked to see her first parcel rent bill but did not get any answers when she asked her joint management body (JMB) about the sudden increase nor at the Shah Alam Land Office when she made payment.           

 
She also said the parcel rent bill was not delivered to her home address.

"I received it from my JMB when I paid maintenance fees. My address is on the bill, why was it not sent to me?"

Foo and Wong said they wanted to know how PTGS came up with the figures for their parcel rent bill.

A resident and member of the management corporation of a condominium in Ampang, who requested anonymity, said residents had seen a 566% increase in land tax since the change.

"Previously, we would pay a total of RM800 for the bulk quit rent, which amounted to around RM6 per unit. But now, residents are being billed RM40 per unit.

"Many were confused about the change and there were problems with the payment method as well.

"Some had to go to the land office just to clarify issues as there was no information on their website," she said.

A JMB member of a condominium in Petaling Jaya, Meng Yew Choong questioned why the parcel rent bills were still being sent to the building management.

"I feel PTGS should send the bill directly to owners as their addresses are already printed on the bill.

"The land office is the one collecting the quit rent, not the JMB. It is not appropriate for PTGS to treat the JMBs as the post office, more so when a JMB is in charge of hundreds of units or even more than a thousand," he said.

Meng added that the management had to send out more than 900 bills to owners, some of whom do not stay at the condominium.


A friend and former journalist colleague has been doing some informal surveys by asking questions of staff of various high-rise developments in and around my neighbourhood and has learned that the majority of the units in these high-rise monstrosities are either unoccupied or unsold and staff of these buildings have been instructed to turn on the lights in some of the units to give the false impression that they are occupied.

Also, that some of these property developers are desperately holding promotional drives to get people to buy but there have been few takers.

It will be interesting to see how many of the monstrous high-rise developments in Section 13, Section 52 currently under construction or awaiting their Certificate of Fitness will sell once they are completed and approved for occupation.

And now, there's another proposal to build another monstrous high-rise development in Section 51A, Petaling Jaya, across the river, LRT line and electrical high-tension lines from Millennium Square.



The proposal in the MBPJ notice above is for:-

i. 12 units of shops or retail outlets on the ground floor of the podium block.

ii. Two blocks of serviced apartments (or 1,480 units) above 10 floors of car park.

iii. One 32-storey block of affordable housing (432 units) above an eight storeys of podium car park with residents' facilities on floors 1 and 9.

Now that's 1.480 + 432 = 1,912 units in all.






Residents of Section 14, Petaling Jaya are concerned about this proposed development adjacent to us.




On 18 December 2018, Star Metro wrote:-

Residents fear another high-rise

https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/12/18/residents-fear-another-highrise/


Meanwhile, I understand that MBPJ's technical sub-committee had told the developer to redo it's proposed plan, with the traffic report about the one way access road from Jalan Utara to the proposed development being one of the reasons for their objection. 

As it stands right now, there is only one narrow road from its junction with Jalan Utara by Menara Axis which leads to the site of this proposed development and any idiot will know that the traffic going in and out of this proposed development plus existing traffic from the office, colleges and commercial buildings already along this road wll result in horrendous traffic congestion on Jalan Utara which will cause a kickback of traffic congestion of cars wanting to exit the Federal Highway nearby onto Jalan Utara, as well as traffic coming from Jalan Barat across the Federal Highway into Jalan Utara.


Some years back, the ring road comprised of Jalan Utara, Jalan Timur, Jalan Sultan and Jalan Barat was converted into a One Way Loop supposedly to facilitate faster and smoother flow of traffic all in one direction and any massive congestion on the One Way Loop, especially so close to the ramp coming up from the Federal Highway and traffic coming over from Jalan Barat will defeat the stated purpose of the One Way Loop in the first place.

I guess this is how the local and state authorities plan to make Petaling Jaya into a "liveable city".

I took this picture below in May 2017 of a new addition to our "liveable city" beside Jalan Barat and Jalan Sultan being under construction. 

 

I guess the Petaling Jaya city centre centre in Section 52 (a.k.a. "PJ New Town Centre" or "PJ State"), where the MBPJ headquarters, the  Petaling Jaya Civic Centre and the MBPJ tower are located is a model of a "liveable city" for the rest of Petaling Jaya.

Note our "liveable city" with bicycle lanes which nobody uses, I guess since very few cyclists dare brave the horrendous motor traffic on the roads to get to this city centre which sits on less than 1 square kilometre and perhaps is one of the world's smallest city centres. However, I suppose that these unused bicycle lanes, coupled with arty farty decorations such as displays of clay pots, figurines, community art, stages for musical performances and so forth make Petaling Jaya appear to be oh so "progressive" and "world class" a city.
    


Heck! The Messegelände Hannover (Hannover Fairgound) which houses a series of trade fairs all year round, including the CeBIT information and communications technology fair around March, is roughly 1km x 1km (1 sq km) in area and much bigger than the Petaling Jaya city centre.

Here is an interactive map of  Messegelände Hannover:-

The trade fair organisers provided free shuttle buses for visitors and media to travel around this giant exhibition centre. Besides buses, the fairground is also served by a dedicated tram line and as well as Deutsche Bahn's (German Railways) Laatzen train station via a long overhead walkway to the fairground.

When I first covered CeBIT for The Star in 1996, I stayed at a homestay in Hannover and rode the U-Bahn (tram) to the fairground, well at least part of the way since with 800,000 fairground visitors converging in Hannover, a city of 500,000, the tram to the fair ground was chock full of passengers.

I covered CeBIt for a second time in 2005, and this time we stayed in the port city of Hamburg and commuted about one hour and 40 minutes each day to Laatzen Station by Deutche Bahn's ICE trains sometimes travelling at up to 200kmph and back the same day.  However, there's a point along the way before Hannover where some kink or something like that in the railway track causes the train to lurch violently to the side, so standing passengers had better hang on tight or get flung to the side. I wonder whether they've fixed this problem by now.

Also, I noticed the German word "fährt" used a lot as part of longer words around the Hamburg seafront. I understand it means "journey" in German.

Meanwhile, new developments are taking place by the MBPJ headquarters and I took this photo below in the evening of 9 February 2019 and Jalan Young Shook Lin looks like it has morphed into Sungai Yong Shook Lin (Yong Shook Lin River) with water flooding outside of the Buy, Sell Trade store.


I suppose the authorities want to turn Petaling Jaya into the "Venice of South-East Asia" complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers rowing romantic couples along the rivers and canals of Petaling Jaya.

I'm sure the MPBJ would welcome the tourist dollar, yen, renmenbe, euro, peso, franc, etc.

Meanwhile, if MBPJ wants to make the Petaling Jaya city centre more arty farty, they should hold regular fährt-ing contests in the city centre, with the Mayor of Petaling Jaya handing out first, second and third prizes to the winners.

The fährt-ing contests must strictly comply international rules that contestants are disqualified if more than wind comes out, also since mostly wind comes out of the mouths of MBPJ and the Selangor state government.

Yours trully

Selangor Scheiss


Wednesday, 20 March 2019

A SUGGESTION TO THE SPEAKER OF THE SELANGOR STATE ASSEMBLY

Whilst I am not a great one for dress codes myself, however I have a suggestion for the Speaker and the Selangor State Assembly with regards dress codes.

I.E. - Require all who attend the Selangor State Assembly, including invited guests, journalists and so forth to wear a dark coloured blazer ONLY - yes ONLY.

We got bigger issues affecting us "basket of deplorables" at local level in Selangor and Petaling Jaya, such as massive high-rise developments sprouting up or planned and threatening to result in massive traffic congestion on our roads and these kinds of petty issues rank top priority amongst our Selangor state elected representatives in their "august" house.



Selangor Speaker: Assembly 'dress code' not a sexist directive


Wednesday, 20 Mar 2019 3:16 PM MYT


PETALING JAYA: It was not a personal attack nor an attack against women, says Selangor State Assembly Speaker Ng Suee Lim on the dress code issue involving Bukit Lanjan PKR assemblyman Elizabeth Wong.


Ng said his warning was merely an attempt to bring order and discipline to the House as opposed to an attempt at telling women representatives what to wear.


"Let us not twist the situation to make it sound like gender bias. It is about the discipline of our assemblymen – regardless of gender," he added.


Ng said this was not the first time he had remarked on a representatives' choice of clothes, saying he had chided Taman Templer assemblyman Mohd Sany Hamzan before.


He said he made the ruling on Tuesday (March 19) for everyone to wear dark-coloured blazers during the state assembly seating.


Ng also said he would include the term "dark-coloured blazer" in future invites for the state assembly seating.


He said this after Elizabeth Wong's statement in Malaysiakini, chiding Ng for criticising her choice of outfit at the state assembly on Tuesday.


Wong had dressed in a white blazer, one she had worn many times in the past.


In her statement, Wong said that the choice of blazer should not be an issue.


"In this day and age, why is it men still have to determine how a woman legislator dresses?" she questioned.


Wong had said there was no ruling barring women from wearing light-coloured clothes.


She said the only rule was that female representatives needed to dress in a respectful manner and be in a blazer.


"The speaker made his ruling at 1pm, which is the exact time the assembly adjourned. Which meant there was no room to question or debate the issue.


"When I told the speaker the 'colour code' does not apply to women, and when I showed him the notice from his office, he said he made the ruling then and there," she explained.


When asked if Ng would allow assemblymen to debate on the new ruling, he said they would have to raise a motion to do so.


Wong, however, was not seen at the Selangor state assembly seating on Wednesday (March 20).


https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/03/20/selangor-speaker-assembly-dress-code-not-a-sexist-directive/