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Some residents sceptical over new initiative

Source: the Star Mar 26

DESPITE Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) initiative to make public complaints more transparent through the use of Facebook, some resident leaders are sceptical over this new system.

Though they welcome this new effort, they rather stick to their existing complaint system which is via the WhatsApp group chat on their smartphones.

Consisting of residents, cleaning contractors and MBPJ supervisors, this simple group chat platform is more interactive and the response to complaints is prompt.

“I seldom check Facebook so I do not think I will end up using it.

“I am very happy and comfort-able with our WhatsApp group chat,” said Section 6 Kota Damansara Residents Association representative Al Padzul Abu Hassan.

With their group chat, all residents have to do is alert their cleaning contractors to a problem and it will get tended to immediately.

“Last Saturday, I made a complaint in the group about uncollected rubbish outside my house and it was collected in under two hours.

“If the complaint was made via the Aduan MBPJ’s Facebook page, I would have to wait for a while longer,” he said.

“This is because it will take about an hour for the official complaint number to be given after a complaint is lodged, and execution will take between four hours and a week,” he pointed out.

Using a similar complaint platform is Ara Idaman Protem Committee chairman Albert Lau, who said contractors in Ara Damansara were very active on the group chat.

“The MBPJ supervisor introduced the contractors to all residents and then formed the group chat for us to lodge complaints.

“I think this is a more effective way than Facebook. I have nothing against the Facebook complaints system but frankly there are better methods which can be put in place,” he said.

He added that an effective complaint system would be to have more proactive people on the ground engaging with residents.

Section 5 Residents Association president Mohamed Rafiq is also sceptical if this new method would work.

“We have been promised a better complaint system numerous times over the years but it is still the same.

“I do not see how this can be different unless the internal staff are monitored and managed properly,” he said.

He is worried that this Facebook complaints page would end up the same as the older systems, where there was absolutely no progress after a complaint number was issued.

Rafiq urged MBPJ to come up with proper service standards and an intelligent computer system in place.

“This service standard should be applied to all complaints and help ensure they are tended to and completed within the specific time frame.

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Boom gates in residential areas legal, rules Federal Court

Source: the Star Mar 26

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has ruled that the use of boom gates across public roads and guardhouses in residential areas is legal.

A five-member panel, chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, said regulated access to a defined area was not an obstruction in law, particularly if it was for security purposes.

“It is so only if one is denied access to a public place. It is not a barricade that is placed across a public road that denies access altogether to all who wish to enter,” said Justice Zulkefli in his 18-page judgment delivered on March 19.

He said guardhouses and boom gates were authorised structures under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 as well as the Local Government Act 1976.

“It cannot be disputed that guarded communities are schemes implemented to improve public safety and security in defined residential areas,” he said.

The panel dismissed an appeal brought by Au Kean Hoe, a resident of the D’Villa Equestrian housing estate in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, who had commenced legal action against the D’Villa Equestrian Residents’ Association.

Au claimed that the guardhouse and two boom gates built in the housing estate ought to be demolished because they were illegal structures, a nuisance and amounted to an obstruction.

Justice Zulkefli said the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), as the relevant local authority in the present case, was fully empowered to approve the guardhouse with the boom gates in accordance with MBPJ guidelines for guarded communities issued by the Urban Planning Department in May 2011.

He said the developer of the housing estate obtained approval from MBPJ for the construction of the guardhouse.

Justice Zulkefli said both the High Court and the Court of Appeal had correctly concluded that Au’s claim of inconvenience caused by the presence of the guardhouse and boom gates was not an actionable nuisance.

In Aug 2010, Au ceased to be a member of the residents’ association of the housing estate and stopped paying maintenance and security charges of RM250 per month, which was later reduced to RM200.

Au lodged a police report and an online complaint on the MBPJ website after the association issued a circular on Oct 25, 2011, notifying residents that those who had not paid the security and maintenance charges would have to open the boom gates themselves without the assistance of the security guard on duty.

He subsequently commenced legal action on the grounds of nuisance while the association made a counter claim for arrears of security and maintenance charges and also sought an injunction order to restrain him from harassing the association and the security guards at the guardhouse.

The High Court dismissed Au’s claim but allowed the association’s counter-claim and issued the injunction order. Au lost his appeal in the Court of Appeal.

Au was represented by a team of lawyers led by Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar while the association was represented by a team of lawyers led by Datuk Dr Cyrus Das.

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Mugged, beaten and bruised

Source: the Star Mar 23

PETALING JAYA: Three friends were mugged and one severely beaten by four robbers armed with taser guns and motorcycle locks after their car broke down in Ara Damansara.

Although they shouted for help, passing motorists merely slowed down to look before driving off.

One of the victims, Fiqa Liyana Chong, 25, said their car stalled after they drove out of a shopping centre after supper early Saturday morning.

She stayed in the car while her two male friends, aged 28 and 30, waited outside for a tow truck.

At about 3am, four men wearing motorcycle helmets rode up, threatening them with taser guns and swinging motorcycle locks.

“It all happened very fast. We emptied our pockets and gave them our phones and wallets.

“I managed to hide my phone under the car seat,” Chong said, adding that she ran out of the car when one robber tried to harm her.

“A car passed us and my friend asked for help. But they just looked and drove away.

“He shouted to three or four cars but no one came to help,” she said, adding that one of the robbers used a motorcycle lock to hit her friend on the head and left hand.

She said the suspects grew scared and rode off after a car finally made a turn back to help them.

Chong said her friend required 17 stitches.

Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Azmi Abu Kassim confirmed the reports, saying that police were trying to identify the suspects.

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Ara Damansara residents hold joyful CNY do

Source: the Star Mar 10

RAIN failed to put a damper on Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations at Ara Damansara’s Alissia and Atilia housing development projects. There was a large turnout of over 400 for the event which was organised by the residents association (RA).

The evening started with a traditional lion dance performance, followed by a buffet dinner and a 20-minute fireworks display at the central playground along Jalan PJU 1A/1H to round off the evening. Children were happily seen enjoying snacks at the popcorn and ice-cream stand.

RA chairman Theodore Tan said the CNY celebration, held annually, was a way of giving back to residents.

“We started organising this six years ago, a couple of years after the RA was officially launched. Any surplus from the RA subscription fees goes to the celebration.”

“Some members sponsored the fireworks,” said Tan, who has served as chairman since its founding.

This year, he said, the turnout was slightly lower, which he attributed to the poor weather.

Mahendra Mohan said he enjoyed attending the CNY do with his wife and newborn.

“Events like these help us get to know our neighbours better,” Mahendra said.

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Accident near Maisson

There was an accident along Jalan 1A/3 near Maisson Ara Damansara at around 11am today. A man with dark skin was seen lying in the middle of the road and motionless. A small crowd has gathered around the site and two police car were parked nearby.

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Nasty accident at Damansara Idaman

Another notorious junction where probably someone was trying to beat the red light. This happened around noon yesterday.

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Happy Chinese New Year

2015 is the year of the Goat. People born in a year of the Goat are generally believed to be gentle mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice.

They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts.

Though they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending much time in their thoughts. Goats like to spend money on fashionable things that give them a first class appearance. Although goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.

We wish all residents and friends Happy Chinese New Year. May this year of the Goat brings you luck, happiness and success.

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Maid found hanging in a bathroom

Source: theSun Feb 8

PETALING JAYA: An Indonesian maid was found hanging in a bathroom of a house at Damansara Idaman, Ara Damansara today.

The body of Yustina Due, 23, was discovered by her employer early in the morning, prompting her to alert the police at about 7.12am.

District police chief ACP Azmi Abu Kassim said preliminary investigations showed that the woman was found hanging by a piece of blanket tied to the ceiling.

“There were no traces of foul play and she is believed to have committed suicide.

“Initial investigations also revealed that there were bruises on her neck which resulted from the blanket that she used,” said Azmi, adding that the police had notified the Indonesia High Commission.

It was learnt that the maid had been working in Malaysia for more than six months and that she had valid travel documents.

The body was sent to University Malaya Medical Centre (PPUM) for an autopsy and police have classified the case as sudden death.

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61-year-old crashes into petrol station’s convenience store

Source : NST Feb 4

PETALING JAYA: A 61-year-old woman crashed her car into the convenience store of a petrol station at Ara Damansara, here, today.

District police chief Assistant Commissioner Azmi Abu Kassim said the incident unfolded at about 9.30am this morning.

“The woman had accidentally stepped on the accelerator pedal of her Proton Wira instead of the brakes, causing her to crash into the convenience store,” he said.

The woman had just finished filling up her vehicle with petrol and was believed to be heading out of the premises.

The crash had shattered the premises’ glass doors and walls.

It was learnt that two workers were manning the cashier counter at the time of the incident.

“I am thankful that no customers were inside the premises when the car crashed,” said a staff who declined to be name.

Azmi said no one was injured.

The estimated losses suffered by the petrol station was around RM20,000.

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PUB at oasis

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