Ara Damansara set to mature

Source: MalaysianInsider Sept 18 2015

Ara Damansara, Selangor, is a relatively new and affluent township that is becoming increasingly popular among city dwellers in the Klang Valley.

Originally made up of large parcels of freehold land in Petaling Jaya North along the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport road, this modern suburb was first developed in 1999 by Sime Darby Bhd.

Hedged by rows of mature trees, Ara Damansara is evidently well-planned. The sleek township is mainly made up of gated and guarded terraced housing and high-rise condominiums, targeted at the upper middle class.

Most of the developments boast modern designs and green features. Some of the notable landed high-end developments include the stunning Seri Pilmoor bungalows and semi-detached homes by Sime Darby.

Ara Damansara has a wealth of amenities such as malls, commercial centres and a medical centre.

The Oasis Square by Sime Darby Bhd, is one of the coolest hangout spots in Ara Damansara. It has numerous high-profile restaurants, cafés, sky bars and bistros such as Rakuzen, The Royal Flush and Crazy Crabs.

Situated about 15 minutes away from the mixed-use commercial development is British hypermart chain, Tesco.

One of the earliest and best known shopping landmarks in Ara Damansara is Citta Mall, offering a wide selection of restaurants, services and entertainment for local residents such as the Firezone Family KTV Karaoke and MBO Cinemas.

The Ara Damansara Medical Centre is also situated in the heart of Ara Damansara.

This township has excellent schools nearby such as IOP International Preschool, Kinderland and the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur.

Neighbouring Ara Damansara are golf courses such as Saujana Golf and Country Club and Tropicana Golf and Country Resort.

In terms of connectivity, Ara Damansara is well-connected to highways such as the New Pantai Expressway (NPE), New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Lebuhraya-Damansara Puchong (LDP) and Federal Highway.

Surrounded by greenery, Ara Damansara certainly exudes a cool vibe and an upmarket appeal, earning it a reputation as one of the most sought-after addresses in the Klang Valley.

Next to Ara Damansara is Subang, an old industrial area known for housing the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport and aviation business-related offices. Covering the areas of Taman Subang Pelangi, Taman Desa Subang and Subang New Village, Subang is bounded by the Guthrie Corridor Expressway.

Unlike its newer residentially-concentrated counterpart Ara Damansara, Subang has plenty of commercial and industrial areas such as the Mah Sing Integrated Industrial Park (MSIIP) by Mah Sing Group Bhd.

Despite their proximity, Ara Damansara and Subang offer very different landscapes.

Decoding the paradox of Ara Damansara, Subang

Ara Damansara and Subang have collectively witnessed significant growth in the past couple of years.

Based on theedgeproperty.com’s research, the combined prices of non-landed residential property in Ara Damansara and the adjacent Subang area have remained stable in 2012 and 2013, averaging just under RM300 per sq ft (psf), before shooting up to RM384 psf in 3Q2014.

This represents a 29.8% year-on-year growth from RM294 psf in 3Q2013.

Despite the recent poor market sentiments, demand for homes in Ara Damansara and Subang remains strong.

“At present, the demand for properties in both areas is still intact. Occupancy of existing schemes are relatively high at 80% and above,” says Anthony Chua, director of KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton (M) Sdn Bhd.

Ara Damansara and Subang are interestingly diverging markets with contrasting price points.

The luxury resort condominium development Ara Hill by Sime Darby is the most expensive non-landed residence with an average transacted price per unit at RM1,308,000. The second most expensive project, at an average transacted price per unit of RM568,000, is Oasis Serviced Suites, also developed by Sime Darby.

The least expensive units can be found among low-cost apartments scattered around Subang, such as the flats around Taman Subang Perdana (average RM94,000 per unit), Subang Suria apartments (RM136,000) at Taman Subang Intan, and Subang Impian (RM142,000) at Subang 2.

Chua notes the disparity between the areas. “Ara Damansara is a new and well-planned scheme by an established developer while Subang is collectively made up of older and smaller schemes,” he says, adding that Ara Damansara has wider roads and landscaped parks.

“While Ara Damansara is targeted at the upmarket set, Subang offers low-to-medium cost developments,” says Chua.

Based on theedgeproperty.com’s analysis of data in the 12 months to 3Q2014, the largest market share of transactions (41.5%) falls between RM100,001 and RM200,000. This is due to Subang’s large number of low-cost apartments and flats.

The second largest share of transactions (12%) range from RM500,001 to RM600,000. This comes exclusively from Ara Damansara. Also in the same review period, some 5% of transactions were for homes above RM1 million in Ara Damansara.

“Ara Damansara’s excellent infrastructure and accessibility to areas such as Taman Mayang, Bandar Utama and Tropicana are some of the reasons why the township is doing significantly better than the neighbouring Subang,” notes Lee Jastin, director of Oriental Realty.

Due to the disparity in infrastructure and price points, Ara Damansara and Subang clearly draw different markets. Lee says the target market in Subang is the lower middle-class segment. “They are mostly owner occupiers and more mature families compared to the younger segment in Ara Damansara,” he adds.

Over in Ara Damansara, the target market is mainly the upper middle class. “The buyers are mostly owner occupiers between the ages of 33 and 55,” says Datuk Adrian Wang, managing director of CBD Properties Sdn Bhd. They tend to be upgraders comprising both locals and expatriates.

“The best-selling property types in both Ara Damansara and Subang are still the double-storey link homes,” says Nicole Chew, principal of Reapfield Properties Sdn Bhd (Ara Damansara Branch).

“There is a higher demand for landed properties in the areas due to an undersupply of landed properties. There is less demand for non-landed properties as there are many newly-completed and upcoming highrise projects here,” she adds.

Steady rental yields

In terms of price growth, the low-cost apartments and flats chart the highest growth in capital values on a percentage basis, based on research by theedgeproperty.com. With low starting capital values, even modest absolute gains in the average transacted prices would lead to higher percentage growth.

According to the data by the edgeproperty.com, Subang Impian has gained RM43 psf, a growth of 35.6% y-o-y to reach RM163 psf in average price, in the 12 months to September 2014. Puncak Nusa Kelana in Ara Damansara has recorded a growth of up to 30.8% y-o-y to RM443 psf over the same period.

“The current rental yields in Ara Damansara range from 4% to 5%, while the rental yields in Subang are from 7% to 8%,” notes Oriental Realty’s Lee.

Based on the data by theedgeproperty.com, as at June 2015, Pangsapuri Merak in Kampung Melayu Subang generated the highest rental yields at 8.0% annually, due to its low capital value (RM179 psf). In Ara Damansara, the highest yields can be found in Puncak Nusa Kelana (4.9%), Oasis Serviced Suites (4.7%) and Puncak Seri Kelana (4.6%) (Chart 2).

However, Pacific Place recorded a lower average rental rate of RM1.74 psf, with an indicative rental yield of 3.7% per annum due to its higher supply of units available for rent.

Pros and cons

There are certain pros and cons in living in Ara Damansara and Subang. “Ara Damansara is a relatively quiet area that has a good concept with plenty of green surroundings,” says CBD Properties’ Wang.

“Besides its great amenities, there is still much land for new developments to come in. The concept of Ara Damansara is comparable to Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam, where you see well-planned roads and cul-de-sacs, with rows of well-designed resort homes and nice landscaping. I believe Ara Damansara is the first area in Petaling Jaya to introduce this luxurious, resort-like concept,” says Wang.

The Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport in Subang. – Pic courtesy of the edgeproperty.com, September 18, 2015.Lee, concurs. “Ara Damansara and Subang are also both minutes away from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport, which is a huge plus for its residents.”

“However, there will be many upcoming highrises in Ara Damansara that may be taxing the current infrastructure. They will also increase the traffic congestion along the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport road,” says KGV Lambert’s Chua. “And although the prices of homes in Subang are comparatively more affordable, there is a lack of amenities in the area,” adds Chua.

“Another challenge is the fact that both areas do not have enough corporate tenants and and high-income professionals to catch up with the current rental in most premium areas such as Bangsar and Mutiara Damansara,” adds Wang.

Spillover potential

In terms of residential supply, there is a shortage of landed homes in both Ara Damansara and Subang.

“Currently, there is a shortage of landed properties in Ara Damansara. There will be a few thousand condominium units available in the area in the next two to three years. If these are owner-occupied, then the supply for the speculation market will be limited. In contrast, if it is the other way round, you will see many units up for rental or subsale,” says Wang.

“In Subang, there is also a shortage of landed homes and the highrises are limited to residential only,” he adds.

Although Ara Damansara and Subang possess different qualities, both areas have positive property outlooks. “Values in both areas are expected to appreciate between 10% to 20%,” says Chua.

What the future holds

There are future catalysts for Ara Damansara and Subang. “For Ara Damansara, the upcoming LRT station will be one of the key drivers to its growing market,” says Chua.

Connectivity in Ara Damansara is set to improve when the new LRT station on the Kelana Jaya line extension is completed.

“Meanwhile, the upcoming Kwasa Damansara by Kwasa Land, will be a catalyst for the Subang area. Kwasa Damansara lies within Subang and Sungai Buloh. The future developments of the 2,330-acre Kwasa Damansara township in the next 20 years may spill over into Subang,” adds Chua.

“However, before a spillover could happen in Subang, the area within Ara Damansara itself has to be more mature. There are still many ongoing projects which need to be filled,” says Lee. “The values will remain consolidated and stable for the next few years before it rises again,” he adds.

Indeed, Ara Damansara is witnessing a number of new non-landed residential launches such as Maisson Residences by Newfields Property, AraGreens Residences by HSB Development and The Potpourri by See Hoy Chan Sdn Bhd. These projects are poised to boost the secondary market prices in Ara Damansara in the near future.

“The Potpourri and AraGreens Residences are among the high-end developments in Ara Damansara,” says Wang. Due to be completed in 2018, The Potpourri has 743 apartment units with built-ups of 525 to 2,440 sq ft. The leasehold development is priced at RM800 psf and has a take-up rate of 70% so far.

The avant-garde AraGreens Residences consist of six blocks of 15-storey apartment buildings, with a total of 700 units (eight units on each floor). With built-ups from 715 to 3,143 sq ft, this serviced apartment is aptly priced at RM700 to RM800 (according to floor level) and is expected to complete by the end of 2015. Since its launch in August 2012, Ara Greens has had a take-up rate of 80%.

On the other hand, Maisson Residences is a medium to high-end development, according to Wang. With a gross development value (GDV) of RM850 million, the 8.9-acre Maisson Residences was previously known as Platinum Damansara that was abandoned for about seven years, before Newfields Property took over in 2014. With built-ups ranging from 500 to 1,385 sq ft, its prices start from RM360,000. Due to be completed in March 2017, Maisson is 93% taken up since its launch in April last year.

“Compared with Subang, Ara Damansara has more upcoming developments. I believe there is more potential for Ara Damansara due to its amenities,” says Lee. “Subang’s limited amenities and industrial characteristics may continue to hinder potential price growth,” Lee offers.

Hence, despite the potential for a spillover from Kwasa Damansara, both the Ara Damansara and Subang property markets are likely to continue to perform differently.

What to invest in now?

According to Wang, investors who are interested in Ara Damansara/Subang should consider buying landed homes for their own stay as the capital appreciation may hold in the next five years at least.

“Investors should also consider investing in commercial properties in Ara Damansara because their price points have not reached their highest points. Sime Darby is forecast to bring in more anchor tenants and corporations into commercial developments in the area,” says Wang.

Reapfield’s Chew concurs. “The landed properties in Ara Damansara generally have better capital appreciation. Thus, landed properties are the best investments due to scarcity of land.

“If you are looking for higher rental yield, the high-rises below the RM1 million mark may be the better choice,” she says.

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Source: TheEdge

his is the first in a series of four snapshots on Ara Damansara and Subang. Look out for part two tomorrow.

  • This week’s spotlight falls on non-landed residential properties in the upmarket neighbourhood of Ara Damansara and the adjacent Subang area. In this study, Subang covers the region from Taman Subang Pelangi and Taman Desa Subang in the north to Taman TTDI Jaya in the south, and is bounded by the Guthrie Corridor Expressway in the west.
  • Based on theedgeproperty.com’s analysis of transactions, the combined prices of properties in Subang and Ara Damansara remained fairly stable in 2012 and 2013, averaging just under RM300 per square foot (psf), before shooting up to RM384 psf in 3Q2014. This represents a 29.8% y-o-y growth from RM294 psf in 3Q2013. Meanwhile, total transaction volume for the 12 months to 3Q2014 declined 35.8% y-o-y from 559 to 359 units.
  • On closer examination, it appears that while Ara Damansara and Subang are neighbours, the markets have diverged, with Ara Damansara enjoying rapid development while Subang has stagnated.
  • Ara Damansara is already an upmarket township and is becoming increasingly popular, especially with the addition of amenities such as malls, a medical centre and retail developments. The surge in the average price at the beginning of 2Q2014 can also be attributed to the completion of Pacific Place in Ara Damansara, a sizeable integrated development.
  • Meanwhile, the decline in transaction volume was due to fewer transactions in Subang. Both property markets are likely to continue to perform differently, especially as connectivity improves at Ara Damansara, which is set to receive a new LRT station with the Kelana Jaya line extension.

Read more


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Salam Merdeka!

Image source from SoyaCincau

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Substation too close for comfort

Source: the Star July 21st

SOME 120 residents in Ara Impian and Ara Idaman protested against the development of a main substation in Jalan PJU1A/19 Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya recently.

Their concerns about the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) substation included noise and sound pollution, health fears over possible radiation exposure and a drop in property values.

Some of the residents said they were not aware that a main substation would be built in the area when they bought their houses 10 to 15 years ago.

The Ara Impian Residents Association (AIRA), representing its residents, have written to the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) since 2013 to voice their displeasure.

Despite the residents’ objections, AIRA chairman Jonathan Bong said TNB had organised a meeting on April 3 and announced that it had received a development order (DO) for construction works from the council.

However, the RA’s requests to view the DO from MBPJ and TNB have been fruitless.

Bong wants MBPJ to issue stop-work order to TNB and its contractors and to work with TNB to identify a more suitable site for the substation.

“There is only one access road to this neighbourhood,” said Bong, adding that there were 385 houses in Ara Impian and more than 400 houses in Ara Idaman.

Their other grounds of objection include increased traffic congestion and inconvenience to residents should the road be used to facilitate construction works.

Bong added that while they understood the need to upgrade the power supply in view of new developments in the vicinity, the residents could not accept that the substation needed to be constructed in the middle of a residential area.

Residents are also unhappy that hoarding has been installed around the project site without any signboards to inform the public about the project.

Bong said that they had also written a letter of objection to the office of Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali but had not received a response to date and expressed disappointment with their councillor, TNB and the council.

Ara Idaman Residents Association pro-tem chairman Albert Lau said that they had been working in tandem with AIRA.

“As far as we are concerned, we do not want it around,” he said.

“In any development taking place anywhere, the views of the people or residents must be obtained,” said Kota Damansara assemblyman Halimaton Saadiah Bohan, who was also present.

“In this case, the residents are voicing several concerns including possible risks to their health, so I think that the state government or council must take an initiative to do the necessary research before allowing any developments to take place,” she said, adding that the safety, health and comfort of residents can be affected.

Halimaton added that if for certain reasons, MBPJ does not take action, she will take action through the state government.

When contacted, MBPJ councillor in charge of the area Suriase Gengiah said the land had been gazetted for TNB.

Suriase added that residents can visit the Petaling District Land Office to view the DO while the council should not be blamed for the development as the land belonged to TNB.

“It is important to supply power to the area as it is a developing one,” he said, adding that there are many developments coming up, including condominiums.

He added that he was looking into the concerns of residents and was in the midst of collecting more information from MBPJ’s Planning Development Department about the project and expected to obtain it after the Hari Raya festivities.

In an email response, TNB corporate affairs and communications senior general manager Datuk Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Amin said TNB had received the DO from MBPJ in Nov 2014 and subsequently, a Building Plan for the main substation (PMU) in March 2015.

“The DO has been shown during a briefing to residents on April 3,” he said, adding that based on MBPJ’s advise, copies of the DO were not released.

“Only MBPJ has the authority to release the copies to anyone.

“We were allocated 1.2ha of land and only this area was identified in the development plan,” said Mohd Aminuddin, adding that the residents were fully aware of the substation’s construction through numerous briefings held by TNB.

“Currently, the preliminary works being carried out include installation of hoarding and initial groundwork to properly install the project signboard by July 30, 2015.

“No major significant works will commence until all the requirements set by MBPJ are fulfilled and the construction is being done in accordance with conditions set by MBPJ as per the issued DO, which addresses noise and pollution,” he said.

He added that the electromagnetic field (EMF) measurements was at a safe limit for human exposure as indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) while four dialogues were held with residents concerning these matters between 2013 and 2015.

“During the construction, the access will be through TNB’s existing right of way which has been approved by the Forestry Department.”

Mohd Aminuddin said that residents’ access road to the neighbourhood will not be used during the construction stage and will not cause any constraints or inconvenience to them.

“The land was given in 1997 by the developer of this residential area as a site for a substation which was finally endorsed and gazetted by the state.

“There is a very urgent need to build the substation due to the increasing electricity supply demand at Ara Damansara,” he said, adding that power supply to the area was presently “borrowed” through cables from substations located outside the Ara Damansara vicinity.

“These substations have reached maximum supplying limit to cater to their own surrounding areas.

“As such, the existing electricity supply needs to be diverted and reconnected to the customers surrounding these substations.

“In order to ensure residents of Ara Damansara receive reliable power supply without experiencing blackouts or shortages, the development of this substation is highly critical,” he said.

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Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

We wish our Muslim residents Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. May this occasion be a happy one for you and your family.
Do drive safely if you are going out of town.

We wish all other residents happy holidays and enjoy the long weekend break.

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A poisoned pond

The ponds at the park bordering Ara Vista and Ara Impian are in a deplorable state. These water retention ponds are designed to prevent flooding when during a heavy down pour, the sudden surge of water often overwhelm the existing network of drains. With some of the drains feeding into them, the ponds are able to temporarily expand in size raising the water level by several inches and sometimes as much as a foot. Once the storm has passed, the ponds take their time to drain the water out at their own pace.

There are actually 3 sections of the retention ponds at the park. The upper pond is located at the park near Ara Hill where a monsoon drain feeds into it. The middle pond separates the semi-Ds and Calarosa’s double-storeyed linked houses with a second monsoon drain feed. The middle pond then feeds into another pond which is at a much lower elevation. A bridge serves as the demarkation point between these two ponds.

The ponds are currently not well maintained and the uncontrolled growth of weeds has created a very ugly sight. On the flip side, the ponds are home to many schools of fishes. The most common is ikan Tilapia but ikan Haruan can also found. In the evenings, a number of anglers can be seen trying their luck and a couple of times, they got away with the rare ikan Haruan.

Over the last weekend, it was a pity sight though. Dozens of fishes were found belly up floating in the ponds. They were of different sizes, both large and small.

What caused their death? Was something toxic in the water? Did someone intentionally, accidentally or unknowingly pour something toxic in the drains? Surprisingly though, some other species survived! Dozens of them can be seen especially near the monsoon drain at the middle pond. The species that survived are black or grey in colour whilst those who died were the silver ones.

The rain in the late afternoon will help. Whatever toxicity in the water, hopefully will be diluted by the rain and the species that survived will continue to thrive.

Good luck, survivors!

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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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