Buddhist bookstore to close

Source: the Star Apr 26

A BUDDHIST bookstore in Petaling Jaya will be closing its doors at the end of this month, after having served the community for nearly two decades.

Sukhi Hotu, which was named after the ancient Pali greeting “may you be well and happy”, caters specifically to English-readers in the local Buddhist community.

It first opened its doors in Taman Mayang in 1997 and subsequently moved to Ara Damansara.

At its peak, the store offered more than 2,000 unique titles, a treasure trove for those seeking books on Buddhism written in English.

However, declining sales since 2014 has made operations a growing concern.

“In a week, there may be two or three days in which there are no walk-in customers,” said general manager Aaron Lee, 39.

Sukhi Hotu was once a treasure trove for avid Buddhist readers with its more than 2,000 individual titles. Sukhi Hotu was once a treasure trove for avid Buddhist readers with its more than 2,000 individual titles.

He explained that more than 70% of the Buddhist community here were those who speak Chinese.

“Of the remaining who are English-speaking, those who have the habit of reading are even fewer,” he said.

But the news was not all gloomy, said the former surveyor who has been working with the book store for the past 10 years.

Sukhi Hotu’s shop in Air Itam, Penang, which opened a year after the one in Petaling Jaya, is still doing reasonably well.

Lee pointed out that its location, next to the famous Taman Emas Kopitiam, was patronised by tourists and locals alike.

Starting next month, the Penang shop will be the sole retail store for Sukhi Hotu.

“It is a shame for Sukhi Hotu to close down,” said Lee.

He said the bookstore held a full set of Pali Text Society’s English translation of the Buddhist scriptures, along with its commentaries, the sole company in Malaysia to do so.

Sukhi Hotus general manager Aaron Lee, 39, said the book store needed to catch up with the times by moving its operations online. Lee says the book store needs to catch up with times by moving its operations online.

The store also sells a series of meditation cushions that they have designed themselves and are made locally.

Despite closing down its retail shop in Petaling Jaya, the company will still be accepting mail orders.

“The inventory here will be kept in storage.

“Now that the physical shop is closed, I can focus my resources on moving everything online,” said Lee.

The shop’s business model will be changed entirely, he said, elaborating that it would focus on selling its products via its website.

“Right now, we need support from the community.

“If sales builds up, then maybe we can partner with a logistics company to commit to making daily deliveries,” he said.

Lee said Sukhi Hotu was trying its best to catch up to the times.

“In this day and age, we need to connect with the people more pro-actively,” he said.

Despite going through a transitional phase, Lee promised that the shop would hold on to its values.

“Our aim is still to complement the spiritual lifestyle of the Buddhist community, to serve the Buddhist sangha and promote its teachings,” he said.

The Petaling Jaya shop will officially cease operations on May 1.

The shop is located at Pusat Perdagangan Dana 1 in Ara Damansara or call 03-7842 6828.

Alternatively, visit www.sukhihotu.com

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Pylon too close for comfort, say Bukit Mayang Emas folk

Source: the Star Apr 7

THE installation of pylons in Bukit Mayang Emas, Petaling Jaya, without any notification has raised concerns among the residents.

One of the pylons is located on a vacant land close to Jalan BM1/11. The land belongs to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

Some 50 residents came forward to highlight their concerns to StarMetro.

When StarMetro visited the site, workers were in the midst of installing another pylon.

Bukit Mayang Emas Residents Association chairman Steven Foo said he hoped TNB would halt the installation process and furnish the residents with details.

He said the pylon could be located to the farther end of the vacant land instead of towering beside their houses.

Among their other concerns are the safety aspect of the structure and the side-effects to residents.

“We want to know if this pylon is safe to be in close proximity to our houses and how sturdy is it.

“We would also like TNB to provide us with a safety report to back the fact that it would not cause any adverse health effects on residents,” he said.

The newly appointed area councillor Lee Soong Yee said he was gathering information on the project.

“I am still new here and I am gathering information on this matter,” he said.

Based on a statement from TNB, the project is part of the upgrading of the transmission line from Kampung Chempaka to Ara Damansara.

“It is being done to meet the increasing electricity demand in Ara Damansara. Currently, the power supply to the area is sourced from substations located outside the Ara Damansara vicinity.

“These substations have reached their maximum supply limit.

“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 blackout or shortage of electricity supply, the development of this substation is highly necessary,” the statement elaborated.

The land was given in 1997 by the developer of this residential area as a site to build a substation. It is endorsed and gazetted by the state government.

The transmission line stretches from Kampung Chempaka to the Civil Aviation Department in Subang.

TNB said the access for construction work is through TNB’s existing right of way.

It has been approved by the Forestry Department.

“The access road to the neighbourhood will not be used during the construction and it will not cause any constraints or inconvenience to the residents in the area,” TNB further said in its statement.

It added that the residents were made aware of the substation’s construction through numerous briefings held by the utility company.

TNB has followed all the guidelines and conditions set by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), and followed the World Health Organisation standards in relation to the noise, pollution and electromagnetic exposure standards.

TNB said it had held dialogues with the residents on this matter on Aug 2, 2013, Sept 22, 2013, Oct 2, 2013 and April 3, 2015.

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Surau to be build near Ara Hill, Semi-Ds & Bungalows (Ara Vista)

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Quaking in their homes

Source: the Star Mar 18

STRONG tremors sent some residents of Jalan PJU 1A in Ara Damansara scurrying from their homes, fearing their ceilings would collapse.

The residents believe the violent vibrations, which last about 10 minutes at a time, are caused by a construction project opposite their neighbourhood.

“Our houses are separated from the construction site only by a 12m-wide road. We can feel everything they are doing,” said Winchester Residents Association (WRA) outgoing chairman Tee Guan Huat.

Tee, who has been chairman of WRA for the past three years, added that the vibrations were strong enough to cause the furniture in their double-storey terrace houses to shake.

“I felt it a few times when I was home during the day and it was really scary because my cups and even window grilles would be vibrating violently,” said Tee’s wife, Chong Fui Kuen.

She added that she suffered a close call in the kitchen one day when a wooden wall panel above the stove fell onto a boiling pot of water.

At least 10 other houses face the same problem and Tee believes that there may be more who have not reported it yet.

Apart from that, the walls of the houses have cracked, mostly near room doors and the ceiling.

“My wife has noticed new cracks in our walls and also experienced the vibrations,” said another resident, Ho Keng Leng.

Ho, who moved in about six years ago with his wife and two young children, fears for his family’s safety.

“My plaster ceiling collapsed once due to poor workmanship and I’m really worried all the strong vibrations will cause it to fall again and injure my children,” he said.

Residents have filed complaints with both the authorities and the developer but to no avail. Reports have been filed since November last year. Construction started in September.

The residents said that while they were not against development in their area, they want the responsible parties to respond to their complaints.

When contacted, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) public relations officer Zainun Zakaria said the council was not aware of the residents’ complaints.

“We did not receive any complaint before this. We will look into it now,” she said.

Officers from MBPJ’s building department visited the site and assured that they would soon contact the affected residents.

“We will also contact the developer and hold them responsible for the damages suffered by residents,” she said.

When contacted, Sime Darby Property’s project management team said they had inspected the premises of the complainants and would continue to closely monitor the situation.

“Our piling operations are meticulously monitored by a dedicated seismograph system to ensure the vibrations do not exceed the specified allowable tolerance to avoid damageable impact to surrounding areas and properties,” said a spokesman.

Following the complaint, the project management team had also conducted vibration and sound testing at the site, which confirmed it was within permissible levels and met the requirements set by the Department of Environment.

“Our community engagement team will continue reaching out to residents and provide the necessary assistance for the purpose of alleviating present and future concerns,” added the spokesman.

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Happy Chinese New Year

This is the year of the red fire Monkey.

We wish Chinese residents in Ara Damansara, a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year! May the year of the fire monkey brings you passion and success in everything you do. May this year be another year of joy and satisfactions in your engagements and your wishes come true.

Be safe on the roads and Happy holidays!

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Happy New Year 2016!

We wish all residents in Ara Damansara, a very happy and prosperous new year! Let’s wish 2016 will be a better year for all of us, both in our personal and social lives. Let’s help each other in whatever ways we can, big or small. Let’s give generously and expect no returns.

Let’s make this community a healthy and happy neighbourhood where everyone lives in harmony and all strive to keep the environment clean, safe and peaceful.

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Merry Christmas!

Wishing all our Christian residents, Merry Christmas! May this day of joy be one of sharing especially with those who are less fortunate.

Wishing the rest Happy Holidays and be safe on the roads.

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Four children drown in lake over a slipper

Source: the Star Nov 21

PETALING JAYA: An attempt by a 14-year-old boy to retrieve a girl’s slipper from a lake in Ara Damansara turned tragic when he started to sink and three other children jumped in to save him.

Unfortunately, all four – the girl whose slipper fell in and the three boys – drowned.

During the 3pm incident yesterday, the group of five children were playing near the lake when Norashikin Jamil, 12, lost her slipper.

Mohd Huzain Mohamad Ady, 11, said his older brother, Mohd Friky, then waded into the water to try and retrieve the slipper.

“But he started sinking. So, we all went in to help him but we couldn’t,” he said outside the emergency ward of the University Malaya Medical Centre here.

Two security guards heard their cries and came to help but only managed to pull Mohd Huzain out. The two other boys who drowned were Hafiz Hakimi, 14, and Raja Iskandar Shah, 13.

At the hospital, Mohd Huzain’s mother, known only as Laila, clutched her youngest son, who was still wrapped in an orange towel.

Tears flowed from the children’s relatives and families at the centre.

Apparently, they were looking to bring the four bodies to a mosque near their house to perform final prayers as soon as possible.

Norashikin’s mother, who wished to be known only as Nor Hayati, 32, said she was at work when she received a call from her husband informing her about the tragedy.

“She had just finished her UPSR. Her school holidays had just started,” she said, holding back tears.

Norashikin was the third of five siblings.

Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Zani Che Din said his team rushed to the scene of the tragedy at Jalan PJU 1A/1 upon receiving a distress call at about 4.45pm.

“We launched a search and rescue operation along with the Fire and Rescue Department,” he said.

“We managed to retrieve the bodies by around 6pm.”

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Happy Deepavali

We wish all residents celebrating the Festival of Lights, Happy Deepavali!

Happy holidays to all others!

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New eateries

There must be a lot of pizza lovers in this neighbourhood.

Domino Pizza has just opened an outlet at Dataran Ara Damansara competing with Pizza Hut. And both pizza joints are located in the same row so you really can’t miss them.

For fans of Domino, you can now get steaming hot pizzas delivered to your door steps a lot quicker than the standard 30 minutes commitment. The flip side is the days when you hope the pizza deliveries will be late are gone and so goes your free pizza coupon.

There is now an opening special of “Buy 1 Free 1″ so don’t waste any more time and place your order now. Conditions may apply though so please check it out.

If you notice, there is a corner shop further down which has been vacant for a very long time. You can easily recall how many times that shop was rented out.

At the very beginning, it started as one of those shops selling nasi briyani and roti canai. Business was not too bad until it closed down one day. Since then, there were more days when it was vacant.

Another tenant took over selling nyonya food but often there were more workers than customers. Despite the poor business, it stayed open for many months until the shop was again shuttered one day.

It remained shuttered for easily more than a year. It was rumoured that the owner only wanted to rent out to tenants serving halal food.

Well, the owner has finally found a tenant that met his requirements and soon, there will be another outlet where you can have your lunch and dinner.

This new tenant currently has an outlet in Kota Damansara so this is another branch in another neighbourhood. There is no indication when it will be opened but hopefully should be soon.

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