Monday, November 19, 2012

Pinggir Za'aba Protest Against MRT Co Management On Tuesday 20 November 2012

Just over one year ago or so, the residents of Pinggir Za'aba were on the verge of picketing against the MRT's construction so close to our residences. We were curtailed by promises by the then new MRT Co CEO, Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid. Promises that proved to be empty, misleading even. And so now things have turned full circle it seems, as the neighbourhood plans its peaceful picket as per below...

Event : PZ Peaceful Protest against MRT Line which is affecting our living environment.

Date/time : 20.11.2012, Tuesday @ 9.45am

Participants : All Pinggir Za'aba residents
Residents involved in the picket are gathering PZ house No. 97, Pinggir Za'aba for the picket. They will then walk together to the current MRT construction site next to Pinggir Za'aba that has already begun to disturb the peace.

All media and of course other friendly parties are welcome!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MRT Co Not In Control Of Its Contractors? Then Who Are?

Following on from the incidences of last week, when residents of Pinggir Za'aba were given a good sampling of how noisy and distrubing life would be for many months over the next 2 years of MRT construction, we were treated to freshly recycled promises from MRT's Director of Strategic Communications and PR, Amir Mahmood Razak. These were his and hence his organisation's, re-assurances to this blogger's good neighbours:

Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012, 11:14 AM

Dear Xxxxxxx, Xxx and Xxxxx,

I believe works has stopped in the area. My commitment remains that we will re-start works after we complete the engagement we promised.

Again, my email and my number (017 6xxx 5xxx) remains accessible to all of you for contact.

Thank you again for the patience displayed.

Warm regards,

Such assurances are said to have followed earlier excuses that MRT Co had supposedly not allowed for these works near Pinggir Za'aba to begin in the first place. I mention this as a note or 'aid memoir' for the events that follow as whilst I have this coming from several sources along the neighbourhood, I find it highly unbelievable that MRT Co could be so incompetent as to have allowed a contractor to begin its works without their express knowledge!

Please also note that the 'commitment' Amir Mahmood mentions about an engagement with Pinggir Za'aba residents was promised to us on an earlier engagement on 3 September 2012. Amir Mahmood and a raft of nodding reps from MRT Co's contractors declared that they would invite us back for a follow up engagement 2 weeks from that date as they could not at the time address our concerns. Amir Mahmood and co are now some 2 months late, based on whatever Calendar, Gregorian, Lunar, Muslim, etc... known to this man.

What follows is however most unfortunate, and is probably best reflected by the following e-mail from a neighbour to Amir Mahmood Razak which he had copied all of us on the street:

On 15 November 2012 20:03, Xxxxx wrote:

Dear Amir Mahmood,

Last week I complained to you about sudden start of construction work, the excessive noise and the late hour that the construction work was being carried out by your contractors. You told me that you would take immediate action, and on November 8, 2012, 11:14:15 AM had given us, the residence of PZ the assurance via e-mail, Quote " I believe works has stopped in the area. My commitment remains that we will re-start works after we complete the engagement we promised." (Meaning a dialogue between the residents of PZ and MRTCo was to be held before any construction was to begin )

Yesterday to our utter horror we received a written notice telling us that work will resume on Friday,16 November 2012 with work hours 7.00am to 12.00 midnight (Monday to Saturday) My phone had since been ringing non stop by calls from furious residents demanding to know just what is going on. We consider this a serious breach of promise and cannot accept this latest turn of events. Can you please explain your self.

The plot then thickens when we then received the following e-mail from another neighbour that further showcases just how 'Strategic' communications regarding this MRT has become!
Sent: Thursday, 15 November 2012, 22:23

Dear All,

On Monday night (12/11), i received an sms from Bhavani from MMC-Gamuda informing me they are scheduling a follow-up engagement session with PZ residents on Friday (16/11) at TTDI Info Centre and will be sending out invitation letters to residents and email to me by 14/11 morning.

This afternoon, Bhavani send me another sms stating that the engagement has been postponed to a later date.

Xxxxx (A different one from above)
Perhaps Amir Mahmood has not been communicative due to the public holidays. The problem he has is that this hardly looks like there is barely any Communication let alone Strategically being Directed on this MRT, which is his job. Well, perhaps if he was not so busy trying to cover up for his boss Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid's broken promises to neighbourhoods affected by the MRT, like Pinggir Za'aba, he would have more credibility and even time to perform what should be his real job!

One of course hopes MRT Co is not now descending to the depths of communications incompetence of its governing body SPAD, led by the somewhat more epicly incompetent TS Syed Hamid Albar, which started communicating to residents affected by the MRT with notices stuck onto trees... in a country where it rains daily... 

In the meantime, the residents of Pinggir Za'aba remains steadfast in waiting for the promises MRT Co has been making to be fulfilled - with some suspense as well now thrown in due to recent events. We are ever ready to share with anyone, especially past, present and future, even potential, victims of the MRT our experiences thus far.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

MRT Co Continues Dire Record Of Empty Promises Towards Klang Valley Voters

On 3 September 2012, under challenge from members of a community needing special attention according to the DEIA, the residents of Pinggir Za'aba, MRT Co's Director of Strategic Communications and Public Relations, Amir Mahmood, assured residents that the working hours for MRT construction will be from 7am to 7pm. This was ment to minimise disturbance to the community.

Setting aside the community's view that this was insufficient as a mitigating action against noise and vibration disturbances and the broken promise to come back to the community with new proposals 2 weeks from then, MRT Co it seems cannot even deliver their own original pledge of having no disturbances after 7pm. The video link below was captured at approximately 7.45pm on Monday, 5 November 2012:

The noise we experienced would be louder than what can be heard via this recording of course. In addition, this was from behind the sound barrier and we expect further piling works to be even more noisy! This went on till 9.30 pm! Good luck putting your babies to bed during that time! To think that some of us will have these machines IN FRONT OF OUR HOMES in time!

One of the residents of Pinggir Za'aba most affected by this noise reported the case to DBKL. Here is her report to us her neighbours:
reported the case to DBKL re the noise and vibration disturbance and the contractor's long operating hours till 930pm yesterday and over the weekends (Sat & Sun). The officer in-charge recorded my complain and gave me a Complain Ref No. to report the complaint again if the contractor still works after 6pm today, then DBKL will send their officers to visit the site immediately and issue stop work order on the spot. Somehow, few hours later (ard 1130am), the officer in-charge called me again and said that when he brought my complain to the relevant department in MRTCo, they were advised by MRTCo that all MRT related complains have to be reported and handled by MRTCo directly, DBKL is not in the position to take up such complain (!!!). So, the DBKL officer advised me to report our complain to MRTCO instead. Meantime, he further advised that we can write to DBKL for necessary action if MRTCo fail to attend to our complain and address the issue accordingly
Wah, so powerful MRT Co man! Can say to DBKL, the responsible municipal body, that they cannot take in complaints! Actually, such arrogance from MRT Co is quite familiar to us residents of Pinggir Za'aba. It setms from the MRT Co CEO's belief that he is responsible to the PM, DS Najib Tun Razak alone! In doing so, he forgets his place and he allows his people to treat DS Najib's bosses, THE VOTERS, to be treated poorly and in arrogance! Camana nak menang PRU13 ni!

By the way, yesterday night, the noise was still going on till 8.30pm. MRT Co's arrogance and empty promises continue...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Nurul Izzah Sepatutnya Sibuk Dengan Obama-Romney, Bukan Isu Murtad!

Malam tadi jurublog ini betul-betul seronok berhujah di Astro Awani - ye lah, cerita pun tentang Pilihanraya Presiden USA, pilihan antara Obama dan Romney. Isu tersebut memberi peluang seseorang yang beraspirasi untuk menunjukkan keperihatinan tentang dunia luar sekaligus kelincahan berhujah tanpa batasan oleh kerana risiko topik hampir pasti tidak akan menjejaskan senario lokal sama-sekali, baik dari segi politik, ekonomi, sosial... agama.

Jurublog Tengah Ghairah Berhujah Di Astro Awani
Ini terlihat berbeza sungguh dengan pendekatan YB Nurul Izzah Anwar, mungkin akibat beliau merasakan dirinya tetiba lebih ahli tentang ilmu agama dari hal politik USA, kini dirinya sudah terjerumus dalam isu getir buatan sendiri. Tetapi kita mungkin sukar juga untuk menyalahkan beliau, kerana Papanya pun lebih kurang begitu! Kan DS Anwar Ibrahim di antara orang yang paling corot pengetahuan agamanya namun cukup riak sehingga naik ke mimbar untuk berkhutbah?

Dalam hal DS Anwar, mungkin beliau tidak ada pilihan. DS Anwar memang corot pengetahuan dalam pelbagai hal, sehinggakan bidangnya sendiri, Pengajian Melayu, sekalipun beliau takat boleh lepas dengan General Degree sahaja, maka beliau mungkin merasakan lebih mudah bantai cakap agama dari benda lain! Kalau YB Mat Sabu boleh buat dengan habis belajar takat SPM je, apa salahnya DS Anwar buat mungkin fikirnya?!

Tapi masalahnya, YB Nurul Izzah tak perlu buat begitu! Beliau lebih cerdik dari Ayahnya dengan kelulusan akademik yang lebih menyegankan - ye lah, benih maknya DS Wan Azizah kan seorang doktor pakar mata! Jadi apalah YB Nurul Izzah buat sampai naik pening dah sekarang, tengok gambar bawah peningnya beliau sekarang? Ni sekarang teman-teman lama Papanya Hj Ismail Mina dan YB Datuk Dr Hassan Ali pun dah steady nak bantai YB Nurul Izzah di Kelab Sultan Sulaiman pada Khamis 8 November, 8 malam!

Nurul Izzah Anwar kan dan PENING sebab tak biarkan isu Agama dijawab Tok Guru je! (NST pic)
Padahal banyak bebenor hal yang boleh diceritakan tentang Obama-Romney nih! Contohnya, bagaimana US$2.6 BILLION(!) telah dibelanjakan oleh kempen Presiden Amerika Syarikat tahun ni! Ini belum lagi termasuk wang kempen untuk Senate serta Dewan Perwakilan Kongres deme! Ah, tapi mungkinkah YB Nurul Izzah tak mahu bercerita sangat tentang Obama-Romney sebab ada sebenarnya risiko buat partinya dan Papanya? Yelah, parti pun duitnya dari Soros & Co  kan? Mungkin orang yang sama juga yang membiaya kempen Obama-Romney?!

Takpelah, yang penting, diharap semua ahli politik muda yang tak berapa berilmu agama, walau yang ingat dia ahli sebab ada kertas dari pusat kajian Islam di Oxford, sedar sikit sekarang yang tak wajar berceloteh perkara agama bila diri sendiri pun belum cukup ilmu di dada. Ini bukan zaman Papa lagi, nak muhong tentang apa-apa pun susah, apatah lagi hal agama!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Is Hj Hadi Honourably Bowing Out By Challenging DS Najib In Pekan?

I thought that it being election day in the US and with the PM being overseas, that there would hardly be any local political news left to capture my imagination. Then I saw the news in the NST reporting an earlier tabloid report of Hj Hadi Awang, the PAS President, considering contesting against DS Najib for his parliamentary seat in Pekan!

Those in the know know that this is not really a silly notion. DS Najib's seat, despite being held by his family, with his father before him, since independence, excepting the period when he was Menteri Besar of Pahang, is not actually safe! DS Najib almost lost the seat in the 1999 General Election and it has ever been the target of the opposition since.

However, since 1999, DS Najib and his organisation has taken some significant steps to make the seat more secure. Certainly since 2004's PRU11 landslide, when the seat was held by a Deputy Prime Minister for the first time in some 3.5 decades, the likelihood of DS Najib being beaten off the seat has dimished significantly. So, any opposition leader challenging DS Najib in Pekan, even DS Anwar Ibrahim, would be committing harakiri!

So, is that really what Hj Hadi Awang is after? A noble political death at the hands of DS Najib at the pollbooths of Pekan? It should be noted though that there may be more reasons that one for Hj Hadi to wish for an end to his political life. Among them?:
  1. Hj Hadi's leadership of his party has been increasingly undermined over the period of his tenure. In the first place, Tok Guru Nik Aziz's role as an unelected spiritual chief seems ever at odds with him on some quite temporal matters. I would not see him as being too comfortable staying in the role if he keeps being treated like so.

  2. The loss of YB Nasharuddin Mat Isa to YB Mat Sabu must still rankle. Whilst Hj Hadi is ever pragmatic as a politician that has survived the ups and downs of politics for so long, I am sure he would prefer YB Nasha as his presumed successor to be groomed - the younger, more educated and urbane man being more suited to attract the more educated younger generation to the party.

  3. Hj Hadi is also likely feeling the physical limits of his age now. Word on the ground in Marang over the last Hari Raya Haji was that he could not do the full circuit of mosques in his constituency to participate in the physical slaughtering of the animals for 'Qurban'. He had to delegate half as he was not fit enough. This may also be the reason why he does not 'turun padang' as actively as before.

  4. Hj Hadi may end up losing in Marang this time around as UMNO and BN in the area has revived, with Dato' Rahman Bakar, the 'giant-killer' who had beaten Hj Hadi before likely to be involved in PRU13, either as a candidate or at least as a key contributor to any BN campaign.
So, a political HARAKIRI! may be just the tonic Hj Hadi needs to ease him towards a final retirement from politics. In fact, he may well have seen the light from observing how much YB Nasha and even YB Hasan Ali has been able to continue to contribute despite being expelled from the mainstream of PAS party politics. Perhaps he feels it is time for him to invest the last years of his life in something more constructive than being PAS President?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

AES, MRT Co And What's Wrong With Our Value System(?)

In a few weeks time, a few of us residents in Pinggir Za'aba will commence further legal proceedings against MRT Co. I cannot discuss the specifics of the case, but suffice it to say, we have a case, and have found our trust as among members of the public most affected by the construction of the MRT (according to the DEIA) abused by MRT Co as the so called manager of the project, with its CEO, Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid, personally culpable.

Putting aside the false promises of the past, Pinggir Za'aba residents now face fresh insults. In an engagement by MRT Co with residents on 3 September 2012, MRT Co and its contractors, led by its 'Director of Staregic Communications and Public Relations', Amir Mahmood Abdul Razak, had promised to address some of the issues raised by the residents regarding the safety issues and mitigation measures to be put in place to safeguard the well-being of residents during the project. We were promised another engagement in 2 weeks time.

This engagement never materialised and now, more than 2 months hence, residents of Pinggir Za'aba are still awaiting the follow up engagement. This actually makes MRT Co's Director of Strategic Communications a liar (!) ... wonder who he's emulating? In the meantime, these 'strategic communicators' at MRT Co have chosen to forget Pinggir Za'aba, by instead:

  1. Ceasing to engage the community with regards to works due to commence in the area. This despite surveyors from at least one contractor company parking in Pinggir Za'aba to access planned construction areas and portions of the sound barrier separating the road from the LDP Highway overpass already marked for some mysterious and surely dastardly reasons.

  2. Stepping up a major PR campaign with Millions of RM spent on Media Buy, contests, engagement of the general public mostly not affected by the MRT as well as running an mobile propaganda vehicle! I kid you not, rather than resolve the DEIA requirements to ensure the well-being of affected neighbourhoods, they'd rather convince everyone all is well instead!

  3. Advising anyone in power, a complaints committee involving the new Chief Secretary of the Government (KSN) said to be the most recent, or who would ask that all is well at Pinggir Za'aba! Why? Because 'we have been quiet!

Perhaps the reason why MRT Co is behaving this was is not really their fault? Maybe it's because they do not understand what are the primary grouses presented by the residents of Pinggir Za'aba on 3 September 2012? Did it not compute that we were really worried about the health effect from dust, sound and vibration from the project to be built in front of our homes? Maybe they don't understand the traffic safety issues and inconvenience we will face? Perhaps they are surprised when asked for further guarantees that we will not be invaded by foreign workers cum part-time robbers on our streets!

Then I see the behaviour of some of our so called 'political leaders' regarding the AES implementation, meant to save lives on the road, regardless of their political affiliation. I find it amazing that a PAS VP and an UMNO Youth Leader could come to a closer agreement over the AES than over whether they are both going to the same heaven! It seems to them and whomsoever their supporters are, a system like AES that saves lives is not worthwhile as it is an 'inconvenience' to Malaysians. No wonder then MRT Co's rampant disregard of our neighbourhood's safety, it's inconvenient!

So, OK, let us accept then that all these people, MRT Co, the anti-AES people, are all just sharing the same values that looks at people's lives and general well-being is cheap... cheap... not worth the public inconvenience of any effort to be improved! So let us at least draw a line that differentiates them, at least so far... at least the anti-AES mob so far are not LIARS! Unlike MRT Co who are LIARS! MRT Co' Director of Strategic Communications himself cannot keep to a promise to engage us in Pinggir Za'aba. His boss is a liar too, but that is for the courts...

In any case, I think the Malaysian value system needs a small reboot in this case - hopefully for a minority rather than the majority of the population. The AES matters. Keeping affected neighbourhoods safe during MRT construction matters. Else all the material benefits we hope to enjoy by 2020 would be worth not as much to a society bereft of proper, civlised values...

Why Is Pakatan Rakyat Campaigning So Early?

I was undertaking one of my infrequent forays into Twitter on Saturday when I found PKR (not Pakatan but PKR) leaders busily inviting people to view their new PRU13 posters. There is just one problem, PRU13 hasn't been declared yet! Which begs the question, why are PKR leaders 'campaigning' for PRU13 so soon? The following are in my view the more 'interesting' potential reasons...

  1. It's a budgetary issue! PKR budgetted for PRU13 to be held this year and had received financing from their overseas funders for campaign paraphernalia to be spent before year end. If PKR does not spend the money, they may have to return the money to Soros and co! So, might as well spend first meh before year end!

  2. Some of the PKR folks with kids in Government schools are freaking out seeing scenes like this in schools all over the country.

    PKR feels pressed to react... doesn't matter how, just react!

  3. PKR has come to a realisation that it cannot be too linked to its de-facto leader, DS Anwar Ibrahim, any more as he is starting to become a liability now what his many 'peculiarities'. So? Time to 'brand-build'! No wonder you have PKR posters with no DSAI around! (One distinct possibility related to this is that they have conceded losing PRU13 and are planning for PRU14 already!)

  4. PKR has come to realise it cannot compete with PAS and DAP for many seats in the elections because, it doesn't have enough members to generate enough viable, let alone winnable, candidates! So, its actually a desparate recruiting exercise they are in - not campaigning for PRU13 la!
OK, I am having a little fun here, but seriously, numbers 3. and 4. above may not be far from the truth!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

How Experienced Competent Winnable Candidates (Minister!) Can Lose BN PRU13

Social media is now rampant again with shocking words of a Minister pooh-poohing the implication of actions involving their family. Whilst the matter was not nearly as grave as the Mega Wedding some weeks ago, it is the response of the respective ministers to public outcry over both that is hurting BN.

In the case of DS Nazri TS Aziz, dissociating himself from his son's apparent closeness to a tycoon may be professional and very much reflecting the truth, however, it does not address the perception. It would be wiser perhaps for him to take a more conciliatory tone, or best still, give his son a good talking to.

Following the poor reaction by DS Ali Rustam last week that even excused himself of blame for his subordinates alleged wrong-doing, this flippant attitude towards public reaction will hurt BN in marginal seats across the country come PRU13. Ironically, both these ministers remain winnable candidates, with DS Ali's performance likely to carry the entire state of Melaka for BN, but 1 seat or 1 state alone cannot decide PRU13's outcome.

Across the country, the accumulation of such responses and behaviors are being conveniently collated by various parties as evidence of the arrogance and unelectability of BN as a party as a whole. And it isn't the first time such claims of arrogance and impropriety of behavior has been levelled against BN leaders. It is precisely such behaviors that DS Najib needs to address before declaring PRU13.

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