Monday, October 22, 2012

Let’s grow plants together

Original Article in Mandarin by: Teng Kok Liang

Green scenery always makes people feel refreshed. It is wrong to think that living in high rise building prohibits us from keeping plants. On the contrary, there are many indoor plants that we can grow to keep our environment green and beautiful.

Penang Green Expo 2012 which was held in September 2012 displayed a variety of indoor plants. The Expo also provided an opportunity to learn more about choosing the correct species for planting and decorating the home.

For clean and fresh air, the Cactus, Chlorophytum or Scindaprus tops the list as natural purifiers. These plants should not be underestimated as they can help lower the hazardous substances released from electronic appliances and at the same time help purify air pollutants.

An alternate choice is the Sansevieria and Boston fern. These plants contain natural plant anion that absorbs Benzene and Trichloroethylene from the air to restore good air quality.

For spacious homes, Yellow Palm and Corn Plant is a good choice to help remove hazardous substances and impurities from the air.

The above recommended plants need a combination of the right flowerpot, the right soil and the right fertilizers to achieve the best environmental results. Using correct biodegradable flowerpot, the right soil and non-chemical fertilizer with the certification of Baba Inside makes the environmental friendly home garden authentic.

We also need to identify the right place for the right plant at home. For example, Sansevieria is suitable to be planted in the toilet as it needs little sunlight. The leaves can absorb moisture and odor from the air as well as act as a natural deodorant.  However, moving the plant for direct sunlight at regular intervals makes the plant robust.

Some plants may also be placed in the balcony, roof top or corridor. To avoid accidents, make sure the plants are not blocking the passage and can withstand strong wind.

Plants are not only good to look at - it also provides us a cleaner and greener environment. The Penang State Government has made a lot of effort in promoting green projects in the state and Penang Local Government Committee Chairman Chow Kon Yeow has written a reply to the State Assembly stated that in year 2011, the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) has planted a total of 4313 trees in the Island, Province Wellesley Municipal Council (MPSP) has planted a total of 8734 trees in Province Wellesley and the Penang State Forestry Department has planted a total of 8988 trees in the state.

The Penang State Forestry Department also provided 5770 tree saplings to government departments, private companies, JKKKs and NGOs to encourage trees planting and promote greener environment.

The authorities at Municipal Council of Penang (MPPP) spearheaded a Greening Project at three locations. Since 2010, a total of 150 trees were planted along the divider of Carnarvon Street; another 101 trees along the 550meter long divider in Weld Quay in year 2011; and this year, 280 trees were planted along the 1.4km divider in Dato Keramat Road.

Those who travel along Jalan Masjid Negeri, Jalan Scotland and Jalan Utama enjoy the cooling effects of the shady trees. We need to thank our forefathers who had the foresight to preserve these century-old trees. Penang, the Pearl of the Orient is not only proud of her heritage buildings in George Town but also these trees which have witnessed the progress of this city in leading the way towards a cleaner, greener and environmental friendly Malaysia.

We can improve our environment from home. Let’s grow plants together!

*BABA Inside is a guarantee standard for organic vegetables, ornamental plants, organic fertilizer, soil, biodegradable flowerpots and other green products. This certification meets the standard of production and identification of organic products.

For details:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Moving Forward with GBI

Green Building Index

In keeping pace with the demands of modern living, designers and builders equally reflect their concerns about the environment through incorporating a voluntary green rating scheme which is managed by a board of registered architects and engineers. The Green Building Index has a total of 290 buildings as at June 2012 and nine townships registered for certification throughout the nation. 

According to the Northern Chapter President of Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) and also Penang Green Council committee member, Mr. Lawrence Lim, Penang currently has 30 buildings applying for certification while 10 buildings are on provisionary certification.

“Penang was the first state in Malaysia to embrace the Green Building Index,” he added. Among the more notable developments that have applied for the GBI are The Light Project by IJM, The Setia Greens by SP Setia, Brooke Residence and Penaga Hotel, a heritage hotel in George Town. 

“Despite the premium, all terrace houses under the Setia Green project are sold,” said Khoo Teik Chong indicating an increased price of about 10% - 15% as compared to non-GBI certified buildings.

The terrace houses were sold between RM900,000 and RM1 million when it was first launched by SP Setia two years ago and is now worth about RM1.6 million. 

Khoo, the General Manager of SP Setia also mentioned that the sPICE project in Bayan Baru is GBI compliant as well. 

Architectural designs that are ecologically friendly maximizes the use of natural ventilation and natural lighting to save on electricity usage while minimizing environmental impacts. Features include fittings that save energy and resources like cool roofing, solar energy panels, water efficiency gadgets, rainwater harvesting devices and proper waste management.

There are four categories of classification for the GBI – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These ratings depend on the number of points awarded to the building after inspection. Developers are also encouraged to build green buildings. 

 “We encourage GBI by giving incentives. But, to achieve GBI needs additional costs, so developers target commercial buildings mostly,” replied Wong Hon Wai, the State Housing Exco through a text reply when asked if developers of Low-Cost and Low-Medium Cost flats would be required to obtain GBI certifications in the future. 

However, IJM General Manager, Toh Chin Leong says that the incentives given to their counterparts in Singapore are much more attractive as direct rebates are given to the developers for using green building materials like reconstructed wood, low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and specially prepared glass. 

Paying to Save the Environment 

Toh also emphasized the need to step-up efforts to educate the public on saving the environment. 

“Building green buildings are one thing, but maintaining them is another,” he said, referring to landed property owners who eventually opt to cement their compound for more parking space. He also says that the government could also make it a policy to make Green Buildings compulsory for all future buildings.

Justifying the need to pay to save the environment is contradictory. However, green is the new buzzword for this century. It serves as a reminder for us to take care of our surroundings and to live as harmoniously as possible with the environment. Co-existence and balance between nature and development is our only way to sustainable living. 

Article Published in Penang Green Council webpage.

Press Statement by Chow Kon Yeow on Cheah Chin Lee

YB Chow Kon Yeow
Level 52 Komtar
10503 Penang

11 October, 2012

In support of the family of the late Cheah Chin Lee (died in police custody):
Police Yet to Inform Courts of Chin Lee’s Death
It is now close to two months after Cheah Chin Lee died in the Police’s custody. I am here today with Chin Lee’s family members who are still waiting for answers. Sadly, despite numerous promises made to the family, the Police have been unable to show any progress for the family to have faith in their efforts.

The family’s lawyer wrote to the Magistrates Court of George Town, Penang to enquire about initiating inquest proceedings and received a reply from the court registrar on 25 September, 2012 saying that the courts have not received a Sudden Death Report regarding Chin Lee’s death on 13 August.

Section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Code requires, “when any person dies while in the custody of the police or in a mental hospital or prison, the officer who had the custody of that person or was in charge of that mental hospital or prison, as the case may be, shall immediately give intimation of such death to the nearest Magistrate, and the Magistrate or some other Magistrate shall, in the case of a death in the custody of the police, and in other cases may, if he thinks expedient, hold an inquiry into the cause of death.”

I would like to emphasise that it is the statutory duty of the Police to inform the courts of a death of a person in their care and that this is required to be done immediately. It is now close to two months since Chin Lee’s death and I would like to ask if the Police are deliberately delaying the matter. What excuses do the police have for the family this time? If the police cannot even do something as simple as following a statutory procedure, how can the police claim to be conducting an “independent” investigation over the death of a person who was in their care?

I hereby urge the Penang CPO Abd Rahim Hanafi to take responsibility and explain the delay over this matter. I do not expect more empty promises to be made, but instead in the soonest possible submit the Sudden Death Report to the Magistrates Court as required under S334 of the CPC. The Police must not be seen to hinder the family’s quest for the truth behind Chin Lee’s death.

Change | For a Better Malaysia.
Chow Kon Yeow
Penang State DAP Chairperson

Friday, January 27, 2012



Tarikh: 27hb Januari 2012


Tajuk: ISU TANAH TANG HAK JU, “Barisan Nasional Berhutang kepada Rakyat
Pulau Pinang”.

Kenyataan akhbar ini dibuat oleh pihak KMPP adalah mewakili rakyat Pulau Pinang yang terpaksa menanggung wang pampasan RM500,000.00 akibat daripada kecuaian sehingga menyebabkan penipuan keatas seorang individu yang dikenali sebagai Tan Hak Ju. Keputusan oleh Mahkamah Rayuan pada 10/1/2012 tersebut jelas bahawa Kerajaan Negeri sekarang terpaksa menanggung liabiliti yang ditinggalkan oleh kerajaan terdahulu (Barisan Nasional) dimana rakyat negeri ini harus membuka mata bagaimana rakusnya dan licik pentadbiran Kerajaan sebelum ini sehingga mengheret rakyat negeri ini bersama menyelami kemelut kes ini.

Walaupun pampasan telah dikurangkan dan sekalipun ianya bernilai RM1.00, ianya tetap wang rakyat yang menjadi pembayar cukai. Janganlah pula Pimpinan Barisan Nasional negeri ini cuba berlakon alim sekalipun jumlah asal pampasan tersebut adalah RM40 juta kini telah dikurangkan kepada RM500,000.00, maka kesalahan lampau telah diampuni. Rakyat negeri ini tidaklah semudah itu untuk diperbodohkan atas permainan silap mata politik. Perlu diingatkan bahawa kes tersebut masih ada ruang rayuan. Berkemungkinan Tan Hak Ju akan mengemukakan rayuannya dan terdapat kemungkinan jumlah pampasan berkenaan akan ditambah namun masih menjadi teka-teki.

Dalam senario berkenaan berasaskan kepada fakta kes ada kemungkinan sekiranya mantan Ketua Menteri dan Timbalan Ketua Menteri ketika itu dapat dengan beraninya tampil memberi respon dihadapan Jawatankuasa Siasatan, kemungkinan soal penyelewengan dan penipuan menerusi scandal yang amat kontrovesi itu tidak perlu berpanjangan. Persoalannya kenapa kedua-dua saksi penting berkenaan tidak berani tampil untuk memberi respon kepada Jawatankuasa Siasatan tersebut? Bak kata perpatah “Berani kerana benar dan Takut kerana salah”. Dalam konteks ini rakyat negeri ini perlu membuka mata dan berfikir secara rasional terhadap insiden berkenaan.

Pihak KMPP percaya terdapat transaksi keatas ikatan dokumen tanah berkenaan oleh Pegawai Kerajaan yang bersekongkol dengan pemimpin dalam Kerajaan Barisan Nasional dahulu serta telah menyalahgunakan kedudukan mereka. Maka situasi sebegitu dilihat sebagai amat memalukan. Justeru itu pihak KMPP mendesak agar satu siasatan dapat dijalankan oleh Kerajaan Negeri dan seterusnya mengenakan tindakan terhadap Pegawai Kerajaan terbabit tanpa memilih bulu. Tindakan tersebut amat perlu bagi dijadikan tauladan supaya episod yang sama tidak akan berulang lagi.

Oleh yang demikian, pihak KMPP berharap pemimpin Barisan Nasional Negeri Pulau Pinang terutama sekali Pengerusi Jawatankuasa BN Pulau Pinang iaitu Dato Dr. Teng Hock Nan bertanggungjawab sepenuhnya kepada seluruh rakyat negeri ini keatas pembayaran wang pampasan tersebut. Isu tersebut sudah diputuskan oleh mahkamah bahawa “Subject Matter” merupakan satu kecuaian dan penipuan yang telah ditinggalkan oleh Kerajaan terdahulu. Dalam kenyataan yang tanpa prasangka ini jangan cuba sama sekali untuk mengheret rakyat negeri ini bermain politik licik bagi tujuan menutup kesilapan sendiri.

Pandangan ikhlas pihak KMPP adalah lebih berfaedah bagi pemimpin Barisan Nasional dinegeri ini mencari formula bagaimana untuk meningkatkan populariti mereka demi bagi meraih sokongan rakyat yang semakin terhakis daripada mencari kesilapan orang lain dimana akhirnya memakan diri sendiri. Hentikanlah sandiwara politik demi bagi mengemis simpati daripada rakyat negeri ini. Hero yang sudah kecundang dalam istilah politik hanya dikenang sebagai artifak sejarah sahaja. Apa yang rakyat perlukan adalah sebuah Kerajaan yang dapat menjamin kebajikan mereka dan bukannya mendatangkan liabiliti kepada mereka.

Sekian, terima kasih.


(H/P No: 019-472 8509)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Press Statement: Cubaan Membunuh Presiden KEADILAN

Cubaan Membunuh Presiden KEADILAN
8 Januari 2012

Angkatan Muda KEADILAN Pulau Pinang (AMKPP) hari ini mengecam sekeras-kerasnya terhadap insiden cubaan membunuh Presiden KEADILAN, Dato’ Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail pada malam tadi. Serangan itu walaupun dapat dielak oleh Saudara Fayyad al-Bakri, pengawal keselamatan Keluarga Anwar Ibrahim, ia tetap diklasifikasikan sebagai cubaan membunuh! Pihak Hospital Seberang Jaya telah mengesahkan serangan itu berpunca dari tusukan jarum yang menyuntik kandungan morfein berlebihan ke tapak tangan Fayyad. Suntikan beracun itu telah menghentikan nadi Fayyad buat seketika. Allah Maha Besar, terkini setakat 10.00 pagi, Fayyad sudah sedar dan dilaporkan stabil.

AMKPP memandang serius akan isu ini, kerana cubaan membunuh Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan keluarganya seakan sudah diatur sekian lama sejak penglibatan Anwar Ibrahim di dalam politik tanahair. Kita masih ingat akan insiden helikopter terhempas pada tahun 1994, rempuhan ala gestapo di rumah Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim semasa Reformasi 1998, keracunan arsenik di penjara, kereta Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang dirosakkan breknya, serangan tembakan kanister gas CS semasa BERSIH 2 di KL Sentral dan terkini, serangan jarum beracun di Galeri Pejuang Cherok To’Kun. Kesemua serangan ini tidak lain, adalah ditujukan terus kepada Anwar dan isterinya, Wan Azizah.

Sebagai respon segera, AMKPP telah membuat laporan polis terhadap insiden ini sejurus selepas serangan malam tadi. Pihak kami berterima kasih dengan pihak polis yang segera menghantar pasukan penyiasat dari Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Negeri dan kami berharap pihak polis dapat menjejak pelaku ini segera dan menghadapkannya ke muka pengadilan. Pihak kami juga telah mengarahkan Unit Ehsan Pulau Pinang dan Unit Keselamatan Parlimen Permatang Pauh (UKP) untuk mengiringi pemergian pulang dan memastikan keselamatan Dato’ Seri Wan Azizah kembali ke Kuala Lumpur.

Akhir sekali, AMKPP ingin mengisytiharkan kepada semua musuh-musuh Anwar Ibrahim dan keluarganya, jika kamu memusuhi Anwar Ibrahim dan keluarganya, bermakna kamu memusuhi kami dan seluruh rakyat! Kami akan menjadi benteng dan barisan pertahanan terakhir untuk keluarga Anwar Ibrahim dari perbuatan pengecut dan bacul kalian. Kepada UMNO dan sekutu-sekutunya, jangan ambil sikap lepas tangan. Jika kami dapati ada hubungan dan perkaitan antara insiden ini dengan kamu, tunggulah ombak revolusi yang akan membadai keangkuhan kalian!

Angkatan Muda KEADILAN Pulau Pinang (AMKPP)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Good Food at the Malabar Restaurant

Boxing Day was just going to be another usual day if not for an unscheduled visit with a friend to a newly opened restaurant at Cintra Street – The Malabar Restaurant, Dine and Chill. Occupying two of the corner lots of the heritage building in Georgetown, the new kid on the block looks chic with its designer look and matching colours.

The wallpaper and overall interior decoration adds to its charm and ambience of a comfortable dining experience. The original timber which can now only be found in heritage buildings can still be seen in parts where they are not covered by the lowered plaster ceiling.

“We want to make people feel at home. One part of the shop is for dining and the other is the bar,” says the petite and pretty restaurateur Tracy Yeoh, adding that she designed the shop herself.

Eager to impress us with their food, we were first served with a starter – Lobak, the chef’s personal favourite. This was followed by the Braised Garlic Pepper Pork Ribs, Rendang Chicken, Otak-otak, Malabar Belanda Eggs and Fried Kangkung.

The Lobak was absolutely delicious with just about the correct balance of everything – its deep-fried skin browned to a golden perfection wrapped around the juicy and chunky seasoned meat. A word of caution though - this dish is non-halal.

Although the Otak-otak was not on the menu, we were fortunate enough to try it and this dish too was amazing. Presented in a small bowl, and not the usual banana leaf, the aromatic spices, turmeric and lemon grass simply makes the steamed egg and fish literally melt in the mouth, leaving a very nice aftertaste. The texture of the steamed egg is just right – smooth and firm, and not at all soggy or watery.

The Malabar Belanda Eggs really needs to be mentioned here as well. These are sunny-side up eggs topped with garnishing and dipped in tamarind sauce. The egg yolk and tamarind sauce are complimentary and is a must-try.

The rest of the dishes were just as great and delicious. A good cook cooks well no matter what she cooks, and for that matter, the cooks are none other than Tracy’s mum and aunt. These two ladies are skilled in cooking Thai and Nyonya food, and some of the dishes in the menu are their own original recipes.

“The idea of starting a restaurant came about jokingly as we thought that our mum and aunt were great cooks and wanted to share their cooking with everyone else.

“Then, while we were in this area (Cintra Street) and saw that the ‘for rent’ signage board was up, we just thought to ourselves, why not?” confessed Jimmy Yeoh, Tracy’s brother. So that was how The Malabar Restaurant was conceived.

The name of the restaurant is borrowed from Kampung Malabar, originally an Indian Settlement within the vicinity that existed from the 19th century until the turn of 20th century. It was a time when trade flourished in this region and traders from Kerala especially flocked here to find their fortune. Later, during Japanese Occupation, Cintra Street became the red-light district filled with brothels and hotels.

Currently, renovations are on-going to have a garden setting on the second floor.

Armed with such deep-rooted history, culturally rich background and with sinfully delicious food, The Malabar Restaurant is a recommended place to visit. Prices are fair although parking may be a bit of a problem.

The Malabar Restaurant is located at 26 & 28 Cintra Street and opens from 11am – 10pm daily except for Tuesdays. For more information please call: 04-2638266.

S.Raveentharan helps poor students with RM100 vouchers

100 children were presented with RM100 vouchers last Sunday at BJ Kompleks to help families prepare for the new school term. S.Raveentharan had set aside RM10,000 from his allocation to lighten the burden of parents with school-going children.

This is a yearly event that has drawn much support from the community. All recipients were from the Batu Uban constituency.

The vouchers were obtained from the Kamdar store in BJ Kompleks. Families with the voucher may exchange the voucher for apparels needed for school.Apart from the 100 children, some 40 other children also received RM100 vouchers from Pusat Urus Zakat, which is also meant for school uniforms.

“This is the people’s money. It is only right that we redistribute it to deserving parties and will continue to do so in the future,” said S.Raveentharan, the state assemblyman for Batu Uban.

S.Raveentharan thanked the management of Bukit Jambul Kompleks and Kamdar for their cooperation in helping making the event a success.

“Bukit Jambul Kompleks and Kamdar are both in Batu Uban and it is easy for the parents to come here to do their shopping,” he added.

After the event was over, a special branch officer requested the contact number of the manager in Kamdar, to which S.Raveentharan stepped up to question if there was any problem in giving out welfare to the public. The officer replied in the negative but stayed around until everybody went back.