Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Autism : Myth & Mystery

My office will be organising a talk on Autism : Myth & Mystery with the assistance of The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM). NASOM currently has a day care centre in the 3C building. Below are the details of the talk:

Date : This Sunday, 2 August 2009
Time : 10.00am to 12.00 noon
Venue : Kompleks 3C MPSJ, Jalan PJS 11/2, Bandar Sunway


Much has been said about autism recently. But what really is autism? – A disease, an illness or a disorder. Is it hereditary, can it be cured? Many are still unaware of this condition whilst some pass it off as a phase in the child’s life and that the child will grow out of it. Mistaken and misunderstood, child with autism are sometimes labelled stupid, mischievous or even institutionalised.

Autism is a lifelong complex neurological disorder that affects 65 million worldwide (World Autism Organisation, 2009). It blocks the ability of the child to communicate and inhibits emotional and social development. It is associated with rigid routines or repetitive behaviors such as obsessively following schedules or arranging belongings in a specific way.


· What is autism?
· Characteristics of autism.
· Early signs of abnormality.
· Can autism be cured?
· How we can help?


Rica Frances Talon, Master of Arts (Major in Psychology), Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines and Master of Education (cand.) University Malaya (Specializing in Special Education) has been working in the field of psychology and education for more than sixteen years. Her work in the sixteen years has seen her involved in various capacities covering human development, which includes assessment, counselling and therapy, education, training and development, supervision, human resource development and research.

Her main focus typically involves the development of children, adolescents and adults, including students, teachers, counsellors, administrators as well as other people with special need eg autism, ADD/ADHD, emotional-behavioural disorders and psychiatric problems, Down Syndrome, learning difficulties, brain injury and other at-risk individuals, as well as children and adolescents who are gifted.

In 2008, Rica pursued her career further and went to Europe as an academic visitor in Roehampton University, London, Charles University, Prague and Fontys OSO, Netherlands. This was part of a research scholarship funded by the European Commission. Currently, Rica is involved with The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM), providing her professional services as member of the Multi Disciplinary Team.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

He will never be forgotten...

I'm going to share a personal story with all of you here. Back in 1990, when I was still in school, I received news that my favourite uncle (mom's brother) had injured himself from a fall while working. He was admitted to SJMC and hours later, he passed away. My uncle was only 29 when he left us. He was one month away from getting married. He had personally renovated his house and bought new furniture in anticipation of his wedding day. I was told that he cried when his engagement ring was removed from his finger, moments before he passed away.

On the day of his burial, his pre-wedding photographs taken at the studio were delivered to us. His fiancee wept uncontrollably. Their wedding did not materialise. Their dream of beginning their lives together was shattered. Photograph of him in his groom tuxedo adorned his coffin and hearse. His parents (my grandparents) also could not participate in the funeral, just like Beng Hock's parents. According to Chinese culture, the parents should not participate in the funeral of a child.

I can understand how Beng Hock's nieces and nephews feel. I spent so many nights crying, longing for my favourite uncle to return. I can imagine the atmosphere in Beng Hock's home now. My grandparents' home was no different. One night, I shared the room with my uncle's fiancee. I woke up to the sound of her weeping. She told me how my uncle wanted me to teach him English and that it was too late. How she was supposed to prepare soup for him for dinner but he never came home that day, it was too late.

Year after year, at every family gathering, I witnessed my grandmother crying. I saw my grandfather hiding in the kitchen, crying by himself. The loss of their son was too painful, too much for them to bear. Even on the dying bed in 2007, my grandfather was still thinking of his son - my uncle who left so prematurely at the age of 29, a month before his scheduled wedding.

Beng Hock's death has brought painful remembrance of my personal loss. Beng Hock was my friend. I last saw him in the Dewan Annex at the Selangor State Assembly last Wednesday during our lunch break. I never imagined that that would be the last time we chatted. I am 30 years old. Beng Hock was 30 too. He would not be at MACC if he hadn't accepted the call of public service. This race in which I have started to run to bring change in this land is not an easy one. I know some will stop running. Some may be injured running the race. I pray I will complete the race.

My sister who is indifferent to politics (like many other young people in this country) sent me a text message when I was at Nirvana Memorial Park in Semenyih the day Beng Hock was buried. She said : "Please teach me what to do in the event you are taken in by MACC too. I do not want to learn of it too late". She must have seen the agony of Beng Hock's siblings and realised that it could have been her going through it.

I hope my grandmother isn't watching the news of Beng Hock's death. She would be grieving and crying seeing Beng Hock's mom. I hope this article doesn't reach her. Just like how my family still remembers my late uncle some 19 years later, I know Beng Hock too would be remembered many years to come. Farewell, my friend.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am ashamed of our Ministers

As a young Malaysian, I am thoroughly ashamed of our Ministers - our Deputy Prime Minister, our Education Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. Their remarks to the media in the last few days have caused me shame as a Malaysian : Cabinet to mull royal panel for Teoh's death, Teoh's death politicised to divert attention from MACC probe, Stop politicising Teoh's death, Nazri warns opposition and Minister : Don't blame MACC

Why ashamed?, some may ask. Let me tell you why. For these men to be Ministers, Malaysia must be really lacking in resources - good people with conscience, people who know the law, people who understand separation of powers and most of all, people who can think and act fairly for all. The inability to understand the issue at hand is the reason they would utter such remarks. I don't need to be a genius to point out that there's something wrong with these remarks. They lack conscience. I am also ashamed of my fellow Malaysians who have voted in these men to be our Ministers. Those who still want to remain silent and be apolitical - tell me if you would remain steadfast in your views if Beng Hock were to be your son, brother, fiancee and friend.

I am now convinced that there are no more good men left in Barisan Nasional.

Friday, July 17, 2009

MACC & your political masters, you have blood on your hands!

The UMNO Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said do not blame MACC. He is right. Maybe we should be blaming the MACC's masters, UMNO-Barisan Nasional for the death of Teoh Beng Hock. If MACC cannot guarantee the safe return of anyone that they haul in for questioning, then they have no business detaining anyone for questioning.

Me, my family, my team, Pakatan Rakyat leaders & supporters and righteous Malaysians are overwhelmed by immense grief and sorrow. Our prayers are with Teoh's family and his fiancee, who was due to be registered in marriage today.

Woe to the hands that shed innocent blood and the heart that devises wicked schemes!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gobind: who complained to MACC?

The MACC should tell us who the complainants are in respect of the investigations against the Selangor Pakatan Assemblymen. It is certainly strange that all of a sudden the MACC is investigating not one or two but 12 Pakatan Assemblymen in one go. Was there a general blanket report which was made which covers all Pakatan leaders only? How else would the MACC explain the position? The MACC exists to combat corruption. It is a public body and it must be accountable to the public. There have been numerous reports made against certain BN leaders but we don’t see any enthusiasm on part of the MACC to bring these people to book. The MACC must not and cannot abuse its power. It cannot launch blanket investigations against groups of people. As I understand it, as is the case in other criminal investigations, a report must be lodged before investigations may commence. But reports are almost always directed at certain factual patterns implicating certain individuals they cannot be general reports ‘just so that MACC officials may knock on anyone’s door to check’. The DAP will through its National Legal Bureau write to the MACC for a copy of the report lodged. We will investigate the bona fides of this ‘investigation’. If there is any wrong revealed, we will not hesitate to sue to put things right.
16 July 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Health Screening at Indah Court

Here are the photos of the free health screening held last weekend for the residents of Indah Court at PJS 11, Bandar Sunway. Young working professionals like doctors and lawyers got together on a Sunday morning to serve the residents there.

A resident having her consultation session with the doctor

A young boy being checked by a doctor

Children were also treated to free face painting session while their parents were waiting for their turn for check-ups

I await the Health Ministry's response to the request for a public clinic in Subang Jaya. The residents of Subang Jaya are in great need of one.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Probe by MACC

Article in the Sun today:

MACC interviews recipients of aid from DAP assemblymen
By Maria J.Dass

SHAH ALAM (July 13, 2009) : The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seized files on allocations expenditure by seven Selangor state assemblymen from the Petaling District Office two weeks ago and have been questioning recipients of the money since.

Calling it a harrasment of their constituents, the seven assemblymen are planning to lodge a complain with the MACC advisory board member Tun Hamid Mohamed.Those who had their files seized are Teresa Kok (DAP-Kinrara), Elizabeth Wong (PKR-Bukit Lanjan), Edward Lee (DAP-Bukit Gasing), Hannah Yeoh (DAP-Subang Jaya), Dr Cheah Wing Yin (Damansara Utama), Ean Yong Hian Wah (DAP-Seri Kembangan) and Lau Weng San (DAP-Kampung Tunku).

Kok, who led the press conference held on the sidelines of the Selangor state assembly sitting today, said: "The MACC’s actions seem to be politically motivated because they are only targeted at Pakatan Rakyat (PR) elected representatives."

She pointed out that there had been no follow up to reports lodged early last year on some Barisan Nasional assemblymen who had spent their entire RM500,000 allocation for 2008 within the first two months of that year, adding that the MACC seems to be interest more in netting ikan bilis (small fish) compared to bigger cases such as the Port Klang Freetrade Zone.

"We are also wondering why the MACC has targeted only the Chinese assemblymen," Kok queried.

She said the imam and committee members of a mosque in her constituency to which she had donated a set of RM10,000 speakers to had been summoned and questioned by the MACC more than once.

"What is our offence? That we used our allocations to help our constituents? What is their motive?" Kok asked, saying that they did not know about the seizure of the files until the recipients of the funds called to say they were being summoned by MACC.

Wong said she had received a call from an organiser of a Deepavali Carnival in her area saying that he was called up and questioned by the MACC pertaining allocations received."I consider this as harassment and intimidation of my constituents," she said.

Yeoh meanwhile said her assistant received a call from the MACC on Friday inquiring about a RM10,000 allocation for a health clinic.

"We hold this health clinic two to three times a year for those in the lower income group in my constituency which does not have a government health clinic," she said adding that no one from MACC attended the clinic which was held at Indah Court in PJS11 although invited.

"All our expenditure is transparent and available on my blog, I have nothing to hide," she added.
Yeoh said the MACC should concentrate on those who had misused the people’s money instead of harassing and intimidating the public and checking on monies allocated for beneficial programmes for the people.

Kok added MACC should check on the Deputy Prime Minister’s offer to the people of Manek Urai to build a RM7 million bridge if they put BN in power in their area.

"Is this not a bribe?" she asked.

The government’s money is after all from the people’s taxes and the federal government has a duty to use their money for the benefit of the Manek Urai people, thus if the people there need a bridge then the government should build it and not use it as a pawn to garner votes, said Kok.

My thoughts:
Being clean is of utmost importance to me. That's the reason why I entered politics - to fight corruption. We were informed that MACC has gone to the Petaling Land Office to take away all our files on allocation. My special assistant who is in charge of the free health screening programs in Subang Jaya is given RM10,000 a year to organise two to three of such programs yearly. Please click here to view all our previous health screening programs.

When my special assistant received a call from MACC last Friday, he even invited MACC to attend our health screening project planned for Indah Court residents in PJS 11, Bandar Sunway on last Sunday (photos will be posted on my blog soon). We did not see any MACC officer on that day.

I have even blogged about usage of the annual allocation before. We have diligently ensured that the allocation is spent only for the residents/organisations in the Subang Jaya constituency. All funds used for programs organised by my office are accounted for. For those who wish to view the receipts or breakdown of these funds or if you have any query pertaining to the allocation, please make arrangement to view it at our office.

That RM10,000 was used for the residents since the Federal Government has failed to provide a public health clinic/hospital for the people of Subang Jaya. I have complied with the requirement that allocation is purely used for residents/constituents and not used for DAP events. You can ask the residents of Subang Jaya who have benefitted from such allocation.

I believe this probe by MACC is to discredit us and to instill fear in the residents. I believe BN wants the residents to turn to their BN reps for financial assistance and then they can claim that the people still want them and are still turning to them for assistance. I am here to serve and not to steal from the people. I have not used the RM10,000 to pay for my hospital bills or to build myself a mansion. I have used the RM10,000 for my residents who find it hard to afford medical check-ups.

Thank you MACC for your energy and enthusiasm in curbing corruption. I think you are looking in the wrong places.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Petaling Land Office in SS16 Subang Jaya sold! (Updated)

As promised, here are the details revealed at the State Assembly on the sale of the Petaling Land Office in SS16 Subang Jaya:

On 12 May 2004, the former state government approved the land transfer to Syarikat Gapurna Builders Sdn Bhd by way of 'penswastaan pembinaan' and land swapping. The agreement was signed in 2006.

The size of land involved is 4.14 acre [3.04 acre at Jalan Kemajuan SS16/1 and 1.1 acre of Land Office quarters along Jalan SS19/2].

Syarikat Gapurna Builders Sdn Bhd will, in return for this 4.14 acre of land, build a new 11.19 acre land office in mukim Sungai Buloh for RM24.6 million.

They call this a privatisation project. Because of this land swapping project done in 2006, Syarikat Gapurna Builders Sdn Bhd now owns the 4.14 acre of land and they can use it to develop more commercial buildings in the already-over-congested SS16.

The new state government has said that for the new state government to retain the Petaling Land Office where it is now, we will now have to re-acquire the 4.14 acre of land and also compensate Syarikat Gapurna Builders Sdn Bhd for the cost of building the new office in Sungai Buloh. More overdevelopment gift from the former BN state government to the people of Subang Jaya!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Petaling Land Office in SS16 Subang Jaya sold!

This morning at the Selangor State Assembly, we were informed by our Chief Minister that the former state government had sold the land where the Petaling Land Office is in SS16 Subang Jaya to a corporation. The agreement to sell was decided by the State Excos back in May 2004. The new land office will be located at Sungai Buloh. We were told that some civil servants are now telling the new state government that the location in Sungai Buloh is not suitable. For the state government to keep the land office where it is now, they would have to purchase it back from the corporation. More details to come!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I refer to the article in NST yesterday.
Please note that it was wrongly reported in the article that the Appeals Board would hold a hearing on the issues surrounding the Telekom land in USJ 6 and Taman Subang Ria. This morning the Appeals Board fixed a hearing date for the Telekom land in USJ 6, pending the review by MPSJ councillors. There is no hearing date for Taman Subang Ria. MPSJ has informed me that to date, there is no formal application made to MPSJ for development of Taman Subang Ria.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The hidden hand behind Telekom

The Telekom land project in USJ 6 is now at the State Appeals Board. At the last full council meeting in MPSJ in June 2009, the councillors have requested for a review of the decision made in granting the development order. We have been informed that Telekom has filed an application to intervene at the State Appeals Board. Why is Telekom insisting to fight against the residents to dispose off this land to the developer for it to be developed now, bearing in mind that their previous attempts to sub-divide the land have also been rejected before?

In 2005, MPSJ rejected Telekom's application to sub-divide the land :
Menolak permohonan Kebenaran Merancang Pecah Sempadan dengan alasan : Tapak tersebut hendaklah dikekalkan sebagai rezab kegunaan Telekom Malaysia Berhad sahaja.

In 2006, MPSJ again rejected their appeal:
Rayuan pemohon ditolak dengan alasan tapak tersebut merupakan tapak kemudahan awam (rezab telekom).

The above decisions were not revealed to us at the public hearing held last year and the application was conveniently escalated to the State Planning Committee 4 days before the councillors were appointed. The State Planning Committee approved the project without knowledge of the history above. The two decisions in 2005 and 2006 were only revealed by MPSJ after I raised this matter at the State Assembly on 12 March 2009.

Despite wide publicity on the residents' objections, I am surprised to hear that Telekom is insisting on fighting to develop their land which is reserved only for Telekom exchange. Who is behind Telekom?

Telekom's website reveals the followings:
The Federal Government owns 42.34% of their shares.

The 2 substantial shareholders are:
Khazanah Nasional Berhad, 41.78%; and
Employees Provident Fund Board, 14.36%.

And who is the man behind the leadership of Khazanah Nasional Berhad?
Answer : our very own Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Hj Abdul Razak!

Why is our Federal Government not listening to the plea of the residents? Why is our Federal Government as the owners of Telekom, allowing Telekom to file an application to intervene the appeal made by the residents? Telekom will be engaging its own lawyers to fight this out.

What has happened to our Prime Minister's motto : People first, performance now?

The owners of Telekom which is the Federal Government should do the right thing which is to instruct Telekom to terminate its sale of the land to Pujangga Budiman and drop its proposed 9 storey commercial development in USJ 6 and listen to the cry of the residents. Do not hide behind the guise of a government-linked company.