Archive for August 15th, 2007

Is Express Rail Link Sdn. Bhd empowered by law to clamp cars and levy fines?

by Richard Yeoh

This morning, when I parked my car at the KL Sentral aeroport departure kerbside for 3 minutes to drop off someone to take the ERL aerotrain to KLIA, I was confronted by a worker who insisted on clamping my car despite the fact that I was about to move off.

I had to seek the intervention of a supervisor who insisted that ERL SB was entitled to clamp cars stopped at the kerbside. According to him, cars will only be released upon payment of a RM50 fine. In my case, fortunately the supervisor had the sense to use his discretion to release my car, but not without argument. They even had the temertiy to issue me a “summons” which I shall be happy to fax or scan to you.

This action raises various issues:

1. Is ERL authorised by law to take such action? Is the driveway in front of KL Sentral private property under ERL jurisdiction? Is ERL the proprietor of the driveway?

To the best of my knowledge, even the Police, DBKL and MBPJ do not resort to such action unless the vehicle is causing obstruction.

I noticed that even city police usually allow a grace period of 5-10 minutes before cars are summoned for parking offences.

2. How can ERL take such action when there are no clearly-visible warning signs?

3. Is this the way to encourage travellers to use the aero-train to KLIA?

Would appreciate your readers’ views on this.


Wee Meng Chee – will Umno Ministers/leaders now apologise to Malaysians offended by their extremist reactions?

Wee Meng Chee, 24-year-old undergraduate, has issued an open apology to Malaysians offended by his six-minute Negarakuku video rap, which as of this morning, has been accessed more than 1.5 million times on YouTube sites put up by others as Meng Chee had removed the video clip from his blog several days ago.

Three questions that immediately arise are:

  • Will UMNO Ministers and leaders who have persecuted and demonized Meng Chee by making irresponsible, extremist and seditious statements, and even demanding the stripping of Meng Chee’s citizenship, now publicly apologise to all Malaysians offended by them;
  • Will Umno Ministers who had been guilty of keris-waving in circumstances and context contemptuous of the legitimate sensitivities and rights of all Malaysians publicly apologise to all Malysians offended by them?
  • Will MCA Ministers and leaders publicly apologise for failing to draw attention of the Umno leaders to the expression of patriotism by Meng Chee in articulating the frustrations of the ordinary rakyat at police corruption, civil service bureaucracy, discrimination against Chinese education and the insensitivity of the authorities — which is the reason why his rap video had struck such a deep chord among Malaysians particularly among the young generation?


Merdeka Dialogue: Whither Bangsa Malaysia?

50 years ago, we were promised democracy. We were promised justice. We were promised equality. We were promised to be treated with human dignity. We were promised freedom.

In 1963, we became Malaysians and the notion of a Bangsa Malaysia was born. This was given form and substance by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his Vision 2020 that set out 9 challenges for Malaysians to achieve a developed country.

No mention is made of Bangsa Malaysia by the Abdullah administration. Is the concept of Bangsa Malaysia still important or relevant in the light of failed promises in our original social contract?

The DAP is holding a Dialogue in conjuction with the 50th Merdeka Anniversary celebrations this coming weekend.

Date: 19 August 2007 (Sunday)
Time: 2.00pm
Venue: Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya

The panel of distinguished speakers include:

*Tunku Abdul Aziz, former President, Transparency International Malaysia

*Datuk Param Cumuraswamy, former Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, United Nations

*Yeo Yang Poh, former Malaysian Bar Council Chairman

*Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader

*Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

Following the session, a dialogue will be conducted with the participants hosted by another distinguished panel (subject to change):

M Manogar, President, Malaysian Tamil Education & Research Foundation

Haris Ibrahim, Human Rights Lawyer

Jeff Ooi, Prominent Malaysian Blogger

Oh Ei-Sun, East Malaysian Socio-Political Analyst

To ensure sufficient seats allocation, please register in advance with Lim Swee Kuan (03) 79578022 or via email at limsweekuan(at)


The Medical Mafia and ‘University Myanmar Sabah’

by LKT

I refer to your letter “University Myanmar Sabah” where the author lists various problems with the administration, staffing and ultimately blames the Dean, albeit prematurely, for the shortcomings of this Medical Faculty.

As long as there is a need for doctors and a concomitant maintenance in the rise of standards or medical technology exists, the evolution or expansion of medical schools here in Malaysia must be encouraged contrary to the opinions of some of your readers that a number of of these facilities ought to be shut down.

Development of local-based medical universities is critical if we are going to keep costs down and maintain standards instead of sending our bright but financially underprivileged children to such institutions based in Indonesia and Russia which did not have the benefit of a British educational input which has helped this country on previous occasions to have word class standards in medical care.

In 1962, when Thumboo John Danaraj was appointed the Foundation Dean to the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, he proposed that the Medical Faculty should have its own hospital.

Up to the 1950’s, the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, which was known previously as King Edward VII College of Medicine had been the only medical school in Malaya and Singapore. The output of doctors at that time was small: 60 per year forcing many Malaysians to go overseas to seek undergraduate medical education.

Construction of the faculty building began in July 1963 right through March 1967 when the first wards were opened culminating finally in the completion of the Paediatric, Maternity and Rehabilitation Units which became functional in March 1968.

On 5th August 1968, the University Hospital was officially opened by the Agong. University Malaya had a world class Faculty and Hospital. But what of the lecturers?

T.J. Danaraj had no qualms bringing in the best lecturers he could afford and most of these lecturers originated from the Indian subcontinent, some of whom are still with the University. The country had not enough doctors let alone lecturers and in the initial years the University Hospital had to depend on a large expatriate population to help establish this school.

Although the working capital for this Malaysian medical icon came from both the Ministry of Education and Health, trouble was already brewing at the Ministry of Health, known those days and even sometimes today as the “Medical Mafia” which wanted to have the final say in all things medical in this country. They refused initially to recognise housemanship at the UH as part of the 4-year compulsory service until there were widespread protests by UH doctors. Read the rest of this entry »