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Showing posts with label City Council of Penang Island (MBPP). Show all posts
Showing posts with label City Council of Penang Island (MBPP). Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pay to win the dubious vanity awards scam

BBB Tip: Vanity Awards

Allure of vanity awards hard to dismiss

Your organisation may deserve an award but be aware of vanity awards disguised as legitimate prizes.

A vanity award is less of an honour because the recipient essentially has to fork out money for it. An organisation is asked to purchase the award by paying a high entry fee, sponsorship or other charges.

It is a business model that transcends borders and industries with US non-profit organisation Better Business Bureau issuing warnings about such schemes in the United States and Canada since 2008.

Even government bodies have been known to pay for vanity awards.

In 2017, The Star reported the Penang Municipal Council and Seberang Prai Municipal Council had revealed that they might have fallen for a vanity awards scheme by the Europe Business Assembly (EBA) in 2013 and 2014. (See related posts below)

Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd said they won the EBA awards without assessment by any judges after paying a total of €7,800 (RM39,088) in entry fees.

The now retired Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Patahiyah Ismail was awarded the Best Municipal Manager while the council was given the Best Municipality Award in 2013.

A year later, the Seberang Prai Municipal Council got the Best City award while its then president Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif was named the Best Municipal Manager.

Two European NGOs – the Center for Investigative Reporting of Serbia (CINS) and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) – exposed the EBA titles as a vanity awards scam.

The report states that such organisations sent solicitation letters to companies and government agencies in the world, telling them that they had been nominated for various awards.

“Anyone who replies, shows interest and agrees to pay gets an award. Most of the letters contain the ceremony programme generally held in an attractive European capital, pictures of the trophies and information about costs,” the report added.

In 2011, The Star highlighted the proliferation of dubious awards due to high demand for such prizes.

The report said some organisers were giving out less-than-credible awards and then asking the “winners” to sponsor or buy dinner tables at lavish presentation events.

The asking price for such sponsorships ranged from RM4,000 to RM30,000, with some companies admitting they paid up for fear of business rivals getting the awards instead.

The organisers also banked on these companies’ need for recognition to boost their business. These companies treated such sponsorship as investments.

The Star reported that when demand for such awards increased, the “supply” can be raised simply by creating new categories.

Source link   


Having to pay for a ‘win’ 

Legitimacy of money-making awards ceremonies questioned
 
‘Honours’ list: Adeva giving a speech at its awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. Screencap from APTTF’s Facebook page.
‘Honours’ list: Adeva giving a speech at its awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. Screencap from APTTF’s Facebook page.

Like most other people, leaders in the business world take pride in receiving recognition for their hard work and achievements. They also see value in being considered as among the best. These sentiments have helped spawn a lucrative mini industry built on award ceremonies that are more about earning money than honouring and encouraging excellence.

Businessmen have raised questions over the growing number of award programmes whose organisers demand payments from those who are supposedly nominated for prizes. The charges range from administrative fees to sponsorship.

Entrepreneur Jan Wong said he had been contacted by 10 different award organisers congratulating him on winning their awards but with one big condition.

“I was told that to qualify for the awards, I needed to pay for the nomination, a table (at the awards ceremony), marketing exposure or the trophy ,” said Wong, who was in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2017.

“If I don’t want to pay, I won’t win,” he added. He questioned the prestige of such awards.

There are similar concerns about a recent travel industry awards ceremony in Malaysia by a little-known organisation called the Asia Pacific Tourism and Travel Federation (APTTF).

Participants said they had doubts about the Asia Pacific Tourism and Travel Awards after the event turned disorderly. The Tourism Minister did not show up although the organiser said he would. Some winners received the wrong awards, while several others were not given their awards that day. “The chief executive officer’s explanation as to why they did not present our awards was that they had misplaced a box of trophies in the office,” participant Melissa (not her real name) said.

“When he was closing the event on stage he even asked if he had missed out any awards. But we were too polite to speak up.”Melissa said many award categories had five winners each. There was one category with about 30 winners, she added.

She said the event was supposed to be a prestigious gala dinner but it turned out to be a low-budget conference-style luncheon.

Participants paid RM575 to RM755 per seat or RM4,500 per table to attend the April 11 ceremony in a Kuala Lumpur hotel. There were about 200 award recipients.

In its promotional materials and conversations with participants, the APTTF claimed that Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) had endorsed and supported the awards ceremony.

However, both organisations have denied any such affiliation.

“Malaysia Airlines is not associated, has not endorsed nor has any involvement with the APTTF,” MAS told The Star.

Tourism Malaysia said it is not a member of the federation and that the APTTF Malaysian Chapter is not a recognised travel association.

“The APTTF Malaysian Chapter is not registered with the Registrar of Societies and is not found in the Companies Commission of Malaysia’s MYDATA portal,” said Tourism Malaysia, adding that it had declined the invitation to attend the awards ceremony.

Further checks by The Star revealed that the website photo of the APTTF chairman is a stock image (an image provided by an agency that can be used for a fee).

The website also has the text of a speech by the chairman addressing the award winners. He has a Japanese name that does not show up elsewhere in an Internet search.

According to former APTTF employees, the people behind the Asia Pacific Tourism and Travel Awards had also organised the Asia Lifestyle Tourism Awards (ALTA) through an organisation called Asian Sports Group.

“My job was to call hotels all over South-East Asia to convince them to join the APTTF as a member. The hotels had to pay a fee and an award would be given when they joined,” said Jeff (not his real name).

“We actively name-dropped tourism ministries to convince the hotels and tour operators to sign up,” he said, adding that the organiser also operated under the name ASG Management Group Sdn Bhd

. Sarah (not her real name) said she was tasked to organise ALTA 2018 which was supposed to be held in Shenzhen in September 2018. However, the event was cancelled although participants had purchased tickets to the event.

“The event didn’t happen because the company didn’t exist,” she said.

Thailand-based hotel operator Paisal Panchalad, who is among those affected by the cancellation of ALTA 2018, said the company did not reimburse the US$1,605 (RM6,638) he had paid despite multiple assurances from the CEO.

“CEO Adeva Sangkuni informed us that he would refund all money but he did not do that,” he said, adding that there were many others with the same complaint.

Sarah was not surprised that several winners of the KL awards ceremony last month did not receive their prizes. She said a similar thing happened in ALTA 2017, leading to a big hotel brand in Malaysia boycotting the organiser.

Sarah and Jeff said they suspected something was amiss with the company after discovering that many of the officials listed on the websites were fake.

The former employees claimed that the company did not pay their salaries during the one to two months that they worked there in mid-2018.

Last year, they lodged reports with the Companies Commission of Malaysia, Labour Department and the police against APTTF and ASG Management Group over the companies’ unregistered operations and the unpaid salaries

Source link   


Related stories:

APTTF’s CEO claims event received verbal support from ministry

‘Award winners’ feel the burn after falling for prestigious prize scam


Related posts:

Fake Awards Scam for Penang Island City Council, Seberang Perai Municipal Council !



Malaysian Public varsities, companies, GLC execs also recipients of EBA fake awards

  

Malaysian Public varsities, companies, GLC execs also recipients of EBA fake awards

 

New Mayor for Penang Island City Council

The Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) president will replace outgoing Mayor Datuk Patahiyah Ismail whose contract ends on June 30 th...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Action taken over irregularities at Bukit Kukus paired road project Penang

https://youtu.be/dMF95t2gXzg

Special task force formed to probe landslide


GEORGE TOWN: The state government has formed a special investigative committee to probe the landslide at the Bukit Kukus Paired Road construction site in Paya Terubong.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said preliminary reports by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and the Drainage and Irrigation Department showed there were elements of non-compliance in construction procedures carried out at the site.

He said the committee would be led by Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, with State Public Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari as a member and an engineer from the state secretary’s office.

“Relevant agencies, contractors, sub-contractors and independent checking engineers involved in the project will be questioned,” he said during a press conference in his office at Komtar yesterday.

Chow said this was a separate investigation from the compulsory investigations carried out by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health and Construction Industry Development Board among other relevant agencies.

Once investigations are complete, Chow said the findings would be brought to the Board of Engineers Malaysia, an agency under the Works Ministry that monitors and regulates engineers.

“MBPP is not involved in the investigation as it is the project owner,” said Chow.

Action taken over irregularities at paired road project, says Zairil


A special task force detected several irregularities when conducting spot checks at the Bukit Kukus Paired Road project site earlier this month.

State Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the task force, formed under the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Committee (Ops Lumpur), was to check for compliance under the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan (ESCP).

“On Oct 8, a team led by the Drainage and Irrigation Department found sediments in a pond and irregularities in the check dams.

“The stockpiles were not maintained well and could affect the flow of Sungai Relau during heavy rain, causing mud floods, he told reporters in Komtar yesterday.

Zairil said as per the standard operating procedure, the Ops Lumpur team issued a letter to the consultant of the project, demanding that mitigation measures be taken within 14 days.

“On Oct 12, the findings of Ops Lumpur were reported to the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Committee and the next day, an initial stop-work order was issued by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) following the beam collapse.

“A full stop-work order was issued by DOSH on Oct 17,” he said.

Zairil said on Sept 28, his office received a report on the concerns over hill-clearing activities in Penang from the Penang Hills Watch, and replied to them on Oct 4.

“I was concerned about the complaints, as erosion and sedimentation would indeed cause bottlenecks in the rivers downstream, especially during the rainy season.

“Claims that the complaints were not attended to are untrue. In fact, action was taken immediately,” he said adding, “The cause of the Bukit Kukus landslide must be uncovered.”

Separately, Zairil said 17 slopes in the state were under repair and RM10mil had just been approved by the state government. - The Star

Giant pillars a reminder of Bukit Kukus tragedy

Impossible to ignore : The large concrete pillars that remain standing at the Bukit Kukus landslide site in Paya Terubong.

GEORGE TOWN: A row of giant concrete pillars soaring high into the sky serves as a reminder of the landslide tragedy which claimed nine lives at the Bukit Kukus Paired Road project in Paya Terubong.

The tallest of them stands at about 20 storeys and remains perched between the hills where soil erosion brought down 13 containers housing the ill-fated foreign workers last Friday.

Before the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) gives the all clear for the project to resume, most of the workers at the site have remained while a few moved out to look for temporary work.

A Bangladeshi worker who declined to be named was seen carrying a cardboard box containing his personal belongings to another construction site nearby.

“The boss said there is no more work here, so I contacted my friend who recommended me for another job. I will be staying at his place.

“Once this project resumes, I shall come back,” the 30-year-old said.

At the site, rubble was scattered all over the 9,290 sq m site with the 13 green containers salvaged by cranes left in a corner.

The last foreign worker to be found was 33-year-old Bangladeshi Mohamad Uzzaal. He was pinned under a container and rescuers had to dig 10m to extricate the body.

At the height of the ops, two cadaver dogs were despatched to the scene to search for bodies while two other sniffer dogs were there to locate survivors.

A small open area beside a farm further up the hill above the site where photographers and videographers camped for five days to capture the ongoing rescue operation remains cordoned off.

On Monday, the media was taken on a tour of the site after the search and rescue operation, involving over 100 rescue personnel, was called off.

The water in the stream, which looked like teh tarik on Friday, was crystal clear now after its flow on top of the hill was diverted.

Even as the ops ended and all the missing foreign workers had been located, residents living nearby raised their concerns over the project.

Technician Tan Keng Wee, 36, hoped that the project would continue since most of it had already been done, but wanted better safety measures in place at the site.

“The traffic in Paya Terubong during peak hours is chaotic due to the narrow road passing by the hills. We need the new elevated road bypass but please make sure it is safe,” he said.

Food stall operator Mohd Subri Noor, 52, also shared his concern.

“I’m worried as many landslides have happened here. Many of them could have been prevented,” he said.

The RM530mil alternative road linking Lebuhraya Thean Teik in Bandar Baru Air Itam to Lebuh Bukit Jambul began in January 2016.- The Star


Related:   

No environmental study at Bukit Kukus landslide site, assembly hears



Include Penang Forum in panel probing Bukit Kukus landslide tragedy

 

  At Penang landslide memorial, group questions silence of PH MPs

Consultant, contractor of Bukit Kukus paired road project slapped with ...


Risky building on hillslopes - Nation

 

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Consultant gets show-cause letter for ‘overlooking hilltop stream’ GEORGE TOWN: The consultant of the Bukit Kukus Paired Road project...
A drone picture of the collapsed beams along Jalan Tun Sardon leading to Balik Pulau on the left while Jalan Paya Terubong on the ri...
Precarious situation: The collapsed beams along Jalan Tun Sardon which fell and broke after being knocked down. https://www.thestar.c...


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Huge landslide in Tg Bungah hill

Disaster zone: An aerial view of the recent landslide in Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
An aerial view of the brown water flowing into the sea from Sungai Kelian.


GEORGE TOWN: Nobody knew a natural disaster was waiting to happen until Sungai Kelian in Tanjung Bungah turned brown and silty.

The sudden profusion of laterite mud flowing out to sea was caused by a landslide even bigger than the one that killed 11 people at a Tanjung Bungah construction site last year.

But it was so far uphill – 231m above sea level – that Penang Island City Council (MBPP) had to use a drone to find it.

As it was a natural landslide, residents are now worried about the fragility of slopes in the Tanjung Bungah hill range and want tighter scrutiny on the many development projects slated for their neighbourhood all the way to Batu Ferringhi.


MBPP issued a statement on Sunday after discovering the landslide on Bukit Batu Ferringhi, in the forest reserve about 1.5km uphill of a disused Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) intake station.

PBAPP chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa clarified that the station had not been in use since 1999, after the Teluk Bahang Dam was completed.

An MBPP engineer said the landslide was about 40m long and 20m wide, but geo-technical experts were unable to reach the site to determine what happened because there are no jungle trails to reach it.

A group called Nelayan Tanjung Tokong shared a video on Facebook last Thursday, showing the russet brown water flowing into the sea from Sungai Kelian and expressed concern.

Tanjung Bungah Residents Asso­ciation chairman Meenakshi Ra­­man said it was worrying because the landslide happened without any human disturbance.

“It shows the hills in the vicinity are ecologically fragile, and we don’t want any untoward incidents to happen again.

“We hope the authorities will tell us what is being done to prevent further landslides,” she said yesterday.

Former Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu said he knew the area well and believed that the landslide took place near the source of Sungai Kelian.

“I have always stressed on how sensitive the hill slopes here are. There are many underground springs in the hills,” he said.

State Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the landslide happened in the middle of a forest reserve and experts need time to study the slope to understand how it gave way.

He gave an assurance that the mud washing down the river would clear up in due course without long-term damage.

Zairil also stressed that no deve­lopment had been approved near the landslide area.

“The state government’s guidelines on hill slope development are tighter than those used by the Federal Government. We will not approve developments without pro­per compliance,” he added.

Penang Drainage and Irrigation Department director Mohd Azmin Hussin said that it would be difficult to transport machinery to the source of the landslide for mitigation works.

“There are no access roads and the team will have to hike to the site,” he said. - The Star

Related News: 


'Bleeding' landslide worries residents - Nation 

 

Tanjung Bungah residents furious that five shady trees disappeared ...



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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Penang hit by floods again !

https://youtu.be/ooyXvqmxbvw

GEORGE TOWN: Some 20 houses located on a slope in Hong Seng Estate in Mount Erskine were flooded due to blocked underground drainage.

“Not again!” was the reaction of factory worker S. Kalaiselvi, 42, who found herself neck-deep in water at her house at 2am yesterday after a three-hour downpour.

She waded through the water to higher ground with her parents, who are in their 60s.

“I have been living here for 26 years and only now am I seeing such floods,” said Kalaiselvi, who also had to move out when her house was hit by the massive floods on Nov 4 and 5 last year.

Her father Subramanian Peru­mal, 68, said he was still waiting for the relevant authorities to resolve the problem.

At the site, firemen had to install a water pump to draw out the rainwater, which flooded most of the units to waist level at one point.

It was the third time that the area was flooded since October last year.

Last Oct 30, blocked underground drainage caused floodings affecting six houses during an evening downpour, followed by massive floods during the Nov 4 and 5 storm.

On Sept 29 last year, seven houses in the estate were also affected by soil erosion.

Consultant engineer Datuk Lim Kok Khong had said the soil erosion was due to water seeping under the ground.

Kebun Bunga assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng, who has been barred from helping out with the registration of flood victims for the one-off RM700 aid given by the Penang government, was also there but offered no concrete solution to the floods in the area.

Pulau Tikus assemblyman Yap Soo Huey said nine houses had to be demolished to make way for repair works.

She said they had offered owners of the nine affected houses a low medium-cost unit each as compensation, but the residents insisted on staying put.

Earlier, Penang Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the latest floods were caused by the continuous downpour that began on Thursday evening.

“The rain also coincided with a 2.34mm high tide at 2.30am yesterday,” he said.

Chow said the short-term measures to deal with the floods were to dig and deepen the rivers, and carry out upgrading and cleaning works at riverbanks to ensure that there were no blockages.

In Bukit Mertajam, a low wall sealing off the entrance to a lorry driver’s house prevented it from being submerged in floodwaters all over again.

While the water on the road outside was up to knee level, Heng Kai Chin’s home remained relatively dry, thanks to the metre-high barrier of cement and bricks.

But Heng, 43, still skipped work yesterday to keep an eye on the flooding.

A state flood report said water had entered at least 100 homes in Bukit Mertajam.

Source: The Staronline

Related Links:

Penang struck by yet another deluge

PENANGITES woke up to a cloudy and rainy morning as continuous downpour lasting for hours inundated several parts of the state.
Wet day: Students wading through floodwaters at SMK Mak Mandin in Butterworth, Penang. (Left) Motorists braving through the waters on the flyover at Sungai Nibong, Bayan Lepas. — MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star and social mediapic

More rain in Sabah and S’wak
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Penang landslides & flooding are natural disasters man-made?

It’s hard to deny when the effects of climate change are all around us


 Andrew Sheng says that from increasingly intense hurricanes to regional landslides and flooding, it’s clear our actions are effecting the environment. But, it’s also evident that there are ways for us to avert disaster and change course


AFTER two Category 5 hurricanes (Harvey and Irma) hit the US in October, followed by Maria hitting Puerto Rico, no one can deny that natural disasters are devastating.

With three hurricanes costing an estimated US$385bil, with less than half insured, the poor are suffering the most because they cannot afford to rebuild as the rich.

This year alone, monsoon floods in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have left millions homeless. This year will therefore break all records as Munich Re-insurance data suggests that 2016 natural disaster losses were only US$175bil, already 28.6% higher than the 30 years (1986-2015) annual average of US$126bil.

But how much of these natural disasters are man-made?

Despite US President Trump being sceptical of climate change, the US Global Change Research Program Climate Science Report published this month concludes that “it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”.

Carbon dioxide concentration already exceed 400 parts per million, last occurred about 3 million years ago, when both global average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today. Roughly one third of carbon emission is due to residential heating/cooling, one third for transport and one third for industrial production.

Human activities on Mother Earth include over-consumption of natural resources, cutting down forests, polluting waters and excessive cultivation/development that caused desertification or soil erosion. You see this from warmer surface and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and declining tree and fish stock.

Oceans warming up

Hurricanes are caused by oceans warming up, building energy and vapour levels that create freak typhoons, tornados and massive downpours. At the same time, droughts are also occurring with more frequency for longer.

Scientists estimate that global average sea level has risen by about 7-8 inches since 1900, with almost half that rise occurring since 1993. Everyday, we hear new extreme events, such as unusually heavy rainfall, heatwaves, large forest fires, floods or landslides.

Climate warming is most observable in the water-stressed Middle East and the North Africa/Sahel region, where rapid population growth created desertification, food shortages, civil conflicts and ultimately, outward migration towards cooler climates, especially Europe. This hot region accounts for 60% of global war casualties since 2000, with 10 million outward refugees. About 90% of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers come from four regions with half under the age of 18 years.

A 2016 World Bank report estimated that these water-stressed countries’ GDP could be reduced by up to 6%, with dire consequences on stability. Without water, industries cannot function, food cannot be cultivated and health can deteriorate due to disease from water-shortage and drought.

European estimates suggest that each refugee costs roughly US$11,600 per person to maintain and there are already one million trying to enter Europe last year. The OECD has classified countries such as Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen as extreme fragile.

Critical point

The world is already reaching a critical turning point. If the Paris Climate Accord can be implemented, with or without the United States, there is some chance of averting further global warming.

But closer home, we are already witnessing the effects of climate change on our daily lives.

In 1972, Hong Kong experienced a devastating landslide near Po Shan Road in Mid-Levels, which caused 67 deaths and collapse of two buildings. One cause was unstable ground following heavy rainfall from Typhoon Rose eleven months prior to the incident.

This tragedy in densely populated Hong Kong resulted in rigorous slope protection and inspection of drains to ensure that these slips do not occur again. I lived near Po Shan Road and admired how Hong Kong engineers regularly inspected the slope protection measures and that the drains were always clear.

In 1993, the collapse of Highland Towers in Kuala Lumpur was partly attributed to the clearing of the hilltop above Highland Towers, which led to soil erosion and the weakening of the foundations. By the time the residents detected cracks in the buildings, it was already too late. Some of my personal friends were among the 48 persons who were killed in that collapse.

Last weekend, Penang (where I live) had the worst rainstorm and floods because we were hit by the tail end of strong winds from Typhoon Damrey, one of the strongest to hit Vietnam in 16 years, leaving 61 people dead. Driving along Penang Bridge, I can see that the continued hilltop developments in Penang are leaving soiled scars on the previously pristine landscape, I am reminded of Highland Towers and Po Shan incidents. Natural disasters are acts of god, but the size of their impact on human lives are completely within our control.

Soil erosion

Soil erosion does not happen overnight, and require responsible developers and conscientious governments, as well as concerned citizens, to be continually vigilant that maintenance of roads and drains, including soil inspections, are serious business with serious consequences.

Modern technology can provide drones and inbuilt sensors that can detect whether erosion is reaching critical levels. Regular maintenance of drains and checks on stability of the soil, especially where there has been recent clearing of trees in steep slopes, will forewarn us all of impending accidents.

As cities are building more and more on hillsides subject to torrential rain, Penang should seek technical expertise from Hong Kong which has extensive expertise on the maintenance of steep hill slopes that are subject to typhoons and sudden rainfall.

Landslides are today used more in political terms than in real terms. The next time landslides happen, residents who watch daily the erosion of their natural environment will know who is really looking after their interests.

Andrew Sheng 




Related links:

No hill land approvals since 2008?

by penangforum
Former MBPP councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui wrote this piece for the press in his personal capacity: I wish to comment on the press statement by Jagdeep Singh Deo as reported in Berita Daily and many other newspapers on 24 October.

PKR rep cries for a stop to hillside development - Nation

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

NGO alleges abuse of power by MBPP councillors


GEORGE TOWN: A non-governmental organisation has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against two Penang Island City Council (MBPP) councillors for alleged abuse of power.

Persatuan Surplus Pulau Pinang chairman Sophian Mohd Zain urged the commission to probe the matter thoroughly.

He said the first case involved councillor Sharuddin Shariff who lives in a public housing unit in Sungai Pinang despite receiving a monthly allowance of RM4,000 from the council.

"This is not right at all," he said before lodging the report accompanied by former MBPP councillor Syazwani Mohd Amin.

Sophian also lodged another report against councillor Azrizal Tahir whom he alleged held two state-appointed posts.

He said Azrizal as a councillor should not have held the Village and Security Development Committee (JKKK) post and receive allowances from both positions.

When contacted, Azrizal urged the complainant not to trouble the MACC by asking them to probe cases with no basis.

He said those who lodge such reports should do their homework first.

"A press conference will be arranged to explain the matter soon," he said briefly.

Source: Edmund Lee newsdesk@thesundaily.com

MACC reports filed against PKR duo


GEORGE TOWN: Two PKR’s Penang Island city councillors have denied any wrongdoings as alleged by two non-governmental organisations which lodged reports with the state anti-graft body.

One of them, a four-term councillor, said there were no rules or regulations to prevent a councillor from becoming a village development and security committee (JKKK) chairman.

“But under a state policy which was enforced last year, we were advised not to hold the two positions at the same time.

“I have since let go of my JKKK post. I urge the complainants to check with the district office first and not to hurl baseless allegations against us,” he said when contacted.

Earlier, two NGOs – Persatuan Kebajikan Surplus Pulau Pinang and Kota – lodged reports with the Penang MACC over the alleged wrongdoings of the two councillors in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah yesterday.

Persatuan Kebajikan Surplus chairman Sophian Mohd Zain claimed one councillor was the JKKK chairman of Permatang Damar Laut.

“A councillor receives allowance from the local government while a JKKK post is appointed by the state government. This is a conflict of interest.

“We hope the state government will clear the air in the name of CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency),” he said.

Also present was former councillor Noor Syazwani Md Amin, who was terminated from her post in April.

Sophian also claimed that a first-term councillor still had a People’s Housing Programme (PPR) flat in Sungai Pinang despite having an allowance of RM4,000.

The maximum eligible household monthly income for a PPR applicant is RM2,500.

A councillor is entitled up to RM1,200 in allowances for attending meetings and a RM300 mobile phone subsidy.

“How could he still be holding the key to a PPR flat for a RM100 monthly rental? The PPR flats are meant for the poor.

“The councillors are the policy makers in the local government while the PPR flats are under the purview of the council.

“I don’t think the council staff would dare to act against the councillors,” he added.

Sophian hoped the MACC would investigate the matter.

The said councillor could not be reached for comment.

Source: by Tan Sin Chow he Star

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The stalled building defects causing delays of relocation ..

Not ready: (Clockwise from top) The front view of the Batu Ferringhi market in Penang, exposed electrical sockets and cracked floor in the badminton court, and a leaking pipe in the washroom.


Defects causing delay of move to RM9mil Batu Ferringhi market


The scheduled relocation of traders to the RM9mil Batu Ferringhi market on Aug 14 is postponed to a later date until shortcomings such as leakage in the washrooms and cracks on the floor are fixed.

Lim checking on the condition of the market.- Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

SENIOR officers of the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) were left red-faced after Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng spotted several defects in the almost completed RM9mil Batu Ferringhi market during a site visit.

Lim, who was irked with the shortcomings, asked his officers to collect back copies of his text speech given earlier to reporters.

“Before I came in, I went to the washroom. I thought it would be ready.

“But the male washroom was locked and I had to use the unoccupied ladies washroom instead.

“If the market is considered ready (by the council), then it is unacceptable,” he said.

Washroom with missing taps

 
A leaking pipe pipe in the washroom

It is learnt that the ladies washroom was leaking and some of the taps had yet to be fixed.

Lim, who was walking to the dining area, was stopped by several traders who requested the council delay their relocation into the market which was earlier scheduled on Aug 14.

Speaking to newsmen, Lim said another date would be set.

“We cannot fix a date now until we are satisfied that the shortcomings have been rectified,” he said.

MBPP mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif said she would hold discussions with the market contractor and architect.

“Cracks have also appeared on the floor of the badminton courts,” she said.


Maimunah said the council had issued the Certificate of Practical Completion (CPC) for the market but not the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC).

The market was scheduled for completion by the end of last year.

There are 16 hawker stalls, 28 wet and dry market units, a multipurpose hall, a library, three badminton courts, playground, bicycle path, shower rooms and 90 parking bays.

Source: The Star/ANN by Intan Amalina Mohd Ali

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

New Mayor for Penang Island City Council


GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government today decided to appoint Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif as the new Penang Island City Council Mayor.

The Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) president will replace outgoing Mayor Datuk Patahiyah Ismail whose contract ends on June 30 this year.

State Local Government, Traffic Management, and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the decision was made by the Exco today.

He thanked Patahiyah for her services to the state government in her various capacities over the years.

"The contract for Maimunah will be for two years beginning July 1 this year and will end on June 30, 2019," he said in a press conference today.

Maimunah began her career as an officer in the Town Planning Department of the Council in 1995 and was promoted to the director of the same department in 2003.

In 2009 she was tapped to become the George Town World Heritage Inc (GTWHI) general manager before her appointment as Council president in 2011.

The Council presidency will be assumed by Rozali Mohamud who served as the secretary for the municipality.

He will be replaced by Rosnani Mahmod who served as the Urban Services director for the Council previously.

Rozali will be sworn in as the Council president next Monday (June 3) while Maimunah will assume the Mayorship the following day on June 4.

Aaron Ngui newsdesk@thesundaily.coms


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