Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A Voice for the Homeless

Friday, 27 March 2009

Homeless - Part 1

Our latest documentary done on the homeless people around Penang. We are a group of citizen journalists who are concerned with the increasing "round ups" of these homeless people by the related authorities and some say that the homeless were badly treated during these raids. 

Please watch this video and tell me how lucky you are when you have a family and a shelter over your head.

Video edited by Lilian Chan.

Special thanks to Lucia Lai, Lim Boo Seng, Owen Koh, Maran Perianen.

Maintaining your patch of garden

Before (5 Mar 2009)

After (27 Mar 2009)

Now it looks better with someone taking care of this patch of garden. Fantastic!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Traffic Lights Down Again!!

This traffic light was knocked down by some careless driver last week and yesterday when I took this photo, all the casing, lights and wires were not there, only the traffic light beam remained. I hope no one stole them but taken by the related authorities.

This is located at the junction of Jalan Dato Ismail Hashim, postcode 11900, Penang.

By the way, this traffic light has been replaced many times in a year due to careless drivers who took reckless cornering stunts.

First, we need to replace the traffic lights and some one from the traffic section must study how such incident can be eliminated. I believe the traffic lights cost a lot too, well, it is also our money right?


Monday, 23 March 2009

Tree Trimming Complaint sent to Penang State Government

This afternoon, I sent a complaint to the Penang State Government with regards to the response from the related departments such as MPPP and JKR to trim the trees near the main road. I was informed by JMC recently that MPPP has pushed the responsibility to JKR to trim the trees and will have to wait for a few more weeks before anything can be done. Totally, unacceptable.

Reference : Complaint No. 0903-0208 

Friday, 20 March 2009

Hill Slope Protest Tea Party

Photo by Anil Netto

Anyone keen for a tea party? A tea party will be held at Solok Tan Jit Seng, behind the Tanjung Bunga Seondary School this Saturday 21 March 2009 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. The tea party aims to bring together residents who are concerned about dangerous hill slope development. For those who support this cause, appreciate if you can make your presence felt.

For more details and write ups, go to Anil Netto.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Pearl Garden 1st AGM - Tomorrow

Notice of First Annual General Meeting for the formation of the Management Corporation (Perbadanan Pengurusan Pearl Garden) to be held on the 21 March 2009 (Saturday), at the Community Hall of Pearl Garden Condominium, Jalan Dato Ismail Hashim, 11900 Penang.

Residents feedbacks and JMC's replies compilation (Updated V7 / 8:55pm / 25 Mar 09)

  • I stayed in Block A and I have difficulty in watching our local channel such as TV1, TV3, NTV7, Channel 8 and etc. What happen here is sometimes very clear but lot of times very blur, can management check the antenna up there?

(Reply to Block A TV reception problem. Last week we just had a technician checked Block A & C's TV recption problems. We need specific unit # since problem is not rampant in any particular block. The type of problem reported is isolated to certain unit. If there is any problem with our MATV system, then all untis will be affected. This type of problem is normally from the booster or splitter at floor level or specific line error. Resident must be aware that if the fault is specific to only one unit, he will have to pay the cost involved as provided by Strata Title Act Schedule 3. In fact the problem to Block B was traced to the wall socket inside the unit. We are still working on Block C. I've recently rejected a quotation from Pensaga of RM8000+ for replacing whole system in Block C. That is not the way to run the maintenance. For block A, pls report to mgt office since we are working on the same subject.)

(Reception issue attended, A-10-2 / A-09-2)

  • Level C parking lot’s fluorecent light up there is not working. i believe it switches to “alternate light to be on” in the midnight, this method is fine, but some of the light is consecutive off several lights that make the parking lot very dark, please kindly check this too.

(Done, no more issue)
  • Probably a branch fell and damaged the fence along the jogging path. It has been there unattended for quite sometime now. Can the Pearl Garden maintenance section or JMC take charge to repair it as soon as possible? Thank you.
(Repaired by maintenance with full cooperation from JMC)
  • It is also very important that after the fun and all, the empty firework shells are collected and thrown away into the rubbish bins. We have to practice such simple common sense, don’t leave your rubbish for some else to pick up.
(JMC instructed cleaners to remove rubbish from the parking roof, thanks to JMC)
  • Better trim this tree before it collapses onto the roof of motorcycle parking area. I am afraid that the weight of the branches maybe too heavy for the roofing. Can the JMC or the gardener look into this? Thank you.
(Branches trimmed by the gardener, thanks to JMC, good job)
  • Can the management team setup a few parking lots for visitor/relative? For example, sometimes we have relative from outstation come to visit us for 1 or 2 days, then before they reach, we will go and register at either management office or security guard post so our relative from outstation able to park inside for 1 or 2 days when they are here?
(No answer)
  • Escalator in Block A” (the one with yellow bult inside. When the escalator passes “level 8″, it will have a “TICK” sound, please kindly check for safety purposes.
(Solved by lift company with the assistance of JMC)
  • On the parking issue, Pearl Garden inner road has served as an additional parking space for many years now and as more families occupying PG, space is rather limited at times. It is a hassle for many visitors to find a parking space, some may have to park their car across the road (near TYY or Aswing).Can we have a comment from the committee or management of PG on this matter?
(No answer)
  • Is that any plan to put up security camera in all public area? What is the technical challenge? What is the cost of doing so? Maintaining method ?
(No answer)
  • NEITHER THE PROPOSAL SOLVING THE PROBLEM. It has to be a building to provide 100-150 parking space.what is the possibility of extending the existing multistory car park to the land and move the field to the roof top of the car parkWhat is the cost like?
(The JMC have been working on this for quite a while. Our member Kam Heng spent much effort working on it. Briefly, We have covered all possibilities. The Jogging track field belong to District Office. We have written to them. The small patch beside the car wash belong to MPPP. We had worked with original architect/engineer, it is possible to convert car part roof top but amout is hugh, at least 150k depending on design. We have asked Pensaga to get quote on converting putting green and MPPP’s lot w/o cemmenting up the whole areas. If anyone has any proposal, please feel free to contact JMC or MC, after AGM.)
  • Is that any detail on the proposed?I would like to know if the JMC has any detail in written. Please provide more detail for discussion here..
(There are too much details involved in the study to create more car park space. As mentioned earlier, the JMB has given go ahead to seek quotations on “putting green” and MPPP lot. The roof-top conversion involved plan approval and need services of building consultants. There are several options ranging from 150k to 300/400k. There is up-front of professional cost of 15-20k feasibility study cost. This will be a sunk cost if we are unable to proceed for whatever reasons.On the security system, it is at tender committee stage with short listing done. It involves installing cameras all round, card access for bike, rooms/visitors plus PA system and panic buttons and many more. The exact details have not been firm up and still p&c to tender committee. Residents are encourage to attend AGM for more details. Any proposal will be most welcome especially those engineering experts.)
  • As we know AGM fall on this Friday morning, which lot of people are working, can’t this meeting been held in Saturday morning? Because more people will be able to attend if it is so.
(JMC managed to postpone the AGM to a weekend date)
  • I don't have comment regarding this but I have a complain to Block B as I can hear someone blasting the speaker in midnight almost everyday. It's good that if you could help to start a topic on this as I am not sure which floor it is coming from. Appreciate that.
(Advice given.)
  • Can the committee explain why the amount of Sinking Fund shown in the account is only 732k? Refer notice board. It is just 2000 x 366. What happened to the interest for past 10 years?
  • Just to add another comment to the question of Sinking Fund. Building and Common Property ( Maintenance and Management) Act 2007 (Act 663) Section IV sub-sections 22 and 24 call for setting up two separate funds for Building Maintenance Fund and Sinking Fund. Using simple calculation, the Sinking Fund should have increased to RM1032.6k if at interest rate of 3.5% p.a. It is important to ensure that interests earned are accounted for and reported together with Sinking Fund.
  • Can JMB management explain why the audited account is not distributed to all residents like other condo. Do JMB expect residents to stand in front of notice board to check the accounts. It is ridiculous. I propose to reject the accounts unless we are given a copy and are given sufficient time to go through them. Block A owner.
  • It was minuted in JMC meeting dated 19 Jul 2008 that Sinking Fund together with interest earned to date be put into a separate account.
(I wish to refer to meeting minutes of JMC meeting 3/2008 held on 19 Jul 08 item 7.0 that the portion of FD for Sinking Fund be transferred back to its account with interest gain up to date.  This topic was raised by myself because the BPCA 2007 stated that 2 separate funds must be maintained.)

(If you read the balance sheet, there is another line item called Building Maintenance Fund, which total ~2million. The interest and monthly earnings go into that fund. The ‘sinking fund’ of 732k is the original sinking fund.)

(The auditor can always trace it back to past annual reports to figure out all interests earned over the years. The question is how we treat the interest…whether to use them for maintenance or keep them in the sinking fund. Typically other condo uses the interest earned to subsidize maintenance/upgrade projects.)

(I contacted the auditor about the figure.  I was later informed that the amout was Rm 1mil+ before a reclassifiation was done. I further the auditor shouldn't they audit the account according to Strat Titile Act & BCPA and not Company Act.  The auditor admitted so & agreed that interest earned from Sinking Fund should be added together as part of it.  It is the same treatment in Finance/Accounting standard.  I do not understand why Ms Teh is silence on this issue.)
  • Can we have MPPP to trim down those branches to eliminate the danger of falling branches? Maybe our MC and GE Tan & Associates can initiate this? 
(JMC to follow up with MPPP or JKR, will provide estimated date soon.)
  • Well, this is done by one of this leaflet "postman" who just put in the leaflets from various companies into our letter boxes, they don't care if you need it or not, their main objective is to ensure that every letter box has all the various leaflets. Sometimes, they come twice a day!!!!
(No answer)
  • Squash court flooring slippery (court no. 1)
(Rectified, players satisfied with contractor's job)
  • Lift roof panel broken / not installed
(Fixed, quick job, thanks JMC)
  • Smell of a dead animal at carpark level B.
(Cleaners sent to investigate by JMC, found no dead animal, smell gone, thank you)

Something is DEAD at car park level B

This afternoon as I was getting out from my car, the smell of a dead animal (not sure but definitely something is dead and rotting) hit my senses like a tonne of wasabi. Ohhh...the smell was unbearable. Can the security guard or maintenance section investigate the source of the problem?

I will call Ang of GE Tan tomorrow to inform him about this.

Lift Panel Fixed


That's fast! The Block A lift panel was installed and it definitely looked better than before. Thanks to JMC and its team for a job well done. I also heard from the neighbours in Block B and C, that this issue was rectified too.


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Crazy Neighbour Pours Sugar In Mail Box

Luckily, we do not have such crazy incidents at Pearl Garden, I found this video clip and would like to share with you guys. This happened in Singapore and a neighbour took revenge on this tenant by pouring sugar in her mail box. How childish!!

Stomper : Daphne says she caught her neighbour on film, pouring sugar into her letterbox. The neighbour has been claiming that her unit is too noisy, and this is not his first disruptive act, she says. 

Daphne recounts: 

"I have a neighbour, Mr A, living directly below my unit. "Every now and then, he will complain that my unit is too noisy. "My family and I are not at home most of the time and he claims that we drag the chairs and cause sleepless nights for him. 

"I have to wake up at 5a.m everyday, thus late nights are out for me (except weekends). 

"The sound caused by dragging of chairs is by our neighbours, but it could be from other levels - sound travels so it does not necessarily mean we are the culprit. "Anyway, Mr A started venting his anger on us by throwing eggs and sand at my doorstep. 

"The first time round, we did not catch anyone in the act. "The second time, we caught him in the act and he admitted that he's the culprit, even for the first act. Subsequently, the vandalising act stopped. "Sometime in December 2008, we found sugar in our letterbox. "Almost everyday, we are able to find fine sugar in our letterbox. 

"We would check our mailbox in the morning, and it would be empty, but in the evening, there's sugar in it. 

"We suspected Mr A, and decided to test him out. "We placed a sweet into his letterbox and that same evening, we found that same sweet in our letterbox. 

"We ambushed and caught him in the act on video. We made a report to the police but the police wasn't able to give much advice. 

"Recently, we found notes being pasted at our lift level as well as the letterbox area. "Attached is a video of him being caught putting sugar in the letterbox." 

Monday, 16 March 2009

Pearl Garden 1st AGM : 21 March 2009

With the Pearl Garden 1st AGM around the corner, there are several interesting matters that residents need to know, here are some important ones that we would like to highlight:-

  1. There are only 197 unit owners who have registered for the strata titles.  Only these owners are allowed to vote in the AGM. They can also nominate, be nominated to stand for election of council members provided they had paid up maintenances fee until Feb 2009. We believe many residents are unaware of this ruling.
  2. With the formation of Managment Committee, we can choose our own name. If not, MPPP will issued us the standard name such as Badan Pengurusan Pearl Garden.  We can also design our own logo for all stationery.  
Maybe after the AGM, the new Management Committee can hold a contest for logo design open to residents of Pearl Garden only.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Leaflet "Postman".....

I don't know about you guys, but I have my letter box full of name cards and leaflets from tuition centres, plumbing services, massages, gas delivery, electrical repairs, loan sharks, lorry rental services, you name it, I have it. There is so much rubbish in the letter box nowadays!!!

Well, this is done by one of this leaflet "postman" who just put in the leaflets from various companies into our letter boxes, they don't care if you need it or not, their main objective is to ensure that every letter box has all the various leaflets. Sometimes, they come twice a day!!!!

Usually at about 9:00 to 10:00am am in the morning, you will hear the "cling, clang, cling, clang" noise which was produced by the mail box flaps when some one pushes a leaflet into it. Just imagine, the number of mail boxes we have in each block. It is very disturbing and gets into many people's nerves.

Our security people must stop these leaflet "postman" from coming in. I am sure our security people knows who these "postmen" are but still let them come in. So, Mr. Security, please stop this from happening again !!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Danger of Falling Branches

Now that is raining these days, trees are getting greener and provides good shades for the cars below. This is located at the inner lane of Pearl Garden. Just bear in mind that the branches may not be able to take the weight of the rain and the storms that may come in the evenings. 

Can we have MPPP to trim down those branches to eliminate the danger of falling branches? Maybe our MC and GE Tan & Associates can initiate this?  

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Looking for Contractors to Build Carparks

Does anyone knows of good contractors who can build the car parks at the small square beside car wash area & putting green plot. We welcome proposals. No cementing/taring & chopping of trees. We also want to have some grass. Proposal with details on number of parking lots, materials used and price can be submitted to Mr. Ang, our managing agent at our management office.

Pearl Garden Management Committee

Saturday, 7 March 2009

The Best Little Garden Award goes to..........

After going around the other day looking for the best little garden, the result was very obvious. The best little garden award within Pearl Garden goes to Block A. The garden is located near the motorcycle parking area.

Neat and tidy. So many types of greens and the plants are so fertile, the owner really put a lot of effort and time.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Indonesian denies murder bid

What happened? Was her employer mistreating her? What was the reason of the attack? Revenge? Money?

The Star 6 March 2009 GEORGE TOWN: The Indonesian maid accused of attacking her employer last week has been charged with attempted murder.

Hanni Seo, 23, from Kupang, Indonesia, denied attacking her employer Phang Kian Huang, 42, with a wooden stool, pestle and knife at the latter’s home at Rifle Range in Air Itam at 10am on Feb 26.

Phang was taking a nap when she was attacked, leaving her with broken ribs and an almost severed ear.

Lift roof panel and lightings

As far as I can remember, the lift roof panels at Block A are always in a bad state. Why can't the maintenance section replace the panel and lightings to make it more presentable? While at it, please check the other lifts too.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Maintaining your little patch of garden.......

Looks like our gardeners are doing a good job trimming off the grass, lalang and all, but it does not give them justice when you have a patch of unfertilized twit growing plant like this abandoned by some residents. This is located at ground floor, Block A.

It is a eye sore to have such a patch unattended private garden where everyone is passing by. By looking at the density of the weeds, I believe no one is looking after it. Today, I will going around with my camera looking for the greenest fingers among our residents. Of course, this is not a competition, but knowing the best little garden among our community would be inspiring for others.

Earth Hour : 28 March 2009 8:30pm to 9:30pm

Penang will join the rest of the world to flick the switch for Earth Hour!

Part of Penang will soon be going dark to help Mother Nature.

On 28th of March 2009, Penangites are urge to participate in WWF movement known as "Earth Hour," to raise awareness regarding climate change and global warming.

If you would like to participate in Earth Hour, just simply turn off all of your lights on March 28, 2009, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm.

Save our Mother Nature by turning off your light for one hour.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A father's Love for his Son.......

A friend, Ong Saw Ling emailed me this youtube video clip and I felt that it is worth sharing with all.

This is a story of a father who ran a difficult obstacle course with his handicapped son, and a task so difficult, yet he crossed the finish line with such a big heart, all he wanted was to fulfill his son's dream to run together in such a course. It is tear jerking.....

Broken Bones (Click post to enlarge)

Rotten Mangoes at RM 6.90 / kg?

It has been awhile since I tag along my minister of finance (my wife) to the supermarket. And this evening we took the liberty to find ourselves in Sunshine, Bayan Baru. I always knew that Sunshine Bayan Baru has really fresh fruits and the best price when compared to Tesco or Giant and some say better than Jusco too. But this evening, it is about to change my preception.

As you can see in the photo above, there was a basket of partly rotten mangoes going for full price of RM 6.90 / kg. Are they nuts?

And the price of other fruits have such high price tags too. An average of 20% higher than before. I am not sure what is going on, but can some one tell me why is food price increasing?

The petrol price has gone down, but still the "chap fan" (economy rice) auntie is charging me like RM 5.00 for 2 vege and 1 tofu meal. When asked why she said, "The vege price went up lah!".

If you go to a kopi tiam, a "teh peng" will cost you RM 1.10 ~ 1.20 a glass and mind you it also has a different funny taste to it, not sure if there was too little tea or something else. Somehow, it taste funny. The best part is the amount of ice in your drink!!!! "Chia lat !"

So, with the food price increasing for no apparent reason and the increasing people out of job (110,000 people as report in the news this evening), how do you think we will all turn out?

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Coconut Slayer at Abu Siti Lane, Penang

I took this video clip about a year ago when I was taking one of my Swiss guests around town. To tell the truth, I was pretty scared watching the parang kung fu sifu slicing away the coconut husk.

First Aid : Animal Bites (click post to enlarge)

Monday, 2 March 2009

Noisy Neighbours

With the new era of HIFI stereos, woofer blasting home theaters and music videos, one may have to endure the daily routine of our neighbours reaching for their remotes and blast away at maximum volume without much consideration for others.

I recently received a comment from a resident that there has been loud music being played after midnight at Block B. The resident was unable to pinpoint the actual unit.

Of course, since we are in a closely knitted community, it is important to practise certain consideration for others. Below are some steps to take if you have a noisy neighbour, but I really do not think we need to go until step 3.

What should you do if you experience noisy neighbours?
There are 3 steps you should take:

1. Make a friendly approach to the neighbour - Point out the problem, but think about how you would like to be approached. If you're not confident enough, you can always get a friend or family member to do this on your behalf. It is common the neighbour won't realise they are disturbing you.

2. Mediation - If a friendly chat doesn't work, try involving a 3rd party to listen to both sides of the story and to help reach an agreement.

3. Formal action - To be undertaken where informal action fails or is not possible. You can contact your local authority that will send an environmental health officer to investigate the noise, and if they are satisfied the noise is a nuisance they will take action. If the noise is intermittent they are likely to ask you to take records of the noise occurrences. They may also leave equipment in your house to measure the noise levels. If other neighbours were disturbed they could also provide useful evidence.

First Aid : Allergic Reactions (Click at the post to enlarge)

Sony employees "safe" from retrenchment

Good news for PG residents who are working for SONY. No job cuts.

KUALA LUMPUR: At least 15,000 locals have had their jobs “certified safe” – thanks to a turn of events in Japan.

Sony Corp in Tokyo, hard hit by the global crunch, has decided to downsize and move part of its operations here to save costs.

Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Masahiko Horie (pic) said that with this development, up to 15,000 Sony em- ployees in the company’s four plants in Malaysia could keep their jobs.

The envoy said Sony EMCS (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Satoshi Okawa relayed the good news to him at a recent briefing.

“Besides cutting costs, Sony Japan’s shift here is also in recognition of the excellent infrastructure and facilities available in Malaysia.

Horie said Japan was pleased with the progress and advancement achieved by Sony in Malaysia.

“Malaysian personnel trained at Sony’s plants here have been posted around the world to take up managerial and other key posts, and have been playing a very important role.

“Their skill level is very high and this is another reason why Sony Japan picked Malaysia to move part of its operations.”