Rabu, 20 November 2013

The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Villagers all set to face the floods


JOHOR BARU: From storing away important documents and electrical items to having a boat, villagers are getting ready for the floods that come their way every monsoon season.

Housewife Rosliah Hamdani, 51, who has been staying in Kampung Sungai Laut here for the past 30 years, said she had sealed away important documents in a plastic bag.

"When the river started to rise during the rainy season, I decided to put away important documents for emergency evacuation.

"I even started moving electrical items such as computers and printers onto higher shelves and cleared rubbish from the river behind," she said, adding that she lost RM5,000 in home appliances and other valuables during the flood in December 2006 when waters rose to the roof, destroying everything.

In Terengganu, Ismail Zakaria, who grew up in Kampung Permaisuri all his life, a flood-prone area near the Setiu river, has a fishing boat parked right next to his house – just in case.

"I fish as a hobby.

"But during the floods, this boat comes in handy," said the 45-year-old entrepreneur, adding that the worst flood experience saw him, his wife and five children transferred to an evacuation centre.

Meanwhile, Johor executive councillor for public works Datuk Hasni Mohammad said Works Department district offices had been instructed to start preparing for floods.

"I have told them to monitor the irrigation and drainage system and take immediate action to clean up clogged drains in their areas," said Hasni.

Johor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Ab Ghani Daud said annual leave for its personnel would be frozen immediately when the floods hit, adding that 1,100 officers, including 40 divers, were told to be on standby in high-risk districts of Batu Pahat, Mersing, Muar and Segamat. Also prepared are 30 rescue boats.

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Factory worker just wants to move on


PETALING JAYA: The woman in the centre of the spurned lover drama only wishes to move on with her life following the capture of her former boyfriend.

Josephine Tholilali Tholan (pic), 26, said yesterday's incident was a living nightmare when her brother was shot in the left arm.

"His capture has put my mind to rest. The man scared my family and me ... I never thought he would resort to such an act," the factory worker said yesterday.

While her family remained shaken, Josephine said they were grateful that her brother Solomon was recovering well at the Kajang Hospital.

"He's been eating well and is on the way to making a full recovery. We hope to have him home soon," she said.

Josephine explained that she made the right decision to break up with the man, given his violent tendencies.

"The shooting left my mother speechless the entire afternoon but she is feeling much better today," she said.

When contacted, the suspect's family members refused to comment on the incident.

Related story:
Suspect in spurned lover drama did not return weapon

MCA division against City Hall move to raise assessment


KUALA LUMPUR: Bandar Tun Razak MCA is against City Hall's move to increase the assessment rates for house owners since it has recently announced a surplus budget.

Its chairman Datuk Chew Yin Keen said with the city's continued rapid development, City Hall was also expected to generate more income from commercial properties.

"In its Budget 2013, City Hall has an excess of RM217.7mil in operations cost and income. We are fully against the valuation notice sent to residents and we are also against the proposal to re-evaluate the annual valuation fee.

"Yes, I understand that the rate has not been increased since 1992 but with the abolishment and reduction of several subsidies as well as the implementation of Goods and Services Tax by 2015, the public will be greatly burdened," he told reporters at his office in Wisma Mirama, Jalan Wisma Putra here yesterday.

Chew said the valuation amount in the notice was also not clearly explained.

"Even if they wanted to increase the rates, it should have been very gradual and not a shocking sum," he said.

His division, he said, had started a campaign lasting until Dec 16 to collect 10,000 signatures to protest against the increase, adding that they would be visiting markets, resident associations and other areas.

The petition will be submitted to both City Hall and Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on Dec 17.

Chew also urged City Hall to hold a public hearing with the residents and other stakeholders before considering any move that could affect those living in Kuala Lumpur.

He also refuted claims that the increase was because the Government wanted to punish city folks for voting against Barisan Nasional in the last general election.

Related story:
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