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The Star Online: Nation

Malacca CM steps in to solve Chitty village row

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

MALACCA: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron has stepped into the controversy at Kampung Chitty in Gajah Berang here, ordering a probe into the approval of a high-rise condominium project at what is arguably the oldest settlement in the historical city.

According to a state government source, Idris wanted a thorough investigation to identify those responsible for the approval of the project in 2009.

The project is within the buffer zone of an area recognised by Unesco as a heritage site.

The village was gazetted as a heritage village in July 2002.

The project, involving two 22-storey condominium blocks, a 12-storey hotel annex and a six-storey car park, was believed to have been shelved but was later found to have been approved.

The developer is said to have resumed work six months ago.

The source said Idris was upset as the settlement of "Indian Perana­kans" was part of the city's heritage.

It was learnt that the state government might have to fork out about RM30mil in compensation if it re-acquires the land.

The source revealed that Idris had told his officers to look into solving the issue immediately as it was causing a major "headache" to the administration.

"My boss wants to re-examine the documents pertaining to the project and see how it can be resolved without affecting the heritage site.

"He is serious about resolving the matter but he has to manage it carefully as the approval was granted before he was appointed as Chief Minister," the source said.

Kampung Chitty's Welfare and Cultural Association' president K. Supramania slammed the state government for reneging on its promise made during a Deepavali open house in 2012.

He said former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam had told the community the project would not go on.

"Despite feeling disappointed, we still have trust in the state government to resolve the issue," he said.

Supramania said the settlement preceded other ethnic enclaves in the city, adding that the state government should not neglect the welfare of one of the earliest communities in Malacca.

"There are many ways for the state government to acquire the land, including getting funds allocated under the National Heritage Act 2005, if it really wants to save the village from development.

He said the approval of the project should be re-evaluated based on the principles of Operational Guidelines for World Heritage by Unesco, ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and Icomos (International Council on Monuments and Sites).

He said three Hindu temples, dating back to more than 300 years, were at risk if piling work begins.

"Our only hope now is that the Chief Minister will intervene and stop the project," he added.

JB Sentral: Our emergency team helped escalator victim

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

JOHOR BARU: Contrary to some claims, an emergency response team was promptly dispatched to the scene of an escalator accident involving a four-year-old boy last week, said the management of the JB Sentral complex.

Last Saturday, Hudhayfah Ismath's left foot got stuck in the side of an escalator at JB Sentral, which is next to the Johor Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex.

The boy's parents had claimed that several Immigration Depart­ment officers who were nearby did not come to their rescue, and they had to rely on members of the public for help instead.

Hudhayfah at the paediatric ward in Johor Specialist Hospital.


However, the spokesman of the building management declined to elaborate further on the incident.

In relation to this matter, Johor state Public Works executive councillor Datuk Hasni Mohammad has urged the management of public buildings to be more proactive towards safety and security issues.

Hasni also advised the building's management to improve the delivery of services for the hundreds of thousands of people who pass through the facility on a daily basis.

"Proper warning signage should be put up to remind the people of the hazards, as well as to ask them to be be more careful.

"Besides that, an emergency response team should be on standby in the event of such unfortunate situations," he said.

In reply to the parents' outrage, Hasni said that Immigration officers were not obliged to provide aid as they were not trained to respond to such emergencies.

"Even if the officers did come to their aid, they would be doing it on their own," he added when contacted here yesterday.

Hasni explained that the maintenance of the facility was under the state's Public Works Department, but added that the complex's security officers played a bigger role in ensuring the public's safety.

Man jailed for raping 7-year-old girl

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: A sub-contractor was sentenced to 18 years' jail and ordered to be whipped eight times by the Ampang Sessions Court for raping and sodomising his former girlfriend's underage daughter, who called him Papa.

Upon hearing the verdict, Nazarul Rizman Mohd Tartip, 31, sighed and covered his face with his handkerchief.

After court adjourned, Nazarul cried in the dock when approached by his mother.

"Why has this happened to me, mother? I did not do it. What is this test from God? Forgive me, mother," he shouted.

Nazarul was found guilty of raping and sodomising the girl, who was then seven years old, at his ex-girlfriend's apartment unit in Taman Bukit Indah between Sept 3 and Sept 16 last year.

The accused, who had stayed with the girl's mother from June 2011 to Sept 16 last year, was convicted after the court heard evidence from 11 prosecution witnesses and three defence witnesses in April this year.

In her judgment yesterday, Sessions Court judge Manira Mohd Nor held that the defence had failed to raise a reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.

Manira said Nazarul had merely denied the charges and testified that the girl's mother was vengeful and had threatened him.

"His evidence was bare denial," she said.

Pleading for leniency, Nazarul's lawyer Muhammad Zaim Azfar Jalaludin said his client was a first offender who had to support his child and elderly parents.

Manira sentenced him to 10 years' jail and five lashes for rape, and another eight years' jail and three lashes for sodomy. She ordered the jail terms to run consecutively from the date of sentencing.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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