Ipoh City Council’s catchy tag-line, “Ipoh Bersih, Hijau dan Membangun” or “Ipoh Clean, Green and Progressing” is misleading, to say the least. It was recently announced that Kampong Sg Rokam would be the city’s first litter-free zone. The programme was launched on Thursday, October 20. When it comes to project launching we are on top. Once the dust settles, it is business as usual. I doubt Kampung Sg Rokam will be any better.
Browsing through Ian Anderson’s book on Ipoh, I chanced upon a photograph with a banner stating “Anti-Litter Campaign. Keep Ipoh Clean – October 1975 to January 1976”. Back in the 1970s cleaning-up campaigns were already the vogue. They were effective, and in the course, Ipoh was declared the cleanest city in the country. Where do we stand now?
The Council’s Enforcement Department, next to the controversial Perak Tourism Centre and a stone’s throw away from landmarks such as the Royal Ipoh Club, Ipoh Padang and the iconic Ipoh Railway Station, is in a mess. Confiscated items are heaped in the department’s compound, in full view of the public. I raised this issue with one of the department’s employees and the answer he gave was baffling indeed. He said it was an internal problem which was beyond him. How could he be so indifferent?
Rubbish is not something one should take lightly. With Visit Perak Year 2012 around the corner, the Council cannot let its guard down. Why can’t people be like my smoker friend who carries a tiny plastic bag with him everywhere he goes? The bag acts as a receptacle for ashes and cigarette butts. A positive attitude is the way forward. Keeping Ipoh clean is our responsibility.