Tag Archives: Ipoh City Council

Aerobics for Health

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An aerobics workout session, “Jom Robik”, jointly organised by Ipoh City Council, Persatuan Kecergasan Fizikal Daerah Kinta and Fitness Embassy was held at Polo Ground one Sunday morning recently. It attracted the participation of a few hundred people. Guest of honour, Dato’ Chang Ko Youn, joined in the workout, alongside Fitness Embassy Director, Tommy Huang.

ipoh echo issue 141, Aerobics for Health, Ipoh City CouncilAddressing the press later, Chang said that the activity was aimed at encouraging people to exercise to avoid health issues from cropping up as they age. The three leading causes of death in Malaysia presently are heart diseases, cancer and stroke. The risk from these diseases could be reduced with regular exercise, he said.

Illness affects productivity of citizens. Therefore, a healthy society will decrease the economic burden on the government.

EL

MBI Lucky Draw

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ipoh echo issue 140, Ipoh City Council, MBI lucky drawThe recently held luck draw at the Ipoh City Council building saw 230 winners taking home some very attractive prizes, compliments of the council. Those eligible for the draw paid their annual assessment bill in full by the end of February of this year. As required, the payments were made at counters within the council building, at the drive-through counter outside of the council building and at the old council office in Jalan Bandar.

The objective was noble – to encourage property owners to settle their assessment bill in full and on time. Souvenir mugs and ball pens were given out to 24,500 early birds. The number will be increased to 30,000 next year.

Village heads, councillors, council staff and members of the press were invited to pick 200 winners who will take home a tea set each. Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim drew 30 winners. These lucky 30 will collect prizes in the form of motorcycles, refrigerators and electrical appliances during a special ceremony to be held in April. The amount spent on prizes alone this year was RM30,000, an increase from RM25,000 last year.

EL

Report Card for MBI Councillors

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A. Jeyaraj

iSpeak
By A. Jeyaraj 
The swearing-in ceremony of the Ipoh City Council councillors was reported in the New Straits Times as “ENCORE: State councillors re-appointed in the hope that they would again deliver excellent results”.

Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, state local government committee chairman, said that the state was satisfied with their work and so they were re-appointed. No survey was carried out among the residents on the performance of the councillors. What criteria did Dr Mah use to claim that all the councillors have done well?

Ipoh City CouncillorsI receive many calls from residents complaining about their problems mainly with clogged and broken drains, grass cutting and garbage. I always tell them to contact their councillor first. Many residents do not know who their councillor is. Those who know inform that it is difficult to contact the councillor and even if they do make contact, the person is too busy to attend to their problems. That is the reason they call me.

I live in Zone 8 which comprises Lim Garden, Merdeka Garden, Cherry Park and Tembok and am lucky to have Dato’ Daniel Tay Kwan Hui as my councillor. He is a role model for councillors and others should emulate him. Upon being appointed as a councillor in 2009, he arranged for a meeting with the representatives of the residents at MBI during which staff of MBI were present. Daniel Tay introduced MBI staff and told the representatives to contact them if they have any problems. He divided the zone into four sub-zones and visited residents of each zone. He and MBI staff personally saw the problem areas and corrective actions were taken. Daniel Tay can be easily contacted and is willing to help.

K. Nathan, a businessman who lives in First Garden said that the residents are disappointed with the services provided by their councillor. Nathan said that in mid September last year, major drainage work was carried out at Lebuh Taman Pertama. The job was abandoned after two weeks due to technical problems. The roads were dug up and the contractor did not close the trenches he had dug. No work was done for two months and the place was flooded during rain. It was not safe to use the roads. The residents were frustrated and as a last resort Nathan contacted the Menteri Besar and requested him to help out. Finally the job was completed in about a week at the end of December. The residents feel that the councillor had failed in his duties for not taking action.

When contacted, Liew See Fan, councillor for First Garden said that he is familiar with the project which was to upgrade the drains to prevent flooding. He knew that the work was stopped due to technical problems faced with underground water pipes and electrical cables. However, he was not aware that the contractor did not cover up the trenches and fill up the pot holes which were his responsibility. He was in fact discussing with the engineering department at MBI about how to solve the problem as quickly as possible. He regrets that the residents were not informed of the problem. He added that residents can always contact him for assistance.

In Penang several civil societies organised a Know Your Councillor campaign, whose purpose was to enable Penangites to judge for themselves whether their councillors were up to the mark. The councillors were given a questionnaire which required them to list three of their major achievements for last year and to give three of their main goals for this year if they were re-appointed and reason for re-appointment.

When I googled “report card for local councillors”, I found that many local councils in other countries assess the performance of their councillors annually. Their grades are available online with their achievements and failures.

Councillors are seen by rate-payers as the first line of access to the local government. They are expected to serve the interests of the ratepayers. As such, there should be more checks and balances and they must decide without fear or favour in the decisions of the committees they sit on. They have to decide what is in the public interest amidst a range of conflicting issues and views. They must work to improve the quality of life for the people and meet regularly with residents’ committee members.

It is time for NGOs in Ipoh to come together and carry out a similar survey. Let the residents judge the performance of the councillors.

Windfall for the Poor

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It was a windfall of sorts for 15 Indian breadwinners from Ipoh. They were shortlisted, based on their financial dispositions, collected and collated in e-kasih, a data bank of Malaysians who live below the poverty line. Those shortlisted stand to gain from the issuance of Permodalan Nasional Berhad’s unit trust, Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020. Each of the 15 recipients was given RM10,000 worth of ASW 2020 unit trust.

The handing-over ceremony was graced by Dato’ Abdul Rahim Md Arif, Secretary of Ipoh City Council at the council’s lobby recently. The opportunity is opened to those who earn less than RM1,000 from the rural areas and RM1,500 from urban areas. According to Rahim, registration of candidates began in May 2011 and the award was the result of this on-going exercise. He urged Ipohites who qualify to register with e-kasih. “Registration can be done online,” said Rahim.

RM

Murku for Deepavali

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Ipoh City Council celebrated Deepavali by distributing 300 packs of “murku” (an Indian snack) to Indian staff and visitors at the lobby of the council building recently. Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim, personally handed out the gifts, wishing “Happy Deepavali” to the lucky recipients.

Ipoh City Council has been offering gifts to walk-in visitors and council staff during Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Merdeka and Hari Malaysia. The next occasion on the council’s calendar is Christmas at the end of the year.

EL

Deepavali Hampers

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Ipoh City Council, through Councillor of Zone 12 (Buntong/Silibin), Sabramani a/l Appadurai, sponsored food hampers to a hundred underprivileged families from the Buntong Indian community in conjunction with Deepavali celebration recently. Dato’ S. Veerasingam, Special Advisor to Menteri Besar, graced the occasion. In his speech, he advised the audience to spend within their means, especially during festivities like Deepavali.

The presentation of food hampers to underprivileged families in Buntong is an annual affair. In line with the spirit of 1 Malaysia families from other races also benefited. The ceremony was held at Pusat Rukun Tetangga, Teluk Kurin, Buntong 2 with the assistance of several non-governmental organisations.

EL

A Broken Promise To The Residents

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By Jerry Francis

Ipoh City Council has carried out shooting of stray dogs like a “covert operation” after it had promised to ban shooting and to adopt more humane methods to overcome the problem.

We, the residents and animal care NGOs, are justifiably very upset as we feel that we have been hoodwinked by the promise. Shooting of stray dogs in the city has been going on since March, but neither the NGOs nor the public had knowledge of it until recently.

Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim was quick to respond to criticisms with a clarification that the council “had an option to shoot dogs as it is allowed to do so based on its local by-laws.”

Of course, the city council has the “option” to shoot; there is no argument about it as the by-law has never been amended to ban shooting. We have accepted the promise from the City Council to stop shooting in good faith and welcomed it as we believed that the City Council had become compassionate after dragging its feet in finding a solution to the problem of stay dogs and cats for many years.

Can we accept the excuse given by the City Council now, that those humane methods – shooting the dogs with tranquilisers and setting up traps to round-up stray dogs – are “not practical”? Is the Mayor implying that our enforcement officers, tasked to deal with the stray dogs problem in the city, are not competent and intelligent to adopt the humane methods, which are being used successfully by their counterparts in Selangor?

How can we trust the City Council in the future? This is not the first time the City Council has gone against its assurances. Take for instance, the stray cattle problem in the city, where assurance after assurance had been given by various city officials and even the state chairman for local government, Dato’ Mah Hong Soon. But nothing had come of it.

Herds of cattle are still seen lying on the roads at night particularly in the Silibin and Menglembu areas endangering the lives of motorists. Is this not contradicting the authorities’ assurance that when it comes to the safety of the people, there will be “no compromise”?

In the case of dog shooting, the promise to ban shooting was made following the uproar that resulted in the shooting of Spunk, a senior therapy dog and companion to an elderly woman, by City Council’s enforcement officers in Merdeka Garden despite having a licence about a year ago.

All the animal related NGOs including the Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), Noah’s Ark Ipoh and The Sanctuary Ipoh, SPCA Selangor and the Malaysian Animal-Assistant Therapy for Disabled, Elderly Association (Petpositive) also converged at Ipoh City Council to protest the shooting.

Following the wide-spread protest, which was even posted on the internet, the council’s secretary Dato’ Hj Abdul Rahim bin Mohd Ariff declared an immediate ban on shooting, formation of a sub-committee and to work very closely with the Veterinary Services Department and NGOs on how to handle stray dogs. Some of the measures proposed were to establish a pound for animals that were caught as well as the methods to be used to capture the animals.

The City Council’s failure to fulfil its commitments came to light when on September 27, Noah’s Ark Ipoh (NAI) received a call from Prima Condominium about dog shooters requesting to enter the compound in search of a stray dog that entered its premises.

When the NAI’s team went to the condominium they found a trail of blood “all round the premises” but did not find the dog which led them to conclude the dog would die a slow and painful death.

The Mayor, at a press conference after the council’s monthly full board meeting, acknowledged that his enforcement team had shot at the dog. “MBI had earlier received complaints that a dog was barking at nurses from a nearby hospital after duty,” he said.

Meantime, the Mayor was quoted as saying that the City Council was planning to outsource this function of dealing with the stray dogs problem. It had identified two potential companies that could undertake the task.

The question is why outsource the task to private companies when there are the NAI and ISPCA, and not forgetting several animal loving individuals, doing a great job with their efforts to save stray animals in the city? Why not allow these NGOs to take over the responsibility of rounding up the stray dogs? Just channel the funds from the annual dog licences’ fees, estimated at about RM200,000, to the NGOs.

Who will be better to undertake the responsibility than these NGOs, which were formed with the objective to care for the homeless dogs and cats?


Dogs are Still Being Shot

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A year ago when Spunk, the senior therapy dog and companion to an elderly woman was shot by MBI enforcement officers in Merdeka Gardens despite having a license, it raised such a huge hue and cry from animal loving NGOs near and far.

16 Nov 2010 – Dato’ Rahim (in brown coat) with NGOs: “No More Shooting”

Besides the local NGOs of Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), Noah’s Ark Ipoh and The Sanctuary Ipoh, SPCA Selangor and the Malaysian Animal-Assistant Therapy for Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive) converged at Ipoh City Hall.

The result of all that attention resulted in MBI Secretary Dato Hj Abdul Rahim bin Mohd Ariff  declaring that “Shooting of dogs in Ipoh will be banned with immediate effect”.

Rahim also stated that it would form a sub committee and work very closely with the Veterinary Services Department and NGOs on how to handle stray dogs. Some of the measures proposed were to establish a pound for animals that were caught as well as the methods to be used to capture the animals.

27 Sept 2011 – NGO Noah’s Ark Ipoh: “Why is MBI still shooting dogs?”

Alas all that was declared did not materialize.

Almost a year later at 5.00 p.m. on September 27, Ms Malika, President of Noah’s Ark Ipoh (NAI) received a call from Prima Condominium about dog shooters requesting to enter the compound in search for a shot stray dog that entered its premises.

Noah’s Ark with caught stray cats

When the NAI team went to the condominium they found a trail of blood “all round the premises” but did not find the dog which led them to conclude that the dog would die a slow and painful death.

Throughout the year NAI had been receiving reports that MBI were still shooting dogs. However, NAI had always responded that MBI had stopped that practice.
Hence, when the security guard at the condo confirmed the dog shooters were in MBI uniform, NAI called a press conference the next morning to highlight that MBI had reneged on their commitment made a year earlier.

Malika added that NAI had requested for meetings with MBI several times earlier whenever their members reported about MBI still shooting dogs. However, each time the meeting was suddenly postponed.

Ipoh Mayor, Dato’ Roshidi Hashim

Ipoh Mayor, Dato’ Roshidi Hashim at a press conference after the council’s monthly full board meeting acknowledged that his enforcement team had shot at the dog.”MBI had earlier received complaints that a dog was barking at nurses going off duty from a nearby hospital.” However, Roshidi explained that although it said that shooting would stop “it had an ‘option to shoot’ dogs as it is allowed to do so based on its local by-laws”.

Further inquiries with relevant MBI officials revealed that shooting dogs has been ongoing since as early as March this year. The official confirmed that it did send a team to study the enforcement methods applied in Selangor. Subsequently they did try the method, that is, to shoot the dogs with tranquilisers, but found it “not practical; the tranquiliser takes 10 minutes to take effect during which time the dog would scuttle and try to escape”.

Tranquilisers are only issued by the Department of Veternairy Services (DVS). When enquired, DVS acknowledged that they were involved but only during the early operations.
Regarding the setting up of a pound to hold caught animals, this too was not set up.
Meantime, Roshidi stated that MBI was planning to outsource this function and indicated it has “identified two potential companies that could undertake this work”. Roshidi did not indicate a timeline when this would happen.

JAG

Blood Donation Drive

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Mayor Datuk Roshidi Hashim (left)

A blood donation drive held in conjunction with Ipoh City Council’s 23rd Anniversary was held at the foyer of the council’s main building on Sunday, May 15. Mayor Datuk Roshidi Hashim was present to officiate at the event and was one of more than 200 donors.

The beneficiaries of the donation are Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital, Ipoh and Pantai Hospital Ipoh. Stocks at both hospitals are running low.

City Council will make this  blood donation drive an annual affair as it has come to consider it as part of the council’s social responsibility. “Public response is encouraging,” Roshidi told reporters.

Ed

MBI’s Response to “Eyesores” In the City

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All “decrepit and dilapidated” buildings throughout the city have been identified, especially those along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah and Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah.

Ipoh city council’s director of corporate affairs, Hj Musa bin Dun, said this in a statement responding to a column “Eyesores in the City” published in the Ipoh Echo on April 16.

The status of these buildings is being classified under three categories: Bangunan Hampir Roboh (Near-dilapidated Building), Bangunan Telah Roboh Sebahagian (Partially-dilapidated building) and Bangunan Kerosakan Minor (Slightly-damaged Building).

“The Council will notify the owners to repair their properties and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to the public and passers-by.

Actions to fence-up the buildings and to remove weeds and plants that have taken root on the buildings will be taken by the Council. “They are aimed at ensuring public safety,” he added.

In his regular column, Jerry Francis had written that there are many condemned and dilapidated business premises which have become “eyesores” in the city centre. The city council appears to be helpless, except for putting flimsy partitions around such buildings. Others, though occupied, are seen with their roof tiles and wooden window frames hanging loosely and precariously, just waiting to fall. Wild plants are growing on the walls and roofs giving the impression of a dilapidated “hanging garden.”

“I dread the day that debris or parts of the buildings will fall and cause casualties among motorists and pedestrians,” he said.