Tag Archives: ipoh’s cleanliness

City Hall Dreams

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Letter

 

The Mayor of Ipoh City Hall must have the right facts before blaming and insulting residents for the filthy state of this city because there is evidence that these problems are due to neglect by City Hall.

During the past decade, residents have brought to the attention of City Hall the same problems they encounter daily. But for unknown reasons City Hall failed to upgrade the inefficient and inadequate essential services and allowed the state of the city to deteriorate. The easiest way out is to blame the residents and make broken promises of a cleaner city.

Recently, the Mayor mischievously stated he was unable to clean the city because residents could not be disciplined and refrained from throwing rubbish indiscriminately.

One of the important duties of the Mayor is the maintenance of cleanliness. He is held responsible and accountable if he fails to perform this task with commitment. All problems pertaining to cleanliness must be solved and not swept under the carpet. Is it so difficult to find  solutions to these problems? If he had investigated and analysed the thousands of reports lodged, the results would indicate most of these problems are created by his own staff, particularly the “illegal dumps”. This is to remind the Mayor of the assurance made on September 2012 of a cleaner Ipoh by the end of this year. After 13 months and a new management programme implemented, this assurance is another failure and as usual it is the fault of the residents. To cover up this failure and distract the attention of the residents, there are now plans to transform Ipoh into a sustainable and dynamic city by 2020, another mission impossible.

Despite failing to clean up the city for the Visit Perak Year 2012, the Mayor has again embarked on an impossible mission, grooming the city to regain its reputation as the cleanest in the country, ahead of Visit Malaysia 2014. The Mayor must be realistic. It is far beyond the capability of City Hall to achieve this target. He had admitted of not being able to clean the city because of indiscriminate dumping.

At present, drains in residential areas are cleaned once every few months and the large amount of rubbish are not collected for weeks or left permanently to rot on the road sides. The monthly collection of garden and other bulky rubbish is never on schedule and residents are forced to dump this rubbish wherever convenient. More dumps appear as the interval between each collection gets longer.

The trash collectors are also responsible for the illegal dumps. They are seen on their motorcycles heaping the bagged rubbish for collection by the dumpster. Spilled and damaged bags at these collection points are not their responsibility and soon become mini dumps.

Street sweeping in residential areas is no longer a service given by City Hall. Littering in the commercial areas will continue because there are very few litter bins. Pedestrians continue to lose rights as more businesses boldly display their wares on the pavement. The wet markets are just as dirty and congested. There is lax enforcement of law and order.

With such poor quality services, is it possible to maintain the city in an orderly and clean state? The four members of the state assembly and two members of parliament elected by the residents on promises to look after their interests have remained silent over the huge problem. City Councillors without executive powers, rely on the same lackadaisical MBI officers to resolve the similar complaints brought to their attention by residents. There were no zoning duties when the city was clean.

The mayor’s vision of a cleaner city was hampered by the lack of support and coordination from his senior officers and an inefficient workforce. Until such time that MBI is able to improve its services to a satisfactory level, City Hall should be very careful if it intends to blame the residents. The city would have been in a worse state if residents failed to cooperate. The state of the city is not solely due to littering but lack of commitment to develop Ipoh into an orderly spic and span city.

If City Hall is serious in cleaning up the city, it should cease all activities which does not benefit the residents. Set up a board of inquiry and take appropriate disciplinary action against all those who are responsible for this dirty state of the city.

Meanwhile, residents must wait patiently for the appointment of a Mayor of action and not words, to untangle the mess at City Hall.

City Guardian

85% Clean Ipoh

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During the full board meeting in September 2012, Ipoh City Hall set a goal to regain the status as the cleanest city during the 80s by year’s end. A promise was made by the Mayor of City Hall to clean up the city by the end of this year.

A few months have passed but there is little evidence City Hall is serious in fulfilling this goal. Every day City Hall receives at least 50 to 60 complaints. Residents where I live (Regat Kuala Kangsar) have made non-stop complaints since November last year before rubbish collection was made on Saturdays.

In the city centre the streets are swept daily (which is the easiest job) but the open drains are neglected. Most residential areas are in a shocking neglected state. The playgrounds and road shoulders are seldom cut, the roads littered with garden refuse and the drains clogged with several months of old grass and weeds.

‘Action Please’

Uncut Grass – 2 weeks or more?

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85% Clean Ipoh

Augustine BasnayakeAugustine BasnayakeAugustine BasnayakeEvery other month I need to remind by way of photos as evidence that grass along the drains in Jalan Carlos Taman Ipoh has not been cut and that drains are being blocked! Ipoh Echo pointed out that grass is cut by contractors every two weeks.

Please see the photos attached and ascertain whether it had taken two weeks or two months for the grass to grow that much.

I am paying an odd-job labourer to clean the street along our houses so when are you sending the street cleaners if ever!

A large pile of rubbish (illegally dumped) has been accumulating for months behind the Gribbles Pathology store-house at No. 94 Jalan Carlos, Taman Ipoh, and none of the MBI staff seem to notice it! Yet I see the MBI van coming to warn or compound fine the contractor who keeps his pile of building bricks on the back lane!!! Is there any motivation of staff to be proactive?

I hope that MBI senior management takes notice that the public will not keep quiet anymore as they pay their taxes dutifully and want to see results and money’s worth in the efforts of MBI to govern a clean Ipoh City!

Augustine Basnayake
Taman Ipoh

Cleaning Ipoh – A Joint Responsibility

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By James Gough

Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness
Ipoh Garden East

Ipoh Echo has been going on for years about litter throughout Ipoh. Some may still remember our ‘Dirt Vigilante’ column which used to highlight illegal rubbish dump sites ar

ound town. Undoubtedly there has been some improvements but based on the complaints received, apparently, the perception amongst the general public is that not enough is being done. However, instead of rate payers complaining about the rubbish, there must be a paradigm shift in the attitude of the residents in disposing of garbage. It takes two hands to clap and it is high time that the public joined hands with City Council and take responsibility for their part in keeping Ipoh clean.

llegal Dump-Sites and Irresponsible Dumping is the Main Problem

Just recently, Perak MB Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abdul Kadir, remarked that more should be done to improve cleanliness in Ipoh. He made the remark while on his Ipoh Green City bicycle ride through town on the way to Pengkalan Pegoh. Zambry’s observation was indeed spot on.

Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness
Greentown Business Centre

In housing estates it is common to see piles of uncollected rubbish, some overgrown with grass, which shows how long they must have been lying there. Similarly at commercial shop house areas, whether in town or housing estates, back lanes are littered while the front of the shops have black bags and plastic bags of waste food awaiting collection.

Even the prestigious Greentown Business Centre is not spared with shabby frontage and littered back lanes. A check on who should be responsible for keeping Ipoh clean revealed that it is a joint responsibility by both the authorities as well as the rate payers.

To verify IE’s finding we checked with several of Ipoh’s councillors for Canning, Buntong/Silibin, Bercham and New Town. The councillors all responded that the three times per week garbage collection is very good. The problem experienced by all was the issue of illegal dump sites or what the authorities categorise as ‘sampah haram’.

Illegal Dump Sites

Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness
Bercham

An illegal dump site is created when ‘someone’ places a plastic bag of rubbish at a junction or anywhere along the road and other passers-by add on to it. The ‘add-ons’ could be anything from general rubbish bags, tree branches to old mattresses and even discarded furniture, a case of anything goes.

The Councillor for Buntong/Silibin, Sabramani Appadurai, lamented the irresponsible attitude of the public testifying that he personally was so satisfied to see an illegal site in his zone cleared in the morning only to find a new batch of furniture placed at the same site in the evening.

A check with MBI’s Community Section in charge of cleanliness advises residents to call their Buntong depot which handles the removal of garbage dumps (sampah longgok) at phone number 05-2555570. Callers have to provide the address and location of the dump site after which a report number will be provided. According to the spokesman at Buntong office, the reported site will be removed within seven days after the report is made.

Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness
Bercham

Community Affairs

The overall cleanliness of the town is handled by the Council’s City Community Affairs Department. Their scope covers three areas of public cleanliness: sweeping roads (removal of debris and leaf litter and such) garbage collection, which occurs three times per week; and cleaning drains. When interviewed, a spokesman for the department confirmed that all of the three activities have their Standard Operating Procedures.

While garbage collection has been outsourced and is running smoothly, it is the clearing of illegal dump sites, which spring up all over the city, that is a serious problem. Unless a paradigm shift occurs, residents will throw rubbish everywhere. Some even throw their rubbish in front of their neighbour’s house. Furthermore, placing garbage bags outside for scavenging dogs, cats and even cows two days before collection dates is irresponsible.

Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness
Silibin / Lim Garden

Procedures for the clearing of illegal dump sites state that this has to be done twice a month for each zone. With Ipoh’s 22 zones there are not enough lorries to maintain the procedure. Hence residents are encouraged to call MBI’s Buntong Depot to request for garbage removal services.

Commercial Areas

At commercial areas, the back lanes are strewn with litter while at the front of the premises black bags are awaiting collection. Meanwhile at the Greentown Business Centre litter can be seen in broken flower pots while the back lane is consistently littered.

While the responsibility to clean the sidewalks and back lanes inclusive of the illegal dump sites of Ipoh still lie with Ipoh City Council there is a limit as to how much the council can do.

Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness
Greentown Business Centre

When IE asked if more enforcement should be taken, Ipoh Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim responded that “we have already done that but the problem keeps recurring,” citing the case of illegal dump sites.

However, Roshidi added that “we need to train the public to co-operate to keep Ipoh clean”. Interestingly, his statement was earlier echoed by several of the councillors. Which meant that the solution for a clean ipoh was through a joint effort by the public and authorities.

Public Education

The council is already practising public cleaning and enforcement with limited success.  Hence, in order to enhance the level of cleanliness it is timely that the council initiate a public education initiative through an anti-litter campaign and simultaneously implement  stricter enforcement.

Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness
Greentown Business Centre

Creating a clean and litter free environment involves everyone and to achieve such a wide reaching goal involves not just the people and public but the private sector of corporations and institutions.

The message that needs to be conveyed to the public is to keep their surroundings clean and not rely on cleaners to clean up after them but rather participate to keep the environment clean. Offices, schools, industry as well as government departments should all participate in the anti-litter campaign to keep their premises and immediate surroundings clean.

Coffee shop owners associations and hawker associations amongst others, should be made aware of their roles to promote cleanliness. ‘Litter Free’ banners and posters should be displayed prominently to educate Ipohites on how to dispose of their rubbish responsibly.

For a start, the council should immediately start with “Litter-Free Public Events”. The upcoming Ipoh Star Walk 2012 would be a good example. During the event the emcee could continually remind the multitude of participants to dispose of their litter responsibly.

Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness
Ipoh Garden East

The event organisers on their part would make bin facilities available for proper disposal of rubbish while displaying ‘Keep Clean’ banners.

This form of joint-corporate participation with authorities reaches out to a wide community and wil have positive long term responses towards creating anti-litter awareness.

Enforcement

As for the enforcement part, the anti-litter laws are in place and would just require stricter enforcement. Although Mayor Roshidi has mentioned many times that he was serious about nabbing litterbugs and has shown figures to back his action, litter is still abundant.

Perhaps the Council should review its strategy to enable a more effective deterrent which probably would include stricter enforcement. After all it has been proven to be a key strategy to maintain public cleanliness.Ipoh City Council - MBI - Ipoh's cleanliness

Ever Ready MBI

MBI on its part must be ever ready to support the anti-litter effort. Cleanliness being a long-term goal perhaps  a task force could be created to ensure continuous progress in meeting its goals?

MBI has been talking of cleaning up Ipoh for a long time. Possibly the time has come for the residents to see some results and in the near future too. Hopefully public education is the solution to ensure Ipoh earns back the title of “Cleanest Town in the country”.