Tag Archives: Kinta Heights

Council will Evict Dirty Flat Dwellers

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A hundred mouse traps were distributed to eateries in Old Town by Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim recently. This was part of a rodent control campaign organised in conjunction with the nationwide Gotong-Royong Perdana 1 Malaysia Programme. The national programme kicked off at the Menggatal wet market in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, while at the state-level, it was concurrently launched in Ipoh and Taiping.

Council will Evict Dirty Flat Dwellers

As part of the council’s Community Service Responsibility initiative, Kinta Heights and its surrounding areas were selected for this gotong-royong and rodent control activity on the morning of Saturday, August 24. The council’s initiative was supported by representatives from the local Rukun Tetangga, Perak Drainage and Irrigation Department, Kinta District Health Office, Fire and Rescue Department, non-governmental organisations, residents and volunteers.

Roshidi expressed his anger and disappointment that despite repeated reminders throughout his term as mayor to keep Ipoh clean, it is still not as clean as it used to be. “I’ll no longer compromise on cleanliness. Kinta Heights residents caught littering will be evicted from their flats, and those who tip off the council will enjoy a month’s free rental.”

He continued, “I have done my best as mayor, but it is the public’s attitude towards cleanliness that needs changing. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep the area clean.”

Ipoh City Council has been running rodent control programmes since December 2011. This year, a special allocation of RM31,092 has been approved for this project.

Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to the Leptospira bacteria, transmitted to humans through water contaminated with animal urine. Rodents are one of the primary hosts of the bacteria. For the first seven months of this year, there were 277 reported cases of Leptospirosis in Perak, with one death.

Emily

Can Cosmetic Changes Improve Character?

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By Mariam Mokhtar

At one time, the Kinta Heights tower block, built in 1982 was also known as “The 20 Storeys”. When it was commissioned, it became the highest building in Ipoh surpassing the Sungai Pari flats, a low-cost housing initiative built in 1963, which was affectionately called “The 15 storeys”.

Kinta HeightsBesides being an Ipoh landmark, Kinta Heights plays an important role in housing low-income families. With 280 units accommodating around 1500 to 2000 residents, its prime location in the city-centre, close to Little India in Ipoh’s ‘Old Town’, meant that its occupants have easy access to shops, schools, banks and various public departments and amenities.

The high-rise unit which is owned by the Ipoh city council, recently underwent a major cosmetic change. This was part of a beautification project by the Housing and Local Government Ministry to spruce up the image of public housing areas and improve the living conditions of its council tenants.

From its upper floors, visitors can take in breathtaking views of Ipoh, the changing city skyline, the spread of the city, the limestone hills in the background and the river meandering through the city.

Despite its towering presence, Kinta Heights has been besieged by problems which commonly affect public housing projects. Residents often complain about the lack of maintenance of the units, vandalism, the poor general upkeep of the communal facilities, mouldy growth on the walls, litter, poor security and a failure to upgrade the facilities.

During the ‘80s and ‘90s, Kinta Heights, and a few other high-rise buildings in Ipoh, became a Mecca for suicides. In 1995, after public concern about the building’s increasing suicide rate, the authorities erected metal grilles on all windows from the third floor upwards.

Residents were angry that the lifts were continually breaking down, but the council pointed out that some people had been using the lifts as toilets or pressing all the buttons simultaneously to inconvenience other users.

In 2008, two lifts were upgraded and the council erected a guard house to improve security as well as monitor the movements of people entering Kinta Heights. A police beat-base in the grounds of the block and CCTV cameras in adjoining streets acted as effective deterrents to crime.

Complaints about leaks from the water tanks, situated on the roof of the block, triggered an investigation which revealed that the tank had not been replaced since the flats were built in 1982. The residents also complained that vandalism and theft had rendered the fire-fighting system in the block useless.

As a result of the residents’ complaints, it was announced that the block would receive a new fibreglass reinforced polyester water tank costing around RM66k as well as a fire-fighting system costing around RM100k including installation and maintenance.

Despite the various upgrades, the council is concerned that the attitude of some irresponsible residents towards cleanliness, vandalism and theft, has not changed.

Councillors have complained about council property being damaged and the effect this has on maintenance and replacement costs. They also criticised unscrupulous residents who would chuck plastic bags of rubbish from their flats onto the ground below, which meant that workers had to be delegated to clear the area of garbage, every day.

The authorities also urged residents to cooperate and keep their block of flats clean and treat it like their own home. Residents were told that Kinta Heights will have regular visits from enforcement officers to curb anti-social activities and that the officers have the power to issue compound fines and blacklist tenants from renting council property, if they were found guilty of vandalism or littering.

In mid-April, Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir officiated at the completion ceremony of the Kinta Heights beautification project and said, “Whether the people support the government or not, the government will still implement development projects in the area for the benefit of the people.”

Zambry is right. Housing, like other developments, should not be politicised as it is the responsibility of the government to look after its citizens and provide for those from the lower-income bracket.

One observer who witnessed the ceremony said, “The brown and dirty yellow of the old Kinta Heights is thankfully gone, but the new colour scheme makes the building look like a set of child’s building blocks. It is a major improvement from the previous shabby look, but did the council have to litter the tower with those blue party flags?”

Another person said, “We were told that this was part of the ‘My Beautiful Neighbourhood’ programme of Ipoh Old Town. Is someone trying to give out a subtle message of “My BN”? Is there also an attempt to make a party political broadcast with residents wearing blue T-shirts emblazoned with party logos?”

These observers are naïve to think that a politician can control his urge to politicise anything, even housing.

Kinta Heights Upgraded

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MBI’s flats at Kinta Height and the neighbouring flats at Jalan Silang and Jalan Bijeh Timah were recently upgraded under the government’s National Blue Ocean Strategy My Beautiful Neighbourhood programme.

Kinta HeightsDato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir officiated at the handing over ceremony after the completion of the project. Zambry was accompanied by Ipoh Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim.

Kinta HeightsThe scope of the upgrading work was major and covered infrastructure maintenance throughout the building. It also included road pavement and drainage repairs, rewiring of lights in the corridors, plumbing and painting the whole building. The total cost of the upgrade is RM4.4 million.

In his address Zambry described the goal of the government’s National Blue Ocean Strategy as its way to effect change or transformation. Zambry gave the example of the recently refurbished Super Kinta complex into the now Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) which houses 50 government departments and is now a popular 1-Stop Centre providing a convenient service for the rakyat.

Zambry also indicated that the low-cost flats at Ashby Road and other old units such as Waller Court will be given similar upgrades in time and will be done gradually.

During the event the residents made a pledge to look after and maintain their premises.

JAG

Clean-up Programme Underway

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A massive clean-up programme under the National Blue Ocean Strategy 6 (NBOS 6) is underway to get citizens involved in ‘gotong-royong’ to clean up their living areas. One such programme was organised recently in Ipoh. The designated spot was the public flats of Kinta Heights.

Cleaning activity began early in the morning with the state Rela outfit in the lead. Personnel from the local army units, Civil Defence and Health Department were roped in to lend a helping hand.

Under the supervision of Lukeman Said, the Deputy Director of Rela and Mohd Hariri Abdul Hassan, the state Rela chief, the men went about their job cleaning the surroundings.

The programme, according to Lukeman, started in Sarawak where Rela personnel were mobilised to clean longhouses in the interior.

“Hopefully, it’ll pick up and spread nationwide,” he told reporters. Flat dwellers were actively involved in the ‘gotong royong’ as they were the major beneficiaries.

RM

A Boost to On-Going Cleanliness Campaign

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By Jerry Francis

Councillor Choong (centre) with Mandor Nizar and MBI worker Bala

Our on-going cleanliness campaign to restore the city image as one of the cleanest in the country has been getting some impact both from the Ipoh City Council and the residents.

One of the latest encouragements is that a City Councillor, Peter Choong, has taken upon himself to get to the residents in problematic spots within Ipoh to dissuade them from throwing rubbish indiscriminately.

“The attitude of the people needs to change,” said Choong. “They have to stop throwing rubbish wherever they like.”

“We must all realise that the city council could not on its own keep the city clean, it needs the co-operation of everyone.”

Recently, Choong inspected the situation at the city council’s Kinta Heights following complaints from some residents of the low-cost flats and found out that the situation is quite bad.

Tenants on the upper floors are flinging rubbish out of their balconies and windows. Despite some tenants being caught and fined for littering by city council’s enforcement officers, the practice is still rampant.

Choong said the majority of the tenants were not involved. They had in fact expressed their disappointment with those indiscriminately throwing rubbish out on to the ground floor and wanted the city council to take action.

City council’s community affairs director En Zulkifli bin Jaafar Sidek confirmed that some residents had been caught and fined for throwing litter out of their windows for years. He said the actions had only improved the situation slightly.

Perhaps, it is time that the residents of Kinta Heights set up their own committee as had been proposed by Mayor Roshidi when he visited the flats last December. Doing so might be the start of a solution to the residents’ long standing problem.

Taman Cempaka – rubbish thrown everywhere except in the bin

At the commercial area in Taman Cempaka, Choong expressed disappointment that rubbish were scattered outside despite the presence of number of large rubbish bins of the “RORO” type.

We, in the Ipoh Echo, are thrilled by Choong’s efforts in support of our campaign. He had even written a Malay poem (pantun) in its support.  From now on, Choong is being treated as a VIP “dirt vigilante”, who can give a boost to our campaign.

We are also looking forward to more city councillors and city council officials to follow Choong’s example. If only each City Councillor could concentrate on cleanliness in their own respective zone, the success of the campaign could be ensured.

Meanwhile, the call for “dirt vigilantes” to support the campaign with photographs and information on filthy spots in the city is getting good response.