Tag Archives: Mayor of Ipoh City

Datuk Bandar Failure

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Jerry FrancisMy Say

By Jerry Francis

 

Dato’ Roshidi Hashim was reported to have admitted that he had failed as the Mayor of Ipoh for being unable to keep the city clean.

I accept his admission at the last City Council’s full-board meeting, but I cannot accept his excuse that his failure was solely because the people could not be disciplined and refrained from throwing rubbish indiscriminately.

Does this mean that he and his successors are going to just accept the situation as “whatever will be, will be” and blame it all on the attitude of the residents? Dato’ Roshidi’s failure is largely due to the City Council’s lack of determination to restore the city’s lost image as one of the cleanest in the country.

The City Council needs to lead by example. If it failed in carrying out its responsibilities, then it can expect the residents to also adopt a “tidak-apa” attitude and discard their wastes indiscriminately and readily blame the City Council for its poor services.

My Say - Datuk Bandar failure

After all, preventing wastes from being indiscriminately discarded is only part of the overall efforts needed to keep the city clean. Clogged drains need clearing, rubbish collected efficiently, grass cut regularly, care of plants and shrubs along streets and roads, and proper maintenance of public parks and attractions. Every household in the city too must be directed to place all their domestic wastes in rubbish bins, not in plastic bags hanging on fences and trees, only to be scattered by dogs, cats and cattle. These are among the ingredients of a clean city.

Are all these not the responsibilities of the City Council? If so, would not the poor service we are experiencing now reflect on the efficiency of the City Council? Then why just put the blame on the people?

How is it that over two decades ago Ipoh was clean when it was just a municipality, but not now? The argument often put forward is that the city limit had increased in size, but let’s not forget that as the city grew, so did its manpower and budget.

Of course, the residents too are to be blamed for the thousands of illegal rubbish dumps scattered around the city. Their lack of cooperation is frustrating the City Council’s effort to clear the illegal dumps. The moment an illegal dump is cleared, a new dump begins.

One of the main culprits is the operators of small lorries for hire. They are the ones who cart the wastes and dump them at the nearest place convenient to them. Therefore, the City Council should consider taking stern action, including sending plainclothes enforcement officers to catch those responsible for throwing wastes indiscriminately. The City Council has the power to enforce the various enactments pertaining to health and cleanliness in the city.

It should not allow any “political constraints” to affect its efforts to keep the city clean. Those irresponsible residents will have to be prosecuted since attempts to discipline them into restraining from littering and illegal dumping of wastes had failed.

The City Council must bring those guilty of illegal dumping to court to show that it means business.

Ipoh Echo had in 2010 launched a “dirt vigilante” campaign calling on residents to report, with photographs, areas found to be filthy. Following this, the City Council had moved in to clear hundreds of illegal dumps, particularly in the Gunung Rapat area.

Of late, the City Council seems to be taking it easy. Not only the city is getting dirtier, cattle and buffaloes are reappearing in the city. They are endangering motorists at night and damaging plants in the housing estates.

Mayor Roshidi Sees A Bright Year Ahead

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“vision into a reality”…

Dato’ Roshidi Hashim ended his second year in office with this rather amusing reminder to Ipohites, “As the Mayor of Ipoh City it’s not a small task that is just confined to maintaining cleanliness and such stuff. It is a position that requires one to have a vision and the capability to turn this vision into a reality”.

Roshidi has done something which previous mayors had not – delivered a New Year message in English. Nationalistic feelings aside, it was like a breath of fresh air. And this was done at the final city council full-board meeting held on Thursday, December 31, 2009.

However, the Mayor’s opening remarks at the beginning of the meeting should take precedence as they are indicators of the Council’s achievements for Year 2009. Some of the more pertinent points raised are the following:

*Revenue Collection: Bills totaling RM120.54 million were issued by MBI to its customers between January and November 2009. They represent an increase of RM1.16 million over the corresponding period in 2008. A sum of RM115.99 million was collected within that period, a shortfall of RM3 million over the 2008 figure. Arrears, as at November 2009, stand at RM48.63 million, an increase of RM1.98 million compared to 2008. Unpaid assessment bills form the main bulk of these arrears. The council will continue with its incentive scheme to encourage prompt and full payment of assessment bills. Among the prizes for the lucky draw are two LCD colour TVs, a holiday package to Medan, a sofa set, a washing machine and two vacuum cleaners. A goodie bag and a lucky draw coupon await those who pay their assessment bill in full (one year) and at MBI counters only.

*Star Rating: The council will increase efforts in documenting all work-related matters so as to ease the process of accessing its performance by PM’s Department’s MAMPU (Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Man-agement Planning Unit). Roshidi aspires for a 5-star rating in 2010. In line with this goal, the Council will fill all 50 vacancies it has advertised by January 2010. The additional manpower will boost its capacity.   

*Infrastructure Works: The Council is focusing on upgrading existing infrastructures rather than build new ones. For Year 2009 the Council has spent RM47.5 million out of the RM72.6 million allocated via federal funding under the MARRIS (Maklumat Rekod-rekod Jalan Raya Malaysia) project. Upgrading of roads and traffic lights is on-going.

*Landscaping: The Council will continue with its greening efforts by planting leafy trees within city limits. A total of 3,580 trees were planted in 2009. Of this, 884 trees were planted by the council while the remaining by developers.

*Health: The grading of restaurants and eateries in Ipoh continues into 2010. As at December 2009, 70 restaurants have been graded A. The Mayor hopes more restaurants will be similarly graded as the owners now have more time to ensure the cleanliness of their premises based on the Council’s guidelines. He also encourages owners to use grease traps to reduce drain blockages, the major cause of flooding in the city.

*Super Kinta: The Super Kinta market has been earmarked by a Chinese company from Wenzhou, China, as a potential centre for the sales of Chinese-made goods and products. Discussion between MBI and the Wenzhou company is in progress. The company, meanwhile, has agreed to rent two office units at the MBI-owned building along Jalan Dato’ Tahwil Azar at RM5,000 a month.

*Council Flats: The Council will repaint all its flats to give them a fresh new look. Kinta Heights will have its facade painted while the Jalan Silang Flats will be given a new coat of paint in its entirety. Waller Court and Sungai Pari Towers, meanwhile, will be rebuilt, as their conditions are too abysmal. The Mayor requests that developers keen on developing the two properties submit their proposals to the Council soonest. MBI has appointed a private developer to maintain the Harmoni Flats. If this method is forthcoming, this concept will be adopted for the maintenance of the other flats.

*Assessment Rates: Measures to reduce the financial burden of flat and condominium owners have been taken. The Council has agreed to revise the calculation of the annual assessment rates of flats and condominiums from the previous base rate of 16 per cent to 10 per cent. Flat and condominium owners pay to maintain their properties to their respective management committees.

*Rubbish Disposal: The adoption of the two controversial waste management acts passed by Parliament in 2007 has been put on hold. The present rubbish disposal system will continue. The state government has approved the appropriation of a piece of state land (523 acres) in Papan as the new landfill to replace the Bercham landfill. This new site will be used collectively by the municipalities of Batu Gajah, Kampar, Perak Tengah and MBI.   

*Public Complaints: Between January and December 2009, the PR Division of MBI received a total of 6,968 complaints from the public. The complaints are being channeled to individual departments for action. The level of accomplishment varies daily and it ranges between 77 to 89.9 per cent. The Council hopes to achieve an accomplishment level in excess of 90 per cent by acting immediately on complaints. Based on Council records the highest number of complaints come from Ipoh central. Complaints on rubbish collection have nose-dived from the number one spot to number six in the list.

*Councillors: The Mayor is happy with the performance of councillors who have shown keen interest in the development of their respective zones. Their participation in the Mayor’s turun padang programme is exemplary. Roshidi hopes that they will continue with the good work if they are being nominated for a second term in 2010. 

Now back to the Mayor’s New Year Message. Roshidi acknowledges that Ipohites today are more demanding and savvy. They reckon that amenities such as parks, green lungs, bicycle lanes, shaded pavements, public transport, libraries and a viable rubbish disposal strategy are integral to an efficient city council, one that does not compromise on qualities. Providing these will be the Mayor’s promise for 2010.

Well said Datuk Bandar, Ipohites hold dearly to your pledge to “turn vision into a reality” however elusive or delusive it may sound or seem. Cheers.     

FATHOL ZAMAN BUKHARI