Tag Archives: MBI

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”.

MBI takes action on unkempt vacant land

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Ipoh city Council - MBIIpoh city Council - MBII often hear complaints from residents that no action is taken by MBI on owners of unkempt vacant land near their houses. Their main fear is of snakes and other reptiles living there. Frequently the excuse given by MBI for not taking action is that they cannot locate the owner.

However recently, the agent who looks after a large plot of vacant land adjacent to Lorong Pari, said that the owners were summoned by MBI to clean up the place which is overgrown with weeds and plants. I told the tractor driver not to bull doze the mature trees. Many birds nest on the trees and it is home to wild fowl. The  place has been cleared. MBI does take action; but it is slow and selective.

Meanwhile, MBI must provide written guidelines on clearing of vacant land to ensure that mature trees are not cut and reptiles and other animals living there are not killed. The land cleared is next to the river and there are snakes, iguanas and monitor lizards. These must be caught and released in a safe area. This must be the responsibility of MBI. We must not forget that all animals have the right to live and their habitats must not be indiscriminately destroyed.

A. Jeyaraj

Ipoh City Hall Never Fails To Amaze

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Of late, there have been many grouses raised by residents of Ipoh of the lackadaisical attitude of Ipoh City Hall. Complaints are not resolved despite reminders and even to the extent of highlighting issues to the media. It appears that they have taken a stand not to respond to and adopt a laid-back attitude with the hope that the issues raised will settle down after some time. It is not in line with Visit Perak Year 2012 and like the Prime Minister has reiterated time and again – civil servants must buck up!

There was a Know Your Councillor campaign carried out by Penangites early this year for the public to be able to judge for themselves whether their councillors are up to mark. They are expected to serve the interests of ratepayers. Perhaps Ipohites should also follow the same. What has happened to the KPIs proudly and confidently announced earlier? If they are short of manpower, why not just organise a gotong-royong in the specified areas whereby the residents together with the councillors will work along side one another and prove to themselves that nothing is so impossible. It would also give us a chance to know our councillors and achieve a win-win situation, drastically the reverse of what’s happening now.

On another note, the Datuk Bandar Ipoh and his team of engineers should take a drive along Jalan Silibin. You will experience road speed humps of different shapes, sizes and gradients. There does not seem to be a standard measure on this. Most recent vehicle models are scraping their bumpers and the gradients have also sunken during the road works. Does anyone in Ipoh City Hall ever care? Does the team of road engineers and town planners supervise and approve of such works being carried out? So many questions remain unanswered. It would be nice if we residents are given a chance to compliment Ipoh City Hall in performing their given tasks once in a while but regrettably I feel this will never happen. Ipoh City Hall never fails to amaze me.

Baljit Singh Gill
Ipoh

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

Ipoh – Fukuoka Exchange

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A simple ceremony was held at Dewan Azlan Shah, Bangunan MBI, Ipoh, recently, to kick start an exchange programme between students of Ipoh and that of its sister city, Fukuoka, Japan.

The eight Form 4 students from Ipoh are Nur Wajihah Khalipsa and Nur Ayuni Mohd. Salleh of SMK Raja Perempuan, Mohd. Danial Zakaria of SMK Gunung Rapat, Melissa Choong Yu Pei of SMK Tarcisian Convent, Darren Lee Yeu Jyn of SMK St Michael, Anusha Rajanran of SMK Convent, Saktivadivelu Letchmanan of SMK Methodist (ACS) and Nurin Dayana Norazhar of SMK Raja Chulan. They were selected by the Perak Education Department based on their academic performance, involvement in co-curricular activities, adaptability and versatility. These were some of the criteria imposed.

Once selected, they were provided with Japanese language lessons and cultural dance practices to enable them to better communicate with the Japanese people and to promote Perak since 2012 is Visit Perak Year. At the ceremony, the eight students entertained guests with the 1Malaysia dance.

The week-long exchange programme, beginning 7 to 14 December, 2011, is the 16th in the series since its inception in 1989. It has the tacit support of Ipoh City Council and Fukuoka City.

EL

Railings Removed

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The troublesome railings at the busy pedestrian crossing in Jalan Hospital-Fair Park, whose presence was given the thumbs-down by Jerry Francis (Ipoh Echo Issue 129), were removed by MBI no sooner as the matter was highlighted. In a letter to Ipoh Echo dated October 7, the Council replied. Here is the English translation:

“The Council takes cognizance of the problem and has acted to remove the railings at that part of the road.”

The Council’s timely action is appreciated.

FZB

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

MBI Acts on IE Reader Alert

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On August 3, Ipoh Echo received a call from a reader that a “dangerous looking building renovation” was ongoing at the junction Jalan Tahwil Azhar and Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri.

A drive to the location revealed that the building had its inner sections removed but left the “original walls” intact. The walls were tied with cables and secured to the inside of the buildings.

A “Temporary Work Permit” issued by MBI was displayed onsite. However, there was no scaffolding or netting erected alongside the perimeter of the worksite. Additionally the notice board indicating the project details was not yet on display.

Ipoh Echo took photos of the worksite and presented them to officials of MBI’s Building department to get their views on August 5. No comments were forthcoming other than saying they would “look into it.”

On Monday August 8, workmen at the worksite were seen erecting the fencing, scaffolding and netting. A call to MBI’s Building office revealed that a stop-work order had been issued until all safety measures were in place.

Another drive-by on Thursday 11 August revealed that all safety features were in place while the project notice board too was on display.

Ipoh Echo would like to thank ‘Anonymous’ for highlighting her concern. And MBI for their prompt action.

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.