By Jerry Francis
The fountain on the roundabout along Jalan C.M. Yusuf was once beautiful with water spouting high and lit up at night. It had even appeared on postcards of Ipoh City.
It was a soothing sight for the hundreds of motorists, who passed the small roundabout daily. Today, it is in a very sorry state. No longer spouting water and no longer lit up at night, its beauty faded and forlorn in its neglect.
It is a shame that the city council can allow the fountain to deteriorate, reflecting its inability to maintain it over the last 20 years. I first highlighted the ‘plight’ of the fountain and called for something to be done in 1992. The explanation given by the city council then was that it had other plans for the roundabout.
Ever since, each time the condition of the fountain was highlighted, the city council would make some minor adjustment and it would spout water again. The city council must be waiting for another round of criticism to start moving again. Meanwhile, its plans to develop the roundabout has taken more than two decades and there is no movement in sight.
I am inclined to believe that Jalan C.M. Yusuf, which was named after a prominent local personality, is one of the places ignored by the city under its beautification plan. Some may consider it a small matter but what will visitors to our city think? Certainly, it will not cost a lot for the city council to carry out some cosmetic work to make the fountain look more pleasant; at least for the time being until they can come up with other plans for the redevelopment of the roundabout.
If the city council cannot maintain a simple fountain like this one, how does it hope to maintain the proposed costly “musical fountain” in front of the iconic railway station?
I always feel that the city council needs to have a special squad, if it does not already have one, to carry out minor repairs. Such a squad can carry out maintenance works quickly, such as replacing broken slabs on pavements, cracked drains and other minor jobs around the city.
The existence of such a squad can save the city council money as repairs can be done quickly rather than allowing it to get worse and then having repair jobs contracted out.