Mrs Benjamin’s Deeds

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“A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”

As long as Mrs Irene Benjamin could remember, dwellers around her house in Lim Garden have been dumping rubbish illegally in vacant lots and on the road fronting her house. These self-centred people would conveniently dispose their garbage there expecting city council staff to clean up after them.

Household rubbish in her neighbourhood is collected every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am to 10am. “Actually it’s the fault of city council too. Instead of doing a house-to-house collection, the workers prefer to pile the rubbish at these dumping spots,” she lamented.

When residents dump their rubbish earlier than the scheduled collection time, stray dogs would mess up the place by tearing the plastic bags looking for food scraps. Nobody cares about the eyesore, as they blame city council workers for not doing their job.

To make matters worse, collection of garden waste and furniture, which is done once a month, is done without prior notice. The residents are left in the lurch wondering which day of the month the truck would come. Hence, unwanted cupboards, sofas and cushions are left to rot in the open, creating a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The 64 year-old retired lab assistant, cannot stand seeing the ugly sight. She takes the initiative to sweep the littered road whenever she sees one.

“We must take care of our neighbourhood. The city council will collect the rubbish but they’ll not sweep for us, as they have others work to do. People have this attitude, “If they do not care, why should we care?” But I cannot think that way as untidiness affects everyone,” said the lady to Ipoh Echo.

She hopes for a ‘gotong-royong’ once a month or so, as she loves to see the coming together of the community to help clean-up the housing area. “My grandchildren are all eager to help me,” she added. She too hopes for a proper metal skip bin so rubbish could be adequately disposed of without them being strewn by dogs.

Thanks to Mrs Benjamin, that corner of Lim Garden has been spotlessly clean for a period of time. But must she be the only one to take the lead? Won’t others follow suit?

Tan Mei Kuan

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