Can We Expect Improved Services from MBI?

By A. Jeyaraj

In response to a complaint from a reader of Restricted Parking Zones around housing estates, Mohd Zakuan Hj Zakaria, Council Secretary, replied that the whole of Ipoh has been gazetted as parking zone for motorists (Ipoh Echo, Issue 280, 1 – 15 May 2018). Wherever I go, I find that I have to pay for parking my car except in Kampung Manjoi, which seems to be an autonomous region out of jurisdiction of MBI. I reckon the number of parking bays must have been increased by 100 per cent. Since the only enforcement staff who do their job in MBI are the parking attendants, MBI can expect a substantial increase in their revenue. Can we relate this to improved services from MBI?

I was in a restaurant in one of the newly created zones and one of the customers told the owner that he had not put a parking coupon. The owner said it’s OK, as the enforcement officers seldom go there. Enforcement is also selective. In some places the attendants go around very frequently and at other places a few times a day, depending on the locality.

Just like gazetting parking zones, I am not sure whether MBI has gazetted their basic services of garbage collection, grass cutting and drain cleaning. At the moment, most of these jobs are done on ad hoc basis; if someone complains the job is done. Often when a person complains about a clogged drain, the section of drain in front of the complainant’s house is cleaned.

A few years ago I attended a course on Office Etiquette and the trainer said that you should answer the phone after the third ring. MBI workers follow this rule and take action on a complaint after the third reminder.

When you employ a qualified contractor to carry out repair works in your house, you would notice that before leaving the site, the contractor would clean the work area and arrange his tools properly. This is the basic lesson taught for all people doing maintenance work.

It looks like MBI has not taught this to their workers. During February this year after a couple of calls, MBI workers cleaned one section of drain along Jalan Hassan, Lim Garden and dumped the garbage next to the road under a tree. A month later the workers cleaned the drain on the other side of the road and dumped the garbage on top of the old pile. Others have started to throw their garbage here. Grass has started to grow. An illegal dumpsite has been created by MBI. When will this garbage be removed?

This is not an isolated case; it appears to be  general practice. MBI workers leave the worksite without disposing of the garbage. MBI workers must be instructed that they must not leave the worksite without cleaning the place. This is common sense.

It is normal practice for MBI workers to clean only small stretches of drain along a road. Why can’t they clean the drain along the whole length of the road?

If the parking time is exceeded you have to pay a fine and for late payment of Assessment you are fined. If MBI does not carry out their basic services as scheduled who is going to fine MBI? We must have a level playing field. Action must be taken against MBI for not doing their job. MBI must put up notice boards in all housing estates on the schedule of garbage collection, grass cutting, drain cleaning and maintenance of roads.

I read in the papers the amount of revenue collected by MBI, but have not seen any annual financial statements. If the accounts are not under Official Secrets Act and are prepared by qualified accountants and there is nothing to hide, then MBI must make the accounts public.

Rate payers have the right to know how their money is spent.

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