Letter: My Expectations for 2019

2019 marks a 10-year anniversary of collecting garbage at the front gate.

This policy has given rise to uncontrolled garbage and many illegal dump sites. Echo has published numerous articles and letters regarding rubbish in Ipoh, often blaming residents in Ipoh.

What they have forgotten is that this was not the case before collection of garbage at front gate was implemented 10 years ago. I hope the policy will reverse this year. This is my expectation for 2019 for the following reasons:

There was a change in government twice in Perak. Almost all state excos are new with a new Menteri Besar. The Mayor of Ipoh has also changed a few times since the policy was implemented. The policy was not implemented by current excos and the Mayor, thus, there is no reason why the policy can’t be reversed.

The reason for implementing such a policy was to follow the example in advanced countries. However, after 10 years, we know it doesn’t work in Malaysia. In Malaysia, nobody wants their front gate to have garbage. “Bad Feng Shui” for some Chinese, but other races also dislike garbage at their front gate. Those who don’t mind also risk their front gate becoming an illegal dump site.If any road has a vacant house. Then that house’s front gate becomes an illegal dump site. If there is none, people will drive to an illegal dump site elsewhere to throw their rubbish. To them it is okay if the government insists on collecting garbage at the front gate, as long as it is NOT their front gate.

When the government implemented the policy, they claimed that it was for the welfare of the garbage collector, to make their life easier with no need to drive into the back lane. Those who oppose would be attacked by cyber troopers and labelled inconsiderate to garbage collectors. Ten years down the road, I doubt if the life of garbage collectors have become any easier with never ending ‘gotong-royong’ every other month, if not every other week.

Wrong KPI. The KPI should be cleanliness of Ipoh. Not how efficient they collect the garbage. Yes, it is more efficient to collect rubbish from the front gate. Yes, it is more efficient to group the rubbish so that the lorry is not required to stop so many times. But does Ipoh look clean? If you drive along Persiaran Shatin, especially the portion between SK Kampung Pasir Puteh, you will see every exit of back lanes, which is at the main road, have illegal rubbish dump sites. Shouldn’t that rubbish, if uncollected, remain at the back lane? KPI should include reduction in complaints received, or number of articles, letters regarding rubbish received.

Increase enforcement by encouraging people to report on those who throw into illegal dumping sites, does not work.

Requesting the developer to do more would increase costs and such costs would be passed back to the consumer.

Why not just revert back to the old policy, which worked previously. And it is zero cost to the housing developer and would not increase the price of houses. A simple reversing of policy would make the problem evaporate, if implemented carefully, with minimum cost.

Garbage collectors will no longer be required to attend gotong-royong that frequently, thus, it benefits garbage collectors also.

Peter Chen

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