Mayor’s Justification Not Valid


By Jerry Francis

Mayor Datuk Roshidi Hashim seems to be satisfied that Ipoh need not necessarily be as clean as during the era of the Seenivasagam brothers.

He stressed that the area under the city council now is many times bigger than it was in the sixties. Hence on the basis of this, he added, there is no justification in comparing the cleanliness of Ipoh now with that during the Seenivasagam era. This was told to the residents of Kampung Tersusun Buntong during one of his “turun padang” (meet the people) programmes recently. The residents had complained about clogged drains, uncollected rubbish and problem with stray cattle.

Such a conclusion was not easily accepted by most residents. In fact some of them rang Ipoh Echo criticising Roshidi’s justification. They claimed that the Mayor was merely finding an excuse for the failures of the city council to keep a clean image of the city.

There is no doubt the city’s jurisdiction has expanded over the years but then so has the manpower in the city council. It is estimated that there are over 2,700 employees now compared to just a few hundred before Ipoh was upgraded from a municipality to a city 23 years ago. So, the manpower too is “many times” bigger.

The city council’s office had also moved from a congested complex at Jalan Tun Sambanthan to an impressive multi-storey complex at Dataran MBI in Greentown.

Therefore, if any fair comparison is to be made between then and now one must look at Taman D.R. Seenivasagam, which has not expanded ever since it was set up in 1970. It still covers an area of 14 hectares.

It was then a premier family recreation park. Despite just a handful of employees tasked to look after it, there were boating facilities at the artificial lake, as well as other facilities such as a ferris-wheel, merry-go-round, mini-train, dodgem cars, skating rink, traffic game and wading pool.

There was also a mini zoo with Seenivasagam’s pet honey bear as the centre of attraction and deer, while television sets were installed at various parts of the park and piped music streamed over the area. Every evening the park attendants, who were smartly dressed in orange tunics and blue trousers, were on duty directing traffic and maintaining the various facilities.

Parents would spend quality time with their children at the park at every opportunity they could get. It was a joy to see the children happily interacting and participating in the activities. Just ask those who grew up in the city in those days, and they will relate many happy memories of the Taman.

Now the number of employees maintaining the park is probably the same, if not more, yet the park has lost its glitter.

This is just an example; there are many other amenities within the city to which the city council needs to pay extra attention.

Giving the excuse that the city’s limit has enlarged as a justification for its failure to be efficient and to keep it clean will not hold water when the number of employees have also increased.

The city council should instead examine whether there is a need for greater supervision of the employees and whether they are dedicated in carrying out their tasks.

The city’s anti-dengue campaign too does not seem to be successful. Residents have been complaining that drains throughout the city are dirty.

However, much of the illegal rubbish dumps within the city have been cleared after they were highlighted by the press, including an ongoing campaign for cleanliness by Ipoh Echo.

I am surprised that the Mayor is now talking about his determination to bring back the city image as one of the cleanest in the country. Can he achieve it? Can he walk the talk? Of course he can, if he and the councillors and employees are determined to achieve the goal.


8 thoughts on “Mayor’s Justification Not Valid

  1. wish datuk bandar n org2 besar Ipoh would ride motor honda EX5 / Kriss Modenas around Ipoh during heavy rain n not just sitting in air cond room atau kereta kerajaan when it’s raining out there.

    so that uols boleh nampak jalan2 raya ipoh jd sungai when it’s raining. Perparitan lebih penting dr nak buat pagar tepi stadium 2.

    perhaps waiting Ipoh to be flooded is it ?

    Zamzam Salleh
    Klebang Putra

  2. I passed the road between Stadium Perak and Red Crescent Hall a while ago and saw fancy railings being put up along the roadside (on the side of the food stalls). The reason is probably to beautify the road but there are so many areas in Ipoh and more beneficial projects that needed funds more urgently.

    This project is not urgent and make very little difference to the road concerned, and more importantly, to the lives of Ipoh residents.

    There are many roads with potholes, crumbling and clogged drains, etc, in Ipoh. More funds should be allocated to solve these problems, rather than on beautification projects that bring no benefits.

    MBI should buy more rubbish bins and large waste containers, which help to reduce littering and illegal dumping, and definitely more beneficial to Ipoh residents.

  3. The main problem is the “tidak apa” attitude of MBI from the general worker right up to the Mayor as he has shown with his shallow statement.

    Bearing in mind that MBI assessment rates are amongst the highest in the country, the level of service should also reflect such high rates.

    Enforcement is the key but again the enforcement officers themselves are sleeping on the job. Why not just privatise the enforcement out like you do with garbage collection?

  4. If the Mayor is hearing what the masses is saying but I think he is not listening….! It’s only right he passes his baton to someone who is willing to do the best for Ipoh.

  5. no one expects the city council to keep every sq kilometer of the thousands under its jurisdiction clean. that maybe impossible. but what we expect are that steps are taken by the city council to restore the lost image of the city – that to be clean generally.
    with its current manpower and co-operation from the residents, this objective can be achieved.
    however, the city council needs to ensure that its employees are dedicated to the tasks given to them. without proper supervision, the employees are seen working for an hour and resting for two hours.
    and, the mayor must also walk the talk by enforcing strictly the anti-litter by-law.

  6. Steven, right, city hall can’t do everything on its own, but they must think before speaking ! This mayor is just not fit to hold this position for saying it cannot be achieved, What or whose benchmark, if not the best, is applicable here. Why settle for substandard acceptance. It’s like giving up before even trying . Unacceptable.

    City Hall just appear to be unable to think logically, especially it’s numero uno.

    Most of what you have written makes absolute sense, except allowing the Mayor to get away with what he said !

  7. To be fair, MBI can’t do everything on its own. But the Mayor should never give a reason like that because he is trying to justify his failure to avoid responsibility. It gave the impression that this problem is of less importance and people should not expect too much of MBI. If he can’t do it, please step aside for someone who will.

    Cleanliness depends on people’s attitude. Over the years, this attitude has deteriorated into don’t-care or “tidak-apa”. Many people don’t care about the paper tissue or plastic bag they simply throw. They think and expect someone will clean up after them. Some parents even tell their children to simply litter instead of throwing into the rubbish bin.

    On this front, MBI should carry out community programs in schools to educate, encourage and inculcate cleanliness into the next generation. It may be too late to change the current generation but at least Ipoh will be cleaner in the future. Did MBI think of doing this? Children, in their innocence, can “advise” their parents not to litter or illegally dump rubbish. An attitude problem must be tackled psychologically.

    In the effort to reduce littering, MBI must put out more rubbish bins. It is pointless to tell people not to litter when rubbish bins are hard to find. MBI can’t expect people to walk out of their way to look for a rubbish bin. The rubbish bins must also be emptied regularly. Too often rubbish bins are full and overflowing. When people see this often, they won’t look for a rubbish bin because it is pointless.

    Public programs should be carried to advise people not to litter and followed by enforcement. Nowadays people simply litter because nobody is there to catch and punish them.

    There should be undercover officers to catch and fine offenders on-the-spot. The sum should not be much, maybe RM5.00 or RM10.00, an amount which everyone has on them. But if offenders will think twice or even thrice if they get fined too often.

    Go for offenders who are not just pedestrians but riding on motorcycles and driving cars. It is common nowadays to see a car window being opened and paper tissues thrown out.

    As for illegal dump sites, perhaps MBI can place large rubbish containers at certain locations for people to throw their large refuse. These large rubbish containers are the type that will be loaded into the back of a lorry.

    The Mayor should realize that in most cases, it is not that people want to dump illegally but that they can’t or don’t know where to throw their rubbish. By providing the large rubbish containers, people will throw their rubbish into the containers and the problem of illegal dump sites will be reduced or eliminated.

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