EDITORIAL: Gong Xi Fa Cai: Wishing You Abundance and Prosperity in the Year of the Dragon

EVERYONE’s all geared up to welcome the Year of the Dragon. In just a few days’ time, fireworks will fill the sky and people will be greeting one another GONG XI FA CAI.

Yes, time flies. We have just completed the first 31 days of 2024 and are now living in the second month of the year.  At just the blink of an eye, we will be enjoying a few days break during the Chinese New Year.

The festive break is what everyone’s looking forward to. Most will head back to their hometown for their reunion gatherings while others will take advantage of the long holidays (and school holidays) to enjoy a trip away from home. Those who decide to stay back will enjoy a small window of peace and quiet around town. But is that so these days?

I will be greeting the New Year in Subang Jaya this time around. Weeks ago, we started stocking up some supplies for our much-awaited break at home. Our favourite food stocked up; snacks replenished and other necessities stocked up for an uninterrupted holiday.

The customary bak-kua; pineapple rolls and kuih kapit have been bought. The chef has already prepared some of our favourite dishes for our small reunion dinner at home. Yeah! Everything on the checklist of things to do have been ticked. House-cleaning (which is customarily a MUST before the New Year) will be done just a few days before the BIG day.

For those who are leaving for their hometowns, make sure you lock up your home and inform your neighbours who will be around during the holiday break. You can also pop over to the nearest police station to fill up their “Balik Kampung, Rumah Selamat” form for policemen to make their rounds to your house to check on it while you are away. You can also sign up and register with the Police “Volunteer Smartphone Patrol” App on your phone.

The first 31 days of the year have been nothing but hectic for almost everyone. Things appeared to have moved in a very fast pace and this has kept us on our toes literally from morning to night.

Last month, we witnessed the swearing in of 23 councillors for the Subang Jaya City Council’s 2024-2025 term. We saw some new faces while the majority of the councilors had their tenure extended for another two-year. For the seven new councilors, there’s no time to waste to catch up with what is expected of them. There is no honeymoon period and no one is going to cut them any slack. It is most times a thankless job.

Due to the more than frequent rain that we have been experiencing in Subang Jaya in January this year, not only our potholed roads need repair; even our vehicle suspension needs to be replaced. It seems no road in our city has been spared from the onslaught on heavy rain, resulting in the emergence of potholes scattered all over the major arteries.

Some have been repaired speedily but most have yet to be attended to. It’s been a snail’s pace for certain major roads – potholed stretch along Persiaran Kewajipan (just before the traffic light before SMK USJ12) and also along the Persiaran Subang stretch (between Copper Mansion and the Jalan Subang 5 junction) for example. Complaints had been lodged with the council but until the writing of this editorial, motorists continue to endure the agony of driving over this stretch. These two spots are by no means the only areas which have potholes. It seems potholes are appearing faster than we can repair them.

Perhaps the council can get their contractors to work on these problem areas during the Chinese New Year break when less cars are on the road. Perhaps when everyone gets back from their holidays, they will enjoy a smoother ride around town. Would that be too much to wish for?

Here’s wishing everyone GONG XI FA CAI – KEONG HEE HUAT CHYE! Have a safe and pleasant journey back to your hometown and also on your return trip. Enjoy yourself to the fullest; forget about the diet for a few days.