WE have stepped into March 2023. Time seems to fly by so fast. Just a month ago, we celebrated Chinese New Year; and in a few weeks our Muslim brothers and sisters will be observing the fasting month.
In our last edition, we highlighted several points to improve the service we are getting from the Subang Jaya City Council. In this editorial, we will suggest more:
- More supervision and discipline needs to be given to cleaning contractors engaged by MBSJ to carry out their job to the highest standards. At present, the work to keep our public spaces clean is shoddy and begs for serious attention. We joined two gotong-royong events in February, one in SS19/6 commercial area and another in SS15. In both places, we found the drains filled and at times clogged with rubbish; five-foot ways littered with rubbish and indiscriminately dumped garbage by the road shoulders left for months. If the cleaning contractor is doing the work it should be doing, surely we will not be scooping up discarded personal belongings and rubbish from the drains; picking up plastic containers and plastic from the roadside; doing what contractors should be doing in the first place;
- Reintroduce the anti-littering fine. Not too many years ago, MBSJ initiated an Anti-Littering campaign in the commercial areas of SS15 and USJ10. Old stickers of this campaign are still on the walls along the commercial shops corridors. What has happened to it? Has MBSJ conceded defeat against the litterbugs?
- Indiscriminate dumping of bulky waste in neighbourhoods is still rampant. The problems lie on both sides of the fence – house owners and MBSJ. Irresponsible house owners continue to dump their bulky waste along convenient road shoulders. These come in different shapes and sizes – old furniture; garden waste and Styrofoam boxes to name a few. The irregular collection of garden waste in neighbourhoods adds to the problem. I put out a bag of garden waste just 3 days ago, properly wrapped up and placed outside the house. It’s been 3 days and the bag still sits outside uncollected. MBSJ needs to crack the whip on house owners who indiscriminately dump and at the same time not ignore the fact that their contractors are not doing their job properly and regularly as well;
- Potholes and uneven surfaces along main roads continue to be a bane for car owners and motorcyclists. Some of these bad roads have remained untouched for months (since 2022). It gives me the impression that MBSJ officers drive hovercrafts when they make their rounds and they would not notice any potholes at all during their journey;
MBSJ councilors play an important role to bridge the gap between the people and the city council. Some of the issues highlighted in our last editorial and the points above can be handled if councilors play a more active role in pushing the community agenda and priorities to MBSJ. Councilors are residents too and they play a very important role to stand up for the community. Don’t play second fiddle to the needs of the community. Be bold and effective.
Residents also have a role to play. Issues that plague us in our community will continue to do so if we do not attempt to take the effort to lift a finger in solving it. Many among us have taken up the bad practice of being keyboard warriors. Criticise on social media is all we are good at. But when there’s an initiative in our neighbourhood, we shy away or give excuses for not participating in it. On social media many residents who have become keyboard warriors are fast to shoot from the hip but fail to read the whole report before doing so. To play your role as effective ratepayers, you need to read thoroughly and understand the context of the issue before punching the keyboard with criticisms. Be effective game changers; not just a noise in the wild.
For a city to grow, we need everyone on board understanding the issues and challenges and working in sync with each other to improve the living conditions of this place we call home. In the kampong, every household comes out to gotong-royong but in the city, only a handful bother to get their hands dirty. But if you throw a makan-makan, everyone shows up.
I wrap up my editorial with this – There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.