EDITORIAL: The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side but Whose Cleaning up the Mess in Subang Jaya?

SINCE our last editorial in March which highlighted some of the shortfalls and delays in attending and addressing issues in Subang Jaya, some significant action has been taken by the Subang Jaya City Council.

Work to resurface the “war torn” potholed road along the whole stretch of Persiaran Subang Damai from the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong junction to the back of Palazzo Mall in USJ19 has started. Resurfacing work is almost completed on the Palazzo Mall bound stretch while the LDP bound stretch is yet to be completed. Constant bugging on when this would be achieved started from November last year and finally after 5 months, some significant improvements are visible.

We touched on MBSJ’s anti-littering efforts in the same edition last month and questioned what had happened to it. We are glad to see that enforcement officers have started issuing compounds again to those caught littering.

Over the last few months, we have been keeping an eye out on the collection of garden waste in neighbourhoods across Subang Jaya. We have even tested out the 3-times-a-week collection of garden waste arrangements for residential areas. MBSJ tells us that we should pack our garden waste neatly and leave it outside of our homes for KDEB to collect. The condition attached to this service is for homeowners to pack it up neatly for disposal.

We did just that, first with one bag of garden waste properly packed in a black garbage bag. After almost 2 weeks, that bag was still sitting at the same spot right in front of our house. We added two more bags after doing some spring cleaning in our garden. A week passed and the 3 bags are still there.

So we asked KDEB what’s happening without disclosing our house address. What we learned was a bit shocking. Only one lorry goes around picking up garden waste daily (technically those which are properly packed but the lorry lands up picking up the piles of garden and bulky waste that’s indiscriminately dumped by the road shoulders). And this one lorry covers 7 neighbourhoods. Once it fills up, it heads for the landfill and will not return on the same day.

We apologise for being naïve but how does the contractor keep to their 3-times-a-week collection in different areas with just one lorry covering 7 neighbourhoods? As journalists, we are not very good at our mathematics but surely even we can pick up the miscalculation somewhere. It is no wonder people are not placing their garden waste in front of their house. It is no wonder residents are dumping it on the road shoulders and now even parks, away from their homes and hoping that no one from the council catches them for illegal dumping.

If this flawed arrangement continues, Subang Jaya will become a Garden Waste City, don’t you think?

For this month, we have a question on the roles and functions of local councilors in MBSJ. Are they appointed by MBSJ to represent the council or are they supposed to be the representatives of the residents?

Many a time, the lines are blurred. Most times, we hear councillors speak like they are part of MBSJ. They are not wrong to behave so but where and when is it that they speak like they are part of the residents? Our bridge to MBSJ is via the councillors but if the councillors think they are MBSJ, will our rights and grievances be given enough weight for attention and be addressed?

Local elections for the Mayor and even for local councillors’ positions are ripe for the picking. This will not only ensure we have competent people holding the positions but this will ensure they will have a better sense of accountability in the seats they occupy. Local councillors should not be the chair of the respective Residents Committees (Majlis Perwakilan Penduduk) but play an advisory role and be the bridge between residents and MBSJ. The MPPs should be chaired by a resident from the zone who leads his team and brings up matters for the councillor to attend to in the council.

This approach may or may not be too far-fetched but at least it starts the ball rolling on how we can move forward with a better system of making Subang Jaya a better place to live in. Give it some thought and let us know what you think of it. Drop us a line at [email protected].

Here’s wishing all our Muslim brothers and sisters SELAMAT HARI RAYA, Maaf Zahir dan Batin. Have a good celebration with your loved ones and happy holidays to everyone in advance.