SIVANESVARAN RAMALINGAM beats anyone half his age where community work is concerned. He is almost everywhere when duty calls, rain or shine; with a smile on his face and a ready hand to extend to help. We caught up with Siva as he fondly called to find out more about what energises him as chairman of SS15 Hexagon Rukun Tetangga and also as one of the vice presidents of the Senior Citizens Club of Subang Jaya.
- Community work appears to be your “full-time” job these days. How much time do you spend daily on this?
It’s not a full-time job actually. I spend probably 85% of my free time immersed in community work as and when I am called on to assist.
- What drives you to spend so much time in community service? Is it because you want to prove something or that you have set yourself a target?
There’s nothing much to prove actually and I don’t set myself a target to achieve. I do it out of love and passion. It is in my blood to help where I am needed.
3.How old are you? How long has it been since you retired? Tell us a bit about your family and what you worked as before you retired.
I am 72 this year. I retired at 56 after many years in the corporate sector. I started as a cadet planter in Harrisons Crossfield plantation, Barlows Boustead plantation agencies and Sime Darby. I then switched to healthcare in 1985 with Subang Jaya Medical Centre as material’s executive. After my retirement I did projects in Penang General Hospital and Columbia Asia group of hospitals. I have 3 children and one grandchild.
- Most retirees will take up a hobby when they say adieu to their full-time job. Do you have a hobby or is community work your favourite past time?
My hobby is with the community. This hobby allows me to spend my time productively with the community as well as groups such as the Senior Citizens Club of Subang Jaya of which I am the vice president and the SS15/6A Hexagon of which I am serving as chairman. I also spend some time on monthly visits to Persatuan Kebajikan CI – Hang, Kampong Melayu Subang to provide food under an NGO.
- In your day-to-day “work” with JKP Zone 1 which covers ss12-ss19, what have you noticed? Are the streets getting any cleaner? Are there less rats scampering around in the back lanes? Have neighbourhoods become safer? Tell us why.
It’s a great pleasure working under my councillor Ken Chia. I have learned a lot from him and there’s still more to learn. The challenges we face are great and we tackle them as they come. It’s very difficult to please everyone. The demands are high in a growing township like Subang Jaya.
- What challenges do you face as the chairman for SS15 Hexagon Rukun Tetangga? Are you facing a tough time attracting younger participation?
I consider myself lucky. I have no problem working with all my committee members are committed and we work as a team. Initially, we did have some problems getting the younger crowd to join us. But after some time they started joining us; seeing how our programs have been tailored to engage youth as well.
- What about your role in the Senior Citizens Club of Subang Jaya? What have you set yourself out to do?
I am the vice chairman of the Senior Citizens Club of Subang Jaya. Builder stronger relationships and seeing to the needs of the ageing community of Subang Jaya is our objective. We hope to give the senior citizens in Subang Jaya a better quality of life in their retirement days through programmes and initiatives we carry out.
- Tell us in a nutshell what your aspirations for Subang Jaya are and how we can achieve it.
Hold on to your dream to make Subang Jaya a better and safer place to live in. Nothing is impossible. All goals are achievable one step at a time. Rome was never built in a day.