AFTER more than two years of muted celebrations, Chinese New Year this time around was exceptionally grand. Lions and dragon dance performances are being held at every corner of Subang Jaya; bringing a much needed reprieve to usher in the Water Rabbit.
Reunion gatherings and Chinese New Year celebrations posted on social media show a bigger get-together with almost everyone in the family showing up after an absence of two lunar New Years. Home kitchens are busy as bigger woks have to be brought out to cook up a storm for meals as family members from near and far congregate to greet the New Year.
At shopping malls, crowds of shoppers pampered themselves to shopping and enjoying the wide array of delights at the food and beverage levels with Chinese New Year songs playing in the background.
This time around unlike the previous two years, Subang Jaya roads were filled with traffic as people moved around on their festive visits. While most eateries were closed on the eve and first day of Chinese New Year, those who opened their doors to customers on the second day did roaring business.
We stayed back in Subang Jaya this time around because of work commitments. It was back-to-back work for us until the eve before we could shut down the computers and relax at home for our meal. At the stroke of midnight, the thunderous sounds of fireworks and firecrackers filled the air like it never did over the past two years. It was like the whole Subang Jaya just woke up from a long slumber.
We decided we would stay home on the first day; relaxing and recuperating from the hectic schedule before and treat ourselves to home cooked meals and a movie marathon while snacking on CNY goodies we had stocked up. It was only from the second day of CNY onwards that we got out to catch up with friends for gatherings and meals together.
It’s now back to work for most of us. The daily grind resumes as we pass the midway mark for CNY.
First and foremost on the top of the list is a hearty congratulations to our outgoing Mayor Dato Johary Anuar who has been promoted to the post of Selangor’s Deputy State Secretary. It has been good working with him although his tenure as Mayor is a little less than a year. The opportunity to work closely with him has been memorable and pleasant; him being a go getter and also efficient in acting on information or complaints he receives from the community and media. We wish him well in his new challenge.
As of penning this month’s “Kopi Chit Chat”, we have yet to know who will be the new Mayor. From what we know, a few names have been shortlisted. Traditionally, a local council president in Selangor slated for promotion will make it into the list of candidates. But we have also heard of the possibility that the candidate might also come from Federal. Whoever it may be, we sure hope that the mayor-to-be will be one who is dynamic, forward thinking, people-oriented and fast on his feet. We need these qualities in our Mayor to propel Subang Jaya into the future.
At the top of my mind, these are things that need to be looked into by the new Mayor:
- Shed the Fat and Become Leaner – MBSJ needs to be leaner and meaner in managing its staff force. If it only needs one person to carry out a job; don’t send three. While I was in Penang in early January this year, I noticed it only took one Penang City Council officer on a motorcycle to carry out inspections on public toilets. He told me he checks and ensures toilets are clean and smell nice all the time. We should learn from this and not have redundancy in the running of our city council in Subang Jaya;
- Get your officers out there to inspect and check on roads in the city. The condition of roads are getting from bad to worse. Main roads especially are riddled with potholes; posing a danger to lives especially the lives of motorcyclists. Patch up the potholes properly to last and not just be happy with shoddy work by your contractors;
- Improve your garbage and bulky waste collection. Complaints on these seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Don’t just be reactive to complaints be proactive;
- Have more engagements with your stakeholders – residents and commercial property owners. Listen more to their needs and not just decide on a piece of paper what you think they want from MBSJ;
- Establish a committee to audit the different initiatives undertaken by MBSJ annually. This committee should comprise of MBSJ senior officers and members of the community to audit projects undertaken by the council and assess as well as point out shortcomings and inefficiencies like how the Attorney-General’s Report does at the Federal level. This will instill accountability in the council’s spending and delivery system in projects or initiatives undertaken for that term.
Let’s start with these 5 items we have highlighted. The list will grow obviously but let’s start from here – our To Do List for the new Mayor.
Have a good month ahead. Here’s wishing our Hindu friends a Happy Thaipusam and to all the lovers out there, Happy Valentine’s Day.