Reviewing the proposals: A ratepayer getting clarification from a council employee (seated right) regarding the proposed amendments.
THE first day of the controversial one-month publicity period for the Petaling Jaya Local Plans (RTPJ) 1 and 2 was marked by a paucity of materials on the proposed amendments for residents to refer to.
A check at the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) headquarters showed that the proposed amendments for both plans are mounted on display boards to the left of the main entrance.
There was very little room to walk around and properly view the boards.
There were no copies of the plans being distributed on CDs and the publicity counter had only a limited number of printed copies of the draft amendments, and they were not for sale.
Council staff manning the counter said the proposed amendments were also posted on MBPJ’s website, although the plan’s file size of 320MB took about 30 minutes to load on the browser and another hour to download as a viewable PDF on a high-speed Internet connection.
Those who were not able to view the proposed amendments on the Internet could come to the council building to compare the extant plans with the proposals, said the staff on duty.
Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran, who went to view the exhibit, said the publicity materials were insufficient, especially if one was computer-illiterate or physically unable to come to the council.
“I was told they had not printed more copies for sale because of cost.
“If that is the case, I am more than willing to sponsor 10 extra copies of the proposals for public viewing,” said Rajiv.
Lawyer Derek Fernandez said the lack of materials reflected badly on the rushed publicity exercise for RTPJ 1 and 2.
“What about residents with no Internet access?
“Do they have to come here and read through the proposed amendments in a hurried manner?
“How does this allow residents to contribute meaningfully to the amendment process?” he asked.
Although StarMetro was at the exhibition from 12pm until past 1.30pm, the number of people coming in to view the exhibit was minimal with less than 10 turning up despite earlier newspaper advertisements and the recent publicity.
When asked about the lack of materials, Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad said the small number of printed materials was because of earlier concerns about the amount of paper used and the cost.
“If there is a rise in demand from residents for more printed materials, we can always prepare more during this one-month period,” said Alinah.
She also clarified that the version of RTPJ 2 utilised, both in the first incarnation and for the proposed amendments, was the first version originally gazetted by the state government.