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Thursday August 19, 2010

Commercial areas among the hardest hit by vandal menace

HOW many times have you tried looking for a particular road only to be led astray by vandalised road signs?

Road signs that have been damaged or defaced by stickers and bills not only confuse the public but also service providers from Pos Malaysia, the Fire and Rescue Department and courier service companies.

Just imagine if there were a medical emergency and the ambulance is delayed getting to their destination because they could not find the correct address.

K. Sebastian, a resident of Happy Garden in Old Klang Road, complained that it took his relatives from Penang more than an hour to look for his house in Jalan Riang 5 recently.

Working together: A DBKL enforcement officer looks on as Taman Segar RT members scrape off illegal advertisements put up in their neighbourhood.

“They were literally going in circles because all the road signs were illegible as the entire name plates were covered by stickers,’’ the frustrated 56-year-old said.

Many KL-ites can relate to Sebastian’s plight as the scenario is prevalent in many parts of the city, especially in the commercial districts.

A check with the DBKL revealed that most vandalised road signs were found in Cheras, Wangsa Maju and Kepong.

Taman Sri Cheras resident Chan Yoke Mun said contractors appointed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had replaced the damaged road signs in her neighbourhooad last year as most were completely covered by posters advertising the services of loan sharks.

“Sadly, the new road signs have already been vandalised again and the situation is the same in other areas too,’’ she said, adding that the guilty parties should be jailed.

Postman Mohd Azmir Ahmad Jalaludin who delivers letters in the Kuchai Entreprenuers Park township in Jalan Kuchai Lama said vandalised road signs are a common sight in the area as it was a commercial centre.

“In the begining, it was difficult for me to find some of the roads as most of the signs were either totally gone or plastered with advertisements.

“Now, I have managed to memorise the road names so I don’t need to rely on the signboards any more,’’ the 24-year-old said.

“Vandalised road signs confuse potsmen and when a postman cannot find the exact delivery location, they would have to bring the items back to the delivery branches and execute the re-tour procedure,’’ Pos Malaysia group head of corporate communications Datuk Rohaiza Hashim said.

“In this case, the supervisor must verify why the items could not be delivered and endorse every piece,’’ Rohaiza said, adding that it meant a delay in the letters reaching their destination.

Due to vandalised road signs, postmen are forced to memorise the location and the problem is compounded when postmen is transferred to new locations.

Last year, Taman Segar Rukun Tetangga chairman Raymond Gan and his members joined forces with the DBKL to scrape off illegal stickers on road signs in Taman Segar.

He said that, since then, there had been a reduction in vandalised road signs in his area, but added that it was only because his RA has been extra vigilant in enforcement.

“We have to keep an eye out all the time as the moment we slack off, they will come right back,’’ Gan said.

Commercial areas in the Klang Valley seem to be hardest hit by the vandalism menace.

Among the worst-hit areas are Cheras and Old Klang Road where most of the road signs have stickers on them or have had their name plates stolen to be sold to scrap metal dealers.

Related Stories:
Vandalism costs City Hall RM3mil a year


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