Aiming for growth

On the job: Nor Hisham, who took over from Datuk Asmawi Kasbi, flipping through some files in the council president’s office.

THIS year, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) has to concentrate on improving on basic services such as garbage disposal, keeping drains clean, cut grass and prune trees with its limited budget.

While councillors and the elected representative agreed these areas were most crucial to be addressed as they directly affected the ratepayers, MPSJ’s new president Datuk Nor Hisham Dahlan said focus should also be on affordable housing and urban poverty.

Nor Hisham, who formally received his letter of appointment on Monday, paid a quick visit to his new posting the same afternoon.

“Aside from urban poverty issues, we will also focus on the basics such as waste collection issues, potholed roads and erosion and flash floods,” said the former Gombak district officer.

Heavy traffic, he added, was a major concern, especially with the Light Rail Transit (LRT) extensions and new roads being constructed in the municipality.

“I drove around the municipality, and the traffic situation is just incredible,” Nor Hisham laughed.

Councillor Izham Hashim described the year to be a challenging one.

“With the limited budget we have, I wish we could handle basic issues including garbage disposal, potholes and flash floods more efficiently.

“At the same time, I hope we can improve the traffic situation in the areas under MPSJ’s supervision, especially Subang Jaya and Puchong.

“Some of the bigger projects in the pipeline are flood alleviation schemes, as well as improving the roads and drainage,” he said.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said her priority for 2015 was to resolve the multi-storey parking issue in SS15, and the collection of garden waste in SS19 and USJ 2, as well as illegal dumping.

“Problems such as the trimming of trees and repairing potholes cannot wait and must be looked at immediately, because the budget should not be a consideration when it comes to basic services,” said Yeoh.

Likening the local council to a company, MPSJ councillor Ken Chia said if the existing systems are in place, and with the full cooperation of councillors and employees supporting it, MPSJ would run smoothly.

“As councillors, we need to have the ability to work and adapt with any leader.

“Achieving the five-star recognition for local authorities was just one part of it, however sustaining it is a different matter and a greater challenge to us for 2015 as we want to maintain our current trajectory,” said Chia.

Selangor Wanita MCA vice-chairman Ong Chong Swen added that she observed residents under MPSJ were also relatively self-sustaining, especially in Subang Jaya as many resident associations have been set up.

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