Some residents sceptical over new initiative

DESPITE Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) initiative to make public complaints more transparent through the use of Facebook, some resident leaders are sceptical over this new system.

Though they welcome this new effort, they rather stick to their existing complaint system which is via the WhatsApp group chat on their smartphones.

Consisting of residents, cleaning contractors and MBPJ supervisors, this simple group chat platform is more interactive and the response to complaints is prompt.

“I seldom check Facebook so I do not think I will end up using it.

“I am very happy and comfort-able with our WhatsApp group chat,” said Section 6 Kota Damansara Residents Association representative Al Padzul Abu Hassan.

With their group chat, all residents have to do is alert their cleaning contractors to a problem and it will get tended to immediately.

“Last Saturday, I made a complaint in the group about uncollected rubbish outside my house and it was collected in under two hours.

“If the complaint was made via the Aduan MBPJ’s Facebook page, I would have to wait for a while longer,” he said.

“This is because it will take about an hour for the official complaint number to be given after a complaint is lodged, and execution will take between four hours and a week,” he pointed out.

Using a similar complaint platform is Ara Idaman Protem Committee chairman Albert Lau, who said contractors in Ara Damansara were very active on the group chat.

“The MBPJ supervisor introduced the contractors to all residents and then formed the group chat for us to lodge complaints.

“I think this is a more effective way than Facebook. I have nothing against the Facebook complaints system but frankly there are better methods which can be put in place,” he said.

He added that an effective complaint system would be to have more proactive people on the ground engaging with residents.

Section 5 Residents Association president Mohamed Rafiq is also sceptical if this new method would work.

“We have been promised a better complaint system numerous times over the years but it is still the same.

“I do not see how this can be different unless the internal staff are monitored and managed properly,” he said.

He is worried that this Facebook complaints page would end up the same as the older systems, where there was absolutely no progress after a complaint number was issued.

Rafiq urged MBPJ to come up with proper service standards and an intelligent computer system in place.

“This service standard should be applied to all complaints and help ensure they are tended to and completed within the specific time frame.