Uniting for transparency

An example of shoddy workmanship, such as reported at Jalan 5/47, Petaling Jaya, is one of the five key areas MyPJ will be focusing on. – filepic

A GROUP of individuals have formed My Petaling Jaya (MyPJ), a community effort, to tackle issues and make Petaling Jaya a sustainable city.

MyPJ consists of 18 non-governmental organisations, professionals and residents’ representatives.

Their objective is to work with Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to address some of the pressing needs faced by the community.

MyPJ has identified five key areas such as the shoddy workmanship of council projects, MBPJ’s annual budget, safe city plan, access to information, and business licences as well as procurement matters.

Friends of Kota Damansara chairman Jeffrey Phang said MyPJ would take a holistic approach and synergise with members in the group to help solve issues.

“We have established our relationship with MBPJ and have clear expectation of what to achieve,” he said.

MyPJ, he added, wanted MBPJ to publish on the council’s website information such as bill of quantities, job specifications and design on the awarded projects.

Former Petaling Jaya councillor Cynthia Gabriel said there were issues related to obtaining business licences at the council level, which the group aimed to get addressed.

“The key is to eliminate corruption. MyPJ’s expectation is to make transparent the types of licence issued by the council.

“Those involved in corrupt practices in issuing licences must be listed on the council’s website.

“Residents and small businesses should be engaged in dialogues with MBPJ to stem poor practices and nib recurring problems,” she said.

Another former councillor, Richard Yeoh said there was lack of transparency and accountability in the preparation and monitoring of MBPJ’s annual budget.

He also urged for zero-based-budgeting for an explanation on how all money would be spent.

“MBPJ’s balance sheet has not been published on its website since 2011.

“A budget monitoring committee should be introduced, with representation from stakeholders,” he said.

Friends of Kelana Jaya and SS7 Lengkuk Golf in Kelana Jaya spokesman Esham Salam said safety and public health issues in the city should not be taken lightly.

“Kelana Jaya used to have about 6,000 residents and now the population has increased to about 14,000.

“These factors must be considered when evaluating if an area has enough police stations.

“The issue of urban poverty must also be addressed by encouraging and paving the way for small businesses as a means of softening economic pressure,” he said.

He added that the issues of security and public health were beyond the management capabilities of residents groups.

MyPJ also called for MBPJ to provide accessibility to information through the Freedom of Information Enactment by Selangor government.

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