NEARLY 500 volunteers from various civilian groups and government agencies gathered early for a massive gotong-royong to clean up Brickfields.
The large-scale clean-up was just one of numerous gotong-royong organised simultaneously nationwide under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) - My Beautiful Neighbourhood (MyBN) programme.
Former Federal Territories Minister and Lembah Pantai Umno chief Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin launched the event and briefly joined volunteers in putting a fresh coat of black and white paint onto the road kerb.
Bukit Bintang Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Zabidi said that the programme aimed to foster good cooperation among the people in looking after the cleanliness of their neighbourhood.
“However, it is not enough to just clean the outside of our neighbourhood; we also need to pay attention to indoor cleanliness, especially in places like restaurants or shops,” he said.
He expressed hope that business owners would pay more attention to cleanliness inside their own establishments and wished the community a joyous Deepavali.
With the Tun Sambanthan Complex serving as a central meeting point, volunteers carried out their respective duties in a large area, covering much of Jalan Tun Sambanthan and parts of Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad and Jalan Ang Seng 4.
Volunteers were divided into groups to repaint road kerbs, remove illegal advertisements, sweep and clean gutters, prune trees, and clean the general areas.
They came from various communities, including the residents of Lembah Pantai, Rukun Tetangga communities of Brickfields and Thamby Abdullah, the Little India Petty Traders Association, residents of Jalan Ang Seng, Industrial Training Institute of Kuala Lumpur students and Brickfields Business Council members.
Some were volunteers from multiple departments under Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Rela, Alam Flora, Fire and Rescue Department, National Anti-Drug Agency, National Registration Department and the Malaysian Drug Prevention Association.
Brickfields residents will be happy to know that many illegal banners, bunting and posters have been removed and Jalan Tun Sambanthan is largely free of them.
DBKL Lembah Pantai branch manager Khairul Azmir Ahmad said his team started the day before to remove the pesky banners from areas such as Bangsar and Brickfields.
With just a team of 12 staff, it is a daily struggle for the men on the ground, who remove an average of 1,000 illegal advertisements a week around the Lembah Pantai area.