THE public, especially residents of Klang, have been deprived of the use of two major sports facilities in the town for the past year.
And it looks like the wait will be lengthened as the proposed repairs and upgrading work have not even begun on one while the other is entangled in a muddle of bureaucracy.
Pandamaran Swimming Pool
A new issue is brewing over who will manage the newly refurbished Pandamaran Swimming Pool that had been closed to the public for 18 months to facilitate replacement of major underground pipes that were leaking.
Although upgrading work has been completed at the end of December last year, the public pool is still kept closed until today despite Klang Municipal Council’s (MPK) verbal answers that the facility had been handed over to Selangor Sports Council (MSNS) to manage.
Members of the public who had inquired about the swimming pool’s reopening were told that it was under MSNS.
MSNS officials, on the other hand, had told people that it had not taken over the pool’s management.
Avid swimmers who had been using the pool before it was shut down for the RM1mil refurbishment works, said MPK should focus on the interest of Klang residents and resolve this management issue without delay.
Pandamaran Swimming Pool was built in 1993 at a cost of RM9.2mil and managed by MPK until it was closed in August 2016.
Sportsman Serjeet Singh urged the municipal council to decide quickly whether it would manage the pool or hand it to MSNS, as the locals were being deprived of a swimming venue.
“Whoever manages the pool must come up with activities that are accessible and affordable to all in the community who needs it. Schoolchildren, senior citizens and parents with disabled children want to use the pool for exercise and sports events,” he said.
MPK president Datuk Mohamad Yasid Bidin had told StarMetro in December 2016 that the local council had a verbal agreement with MSNS to manage the pool, explaining that MPK had no expertise to manage the facilities.
At that time, he had said the sports council had requested that refurbishment and repairs to the pipes network be carried out first, with all facilities made good by MPK before the swimming pool was handed over to the former.
On Jan 31, StarMetro asked Mohamad Yasid about the status of the pool and was told: “The key to the facility has been given to MSNS, so the sports council can start operations even today.”
“But MSNS does not want to start operations and have asked to ink a written agreement first. I have instructed our Valuation and Asset Department to draft out an agreement. It will take a minimum two weeks to get the document prepared,” said Mohamad Yasid.
He said the pool must be operational by the first week of March.
“I want the pool to be open to the public soon, as we have spent so much time and money on it. Once MSNS signs the agreement, it will be in charge of the maintenance. Our agreement with MSNS will be binding for nine years,” he said.
In November 2016, StarMetro front-paged the closure of the swimming pool after information leaked out that MPK had lost about RM1.5mil over three years in operating the public facility.
Sultan Sulaiman Stadium
The Selangor government has approved RM3.5mil to refurbish the Sultan Sulaiman Stadium but MPK now wants a bigger budget so that it can install a premium grade of artificial turf.
According to Mohamad Yasid, the local council will submit a new proposal and request for an allocation of RM5mil.
Work on the stadium, which is in a state of disrepair, was slated to begin in March but is now stalled.
Mohamad Yasid said it was better to have a higher grade of artificial turf since the sports facility was being upgraded.
“We are grateful for the allocation that has been approved, but we hope the state government can give us another RM1.5mil so that state and national sportsmen as well as the people of Klang will benefit from a better quality of turf.
“Our aim is to provide a product that will last a long time,” he said.
He said the municipal council would submit a new set of papers in its application for the additional RM1.5mil, to the Selangor Economic Planning Unit for consideration.
“As soon as we get the additional amount, we will be able to call for tender on the project.
“I hope the allocation will come through in March.
“Then refurbishment works can begin at the end of May and should be completed by December,” he said.
The local council chief said schools would love to have the artificial turf, which could be used for a variety of sports including football, rugby and field hockey.
Selangor Youth, Culture and Entrepreneur Development Committee chairman Amirudin Shari agreed that there was a need to refurbish the stadium after the issue was reported by StarMetro on Aug 29 last year, highlighting the facility’s rundown state that put users at risk of injury.
StarMetro had pointed out that the synthetic rubberised track was uneven and pieces of the rubber had come off in patches along the running track.
Amirudin said all the facilities including the synthetic rubberised track and other amenities within the stadium must be repaired.