Padang Timor is in a sorry state after the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) hosted its week-long Petaling Jaya Fair 2018.
In addition, the public want the field, which is also known as Dataran Petaling Jaya, to be used strictly for sporting activities.
The matter was brought to the attention of StarMetro by former national hockey player K. Balasingam who was disappointed over the field’s condition.
Based on StarMetro’s check, rubbish was strewn on the field and it was in poor condition compared to just a year ago.
Wooden pallets, food waste and discarded plastic bags containing drinks were found all over the field.
The parts of the field that housed the food, clothes and toy stalls during the fair are now damaged and waterlogged.
Balasingam said the field had deep significance to sportsmen like him and hoped MBPJ would repair it soon.
“There should not be political gatherings, circus events and week-long food festivals on the field,” he added.
“The field is in a total mess and I strongly call for such activities not to be held here in the future.”
He often visited the PJ Club located beside the field and noticed on numerous occasions heavy vehicles going on the field.
“There should be no lorries, vans or cars on it as the vehicles will cause the surface of the field to become uneven, causing injury to serious sports players,” he said.
He added that repairing the damage and returning the field to its original good condition could cost a hefty sum.
“I think it may cost the council more now, even in the millions, to repair this field, which could be more than the revenue gathered from all the activities held at the field.
“All these factors need to be weighed accordingly in the future before any event is held,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Olympian Association president Karu Selvaratnam said the field was in a pathetic state.
He urged the council to engage and rope in former sportsmen for ideas on how to maintain fields such as this one.
“We are at a time where we are struggling to preserve a green open space for our young athletes to train.
“I played cricket on this field in the 1960s and we have even played with international stars here in the past.
“I hope the council will quickly repair it. There needs to be proper drainage too,” said Karu.
Original Bootcamp trainer Faisal Abdullah, who trains at the field, said his teammates complained of rashes in recent days after using the field.
Faisal said there should be no food waste on any sports field as it would contaminate the soil.
“There was heavy rain in the days following the fair and the food waste left behind could have contaminated the field,” said Faisal.
Another sports enthusiast, Kumaresan Arampoo, said the field should be open to school students like in the old days but the council should put a stop to non-sports-related activities being held there.
The former SMK La Salle PJ teacher said the field had a 400m track and schools used to have their annual school sporting events here.
“It was so much cheaper and convenient for schools around the older part of Petaling Jaya to hold events here.
“I used to bring the boys from La Salle here for cricket practice in the afternoons when the field was free. We used to just walk up through Taman Jaya,” said Kumaresan.
PJ Club junior development director Selva Subramaniam said the field needed a proper custodian to oversee its maintenance and upkeep.
“This was once a wonderful field but now it needs a proper overhaul including drainage work,” he said.
A Padang Timor user who wished to be known as Rashid said heads should roll for the damage that occurred to the field.
“The council should hold activities on the land surrounding the council, which also has more parking spots.
“I hope in the future the field will be cleaned immediately after the event and not after a week, no matter what.
“Heads should roll to ensure such mismanagement does not happen in the future,” said Rashid.
When contacted, a MBPJ spokesman said the rainy season had worsened the field’s condition.
However, the council’s engineering department was aware of the field’s condition and would start repair works soon.
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