Newcomers raring to serve

  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020

(From left) Siti Shahanis, Tan, Muhamad Suzuki, Fahmi, Ahmad Rizal, Zainuddin, Chee and Galaimani posing after being sworn in as MBSP councillors. — Photos: ZAINUDIN AHAD/The Star

WANTING to serve society well as a councillor in Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP), a 38-year-old business development manager in an automotive company resigned to dedicate himself to his public office.

Chee Yeeh Keen quit his job to focus on serving the people, and he will likely be included into the MBSP standing committees looking into drainage and sewage or infrastructure and traffic.

“I am taking things one step at a time. Being a councillor for the first time, I hope to first fit in, settle down as quickly as possible and then start understanding how everything works in the council.

“I want to provide swift responses and work efficiently to address any problems the public might face, so I quit my job to ensure I am 100% focused,” he said after being sworn in at the MBSP headquarters in Bandar Perda.

Chee, from DAP, added that he was most passionate about matters to do with public infrastructure and maintenance but gave the assurance that regardless of his portfolio, he would work responsibly to make a change.

“Before I joined as a councillor, I told myself that if appointed, I will work to see all the public and leisure infrastructure improved, specifically those near housing areas.

“This is because I realised that many infrastructure are still poorly maintained.

“To me, there is no point in building new facilities when we cannot even maintain existing ones,” Chee said.

Another new councillor, Siti Shahanis Md Sharif, 29, from Persatuan Komuniti Harapan Pulau Pinang, also wants to focus on public infrastructure and amenities.

This research coordinator at Penang Hospital said she was especially concerned with areas like Teluk Air Tawar and the surrounding villages.

“I realised that many villages are in need of tarred road upgrades and street lighting, so I hope to bring these problems forward.

“I also want to look into improving public safety in housing areas.

“I think the safety level needs to be increased to prevent incidents like snatch thefts and robberies,” she added.

Siti Shahanis, who will be part of the Licensing and Enforcement Standing Committee, said many areas need to be reviewed under her committee and that she would work hard to help the people in areas entrusted to her.

“Juggling between my work at the hospital and being a councillor will not be easy, but I know that the sacrifices will be worth it,” she said.

Among the eight new faces, Siti Shahanis was the only new woman councillor to join the 16 other returning councillors.

MBSP mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud called on all 24 councillors, heads of departments and MBSP staff to match their work culture with the transformation of time.

“The one thing I would like to stress on this year is ‘Management by Walking Around’ (MBWA).”

The origin of the MBWA management culture can be traced back to executives in Hewlett-Packard in the 1970s.

It involves managers wandering around at random to inspect equipment, consult with staff and check on ongoing projects.

“I hope this year, the management will not only wait for complaints but actively work to reduce the number of public complaints and reach out to get their feedback.

“MBSP needs to move as a team and always prioritise the people’s needs.

“The 7Ps - people, public, private, philanthropy, philosopher, planet and partnership - will be our benchmark for us to provide the best,” he said in his speech at the swearing in ceremony.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was present, said he hoped all the councillors would work with integrity and help to realise the state’s mission and vision in heading towards Penang2030.

Apart from Chee and Siti Shahanis, the six other newcomers are Zainuddin Mohamed, Ahmad Rizal Abd Hamid (returning after a gap), Galaimani Subramaniam and Fahmi Zainol from PKR, Muhamad Suzuki Ahmad (returning after a gap from Amanah, and Tan Choo Eng (NGO).

The composition of MBSP councillors according to parties this year are nine from DAP, eight from PKR, two from Amanah, two from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and three from non-governmental organisations.

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