Plenty on new mayor’s plate

Mahadi (centre) holding his offer letter at the handover of duties ceremony. With him are (from left) Federal Territories secretary-general Datuk Rosida Jaafar, Annuar, Nor Hisham and Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Dr Santhara Kumar.

FLASH floods, traffic congestion and management of the city are the key areas of focus for the 13th Kuala Lumpur mayor, Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah.

A ceremony was held yesterday for the handing over of duties from outgoing mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan to Mahadi, 61.

When speaking to the media, the latter said he was familiar with the problems faced by the city dwellers.

“I can summarise it into three main problems, which are flash floods, traffic congestion and management of the city.

“Tan Sri Annuar Musa (Federal Territories Minister) had highlighted these issues to focus on first, among a list of other areas to look into,” said the former DBKL executive director (Planning and Project Management) who retired last year.

The new mayor has 36 years of experience working in Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), including the town planning division.

Annuar said he had given the mayor a long list of issues that needed attention, with prevention of flash floods, creation of a safe city and matters revolving around urban poverty topping the list.

“I have also asked the mayor to look into the effects of Covid-19 on the people, finalise the housing policy in the city to make sure that the affordable housing projects were truly affordable and see to the council home projects in every constituency for low wage earners to rent.

“The development of traditional villages, including Kampung Baru, is also on the list,” the minister added.

On the protest led by Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs Association of Malaysia (Ikhlas) outside DBKL headquarters on Oct 1 over a land deal in Kuchai Lama, Annuar said he was not aware and would check on it.

“As far as I know, there are specific procedures for land acquisition matters including asset disposal that should be followed.

“I was made to understand that any matter on its value must be determined by the Property Valuation Department in Finance Ministry, and it was mandatory for DBKL to use that given value.

“From my observation, DBKL will add a certain percentage of the market value before making the sale,” he elaborated.

Commenting on the incident where an embankment at an apartment in Persiaran Syed Putra collapsed on Thursday night following a downpour, Annuar said City Hall would take action.

“From time to time, we will face problems with safety. Not only erosions during the rainy season like now, but also lately there are cases of objects falling from construction sites endangering lives and causing injuries to the public.

“This is DBKL’s responsibility and we will get to the details.

“Public safety must be DBKL’s highest priority.

“We should not only act when a tragedy happens and go back to the old ways when the hype dies down,” he said.

Annuar said he had spoken to Mahadi about the standard operating procedures (SOP) related to work safety and gave the input to prioritise safety to the relevant ministries, especially Works Ministry which would be presenting a development plan for the construction industry to the Cabinet soon.

With the rise in new Covid-19 positive cases on Thursday, Annuar said people needed to voluntarily control their movement.

“After returning from the Sabah election, I have not gone home and have been staying in a hotel. I only went to the office twice for very urgent matters.

“There were a few cases of people coming back from Sabah, who were found positive for Covid-19, so I am taking extra precautions.“There is no need for the government to return to the earlier phases of the movement control order.

“Everyone should avoid crowded places and don’t go out of the house if the matter is not urgent,” he advised.

Annuar said if the daily Covid-19 positive cases continued in the upward trend in the next few days, the Federal Territories Crisis Management Committee, which he chaired, would impose stricter enforcement.

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