LOCAL authorities are responsible for delivering a broad range of services in relation to traffic, planning, housing, environment, economy, community development and roads, among other things.
While many of these services are still being carried out during Phase One of the National Recovery Plan, activities on community development cannot be as easily executed amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
As such, some local authorities are continuing their programmes by engaging with people virtually.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has been creative in staying connected with its staff and city denizens for various activities.
It held a River of Life (RoL) Virtual Bike and Run 2021 programme from Feb 1 until June 30 to introduce and promote its cycling and jogging track along the RoL track that doubles up as a recreational spot for residents.
The event was made possible with a mobile app that allowed participants to record the time and distance completed in the 20km cycling race and 5km run, respectively.
DBKL also continued to organise its annual seminar for Muslim staff during Ramadan in April, which discussed various relevant topics.
The only difference was that this year’s event was streamed live on its Facebook page which enabled convenient participation including those working from home.
A DBKL spokesperson said only a selected few were allowed to attend the physical event at DBKL’s Training Institute as they had to adhere to the physical distancing rule and Covid-19 standard operating procedures.
“DBKL’s Kuala Lumpur Orchestra also performed in a special concert at Panggung Anniversari on April 10, with a line-up of local artistes.
“This was streamed live on DBKL’s Facebook page too.
“City Hall’s cultural performers have been busy as well preparing shows for the public,” he said.
Since face-to-face performances were disallowed, the team had continued to practise and put up shows on its social media page, either live-streamed or pre-recorded, whenever possible.
When the artistes could not get together to put up a show, they recorded individual performances in their homes and sought help to compile and edit the videos into a single show, the DBKL spokesperson said.
“On a more serious note, a webinar to create awareness of integrity in the management of residential buildings was held on April 8.
“Issues on the abuse of power, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds by developers and residential building management committees, were discussed.
“It also touched on legal recourse available to affected parties,” added the spokesperson.
Series of webinars
Putrajaya Corporation (PjC) has also been organising webinars to create awareness among residents on topics that include education, health, sustainable community and crime prevention, to replace face-to-face seminars that had been planned in the past.
PjC City Planning Sustainable Development director Norzita Abdul Razak said a series of webinars were conducted from June 11 to 13 covering various matters, with many related to its Safe City project.
The webinars were held in collaboration with the police, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Kuala Lumpur Crime Prevention Practice Association and universities.
“Among the topics discussed were related to cyber security, community safety and domestic violence.
“The webinar on cyber security was well received with 1,956 views.
“Upcoming webinars will cover career and education, parenting, sustainable community, digital millionaire and green initiatives.
“There was also a series of six webinars related to national policies that show solidarity with the Palestinian cause,” she said, adding that these were held with the support of the Islamic Development Department between May 28 and June 2.
“They were well-received with a total of 76,300 views for the six webinars,” she noted.
Muzium Petaling Jaya started an online quiz on Aug 2 about the museum and the city’s history through its website and Facebook page, with cash prizes up for grabs.
A Petaling Jaya City Council spokesperson said the quiz was divided into three series.
“This initiative is to ensure that the museum continues to remain relevant as we face the pandemic,” the spokesperson added.
Dengue prevention campaign
Meanwhile, Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) Health Environ-ment Department had been running a dengue prevention campaign from July 1 to encourage households to work together and spruce up areas that were potential mosquito-breeding grounds.
MBSA Corporate and Public Relations Division head Sharin Ahmad said the campaign was launched after a dengue outbreak in the Alam Budiman area.
“Residents from Jalan U10/68 to Jalan U10/77B, Section U10 were requested to check their houses and compounds, and destroy mosquito-breeding spots.
“The activities were required to be updated on a form that was given to the residents’ representatives,” he elaborated.
To encourage the reading habit, Sharin said MBSA also organised a competition for the city folk last month.
Participants need to snap a picture of a book they had read, and provide a short comment.
Those who uploaded their photographs to their social media pages with the hashtags #perpustakaanmbsa or #swafotobuku stood a chance to be among the top 20 to win a RM50 cash prize.
Mental health focus
With mental health being a prevalent issue during the pandemic, Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) organised two related webinars.
MPKj public relations officer Kamarul Izlan Sulaiman said one webinar focused on women having self-esteem issues, which might have become worse during the implementation of the movement control order.
“The women were coached on self-confidence and getting rid of insecurities in facing the challenges ahead. It was conducted by Wanita Anggun Bestari, an organisation advocating women empowerment.
“The other webinar discussed the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccination as well as emotional and mental health challenges and solutions under current circumstances.
“This event was jointly organised with Kajang Municipality Community Organisation, which had invited experts from various fields,” he added.