‘Reserves used during pandemic’

Noraini (centre) cutting the anniversary ‘pulut kuning’ while her deputy Mohd Zulkurnain Che Ali (second from left) looks on. Also witnessing the event are councillors (from left) George Yap, Kamarul Hisham Yeop Hashim and M. Anbarasan Murugesu.

Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ), in embracing its role as a city council, resorted to prudent spending while continuing to provide services to ratepayers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The city council’s income, mostly from assessment collection, saw a reduction of RM18mil last year and it needed to ensure that there was enough funds to administer and manage its area of jurisdiction.

Subang Jaya mayor Noraini Roslan said to overcome challenges, the city council ventured into many collaborations and partnerships.

“What we could not avoid was paying dues such as utility fees, salaries, petrol and diesel to run the city council.

“This had to be done on time, because if we could not pay the contractors, they would face economic difficulties which would impact our services to ratepayers.

“No income means no spending, and no spending means the economy cannot operate.

“Last year (2020) was my third year helming this council, where we accumulated close to RM80mil in reserves, and that helped tide us over the pandemic and 2021,” she said after launching MBSJ’s first anniversary celebration as a city council at its headquarters in Subang Jaya, Selangor.

Noraini said the drop in assessment forced the city council to adjust its budget altogether.

She said a RM300mil budget, which was estimated at the beginning of the year, had to be reduced to RM260mil.

“Eventually, a lot of expenditures had to be dropped.

“We did not hear people complaining about poor services because we managed to deliver the services and help those in need during the pandemic,” she added.

Noraini highlighted that MBSJ also went around looking for needy folk to offer assistance amid the Covid-19 the pandemic.

In her opening speech, Noraini spoke about leveraging on digital technology and incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make Subang Jaya a smart and safer city through its closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

“Our target is to have zero counter services.

“We can make this better by leveraging on technology, digitalisation and using AI, for example, by reducing the number of our officers needed to man the city streets.

“We have one ongoing programme with the help of Selangor government called the Intelligent Traffic Management System, that uses high resolution cameras to capture the number of vehicles and measure waiting time at junctions along Persiaran Kemajuan.

“From that data, the AI will prompt the traffic light to adjust accordingly.

“Eventually, we will have AI to run our traffic lights on the right timing based on the number of vehicles waiting at the junctions,” she said.

She added that this could help reduce manpower on the streets and alleviate problems as well as increase productivity in the city.

Among initiatives and programmes lined up for MBSJ’s first anniversary are late payment charge exemption for assessment from October to December this year, and a month-long Residents Representative Council (MPP) upcycling competition beginning Nov 1.

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