Striving for a cleaner Pontian

Pontian has its tourist draws and councillors hope that a cleaner municipality will attract even more visitors and investors. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

CLEANER streets are needed in Pontian to reflect the district’s municipal council status, a councillor notes.

Pontian Municipal Council (MPPn) Pontian Zone B councillor Faridah Abd Kadir said a litter-free district could attract more visitors and investors.

“While economic developments and job opportunities are issues of concern currently, the people also want a clean place to work and live in and it is our responsibility to give them that.

“The town area, for the most part, is relatively clean but there are many areas such as Batu 36 that have rubbish on the road shoulders and that does not reflect well on the council’s status as a municipality.

“It is an embarrassing sight when tourists and people of importance visit an area under MPPn’s jurisdiction and see trash everywhere,” she said in an interview with StarMetro.

She stressed that cleanliness was a very important factor in ensuring that those living and working in the district feel proud of Pontian.

She urged all parties — residents, businesses, factories and restaurants — to play a part in keeping the district clean.

“We should have an ongoing campaign using both the traditional and digital channels to keep reminding the public to keep their surroundings clean at all times.

“The council cannot be working alone. We should collaborate with others to make the cleanliness campaign a success,” she added.

MPPn’s status was upgraded from a district council to a municipality in July last year.

Echoing Faridah’s views, council chief whip Md Israk Abdullah said cleanliness should be emphasised in the municipality as a daily practice and not just during major events or celebrations.

“If we look at tourism and investment, it all comes down to the cleanliness of the place, which will then bring in visitors as well as hotels and other industries, like how it is in Melaka.

“Aside from cleanliness, the maintenance of public amenities is equally important to make Pontian an attractive place to visitors and investors.

“That is also for the benefit of ratepayers,” added Md Israk, who is the councillor for Pontian I.

MPPn president Mohd Ezzuddin Sanusi said the council would plan accordingly in working with various government departments, agencies and non-governmental organisations to increase awareness of cleanliness and hygiene.

“The council is expected to sign a memorandum with the Public Works Department for road works in early February as we want both the state and federal roads to be well-maintained,” he said.

Some of the roads included in the plan are the roads from Johor Baru’s western border towards Pontian, Pontian-Tampok and Pontian-Kukup.

“I know a lot of time has been lost in the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic but we will try to push for the shelved maintenance and upgrades to resume quickly,” Mohd Ezzuddin added.

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