‘Eight polling centres could be turned into flood shelters if needed’


Eight polling centres in Hulu Langat, Selangor, have been identified as flood hotspots and should disaster strike, they will be closed and transformed into temporary shelters.

Kajang Municipal Council said it would request that the Election Commission arrange for alternative polling stations if the need arose due to serious flooding.

“Our priority is the safety of the people,” said Kajang Municipal Council president Najmuddin Jemain during a full board meeting.

For the coming elections, 2,363 officers will be on duty to supervise and administer the entire process as well as look into the counting of votes there.

Seri Cempaka Hall will be used as the nomination and vote tallying centre.

The local council has also prepared an operations room that will double as a postal polling room at Metro Avenue, a commercial centre in front of the council building.

Najmuddin, who will act as returning officer during GE15, assured voters that contingency plans had been put in place in anticipation of the north-east monsoon.

“We have distributed lists of emergency numbers to residents.

“Simulations of emergency rescue procedures in disaster situations such as flash floods or slope collapse have also been carried out,” he said.

Separately, residents’ requests for a barrier to be put up to prevent fly tippers from entering an illegal dumpsite in Bandar Mahkota Cheras was raised.

Councillor Lim Kim Eng, who had brought the matter up, said residents had nicknamed this quarry area “Black Water” to express their frustrations at the seeming lack of action by authorities as well as the landowners’ lackadaisical attitude.

The area, which is made up of three lots of private land, is owned by seven individuals.

“As the land is privately owned, it is the onus of the landowners to look into security aspects such as the hiring of security teams to guard the entrance and allow in only those with the landowners’ permission to enter the area,” said Najmuddin.

“At present, the fly tippers are entering the area under the guise of sand transporters.

“It does not help when the landowners have advertised for rubbish contractors to dump their refuse on their land for levelling purposes.

“While the council has on many occasions responded to residents’ complaints to carry out clean-ups, it has no legal right to do so,” he said, adding that it would be considered trespassing.

Lim said the garbage dumping situation had become more serious of late with strong smells of ammonia coming from leachate, which would require chalk powder and chlorine to remedy.

Lim and fellow councillor Thiagarajah Rajagopal are calling for meetings with Hulu Langat District and Land Office as well as Selangor Water Management Authority to ensure that sterner action be taken against the landowners for allowing their properties to be turned into illegal dumpsites.

“There was a case in Sepang where legal action was taken against a landowner for a similar offence,” said Najmuddin.

“Such stern action is necessary to serve as an example,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hulu Langat has reported a 44.5% rise in dengue, with 6,410 cases and three deaths thus far for 2022.

According to Najmuddin, there will be a mega gotong-royong in Rinching to raise awareness of dengue prevention.

“We will also fine owners of premises where mosquito larvae are found.

“The fines will be issued by the District Health Office,” he said, adding that the fine was about RM1,000.

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polling centres , Hulu Langat , GE15 , flood , shelters

   

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