SUBANG Jaya City Council (MBSJ) has been criticised by city folk who expect top class services including best maintenance for its facilities and amenities.
They also feel the quality of services provided does not befit its city status.
Consequently, they fear other problems could arise such as hygiene and safety issues.
Services going downhill
Lafite Apartments resident Theresa Ratnam Thong said Subang Jaya residents used to be proud to live in the township, but the level of care by the local authority had been declining over the years.
“Badly maintained drains, roads and landscaping are perennial issues here. When the authorities are slow to respond, this leads to bigger problems.
“For example, if the drains are not cleared, they get clogged and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and pests,” she said.
A frequent visitor to the SS15 commercial area for errands, Theresa finds the roads not swept regularly and an awful stench coming from clogged drains.
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The former MBSJ councillor and former Lafite Apartments management corporation chairman has explored various platforms to highlight persistent issues.
“In late December 2022, I lodged a complaint about overgrown vegetation along the road reserve of Jalan SS17/1 that also resulted in clogged drains outside Lafite Apartments’ main entrance,” she said.
“When no action was taken after two months, I sent an email to MBSJ’s top management and passed a copy to the local assemblyman, seeking some kind of intervention. The matter was resolved within two days and a council officer apologised for the contractor’s non-performance.
“Although MBSJ has outsourced cleaning and waste management services to a state-owned company, we do not know who in MBSJ monitors the contractors’ work. While the work is outsourced, can the responsibility and accountability also be outsourced?” she said.
Theresa suggested that MBSJ revisit its previous practice of assigning a council officer to each councillor to oversee the affairs in their respective zones.
This person would act as a liaison and track complaints for a faster response time.
“I know MBSJ employees are a dedicated group of people. There are lots of potential and we need to harness this to ensure the delivery system of council services meet the community’s expectations,” she said.
Unresolved issues everywhere
Paramjeet Singh said the services provided by MBSJ were not on par with that of a city, almost two and a half years after city status was granted to Subang Jaya, encompassing the township as well as Puchong and Seri Kembangan.
“The problem is the same, whether from a resident or business operator’s perspective,” said Paramjeet, who lives in Bandar Puteri Puchong 7 and works in Bandar Puteri Puchong 2.
“As a resident and business operator, we have to deal with problems such as potholes, uneven roads and clogged drains.
“There are at least 300 restaurants in the Puteri 2 commercial area, so there are also additional related issues such as unhygienic practices by restaurant workers as well as rodent infestation. Matters such as waste disposal, missing drain covers and stray dogs affect the entire business community.
“The problems are worse at the Puteri 5 commercial area. Some drains are falling apart and there are more streets with potholes,” he added.
Paramjeet said although MBSJ was responsive to his complaints, it should be more strict with contractors responsible for potholes and road resurfacing works.
“Shoddy work results in the same problems recurring. Since MBSJ has a branch office and library in Bandar Puteri Puchong, I have suggested that employees stationed there monitor the area for any problems and report them so issues are addressed more quickly.”
Paramjeet added that civic mindedness also played a role, as residents and business operators needed to be responsible in the way they dispose of waste and treat public property.
“MBSJ should make it a condition in an operator’s business licence renewal application to include details of their waste management and pest control contractors as well as cleanliness around premises.
“Some operators could be hiring contractors of poor quality and not train workers to clean up the back lanes,” he said.
CSR by business community
Frustrated with MBSJ’s lack of action, a small group of business operators in Bandar Puteri Puchong 2 in Puchong, have resorted to pooling together their own resources to get things done.
“We have to deal with all sorts of problems in this commercial area such as rubbish collection, potholes, stray dogs, faulty street lights and lack of maintenance,” said Lee MY, who runs an automotive-related business.
“The problems have been going on for months and even years. Nothing much has been done despite complaints to MBSJ and our local councillor.”
Lee said the problem was so bad that a few business operators rented a temporary roll-on, roll-off (Roro) bin to collect illegally dumped rubbish and paid a private contractor to clean a clogged sewerage system in the Jalan Puteri 2/2A vicinity.
AY Tan, the owner and operator of a popular Chinese restaurant, said the stench from the sewerage system was so bad, but complaints to the government agency in charge of the services were ignored.
“So we pooled between RM2,000 and RM3,000 for a private contractor to do the cleaning in late January.
“We also placed a large Roro bin at Jalan BP2/2A, to address the problem of illegal rubbish dumping on roadsides and kerbs,” he added.
Tan said irresponsible individuals used to dump all sorts of rubbish there, including food, packaging, old furniture and renovation debris. Sometimes the rubbish would leave a stench or attract rodents. The situation improved when the Roro bin was placed.
Although Puteri 2 commercial area has a designated rubbish collector, the workers have said that it was not their duty to clean and remove rubbish left on roadsides and kerbs, said Tan.
He added that the presence of stray dogs also posed a safety and hygiene problem.
“Some of my customers are fearful of the dogs, as there are many roaming the streets here. The dogs also leave their excrement everywhere,” said Tan, adding that almost every street in Puteri 2 had a pothole.
“Some of these potholes became bigger because they weren’t repaired early while some reappeared as the repair work was shoddy,” he said.
Tan suggested that MBSJ paid more attention to issues affecting the business community such as improving on its response to their complaints and upkeep cleanliness of the commercial areas.