Be honest in assessing city-readiness


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  • Friday, 14 Feb 2020

IS MPSJ ready for city status?” was a well spelled-out letter by Kamal Gehi published on Jan18 in StarMetro.

Why is there this urgency for our state capitals and growing townships to be labelled as cities?

Is city status only just about the populace count, its territory area, concrete growth and perhaps age and duration of its existence?

If that be the case, we are ready for a good line-up of Malaysian cities.

As already mentioned, environmental care and concern is a missing element among all of our local councils and city boards.

It is not difficult to find clogged drains. It is there, wherever we walk.

Almost all commercial and industrial locations have choked drains and they are more than an eyesore. The stench that fills the air is a stinking reminder.

A downpour is enough for these drains to empty themselves out and remind us of what we have made of them.

Cleaning regimen seems to be last on local councils’ priority list, because we frequently see big rubbish bins overflowing in housing schemes, morning markets and common areas of heavy populace.

Neither is rubbish collection in housing schemes prompt. There is so much of both lack and slack in the many departments that make up the municipal and city councils.

Enforcement units are not up to the expected standard and they are often not visible.

Talking about enforcement, authorities have failed to come down hard on all the illegal advertisement banners, bunting, boards and cards hung anywhere and everywhere.

I would say efforts to create more green lungs have been neglected for decades now. To add insult, existing trees in some areas have been chopped down without replacement.

The numerous parks and playgrounds in Petaling Jaya are a pitiful sight.

Meanwhile, overgrown bushes along streets and tree branches obscuring road signage are proof of neglect.

Public transport within townships is still not addressed properly and with forward planning. Townships grow helter-skelter with housing projects everywhere, without sufficient attention given for the need for public transport.

Morning markets and stalls of all kinds spring up everywhere regardless if the location’s suitability.

There is no urgency among local councils to act on all these problems and there is no promptness to remedy their shortcomings.

Existing infrastructure and amenities are not maintained either – roads are littered with potholes and streetlights are malfunctioned.

Operationally, the day-to-day service delivery by local councils is not encouraging. They have to get the basics right and be effective.

In these times when townships and municipalities are eager to get city status, they have to honestly consider if they are ready or are they just changing the label of a not-up-to-date locality.

K. THIRUSELVAM,

Petaling Jaya


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