KUANTAN: Kuantan will be cleaner if management of solid waste disposal is given back to the local authority, said Amalgamated National Union of Local Authorities Employees (Anulae) president Azih Muda (pic).
He said in the past, Kuantan was known as one of the cleanest places in the country, but had since lost its shine and lustre.
“Look around the city now and one can see scattered rubbish and drains clogged up with garbage and waste.
“We felt it is high time the task of cleaning up the city is handed back to the local authority,” he said after chairing the Anulae central committee meeting at the Seri Malaysia Hotel here recently.
Azih said Anulae was confident that the local authorities could do a better job even though the service was privatised to Alam Flora and Southern Waste Management.
“The interim period for the two firms to carry out solid waste disposal have since lapsed for some 11 years and should be discontinued.
“All the 149 local authorities have given their commitment to keep the surroundings cleaner and beautiful for a lesser amount of RM3bil yearly allocated by the Government presently,” he said.
Azih said Anulae supported the move by the Selangor government to take over the management of solid waste disposal and would also write to the Terengganu and Kelantan governments against privatisation of the service.
He said the issue involved the public at large and should be given due consideration by the Government in line with the concept of ‘people first, performance now’ propagated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“Since the Government is promoting a healthy lifestyle, a clean and beautiful surroundings should not be compromised,” he said, adding that among the constraints faced by local authorities were it could not hire additional workers or purchase assets such as lorries and other machinery.
On a separate matter, Azih hoped lower ranking workers in the local authorities would be given a promotion to the next grade before their retirement.
Presently, he said about 60% of some 80,000 staff in local councils had served for at least 15 years and above.
”We hope their welfare is taken into consideration as some of these lower-ranking staff earned a monthly pay of just RM1,024,” he added.