Go down to the ground, grassroots leaders told

local residents’ committee members and grassroots leaders should go down to the ground to look into the needs of the people, said Selangor state housing, building management and squatters committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad.

Iskandar said this at the closing of a meeting on the Ampang 2011-2013 Selangor Blueprint.

“I know of some issues relating to low-cost flats in Ampang that were not raised at the meeting. Perhaps the people representing the flat dwellers are not here or their voice was not strong enough to be heard,” Iskandar said.

He added that the issues were mostly on the maintenance of flats that were either managed by the developer, Joint Management Body or Management Corpo-ration.

“There is usually disagreement between the developer and residents or residents and residents while the problems of the flats go unattended,” he said.

The three themes discussed at the meeting were infrastructure development and economy policy; good governance and transparency; as well as social issues and community development.

Among the issues raised on infrastructure development are addressing traffic congestion, revamping the complaints system and project-monitoring system, residents involvement in planning processes and starting a consolidated fund to pay for common facilities.

On the second theme of good governance and transparency, the participants brought up issues such as reinstating local council elections, improving information delivery, increasing open tender processes as well as informing people of their complaint status.

Participants also raised issues related to cybercafes, increase in the number of foreigners that requires monitoring, snatch thefts and drug problem among teenagers.

Though issues raised were mostly common for all areas in the state, some were quite specific to Ampang and participants want to see a more stringent development order process on hillside projects.

Iskandar said the blueprint was the state government’s way of making sure that plans and results from actions taken were in line with what the people wanted.

“However, what is right may not necessarily be the popular choice.

“Grassroot leaders should also be more open and global in their thinking and not be village champions. Instead, they should think for the good of the whole state,” he said.

Research officer to the Mentri Besar Tricia Yeoh said the blueprint would be used as a guideline by the state government when coming up with its budget.

“The blueprint draft will be ready in October and will be presented at the state assembly in November,” Yeoh added.

Ampang Jaya municipal council president Datuk Mohammad Yacob said the meeting was not meant to be a platform for the public to voice their problems or strike out at the council or local leaders.

“This is the place for us to contribute ideas and work to find new ways that will improve Selangor over the next three years,” he said.

For more information or to contribute ideas and opinions, visit www.selangor.gov.my or e-mail selangor.blueprint@gmail.com

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