THE Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) should set up Traffic Warden Corps to overcome traffic congestions and to tackle the problem of illegal jaga kereta (parking atten-dants).
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the corps would be able to manage and direct traffic flow on congested roads during peak hours, take action against traffic offenders and remove vehicles that obstruct traffic flow.
“They can also act against illegal jaga kereta,” he said at the swearing-in ceremony of the Penang municipal councillors for this year at City Hall in George Town yesterday.
Lim said the council had tried to reduce the jaga kereta menace by extending the parking collection time to midnight at certain locations, but the problem was not resolv- ed.
“Stern action should be taken against jaga kereta so that they do not continue to victimise the public, especially tourists,” he said.
Ten new councillors took their oath along with 14 others who were reappointed.
The new faces from political parties are DAP’s Teh Lai Heng, Gooi Seong Kin and L. Prem Anand, and PKR’s Tan Seng Keat, Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Muhammad Sabri Md Osman and Mohd Taufik Sulong.
Three are from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) — Penang Class F Bumiputra Contractors Association president Tahir Jalaluddin Hussain, Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (Seri) senior fellow Dr Lim Mah Hui and Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce Youth treasurer Sin Kok Siang.
Altogether, the MPPP councillors comprise 10 representatives from the DAP, eight from PKR, two from PAS and four from NGOs.
Lim reminded councillors to discharge their duties to the best of their abilities, and stressed on their three main tasks.
He said they must act on complaints instead of being “postmen”, answer or return all calls from the public and go down to the ground to better understand and solve the people’s problems.
“Don’t consider yourself a postman or a messenger, otherwise you better work with Pos Malaysia,” he said.
He said councillors were required to answer calls to their handphones and to return all missed calls.
“I don’t want to hear complaints from the public about calls not answered. If you want a personal handphone, get two phones,” he said, adding that the councillors should not “hide” in air-conditioned rooms.
Lim also said the MPPP collected RM210.4mil revenue as at Oct 31 last year and incurred RM140.6mil expenditure. It has a surplus of RM69.8mil.
Of this figure, he said the council still had RM35mil in expenditure to settle this year, leaving a balance of RM34.8mil.
He said RM41.13mil has been allocated for various development projects.
He said projects that were being carried out included the building of a car park at Beach Street-Victoria Street and upgrading works at the Pulau Tikus, Jelutong, Air Itam, Cecil Street and Batu Maung markets.
The new projects, he said, included the upgrading and restoration of City Hall, redevelopment of the tourist centre at Penang Hill, the ‘marking of George Town sculptures’, upgrading public amenities at Mutiara Heights in Jelutong, and making various existing public amenities disabled-friendly.