KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has announced a bigger allocation of RM1mil next year for Kota Kinabalu City Hall to handle waste management.
Ensuring cleanliness in the state capital is part of efforts to attract more tourists and put the city on the world map, he said when launching City Hall’s “KK Moving Forward” programme Thursday (Aug 22).
Shafie added that there was no point in building skyscrapers if society did not practice a sustainable lifestyle and adopted proper garbage handling as their culture.
“I was made to understand that City Hall spends RM150,000 of its allocation to manage waste annually, so I want to allocate RM1mil next year for garbage management and clean-up efforts.
“We want to show outsiders that KK is the gateway and window to Sabah.
“There is no point having high-rise buildings but we do not create value for communities living here – such as indiscriminate garbage dumping or infrastructure such as elevators that do no function.
“We need to develop the soft skills of City Hall staff and ensure comprehensive public transportation.
“If we have good culture, tourists would not just come but they would buy more properties here, ” he said.
Speaking to reporters after the launch, he lauded City Hall, saying that despite the small allocation currently, it still managed to handle 800 tonnes of rubbish daily.
He hoped the increased allocation would go to infrastructure provisions such as garbage cans and cleanliness programmes, as well as appointing more contractors for clean-ups.
Meanwhile, Kota Kinabalu mayor Datuk Nordin Siman said they have listed six items as their future direction to develop the city, including turning Kota Kinabalu into a green and clean city as well as creating a conducive business environment.
City Hall also aims to empower the suburban communities to improve its own service delivery, and to enhance the enforcement of its bylaws.
It also aims to create an effective system to monitor squatters, where Nordin said they plan to come up with a complete database system to identify these squatters.
“Under the Action Smart City Network programme, City Hall has also been chosen to conduct a smart city survey at Kuala Menggatal with a resettlement scheme proposed for the more than 7,000 people living as squatters now.
“The study is expected to be completed in October and the results will see it used to develop Kuala Menggatal after technical requirements are fulfilled, ” he said, adding that a commercial development project is also proposed there.