IPOH: A consultant has been hired to improve and make Ipoh a happier city, says Datuk Rumaizi Baharin.
The Ipoh mayor said the consultant from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman would be given six months to find out how to improve things further.
“The development of the infrastructure and economy in the city has vastly improved, and we now also have 5G network coverage.
“We have also continued to get five-star ratings in the Local Authorities Star Rating System, but despite these, the people’s satisfaction level and the city’s happiness index are still low compared to other cities,” he said in a press conference after chairing the city council full board meeting yesterday,
“We have given the consultant six months to prepare a report,” he added.
Rumaizi was commenting on the recent Top 10 Happiest Cities in Malaysia for 2022 that was held in Putrajaya last month in conjunction with World Happiness Day, which falls on March 20 every year.
The 10 cities are Kluang, Petaling Jaya, Manjung, Gua Musang, Klang, Kulai, Krai, Kuantan, Rompin and Alor Gajah.
Rumaizi said Ipoh has never made it into the top 10.
“I think to make it into the top 10, you need to get a score of at least 98%.
“Ipoh scored 88%, which saw a 7% improvement from 2021. It could still be considered a happy city,” he said, adding that Manjung scored about 99% and was still in the seventh or eighth spot.
“I think we are within the 30 range.”
Rumaizi said he believes that among the factors contributing to the people’s unhappiness were issues related to road conditions, domestic waste collection and cost of living.
“We often see these issues on social media.
“And within our internal discussions, we also feel that a mismatch in employment could also be a factor,” he said, adding that through their job interviews, they have come across job seekers who had degrees but were working in factories.
“As for the cost of living, it is something that is beyond our influence as it involves the global market,” he added.
Rumaizi said one way to address the cost of living issue is to increase people’s earnings.
“We need to create more opportunities for the people.
“The average salary for Ipoh folk is about RM2,000. We will try to double it within five years’ time so that with more earnings, we can address the issue,” he said.