Sunday, January 1, 2012

Strict enforcement key to success

Monday, December 19th, 2011 15:10:00

PETALING JAYA: Household waste segregation is a positive step towards creating a caring society, provided it is accompanied with strict enforcement and adequate education.

Residents' associations told The Malay Mail although Malaysians may need to be groomed to segregate their waste, poor enforcement and education may hinder its efficiency.


TAN: Timely move

Federal Territories and Selangor Community Association president Tan Jo Hann said the implementation of a waste management policy was timely and necessary.

"I do not think any society is ready for such a policy but we have to start somewhere," he said yesterday.

He said the policy would be less effective if weaknesses in the administrative system such as poor enforcement were rampant.

Maxwell Tower Owners' Association chairman Gary Yeoh said poor planning and lack of public awareness also pose a problem.

"I have yet to see adequate explanation from the government on what residents are supposed to do."

Eyebrows raised over holiday homes

Eyebrows raised over holiday homes
Writer: Brenda Ch'ng
Published: Fri, 30 Dec 2011

SUBANG JAYA: A move by the municipality here to acquire holiday homes in Langkawi, despite not having enough budget to fix potholes, is not sitting well with ratepayers.

“The two condominium units at Century Suria, Pulau Langkawi are expected to cost the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) RM530,000.

“That’s not right, using the people’s money to buy condos and telling us in return they don’t have funds to fix roads, parks and streetlights,” said PJS9 resident Mohd Noor Ahmad.

The vice-president of Rukun Tetangga PJS9 said the council should use ratepayers’ money for such purchases.

“Stop telling us [there is] no budget when you have funds to buy condominiums,” said Mohd Noor.

While he agreed that many companies buy holiday homes for their staff, those expenses are from profit and not public funds.

“This is just absurd, as local councils should be responsible for looking after the welfare of the people first and putting their own needs second,” said Subang resident Marc Chow.

The 24-year-old said the money could be used to improve infrastructure.

MPSJ disclosed during its full board meeting last Friday that the purchases had been approved.

The two units, costing RM256,388 for a 1,025 sq ft unit and RM270,500 for a 1,155 sq ft unit, will be added on to existing holiday homes in Port Dickson and Cameron Highlands.

The revelation received a mixed response from councillors who attended the meeting.

“We already have two units in Cameron and two in Port Dickson [which MPSJ is planning to sell]. I don’t think we should waste anymore funds,” said MPSJ councillor Tan Jo Hann.

He said the council should cut down on unnecessary expenses and focus on maximising funds for the development of local communities.

“Why should we waste funds ... when we don’t even have enough money for repairing streetlights?” said Tan.

Reiterating his concerns was councillor Edward Ling.

“They got their budgeting all wrong. They like to allocate money for the less important things rather then focusing on the people and their needs,” he said.

But MPSJ councillor K Arumugam presented a different point of view.

“I actually support the purchase of the apartment units. I believe staff are encouraged to go on family holidays locally to rest and relax,” he said.

He said the purchase price was reasonable, and the units are an investment to MPSJ as they are close to the jetty.

His opinion was echoed by fellow councillor Ng Sze Han, who thinks the purchase will be cost-effective in the long run.

The new condos are also needed because of the overwhelming demand for council units in Cameron Highlands.

In addition, MPSJ maintains that money to buy the condos will come from the council’s asset budget and not from allocations meant for infrastructure or landscaping.

“These purchases have been budgeted for,” said MPSJ president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi.

He pointed out that the holiday homes would benefit MPSJ’s 1,400 staff, who could use them for family vacations at a nominal rate.

“We have lower-income staff who can’t afford to go on holidays. With this condo, they can holiday in Langkawi at an affordable price,” added an MPSJ public relations spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the minimal rental charges would allow MPSJ to maintain the units but not profit from them.

“All companies give benefits to their staff and buy holiday homes. I don’t see why MPSJ can’t do the same,” he said.

The acquisition had been proposed by former MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Ikhsan, and had been discussed at the council’s Employee Representative Committee meeting.

The move had also been supported by staff and some councillors.

Initially, the former president had pushed for the purchase of three apartment units in Puchong Prima. But this had been rejected because Puchong is not a holiday destination.

After much debate, the committee had agreed on the two units at Langkawi.

However, during the full board meeting, Asmawi said MPSJ will not purchase the units until the prices are re-evaluated by real-estate assessors.

“We will check to see if that is the best price before making purchases,” he said.

Selangor Times

MPSJ to sanction Setia Walk flyover

MPSJ to sanction Setia Walk flyover
Writer: Brenda Ch'ng
Published: Fri, 30 Dec 2011

SUBANG JAYA: Councillors here urged the municipality to give SP Setia Bhd the green light to build a flyover ramp at the Setia Walk development in Puchong to ease traffic congestion.

“We have to take the initiative and send them a letter, telling them to start work on the ramp immediately,” said Subang Jaya Municipal Councillor (MPSJ) Tan Jo Hann.

He urged the council not to delay this any longer as the traffic snarl at the mixed development, which includes service apartments, retail shops and office blocks, is raising concerns in neighbouring areas.

Residents fear that more accidents will happen along the busy Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) due to vehicles cutting into the development.

Residents had also previously pointed out that traffic on Persiaran Wawasan and the LDP junction during peak hours is unbearable.

Two months ago, developer SP Setia Bhd had had a meeting with residents to reiterate their commitment to building the 350-metre-long ramp.

SP Setia deputy president and chief operating officer Datuk Voon Tin Yow had promised residents that the ramp would be built if MPSJ’s traffic study showed the need for one.

The ramp has been proposed to take off from the service lanes along the LDP straight into the main entrance of the Setia Walk development.

“The developer has already given his word to build the ramp, and studies show we need it. I hope the council will speed up the process and get the ramp built,” said MPSJ councillor Ng Sze Han during MPSJ’s full board meeting last Friday.

MPSJ president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi said the council will contact the developer and get them to built the ramp as soon as possible.

Selangor Times