In a 20 minute speech on 17.4.2008, Dr Tan Seng Giaw, MP for Kepong, presented his views on the need to improve the access of MPs to the FT Minister, the Mayor (Datuk Bandar) and the Director-General of City Hall Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), the part played by DBKL to reduce the effects of inflation on city folks, assessment, public trransport and road projects, flood mitigation, solid and liquid waste disposal, abandoned or delayed project, small and medium enterprise (SME) and foreign workers, the use and misuse of land, zero squatter and people's housing programme (PPR), facilities such as sports and clinics, environment, youth, senior citizens and drug trafficking and addiction.
The ministry has to consider carefully the allocation of an office for the Pakatan Rakyat secretariat. Meanwhile, there must be some sorts of hotline to facilitate the access of MPs to the minister, datuk bandar and the director-general of DBKL on major issues or emergencies.
The increase in the price of commodies such as flour and soya and petrol touching US$ 112 per barrel puts pressure on inflation domestically. DBKL would have to work out the ways to reduce the effects of inflation on city folks, especially in its enforcement. While there is a need to ensure that SME and traders conform with the regulations, it is also necessary to have a human face.
Legal and illegal immigrant workers are fould in various industries and trades. While there should not be abused of human rights on all workers including immigrants, DBKL should also assist city folks in getting a fair deal.
This is applicable to assessment in which DBKL is very keen. Because of the current economic situation, assessment must not be an undue burden on city dwellers.
The number of people entering KL is increasing. Each day, there are over 2.5 million people. But, road projects are limited. Traffic jam occurs. One solution is improving public transport. Now, only 19% of city folks use public transport. Some cities such as Singapore may be as high as 70%. We have to improve the use of buses, commuters, light rail transit and monorail. More and affordable parking spaces must be created in outlying areas. We do not want to see empty buses; Rapid KL should not be Slow KL.
Flood mitigation must be efficient. Package I, the smart tunnel, (costing RM 2.1 billion) has been completed for use as tolled road before the mitigation of flood. It is more like smart toll. As there is rain almost everyday partly because of the climate change, floods appear. Package II is the channeling of excess water from Gombak, Batu and Jinjang to the three large ponds in Jinjang North, costing RM 804 million. It is delayed for a year. At one time, the conractor did not pay the subcontractor.
DBKL spends RM 180 million a year on solid waste in KL. For over 30 years, most of KL's rubbish has been dumped in Jinjang North. Even today, the only transfer station that runs on RM 50 million a year is in Jinjang North. The rubbish is processed at the station. Then, it is transported to Bukit Tagar in Selangor. As the Federal Government has taken over the management of rubbish in the country, its disposal presents problems especially illegal dumpings. Truly, we need a more efficient management of solid waste in KL.
DBKL should announce the number, cost and solution to abandoned or delayed projects in the city. For example, People's Square in Pudu and the Kuala Lumpur International Radio Control Circuit at Metropolitan Park in Kepong. The circuit project started at the beginning of 2007 in the biggest public park managed by DBKL. The fencing is spoilt and clear water collecting in tins and pails, breeding Aedes mosquitoes. KL is short of land.
There must be genuine efforts to ensure that vacant land and green lung are used properly. Now, trespassers misuse some of these spaces. DBKL appears hlepless.
Drug continues to be a serious threat. Its trafficking and addiction remain major problems. DBKL must double its efforts to help contain the menace.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw