The 1,546 owners of shoplots and small business can accept the apology of the Ipoh mayor for the “technical error” for the outrageous 5,000 per cent increase in garbage fees but want more consultative, responsible,  people-oriented, humble and accessible  Ipoh City Councillors

Media Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang

(IpohMonday): Ipoh Datuk Bandar Datuk Sirajuddin Salleh yesterday apologized to  shopowners in the Ipoh commercial area for the “technical” error by the Ipoh City Council which issued them “wrong bills” for refuse collection, demanding an outrageous  5,000 per cent increase from RM2 to RM10, wanting them to pay a quarterly bill for RM300 when it was previously only RM6. 

He said after a visit to the traders at the Ipoh Memory Lane business centre that the bills sent out to 1,546 owners of shoplots and small businesses have been cancelled as it was a “technical error”. 

He said the new rates for refuse collection affect 24 operators under the trade and industry category, and that they had been notified of the increase in rates and had agreed to it. They have an option – to use the Council services or hire a private garbage collector. 

The 1,546 owners of shoplots and small business in Ipoh can accept the apology of the Ipoh mayor for the “technical error” for the  outrageous 5,000 per cent increase in garbage fees, but the people in the Ipoh City Council want more consultative, responsible, people-oriented, humble and accessible City Councillors. 

Ipoh ratepayers are entitled to wonder, however, how such a “technical error” could be made.  If the outrageous 5,000 per cent increase in garbage fees for the 1,546 owners of shoplots and small business in Ipoh had been a genuine “technical error”, why did it take eight days to discover it and to put the record straight? 

The “technical error” should have been clarified on April 3 itself, when the DAP MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegaran and the State Assemblyman for Menglembu, Keong Meng Sing, visited Cowan Street, Ipoh to champion the shop-keepers’ protests at the outrageous increase in City Council  garbage fees. 

If the DAP had not won the three Kinta Valley parliamentary seats of Ipoh Timor, Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah, giving notice to the Ipoh City Council that its every move will henceforth be subject to the closest scrutiny, such a “technical error” might not be found and the people of Ipoh stuck with an outrageous  5,000 per cent increase of garbage collection fees -  when Ipoh City Councillors are incapable of even five per cent increase in efficiency, productivity and service. 

It is shocking that not a single Ipoh City Councillor had spoken up in the past eight days to point out that it was a “technical error” as the City Council had never agreed to impose a 5,000 increase in the garbage collection fees! It would appear that they are just “dumb”, not knowing whether it is a “technical error” or otherwise!  How more unproductive and useless can the whole batch of Ipoh City Councillors be? 

DAP calls on Sirajuddin to impress on all the City Councillors to buck up and be more responsible, people-oriented, humble and accessible.  For a start, every City Councillor should be assigned to ensure efficient City Council  services and attend to the complaints of the people for  a specific area in Ipoh City Council, so that the entire Ipoh City Council jurisdiction is divided among all  the City Councillors.  This allocation of responsibilities for  the different parts of Ipoh City Council  should be made public, together with the telephone contact numbers of the City Councillors concerned where they could be  accessible to the people  to deal with  any  City Council problem as and when it arises. 

Ipoh City Councillors who are not prepared to accept responsibility for a particular area in Ipoh, and to be easily accessible to the  public by making  public their telephone contacts, should be asked to resign and give way to more responsible City Councillors. 


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor