By Ashwin Kumar
SUBANG Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) president Noraini Roslan has vowed to improve the lives of the people in her city by enabling an economically and socially balanced environment.
In line with the Selangor government agenda “Maju Bersama”, Noraini said the council aims for the people of Subang Jaya to move forward together in achieving its aspirations.
“When I say improving people’s lives, I’m talking about people’s economic status and also about social harmony in the district.
“What is a city if we still have people who cannot make ends meet? How can we help to improve their lives? We got to look at who we are leaving behind,” Noraini told Selangor Journal in an interview on January 7.
Noraini said this when asked to comment on MPSJ and her vision for the year 2020.
The seventh MPSJ president said making Subang Jaya a happy and comfortable place to live is her main priority for the year.
“Whether serving in a municipal or local council, the nature of the problems are similar but it’s about the people. Sometimes it takes time to explain the issues (to the people). In return, we have to match their demands to provide quality services,” she said.
Last year, MPSJ was one of the Federal government’s Local Government Star Rating System winners.
Noraini said the award would be a motivation for the local council to put the people first and attend to their needs.
“Awards aside, it is the people who are able to assess us better than anyone else. They can evaluate us through the number of complaints lodged (against us). In 2019, we saw an eight per cent decrease in the number of complaints received compared to the previous year.
“However, at the beginning of the year, we received a high number of complaints. This was because of the new contractors hired by KDEBWM for the waste collection in Subang Jaya,” she said, in reference to KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd.
On January 1 last year, KDEBWM took over the task of managing waste from MPSJ, with a cross-subsidy scheme.
Noraini said there were numerous complaints in the first few weeks of the takeover as the contractors struggled to organise logistics and familiarise with the collection areas.
She said the council had then made contingency plans such as forming a task force inclusive of MPSJ staff and a committee to act on the complaints and cases of inefficient services by the new contractors.
Meanwhile, on MPSJ’s newly minted city status, Noraini said the council had conveyed the approval by the Cabinet to the state government through its Housing and Local Government department.
“MPSJ will go through a gazettement process as required under Act 171 … it is in the pipeline. In fact, there is extra budget allocated for this,” she said, in reference to the law under the Local Government Act 1976.
Covering 16,180ha, MPSJ’s administration covers Subang Jaya, Bandar Sunway, Putra Heights, Seri Kembangan, Seri Serdang, Puchong, as well as parts of Balakong and Batu Tiga.
According to the Statistics Department, its population is 798,830 as of 2015.
In 1997, Subang Jaya was carved out from the then Petaling Jaya District Council and upgraded to become a municipal council.
Since then, the urban township has grown by leaps and bounds and has been working towards achieving city status since it first submitted the application in 2014.
Currently, there are two other city councils in the state — Petaling Jaya City Council, which achieved the status in 2006, and Shah Alam City Council in 2010.
Meanwhile, on recycling initiatives, Noraini said education and awareness campaigns are important to ensure the success of the programme.
“Through several education programs in Subang Jaya schools, we managed to increase the collection of items to be recycled from 17,000kg to 70,000kg last year.
“Educating the younger generation has been more effective than the campaigns targeted at the general public,” she said.
Responding to the problem of frequent flash floods in Serdang, Noraini said MPSJ is continuously communicating and coordinating with relevant parties to address the issue.
“I am pleased to announce that RM300 million has been allocated through the Economics Affairs Ministry in order to rectify the problem,” she said.
This article first appeared in the Selangor Journal monthly January edition, published on January 13, 2020.