Focus View
The malaise plaguing local councils
FocusM team | 01 Sep 2017 00:30
The never-ending problems besieging the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) public crematorium in Kampung Tunku is symptomatic of what ails many local authorities in the country.
The constant complaints and breakdowns at the crematorium in recent years have left ratepayers fuming but little seems to be done to rectify the situation. The latest was at end-August when a short-circuit caused a fire at the crematorium, causing it to be shut down. 

This is not the first time the crematorium has had to be closed. Previously, some of its incinerators and other equipment were prone to break down.  

The Kampung Tunku crematorium caters to an average 850 cremations per annum. Why should ratepayers be inconvenienced by having to travel far to cremate their loved ones? 

Interestingly, there is a private crematorium next to the faulty public one and ratepayers have to resort to using it, albeit at more than three times the public crematorium charges. 

This latest short-circuit bears scrutiny. According to reports, it was caused by a wiring problem which crippled two new burners which were bought for RM1.3 mil. This is perplexing as the wiring was said to have been recently upgraded.  

Talking about fire hazards, it was MBPJ which ironically warned owners who rent out properties for short-term about the higher risk of a fire. This is due to tenants’ tendency to overload the electrical supply system. Looks like the council needs to sort out its wiring problems first. 

The MBPJ needs to put its house in order. Besides its crematorium, its cemeteries too are plagued by problems. Last year, its Hindu and Christian graveyards, also in Kampung Tunku, were hit by vandals who desecrated graves.
Being the most industrialised city in Selangor, Petaling Jaya is a hub for business and commerce. If the MBPJ cannot resolve the simple issues relating to crematoriums and cemeteries, how is it going to tackle bigger problems faced by investors? 

It is not surprising that the calls for local council elections are getting louder. It’s common sense that those elected by the people will do a better job than those who are appointed.  

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