Shah Alam’s poor road conditions: Who can solve the problem?

WHAT happens when you have a problem in your area?

You can either go to the member of parliament (MP), the state assemblyperson or the local councillor. Technically, the local councillor or the state assemblyperson should be able to solve the problem.

However, with the many little Napoleons in the local councils, there are times when the local councillor is at the mercy of the council president, or its staff, who may choose to drag his feet.

Who to blame now?

This story can be told time and again. In the past, it is easy to blame the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government for making it difficult for Pakatan Harapan (PH) to solve people’s woes on the ground, but now, with PH being at both the federal and state government, what excuse does one give to the public for failing to solve a longstanding issue?

Take for example, this junction turning into a commercial centre in Bandar Sri Sungai Long for vehicles using Persiaran Sungai Long has been blocked with concrete blocks.

Or the roads at Jalan Utarid in the capital of Selangor, Shah Alam (see main pic). Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) claimed that it did not have the budget to resurface the roads here, which have long been neglected and riddled with potholes.

It is not known who were responsible for the blockade at Persiaran Sungai Long but the junction into the commercial lots is believed to be blocked after some disputes arose between several parties – developer with developer, and one of the developers with the resident association.

If the authorities claimed that the junction is too close to the highway, it should not just close a junction that affects the well-being of businesses operating in this commercial area. There are ways and means to slow down the traffic.

Residents or visitors to Bandar Sri Long who want to dine at Mama Thai restaurant, for example, are unable to turn into the commercial lot after exiting from the guard house, unless they are willing to go against the traffic.

To find a solution, it may have to involve the Public Works Department (JKR), Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and possibly the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM).

Even if the local councillor for Sungai Long, Siti Razimi A. Razak wanted to solve the problem, it may be beyond her level to deal with the different authorities.

Logically, support should come from either the state exco in charge of local government, Datuk Ng Suee Lim, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amiruddin Shaari or Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming.

All three have been informed of this, and a directive from either of them would have helped to resolve the problem, but nothing appeared to be forthcoming from their offices.

Meanwhile, Siti Razimi is at her wits’ end on how to resolve the issue without the support of her own leaders.

After all, the issues have dragged for some time, but the parties suffering from the controversy over this blockade of the junction are the shop owners, while residents using Jalan Utarid U5/14 would have to have to be careful not to hit the potholes after a heavy downpour.

Cooperation at all levels

Now that we have a unity government, all parties should stop blaming each other, instead emulate the example of leadership by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof who about two years ago, when he was the works minister, was humble enough to pick up the phone to contact Subang Jaya local councillor Michelle Ng on a Sunday evening to help resolve some issues relating to a service lane that could serve as an access road for residents in Subang Jaya.

Fadillah later directed his staff at JKR to assist Ng, despite both of them belonging to a different camp. Ultimately, as elected representatives, whether as state assemblypersons or members of parliament, the people must be served, and their problems solved.

Where is the cooperation we would like to see happening in this case, and how can Ng, Amiruddin and Nga ignore the complaint, and leave it all to the local councillor to solve a problem beyond her capacity? Are we not supposed to have a Madani government?

It would be embarrassing if this problem is known to the prime minister or if the next Yang Di-Pertuan Agong who will be installed come Jan 31 happens to visit the place.

After all, Persiaran Sungai Long is just a short drive away from the prime minister’s home in the same township. – Dec 29, 2023

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