Thursday, May 26, 2011

Keeping Johor Bahru Clean (2)

Free Garbage Bin For All When Act 672 Comes Into Effect 
by MK Ong on 24 May, 2011

Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Corporation will be distributing some 3.5 millions garbage bins for free to all residential houses and business premises in Peninsula Malaysia to enable the government to manage the solid waste management more effectively.

Chief Executive Officer, Zaini Md Nor said, each of the garbage bins will be serial-numbered to ensure that the garbage bin will be taken care of to last a minimum of seven years.
“The one hundred and twenty litres capacity garbage bin will be for the residential houses and the two hundred and forty litres one will be for the business premises and restaurants”, he said after the official launching of “The  Transformation of the Nation Solid Waste Management After Act 672″ , seminar here, yesterday.
Meanwhile,  Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Corporation will also set up a solid waste management tribunal to allow the public and contractors to forward their dissatisfaction and grievances related to the solid waste management issues, he added.
He said, the proposal to set up the tribunal will follow suit once the Solid Waste and Urban Cleansing Management  2007 Act 672 is implemented.
“If there are any complaints and reports from the consumers and contractors who are unhappy with solid waste management matters can refer them to the tribunal”, he said.
He said after the Solid Waste and Urban Cleansing Management  2007 Act 672 comes into effect, the work flow will be more systematic.
The one day seminar was attended by some two hundred contractors organised by Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Corporation with the objective of allowing the contractors to fully understand the full implications of the privatisation exercise when Solid Waste and Urban Cleansing Management  2007 Act 672 comes in to effect. 

In order to better manage these operators and to regulate the tripartite relationship between the Federal Government, private operators and the Local Authorities, it has been proposed that the federal legislation be passed in the form of the Solid Waste Management Act.
There are two Solid Waste Management Act has been enacted in Malaysia in which Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) and Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 673)
It appears that should these initiatives proceed to full implementation, Malaysia would be setting a precedent in the world community.
No other country has "federalized" soli waste management nor has privatization been undertaken at the federal level with a specified limited number of operators for the country.

MK Ong
is a Citizen Journalist trained by Citizen Journalists Malaysia

Restoring The Dignity Of Segget River With RM200mil
by Steven Chen on 12 Feb, 2011

Imagine: Tourists in white gondolas cruising down the Segget River, alongside Jalan Wong Ah Fook, where they disembark for a walk along the crystal clear waters, with a magnificent view of Johor Bahru town against the backdrop of Singapore’s CIQ in the distance.
This might be far-fetched, looking at the current state of the infamous Segget River which runs through downtown Johor Bahru, and the pedestrian walkway known as Legaran Segget.
Prior to the existence of Legaran Segget, one could mistake this river for an extra-large monsoon drain, its rat-infested water exuding an unbearable stench.
However, despite its murky waters, the Segget River has been a huge icon for Johoreans since the 1800s. Just as how Klang River was central in the development of Kuala Lumpur, Segget River has largely made the surroundings of Jalan Wong Ah Fook and Johor Bahru what it is today.
Conveniently, the Johor Bahru City Council took an easy way out by sweeping the problem under the carpet.
Backed by RM6 million and an ill-conceived redevelopment plan, the river was covered and some meaningless structures with water fountains erected on top of it.
The whole idea of the redevelopment by Johor Bahru City Council was to mitigate the unbearable stench from the river.
However, in the process of covering up, the contribution of Segget River to the development and heritage of Johor Bahru were simply overlooked.
The Segget River was once the passage for small traders to the Tanjung Puteri (Johor Bahru’s old name). The traders in the area took the opportunity to trade with the passing ships and economic activity around Segget River flourished, it eventually becoming a village known as Kampung Wong Ah Fook.
Kampung Wong Ah Fook today is known as just Jalan Wong Ah Fook.
In May 2010, Prime Minister Najib Razak, during his visit to Johor Bahru for the Iskandar Regional Development Authority’s (IRDA) briefing on the Johor Bahru City Renewal Plan, had envisioned the Segget River as a new tourist attraction, not unlike Venice.
Najib had compared it with Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul, South Korea which was closed due to heavy pollution, until the 5km river’s rehabilitatation three years later to become the most popular recreation site in Seoul.
To help kick-start the Segget River restoration project, Najib had announced a RM200 million allocation to open and clean up the river.

According to Johor Menteri Besar, Abdul Ghani Othman, the river will be re-opened and built as a double-deck river, with the upper deck channeling clean water and the lower deck channeling treated sewage to the Tebrau Straits (presumably after treatment).
Since then, the Johor Bahru City Council has taken initiative to release a large amount of ‘friendly’ bacteria into the murky river to improve its water quality. The result so far has been positive and the prospect of re-opening the river is brighter than ever.
The vision of having gondolas plying the entire Johor Bahru downtown through Segget River might a reality but only with implementation of the project, and if a proper public awareness campaign can be done. The glory of Segget River can be restored and it will mark a milestone in heritage and environmental conservation.

Steven Chen
is the current Citizen Journalists Malaysia's Johor Chapter Head. Apart from his undying love of Bee Gees, his other love is to help make Johor Bahru a better place to live.
Both Sources: Komuniti Kini

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