Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Vision and Mission Statements of Ipoh City Watch

The following are the Vision and Mission Statements that act as a guiding principle for all the new office bearers to serve the residence of Ipoh:

Ipoh City Watch held its Inaugural General Meeting on 16 Nov 2014

Members of Ipoh City watch(ICW), an NGO registered with the Registrar of Society, met during its Inaugural General Meeting to discuss about the constitution and elect new office bearers for the year 2014 - 2016. The meeting was held at OUM Perak, Jln Lim Bo Seng, Ipoh, Perak on Nov 16, 2014 at 3pm. They consists of professionals in various fields. 

Presence among them include Kat Kat W. Wong (President of Ipoh Timor Community) and Jeya Subramaniam (President of Persatuan Wanita Cergas Bercham). The members present unanimously accepted the constitution of ICW. This was followed by an election conducted by Mr. Pandian Sarangabanly. The members elected the following office bearers:

1. President - Assoc. Prof. Dr. Richard Ng
2. Deputy President - Kimberry Lee
3. Secretary General - Victor Chew
4. Assistant Secretary - Alexandra Chooi
5. Treasure - Elfivn Teh
6. Committee Members:
a. Asokan
b. Nadarajah 
d. Pn Abd Hamid Zuraidah
e. Santhanadass Thangaprragasam
f. Jeya Subramaniam
7. Auditors:
a. Tina Leong
b. Pandian Sarangabanly

During his maiden speech, President Dr. Richard Ng outlined his vision and mission for ICW and hope all members elected will give their utmost to serve the people by highlighting issues affecting the residence of Ipoh. He aspires to see that Ipohites are provided with services by the Ipoh City Council as spelled out in the Local Government Act.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Better Bercham, Aplikasi Aduan Kepada Wakil Rakyat

Penduduk Bercham kini tidak perlu lagi bersusah payah bertemu dengan wakil rakyat untuk mengemukakan aduan setempat kerana mereka boleh melakukannya menerusi aplikasi Better Bercham yang boleh dimuat turun di telefon pintar.

Menerusi aplikasi tersebut, penduduk boleh menyampaikan aduan dan pendapat tanpa mengira masa serta tempat.

Adun Bercham, Cheong Chee Khing berkata, idea mewujudkan aplikasi itu tercetus apabila beliau mendapati penduduk yang datang ke pusat khidmat dan aduannya terdiri daripada mereka yang berusia 40 tahun ke atas.

Menurutnya, beliau pelik kerana tiada orang muda yang tampil ke pejabatnya untuk membuat aduan atau melakukan urusan lain.

“Menyedari perkara itu, saya dan kakitangan Pusat Khidmat dan Aduan Dun Bercham mula membuat kaji selidik dan mendapati orang muda lebih cenderung menggunakan laman sosial seperti Facebook dan Twitter untuk memberikan pendapat atau meluahkan masalah.

“Justeru, kami mengadakan lawatan sambil belajar ke Pulau Pinang bagi mempelajari bagaimana kerajaan negeri itu menggunakan aplikasi Better Penang untuk kemudahan penduduk,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, kajian yang mula dilaksanakan sejak Ogos tahun lalu itu membuahkan hasil apabila pengatucara aplikasi berkenaan sudi bekerjasama untuk menghasilkan Better Bercham.

Katanya, aplikasi yang boleh digunakan sejak Januari tahun ini itu boleh dimuat turun secara percuma tanpa dikenakan sebarang bayaran.

“Penduduk yang mempunyai telefon pintar boleh memuat turun aplikasi Better Bercham di laman Google Play.

“Bagaimanapun, hanya telefon pintar yang mempunyai sistem operasi Android 4.0 dan ke atas boleh memuat turun aplikasi ini.

“Manakala, bagi pengguna iOS, aplikasi tersebut dijangka dapat digunakan sepenuhnya pada bulan depan,” katanya.

Chee Khing berkata, maklumat diterima menerusi aplikasi tersebut akan masuk ke dalam laman sosial Facebook Better Bercham secara automatik.

Katanya, kesemua aduan tersebut akan terus diproses dan dihantar kepada e-Aduan Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI) untuk tindakan susulan.

Menurutnya, pada masa sama pihaknya akan membuat pemantauan dari semasa ke semasa sehingga masalah dikemukakan selesai.

"Setakat ini 75 aduan diterima selepas aplikasi ini dilaksanakan dan jika sambutan menggalakkan, saya akan mencadangkan supaya aplikasi sama digunakan di seluruh bandar raya Ipoh," katanya.

Ipoh City Watch (Baru) calls for Inaugural General Meeting 16 Nov 2014 - 3pm

Calling all Ipohites who wish to participate in making Ipoh a better place to live. The Inaugural General Meeting has been called on 16 Nov 2014 (Sunday), 3pm at OUM Perak, Jln Lim Bo Seng, Ipoh, Perak. 

a. To table the constitution of Ipoh City Watch for acceptance
b. To elect new office bearers
c. To discuss on activities for 2015

Ipoh City Watch or ICW is approved by ROS whose aim is to be the eyes, ears and mouths for Ipoh rate payers. 

Residents find it a challenge to get Ipoh City Council to complete tasks - The Star

MANY Ipoh folk, especially the elderly and less educated, have no way of getting through to the Ipoh City Council when faced with problems such as overgrown grass, potholes, clogged drains and illegal dumpsites.
While a handful are unaware that they can relate their problems via the council’s hotline at 05-255 1515 or in person at customer service counters located at the lobby of the council headquarters, most are apprehensive about doing so for various reasons.
Retired machinery supervisor Choong See Kheong, 65, said he would rather resolve a problem on his own rather than lodge a complaint with the council.
“I would rather do the job myself than risk getting a tongue-lashing from the council staff or have them belittle me because I do not speak Bahasa Malaysia,” said the Taman Wah Keong resident.
Choong said he would wait patiently for the council’s workers or contractors to show up on their own, even if it meant waiting for months.
“If I can’t tolerate the problem, then I do it myself.
“For example, the contractor tasked with cutting grass at my residential area does a real shoddy job.
“Its workers would leave parts of the grass uncut and do not bother to clean up before they leave.
“And so, I clean up the mess myself,” he said.
According to Choong, many of his neighbours or friends would seek help from their state assemblymen to get a problem resolved.
“They get the assemblymen to speak on their behalf or highlight the problem in the media so as to pressure the council to act,” he added.
College student Maira Hani, 21, said complaints to the council mostly fell on deaf ears.
“I think most complainants have to keep calling or to write letters but even when they do, their problems don’t get resolved.
“It could be that the council is inundated with too many complaints. If so, then it should come up with a better procedure to get things done.
“Perhaps, the council should also let people know that their complaints are being looked into.
“If you give people the reassurance that their problems or opinion are important and that it is being addressed, then they will not mind waiting a bit longer,” she suggested.
Having listened to the constant woes of not just his constituents but those from other areas about them not being able to contact council officers or councillors, Bercham assemblyman Cheong Chee Khing developed a mobile phone application to enable his constituents to file their complaints whereby a posting would automatically be uploaded onto his Facebook page.
At the same time, the Better Bercham App, made available to Android phone users on Jan 14 and subsequently to iPhone users this month, would also send an email of the complaint to the council almost immediately.
“The app also allows complainants to send the global positioning of the particular spot or place they wish something to be done.
“This way, there is no way for the council not to act on any complaints because everything is done in a transparent manner,” he said.
To date, a total of 201 complaints and feedback has been forwarded to the council via the mobile application.
“Problems in Bercham are being solved at a faster rate with the app,” added Cheong, whose constituency is made up of over 80 housing areas and counting.
And then, there are complaints about the working attitude of council workers and staff.
Businesswoman L.Y. Kok said she once called the council about some overgrown trees along the road in front of her house in Tambun.
“There was no response for about a month and I called again, only to be told by the person who took my complaint that the relevant department had been informed about the matter.
“About a week later, I saw the tree in front of my house already cut.
“They did not cut down the other overgrown trees in the vicinity.
“They had only cut down the one in front of my house because I had lodged the complaint,” she said.
Kok added that council workers and other government authorities should have the initiative and good work ethics.
“They are acting more like robots and machinery than humans with the capacity to think.
“There was another occasion at a relative’s house in Bercham when several neighbours became concerned about a tree, which caught fire.
“Also of concern were the overgrown trees at the playground which could also catch fire if lightning struck. They called the council to have the trees pruned.
“The reply we got from the council was that it could only be done if we got all the residents to sign a petition and then hand it in,” she added.
Such regulations, Kok added, were illogical, especially when ratepayers paid an annual assessment while it was the council’s job to upkeep the city.
Housewife Ong Bee Lian said it was quite annoying to see an entire group of council workers assigned to clean up a particular area but only one or two actually doing work.
“The others would be sitting around doing nothing or chatting. How do they ever expect to get things done with such an attitude?
“And it is not like they would put in extra hours to get the job done. They just disappear as soon as their transport comes to pick them up or when their working hours are up, leaving their job undone.
“We have to wait a few weeks or months for them to come by again to ‘work’,” she said.
Ong added that it had also come to a point where council workers would only carry out a certain task such as cut grass but not throw away the grass because it is not their duty to get rid of garden refuse.
“They simply leave bags of grass in black plastic bags by the roadside, which eventually becomes an illegal dumpsite.
“And then, we have to complain to the council to clear the rubbish.
“There are also road sweepers who conveniently dump rubbish from the roads into drains, clogging them up.
“This kind of work culture is simply illogical,” she said.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vandals paint a bad picture of murals

Aug 4, 2014 - The Star

IPOH: A large-scale project to paint 57 wall murals around here came to an abrupt halt when vandals painted graffiti on the walls.
Artist Eric Lai, 38, said he completed 33 pieces of artwork on the walls of several buildings at an alley behind Jalan Masjid and Jalan Sultan Iskandar here.
“The project was supposed to be launched in conjunction with the country’s 57th Merdeka Day,” he said.
“However, with the graffiti, I am not sure whether the artwork can be completed in time,” he added.
Lai said the graffiti was discovered on July 30 when his students went to the alley to paint images of lemang.
“And I was shocked when one of the premises owners called me to inform me about the latest graffiti,” he said, adding that the wall had been defaced with an image of a skull praying in a strange way.
“I am now worried for my safety. I am also worried for my students and family,” said Lai, who runs an art studio in Bercham.
Lai said the Ipoh City Council had approached him to carry out the project, which was initiated to “add life to the dirty looking walls” and turn it into an art lane.
“I am saddened by the irresponsible act,” he said. “I have lodged police reports as some of the logos scribbled may be seen as representing certain groups.”
The empty walls, where the remaining artwork was supposed to be done, were sprayed with vulgarities.
Several logos, probably representing underworld groups, were sprayed beside the completed artwork.
However, tourists still visited the alley and were seen taking pictures of the murals.
The paintings on the pre-war buildings depicted children playing hide-and-seek,dulang washers, a man bearing a kavadi, a wayang kulit show, a kuda kepangdancer, workers tapping rubber, a bharatanatyam dancer and a Chinese cultural dance.
One of his latest artwork was a black and white mural depicting an airplane, in memory of the 298 passengers and crew members of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Housewife Nurul Huda Al-Hassan, 32, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, said she happened to catch the murals while passing by the street.
“I was so excited that I parked my car at once and took my three-year-old daughter to have a look at the beautiful artwork,” she said. “The murals capture the multi-racial aspects of Malaysia,” she added.
“The artwork is amazing, but I am disappointed with the graffiti by some irresponsible people,” she added.
Council corporate affairs principal assistant director Normala Latiff said: “We will investigate. The culprit can be charged under the council’s by-laws for vandalism.”