DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement on his impressions after concluding a two-day visit to the Batu Gajah Parliamentary constituency:
Failures of nominated district committees to shoulder local government responsibilities
One very strong impression which I gathered in my two-day visit to the Batu Gajah Parliamentary constituency is the failures of the nominated district committees which have been set up in substitution of elected local councils to shoulder local government responsibilities.
The members of the District Committees are not accessible to the people, indifferent to the problems of health, hygiene and proper local government services, and disregard public demands because they are not responsible to the people being nominated by the State Government instead of being elected by the people.
Batu Gajah market the dirtiest I have ever seen in the whole country
I visited the Batu Gajah market on Sunday, and it is the dirtiest market I have ever seen in the whole country, and is probably the dirtiest market in Malaysia.
The market is not cleaned regularly by the workers, the drains are not cleaned at all, causing the drains to be clogged up with dirt which in turn create flooding in the market whenever these is rain.
The dirty, unhygienic conditions of the Batu Gajah market, which shows indifference and shockingly poor local government services, is a standing condemnation of the failures of nominated District Committees to shoulder local government responsibilities. If the local government body is and elected one, the committee members would not dare to permit the Market and other health, drain and sanitation problems in Batu Gajah town to deteriorate so badly, for they would be thrown out of office in the next elections.
I call on the Perak Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Ghazalie Jawi, to issue a directive to all district committees to dutifully discharge their responsibilities and to turn every district into model local government areas, and the Mentri Besar should make regular visits to all the areas to see for himself how the public drains, markets, roads, and other local government services are being maintained.
Government should draw up plans to set up industrial estate in Kampar and Batu Gajah areas
With mounting unemployment, especially among youths, in the new villages and towns in the Kampar and Batu Gajah areas, the Government should draw up an industrialization plan to attract and create industries and factories in this region.
The creation of jobs to meet demands must be the priority responsibility of the Government, for mounting unemployment means the growing failure of the Government to solve the basic human problems of getting work, food, clothes and shelter. Another area of major government failure and neglect is the provision of adequate housing for the people. As a result of this government failure, urban poverty and slums have slums have become more and more serious. The State Government should set up a special agency to build houses for the poor all races, in Towns, new villagers and kampongs. Used mining land must be allotted to the people to house them, and not kept for companies of groups close to the ruling parties for greater profit-marking.