There are two other areas that merit Budget 2020 attention — maintenance costs and pest and pet control in municipalities.
I don’t know about other municipalities but the Subang Jaya Municipal Council has done a fairly good job under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in the provision of public services. Garbage collection is regular although garden refuse collection isn’t. Sometimes, we have to wait for weeks before the latter is collected!
Potholes have been covered up although covered manholes still have not been raised to level with the road surface so vehicles keep bumping on them! Bus services are available although the buses are empty except during the peak hours.
Generally, public spaces are cleaner than they were under the previous government but municipal councils can do better to show that we are truly a developed nation.
An area of great need is maintenance, a characteristic Malaysians are not particularly strong in. We love new buildings but not enough to maintain them so that they remain in good condition despite wear and tear.
Public buildings and apartments, roads, parks and community halls need to be constantly maintained to create a healthy environment. Otherwise, they are often rubbish-littered and usually crawling with squirrels, rats and stray cats and dogs.
One of the reasons for this is because public drains are not covered and have become breeding grounds for pests.
More allocations need to be made for maintenance so that public spaces are always clean and conducive for human habitation.
The other neglected problem is pet control. Dogs and cats — and especially cats! — run around freely in neighbourhoods, often leaving their poo in public spaces, especially in parks.
If you go for a walk in the park, you will have to look out for dog poo to sidestep it! Some enforcement is necessary to ensure that owners pick up their pets’ poo when they take them to public spaces.
It’s the same with cat poo. Cat owners are not well trained to keep a litter tray for the cats to poo in. There must be some regulation and enforcement to ensure owners keep cat litters so that their pets don’t poo in other people’s gardens!
These are small issues but necessary to consider as they contribute to the well-being of the neighbourhood and may even contribute to raising property values.