KUCHING: Bau District Officer Simon Japut, who is also the Chairman of Bau district council behaves more like a ‘little napoleon’ rather than a civil servant who should be humble, courteous and be responsive to the people’s complaints, said Mordi Bimol, a special assistant to Chong Chieng Jen, the Kota Sentosa Assemblyman and the MP for Bandar Kuching.
“I am quite frustrated with a statement made by Japut which appeared in a local daily regarding complaints made by the people about poor maintenance and inefficient garbage collection in Kpg Serikin.
“Kpg. Serikin, which is a very popular week-end shopping centre, is also a tourist attraction, and yet rubbish remains uncollected which is an eye-score not only to the villagers, but also to the shoppers and tourists,” he said.
“It is giving us a bad image,” Bimol said, pointing out that Japut refused to accept responsibility.
“Instead he puts the blame on those who made the complaints as politicising the whole issue,” he said.
Last Monday Japut had described the complaints as ‘tidak masuk akal’ (stupid) and that he would not entertain them.
“I am firm in my decision that I will not entertain such stupid complaints,” he added.
“The matter should have been reported to the Bau district council first before going public in the media as this will tarnish the name of the civil servants,” Japut said angrily.
“And by the way, who is this Mordi Bimol? I don’t know him,” Japut said, pointing out that the Opposition should not politicise the issue of rubbish collection.
Responding to the harsh words used by the District Officer, Bimol said: “Local authorities such as council should not take any complaint made by any political party especially opposition as a threat.
“Any political party tries to serve the people and it is the job of the politicians to voice out people’s complaints and problems.
“Media is one of the channels for the public and even political parties to share the community problems. So, local authorities should take this positively, investigate and solve the problem.
“Instead of saying those harsh words, he should investigate on the matter, whether it is true or not, and solve it. I am not pointing fingers...but I just want to share the problems and want the council to take a relevant action on the matter.
“Maybe he should go and visit the place to see the real situation of that place,” he said.
Bimol said that he visited Kpg Serikin last Thursday, and saw the problem, and interviewed few groups of residents.
“They are complaining...so it is my job to help them and voice out this matter,” he said.
He noted that RM2 is collected each day since 2004 from each Indonesian who operates a stall. Roughly there are 400 stalls operating on both Saturday and Sunday in that border village.
“Counting on the amount of money collected for eight years, residents of Kpg Serikin are very frustrated with the poor service provided by the council.
“They should improve their efficiency to service the people as efficient as they collect the money.
“According to the residents, the garbage collection supposed to be twice a week (Monday and Friday). However, garbage collection is done only once a week and in fact, sometimes only once in two weeks.
“Therefore, the trash containers which are located at the end of that village are always full and spill out,” he said, pointing out that “this in turn causes the problem of bad smell and a dirty environment”.
“We are very concerned on this matter because Kampung Serikin is one of the best tourist attraction places in Bau which never fails to attract tourists every weekend.
“Proven as a good tourism place, it is very important for those relevant authorities or government agencies to work together with the residents of that village to maintain and improve the area to keep the area clean and healthy.
“This little problem might affect the impression of the tourists to Kpg Serikin and might jeopardize the business of the local people.
“So, we must work together to help them to improve whatever facilities needed,” Bimol added.