KOTA KINABALU : Both the opposition Pakatan Rakyat winning candidates wasted no time in sounding out to Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir that they wished to work with City Hall in solving the problems facing ratepayers.
Nevertheless, they acknowledged that City Hall also needs to be proactive while noting that the cooperation of other government agencies was also needed.
New Wakil Rakyat for Api Api Christina Liew called at Abidin's office, Tuesday, with a Seven-Point Memorandum on Issues Affecting the City.
Top on her list was for DBKK to put in place an improved drainage system in and around the city as a permanent solution to the perennial problem of flash floods each time there is a downpour.
Liew said rate payers voiced concern over this longstanding problem during the recent election campaign. The rest were:
- To seriously look into landslides as a result of hill-cutting activity due to inappropriate planning in some of the future Development Plans. (Houseowners opposite All Saints' School are worried of an imminent landslide due to erosion, probably due to poor development planning in the past).
- Ease traffic congestion in and around the city
- Provide more parking spaces and end to special privileges to VIPs where parking is concerned. (There is a hotel in town where several parking lots outside its premises are for the use of VIPs).
- Refrain from approving future development plans in high risk areas
- To upgrade the beautification programme
- To upgrade the hawker's stalls
In response, Abidin told Liew, who led a five-member delegation, that DBKK (City Hall) has short and long-term measures to beat flooding in areas around the city.
"At the end of the day, irrespective of who the elected representative is, it is the people that they serve," he said.
He said that there are outstanding issues for the past 15 years.
For instance, the road upgrading from Inanam to Telipok has yet to be completed and this has caused the population in Inanam to suffer traffic jams on a daily basis.
The situation also has spilled beyond the constituency to Kota Kinabalu, he said, adding he would be meeting with City Hall to discuss how best to resolve the problem.
The incomplete drainage project also has contributed to the traffic flow in addition to the growing number of vehicles and transport on the road.
Dr Chia said among his main focuses is the people in Inanam's rural areas.
"During campaigning, I visited more than 30 villages that have road infrastructure that are really in dilapidated condition that only four-wheel-drive vehicles could access.
The conditions of the road, he said, do not do them justice and because of it, their livelihood is dampened because they are hampered from bringing out their farm or orchard produce to town.
If the roads are maintained in good condition, it would enhance the people's social status, he said. He would also strive to bring treated water to the people in these areas.
"Most of the people there rely on non-treated spring water which may cause health hazards to them," said the medical doctor.
Dr Chia said there is also a lot of tourism potential that could be tapped in order to enhance the livelihood of the people.
The view from Kg Kokol and Telipok hills, he said, can be turned into a tourism product and in the process, giving opportunity to the people to set up homestays.
He said that since ecotourism is an important income earner to Sabah, the private sector should bring tourists to Inanam, Menggatal and Telipok and set up smart partnerships with the rural folk to create a win-win situation for both sides.
Dr Chia also dismissed the remark by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee that he (Chia) is a greenhorn who does not know anything about Inanam as not requiring his attention.
"The people gave me the mandate to become an elected representative, so, my concern is to serve them," he said.
"My primary objective is to go down to the ground and hear the grouses of the people and forward them to the relevant authorities." (DE)