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E-Community… and its story

EDITORIAL: Do not tarnish the PM

EDITORIAL: Our PM is noted for his signature: realising all his visions with meticulous execution. Here, MPSJ has tried to justify the Millennium Park by implicating the PM's good name. We say this is not right.
Posted on 12.13am Aug 27, 2001

WRONG LOCATION... We see choking traffic not City in a Garden, we see metal palm tree not going back to nature. Is the ratepayers' money well spent?
Millennium Park series #10


Editorial


Recently, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain suggested to have a mall and walkway at , Alor Setar named after the Prime Minister's pet name - "Che Det Mall" and "Che Det Walk".

But the PM said such names would only be appropriate if traders beefed up their efforts and provided quality products and services.

Later, the PM told reporters off-the-cuff that he was not even consulted in advance of the proposal. He was also displeased with the dilapidated condition of Pekan Rabu, the place he used to sell goreng pisang during the Japanese Occupation.

Such is the case of flattery that went awry. Choice of place and timing were all wrong.

Closer to home in Subang Jaya, the municipal council shamelessly invoked the good office of the Prime Minister by saying the controversial Millennium Park in SS13 is an initiative to realise the PM's concept of 'City in the Garden'.

MPSJ's website accessed on August 26 says: "Seiring dengan ini, ianya juga dibina untuk merealisasikan saranan Y.A.B Perdana Menteri iaitu mewujudkan konsep Bandar di dalam Taman ataupun "City In The Garden" supaya orang ramai dapat menikmati suasana dan persekitaran yang selesa dan nyaman." See e-Gallery: MPSJ invoked PM's vision to justify Millennium Park project

It is alright for Malaysians to seek inspiration from our statesman, the PM, so that we excel in all things we do.

From the national car to KLCC and KLIA, just to name a few, our PM Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad realised his visions with his signature: meticulous execution.

He is a hands-on man and he always stays on top of all projects, from design to completion. Before KLIA was completed, we have seen photographic records of him touring the complex on spot checks even on Sundays.

He is a national legacy because he is a marksman who gets ready, and aims to shoot bullseye. (You may recall in movies, many cowboys died because they got ready to shoot before taking aim. Wrong process.)

When MPSJ tried to justify the Millennium Park by implicating the PM's good name. We say this is not right.

Because facts have a close cousin in reality. What was put up in the website appears to be afterthoughts when there was a public outcry.

Almost two years after the Millennium Park project was implemented - and after RM3 million spent - the park does not resemble the facade of a City in the Garden. It stands up as a sore thumb in the midst of choking traffic and squalid hawkers' stalls.

Neither does it convey the moods of an architecture that goes back to nature. We see metal palm trees instead.

If the park was built with the ratepayers in mind, then people have shunned it. It's deserted even during weekends and public holidays.

Worse, as highlighted in our Millennium Park Series, the execution of the park was evidently not supervised to the hilt. The contractors have not done a good job. Flaws have been left to develop. Many boasted key features are in a quandry. And ratepayers are asked to pay.

What went wrong?

First and foremost, Subang Jaya is a concrete jungle that needs a park at the right place, with the necessary facilities that support community interaction.

MPSJ and its appointed councillors have been quoted umpteen times in the Press as saying that Subang Jaya people will always oppose development projects, no matter what.

That's the chasm that drifts people away from the government. People speak, but the-power- that-be couldn't hear. Or wouldn't hear.

Contrary to MPSJ's reasoning, ratepayers are not opposing development projects and building of recreational parks. They just want them built at the right places that will serve long-term validity.

A bad decision is a bad decision is a bad decision. Millennium Park is a good idea but is built at a wrong location.

ALTERNATIVE SITES

There are several ideal places for the Millennium Park, people believe. One is the former centralised foreign workers quarters in USJ15. In years to come when the Putra Heights project is fully developed, it would become a mirror site to the present Subang Jaya and USJ. The USJ 17/18/20/21 areas would then emerge as the nerve centre of greater Subang Jaya.

The land size and traffic access to USJ15 along Persiaran Kewajipan would have been just nice for a park that serves as a community meltingpot for a long while. But too late, it has been acquired early this year for the Subang Jaya Vision School.

The other alternative is the open land in USJ17 opposite the USJ21 commercial zone. However, we have heard that many developers have made enquiries at the Land Office to turn it into a commercial area. There are even plans to relocate one of the Indian temples nearby to make way for a commercial project.

The third alternative is of course the only green lung in Subang Jaya - Taman Subang Ria. Despite numerous government reminders, MPSJ has dragged its feet to gazette the park and alienate it from commercial development. On record, it still belongs to developer Sime UEP after a quarter century.

Nevertheless, it is never too late for MPSJ to redeem itself to realise PM's "Garden in the City" vision. It can take possession of Taman Subang Ria and value-add it into a botanical park. The natural vegetation is perfect for relaxation and de-stressing after work, borrowing words from MPSJ's own.

But MPSJ must have good reasons that we do not know for not taking that route.

Some say the council president is obsessed with his Showmanship Development Syndrome, and the Millennium Park is a perfect showcase to glorify his image.

To us, this hearsay about a public servant's motives and motivation does not really matter much.

But, to Malaysians who are proud of our Prime Minister, we cannot allow MPSJ to tarnish his good name by relating him unfairly to the Millennium Park as claimed in the website.

The Prime Minister is an epitome of good thoughts and execution. His achievement is to spurs us on, not to be used to justify one's wrong.

The stark reality and negative publicity around the Millennium Park are sheer burden that MPSJ has to carry on its own.

We don't accuse MPSJ of being a traitor that blasphemes our statesman.

Neither do we see it as being patriotic in the name of Malaysia.


* * *

MPSJ: Objectives and benefits of Millennium Park SS13

Ratepayers' emails to The Star Metro
14.07.2001: Subang park hardly used
23.07.2001: Sheer waste of ratepayers' money
04.08.2001: Park is a waste of money

EXCLUSIVE! Read the Millennium Park series:
#1: Millennium Park: Already mission accomplished?
#2: Clear and present danger at park
#3: Maintenance work starts
#4: Repair for design flaws?
#5: Cracks and stalactites
#6: Waterlily pond: Cause of cracks?
#7: Ratepayers email The Star; voice concerns on park issues
#8: More money spent on safety
#9: 'Clear up the mess, promote the Park', MPSJ told

Click to view:
Web Forum discussion on the topic
Ratepayers' emails to the Press (July 2001)
Ratepayers' emails to the Press (August 2001)

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