MBKS working together with other city councils to streamline operations

Wee (seated centre) together with deputy mayor Hilmi Othman (seated left) and MBKS’s acting city secretary Zainab Marzali attending to questions from journalists.

KUCHING, Jan 30: Kuching South City Commission (MBKS) is working with DBKU and MPP to streamline management and eventually standardise operations across the three councils’ jurisdictions.

Kuching South City Commission (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng revealed that he held a management meeting with his counterparts at Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP).

“All this while, I have been emphasising on the link and the connections for all the councils.

“Everybody knows that our city is a city of unity and we have two city halls. But, we cannot deny the fact that we are still one Kuching.

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“So the first step, internally, we have set up joint committee meetings with DBKU and MPP, to connect the management first.

“After that, then we start to connect the people around the Kuching area.

“That’s why we do not like to say this is north, this is south but we put it (together) as a greater Kuching concept,” Wee told reporters after chairing the MBKS meeting here today.

He disclosed that MBKS has already held two rounds of joint committee meetings with DBKU and MPP, and noted that there are common problems and issues between the three councils which needed to be addressed before the connection can materialise.

“Basically, the management side is already linked.

“We are going to link the people, through infrastructure, through the urban renewal system that we are going to work on,” he disclosed.

Citing an example, Wee explained that the smart traffic light management system must not just be available within one council area but all three.

He believed that it is important all the councils be linked with the same traffic light management system to facilitate the flow of road traffic within Kuching city.

Additionally, he opined that all the councils should offer or charge the same rates, for instance, for the rent of mobile toilets or display of banners in public places.

“We started (discussion) on all the rules and charges for a start.

“Slowly we are going to go down (sic) into the by-laws and ordinances which includes business signboards and illegal extensions on commercial properties,” he said.

He also explained that the purpose of the joint committee meetings was to find common grounds where all three councils will be able to implement similar enforcement, such as on penalty and compounds.

Meanwhile, Wee revealed that MBKS is incorporating the development of Padungan into the urban renewal plan of the greater Kuching City.

The development of Padungan will be implemented under the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12) from 2021 to 2025 which the council has proposed to the state government.

“It is a roadmap for our smart and healthy city concept for RMK-12,” he added.

Wee pointed out that the plan includes unearthing hidden heritage potential and value of landmarks such as monuments, and maximising the lane ways between shophouses, especially in the old Padungan area,

He believed that there are opportunities to revive the business environment and to make the Padungan area vibrant as the ‘Chinatown’ of Kuching despite some quarters claiming that the area is lacklustre.

Citing an example, he observed that Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand operates until 3am and remains vibrant. — DayakDaily