Pelawan rep criticises SMC’s decision to discontinue CNY bulk waste collection

David Wong

SIBU, Jan 6: DAP Sarawak deputy chairman, David Wong is disappointed that Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will stop its Chinese New Year (CNY) bulk waste collection service this year.

After its monthly full council meeting in December 2019, SMC announced its decision to stop this long-practiced collection of bulk waste before CNY for residents within its areas of jurisdiction due to the huge financial cost.

It was reported that this year, the quotations for the service had increased three-fold and thus SMC decided to set up 18 collection centres in residential locations instead.

“Spring cleaning is a tradition for the Chinese and people throw away bulk waste after their spring cleaning such as mattresses, cabinets and wardrobes and so forth. These bulky objects or waste cannot be transported with normal sedan or family vehicles, and thus the service provided by SMC is crucial for most of the residents in Sibu,” according to Wong.

SMC has urged those who need the bulk waste collection service to go to the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) to pay RM40 for the said service. Wong claimed this is unacceptable as this creates more financial burden for the residents during this already trying time.

He also pointed out that SMC did not appear to realise that without the bulk waste collection service, there would bound to be people discarding their bulk waste along road sides or open areas which would cause hygiene, health and road safety issues.

“The local council must remember that its presence is to manage the taxpayers and ratepayers’ fund and help the residents instead of giving excuses (not) to serve the rakyat.”

Wong who is also Pelawan assemblyman branded the discontinuation of the bulk waste collection service before CNY as not people-centric and against the wishes of the majority of the people.

He claimed that the once-a-year bulk waste collection could not be a burden that would cripple SMC’s financial position with its yearly revenue of RM63 million.

“If the council should insist on their stand that they cannot afford it then they should publish the detailed statement and accounts of their 2016-2019 bulk waste collection for CNY including the tender prices, the details of the number of lorries engaged and the total waste collected such as the number of truckloads of waste disposed,” he added.

He urged SMC chairman Clarence Ting to call for an emergency meeting to address this issue as soon as possible as CNY is not far away (Jan 25).

“I also urge the state minister of local government, Dr. Sim (Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Hui Kian), to step in, if necessary, to address this issue,” he added. — DayakDaily