By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Sept 13: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has urged Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting to take responsibilities to improve the council’s services over security issues at Sibu central market rather than blaming the hawkers over a theft case.
Tiong was surprised by the remarks made by Ting who chose to justify the mistakes made by those who reported to him and defended them.
“If Ting’s reaction as (SMC) chairman is to unjustifiably defend his councillors who fail to fulfill their obligations and responsibilities, he will only further alienate the people and deepen the negative public perception that the city council is sinking into uselessness and irrelevance.
“This attitude clearly shows their lack of sincerity in improving the quality of service among the councillors.
“When I first arrived in Bintulu, the Development Authority also had its share of public complaints like the SMC because of red tape, its superiority complex and a willful lack of understanding on how to serve the people sincerely.
“The people are tired of the behaviour of these government departments and institutions.
“But, with the cooperation and mutual understanding of the relevant staff, these agencies have gradually improved their service performances, which is duly recognised by the residents of the town.
“Unfortunately, because of a certain individual’s incompetence, there had been a reverse of this trend, which led to falling efficiency in the department.
“In the end, this person was finally replaced by a more competent individual, which quickly rectified the Bintulu Development Authority’s image,” Tiong who is Bintulu MP said in a statement yesterday.
He said it was difficult to understand why the SMC had refused to sit down and discuss workable ideas with the hawkers in the first place.
Rather, Tiong said SMC chose to publicly disparage the hawkers in the media for keeping their wares in the central market overnight in order to disavow all responsibility.
He gathered that the hawkers at the central market had tried to negotiate with the SMC to improve security measures in the market but their requests were turned down.
Tiong added the duty as city councillors is to serve the interests of the people, not heap blame on others and use the council as their private enterprise.
On another note, Tiong questioned the council for not increasing the subsidy to hire security staff to improve the security at the central market given the lack of manpower.
He asserted that security guards services were engaged and managed by the hawkers association with some subsidy by the SMC.
Tiong said both parties should have been able to discuss amicably to come to an agreement in order to help the community.
“Tiong claimed that he was not trying to politicise the matter but speaking up the issue for the hawkers of Sibu including the hawkers associations of Sarawak as an elected representative in order to bring some resolution to their problems.
Tiong hoped that Ting can relate his situation as a representative who is voicing out the issues to help the hawkers. —DayakDaily