New FT minister has work cut
15/04/2009 NST By Minderjeet Kaur
IF the new Federal Territories minister were to start jotting down what
needs to be done to improve the city in a notebook it would be full in no
He would probably be wondering which problem should he tackle first. Any
wrong moves could land him in hot water as he could be accused of getting
his priorities wrong or be branded as inexperienced.
Senator Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin has six months to prove his
abilities in the hot seat.
Time is not on his side as expectations are running high on the part of the
business community and city folk who are worried about the economic crisis.
There are several issues which he should look into immediately to win the
hearts and minds of the people and prove that he is capable of turning Kuala
Lumpur into a world-class city by 2020.
First, he should meet the business community and act on their grouses.
Most of them have been hit by the economic slowdown.
They have been appealing to the government and City Hall for help for a long
They want a share of the RM60 billion stimulus package to kick-start their
They have said that they want to retain their workforce but are unable to do
it without government assistance.
The new minister should also hold discussions with the business community to
look for ideas to create jobs.
By boosting the business community, the minister would, indirectly, be
helping to increase employment opportunities and reduce social problems
related to unemployment.
Second, he should meet representatives from Barisan Nasional component
parties who have a list of questions for him, ranging from housing problems
to satisfying public sentiment.
This is because, even though 10 of the 11 parliamentary constituencies are
under the opposition, people still go to BN service centres for help.
Third, he needs to work with non-governmental organisations which deal with
the poor, disabled and sex workers.
NGOs have been clamouring for less red tape, especially when it concerns
disabled people who are looking for jobs or training.
Several NGOs also want City Hall to place sex workers and drug addicts in
suitable locations or create job opportunities to reduce crime in the Chow
The minister will be meeting the opposition. He will list down their
problems and issues and pass them on to Mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail to act
In doing this, he should take a personal interest in the problems raised and
give members of parliament a time frame for them to be solved, especially
when it involves bigger issues affecting the community or a housing estate.
However, it may be difficult to come to an agreement with all 10 opposition
Despite organising various training programmes and issuing warnings about
stern action against any staff caught taking duit kopi (bribes),
Transparency International felt that City Hall was not doing enough to
improve its credibility.
Raja Nong Chik is also expected to do a lot of walkabouts and listen to the
grouses of the people.
City folk are fed up with the rush-hour traffic. They also want to see an
end to flash floods which have robbed them of their valuables and peace of
They don't want haphazard development.
They also want cleaner air in the city.
They want entertainment outlets to be more suitably located and more parking
spaces at reasonable rates.
They want more greenery and clean rivers.
Their demands may seem endless but, really, all they desire is for Kuala
Lumpur to be a better city to live in and a place that they can be proud to
They are now pinning their hopes on the new boss to lead the city in the
right direction and keep whatever promises he may make to them.