Friday, April 18, 2008

FT Minister takes note of issues

IT WAS the most awaited meeting and everyone took advantage of it. Federal Territories MPs had a good opportunity to raise issues affecting their constituencies at a meeting a two-day conference organised by the Federal Territories Ministry that started yesterday.

The meeting was a closed-door affair and no media was allowed.

After the event was launched by FT Minister Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique, reporters were seen scrambling trying to get a quick interview with the MPs on matters that would be raised.
Despite it being a closed-door meeting, a representative came out after each session to brief the media. The meeting ended at 5pm.

“The media should have been allowed since they've been emphasising transparency,” said Batu MP Tian Chua.

Tian Chua focused on issues affecting the Batu folks while Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said she chose environmental issues.

Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw said he spoke about poor public transport, flood mitigation, delayed projects, misuse of land, squatters and the need for a more visible platform for the public to voice their concerns to the relevant authorities.

Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong, who felt the meeting would not be effective, also attended.
Issues that Wee raised in the meeting included privatisation of parking lots, traffic woes and the mushrooming of residential and commercial development in his area.

Wee also spoke on issues affecting Titiwangsa as MP Dr Lo’Lo’ Mohammad Ghazali was not present at the meeting.

Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun spoke on Plaza Rakyat, poor drainage systems around the Imbi, Tiong Nam and Jalan Alor areas, which caused frequent floods as well as illegal hawkers posing a threat to licensed ones in Petaling Street.

Each MP was given 20 minutes to table their issues at the meeting chaired by FT secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib and FT deputy secretary-general (development) Datuk Bakaruddin Othman.

The issues and problems voiced out fell under four modules, namely the Delivery Service System, Services in the City, Public Facilities and Laws within the Local Authorities.
Zulhasnan assured the MPs that all issues voiced out would be looked at and settled as soon as possible.

“If we can solve the problem we will but if it involves certain policies then we will need more time to look into it,” he said.

Also present were Deputy FT minister Datuk M. Saravanan, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Abdul Hakim Borhan, selected residents associations, government agencies, universities, safety departments and NGOs.

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