Thursday, June 12, 2008

Residents want elected reps to provide contact details - The Star

Jun 12, 2008

PETALING Jaya residents want the Selangor government to provide contact details and e-mail addresses of elected representatives on billboards instead of just having a portrait of them.

“It is unnecessary for the state to spend money on billboards for the purpose of self–promotion,” said Petaling Jaya Residents Association president (PJRA) Eashvara Lingam.

He said this was the reaction of most people on a new billboard in SS2, Petaling Jaya, depicting Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and a slogan that reads Sentiasa Berusaha Untuk Kemajuan Negeri Selangor, (Constantly striving for Selangor’s development).

Waste of money?: The Selangor state government’s new billboard along Jalan SS2 in Petaling Jaya has become a subject of discontent among residents.

He felt that the billboard used in such a manner was a waste of money.

“It could have been paid for by loyal supporters or the MP of the constituency. But anything which is done purely for self promotion does not benefit the public,” Eashvara said.

He said the practice of publicising assemblymen's contact numbers and e–mail through billboards by the former state government was seen as beneficial to the rakyat.

“Many of the present assemblymen are new faces to the residents. If the government could provide information on how they can be reached to improve the living conditions and standards in their constituencies, it's a win–win situation,” he said.

Old billboards containing pictures of local representatives and the former mentri besar were removed from strategic advertising locations around Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya.

Eashvara said that what the Barisan assemblymen had done in the past by giving out their contact information should continue.

Former Bukit Tunku assemblyman and Petaling Jaya city councillor Datuk Dr Wong Sai Hou said the new billboard should contain value-added information for the public.

“The new mentri besar wants to reach out to the people, which is fine. All he needs to do is to add his telephone, cell–phone, fax number and e-mail address. This would be the added value,” he said.

Wong suggested that it was a possibility that the outdoor advertising company responsible for putting up the signage might have done so to show their appreciation to the present state government.

“I feel that the comment made by the PJRA president was relevant. But, to be fair, we cannot tell the government to follow exactly what the Barisan Nasional in Selangor had done by putting up their assemblyman's information on billboards,” Wong said.


Khalid billboard not put up by Selangor government

A BILLBOARD at SS2 in Petaling Jaya depicting a portrait of Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was not put up by the state government or the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).

According to state local government committee chairman Ronnie Liu, the advertising company that put up the billboard did not obtain approval of the authorities to do so.

Liu: ‘The state government will meet with the company officials to sort out the matter.’

“The company has done it without the knowledge of the authorities and the billboard does not cost the government a single sen,” Liu told StarMetro.

He said the previous Barisan Nasional state government had given the advertising company a contract to erect 160 billboards with the image of former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khir Toyo under the Mesra Rakyat concept.

Liu said that in return, the State Economic Planning Unit had given the company the right to put up 100 commercial billboards.

“The previous state government gave the company the rights to solicit advertisements for the billboards to generate income for itself for its donation of the 160 billboards,’’ he said

Liu said that when the Pakatan Rakyat coalition gained power in Selangor after the March 8 general election, the company was ordered to do away with such billboards.

Liu said the state government would meet with the company officials to sort out the matter.

“We hope the people of Selangor know the real story and will not accuse the state government of wasting money on such billboards,” he said.

“The state government is very responsible and will not misuse public funds to promote the interests of politicians,’’ Liu said.

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