Local councils raise stink over 10MP waste scheme

Posted on June 11, 2010. Filed under: Waste |

-Malaysiakini.com-

The federalisation and eventual privatisation of solid waste management featured in the 10th Malaysia Plan will only be detrimental to the people, Selangor local councillors say.

If anything, they said, this move will only serve to increase centralisation and reduce local authority jurisdiction.

um pro-m talk 05022010 03 lee khai loonAccording to the plan unveiled yesterday, the move is to “relieve (the local authority) of this workload”, which typically takes up 40 to 50 percent of their manpower.

“I don’t see how this is going to happen. I can only see it causing more bureaucracy and a hike in commissions or management fees,” Selayang municipality councillor Lee Khai Loon (right) said.

“The funds for this will come from our revenue, and all the complaints will still come to us, but we won’t have power to do anything about it.”

Local councils in Selangor are now paying a management fee to Alam Flora Sdn Bhd, on top of other fees paid to contractors managed by the company, amounting to about 40 percent of their revenue.

Likewise, Petaling Jaya councillor Derek Fernandez slammed the proposal, saying that it was more the case of “piratisation, rather than privatisation”.

azlan“The privatisation of basic services like water and waste management is disgusting… they privatise all the profit-making areas and we get to handle all the complaints,” he burst out.

Fernandez added the federal move was questionable as it was not constitutional to take away the power of local authorities in the name of “streamlining”.

‘New datuk or tan sri-owned consortium’

The Malaysian experience with privatisation shows that it would likely produce “cartels or monopolies”, rather than provide cheaper and better service to the people, he said.

government appeal on allah case 060110 herald lawyer derek   fernandez“I am certain that at the end of the day it is the same subcontractor that collects your garbage with differently-painted trucks with some datuk or tan sri heading the new consortium,” he said.

He added that in Petaling Jaya alone, the contract is worth RM52 million a year, making it a very lucrative industry to be in.

Fernandez (left) also brushed off the argument that the move will ‘ease the burden’ of local councils who cannot afford it.

“If this is the case then they shouldn’t impose it on councils that are managing fine,” he said, adding that the Petaling Jaya City Council will oppose the move as neither the council nor the state was consulted.

However, Lee said that the state must prepare itself as the Federal government appears all set to implement it.

“We should form a negotiation team so we can have a say in any deals that the government will have with any consortium, as it will have long term impact.

“Right now we’re forced to pay a lot of money for sub-par service because of an agreement signed by the previous Selangor government,” he said.

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