Wednesday, July 2, 2014

More plans in the pipeline

KUALA Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib wants to build more affordable houses to cater to middle income residents during his second term.
“We are looking at collaborating more with the private sector by introducing incentives such as increasing the density or plot ratio for housing projects, expediting their purchase of government land and reducing the development charge to encourage them to build more affordable houses for those who do not qualify for low-cost housing.
“I will also continue with the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley initiatives, specifically in overseeing the River of Life project, identifying the fifth heritage trail in Dataran Merdeka under the Iconic Places project, planting more trees under the Greener Kuala Lumpur initiative and ensuring the construction of the 47km pedestrian walkway,” he said in thanking the government for giving him a one-year extension until July 15.
Ahmad Phesal’s two-year term was due to expire on July 18. He will turn 60 on July 12.
“I am thankful to Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor for giving me more time to serve,” he said after being asked about his reappointment yesterday.
Ahmad Phesal hopes to strengthen the OSC 1Submission procedure, which he introduced to speed up applications for development.
“Development of the city is vital to ensure steady economic progress, so I will look into factors that can expedite the process even further,” he said.
Ahmad Phesal also has many plans to further improve Kuala Lumpur’s infrastructure.
“I hope to expedite the construction of the missing link between Jalan Segambut and Mont Kiara, connect Jalan Jelatek with the Middle Ring Road 2, as well as widen the Jalan Duta exit to Mahameru Highway that is always congested.
Ahmad Phesal says there are also plans to strengthen DBKL’s Enforcement Department.
“We also plan to build more parking lot complexes with sporting facilities in Taman Segar, Cheras and Jalan Davis.
“We have also decided to construct a multi-storey complex to permanently place the 600 traders at the Danau Kota night market.
“The revival of Keramat Mall is also under way with an Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) currently under construction there. The Keramat market will also be relocated to the mall, and apartments which will be rented out will be built at the market site,” he said.
He also plans to improve clealiness in the city by collaborating with Alam Flora and Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation, as well as strengthen Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) Enforcement Department.
Tengku Adnan confirmed Ahmad Phesal’s reappointment to StarMetro, saying the mayor needed more time to see through several projects.
Ahmad Phesal was appointed the 10th Kuala Lumpur mayor on July 18, 2012, and many felt he should be given more time.
Local government experts have called for a longer duration for the post of mayor as they believe that two years is not enough for the person at the helm to see his plans through.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng welcomed the extension, saying that a two-year term was too short for any mayor to initiate major policy changes.
“I hope the mayor will implement two policies during his extended term. Firstly, to complete the River of Life project as the spillover economic benefits would be enormous.
“Secondly, I hope he will leave a lasting legacy by introducing a policy on freedom of information, stressing on good governance, specifically transparency and accountability,” he said.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar hoped the mayor would fulfil a promise made to hold meetings with MPs at least four to five times a year.
“DBKL should also have open tenders and fully disclose all ventures and assets in Kuala Lumpur. I also hope all MPs will be allowed usage of DBKL facilities and given access to constituency development funds,’’ she said.
Titiwangsa MP Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani hopes for a cleaner city and better enforcement.
“DBKL needs to work with the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Comission, Tenaga Nasional and Telekom to shut down all illegal gambling outlets in the city,” he said.

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