BACK TO BASICS:Issues such as cleanliness and improving infrastructure top Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib’s to-do list
FOLLOWING his appointment as Kuala Lumpur mayor, Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib hopes to continue the good work of mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail whose term ends on July 15.
Streets visited the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing secretary-general in his office and managed to have a brief interview with Phesal who had earlier attended a meeting at the Prime Minister's Department.
His appointment takes effect on July 19 for a two-year term.
He said he wanted to engage more city folk in decision-making processes through, among others, with the setting up of the Urban Wellbeing Representative Council.
"We hope to have a similar council (called Majlis Perwakilan Kesejahteraan Bandar) in the city. That council was set up here in Putrajaya last year.
"It is aimed at having representatives from stakeholders at all levels including subzone and zones to communicate directly with City Hall. For KL, we suggested that the council's representatives be selected based on the 11 parliament constituencies.
"The other thing I noticed is the need to offer affordable housing to encourage people to stay and work in the city.
"The housing trend in KL is currently more on the low-cost and high-end residential scheme.
However, the young adults working here may find it difficult to get a house between RM200,000 and RM300,000 and this makes it less appealing for them to stay here," he said, adding that he would need discuss the details with minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin.
He said top on the list are the need to go back to basics as requested by city folk. These include cleanliness, maintenance and improvement of infrastructure.
"In order to improve delivery service, we can also delegate authorities at the branch offices to take immediate action instead of waiting for decisions from the headquarters.
"I appreciate efforts by Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad particularly in accommodating potential investors in the city. Since I was also in the construction permit task force, I also have some experience of the procedures," he said.
Phesal said the most challenging task as KL mayor was to achieve the status of being among the top 20 livable cities by 2020.
"One of the elements that we need to focus on in order to achieve this is the need to improve the quality of living in the city. We need to focus on redeveloping dilapidated areas with the involvement of private sectors. We cannot depend solely on government agencies for this (redevelopment)," he said, citing Kampung Baru and Kampung Kerinchi as examples.