Saturday, November 19, 2011

Of Tong Sampah and Big Do(s)

Even tong sampah (waste bins) can become a crowd puller. But in the end, I think not many people stayed to listen or whether at all any speeches were given. I didn't stay.... not interested to listen to more crap.
Tong Sampah
I actually read about this freebie of a tong sampah a couple of months back and when I saw this poster yesterday, it triggered a search for that article dated Sept 23rd, 2011. Let me just quote some of the content here... So, all of us can expect to receive this 120 litre bins by Sept 2012, according to the article. 
All households in the peninsula except in Penang, Selangor and Perak will be provided with a 120-litre garbage bin starting next month to separate their recyclable waste.
The exercise, which is expected to take four years, will start in Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Johor Baru, Seremban, Alor Setar, Kangar and Kuantan. Households in these places will receive the bins by September next year.
Distribution of the bins to all the major cities would begin by the end of next month, followed by other areas, said Solid Waste Management andPublic Cleansing Corporation CEO Datuk Zaini Nor.
“The initiative is aimed to better manage waste produced by households as well as raise awareness on the importance of recycling,” he said.
Zaini said the 120-litre bin would be for daily organic waste, while recycl-able items should be placed in another bag.
Tong Sampah 1
I was told by a neighbour that we had to get a form (I assume from the tents at the ceramah). We had to bring our IC it seems. But in the end, she got a copy for us and told me that there wasn't anyone there manning the form counter. Everyone was just taking the forms themselves and many left soon after. Food was also provided amidst the muddy fields. There was a heavy shower yesterday night. But the posters say the bins will be delivered to our houses, which makes me wonder whether the form thing was a ploy to get us to the tents...
I was a little surprised as there had been a flurry of activities around the housing area the last few days. Ever since the the private contractor took over the waste management as well as the upkeep of the place, I have noticed a drop in service. Rubbish collection used to be very efficient. It's not so now. Instead they tried to create all these 'central rubbish bins' around the housing estate which have become mini dumps. I feel sorry for those whose houses are near those bins. I know I would be most annoyed and may perhaps even take things into my hands and pull those bins away to another further location from my house... but fortunately I have been spared of that. The bins are a source of of eye sore and pest attractions. But these last few days, service was somehow different. Now I know the reason... sprucing for VIPs.

So for the next few days, the area will be nice and clean... These days, when I see such activities of benevolence, a few things cross my mind.

First and foremost will always be, who gets the contract to supply the bins? They are supposed to cost RM120 per bin. Are the bins obtained at the best price so that the savings can be passed back to the people? This coming after all these slew of news about the exorbitant sums that we seem to be paying for submarines, fighter jets, sugar prices which seems to be going northwards after it was given to a certain connected figure to the politicians, extension of toll concession under the guise that there will be less raises in the future... and the way that our leaders don't seem able to put us on par with the countries that started off from the same block as us... Taiwan, Korea, Singapore.. and those behind our block are fast catching up.

Other terms of usage of the 'free' bins include a police report if they are lost. And we have to buy new ones if old the one goes missing. I can already imagine unscrupulous people going round carting these bins away since it is also stated that rubbish will not be collected if they are not placed in these bins. Crime rate has been on the rise despite the government telling us that they are taking in more police.... police presence is another issue. And the bins cannot be tied to the fence or any other structures. I guess for house owners will have to get people to build structures to contain these units.... more money spent. *sigh*

Waste management... personally, I try to do my part for my environment. I keep aside almost everything that can be recycled for the lorries or vans that come periodically to collect. Most of my vegetable and fruit peelings are buried for compost. Our family generates very little rubbish these days. But that comes about because I want to do it. I feel it is important and the incentive of being paid; selling them to the recycling vans/lorries. Many of my students who live in the kampung say they don't recycle because there is no such facility. So for convenience sake, some of them just throw their rubbish into the river behind their houses... or just dump it into the big bin beside the road.

Waste... free bins.... these days, politicians want to be seen as giving something to the people. But they keep forgetting that it's their performance and lifestyle that give us some things to wonder about. In this connected world, when they flaunt their wealth and live beyond their means and then claim that they got there mainly through their abilities, you get questions put into our minds. You wonder too why all the PM's children are millionaires (or perhaps even billionaires??), or how before they even hit 30, they have made it. Or how a penny-stock company stirs up a price tsunami when a 28-year-old whose father is the PM gets appointed to its board??? One should wonder... Waste bins.. they stir up thoughts like this...

Now to wait for the bins to get delivered.... in four years, if someone wants to do a research for a postgrad, a study into whether all the households get the bins might make an interesting study... Accountability has gone into hiding for too long cos those who manipulates it know that Religion and Race can be counted on to create havoc and make things murky in our minds.

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