Solid waste act: Whither local councils?

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Two Acts passed in Parliament – the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 and the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation Act 2007 – could take away a huge chunk of the powers of local councils.

These Acts allow for the setting up of a federal-level solid waste management corporation that could remove the powers of the local councils to oversee solid waste disposal including collection and disposal of rubbish, grass-cutting and even the cleanliness of public areas such as public toilets, markets and local council roads. The federal body could even take over the management and operations of all disposal sites managed by local councils, including the task of identifying new sanitary disposal sites, transfer stations, and the management and technical oversight of incinerators. Not much left for the local councils to do then. Even recycling activity by NGOs could be affected by the new Acts.

These Acts, which were supposed to have come into force by the end of 2008, are actually a blow for local democracy and public participation. Basic services and decision related to them that affect people at the local level on a mundane daily basis – such as rubbish disposal and public transport – are best left to local authorities. Local authorities can solicit public participation and feedback more effectively than a remote federal-level corporation.

MPPP Councillor Lim Kah Cheng wonders aloud: how can a centralised organisation be effective in taking over all the nitty gritty include overseeing every public toilet and the cleaning of markets and roads after pasar malam?

The Act provides for the federal management body to impose charges as it wishes after taking from the council the costs the councils are currently paying for these services. This puts the rakyat at risk of being overcharged, she points out, whereas if these services are under the control of local councils, the local authorities would have no choice but to work within the budgeted income derived from the collection of assessment rates.

Kah Cheng, however, disagrees that the state government should wait until a federal government briefing. If it opts to wait, the MPPP can only renew early short-term contracts – which would make it impossible for the local council to plan for the long-term or for contractors to invest in equipment and upgrading of services.

She argues instead that the Local Government Act 1976 and Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 both empower the Council to carry out these basic local services.

The contractors, however, are now caught by the new Acts and need licences.

SOLID WASTE AND PUBLIC CLEANSING MANAGEMENT ACT 2007 ACT 672

LICENSING PROVISIONS
section 14. Requirement for licence.
(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not less than fifty thousand ringgit and not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both and in the case of a continuing offence, be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit for every day or a part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction.

What the Council could do, points out Kah Cheng, is to encourage these contractors to apply for licences and then hire them.

In her adjournment speech on 30 October 2009, she said:

Pada tahun 2007, Parlimen telah meluluskan dua Akta yang membawa kesan yang sirius kepada MPPP. Akta tersebut ialah Akta Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal dan Pembersihan Awam 2007 dan Akta Perbadanan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Dan Pembersihan Awam 2007. Kedua dua Akta tersebut telah pun diwartakan pada 30 Ogos 2007 dan di laporkan berkuatkuasa mulai hujung tahun 2008. Tetapi sampai sekarang, pihak MPPP belum di beritahu bila Akta Akta tersebut akan berkuatkuasa di Pulau Pinang walaupun arahan telah di terima supaya kontrak kontrak untuk pengurusan sisa pepejal dan pembersihan awam hanya boleh di beri atau di lanjutkan dengan jangka yang pendek dan pengambilan kakitangan terlibat diberhentikan.

Sebab itu, pihak MPPP dan kontraktor kontraktor pengurusan sisa pepejal dan pembersihan awam tidak boleh merancang atau membeli traktor traktor, mesin mesin yang wajib atau mengambil pekerja yang mengcukupi. Hakikatnya, pelaksanaan tugas tugas MPPP terjejas dan rakyat Pulau Pinang merugikan.

Secara ringkasnya, Akta Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal dan Pembersihan Awam memperuntukkan, antara lain, bahawa:

  • Kerajaan Persekutuan hendaklah mempunyai kuasa eksekutif untuk mengambil alih tugas tugas pihak berkuasa tempatan (PBT) berkenaan dengan segala perkara yang berhubungan pengurusan sisa pepejal dan pembersihan awam di seluruh Semenanjung Malaysia dan Wilayah-Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya dan Labuan,
  • Tugas tugas yang di amblialih adalah sangat luas dan termasuk semua aspek pengurusan sisa pepejal termasuk kutipan dan pelupusan sampah, memotong rumput dan pembersihan tempat awam seperti tandas awam, pasar dan jalan PBT dan pengurusan dan operasi semua tapak pelupusan yang diuruskan oleh PBT termasuk mengenalpasti dan menilai tapak pelupusan sanitari, stesen pemindahan, teknologi insinerator dan pengurusan loji.
  • Tiada sesiapa pun boleh mengendali pengurusan sisa pepejal dan pembersihan awam tanpa memegang lesen yang diberikan oleh Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Negara dan di urus oleh Perbadanan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Dan Pembersihan Awam,
  • Aktiviti aktiviti kitar semula akan dikawal oleh Perbadanan tersebut,
  • Kuasa pun diberi kepada Menteri untuk menetapkan aras kadar yang hendak dicajkan penguna penguna.

Akta Perbadanan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Dan Pembersihan Awam 2007 menubuhkan Perbadanan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Dan Pembersihan Awam untuk mentadbir dan menguatkuasa Akta Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Dan Pembersihan Awam.

Saya percaya bahawa dengan pelaksanaan Akta Akta tersebut, kos pengurusan sisa pepejal dan pembersihan awam akan meningkat bagi pengguna dan membebankan rakyat. Rakyat akan di perlukan membayar caj pengerusan sisa pepejal dan pembersihan awam selain daripada pembayaran cukai pintu.

Kualiti perkhidmatan akan terjejas dengan sentralisasi. Keperluan lesen untuk kontraktor kontraktor berkenaan yang akan di urus oleh Perbadanan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal dan Pembersihan Awam boleh membangkitkan risiko korupsi, kronisme dan lain-lain masalah yang selama ini membelenggu mekanisme birokrasi negara kita.

Kawalan aktiviti-aktiviti kitar semula oleh Perbadanan itu akan menjejaskan pendapatan NGO-NGO yang bergantung pada aktiviti aktiviti tersebut.

Pada pendapat saya, akta-akta tersebut bercanggah langsung dengan peruntukan-peruntukan Akta Kerajaan Tempatan 1976 dan Akta Jalan, Parit dan Bangunan 1974 yang menugaskan dan memberi kuasa pengerusan sisa pepejal dan pembersihan awam kepada PBT .

Oleh yang demikian, saya menyeru MPPP dan Kerajaan Negeri supaya menolak Akta-Akta tersebut di Pulau Pinang tanpa menunggu sebarang taklimat daripada Kerajaan Persekutuan supaya kita boleh merancang, melabur and mengambil langkah langkah yang perlu untuk memberi rakyat perkhidmatan pengurusan sisa pepejal dan pembersihan awam yang lebih baik.

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hubert thong

Well, when you are almost broke and your mistresses need more money, the poor recyclable material collector also can be squeezed for their paltry 5 sen worth. Spirit of 1Malaysia. Rich or poor, you gotta pay and pay and pay. Who do you still wanna choose to govern?

kingkong

Waste Soil?
Under Grerakan/UMNo they spend money on UMNO TVs about recycling but actually Gerakan/UMNO did nothing about recycling. It is supposed to seperate those that acn recycle and those that can be done at they are first disposed. But where are the BINs. Gerakan/UMNO even has no money for seperate bins. Private developers has to fork out buying recommended Compactors. All the talk of recycle – Gerakan/UMNO did not spend a cent but by private developers including the land fill in Selangor

looes74

Angela,
BN might go in the way of Nationalist back in the Chinese civil war. Humialiating defeats. Until people can unite together, this Nationalist, oops!, BN would stay in power in perpetuity

Angela Ooi

Bloody hell, I sense BN Govt SMELLING $$$ with this new ACT. We can expect these services to cost more in future. They (may) then give ‘one-sided, lucrative, golden egg contracts to their own people. Nothing that they do is for the Rakyat but just another creative way to squeeze more money from us.