There Are Many Subtleties And Hidden Meanings, Patterns Leading to Surprising Outcomes, For Us To Consider As We Ponderously Venture With Hope Still Towards A Better Malaysia
Sunday, November 04, 2012
AES, MRT Co And What's Wrong With Our Value System(?)
In a few weeks time, a few of us residents in Pinggir Za'aba will commence further legal proceedings against MRT Co. I cannot discuss the specifics of the case, but suffice it to say, we have a case, and have found our trust as among members of the public most affected by the construction of the MRT (according to the DEIA) abused by MRT Co as the so called manager of the project, with its CEO, Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid, personally culpable. Putting aside the false promises of the past, Pinggir Za'aba residents now face fresh insults. In an engagement by MRT Co with residents on 3 September 2012, MRT Co and its contractors, led by its 'Director of Staregic Communications and Public Relations', Amir Mahmood Abdul Razak, had promised to address some of the issues raised by the residents regarding the safety issues and mitigation measures to be put in place to safeguard the well-being of residents during the project. We were promised another engagement in 2 weeks time. This engagement never materialised and now, more than 2 months hence, residents of Pinggir Za'aba are still awaiting the follow up engagement. This actually makes MRT Co's Director of Strategic Communications a liar (!) ... wonder who he's emulating? In the meantime, these 'strategic communicators' at MRT Co have chosen to forget Pinggir Za'aba, by instead:
Ceasing to engage the community with regards to works due to commence in the area. This despite surveyors from at least one contractor company parking in Pinggir Za'aba to access planned construction areas and portions of the sound barrier separating the road from the LDP Highway overpass already marked for some mysterious and surely dastardly reasons.
Stepping up a major PR campaign with Millions of RM spent on Media Buy, contests, engagement of the general public mostly not affected by the MRT as well as running an mobile propaganda vehicle! I kid you not, rather than resolve the DEIA requirements to ensure the well-being of affected neighbourhoods, they'd rather convince everyone all is well instead!
Advising anyone in power, a complaints committee involving the new Chief Secretary of the Government (KSN) said to be the most recent, or who would ask that all is well at Pinggir Za'aba! Why? Because 'we have been quiet!
Perhaps the reason why MRT Co is behaving this was is not really their fault? Maybe it's because they do not understand what are the primary grouses presented by the residents of Pinggir Za'aba on 3 September 2012? Did it not compute that we were really worried about the health effect from dust, sound and vibration from the project to be built in front of our homes? Maybe they don't understand the traffic safety issues and inconvenience we will face? Perhaps they are surprised when asked for further guarantees that we will not be invaded by foreign workers cum part-time robbers on our streets!
Then I see the behaviour of some of our so called 'political leaders' regarding the AES implementation, meant to save lives on the road, regardless of their political affiliation. I find it amazing that a PAS VP and an UMNO Youth Leader could come to a closer agreement over the AES than over whether they are both going to the same heaven! It seems to them and whomsoever their supporters are, a system like AES that saves lives is not worthwhile as it is an 'inconvenience' to Malaysians. No wonder then MRT Co's rampant disregard of our neighbourhood's safety, it's inconvenient! So, OK, let us accept then that all these people, MRT Co, the anti-AES people, are all just sharing the same values that looks at people's lives and general well-being is cheap... cheap... not worth the public inconvenience of any effort to be improved! So let us at least draw a line that differentiates them, at least so far... at least the anti-AES mob so far are not LIARS! Unlike MRT Co who are LIARS! MRT Co' Director of Strategic Communications himself cannot keep to a promise to engage us in Pinggir Za'aba. His boss is a liar too, but that is for the courts... In any case, I think the Malaysian value system needs a small reboot in this case - hopefully for a minority rather than the majority of the population. The AES matters. Keeping affected neighbourhoods safe during MRT construction matters. Else all the material benefits we hope to enjoy by 2020 would be worth not as much to a society bereft of proper, civlised values...