Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Selangor Government gets thrifty with first trip abroad

The Star Online > Nation Thursday April 17, 2008

New Selangor Government gets thrifty with first trip abroad

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor Government is planning its first overseas study trip, but it's one that's not costly. It's a trip to Singapore – by bus.

Local Government, Study and Research state chairman Ronnie Liu said the trip to the island state would be by air-conditioned coach with only relevant officers and no family members allowed.

“No flights; it’s costly,” he said.

“Some might hate the idea of a bus tour that takes about five hours with the two stops along the way, but you see it is ratepayers' taxes that we are using.

“By bus we can hit the main sites in our plan and skip the ones we don’t want to visit. So, it will be fun as all get to hop on and hop off when we want to see something,” he added.

Liu said the study tour was to get useful and practical understanding on the efficient domestic waste management methods, serene landscaping and other aspects of town management.
“Singapore is a good place to begin as their approach in managing town areas through the Community Development Councils in Central Singapore, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest are excellent. Since they are our neighbours we should learn from them,” he said.

Liu added that the study trip would include all 12 local council presidents, district officers, relevant heads of department and a few state executive councillors.

“Another area we are going to look into is soft landscaping. From Central Singapore to Changi Airport we can see the serene pockets of greenery and we want our local council officers in-charge of greenery to pick up ideas on how to keep the trees alive,” he said.

He added that the state government wanted to reduce the usage of foliage lighting on trees as it was artificial and cost the local councils a hefty electric bill sometimes hitting RM1mil a month.

On road repairs causing much inconvenience to road users, Liu said that with immediate effect contractors with local councils would only be allowed to carry out road, drainage, painting of road lines and earthworks from midnight to 6am.

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