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Bukit Siol, Jalan Semariang Petra Jaya

93050 Kuching Sarawak

Of Litterbugs, Road Hogs and Noise Polluters.
Posted on : 22 Oct 2018  Source of News: the borneo post

I’ve lived in Kuching all my life, with brief sojourns in Sibu, Sarikei, Miri, Kuala Belait and Kota Kinabalu in addition to extensive periods spent in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang for both business and pleasure.

By and large one could easily say that as far as the fair city of Kuching is concerned, its general populace are good, decent and very friendly people; its general environment and surrounds are usually impeccably clean, neat and beautiful; and its overall ambiance and general conduct of doing business as well as for food and entertainment is reasonably varied, rather inexpensive, very safe and in most cases very pleasant.

A visitor on business would find it cordial, peaceful, hassle-free but rather unexciting insofar as night life and adult entertainment are concerned. However the niche tourist would love Kuching for its serenity, quaintness and overall friendliness.

But this past week has been an aberration of sorts when it comes to bad behaviour – namely inconsiderate littering, unruly traffic and noise pollution.

Firstly there was a huge uproar of protest and indignation over social media when postings of extensive and seemingly callous littering of all sorts of rubbish, paper and plastic containers and whatnots spread out all over the vicinity where the audience and crowd had been viewing the launching of the New Water Fountain in front of the DUN Assembly Building across the river at Petra Jaya! The images posted were certainly most disturbing as it showed widespread littering of the most careless and irresponsible kind – members of the  audience had simply just thrown away their trash wherever they had walked, stopped or rested. This to say the least is most unacceptable behaviour!

We have seen many instances of prolific littering from time to time – there are areas and certain spots where such profuse littering is still being seen regularly – among them at the weekly (Fridays & Saturdays) Satok Uptown Market at the Civic Centre Carpark area at Jalan Crookshank/Jalan Taman Budaya.

It would appear that local Kuchingites are not very civil minded when it comes to taking care of their rubbish or to cleaning up after themselves. Is it just bad personal habit or simply a total disregard for public property or simply a complex– of why worry,after all there’re people being paid to clean up after us – a perverted sense of self-entitlement?

No matter what it is – it’s time that the authorities – especially the councils – come down hard on these hard core elements and enforce the No Littering Act by really fining them or putting them to shame.

Early training of civic consciousness towards such deeds as well as how to care for and look after public spaces and properties starts at home and in the schools – apparently something have gone wrong somewhere in between.

On the roads and in the parking spaces too – there were stories and photos plastered all over Facebook and WhatsApp of road hogs and road bullies. This is an ongoing and ever present hazard of driving on and using our roads – as it is we are already experiencing all sorts of bad traffic congestion during the heavy usage areas during the peak hours of between 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m in the mornings and between 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at night.

Indiscrimate and irresponsible parking at designated public car parks have always been huge problems – of late many drivers have been guilty of even blocking parked cars by leaving their vehicles blocking an entire row or a few previously parked cars. This, without the decency of leaving a note wedged on the wiper of his cellphone no.! Besides a doctor on an emergency (or a matter of life and death) there shouldn’t be any such act at all.

Breaking and jumping queues while picking up kids at school as well as other places of drop-offs and pick-ups is also becoming common. Sometimes when this happens one can begin to understand why there are “road bullies!”

Recently the newly installed Minister of Transport Anthony Loke had announced that they had arrested 12 JPJ officers who had between them issued more than 14,000 fake driving licences at a bribe of between RM2000 to 3500 each – mostly to Malaysians and Chinese nationals.  So now at least we know that many drivers are actually “kopi-o” licensed ones!

Recently a friend from Sabah told me that he really dreads driving in Kuching – as there are far too many motorcycles to avoid, whereas there are virtually none in KK!  No wonder there are more courteous drivers in Sabah!

The Mat Rempits spirit is well and alive and it’s living in Kuching!

I would also like to briefly touch on another issue – that of noise pollution emanating from loudspeakers either blasting karaoke or other sounds into public spaces at odd hours of the day or night.

Fair enough if it’s for a special occasion, a one-off event or even a musical evening. Usually notice is given and it’s for a fixed period of time and during a decent hour.

Sometimes it’s a real disturbance to the nearby buildings, residents or other public spaces. Let’s take for example on a Sunday morning when a church service is going on, and there’s a very loud AV system blasting off announcements and music from a public field just a stone’s throw away. In the first place the organisers should have taken note of this and either changed the date or the time.

What about a coffee shop blasting karaoke music at full volume into the wee late hours of the night as the sound travels across water to those who reside on the other side? What about its other nearby residents all within just a few meters’ walk away? Have they got used to it or have their many complaints fallen on deaf ears and upon authorities who had failed to do anything about it?

We live in a very peaceful, beautiful and harmonious city – let’s hope that such occasional hiccups and aberrations would not harm nor alter our general decency in the long run. I urge you to please do your small part in imparting to those whom you come across doing any of this – either littering, illegal parking or making too much noise in a public space. Just a nice and polite  – “Please be more considerate” would go a long way.