Is the privatized solid waste management worth what we have paid?
We can tell if a local council runs well from how it manages solid waste, especially household garbage. Unfortunately, we have been privatizing our solid waste management to three monopolies since 2007; the lack of monitoring has lead to our daily nightmares.
Providing clean and healthy living environment is a basic responsibility of local government. Hence, ratepayers of every city have to pay assessment and quit rent to ensure that local councils run their business well and keep our city in a nice shape. However, is the privatized solid waste management worth what we have paid?
For instance, Southern Waste Management Sdn. Bhd. was awarded a contract by the federal government that allows them to monopolize the waste management in three states, namely Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johore. Yet, waste management has not significantly improved in these three states.
According to the reply given to me during the state assembly sitting last August , all Johore local councils spent a combined amount around RM 90 million every year since the privatization took place in 2007.
It is not such an astronomical number; yet, the question is whether or not we get what we paid for. With RM90 million paid every year, Johoreans spent about RM 246,575 every single day on waste management hence it is for public to judge if the service is worth our money.
As an assemblyperson representing Senai residents, I find it disturbing that with RM 10,000 paid to SWM everyday by Majlis Perbandaran Kulai for the services; my office is still receiving numerous complaints about drainage cleanliness and uncollected solid waste.
From May 2013 up until the end of September 2013, my office has received 21 reports regarding drainage cleanliness and very few of these cases have been taken care of.
The drainage, solid waste and public cleanliness are the most basic things that the government should have been taking care of. Unfortunately, we have a government that likes to privatize public services to private companies that aim at profiteering through monopoly.
I hereby call upon the Johore state government to review the privatization of solid waste management and follow the footsteps of Pakatan Rakyat led Penang and Selangor state governments if necessary. Apart from that, PPSPPA as a monitoring authority should release the KPI of SWM on quarterly basis if not monthly to allow public scrutiny.
Wong Shu Qi