Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tuaran Hajiji's Town

Hantu Laut

Is there a need for a gag order? Or was it meant to deaden the enormity of the Minister's blunders? Read what the Minister decreed here.

In my previous article "There Is No Clean Town In Sabah" I would have thought that the issue would have died down.Obviously, the ministers concerned are slinging at each other to cover their own mistakes.

Tuaran, is the hometown of Hajiji Noor, the Minister of Local Governments and Housing, who is at the centre of the Atkinson Tower and dirty towns controversy.He is responsible to oversee all local councils in Sabah.

My daily morning ritual visit to this small town about 6 kilometers from where I live bagged me a surprise this morning.

Someone, somehow, has done a quick spring cleaning of the town.It is not spick and span but an improvement of what it was.

To be fair, this is not the dirtiest town in Sabah but dirty enough to be in the dirty league.It has one of the most nauseating fish markets making the stench unbearable to those not use to it.The market have not seen a washdown for many years until I saw it this morning.Unusually cleaner than what it used to be.

Surprise! Surprise! the Minister must have taken one step ahead before someone also accused him of neglecting his duty to see to it that at least from where he came he put in extra effort to see that the place is kept clean.

The only minister that I knew who took pride in his hometown and made an effort to develop it and clean it up was Chong Kah Kiat when he was Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism.

At one time, Kudat was probably the cleanest town.I personally like this little town with its alluring rural charm.It's a better planned sprawling townships as compared to other towns like Keningau, Lahad Datu and many others, where you can get traffic jam.

As in the adage of Murphy's Law, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" and Tuaran is not short of them. As they say "pictures say a thousand words"

Grim and grimy besides the fish market.

The fish market.Notice the aisle being used as storage area.The fishmongers here are probably the most untrustworthy, biting out more than they can chew.They buy fish in large quantities and store them in the big cooler boxes and take them out every morning for sale.What they can't sell for the day goes back into the box.The same fish can be in and out of the box for as long as one week and you know what in the iced water? Formaldehyde ! I have stopped buying fish from this market unless I know for sure they are "pancing" fish, caught by hook,line and sinker.

First, it was this.This was standard British issue for five-foot way during colonial days, simple concrete finish and drains covered by concrete slabs flush with the walkway.Concerned for safety of pedestrians and knowing the habit of the people for not cleaning anything outside their domain was the criteria.Choosing the colour of dirt for the five-foot way and non-slip concrete finish, naturally makes it not dirty looking and save pedestrians from slipping in the event the floor is wet.

Than came this. Not too bad but this flawed.Notice the drain cover? How they are spaced apart.How do you clean the full length of the drain, knowing how primitive the people and equipment are? Another, even more stupidly designed and dangerous to pedestrians, the protruding hinges, which I have had the nasty experience of nearly breaking all the bones in my body tripping over it.Don't they have people with uncommon sense in the town council?

Than came this.The most horrifying drain cover one can imagine laid on a covered five-foot way.If the monkey who designed this thinks rainwater is going to flush the rubbish away than he must be of the same quality.One can't imagine the stench coming from the drain that permeates into the shops.What are the shopkeepers thinking? Weren't there any objection? The tiles? Try walking on it when it's wet.

Than somebody got a better idea, cut a piece of plywood to cover the hole to keep the stench away but nobody remembers to remove the rubbish.This was in front of a restaurant whom I believe suffered a drop in business because of the stench emitting from the drain.The owner had to improvised to save his business.

A giant tiered flower pot.Where are the flowers? All you can see are the wild 'lallang' Look at the ground.Would you like to walk over it? Why built something you can't maintain?

A clock tower without clocks.How much would it cost to buy 4 clocks? Today's quartz clocks are not only cheap but almost maintenance free.Isn't it shameful that somebody donated a clock tower to you and you simply abandoned it.

This is a new rubbish collection centre that's already looking its age.It has not been bathed since it was born. Typical, everywhere in this country, toilets must smell like shit and rubbish bins must look like shit.

There are still many shortcomings of this little town that would be too long to mention.

There are two golf courses, a 5-star resort and a 3-star resort just stone throw away from this town but tourists avoided the place like a leper colony because it simply has nothing to offer.

It could have been a quaint little town if the town council is manned by people who took pride in their jobs and not their pockets.

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