Friday, 15 February 2008

Batu Pahat Streets

It took my sister’s observations to jolt me into looking at BP with new glasses; she has been away for four years and the first observation she made was how clean the streets are, and how many buildings along the main streets have been given a new coat of paint. Speaking of cleanliness, garbage collection has also improved considerably. By 12 midnight, all the garbage would have been removed by these anonymous garbage collectors.

We were doing some spring cleaning before Chinese New Year, and articles we considered to be useless, including old clothes, ceramic plates, toys, video tapes, audio tapes, were packed carefully in thick plastics so as not to inconvenience these collectors. We were slightly worried that they might be peeved by this mountain of garbage and refused to collect them. But the next morning, the garbage was gone. The next night, we again left about 9 huge plastic bags, and waited for the garbage truck to remove them. However, a human scavenger beat them to it. This old man infuriatingly tore open the plastic bags to take what he wanted and left the rest scattered haphazardly on the road. We rushed down and scolded the man for being so inconsiderate. We told him to take what he wanted, but to repack the rest in new plastic bags given by us.

The various government departments too have shown signs of improvement. The department for issuing and renewing licences have become a one-stop centre: renew the licence, take a queue number and pay at the payment counter just a few feet away. The Land Office where you pay your quit rent is similarly efficient.

Even the Immigration and Passport Department has cut issuing and renewing passports to only one day. Previously, one could see a long queue that snaked its way from the counters to the compound of the department. Now the new premise is air-conditioned and has comfortable seats for the public.

Recently, some roads have been repaved and it was a joy to drive, and pot-holes have been filled in short time. Roads are planted with trees and dividers have potted plants.

Yes, the district council has been working hard. But somehow, these improvements have gone unnoticed and unappreciated.

Note how clean the street is

Some repainted shoplots

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