Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Going the extra mile to serve people - The Star

May 13, 2008

A PENANG municipal councillor is going the extra mile to serve the public by introducing a mobile service counter to ensure better accessibility for the public.

Tham Weng Fatt has chosen two locations – in a suburban market and a city centre cafe – for a start.

He said he would be stationed at his service counter, consisting of just a table and some chairs, at the Bayan Baru market from 9.30am to 11am on Sundays and at the Shanghai Dim Sum Cafe at Abu Siti Lane from 7pm to 9pm on Fridays.

At your service: Tham (standing) talking to customers at the cafe.

“I set up a service counter at the Bayan Baru market during the last two Sundays and decided to have one in George Town following positive public response.

“I intend to provide the service at Paya Terubong, Seri Delima and Fettes Park as soon as possible if owners of coffee shops or supermarkets there are willing to offer their support,” Tham told a press conference at the Shanghai Dim Sum Cafe on Friday.

He said he had introduced the service for the convenience of the public because they could approach him after running their errands or eating out and save travelling time as well.

“I hope the assemblymen (of the constituencies where the service is provided) will not get me wrong.

“I am not overriding their duties but just reinventing the image of municipal councillors.

“They are people willing to take the initiative to serve the public,” he said.

Tham, who is also Penang DAP Action Team chief, said he received over 100 complaints daily during his first three days as a councillor last month.

“Before becoming a councillor, I handled 20 to 30 complaints a day but now I receive 60 to 80 complaints daily, mostly on rubbish collection, street lighting, potholes and clogged drains.

“I take every complaint seriously and reply to each one but some cases such as cutting of overgrown trees involve other authorities and cannot be resolved immediately,” he said.

Commenting on DAP’s suggestion made in June to add road signs in Penang in Chinese, Tham said he would propose the idea to the council once the party’s youth wing, Dapsy, had finalised its proposal on the matter.

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