Today, 10th July, 2020, marks the 100th day in office as Ipoh City Mayor for Dato’ Rumaizi Baharin @ Md Daud. He was appointed the 12th Ipoh Mayor on 3rd April, 2020, as the youngest mayor at the age of 45, since Ipoh achieved city status on 27th May, 1988.
Dato’ Rumaizi’s appointment couldn’t have come at a more challenging time, during the Movement Control Order (MCO), which was enacted by the National Security Council (NSC) in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission.
However, with his cheery personality, Dato’ Rumaizi has taken these prevailing circumstances in his stride, and speedily adapted to the new normal of working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s look at the 11 key points implemented during these first 100 days that were impactful in the administration of the Ipoh City Council (Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh) along with the development of the city under the leadership of Dato’ Rumaizi, someone who is always open to the views and opinions of all parties involved before making a final decision.
1) Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI) is First Local Authority in Perak to Host Online the Local Central Committee (OSC) Meeting
In line with the Federal Government’s call to stimulate the economy following the Movement Control Order (MCO) since 18th March, Dato’ Rumaizi decided to host the Local Central Committee (OSC) meeting online on 5th May, involving 13 external and 9 internal technical agencies.
Through the outcome of the meeting, from a total of 143 applications received, 68 were approved (45.55%), one rejected (0.75) and 74 were deferred (51.74%). For the period from 5th May until 29th June, 2020, out of 299 applications received, 289 were approved (96.66%), 5 rejected (1.67%), while 5 put on hold (1.67%).
2) Tough Action Taken Against 40,000 Errant Property Owners in the City
Dato’ Rumaizi is no-nonsense when it comes to cleanliness. On 2nd June, 2020, he served a warning to an estimated 40,000 Ipoh property owners that tough action would be taken upon them, such as compounding as a last resort, if they did not keep their property clean and orderly, until their neighbours were at risk of illness.
3) Compounding Illegal Rubbish Dumpers
In an effort to eradicate illegal rubbish dumps,the Mayor has no qualms about compounding anyone caught disposing of their waste in the city at unauthorised sites.
This translated to an increase in the total compound from last year’s RM663,220 to RM1.03 million. For 2020 until 29th February, a total of 219 summons were issued, to the value of RM181,050.
From 1st January until 31st May, 1,672 illegal dump sites with 12,210 tonnes of rubbish were identified in Ipoh.
An Anti-Litter Unit was established to overcome this issue by conducting surveillance works and issuing RM1000 summons to litterbugs.
4) Reopening of morning market, night market, pasar tani (farmers’ market) and Gerbang Malam
Understanding the hardship faced by traders of these markets that were forced to close in compliance with the Movement Control Order (MCO), Dato’ Rumaizi expedited the resumption of business and even sought permission from the Perak Menteri Besar to extend the business hours of night markets and Gerbang Malam, during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
5) City-level Economic Stimulus Package
In accordance with the Economic Stimulus Package as announced by our Prime Minister, Dato’ Rumaizi waived the rental for 170 business premises for three months from March until May 2020.
At the same time, rental of residential units under the City Council is also waived, for six months from March until August 2020.
This is done to lighten the financial burden of the tenants, as they are under the B40 category of income classification.
6) Actively Fight Dengue and Chikungunya
Dato’ Rumaizi is hands-on in the combat against these mosquito viruses. Besides consistently doing the rounds with the Council’s Health Department, he also visited the Buntong Market on 19th June with YB Ahmad Saidi Bin Mohamad Daud, State Executive Councillor for Health, Science, Environment and Green Technology.
Another location that Dato’ Rumaizi personally visited to evaluate the Dengue and Chikungunya situation was Ar-Rahman Mosque at Kampung Sungai Tapah, Ipoh, on 26th June, 2020.
7) MBI is the First Perak Local Authority to Conduct Online its Annual Assessment Lucky Draw
On 19th June, MBI became the first Local Authority to conduct its annual assessment lucky draw through Facebook Live.
The lucky draw is a keenly anticipated event of MBI among property owners in the city. Those who have fully paid their yearly assessment tax bills were eligible to participate in the lucky draw.
A total of 148,174 assessment bills were settled in full for the entire year in 2020, an increase of 14.5% compared to the previous year, bringing in a revenue of RM39.45 million, or 23.7% higher than last year’s RM31.9 million.
330 slips were shortlisted to be in contention for the grand prize of Proton Saga 1.3 MT. Other prizes up for grabs included a motorcycle, electrical appliances and household items, collectively worth RM103,000.
8) First Woman to be Appointed as Council Secretary
Zuraina Kamarul Ariff, former MBI Director of Infrastructure & Planning was appointed the 12th Council Secretary on 1st July, 2020.
Her appointment to run one of the highest public offices reflects the appreciation for women by the Ipoh City Council plus the Perak State Government, as her appointment was approved by the Menteri Besar YAB Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal Dato’ Haji Azumu.
During the appointment ceremony, cancer support group, Persatuan Pink Champion Perak presented Zuraina with the Iron Lady Award 2020, in recognition of her victory against cancer, her selfless effort and contribution towards empowering women, community and humanitarianism.
9) Reduce Unemployment Rate
As many people have been financially affected by the side effects of COVID-19, whether it is a pay cut, forced to take partial pay, or go on lengthy no-pay leave, Dato’ Rumaizi understands that many have lost their livelihood in total, or partially.
In this regard, 240 jobs in the Ipoh City Council (Pembantu Awam) were created in order to assist this group of people.
10) Comply with Health & Safety Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Dato’ Rumaizi ensures that MBI is in compliance with the SOP issued by the National Security Council (NSC) and Perak Health Department, so that Ipoh residents are not inconvenienced as they live through the Movement Control Order (MCO), currently in its Recovery phase.
11) Gotong-Royong Programme
An internal SOP was drawn up for MBI’s Gotong-Royong Programme, thereby the Council’s vision and mission are fulfilled, ensuring top priority on cleanliness and prevention of infectious diseases, alongside the promotion and achievement of a dynamic socio-cultural environment.
Besides the above, Dato’ Rumaizi has a vision to make Ipoh a city of world-class standard, especially in the aspects of green nature and environment protection.
The following plans are in the pipeline:
1) Launching of urban farming programme
Locations identified for the first phase are Gunung Masoorat; Gunung Rapat, Gunung Tunggal dan Gunung Lengkun; Gunung Panjang and Gunung Gunting.
2) Ipoh City Tourism Triangle
In a bid to improve the tourism sector in the city, a new package will be launched. The triangle encompasses Gunung Lang Recreational Park, Ipoh Padang and DR Recreational Park.
3) Educational Hub for TVET (Technical and Vocational Education & Training)
MBI will assist the Perak State Government through its Pusat Aspirasi Anak Perak (PASAK) to make its career transformation programme a success.
4) Arts, Cultural & Heritage City
Ipoh is listed on Lonely Planet as a top 10 city to visit in Asia, alongside Hokkaido, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Ipoh as an Arts, Cultural & Heritage City is a concept that can be implemented by declaring a street, district or zone as cultural art space. Examples of this concept are Singapore’s Kampong Glam for its colourful architecture, Tiong Bahru for its culinary & gastronomy fare, Jalan Besar for its hipster cafes, including Bras Basah Bugis for its wall murals.
5) Smart City
Under the Ipoh Smart City 2030 Blueprint, MBI plans to develop Ipoh as a smart city. The master plan, still in the process of being finalised, is presently worked on by the City Planning Department together with cooperation from the Smart City unit, PLANMalaysia and University Malaya. The scheme is expected to be finalised in August 2020, following one more brainstorming session.
6) Low Carbon City
Ipoh is not spared from the effects of climate change. Therefore, the Ipoh City Council is racing against time to create a Low Carbon Zone within the city. The Ipoh Low Carbon City Blueprint 2030 is currently in the works by MBI, together with Universiti Teknologi MARA. The master plan is expected to be ready by August 2020.
7) Ipoh Food Valley
Ipoh has the potential to serve as a regional hub for the collection & distribution of raw food, due to Perak’s importance as the largest agricultural and food manufacturing sectors in the country.
8) Tackling Illegal Vendors
Under the recommendation of the Federal Government, MBI will also tackle the issue of illegal vendors and traders. More details will be discussed at the Council’s upcoming Monthly Full Board Meeting.
To mark his 100th day in office, Dato’ Rumaizi expressed hope that all MBI staff and Ipoh residents continue their efforts to build a vibrant Ipoh City that is comparable to other cities in the world, to model BANDARAYA IPOH BERKELAS DUNIA.