KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — During the intense campaign for the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat, Fahmi Fadzil went door to door to get a better sense of his future constituents.
Today, as their MP he is working hard to fulfil promises he made to them.
While we are already familiar with Tabung Harapan Malaysia — a crowdsourced fund to help pay the country’s outstanding debt — how about crowdfunding within one’s constituency to pay for things the community needs?
The idea is to get the people in the well-to-do parts of Lembah Pantai to contribute to those who are in need within the constituency.
Citing his recent visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Bukit Pantai, which is in dire need of repairs, Fahmi said the cost could be funded from money collected from his crowdfunding programme.
“I am getting Bangsar residents to be involved in that and have a crowdfund for the repair works. We need to raise between RM50,000 to RM75,000.
“I was shown the classrooms for Standard One students, where the wooden structure was termite-infested and this is very worrying. In the next block, on the top floor, the roof is in need of repair as well as part of a tree fell on it.
“The crowdfunding project now has taken up a very clear form for me and it is a kind of direct action by residents and citizens because people generally want to help. It is part of the new Malaysia.
“Previously it was relatively nebulous but now we have made some visits in the area and looked at how we can directly intervene to help these communities. A lot of it will be crowdfunded perhaps this is the way forward,” he told Malay Mail.
When asked what the mechanism for the fund would be like, Fahmi said, “something like the Tabung Harapan maybe we will call it Tabung Harapan Lembah Pantai.”
Traffic woes, housing issues, schools
As for traffic woes in the Lembah Pantai area, the PKR communications director said he had already met with Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) traffic department and had requested for raw numbers and the Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) Report, particularly or projects that are being planned or in the course of completion.
“We would like to know, for example, the current infrastructure in the area and the average daily vehicle numbers passing through these roads. Such documents (TIA) should be in the public domain for the residents to have access to.
“The issue of housing what is important is for us to have sustainable development in Lembah Pantai and Kuala Lumpur. Since we have about two million residents and six million commuters, you have a situation where KL is bloated during the day and shrinks at night in terms of population,” he said.
Fahmi said he had also met with the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department and Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council on setting up a secondary religious school in Lembah Pantai, since the closest one is located in Cheras.
“This however will take some time because we need to identify the piece of land, draw up plans for it, get approvals, and then put up a tender.
Fahmi has arranged for the DBKL Lembah Pantai branch office to be moved to the constituency itself as it is currently located in Brickfields which falls under the Bukit Bintang constituency.
He said the relocation of the branch office, which will be moved to Pantai Eco Park, would be easier for the public to access and would benefit the residents more.
Reiterating his plan to gazette the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020, Fahmi said this cannot be done in 100 days as it requires him to screen through the document thoroughly and would also involve public engagement.
“I personally would like to get the KL coalition back in the discussions, but I also want to open it up to people. In this new Malaysia era, the idea of a more transparent process is important whether it is about DBKL’s Rule 5 (governing development), the KL City plan, budgeting for DBKL we have to think about how to get more people involved how can democratise that process.
“In terms of legislative agenda, I want to look on a social level and engage the public more, conduct a lot of town hall sessions. From there not only present my ideas to the public but get ideas from the residents and community to bring to parliament.”
“I am very happy that certain things are moving quite quickly, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said.