Thursday, October 23, 2008

Come Fly With Me

THE Federal Territories Minister revealed yesterday that Kuala Lumpur mayor spent about RM1.5 million in travelling expenses and allowances on 11 overseas trips in 20 months after he took office last year. Seven trips in 2007 and four in 2008.

Quick arithmetic - close to 2 trips per month, spending close to RM140,000 per trip!

The expenses were as follows:
Tokyo (travelling expense paid by Tokyo Government/Allowance RM12,309.46);
Perth (RM199,526/RM16,822.56);
Dubai (RM45,171/RM22,214.12);
Istanbul (RM219,225/RM13,608.03);
Stockholm, Helsinki, London (RM240,625/RM23,202.70);
South Korea, Japan (RM166,134/RM13,433.80);
Manila (RM25,297/RM3,405.53);
Shanghai (RM43,586/RM3,903.71);
Bangkok (paid by KL Sports Council);
Canada, UK, Germany (RM370,315/RM19,873.50);
Beijing (RM19,318.04/RM4,717.50).

Save the best for last – Apparently the trips were required in order to observe best practices to improve City Hall’s delivery service system.

Yeah, we did see some changes.
A) Change road name lor! Alor!
B) Increase parking charges by 35% around city centre
C) Impose parking charges in residential areas, i.e. we need to find coins and parking machine and feed them each time we need to feed ourselves or when we grab our daily bread and groceries.
D) Increase rental of sports facilities – badminton courts etc. by 100%

Perhaps, these increases are to ‘sponsor’ more trips!!! Some questions - Is there a travelling budget? If yes, is there anyone keeping track of it? If there is still unused money budgeted and before it is reallocated before year end, go get invitation to 'lawatan sambil belajar' these countries and ‘import’ followings :

a) South Island, New Zealand – to introduce bungee jumping in Gombak river and to count sheep.
b) Mumbai & Delhi, India – to study the traffic situation and tell KLites – don’t complain about the traffic jam here, it is worse in India blah!blah!
c) Phnom Penh, Cambodia – to visit the genocide museum and set up something similar aka Japanese occupation museum to remind the so called ‘mudah lupa’ 'lupa daratan' youth who do not know the history.
d) Liverpool, England – to watch a Liverpool derby football match and try to recreate the atmosphere in Klang Valley derby (KL vs Selangor)!

Or cut down the travelling and reallocating some of these money to improve the road conditions, improve public transport system, alleviate flash flood etc?

For better or for worse - you decide.

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