SMC called to disclose costs of changing all road signs along Jalan Pahlawan


Jalan Pahlawan road sign. – Photo by Connie Banji

SIBU (May 14): Former Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang calls upon Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) to reveal all costs expected to be incurred by them and all the relevant agencies in changing all the road signs along Jalan Pahlawan here.

According to her, these road signs cover a large area, with many feeder roads and lanes.

She said in view of these costs being eventually passed down to the taxpayers, the people would have the right to know.

Moreover, she stressed that the council should not have arbitrarily made the decision without seeking the taxpayers’ views first.

“Did SMC ever consider the broader impact of these related costs and inconvenience on the people every time they decided to change the name of a road at their whim and fancy?

“Changing road names is no trivial matter in terms of costs and logistics. While the cost of a new road sign may be comparatively trivial in itself, SMC should consider the related costs involved that shall be borne by all those who would be affected,” said Chang in a press statement yesterday.

She said with another road name change, SMC had demonstrated a clear disregard to the impact, in terms of the costs and inconvenience, on the people.

“The decision shows a local council that is being out of touch with the struggles of the ordinary people.

“The 333 holdings (as reported) of businesses (including a few banks), government agencies and the huge population of small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals which and who are affected would now have to update their personal identification documents, licences, business records, letterheads, name cards, directories, maps and websites and all other documents just to reflect the new address,” she said.

Chang also said these affected holdings, especially the SMEs, would now also have to worry about the costs that they would incur from this change of address.

She also stressed that with the increase in prices of ordinary goods and services and the SMEs struggling to make daily ends meet, the people could certainly do without this extra hassle, which would follow from the decision of SMC.

“Personally, I have nothing against honouring our past leaders and their contributions to our society.

“However, there are many ways of doing that and a better way would be to consider constantly beautifying, improving and upgrading the facilities in the parks in Sibu, and name them after these past leaders whom they wish to honour.

“This way, the people would get to enjoy the park facilities and at the same time, would remember the contributions of these past leaders.”

Chang also suggested another option, which was to name existing public facilities and premises after these leaders.

“Since the ‘Dewan Suarah’ (civic centre) is now expected to be renovated, SMC can also propose that certain parts of the premises to be named after them (past leaders),” she said, believing that such plans would have been more cost effective to honour past leaders without burdening the people.

“Renaming roads should not be top priority of SMC when there are still many clogged drains in Sibu waiting to be dug and cleared, potholes to be filled, and roads to be upgraded,” she added.