Malaysiakini Letter

Clean up Kelantan, PAS

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I refer to the letter Filth in Kota Baru by Shocked.

There is also the other kind of filth in Kota Baru that the casual visitor may not see. That is the vast amount of overflowing rubbish from uncollected garbage bins, rubbish in clogged drains, thousands of plastic bags, mineral water bottles, shampoo bottles, wrappers, tin cans, construction rubble all indiscriminately thrown and discarded all over Kota Baru and Kelantan.

The kampung areas in this state are nowhere near like those in Malacca or other west coast state which are clean, tidy and well-kept. The Kelantan villages are singularly filthy with stagnant drains and decorated with rubbish strewn all over.

Cows, goats and chicken regularly feed off the dump sites. Many of these are created literally overnight after ceramahs - political and religious - or after expos and numerous pasar malam (night markets).

The tourist does not see all this because the main streets and the tourist places are kept clean to dupe visitors into believing that the slogan 'Kota Baru Comel Sokmo' (translated as Kota Baru is always beautiful) is for real.

However, the discerning citizen and tourist only needs to visit the side lanes, the markets, the picnic spots, the pasar malam and rural homesteads to come away with the true image of the disgusting and overwhelming filth that is characteristic of Kelantan.

Or better still, just come during the monsoon when the flood waters will cause the fantastic amount of rubbish to float up to the scrutiny of the world before being dumped into the South China Sea.

No wonder dengue fever is ineradicable and cases increase year after year. No wonder food and water-borne diseases are still endemic in Kelantan. Rats as big as cats thrive here. Suffering from a bout of diarrhoea is normal when visiting Kelantan.

And lest one thinks that it is only the Kelantanese who are responsible for filthy habits, tourists of the Malaysian kind are no better.

Plastic bags are flung out from brand new elegant cars bearing outstation number plates. After they have left in their posh cars and tour buses, parking lots are like battlefields littered not with corpses, but with their post-consumptive rubbish.

Until the Kelantanese - citizens and government - get their act together and behave in a truly civilised manner, all the sloganeering - for this is what is really is - about Kelantan being the cradle of Malay civilisation, of being the Serambi of Mecca, of being a state full of God-fearing people, of being a most beautiful state - will just be plain nonsense.

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