Fighting Vandalism: It’s Our Responsibility

by Heather Adams

in Local

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Have you ever walked on the street finding direction only to be annoyed by vandalized road signs? Or spending time reading graffiti and illegal advertisements while waiting at the bus stop? If yes, believe the fact that you are not the only victim of vandalism.

I was attracted to the fact mentioned by an article from newspaper stated that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) spends an average of RM3 million every year to repair public properties. That means vandalism not only interferes with the people’s rights to find direction and using the facilities, but also involves the budget which can be allocated for public use. If the number is added to the repair cost by other local authority, I guess it could be more.

The other disgusting fact is vandalism also ‘helps’ ambulances and postmen to spend their time on the road craving for direction. Looking at bigger scale, the delay could result in a lot of problems – ineffectiveness of various services, congestion or even accidents. Plus, the commercial areas are among the hardest place to be stroked by vandalism.

Vandalism happens due to several factors including the value of the street plate made by aluminium which can be resale. Other than that, street plates (which is not made by aluminium anymore today) and public facilities are being vandalized by graffiti and illegal advertisements.

The best way to overcome this vandalism is to act now and not “just wait and see”. It’s not just the responsibility of local authority officers or Rukun Tetangga members to react to vandalism. I agree with the suggestions by Chuck Smith in his article entitled “Fighting vandalism needs community involvement” where the community need to participate in fighting vandalism. The stores should avoid selling spray and paint to the suspicious person. Any vandalism needs to be reported immediately so it can be cleaned up or repainted by the local authority (or by the community itself).

Strict enforcement is also essential. In the latest update, an appeal by a Swiss graffiti vandal to lower his five-month jail term had been rejected by a Singapore judge and instead added two months to the sentence.

The other way could be the application of anti-vandalism design for public facilities. However it might involve a huge budget to be implemented so I think the involvement of community is far more better and cheaper than redesigning all the facilities.

I wonder how much we should spend as a result from vandalism in the coming years if we choose to take it lightly now. More new areas needs more new public facilities and street plates. And our next generation might have to bring GPS at all time when walking on the street in the future!

Act now or never!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mohammad Adam Ismail April 16, 2012 at 1:29 am

Hi Nasrul,

I’m a film student from UiTM. I came across your article when researching for background information. For your information, I’m currently planning to shoot a documentary on graffiti in Kuala Lumpur. Do you mind being interviewed as a subject for our production? It would be interesting to hear a voice representing the average KL citizen’s point of view regarding graffitti. Drop me a line via email.

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