Vandals lack religious, moral education: Mayor
Parents have been urged to provide religious and moral education to their children as most of the youths involved in vandalism are those who lack in religious and moral upbringing. Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim pointed this out yesterday when officiating the closing and prize presentation ceremony of a campaign to clean up graffiti in the city. “Members of the community should be more concerned and responsible when they witness any vandalism activities in their area. They should lodge complaints to the authorities concerned and not just keep quiet,” he said, adding most of the vandals were youths. According to the Mayor, the Government has to come out with a substantial amount of money every year to repair the public facilities damaged by vandals. These funds could be channelled for better use to improve the living standard of the city folks. “The community cannot use the public facilities that are damaged. The image of our city is also damaged and this will give a negative image to the foreign visitors and affect the tourism sector of our State,” he added. He also said the campaign was aimed at instilling a sense of responsibility among the younger generation on the need to protect public amenities and to get more City Friend members to play an active roles against vandalism. Iliyas also disclosed that the local authorities, including the Kota Kinabalu City Hall, are empowered to fine vandals up to a maximum of RM2,000. Those found guilty can also be jailed. Over 200 people divided into nine groups, including City Friend members, cleaned up the graffiti in the city areas from 7.3Oam to lOam yesterday. Among the areas they covered were Sembulan, Tanjung Aru, Kepayan, Luyang, Menggatal, Inanam, Telipok, Likas and the City centre.
Representatives from Government agencies and nongovernmental organizations; including Telekom Malaysia and Sabah Electricity Sdñ Bhd, also participated in the symbolic event. Rakan Muda Kolej Yayasan Sabah, which was chosen as the best group, received an appreciation certificate and RM500 cash while Tamnan Kemajuan Likas which sent 75 members, received a special award for having the most number of participants. The main sponsor for the event, Nippon Paint Sabah, donated 100 litres of paint worth RM3,000 to paint the walls and surfaces which were vandalised with graffiti.