The following is a letter I am compiling on behalf of Atiqah Razali, who was on the scene to witness this rather sad and embarrassing event handled by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
I went to an event organised by DBKL called "Majlis Pesara DBKL". My mother's a DBKL retiree, and I accompanied her to this event.
Now first and foremost, the invitation card just wrote that the venue was at the DBKL Training Institute in Cheras on February 23 2012. Now, the first problem, you would guess, is that Cheras in all it's glory is a rather large area to cover, especially if you're an elder retiree. The invite should have been more specific in placing the venue in Bandar Tun Razak. And no, there was no map on the invitation card either.
And yes, as a newspaper reported, that every attendee received an RM100 'incentive' for the Federal Territory Day celebration. What they didn't announce was how this was to be handed out. The officers from DBKL would ony give out the RM100 to anyone who registered. Those who wished to register would have to give their names, IC numbers and addresses to an officer who would take down these details. Because that's apparently what DBKL thinks you're supposed to do when you go for a formal retirees event.
And of course, an elderly retiree of about 70 years of age, would need no help whatsoever trying to find a DBKL officer to take down their details in a crowd of 6000 people, right?
Here's the catcher, though; the so-called RM100 'incentive' would only be delivered to these retirees in a months time.
The invitation card also stated that this event organised by the DBKL would be from 3:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m. However, food was only served at 5 p.m. It seemed that DBKL themselves had ordered that the food be served late instead of actually keeping to their schedule. And even then, nobody told the crowd where the food was served. Imagine the chaos.
Furthermore, DBKL also gave out goodie bags as a token of appreciation for those who came to the event. Interestingly enough, even these were not prepared properly, to the point that a few attendees just got the goodie bag with no goodies. DBKL literally gave them an empty paper bag as a token of appreciation.
The most infuriating thing about the mismanagement by the City Hall was the lack of anyone ushering these elderly people to their seats. You had old aunties coming by taxis, willing to pay RM20, and even one elderly gentleman who was walking with a colostomy bag getting no assistance whatsoever by the City Hall officers who had not even designated anyone to help these people who are in their golden years.
And this was, of course, if the elderly people were lucky enough to get a seat in the hall. If not, they had to sit on the stairs outside in the sweltering heat, not hearing a single word said in the hall.
In DBKL's defense, they had only expected 3500 people to attend their event. However, why did they send out so many invites? Why did they not even consider the need for more seats? Don't they even know how many retirees they have?
And this was an event attended by the Federal Minister himself, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, who actually had the cheek to wave out the window of his car as he left.
In summary, to actually state that DBKL was caring 'prihatin' as the newspaper article wrote is a joke. DBKL proved that it didn't care enough to ensure their event, honouring their own retired compatirots, were cared for at an event honouring them. It is embarrassing that the elderly were treated with such disrespect and total disregard. DBKL should be ashamed of themselves and, when they do send that RM100 in the mail, I do hope that they also send a formal letter of apology due to how poorly managed their event was.