A chat with an MPSJ councilor

At the SS19/1 Community Carnival today, I had a good chat with Mr Rajiv Rishyakaran, a councilor for MPSJ.

We had already spoken about 2 years ago when I first asked if MPSJ would be able to spare ear-notched (neutered) animals. At that time, Mr Rajiv explained that complaints about stray animals were one of the top five complaints every day at MPSJ and it was the responsibility of the local council to attend to such matters. Unfortunately, the long-standing method employed by the authorities is to capture and euthanise. Mr Rajiv said the best thing we could do would be to get residents’ associations to agree on getting animals neutered on a large scale and most importantly, to educate residents NOT TO COMPLAIN as MPSJ only acts upon complaints.

Since then I had approached resident committees to implement CNRM in their areas. Unfortunately, committees as a whole were not interested – they were more interested in garbage disposal, repair of street lamps and other matters. But all was not lost – some individuals were interest in doing CNRM. An example would be Maureen, Khadijah and Sharizad from SS19/1. They started doing CNRM and we provided the subsidies. Cathy Thong also does CNRM on her street in SS19.

Francis Tze was also doing CNRM for the cats in my present neighbourhood, SS18/5.

Since then we have been supporting the work of many CNRM-ers in various parts in the Klang Valley.

Little by little is the water jug filled. No matter how little, we have to start somewhere. And every little bit of success is one step forward.

Today, Mr Rajiv and I discussed this issue again. I was hoping MPSJ might reconsider our proposal to spare ear-notched animals in the whole of Subang Jaya. Then, Subang Jaya can proudly announce that it is the first animal-friendly township in the country!

However, this is still not possible and Mr Rajiv explained that it is because the number of complaints about stray animals is STILL amongst the top five in MPSJ. He is aware that there are many animal lovers, but we constitute the minority. The majority of the people are still not animal-tolerant, let alone animal-friendly.

Mr Rajiv says the top complaints about cats are that (1) Cats sleep atop people’s cars, (2) Cats defecate in people’s gardens. The top complaint about dogs is that people are afraid of them. When such complaints are received, MPSJ has to act as that is their responsibility.

To these residents who complain, they do not really care about what happens to the animals. As long as the animals are captured, their problem is “solved” for the short-term. We know that the captured animals will be euthanised, but the complainants don’t or maybe it does not matter to them.

Mr Rajiv says he is supportive of CNRM and he totally understands the benefits of getting animals neutered, but most of the residents do not.

Here lies the function of education.

But it is not just education. It is also empathy and compassion. Unfortunately, some things cannot be taught.

Yet, we must not give up.

I also asked Mr Rajiv if MPSJ has any plans to employ dog-catching companies to do dog-hunts in our township. He says there are no such plans. I said we would be very appreciative if MPSJ does not resort to this.

Mr Rajiv further said that MPSJ now supports neutering in that the license for neutered dogs is now RM10 whereas for un-neutered dogs, it is RM20. Soon, he hope they can increase the license for un-neutered dogs to RM50. This would encourage more people to get their dogs neutered. However, cats do not need licenses. We know many cat-owners let their cats roam freely and this increases the chances of mating.

Our hope remains that Subang Jaya will be the first township in the country to spare ear-notched animals. There is one way this can be done; it won’t be for the whole Subang Jaya, but for individual residential areas. Mr Rajiv said that if resident associations could apply to the council to say they do not want MPSJ to catch any stray animals in their residential area, MPSJ would certainly consider their request. After all, MPSJ only acts upon complaints. It doesn’t simply go out to catch animals.

Here is a glimmer of hope for us.

If you belong to a residents’ association (RA), would you like to approach your association and put forth this proposal? But first, I think it would be good if you and your friends get as many of the community animals neutered and ear-notched. Then, you could approach your RA and tell the committee that these community animals will not breed anymore and will be well looked-after. Your RA can then write in to the local council for that request, ie. that no animal will be captured in your area. Even if that does not materialise, there is no loss in getting community animals neutered. Once the numbers are under control, the complaints may reduce.

Every animal neutered is many lives saved.

Mr Rajiv said if only those who cared for community animals could get their cats not to sit atop peoples’ cars or defecate in other people’s gardens, people would stop complaining and MPSJ would not have to catch them.

But we all know that animals cannot use the public toilets and they do not know that humans pay thousands of RM to buy that vehicle which they call their “car”.  Animals do not understand our human ways, just as we too do not understand the animals’ ways.

Consider this: We clear the land and destroy the animals’ habitats to build our concrete homes. Compare the gravity of this destruction to that of cats sitting atop our cars. Which is worse?

If only we humans, being the so-called more superior beings exercise our superiority not in power and control but in compassion, we would then practise more tolerance and understanding and innocent lives will get to live harmoniously with us on this earth.

But ideals aside, let us do what we can.

Once the complaining stops, the killing will stop. Shall we work on this?


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2 responses to “A chat with an MPSJ councilor”

  1. Maneki Neko

    There are many excellent points in this post to which I might respond, but the one that most moves me is this question:

    Why on earth does it bother the owner of a car that a cat sits atop his or her vehicle? Does the cat urinate or defecate there? Highly unlikely! Is it that the cat leaves some dusty pawprints? If so, who can see them? Passengers in helicopters?

    In short, PEOPLE, GET A LIFE! Do you really need to demand the end of a cat’s life over this?!

  2. claire

    sometimes I think that no matter how much we educate people, if they are lacking compassion then its pointless. But there is still hope I suppose.

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