Lifestyle Local

Suspension of DBKL’s zumba/aerobics programme: Do the rakyat matter?

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Shaira Idris
Written by Shaira Idris

KUALA LUMPUR – September 6, 2019: Zumba and aerobics participants are asking for a reconsideration from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on the suspension of their weekly morning  programme at the Lembah Kiara Park in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

DBKL’s decision to pull the plug on the ‘Senam Sihat’ programme, which comprised of Zumba and workout sessions that had been taking place every Sunday morning, had met with much ire among its regular participants.

The operator’s contract, which had already been extended, was abruptly suspended last month without explanation.

Disappointment surrounding the Lembah Kiara Park community escalates as DBKL seems to not be able to appease these participants with its recent response to the issue.

According to a report, a senior officer of Sports, Arts, Culture and Tourism Department that was running the programme, said that the suspension of the programme was a “cost-cutting drive.”

DBKL had thus, decided to stop funding activities carried out for local communities.

Nonetheless many participants are dissatisfied with this response, lamenting the disregard towards the interest of the Lembah Kiara Park community in making this decision.

Take fitness buff and long-time participant, Mimi Tan who questioned the need to shut down something that seemed to have helped serve the greater good in the community.

“While DBKL may have the right to suspend its own activities, perhaps let’s go back and understand the original intention of organizing the ‘Senam Sihat.’

“Isn’t it to serve the community, encourage healthy living, promote social cohesiveness through its community and social programme with the intention of bringing people from all walks of life together in shared activities?

“Isn’t this all part of the plan within Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 to celebrate diversity, improve quality of life for its residents and develop a community that is proud of its identity?

“If so, and if the goal remains the same, then why suspend the programme? Don’t the benefits to the larger community outweigh the cost?,” Tan asked.

Another participant Callie Liew said:

“The best way to resolve this matter is by allowing the public to decide on how to conduct the class instead of stopping it.”

Liew observed that the programme had attracted more than 100 followers and had also been known for forging friendships and a sense of unity among racially and culturally diverse folk.

“This is not just about exercise. It’s also about unity, getting together and bonding with Malaysians of all races, ages and genders… which has already become a part of the culture of the Kiara park,” she said.

Echoing the same sentiment is TTDI resident and Kiara park frequenter Raja Amilia Raja Azman, who said:

“If a programme has been carried out for years with very good responses, why stop it? We see people of various races and age coming for the Zumba sessions.”

“Furthermore, it is in line with the government’s call for a healthy nation. If anything, they should look at making the sessions better, not stopping it,” she remarked.

Datuk Nuraina Samad, another regular follower of this hugely popular ‘Senam Sihat’ programme, said she could not help but wonder if there was indeed an ulterior motive behind DBKL’s decision.

“Cost-cutting? Has the cost of running the programme cut deep into their budget? Is the fact  that this is not a profit-making activity a compelling consideration for their decision?

“I’d hate to think that the the rakyat matter little to DBKL,” she remarked.

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Shaira Idris

Shaira Idris

Shaira is a 20-something accidental journalist who's currently still adapting to the world of journalism and learning the ropes of her job.