One person’s quest to build a stronger communityPublished on 15 May 2020
As we at Jiran strive to observe and understand the dynamics of local neighbourhood communities in 2020, one particular group that caught our attention is This is Ampang. Now with around 27,000 followers, This is Ampang is a Facebook Community Page active in engaging both residents of Ampang and local authorities. We are fascinated by the dedication shown by the page in serving the Ampang community. We reached out to the administrator of the page and conducted an interview session to learn more.
History and motivation
The administrator himself lives in an area of Ampang which experiences recurrence of flash flood after heavy rain. The need for a resolution of this matter compelled the administrator to figure out a way for the voices of his community to be heard. The administrator observed that there seems to be a lack of confidence among the residents when channelling their complaints to local authorities via the official channel. This is Ampang was established in 2015 to achieve just that, to unite the voice of the residents and provide transparency in issues that are being handled by the local authorities.
Roles and responsibilities
The administrator took matters into his own hands by serving as the intermediary to enable transparent and effective communication between the two parties. And based on the reviews, it seems that This is Ampang has managed to fulfil that role.
We are impressed with the quantity and speed of local news being published on the page. The administrator explained that the news is crowdsourced from the residents. He takes pride in the fact that This is Ampang is known for the accuracy of its news and information.
All information is verified with local authorities before it was published. This is of course not easy to do as some information might not be flattering to those local authorities, but fairness and transparency is what makes this page unique. It serves as a reliable source of local information for the residents of Ampang.
Influence and acknowledgement
This is Ampang has a good working relationship with multiple local authorities. Among them are the Members of Parliament, State Assembly Representative, Polis Daerah Ampang Jaya, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor, Tenaga Nasional and Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya. All these authorities also leverage the popularity of This is Ampang to help them reach the residents.
While we have seen improvements in the local authorities’ own digital channel such as better website design, it is undeniable that public perception of local authorities’ inefficiency in receiving and acting on complaints is hard to get rid of. The fact that local authorities are working closely with This is Ampang demonstrates how important it is for a social media platform to serve as the digital channel to foster a better relationship between residents and local authorities. Case in point: This is Ampang is now being acknowledged as the key partner in their operations.
This is Ampang is a one-man operation set-up. With the administrator having a full-time job, it is admirable how much effort he is spending in making sure that This is Ampang is run with fairness and integrity. To us at Jiran, this is what a modern-day unsung hero looks like. Just a regular person showing extraordinary passion and dedication in creating a better community.
To the administrator of This is Ampang, thank you very much for your service.