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Regent Zaki prioritizes public interest


Foto : Multa. F, The Banten Journal

Mufid Elban | The Banten Journal | Life | Tangerang, Banten

Just 10 months after Ahmed Zaki Iskandar Zulkarnaen was sworn as the elected Tangerang regent for 2013 – 2018 term, significant changes can be seen across the regency.

None could have predicted his efforts to go the extra mile to develop the regency, create clean governance, improve road infrastructure, public facility and many other means supporting people welfare, all in the first year of his term.

“We should not only focus in physical development and districts growth but we do have to pay attention to direct needs and services we can present to the people in all aspects,” Zaki said in a recent interview with the Banten Journal.

To make those all matyerialized, Zaki then initiated 25 developmental programs that the administration has to implement by phases in 252 villages of 29 districts starting 2013. The programs have been set as top priority, locally known as Program Unggulang, to be implemented within three years.

They are: 1. Joint Move to cope with dense, poor and slum areas (Gebrak Pakumis), 2. Schools Sanitation Development Design (Sanisek), 3. Coastal Community Development Move (Gerbang Mapan), 4. Poverty Alleviation Move (Gerbrak Sipintar), 5. Health Card Move (Kartu Sehat), 6. Smart Card Move (Kartu Pintar), 7. Rapidly Growing Strategic Areas (Kawasan Strategis Cepat Tumbuh), 8. Bus Terminal Construction (Terminal Type A) 9. People Independent Move for Garbage Handlings (Gemaripah), 10. E-Government service (Gardu Online), 11. Clean Water Service Improvement (Peningkatan Layanan Air Bersih), 12. Revitalizing Traditioal Market (Revitalisasi Pasar Tradisional), 13. Sense Building (Jalin Rasa), 14. Job Training Center Construction (BLKI), 15. Sport and Culture Center Construction (Pusat Olah Raga dan Seni Budaya), 16. General Hosptal Construction in Coastal Districts (RSUD Pantura), 17. Bright Villages Move (Desa Benderang), 18. Settled Village with Independent Food Supplies (Desa Mantap Mandiri Tahan Pangan), 19. Green City Development Program (P2KH), 20. Regional Revenue Acceleration (Aklererasi PAD), 22. Tangerang Flood-Free Program, 23. Tangerang Traffic Congestion-Free Program, 23. Sustainable Farming, 25. Tangerang in Balanced Growth and Tangerang Islamic Boarding School.

“We have kicked off efforts a few months ago and we will continuously hold coordination meeting along with all SKPDs (agencies) responsible for the implementation of the respective program and we have regulary evaluated the achievement,” said Zaki.

Three months after serving as the regent, the public has praised him for launching Gebrak Sipintar that later turned to be a model of national poverty alleviation program. Since it was proven to be a real program in helping the poor, then a number of provinces such as Papua, East Nusa Tengara (NTT), West Nusa Tengara (NTB), West Sumatra, Bengkulu, East Java, including several regencies such as Pandeglang, Pemekasan, Madura, Pulau Ende, Muko muko, Aceh, Pidi Jaya, Cirebon came to Tangerang to learn and adopt the programs.

Many sides of main roads along Jl. Raya Serang, Dadap, Curug, Kosambi, Balaraja, Sepatan, Pasar Kemis, Tigaraksa, Cisoka, Panongan that had been occupied by hundreds of street vendors now look clean. Dozens of illegal restaurants, kiosks that used to stand along the main roads have been closed down.

“Street vendors have too long caused road users and pedestrians to be the losing parties and it is time now to return roads and pavements to their real functions — that they are the right of the public,” he said.

Five months later, Zaki lanched Sanisek at Kemiri III elementary school, where Zaki told students the importance of healthy life.

The Tangerang regental administration allocated Rp 3.1 trillion from the 2013 budget to support for the program implementation and the huge spending had obtained approval from the regency’s council.

Go to the regental administration office complex in Tigaraksa, It provides better looks compared to a few years ago. Office buildings stand up neatly and small lakes have been created with green view as a means of family recreation.

It seems not enough for Zaki to simply sit behind a desk in his office and give orders to his staff. He frequently makes visits and meets and talks to community members, students, schoolteachers and traders at markets and listens to their complaints.

No officials and journalists have even complained about his style as they could keep up with him when accompanying him on field trips.

As he had identified many problems in taking the regency forward Zaki has tried to analyze various problems far before initiating and launching the 25 programs.

“Development is identical with evictions — the making of social infrastructure and it’s no wrong to do so. The regency needs structural development but a regency is not merely a structure. We start it all from what the people need. It needs space for human interaction, and basic rights, such as justice, freedom and democracy are fundamental needs that cannot be ignored by development pressures,” he said.

Zaki is type of a leader who avoids formality and appears exactly as he is, treating all he meets as friends, and is always in good humor, with a joke ready. None of his staff feel uncomfortable in his presence because Zaki always makes them laugh.

In the observance of the Oct. 28 Youth Pledge Day, Zaki handed down schoolaship in form of Smart Cards to more than 5,900 school students of poor families. They can use the cards to financé their needs for study.

“How can we create high-quality human resources if we ignore the educational infrastructure and other supporting facilities?” he said.

Despite being as the buffer of the Indonesian capital, electricity in fact has yet to reach 8,972 houses across the regency due to poverty reason. Through the Bright Village program, Zaki has targetted none of the homes without electricity in 2018.

“This year, we have helped install electricity connection at 2,061 poor family homes in 12 districts,” he said.

Born in December 13, 1973 in Tangerang. Zaki spents all his time in Tangerang until he graduated from senior high school.  Then he went to Victoria University in Australia and completed his study in 1998.

Upon his return to Tangerang, Zaki started business in constructon field and established own company PT Baladewa Cipta Prama. His debut as an outstanding political cader of Golkar Party then led him to a seat as legislator at the House of Representatives.

A year before his legislative task in Commission I ended at the House, Zaki ran as a candidate for the Tangerang regent post that would be left by his own father Ismet Iskandar. Zaki won the election and was sworn in as regent in March 2013.

His marriage to Tri Hesti Yulianti has given him two lovely children.

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