Thursday, January 17, 2013

Market Street to be a walking street (pasar malam), is it a good idea?

Having discussion with shop owners
Media statement by M.Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on Wednesday, 16th, January2013

Market Street to be a walking street (pasar malam), is it a good idea?

It was announced recently by the Ipoh Mayor that the whole stretch of Market Street of Old town of Ipoh will be converted into a walking street similar like a pasar malam.

Apparently the idea of launching a walking street (pasar malam) is to liven up the old town area. Old town area is too quiet in the night and thus to enhance business, the Mayor has suggested this new plan. 

We were called by the shop owners operating along Market Street to hear their views. The DAP team which included Cheong Chee King and Jeremy Chuah both my political secretaries and Sdr. Hor of IGB Branch and many local residents had a discussion on the proposed walking street (pasar malam). 
We were told that this project may take place as early as next week and the official launch will take place on 1stFebruary2013

Local Agenda 21 is now practiced by all local councils in Malaysia. It is a requirement that local residents be consulted on any proposals which affect the residents. 

The lack of consultation on this issue is most unfortunate. This is a local council issue which requires detailed discussion and consultations. 

We call upon the Mayor to organize an open discussion on this matter so as to listen to the shop owners’ views.

Those present objected to the Mayor’s proposal as this is a commercial business area and the proposed walking street (pasar malam) is not suitable. 

Among the draw backs cited were:-
1) Will result in traffic to be halted in this area from 6pm when many of the office workers who are females work till late night. There are many accounting firms there and during the peak season the workers work till late night. Also other business people object to this
2)      Although the street will be closed at 6pm, the reality is many food stall vendors will be there before this time, some as early as 4pm and this will disrupt the free flow of traffic.
3)      Keeping the stall operators area clean free from oil spills, dirt etc is a very challenging task which will be difficult to supervise.
4)      Shop owners want peace and quiet ant this plan will disrupt their peace and tranquility 
It has to remembered there are many way to skin a cat.

To have a win win situation, it is suggested the walking street (pasar malam) should be operative elsewhere. 

The locals suggest the venue to be along the river side as this can be done without any disturbance to the residents of Market Street. 

As an example, one can see how the area adjacent to the Kinta River Front area has been converted into food stall. If it can be done successfully there, there is no reason why the River front next to Market Street can’t be developed into a food stall area.


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