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Published: Friday June 28, 2013 MYT 10:03:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday July 9, 2013 MYT 10:10:48 AM

Jonker Walk: Small protests but business as usual at tourist spot

Traders and political leaders protest at the entrance of Jonker Walk in Malacca

Traders and political leaders protest at the entrance of Jonker Walk in Malacca

MALACCA: It was business as usual Friday night at the iconic Jonker Walk night market despite the new ruling to allow cars in.

Motorists were diverted from entering the tourist spot at 5pm by traffic policemen and officers from the Malacca Historic City Council.

Other motorists were turned away by a small protests staged by the MCA and DAP, with some shouting “Save Jonker Walk” and holding placards.

Traders and hawkers opened their stalls as usual. Others formed a human barricade to prevent motorists from using the pedestrian mall.

The council's officers also refrained from taking action against the traders and kept watch from a distance.

A brief stand-off came as leaders from the political parties claimed credit of trying to save Jonker Walk.

“Where was DAP 13 years ago, you're the first to oppose when Jonker made its debut,” shouted an MCA leader.

A pandemonium was triggered when several traders shouted at motorists who had parked their vehicles during operating hours.

The situation eased when Kota Melaka MCA Youth deputy chief Dr Yee Kok Wah was seen directing cars out of the area.

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang delivered a speech at a makeshift stage.

State MCA chief and Jonker Walk committee deputy chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo said he would meet the chief minister again to resolve the issue.

“Jonker Walk has contributed immensely to the state's tourism. In fact, it has also made us proud when it was included in the Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008.

"By opening the place to traffic it could derail plans to promote Jonker Walk as a holistic tourism product," he told The Star.

Gan noted that the protest by traders has nothing to do with politics as they were voicing out their grievances.

“The committee will attempt to meet him (chief minister) again to ask him to look into the predicament faced by the traders,” he said.

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Tags / Keywords: Jonker Walk, Protests, Business, Tourist


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