ATTEMPTS to beautify a square and open air car park in Jalan Jeti Lama in Butterworth, Penang, are causing a lot of worry to a small group of locals.
A petite Rain Garden with a raised stage for public use and an interactive kids’ water play feature are coming up but the hoarding put up for construction work has made the group fear they would lose their public space.
Several WhatsApp messages, said Seberang Prai Municipal Council secretary Rozali Mohamud, were sent out to incite about 50 people to gather in protest at the 1,200sq m area near the Sri Mahamariamman Temple on Tuesday evening.
In response, Rozali gave his assurance that the improved car park and Rain Garden would enhance the liveability of the neighbourhood, which is one of the oldest sections of Butterworth.
He said in a statement the upgrades included a raised stage, stepped terrace, benches and lights.
“The upgraded car park will have 17 parking lots with two lots for the disabled.
“It will also have 12 bicycle parking spaces,” he said, adding that the council had briefed the temple committee’s secretary.
Think City Butterworth programme director Murali Ram also assured the public that when completed, the square would provide greenery for the adjacent temple.
“The temple can use the area for their activities simply by notifying MPSP,” he added.
Think City is a community-based urban regeneration agency under Khazanah Nasional, and Murali said the square’s upgrading was part of the Butterworth Baharu Programme.
“We allocated RM400,000 and the state government contributed RM100,000.
“The stretch from Kampung Benggali to Taman Pantai is the historical core of the early days of Butterworth.
“One of our aims is to build communal plazas that locals will be proud of.
“We are creating a heritage enclave with the temple as the anchor,” he said.