MALACCA: Officers from the state government have begun gathering feedback from traders at Jonker Walk following Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron’s assurance that the heritage street would be turned into a top tourist destination in the country.
Teo Chee Keong, head of a pro-tem committee to upgrade Jonker Walk, said several traders met senior state officials to give their views on how to improve the popular street.
“We are giving our fullest support to the state government as we want our livelihoods to continue without problems,” he said yesterday.
He said he also met State Transport and Project Rehabilitation committee chairman Lim Ban Hong who had been tasked with looking into the needs of the traders
“Everything seems to be going smoothly and the 200-odd traders are now confident that any issue can be resolved with Lim’s involvement,” he added.
Teo, however, added that some quarters were still campaigning against the traders who were invited to meet Idris at his official residence of Seri Bendahara on July 25.
“But most are supporting the efforts to turn Jonker Walk into a top destination. We are against any attempt to politicise the issue and capitalise on our problems.
Jonker Walk became an issue on June 27 last year when the state government decided to re-allow traffic flow into the street during weekends to ease congestion.
The move drew a nationwide outcry and brickbats from Opposition leaders who accused the state government of “punishing” the Chinese community for voting against the Barsian Nasional during the 13th general election.
Since then, traders alleged that they were unfairly targeted by the Malacca Historic City Council.
There has also been speculation that Jonker Walk would be closed by the end of the year.
On July 25, Idris met 36 traders and reassured them that Jonker Walk would not be closed but would be improved with better security and cleanliness.
Idris also pledged to resolve the problem of summonses issued to the traders by the council and render other assistance, including reverting back to the system where business licences could be renewed annually and not once in three months, a ruling imposed in January this year.