SITUATED adjacent to the two Chemor Market buildings, the 1Malaysia Hawker Centre is also under-utilised, much like the marketplace.
A check by MetroPerak found that out of 33 units available, only three units were occupied.
Former Chemor Rukun Tetangga chairman Ismail Labu complained that this has been going on for the past month.
“The construction of the new hawker centre two-years ago had forced residents here to give up their Chemor football field.
“Trees were cut down to make way for development, and now we have lost an important green spot in the town.
“I do not understand why the Ipoh City Council has to take away the football field, only to build more shoplots here when the three-storey Chemor Market has unused space for hawkers to trade,” he said.
Lamenting that the council did not take into account the residents’ living quality, Ismail said currently there is nowhere for children and youths to play.
“There is a mini stadium situated a distance away, but even then it is locked up.
“I have also heard that the council had handed over the management of the stadium to a sports association.
“If this is the case, where are the residents suppose to go when they wish to exercise?” he questioned.
Now that grass has been replaced with concrete grounds at the hawker centre, Ismail also feared that floods may occur in the future.
“Instead of water seeping into soil, rainwater has nowhere to flow into except for the small drain surrounding the hawker centre.
“There should be a place for recreational activities.
“There is no sense in depriving the people of a field,” he said.
In response to the issue, the council’s corporate affairs principal assistant director Normala Latiff said 30 hawkers had been given the nod to start their business at the hawker centre.
“The key was just handed to them in December last year, so they are expected to begin trading very soon,” she said.
Regarding the mini stadium, Normala said it was built as a replacement for the field because it was unsafe to play football on a space so close to the main road.
“It is true that the council had handed the management over to a sports association in October 2013 after approving their submitted proposal during the council’s general meeting.
“However, several recent inspections have revealed that the stadium was poorly managed.
“This issue will be brought up during the next council meeting, on whether we are to reclaim the management of the stadium from the association,” she said.