LUCKY Garden residents want politicians to stop interfering with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on the Lucky Garden Hawker Centre issue which they say has now become a major health concern.
Residents want the hawker centre to be relocated as was promised 20 years ago by former mayor Tan Sri Kamaruzzaman Shariff.
“We have had politicians interfering with DBKL for so many years on the issue that it has come to the point that the Federal Territory Health Department (JKWP) had to shut down five eateries in the centre, ” said resident A. Selvadurai.
This was the first time that the JKWP had issued a closure notice to the stall owners following public complaints.
Previously, closure notices were issued by the DBKL’s Licensing and Petty Traders Management Department, with the last closure notice issued in 2015 for various infringements, including poor hygiene.
According to Selvadurai, the stall was previously located along Lorong Ara Kiri 1, and was relocated to Lorong Ara Kiri 3 as a temporary six-month-long measure before they were to be moved to the former Jolly Green Giant food court.
“But six months became 20 years, and four stalls became 24 stalls with various mayors making promises after promises, ” he said.
“We have information that there was political interference all through that time and we hope that the mayor will not bow down to pressure again, ” said Datuk M. Ali, a resident of Bangsar.
The residents said they have suggested that the stalls move to Lorong Ara Kiri 2 which they claim to be a better spot.
On Monday (Feb 10), JKWP shut down five eateries operating in the centre for two weeks until Feb 24.
Department director Dr Param Jeeth Singh said in the light of the seriousness of the complaints and the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
When contacted Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said that he was aware of the problems posed by the stalls, but said it was a question of enforcement.
“We have to strike a balance between maintaining hygiene and cleanliness, and the need to provide a place for the public to buy affordable food.
“The stalls should be upgraded with better facilities to deal with issues on rubbish, toilets and congestion, ” he said.
When contacted, Anuar Zainal Abidin, the owner of the popular Anuar Kari Kepala Ikan stall at the Lucky Garden Hawker Centre, said residents who complained about his stall being dirty were "jealous of my success".
"Everywhere is dirty, not just my place," he said.
When StarMetro showed him photos of the filthy conditions at his stall as well as images of his staff urinating in public, Anuar said, “We told them to urinate at TMC, not the drain, but they refuse."
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