Sprucing up KL city centre


By BAVANI

Buildings in downtown Kuala Lumpur will be repainted and shrubs on the walls removed. — ART CHEN/ The Star

DOWNTOWN Kuala Lumpur, especially heritage areas and popular tourist spots such as Jalan Petaling, Jalan Sultan, the River of Life (RoL) stretch and Bukit Bintang, will be cleaned up.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is embarking on the exercise after the capital city entered Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

DBKL Project Implementation and Building Maintenance Department director Norzaini Noordin said Kuala Lumpur, especially the city centre, has been neglected.

“Our clean-up efforts will focus on tourist spots where the paint is fading and peeling, and shrubs are growing on buildings,” she added.

“Some murals have been vandalised and we are looking at repainting them or maybe even doing something new.”

Norzaini said a good scrub down and sprucing up was needed as the city geared up for a full reopening soon.

“We have received feedback from building owners in Jalan Petaling who are keen on repainting their properties, as they are eager to restart their business.

“DBKL will work together with businesses to revive the city,” she said.

Tourist guide Jane Rai, 62, who organises heritage walks in downtown Kuala Lumpur, said she was delighted to get back to work.

“I have missed my walks so much that the idea of going back has rejuvenated me.

“However, some of the walking tour spots need a good clean-up as they have become unsightly and smelly,” she said.

Business owners are eager to reopen but are concerned about the homeless as their numbers have grown during the lockdown.

“There are more homeless people sleeping in front of shops here,’’ said a bakery owner operating at Jalan Petaling who only wanted to be identified as Lin.

“People may avoid coming here because of the number of people sleeping outside,’’ she said.

Hotel manager Aaron Raj, shared Lin’s sentiments, adding that it might deter people from staying at the hotel.

A building owner in Jalan Petaling, who did not want to be named, said he was eager to repaint his premises as it was looking dingy.

“We are ready to work with DBKL as everyone is eager to see the return of tourists into the city,’’ he said.

A coffeeshop proprietor in Jalan Alor, who did not want to be identified, said he looked forward to office workers returning to the city.

“I cannot wait to get busy again, as it has been quiet for too long,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor got the green light to enter Phase Two of the NRP on Sept 10.

The relaxation means people can now travel freely between these areas as police roadblocks have been removed.

Some state tourism activities are allowed, including putting up at hotels and homestays.

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