TOURIST Andres Flores, 42, from Colombia was thrilled at being able to visit Kuala Lumpur with his wife and daughter after international borders reopened.
Top of the list of must-visit locations were the Sultan Abdul Samad building and the adjacent Colonial Walk.
The latter is a trail that takes visitors past several heritage buildings around the Dataran Merdeka area, with signboards at strategic places providing historical context.
However, the South American’s visit was marred by the sight of damaged tiles on the steps leading down to the bridge and trail behind Sultan Abdul Samad building.
The broken tiles were a real eyesore, and also a safety hazard.
“Immediate repairs and restoration efforts must be taken, as the trail leads to buildings of historical significance.
“As a tourist, such images could affect my experience of this place,” said Flores.
University student Nurfaqihah Lassim, 20, shared her views, and said the damaged trail left a poor impression on visitors.
Nurfaqihah has been using the walkway daily to go to the nearby Kuala Lumpur Library, which is also on the Colonial Walk trail, over the past month.
“The broken tiles need to be fixed soon as they pose a safety risk to passers-by in this area,” she added.
A check by StarMetro found many dislodged tiles in the area, exposing the cement underneath and a few holes in the floor.
But broken tiles aren’t the only concern along the Colonial Walk.
Mohd Daud Sulaiman, 25, was concerned that the trail was poorly lit at night, which posed a risk, especially for women.
“There are plenty of secluded corners in and around the area, which could expose passers-by to criminal activities.
“My female colleague was once harassed when passing through this area,” he said.
In response to these concerns, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) said a contractor was appointed in late April to carry out repairs.
In a statement to StarMetro, DBKL said it became aware of the damaged tiles on April 26.
“The issue was caused by ‘wear and tear’ as well as the current weather conditions.
“A more durable material will be used in the area with a high foot traffic volume.
“Certain areas are sealed off with red tape and plastic barriers to ensure the safety of pedestrians,” it said.
Work to rectify the broken tiles had yet to be carried out when StarMetro visited the site on July 1.