KUALA LUMPUR: City folks should take care of their homes and neighbourhoods so that they and their families can live in clean and healthy surroundings, said Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister, who joined thousands of KLites in celebrating their 29th City Day at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa here yesterday, also urged the people to take care of the city's greenery.
Kuala Lumpur Datuk Bandar Datuk Mohd Shaid Mohd Taufek earlier launched the celebrations.
A tea reception was held at the lakeside, attended by the Prime Minister and several Cabinet members.
Also present was the City Hall advisory board member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who is also Pemadam vice-chairman.
Dr Mahathir, who spoke at the reception, said: “We are lucky because we can still see trees around here. Many cities had their trees uprooted and not replaced.”
He said he was proud to see Kuala Lumpur have much greenery despite the tremendous developments going on in the city.
“We also have a place to relax and bring our families to rest and play at the Taman Tasik Titiwangsa lake gardens.
“Please take care of your gardens because it takes a high cost to maintain them.
“If developers were to take this piece of recreational area, they can get a very high profit by building houses rather than maintaining the gardens,” Dr Mahathir said.
The Prime Minister said the Government had not forgotten those who stayed in villages on the outskirts of the city, adding that good infrastructures were being built so that they too could live comfortably.
Mohd Shaid said the Kuala Lumpur City Hall would take over Chow Kit's redevelopment from the private sector, adding that it was not financial problems that caused delays in developing the area but rather because the place had been long associated with drug addicts.
“Chow Kit has to be cleared of addicts completely so that redevelopment can take place,” he said after launching the City Day celebrations.
He said mild addicts would be placed in the Pusat Serenti drug rehabilitation centres while the hardcore ones would be housed in the old Pudu Prison which would be converted to treat them.
Touching on the city's traffic congestion, he urged the people to change their mindset and use public transport as an alternative to driving to ease traffic woes.
Mohd Shaid said a suggestion that rivers in the city be used as a mode of transport would only be considered after a viability study is done, taking into account the huge costs involved.
Among the highlights of the celebrations were fishing, a telematch, culture shows and a parade of national super bikers from Modenas.
Lee lauded the City Hall's efforts in trying to get rid of the drug problem in Chow Kit.
He said the handover of Pudu Prison to the police would enable them to use it as a processing centre.