Budget 2023: RM176mil to upgrade business premises at govt buildings in KL

KUALA LUMPUR: Small and medium entrepreneurs at government buildings are set to enjoy a more conducive operation thanks to an RM176mil allocation under Budget 2023 meant to upgrade their premises.

This amount will cover upgrading projects at buildings owned by Mara, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Urban Development Authority (UDA).

This is on top of an RM50mil allocation to build and upgrade some 3,000 kiosks meant for petty traders in the capital city.

Local government watchdog Save Kuala Lumpur lauded the initiative but urged for transparency in disbursing the money.

Its chairman Datuk M. Ali said the government must clearly spell out the qualifying criteria for the initiative to ensure it benefits those who need it most.

“There have been claims of patronage and that past government programmes benefited individuals with political connections.

“Business operators with such links should be exempted from consideration to avoid abuses at the implementation level,” he said when contacted.

Kuala Lumpur community activist Yee Poh Ping proposed for parts of the allocation to go towards modernising eateries at government premises.

He cited the cafes at Menara DBKL 1 and the Employees Provident Fund building in Jalan Raja Laut as examples to emulate.

“A modern eatery will benefit visitors and workers in the area who will have a more convenient place to unwind after work,” he added.

Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents Association chairman Hafiz Abu Bakar urged DBKL to spend the funds on relocating roadside traders.

“Many such traders are operating in our area, causing inconvenience to residents. A proper trading site must be identified,” he said.

Separately, there was also an RM30mil allocation to upgrade low-cost government housing and beautify places of cultural and historical significance.

In his speech, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the efforts were part of a strategic partnership between DBKL and Think City.

Jane Rai, founder of Free Walk Kuala Lumpur Unscripted, which conducts walking tours, wanted to see more cultural events being held.

“There should be more programmes at public hotspots that feature local talents to attract more visitors and international tourists.

“Elements such as street performers and murals which depict local history will help inject life and colour into the city,” she said.

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