Jonker Walk The Real Culprit
MALACCA – The Jonker Walk night market is among the causes of the traffic snarl that stretches up to the Ayer Keroh toll plaza during weekends, said state Local Government, Housing and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ar Ismail Othman.
Several other night markets also contributed to the congestion on weekdays, leading to unhappiness among residents and tourists, he said.
That was why the state government had decided to allow traffic flow into Jonker Street during the weekends to gauge whether such a move could ease the congestion, he added.
“Traders could continue doing businesses at the site. There will be more traffic policemen and wardens to monitor and direct the flow,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.
Ar Ismail said the state government had never intended to close Jonker Walk, saying that the matter was “blown out of proportion by certain people for political mileage”.
The traders, he said, could still carry out their business on the space available at the five-foot way and road shoulders along the street.
Meanwhile, Malacca Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Chin Nam Yee said Jonker Walk was “like the backbone for the tourism industry here”.
“It has been 13 years since Jonker Walk made its debut,” he said. “Previously, the traffic was managed accordingly. Now, we just need to station more traffic cops and enforcement officers to oversee the smooth traffic flow,” he added.
Meanwhile, the DAP is considering a campaign to “save” Jonker Walk.
Its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said DAP leaders and elected representatives in the state would closely monitor developments this weekend.
Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron had come under fire for initially announcing that the Jonker Walk night market would be closed.
The night market, which operates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, comprises some 300 traders and was a popular spot for tourists.
Idris had since clarified that Jonker Street would remain open, with traders operating as usual. – The Star