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Fresh look for KK Central Market soon
Published on: Saturday, January 05, 2019
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Fresh look for KK Central Market soon
Kota Kinabalu: Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin pledged to beautify the city's Central Market to position the market place as a new tourist destination, emulating the practices of the world's major cities.Speaking to reporters during his walkabout at the Central Market on Friday, Chan said a general market is the heart of a city.

"General markets are not just facilities for the public and hawkers but it's also a place we should have a vision to build as a landmark and tourist destination," he said.

"All major cities in the world have a general market that attracts tourists like the Victoria Market in Sydney, Australia. Similarly, the KK Central Market has potential."

Chan said he and his colleagues had been making such plans for years when their political parties were the opposition.

"We could only imagine, but not implement such plans when we were the opposition, but now that we're the government, we want to implement it.

"We need to think about how to make the KK general market great again. The market has a sea view that Chinese tourists love so much. It's not an ordinary scene in any market in Sabah.

"For example, some Chinese tourists buy fresh seafood and ask the hawkers at the general market to cook for them."

Chan said one of the measures that can be taken to beautify the general market is putting colourful lights to draw tourists at night.

"We haven't finalised the details yet but this is one of the things we will do," he said.

"Last year, we also considered replacing the old ceiling fans at the market. This was at the planning stage, but we will implement it this year.

"This project is not a facelift, which is costly," he said.

"Maybe in next phase, when we're able with help from the State Housing Ministry and the Federal Government. For now, we only have beautification plans for the market." Chan said the matter depends on his office's discussion with City Hall because the local authority too has a budget for such a project.

"If I receive my financial allocation, this will be one of the places we will prioritise," pledged Chan.

"Last year, I got a RM1 million allocation, but for this year, I don't know how much yet."

Chan also welcomed new Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman's decision to defer the implementation of an increase in commercial buildings' sidewalk rentals.

He said the hike, approved in August 2018, could have burdened thousands of traders in the city if carried on with.

"I've talked with the new mayor about the 200pc hike in sidewalk rentals, from 50 sen to RM2/sq ft, following complaints from people like restaurateurs, who put eating tables on the sidewalk," he said.

"After his installation as mayor, Nordin informed me of his decision to defer the hike so that KK traders have a breathing space in light of the increasing prices of commodities.

"As a new government, we should be responsible to the people and not place a burden on them. We thank the mayor for his kind consideration."

Chan also clarified the State Government's stand on the Federal Government's smoking ban at eateries which came into effect nationwide from this year.

"For the first six months this year, there's no need to worry about being compounded for smoking or not putting no-smoking signs in one's eatery. Currently, we are in an awareness campaign period," he explained.

"It's not that the State Government will reject the federal directive, but it is to ensure that the State's enactment is in line with the federal directive. It's not to show autonomy in Sabah, there's no such thing," he said.

Likas Assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt urged city folks to give the new government more time in carrying out its promises.

"The new government needs time. We have resolved many issues well but there are some matters we're still working on," Tan said. "For example, we need to update the current stall plots, which have been the same the last 20 years."

Earlier, Chan, Tan and their entourage distributed oranges and 2019 calendars to traders and the public during their walkabout at the Central Market.

Chan said he plans to complete the walkabout throughout the city in three weeks to distribute the calendars, a reaching-out project between him, Tan and Luyang Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe.

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