KUALA LUMPUR, June 26: Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Pua claimed that the closure of Jonker Walk in Malacca has to do with politics and it shows the ‘offended’ attitude of the Chief Minister, Datuk Idris Haron against the Chinese in the state.
Tony said that it was a directive personally acknowledged by Idris following the transition of support of the people of Malacca towards DAP instead of Umno-BN.
In fact, he said through a circular issued by the State Executive Council to the Mayor of Malacca clearly states that Jonker Walk must remain open to traffic and not for a trial period.
The circular also clearly stated that traders are no longer allowed to set up stalls anywhere on the road.
“The Malacca Chief Minister previously informed that Jonker Street will only be closed for four weeks to ease traffic flow in the area and then it will be cancelled (road closure).
“But the reality is totally contrary to the letter by the Malacca State Exco that clearly stated that the road should remain closed immediately and there was no mention at all about a traffic study,” he told reporters at a press conference at Parliament this morning.
He also urged the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz to take immediate action by cancelling the order to close the market as it is not related to the traffic problem.
He explained that not only was it unfair to the traders in the area, but it will also affect the tourism sector especially in Malacca and Malaysia in general.
“The Minister should take immediate action because it involves actions or penalties against non-Malays in Malacca and it is totally inappropriate,” he said.
The issue arose following allegations by Kesidang Assemblyman, Chin Choong Seong, that the closure of the Jonker Walk market by the Malacca State Government is ‘retaliation’ against Chinese voters who supported the opposition in the last 13th General Election (GE-13).
Kwong Wah Daily reported on Monday, quoting Idris’ statement which said that the Exco meeting on June 12 decided to shut down the night market to meet the wishes of the people.