By Soo Wern Jun
Saturday, 08 Apr 2023 3:09 PM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today stressed the need for more public parks and accessible stalls in Kuala Lumpur, rather than merely skyscrapers and iconic landmarks.
Speaking in an address to the residents of the low-cost Public Housing Project (PPR) in Kg Baru Hicom, Anwar said his aspirations for the country are to also be known for beautiful spots of nature and stalls that can generate income for the common public.
“My order for Kuala Lumpur: it is known for its landmarks and skyscrapers, [Petronas] Twin Towers,” he said, referring to his conversation with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“Everyone is proud of those, but I say this, as a prime minister I don’t want these anymore — to be proud of landmarks — but I want to be proud of beautiful public parks, small ‘gerai’ and ‘warung’ that are meant for the people to be placed at clean and admirable locations.”
He also added that in the next one or two years, he would like to see city centres cleaned up and be a conducive business area for traders, something the country can show off to tourists.
“Thousands of traders work at ‘warung’, restaurants and ‘gerai’, no one cares about them.
“We can build mega structures worth billions, but we cannot spend just thousands to fix the stalls?” Anwar asked.
Earlier, Anwar said he had called for a delay in the gazettement of the draft Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2040 (KLSP2040) after the meeting with DBKL.
“My first question to them was what about the old flats, flats that are home to the poor? That was my first question and what were their plans for refurbishment, especially flats such as Seri Perlis for example,” he said.
“My second question was about floods. How do they plan to improve the rivers in Kuala Lumpur? I don’t understand what they are doing now, when we are paying the contractors to deepen the rivers.”
Kuala Lumpur’s skyline is previously dominated by its two landmarks that went up during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first stint as prime minister: the Kuala Lumpur Tower and Petronas Twin Towers.
Two more supertall skycrapers have joined the skyline, initiated during Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s time: the Merdeka 118 and the Exchange 106 in Tun Razak Exchange — both eclipsing the Twin Towers in height.
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