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Friday, September 8, 2017

POST 60TH MERDEKA VISIT TO MELAKA - AN EYE OPENER

Monday, 4 September 2017

Others would do well to emulate Melaka

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/09/03/19/03/letlovemelaka_ac_1.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=E532BD7A8713708C7EAE3961A3FD7FD43F1F12AE
 
A POST 60th Merdeka visit to Melaka was an eye-opener. Credit and praise must be garlanded upon the leadership and citizens here for the great success story brought alive by their united and trusted efforts.
When one sees this sprawling, spanking and thriving tourist centre, one cannot deny the hard and determined spirit of the state government and the business community in Melaka.
What was once a stinking, choking river snaking through ancient dilapidated buildings is today thriving with local and foreign tourists.
A striking difference is the clean, debris-free river with affordable, popular boating rides (pic).
Jonker Street, for example, is clean and free of litter despite the overflow of local and foreign visitors taking advantage of the bumper holidays. 
The ancient shoplots have been painstakingly restored and bring alive hundreds of years of history to be experienced.
As you walk through the milling crowds, you also cannot deny that feeling of somehow being safe out in the streets in the day and late at night. There is an unusual absence of migrant workers as every eatery is being serviced by either young or aging Malaysians – Chinese, Malay, Indian and even from Sabah and Sarawak.
Even the cops on duty are friendly, smiling yet keeping their eyes on the job. In fact, even local tourists find it cool to snap photos with our law enforcers here.
Despite the heavy inflow of traffic, nobody hoots and somehow the traffic flows in an orderly way and there is no indiscriminate parking.
Another feature that cannot be dismissed is the pricing of food and drinks. Nothing appears to be over-priced. Getting a hearty and authentic local or Western meal is comparatively and surprisingly most affordable despite Melaka being a tourist hub. No small wonder that so many Malaysians are flocking here this holiday season.
And even hotels, manned by locals and kept clean on the outside and inside, are not over-priced despite the long holiday period.
Here is a living, thriving testimony that good and determined governance can yield results for the benefit of all Malaysians.
Even a local selling rambutans on the wayside is not driven out and deprived of an honest living.
It is time we put politicking aside and got other states and local governments – including city halls and local business communities – to copy Melaka’s example.
If Melaka can do it, there is no excuse why other places like Malaysia’s now infamous China Towns (like Petaling Street) or Indian and Malay trading clusters (like Tun Sambanthan and Masjid India) cannot emulate such progress.
The day-and-night presence of roaches and rodents, uncollected garbage and street litter, unnecessary honking, overwhelming number of migrant labourers at eateries, stagnant traffic due to disregard for parking rules, street beggars at every bus stop and public transport terminal, dilapidated, unsightly rows of stalls, and ridiculous rip-offs by traders can be seen in Kuala Lumpur, for example, but not in Melaka.
Syabas to the “Do not mess with Melaka” efforts. The leadership and people have done well for themselves.
J. D. LOVRENCIEAR
Kuala Lumpur

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2017/09/04/others-would-do-well-to-emulate-melaka/#6PYYCzCFqcXegO5P.99

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