Tuesday, June 25, 2013
About 100 traders staged a walkabout in Jonker Street to protest the state government’s decision to shut down the famous weekend Jonker Walk.
Carrying placards written in Chinese, the group gathered at about 9pm on Sunday at a stage near the area.
They started chanting “Jonker Walk to stay forever” and “No shutting down of Jonker Walk” as they marched towards the arch near the Tamil Methodist Church for a group photograph before they continued to the Heritage Park.
One of the traders, Yeoh Kim Cheng, said the protest was to bring to the state government’s attention the predicament they faced, adding that “Jonker Street must not simply be shut down”
“To say Jonker Walk causes traffic jams is a ridiculous excuse,” he said.
“Many traders and residents have benefited economically since the street was turned into a pedestrian mall 13 years ago.”
Another trader, Chong Dek Fah, said they would continue operating their business on Friday despite the state’s and local council’s order to vacate the street for traffic by Thursday.
It had been announced recently that the area would be opened to traffic every day instead of being closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Traders have been prohibited from conducting any business on the road.
It isn’t just Jonker Walk that is affected. Other cross-streets in the area would also have to oblige to the directive.
Many visitors were puzzled by the protest and were seen filming it on their phones.
The protest ended at 9.45pm when police officers from a mobile unit nearby advised the group to disperse.