Tuesday, June 25, 2013
The Tourism Ministry has urged the Malacca state government to reconsider its decision to close the Jonker Street night market, in light of its significance to the tourism industry.
"I would certainly want to see Jonker Street remain," said its minister Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.
"What is Malacca without tourism?"
Nazri was speaking to reporters after attending the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's royal address to mark the start of the 13th Parliament on Tuesday.
He was asked to comment on the recent announcement by Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Wira Idris Haron on the closing of the Jonker Street night market.
The night market, which operates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, comprises some 300 traders and has become an international tourist attraction since its opening 13 years ago.
Nazri said he had conveyed his views to Idris at a meeting here Tuesday and was informed that the decision to open the street on weekends was due to the numerous complains over traffic congestion in the area.
"I was told by Idris that closing the night market would be done for only a month to allow feedback on traffic woes in the area," he said, adding that Idris was requested to reconsider the move.
On Sunday, some 100 traders from the affected night market held a walkabout protest along Jonker Street to voice their unhappiness at the state's decision.