Close Jonker Walk ~ The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

About Jonker Walk

The good news is that the town become lively with the birth of Jonker Walk and the name has slowly over the years ripples to people across the globe. It was not famous overnight. It took plenty of efforts not from a single party but many parties. The success of Jonker Walk is not only contributed by the Chinese but also the  Malays, the Hindus, the Portuguese, the Peranakan, and the list hasn't stop. On top of the contribution from these people, companies have also being supportive of this street of heritage and they ranged from locals to international names. Mamee, Magnum 4D, ... play the local corporate citizenship roles to promote her cultural activities while internationally, Tripadvisor, has top as one of the many foreign firms who have secured the eyes of the world to zoom in on Jonker Walk soon after her maiden opening back in 2001.

Today, if you get Facebook Incorporation to provide you a statistical figure of how many people like Jonker Walk, please do not be surprised that the counts have crossed the 10th millions mark. If we're not comfortable with Facebook's figure, Twitter Inc. of San Francisco would tell us that not less than 500,000 tweets flashes within the Twitter Stream and the word, Jonker Walk has become a common tweet. And if we're still confuse, the world largest sharing platform, Add This has done a great job in getting rid of the nickname ' the Sleepy Hollow ' bestowed on Melaka she bear with far too long a time after the fall of the Melaka empire. She has just begin to regain her beauty and revive from the gloomy days after being adopted by the UNESCO in 2008. UNESCO is an important window to the world as one and without doubt, white men visiting Melaka is increasing. Before the inscription as a heritage site, a group of Canadians visited Melaka, stayed with the Mahkota Hotel and only visited one site, Jonker Walk. They said they've heard of Jonker Walk and they paid the tour agent to get them walking from Kubu Road to Tan Kim Seng Bridge.

The bad news is that the activities of Jonker Walk do affect the traffic flow within the heritage zone. But can we guarantee that getting rid of Jonker Walk means getting rid of the traffic congestion. If we can, please by all means, close Jonker Walk. Last year one man had confided that the traffic congestion in Melaka is getting from bad to worse. " Why are we continuingly putting up hotels in the Melaka Raya areas ? When hoteliers converge to one same area with the shoppers, the food-hunters, and the tourists, everyone is caught in the jams ! The hoteliers would not get the guests check-in promises, and the occupancy rate could decline if the congestion is not untangled. " , he said. An opposition speaker has commented on the proposed overhead rail above the center of the congested streets which he didn't see it as an alternative to divide the traffic flow by a ratio of 2. How about flyovers ? There was once, the traffic directions kept changing within Melaka Raya to find a solution for the public commuters. How about thinking deeper to change the road directions again by taking a much wider square kilometers into considerations by master planners and to launch only after prudent hi-tech simulations results are obtained.

Jonker Walk not only contributed to the traffic congestion within the heritage zone but it also pushes up the parking fees and the parking rates of her neighboring zones follow the style of capital rates of Kuala Lumpur. The locals are suffering from such additional cost burden on top of the rocketing food charges. A bowl of red-beans soup was 75 cents. It went up to 90 cents. Then to $1.10. Today, you buy at $1.80. When people converged only at one place and no other, the crowd blow up prices. Jonker Walk's popularity has lifted the property prices at the same time the food prices rises. The asking price of 2 to 3 millions Malaysian Ringgit is common to a unit of property within the vicinity and if you hear a shop lot in Kota Laksamana Garden is valued at more than two millions dollars, don't get shock.

The ugly news is that Jonker Walk always stole the show. Other than a few talks organised by the Pakatan Rakyat, many events at other places have not replaced Jonker Walk as the No. 1 crowd puller. That means plenty of room is available to divert attention to other areas of interests and of course genuine effort is needed to address the problem other places to become another crowd puller. The public stage of Jonker Walk is never refurbished and has become stale to regular visitor other than the first timer. It's quite absurd to see someone grief over the death of someone around much celebrations in the middle of the walk at times.

Now we find the good-paragraph is longer than the bad-paragraph above and in turn longer than the ugly-paragraph.

The comments from the Tourism Minsiter, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz

While Datuk Wee Ka Siong disagreed with the Chief Minister of Melaka's explanation that the traffic congestion was the reason behind the decision, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told reporters that the voice of the people must be heard as Rakyat Didahulukan, Percapaian DiUtamakan.
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