Traders in Little India are unhappy with the construction of a public toilet in the centre of the business area. The toilet is being built on the location of a memorial fountain. Siew Few Yuen, Proprietor of Ipoh Goldsmith Sdn Bhd said that MBI did not consult them on this. Another trader Amir Bacha of Malliga Fancy Store who had already made complaints in the Tamil press, wondered how MBI could do this?
It is customary for Indians and Chinese to offer prayers after opening the shop in the morning. Does MBI want them to offer prayers facing the toilet? And then for the rest of the day the traders have to face the toilet.
The traders are adamant that instead of giving explanations, excuses and justification, MBI must immediately demolish the toilet. The Prime Minister always says that his is a people friendly government and yet it appears that MBI does not adopt this policy. Unilateral decisions have been made without consultation of the people affected.
The traders are also partly to be blamed. Instead of each individual making a statement, they should get together and submit their proposal to MBI.
Knowing the poor track record of maintenance in Malaysia, the toilet will not be properly maintained and there will be a stench in the area. During Deepavali, Thaipusam and other Indian festivals when a large number of people will be using the toilet, the whole area will stink of urine.
The work on the project seems to have come to a standstill. When I visited the site during mid morning on a week day, no one was working. The whole area is fenced and people cannot see what is going on inside. MBI must inform the people there when the project will be completed including the final cost.
In future when MBI carries out this type of community projects it must hold public hearings to get input from the people.