Ipoh’s first ‘Car-Free Day’ trial by the Ipoh City Council was held on Sunday, October 18. The trial from 7am to 10am was formally launched by Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir at Old Town.
The programme was aimed at turning Ipoh into a low-carbon emission city and transforming Ipohites into a low-carbon community. It was also designed to encourage residents to practise a more active and healthy lifestyle without the impediment of vehicular traffic.
The Menteri Besar and Mayor Dato’ Zamri Man led a group of cyclists from his official residence to Old Town. Along the way, Zambry erected a Local Agenda 21 signboard at Little India. About 5000 people, which included executive councillors, state assemblymen and heads of departments, joined in the merriment.
Selected roads were closed to traffic for the duration of the period to enable Ipohites to cycle, jog, skate-board, roller-skate and to walk freely. They were Jalan Raja DiHilir between the Sultan Yusuf roundabout to the Sultan Iskandar roundabout near Jalan Towers, Jalan Kelab Golf from Jalan Tun Suffian (Jalan Brash) interchange to Jalan Watson, as well as Jalan Dato Seri Shaari (Jalan Garland).
“We received positive feedback from the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah who hopes to join the programme in the future,” said Zambry to reporters during the press conference. “The state government hopes to turn Ipoh into a green city soon,” he added.
Menteri Besar Incorporated, said Zambry, had begun planting trees and placing antique chairs at several strategic spots in the city for a start.
The event saw the launch of Jejak Warisan (Heritage Foot Trail) in Old Town and the revamped Ipoh Tourist Information Centre next to Ipoh Padang. Agencies involved in the trial run were Ipoh Specialist Hospital, which offered free health checks, the Perak State Library which opened its doors to the public and Persatuan Interaksi Kebudayaan Malaysia whose dancers helped usher in the auspicious day.
A number of Ipoh-based non-governmental organisations, led by Ipoh City Watch, reinforced their commitments in making Ipoh a liveable city via brochures, pamphlets and videos at specially-erected booths within Ipoh Padang. Zambry led a number of VIPs in signing a pledge to transform Ipoh into an environmental-friendly city.