One of the most visited places in Ipoh has got to be Gerbang Malam; a night market selling gadgets, clothes, food and more. Located at Jalan Tahwil Azhar, the market underwent a major renovation since July last year.
The renovation that reportedly cost RM3.5 million includes upgrading the road and installing street lights. While the renovations were going on, Gerbang Malam was moved to temporary locations at Jalan Tingkat Pasar, Hala Pasar Baru and Lintasan Pasar Baru near the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) Ipoh.
Gerbang Malam opened again at its original location early this year and the renovation was, disappointing. While the street lights are a definite help to the 164 traders at the market, it was the covastone-based floor which is causing problems, not only among the traders, but also with the visitors.
“I received complaints from some of my customers. Not only is it not stroller-friendly, some children slipped and fell while walking,” said Mohammad Haikal Haruddin, 23, one of the sellers at Gerbang Malam.
Haikal also added that the uneven floor also made it difficult for sellers like him to push their heavy trolleys, and customers wearing heels have also reported difficulty walking on the floor.
When asked, Mayor Dato’ Zamri Man explained that the floor will be flat, it will just need some time, “The covastone floor will gradually be even. I believe it will take at least three months until it becomes flat. We hope the public will be patient and wait for a while,” said Zamri.
While there are many other suitable options for outdoor flooring, such as Bluestone, Cotto, Granite, Travertine, etc., it does make one wonder why Ipoh City Council (MBI) chose covastone instead? Hopefully the floor will be even as soon as possible as it will affect the number of visitors to Gerbang Malam who are mostly families with small children.