The first ever Octagon Chinese New Year Festival 2019 is organised by the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCCI) in collaboration with Ipoh City Council and Ipoh East Parliamentary Office. It began on Saturday, January 19 and will end on Sunday, February 3 held around the building.

“The aim of setting up and promoting Octagon Ipoh CNY Festival is to create some activity in the area surrounding Octagon. We need to enhance this area as the very objective of building the Octagon is to promote the mobility of people and tourism,” said Dato’ Liew Sew Yee, president of PCCCI during the opening ceremony on Wednesday, January 23.

According to him, Octagon is sitting on the site formerly known as the Yau Tet Shin Market hailing from the 1950s. It was a prominent landmark where people shop and eat. However, with the coming up of newer shopping complexes like Super Kinta and Perak Emporium, Yau Tet Shin Market lost its glamour and was subsequently demolished.

“PCCCI initiated the project to build Octagon with the vision to revive past glory. We want to ensure that the surrounding areas connecting Jalan Theatre, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, Gerbang Malam and the famous Tong Sui Kai (Dessert Street) next to Sam Tet Primary School will turn into a hub for visitors to experience the Ipoh culture of various races,” Dato’ Liew added.

To sustain the concept of cultural and tourism hub in Octagon, he hopes the state government and city council will give the necessary support, especially in eradicating parking touts, cleaning of drains, maintaining street lights, collecting rubbish daily and curbing illegal parking.

“We’ve submitted the proposal to Ipoh City Council for more pedestrian-friendly walkways to make Ipoh a green city. We propose a walkway be built along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah to link the tourism hub in the New Town from Octagon area to Old Town where we have another tourism hub in Concubine Lane,” he stressed.

Present at the ceremony was Executive Councillor for Housing, Local Government, Public Transport, Non-Islamic Affairs and New Villages, Paul Yong Choo Kiong representing Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

PCCCI is one of the largest and most active NGOs in Perak with 1700 members and 10,000 indirect members from five branches, two affiliated chambers and 50 associated trade associations in the state.

Mei Kuan