Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Eye on Malaysia to stay till 31 Aug 2008

FOR those who missed the joy ride in the sky at Lake Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur last year, here is the good news.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor has announced that the year-long season of the Eye on Malaysia Ferris wheel will be extended by eight months till Merdeka Day this year.

Quiet time: The Eye on Malaysia is fairly quiet in the mornings.
The Ferris wheel was open to the public in January last year in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2007. The machine was supposed to be taken down last month but the ministry decided to extend the joy ride till Aug 31 this year.

During the whole of last year, more than a million people had taken the joy rides on the Ferris wheel.

Although the Ferris wheel is an attraction to tourists and local visitors from other states, the residents in the surrounding lake area are unhappy with it as the upmarket residential area has become crowded with vehicles and people, especially at night and during weekends and public holidays when special events are held there.

“Every time there is an event, party or celebration, cars are parked everywhere along the road causing a major traffic disruption,” said administrative assistant Mohd Hatta Ishak, whose office occupies one of the houses in the area.

Hatta said that the area was often crowded on weekends and public holidays but that did not affect the offices as they were closed on those days.

For resident Connie Wong, going out for dinner is an occasion she dreads as cars are often parked at junctions and along the roads in the residential area.

“When my family needs to go out for a meal or to attend other functions at night, we have to go out much earlier or else we will definitely be blocked by traffic chaos right in front of our home,” she said.

Wong fears that if there is an emergency she would definitely have a hard time getting out of the area.

During a StarMetro visit in the morning, the place looked fairly quiet with only a handful of busses and taxis waiting for passengers.

According to a visitor from Penang who just wants to be identified as Lim, the fares of RM15 for an adult and RM8 for a child are too high.

“For those with big families, it would cost them a lot to ride on the Ferris wheel,” he said.

Lim hopes that the fare would be lowered to encourage more locals to take rides on it instead of just tourists.

Lim said that the Eye on Malaysia should be taken to other states to allow more people to enjoy it.

Local newspapers had reported that residents in the area have no objection to the Ferris wheel staying on till Aug 31 this year but they want the authorities to take concrete measures to resolve the traffic chaos and problems like parking, vandalism, snatch thefts and the frequent break-ins to houses and cars.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) director-general Datuk Salleh Yusof said the DBKL would monitor the situation in the area and would look into the complaints by residents.

He said the DBKL would consider stationing officers in the area and provide more parking bays for busses.

Meanwhile, it is reported that the Federal Territories Ministry and the DBKL would hold a meeting with the residents on Jan 12.

Source : STAR
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