MELAKA: Construction works for a decorative arch and a new monument at Little India in Jalan Bendahara here is expected to be completed within six months.
The arch will be replacing the old one which was removed by the Melaka Historic City Council (MBMB) in 2015 for safety reasons.
“Once completed, the new structures will become new landmarks to attract tourists to the area, which encompasses Jalan Bendahara and Jalan Temenggong intersection at Bandar Hilir,” said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
“I wish to thank Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for contributing RM2mil to the project.
“The allocation was his own initiative after I informed him that the Indian community in Melaka need a landmark to draw hundreds of thousands of Indian tourists from around the world,” he said after chairing the weekly state exco meeting at Seri Negeri Complex in Ayer Keroh.
Also present was state public affairs, human resources and NGO affairs committee chairman Datuk M.S.Mahadevan.
It was reported at the original arch was built in 2010 for the Deepavali celebration without approval from MBMB.
It was removed three years ago because its ageing structure posed a danger to the public.
The traders and the Indian community in the area, however, objected to the arch’s removal.
On another matter, Idris said Hindu civil servants in the state were allowed to request a one-day release from their head of departments to attend the Thaipusam festival.
This was introduced beginning of this year.
He said the civil servants must, however, provide evidence later to their superiors that they did attend the celebrations.
“The Melaka state government is probably the first to introduce this, he said.
Idris said the state government has no plans to declare Thaipusam as a public holiday in the state as yet.
In 2011, some 150 MIC divisional representatives who attended the state MIC convention at the Melaka International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh, proposed to declare Thaipusam a state public holiday.
Source: The Star Online (3rd Feb 2018)