(22 January 2001)

KOTA KINABALU: Former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Sembulan Chairman Datuk Philip Yong said it was inappropriate for Chief Minister Datuk Osu Haji Sukam to interfere with the Gaya Street issue at this juncture.

In a joint statement issued here Sunday, they claimed that Osu had given the impression that the State Government would not give due consideration to the plight of the Gaya Street stakeholders over the changes taking place there over the last two months.

City Hall is currently implementing the pedestrian-friendly concept under a project at Gaya Street, resulting in the closure of a section of the street and the elimination of parking spaces for vehicles.

In recent weeks, there have been public objections by businessmen operating in the area claiming their businesses had declined drastically since the project was implemented two months ago.

Members of the public, particularly motorists, also complained that they could not shop in their familiar outlets due to lack of parking spaces. However, City Hall then said the project would be reviewed after three months.

However, Osu said during a visit there Sunday that there was no need for any review at the moment.

"We are surprised to see the Chief Minister imposing his will on a localised issued such as this by abruptly brushing aside all public views expressing a need to review the project at the end of the three-month trial period," said both Yongs.

They noted that Mayor Datuk Abdul Ghani Rashid had himself announced earlier that City Hall had assigned Universiti Malaysia Sabah the task of making an independent survey on feedback on the project.

He (Ghani) had also made it clear that all views would be considered when the trial period ends next month, they said.

"The Mayor had, in a recent public statement, also opened up the possibility that the project could be scrapped," they added.

Yong is SAPP President and Gaya MP, as well as LIkas Assemblyman, while Philip is the former Gaya MP.

They said City Hall and the State Government shold be more appreciative and understanding that many complex problems faced by the Gaya Street Sunday fair hawkers and the Gaya Street stakeholders arising from the experimental pedestrian-friendly project, instead of being so hasty in brushing their views aside.


Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Member of Parliament for P150 Gaya / State Assemblyman for N13 Likas

No need to review the Gaya Street project yet, says Osu!!!

Kota Kinabalu (21 January 2001) in the Daily Express: Chief Minister Datuk Osu Hj Sukam said City Hall should be given sufficient time to prove that the pedestrian-friendly concept at Gaya Street here is beneficial in the long run.

According to him, it would not be easy to detect any positive effect promoted by the project within a short period of just two or three months.

"We must take into consideration that this is a new concept, never been implemented in Sabah and surely there are bound to be differences in opinions," he said after making his rounds at Gaya Street, Saturday.....

"If we want to implement a concept, we have to make a 100 percent effort to ensure its success, instead of being deterred by petty complaints" he said.

To another question, Osu said the government approved an application by City Hall to raise the hourly parking fees from 20 sen to 50 sen.

Also present to accompany Osu was Mayor Datuk Abdul Ghani Rashid and representatives from the business sector.


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