BY SHALINI RAVINDRAN
PEKAN Sungai Besi, located at the edge of Kuala Lumpur, is set to experience a facelift as Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will inject about RM10mil to upgrade the area.
Works is expected to begin in August next year.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, during a dialogue with residents, traders and building owners recently, said the small township would see several noticeable changes to attract more visitors and boost economic activity.
Some of the proposed work include upgrading of Pasar Sungai Besi, road widening to ease congestion and specific loading and unloading bays for the market.
The pre-war buildings, some dating back to the 1930s, will also be repainted to reflect the area’s character.
“DBKL has identified several paint companies that are willing to offer low prices for quality paint. We are more than willing to help owners choose colours to make the place more vibrant,” Ahmad Phesal said, adding that the cost for repainting would be at a ratio of 30:70, with 70% borne by DBKL.
“Pekan Sungai Besi has the potential to attract more visitors, not just because of the merchandise on offer but also because the place has a ‘pre-war era’ character that would appeal to tourists.
“Unfortunately, very little is known about this place. Also, the rubbish that litters the place and traffic congestion have deterred people from visiting the area.
“With some upgrading, we hope to preserve Pekan Sungai Besi as well as make it a must-see place for tourists.
“Visitors to the area can use the public transport, which is more convenient and will help reduce traffic congestion. At the same time, they can enjoy the surroundings as they walk,” Ahmad Phesal said.
Pekan Sungai Besi has been labelled as a Secondary Heritage Zone under the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020, which refers to “more recently developed shophouse areas that have buildings of little or no historic significance.”
The township has a rich history dating back to more than 80 years, having been a centre for tin-mining in addition to other commercial businesses.
“We urge the owners and traders of Pekan Sungai Besi to give us their support and welcome any suggestion that the community may have to revitalise this area,” Ahmad Phesal said.
Also present at the dialogue were Bandar Tun Razak Umno Youth chief Datuk Rizalman Mokhtar and DBKL deputy director-general (project implementation and maintenance) Datuk Mohd Najib Mohd.