Protesters erect 'Great Wall' around MRT station site

A group of protesters have erected a 150-metre-long ‘Great Wall’ around the Pasar Seni Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station construction site this morning in a symbolic move to oppose the project’s presence around the Jalan Sultan area. 

NONEThe ‘wall’ was made up of a long yellow banner with bricks painted on it, complete with anti-MRT ‘graffiti’such as ‘You are erasing us from the map’, ‘Defend our heritage’, and paintings mocking MRT as ‘Mari Rampas Tanah’ (Let’s grab some land). 

“We are like the Great Wall of China. We are here to live, here to continue, here to show our strength, and here to show our determination to protect Jalan Sultan,” said Preservation of Jalan  Sultan Committee (PJSC) co-chairperson Stanley Yong when addressing about 300 protesters today.
Besides protesting against the MRT construction in the heritage area, the group also called for the nearby 118-storey Warisan Merdeka tower project to be scrapped and for local elections to be reinstated when choosing the Kuala Lumpur mayor.

After several speeches, Yong and other leaders led the group to march from Gospel Hall Church towards the construction site of the underground station at about 10.15am, while taking a detour through Chinatown.

They marched with a banner unfurled at full length with a Chinese percussion group at the lead. The spectacle drew the eyes of curious tourists while motorists occasionally honked in support.

NONEMeanwhile, a group of about 30 police and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) personnel helped to direct traffic.

Among the those leading the group with Yong are Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, Pertahankan Taman Merdeka Negara coalition president Ishak Surin, Gospel Hall Church elder Jimmy Chok, and KL Hawkers and Petty Traders Association president Ang Say Tee (left).

The group arrived outside the construction site at about 10.30am and then began to surround it, however, the banner was only long enough to encircle half the site’s perimeter.
'Construction dulled CNY mood'

The site is also the former site of the now-demolished Klang bus station, Plaza Warisan, and UDA Ocean Superstore shopping complex, which were taken down to make way for the Paser Seni MRT station.

In his speech, Yong (below) blamed the construction activities for dulling the festive mood at the Jalan Sultan and Jalan Petaling area.

“Although Chinese New Year is around the corner, Jalan Sultan and Jalan Petaling does not feel as lively and festive as it used to be. The air and noise pollution here is unbearable, and this is the consequence of the ongoing construction activities.

NONE“Who is responsible for the decline in business around this area? Who is destroying the cultural historical landscape here? The answer is clear enough,” he said.

After spending about 30 minutes outside the construction site, the group then returned to Gospel Hall Church.

Local activists have long feared that the construction of the MRT line would affect the old buildings in the area, especially the proposed tunnel that runs under Jalan Sultan.

Some of the buildings are said to be over 100-years-old and do not have any piling.

Although MRT Corp has given assurance that the buildings would not be affected, shop owners remain unconvinced and noted that no written assurance was given.

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