THE Medan Selera Stadium (Stadium Food Court) in Jalan Kompleks Sukan, Ipoh, is being rebuilt to get a new lease of life.
The rebuilding work at the food court started in September and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.
The project will also be implemented in phases. About 30 traders have now been temporarily relocated to the Stadium Perak parking area opposite the Ipoh Fire and Rescue Station to facilitate the work.
The remaining 30 traders occupying the two rows of stalls that are still operating currently will be relocated in the next phase that should begin early next year.
Speaking to MetroPerak about the upgrading of the food court, food sellers urged the Ipoh City Council to expedite the work so they could operate from their original location as soon as possible.
Lee Choy Mui, 51, who sells soup noodle, said she was looking forward to getting a spanking new stall.
“We were told that the project could be completed by the end of the year or early next year.
“But judging at the current situation, it looks highly unlikely as it seems there is still a lot to do.
“The recent rainy weather is also not helping,” she added.
Having been relocated to the temporary location, Lee said her business had taken a dip.
“A lot of my regular customers do not know that I have shifted here. I hope this is only a small hitch and that they’ll come here once they know I have moved here,” she said.
“I really hope that the rebuilding work could be hastened so we can move back to our original location, but with new stalls,” she added.
On her current stall that was prepared by the Ipoh City Council, Lee said the roof would leak whenever it rained.
“I almost got electrocuted as the leaking rainwater dripped onto the fluorescent lamp,” she said, adding that the supply of water and electricity there was arranged by the city council.
“Luckily, I was wearing rubber boots,” she added.
Agreeing with Lee, soya milk seller Low Tet Kong, 44, said he hoped that the work could be completed as soon as possible.
“I heard grouses from customers that it is hot here, compared to the original location.
“The heat can be unbearable, especially during the afternoon. This is despite us having installed fans at the dining area,” he said.
“We are still adapting to a slightly different environment,” he added.
On the temporary location, rice seller Normah Abu Bakar, 49, said one benefit was the ample parking spaces there.
“There are a lot of parking bays here. I wish I have more tables to cater to my customers,” she said.
However, Normah said it could be quite dim during the evening.
“Each stall is given one fluorescent lamp so we have to install extra light source.
“I hope the city council can switch on the light at the parking area to brighten up the place,” she said.
She also said customers would get soaked in rain as the sheltered dining area was not large enough.
“Many of the food sellers have gotten tents to remedy this problem,” she said.
“One of the grouses from my customers is that the sheltered dining area is too small and there’s not enough space to move around,” she added.
Fuziah Samsuddin, 57, said most of the food sellers there agreed to move to the temporary site.
“It’s not that we have a choice but we are also looking forward to having a better environment.
“The issues are not major and it’s not something we cannot overcome,” she said.
“It’s probably because everyone has gotten used to their former place and are still trying to settle in here,” she added.
Ipoh Datuk Bandar Datuk Zamri Man said the food court would be rebuilt, including its roof, flooring, interior of the stalls and piping system.
“We will also have new toilets, a surau, wiring and electrical system and new washing basins.
“There will be a total of 1,960 seats, which will be configured with the square and round tables,” he said, adding that the cost for the project was about RM2.1mil.
“Each stall also will have grease traps, kitchen hoods and vents,” he added.
Zamri said the food court would be rebuilt within five months.
“The project is expected to be completed by April 30 next year,” he said, adding that the rebuilding of the food court was befitting the cleanest city in the country.
“As we are also the best city council in Malaysia, our food courts too need to reflect that,” he said.
“I hope that the newly refurbished food court will be one of the cleanest and the best in the country,” he added.