MELAKA, Feb 24 (Bernama) — The ‘Little India’ area of the row of shophouses along Jalan Bendahara and Jalan Temenggong here is where the Indian community has been conducting business for more than 100 years.
The cheerful atmosphere created by the Indian music and the colourful goods on sale at the shops gives the place a uniqueness which has become a draw for tourists, both local and foreign.
There was much more excitement in the air today when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak went on a walkabout for about an hour in Little India, Jalan Bunga Raya and Jalan Kee Ann.
Najib arrived at about 5.30 pm, accompanied by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam. They were greeted by Melaka MIC chairman Datuk R. Perumal and Melaka MCA chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo.
The prime minister was greeted in Jalan Bendahara by the beating of drums and traditional dances of the Indian community. He mingled with the traders and members of the public there.
Najib addressed the people from a stage at the junction of Jalan Bendahara and Jalan Bunga Raya and then took a trishaw ride along Jalan Bunga Raya, to the accompaniment of the beating of the kompang and performance by lion and dragon dance troupes.
He stopped at a restaurant and had “air batu campur” (shaved ice drink) and chatted with the customers.
Najib then proceeded to Jalan Kee Ann and attended a tea reception there, and then addressed the people, thanking them for supporting the Barisan Nasional (BN) all along.
As he completed his speech, the people shouted “1Malaysia” and “Long Live the BN” and pushed forward to shake hands with their prime minister.
Erin Albright, 47, a tourist from English, said: “It’s really rare to see a number one leader of the country go to the street and see the normal people, chat with them and get to know what are their problems. You should be proud to have a prime minister as great as that.”
For trishaw rider Ramli Ismail, 40, it was an unforgettable experience of having taken the prime minister on a ride through the streets.
Source : Bernama