Former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee has urged the government to consider upgrading the standard and quality of the Kota Kinabalu Central Market.
Yong, who is also the life honorary legal advisor of Kota Kinabalu Hawkers Association, said it was high time to carry out improvements on the central market, given that the last major renovation was done more than 20 years ago.
"In the past, people who went to the central market were mostly locals.
"However, more and more tourists, particularly China nationals, are going to the market as well.â€
Yong said the upper level of the central market offered a beautiful sunset view and thus could be developed into a place where tourists or locals go to for tea or coffee.
"The market is very old. Hopefully, the renovation will bring more business to the hawkers" Yong said at the Kota Kinabalu Hawkers Association 60th anniversary celebration and 29th executive committee installation ceremony here on Friday.
The association is now led by Tony Chin Vui Kiew, following the passing of former president, the late Johnny Fung.
Yong said he was pleased to see that the association remained active in serving its members and hawkers at the central market for the past six decades.
He said Fung formally served as a councillor at the Kota Kinabalu Municipal Council (MPKK) to represent the association in voicing out issues faced by the members.
Yong said Fung also succeeded in putting up a Chinese signboard for the central market in the 1980s when he (Yong) was the Assistant Local Government and Housing Minister.
"The Kota Kinabalu Central Market is the first government building with Chinese signboard.
"We do recognise Fung's immense contribution to the association.â€
Yong also hoped that the association, under the leadership of Chin, would reach greater heights.