DISREPAIR: Once popular Taman Merdeka, has lost its appeal due to neglect
ALOR STAR:TAMAN Merdeka, a mini-park built to commemorate the country's independence, is in a bad state of neglect.
Located near Darulaman Stadium, many facilities in the park requires immediate attention.
The jogging track, for one, is riddled with cracks and holes.
A regular visitor to the park, Mok Yong Hong, 39, said he has stopped using the track for jogging.
"Cracks are everywhere on the cement track.
"Many of the cracks too have turned into deep holes and they are a danger to anyone using the track," he said.
Mok, who used to bring his family for exercises at the park on the weekends, has stopped doing so.
He blamed the Alor Star City Council for the poor maintenance.
Some lighting poles have been bent and many of them do not function anymore after vandals removed the wires and bulbs.
The ground is damp and mushy due to poor drainage in the area.
In some parts, there are bald patches and food wrappers and plastic bags are scattered around the shrubs and bushes.
Another Alor Star resident who used to frequent the park, Azhar Zakaria, 48, said the council should step up its maintenance work in the area.
He described it as a crying shame as the council has failed to carry out urgent repairs and maintenance.
“This park was popular until a few years ago. It was built to commemorate Merdeka. We should not allow it to deteriorate and disintegrate,” he said.
Azhar said the park was now a favourite haunt of courting couples and this has kept many of its regular visitors away.
“This is bad and I won’t be surprised if dadah addicts soon use the park to get a fix.
Meanwhile, the council’s public relations officer, Azizah Hamid, said the local authority was aware of the problems and concerns of the public.
“We are waiting for financial assistance from the National Landscape Department to carry out repairs and maintenance work on the park and other similar facilities in the city,” she said.