The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had to foot the bill totaling RM700,000 over the damages to plants used to decorate Dataran Merdeka for the Independence Day parade on 31 August.
According to Sinar Harian, Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah said damages were caused by the large number of people who attended the city parade, not to mention the plastic drink bottles and other litter that was left behind.
“DBKL is looking for ways to manage these issues as it is a challenge that we will have to deal with,” he was quoted as saying.
Mahadi said the city hall would meet and discuss with the Communications and Multimedia Ministry the ways to improve future Merdeka celebrations in the city.
Meanwhile, he said DBKL is in the midst of cleaning up the areas affected and replacing the plants, comprising 24 different species, that were destroyed that day.
“The turnout on 31 August was extraordinarily high, and many landscape plants near Dataran Merdeka were destroyed,” he added.
On Wednesday (31 August), several photos and videos showing people trampling on the plants went viral on social media.
While the city hall lauded the patriotism of the crowd who turned up, it also condemn those who were oblivious to their surroundings and did not care about the beauty of their surroundings.
“They had no qualms destroying the beautifully landscaped areas. The patriotic spirit was right, but not the way they chose to show it,” DBKL said.
The post has since drawn mixed reactions from netizens, with some condemning those who trampled on the plants, while others blamed authorities for not ensuring there was sufficient space for people to witness the celebration.
The 2022 National Day parade on Wednesday saw over 100,000 people, which is double the initial estimate of 50,000.