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KOTA KINABALU: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin suggested that the Federal government restore the closing hours of the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) here back to 10pm, in line with other UTCs in the country.

Chan noted that the Ministry of Finance had on Jan 12 issued a media statement announcing the changes of the operating hours of several UTCs in Malaysia, namely Shah Alam, Keramat, Seremban, Alor Setar, Johor Bahru, Kota Bharu and Kuala Terengganu branches that will be operating from 1pm to 10pm on weekdays, and 8am to 5pm on weekends.

Chan Foong Hin. SNT File Pix

This is good news for all Malaysians, and Chan is hopeful that the same directive can be extended to UTC Kota Kinabalu for the benefit of the rakyat.

“The previous closing hour was at 10pm but they changed it to 5pm starting from 1st January this year,” noted Chan.

Chan said he understands that the Federal government had revised the closing hour from 10pm to 5pm as a cost-saving measure.

“Nevertheless, the Federal government has recognised the raison d’être or reason for the existence of UTC, and that is to facilitate and make it more convenient for the rakyat to deal with government departments.”

UTC has been described as a boon to the public as various government departments like the Road Transport Department, the National Registrations Department and Immigration Department can all be found under one roof and that the public need not travel to different places to conduct official businesses with different government departments.

Chan who is also secretary of DAP Sabah, said that the UTC here, being the UTC in the capital of the state of Sabah, ought to be given the same treatment as the seven other UTCs in Peninsula Malaysia that will be operating after office hours.

Chan believed that the rakyat stands to benefit more if UTC Kota Kinabalu has its operating hours similarly extended till night time.

“Kota Kinabalu is a rapidly developing city and there are many people that are from the working class. For those who are working and don’t have time to go the centre during working hours, they can still go after work if it were to operate until night time.

“From the feedback that I had gathered from many of my constituents here, many would prefer it if UTC Kota Kinabalu has its operating hours extended till night time, and therefore I urge the federal government to seriously consider readjusting the same,” said Chan.

Chan was confident that the Federal government under Pakatan Harapan understands the needs of the rakyat, and that although it wished to save money for the rakyat, there still has to be a balance with the needs of the rakyat.-SabahNewsToday