- 2008/02/07 Portuguese Settlement residents request church

Residents of the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir want the state to repair the drainage system and construct a church.

At a two-hour dialogue with a MCA team led by state chairman Datuk Wira Dr. Fong Chan Onn, they also expressed the need for more government support for fishermen affected by sea reclamation projects.

Kota Melaka MP Wong Nai Chee and state MCA English-speaking bureau chairman Chock Choon Sin were also present.

Dr. Fong said the Portuguese Settlement was the birthplace of modern Malaya and had tremendous potential in becoming a tourist attraction. "It has the capability to outdo Jonker Walk and other tourist attractions in the state," he said.

On their request for a church, Dr. Fong said he would raise the matter with the Cabinet and was confident it would be approved. "The Portuguese community has to put its differences aside if it wants changes for its benefit," he advised, "it would be difficult to undertake projects or provide assistance if the people were divided."

The settlement's regedor (headman) Peter Gomes urged residents to vote for Barisan Nasional in the elections, claiming that the opposition, which currently holds the state seat, had been inactive. Chock lost to Goh Leong San in the 2004 election for the Banda Hilir state seat. "Although Chock is not our assemblyman, he has been helpful and has brought many positive changes to the community. If you give your vote to the Barisan, you can rightly demand for more changes," said Gomes.

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