KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call to upgrade and beautify food courts and stalls across the country is a proactive move that should benefit the people, according to experts.
Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Design and Architecture Faculty Dean Associate Professor Dr Suhardi Maulan said the move was timely as it catered to the Malaysian ‘eat out’ culture in such premises.
Therefore, places where various dishes are enjoyed with family and friends should always be clean, beautiful and comfortable for visitors, he said.
“I think the Prime Minister’s view is good because when we eat, we definitely want comfortable surroundings and this is reflected where food is served in clean conditions and the decor is neat.
“In order to create and maintain this atmosphere, local authorities must continuously monitor and effectively take care of the food courts,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
He said besides local authorities, the health department must also get involved by ensuring cleanliness and food safety standards are met.
“The local authorities must have clear guidelines on how a food court is developed not only physically but also in its operations, which can be a clear guide on how it should be implemented nationwide.
“In addition, the local authorities or the food court owners must also pay attention to the design, and that there is good ventilation and lighting at the premises,” he said.
Suhardi, who is also a lecturer at UPM’s Landscape Architecture Department, said visual improvements or designing a food court that has its own uniqueness can attract many tourists to come and enjoy the local atmosphere.
“If we look at Singapore, the food court there is so ‘simple’ and the stipulated policy that upholds cleanliness until their food courts are famous and become tourist attractions,” he said.
Universiti Malaya Urban and Regional Planning Department Senior Lecturer Dr Nikmatul Adha Nordin, meanwhile, said food courts are a one-stop food centre created to meet local needs.
She said several factors need to be considered when upgrading food courts, including prices of food, the atmosphere, facilities and easy access for patrons. — Bernama