IN AN effort to promote it as a tourist attraction, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is giving a total makeover to the flea market commonly called pasar karat in Lorong Petaling by turning it into an Antique Market.
DBKL executive director Datuk Ibrahim Yusoff said an association recognised by DBKL had been appointed for the traders to ensure traders sell genuine antiques and follow the local authority’s requirements.
“The name pasar karat has acquired a negative connotation over the years.
“So we are renaming it to Pasar Antik and have issued 80 temporary business licences to traders there last year,” he said.
He added that these traders occupied 261 lots and their licence was valid for half a year.
Ibrahim said DBKL was still in the midst of rearranging the lots and streamlining the lot size.
“The temporary licence will be reviewed every six months and we will meet them at the end of the term to review their track record in abiding by the rules,” he elaborated.
He said DBKL had given the traders a set of guidelines.
“The traders are not allowed to hire foreign workers or sell stolen goods.
“They have to keep the trading site clean and ensure that they do not block the back doors of shops in the alley,” Ibrahim said.
When asked if the number of traders given temporary licence will be increased, he said the number would be maintained for the foreseeable future.
“We want the association to be responsible and if they are able to manage the traders well, we can consider increasing the number of licences,” he added.
Ibrahim said DBKL would monitor the public’s response to the market before mulling any move to increase the licence validity to a year.
On the issue of stolen goods, he said DBKL was aware of such cases, which it hoped to overcome by appointing an association to manage the traders.
“We have received complaints about the stolen goods, such as shoes, being sold at the market,” he said, adding that DBKL would work with the police and the association to ensure no stolen goods were sold.
“If we get complaints from the public or reports of stolen goods, action will be taken,” he assured.
Ibrahim said the plan was to incorporate the Antique Market into the main thoroughfare of Petaling Street as a bigger tourist attraction.
“We will work to change the pasar karat image to a positive one,” he said.
Another part of the revamp and rebranding exercise involves physical changes to the area.
“We will upgrade the infrastructure such as the lighting while murals have been painted to beautify the location.
“We may ask traders to use tables to display their items instead of their current practice of just laying out the goods on a piece of cloth spread on the ground,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur Lorong Petaling Pasar Antik Association (KLLPPAA) chairman Azahalim Suradi said the organisation was collaborating with DBKL and police to monitor the market.
“When processing licence applications, we will check what they sell and if we find any suspicious items, we will not submit the applications to DBKL,” he said.
He also said the association had been supervising the market since it received an offer letter from DBKL in September last year to manage the market.
When asked about second-hand cellphones being sold at the market, Azahalim said KLLPPAA would ask for the receipts from the traders as most of them would get the items from Low Yat Plaza.
He assured that the association would investigate any complaint of stolen goods.
He also said the association did not allow foreign traders or even people with red identity cards to conduct business there.
In line with DBKL’s guidelines on cleanliness, he said Alam Flora had been appointed to clean the area.
“Each trader will pay RM1 per day for Alam Flora’s services,” he added.
Azahalim stressed that KLLPPAA was also trying to help the pasar karat shed its negative reputation.
“We conduct daily monitoring at the market to make sure the traders adhere to the guidelines given by DBKL,” he said.
He added that the association had submitted a proposal to DBKL to build an arch as a way to let tourists know the market’s location.