Lee: Malays were given lots in Petaling Street

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 26 Sep 2015

PETALING JAYA: Malays and Indians were given lots for trading in Petaling Street when the area started operations in the early 1970s.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic), the former MP for Kuala Lumpur Bandar, said he was there when the lots were handed out.

Lee, who was the MP for the constituency (now known as Bukit Bintang) from 1974 to 1990, said he had witnessed the Kuala Lumpur City Hall officers calling out names of people who were allotted spots to trade in Petaling Street.

“The traders were chosen by ballot and Dewan Bandaraya (City Hall) allocated lots to the Malays and Indians,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Lee was responding to Sept 16 red shirt rally organiser Sungei Besar Umno chief Datuk Jamal Md Yunos’ demand that the Chinese stop their monopoly of the area. He demanded that City Hall allocate 50% of the stalls in Petaling Street to Malay traders.

Jamal had threatened another rally or even a riot there today if the authorities fail to meet the demands.

Lee, who was also adviser to the Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association then, said that after the lots were given out, many Malays did not find the place conducive or were not able to make enough money so they moved away on their own.

“If the Malay traders moved away voluntarily, it is not fair to say it is monopolised by the Chinese.”

Lee said this should not be turned into a racial issue.

On Thursday, MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said acts targeting the Chinese must be stopped as they could aggravate the already tense racial relations in the country.

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