EMPORIUM Makan that housed Klang’s oldest hawker centre became less significant over the years due to poor business.
However, the iconic landmark is set to become a hit again with Klang folk if the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has its way.
Both the council and the state government are in agreement that the double-storey building is the most suitable place to set up the main station for the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) line.
Under the proposal, the 45-year-old Emporium Makan, that had the hawker centre on the ground floor and Gama, the first supermarket in Klang located on the top floor, will serve as the site for the main LRT3 station for Klang town, replacing the earlier location at Jalan Raya Barat in South Klang.
Prasarana Malaysia Bhd which will carry out the RM9bil project decided to place the main station near the MPK office after its originally proposed venue at Little India faced opposition from traders there.
The 36km-long LRT3 line will cover 25 stations from Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya to Kampung Johan Setia in Klang.
State infrastructure committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim said Emporium Makan was the most suitable choice as it was located at the town centre in North Klang and there was no requirement to change the alignment of the LRT3 line.
“Emporium Makan has had its share of past glory and is still popular among Klang folk who go there to find Malaysian delicacies.
“It is located along one of Klang’s busiest roads, Jalan Pasar, and is near the Pasar Jawa market complex, a mosque, and a couple of shopping malls,” he said.
The LRT3 station would also give a new lease of life to businesses in North Klang which experienced a slowdown when new townships emerged, leading to the decentralisation of businesses in the royal town.
Teng said the proposal received the green light from Prasarana and was waiting for the approval from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
“I believe we will be able to get a positive response from SPAD soon.
“Furthermore, Emporium Makan is also located near the former North Klang bus terminal that is surrounded by a few public transportation hubs and taxi stations,” he said.
MPK president Datuk Yasid Bidin said the council would propose that Emporium Makan be demolished for the construction of the new LRT3 station.
“The traders will be relocated to a temporary site to allow the construction work to proceed.
“We will propose that the current concept of Emporium Makan be retained with the ground floor for hawkers, the first floor for a mall and the LRT3 station located on the third floor, which is the top floor,” he added.
Yasid said Pasar Jawa, located next to Emporium Makan, would also be packaged together with the new proposal.
“In this way, the identity of the Emporium Makan and the surrounding businesses will be enhanced by the station.
“We also hope to find a way for the development to complement Pasar Jawa.
“We hope a private carpark located next to Emporium Makan will be developed into a multi-storey carpark under the project,” he said.
If things work according to the proposal, Yasid said businesses in the area would thrive and the area which used to be very busy with many commercial activities would return to its glory days.