TRADERS of Emporium Makan in Klang are rejoicing over the proposal to turn the building into LRT3’s main station for Klang.
The move, they said, would help revive their poor business and inject new life to the town centre which lost its glory over the past decade.
The traders said the sad state of business at Emporium Makan with 70 stalls reflected the reality of the town centre which had turned “quiet” in terms of business.
Kopitiam stall operator How Gee Hien, 60, said businesses at the hawker centre had gone from bad to worse when more and more stalls closed down.
He said about one third of the stalls at the hawker centre were vacant and they were not taken up due to lack of movement of people at the area compared with a decade ago.
“I used to sell chicken rice and business used to be very good.
“There were five chicken rice stalls here but now there are only two.
“I switched from chicken rice to selling mixed rice and hot drinks,” he said, adding that the LRT3 station could help the traders.
Chan Kuan Kee, 67, who has been selling leng chee kang and desserts at the area for 45 years, said he welcomed the idea and believed that Emporium Makan would relive its past legacy.
He suggested that the name Emporium Makan be retained and traders allowed to continue to operate at the ground floor of the new station building.
I think it will be great as the station will attract a lot of people into the area and businesses will grow again,” he said, adding that the hawker centre was popular for its authentic hawker food from chicken rice, rojak, noodles and various types of drinks and desserts.
Junainah Mustafa, 37, who took over the business from her mother said both their roles had changed as the mother assisted her in the business now compared to in the past when she played second fiddle.
She said many of the old stalls had closed down due to poor business but the station proposal would be a great plus point for the hawkers.
“I started helping out my mother when I was still in school and this is the case with almost all the businesses here and some of them are operated by the third generation.
“I sell drinks, chicken rice and fried noodles and the business has been very poor in recent years,” she said, adding that she was looking forward to the LRT3 station idea to materialise.
Wantan noodle seller Yap Sin Keong, 64, hoped the traders would be provided with a suitable temporary site while the construction of the station and the food court were carried out.
He said the traders were excited about the news on the proposed LRT3 station and hoped that the council would go all out for the idea to be implemented.
“We hope the LRT3 project will also offer ample parking for commuters,” he said
Salimon Ateri Harun, 61, who sells religious books and accessories at Pasar Jawa said both the hawker centre and Pasar Jawa were built around the same time when the area was the town’s commercial centre.
“Pasar Jawa, where dry items including religious books and sundry goods were sold, Emporium Makan and the wet market were meant to complement each other.
“For a time they did and business thrived. However, things changed about 20 years ago when the wet market was relocated to Jalan Meru.
“Things went from bad to worse and businesses collapsed almost overnight after the North Klang bus terminal was moved to Klang Sentral,” he said
However, he added, that the LRT3 station would probably be the only solution to save the dwindling economic activity in the area.
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