BUSINESS owners in Jalan Masjid India want an end to the festive bazaars and night markets in the area.
The traders said they were fed up with the lack of enforcement and mismanagement for over two decades that have caused monetary losses and inconvenience to them.
Masjid India Business Owners Association president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin (pic) said Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) failed to solve everyday problems such as illegal hawkers and traffic congestion, proving it was unfit to handle more responsibilities that comes with organising temporary bazaars.
“The recent uproar about the middleman profiting from subletting the lots was just one of the many problems. That too has been happening every year.
“Over 500 business owners here have been affected. We are paying premium prices to do business here and these temporary stalls are raking in the profits during peak periods,” he said.
Festive periods are supposed to be the most profitable time of the year for business owners there but Ameer said it was quite the opposite as temporary bazaar stalls blocked the entrances of their premises.
“Loading and unloading becomes very difficult, hotels lose customers because of difficulty bringing in their luggage and the safety of the public is also compromised.
“DBKL should do away with such temporary stalls in Jalan Masjid India.
“Perhaps it could be shifted to a new venue like Bukit Jalil stadium, where there is ample parking space and accessible by public transport,” he said at a joint press conference with members from Masjid India Council, Wisma Yakin Traders Association and Malaysian Indian Muslim Youth Movement (Gepima).
He said the welfare of the businesses here had always taken a back seat.
“Even the River of Life project is not favourable to us as Jalan Masjid India will be a promenade and no vehicles would be allowed in.
“There are about 27 jewellery shops whose customers will be worried about walking to their cars parked further away with valuable jewellery in their possession.
“Hotel guests will have to lug their bags for some distance and there will be more room for illegal stalls to mushroom.
“Loading and unloading can only take place in the night, which will make our operations difficult,” he said.
Masjid India Council treasurer Hishamudin Ubaidulla said as the Government has pledged to uphold the rule of law, it should respect the opinions of the business community in Jalan Masjid India.
“DBKL went against its own requirement of getting consent from business owners before approving temporary trading lots.
“This area has unwanted structures, illegal hawkers and traffic congestion. It is a fire hazard and ambulances or fire engines are not be able to pass through in case of emergency,” Hishamudin said, adding that there were concerns that the planning had gone ahead without clearance from the Fire and Rescue Department.
“There are drug addicts and beggars loitering outside the mosque, giving this tourist destination a bad image.
“Stakeholders need to be engaged and their views taken into serious consideration.
“We objected to the suggestions by DBKL to put up 100 stalls in 2003 but our views were not taken into account.
“We want Jalan Masjid India and Jalan Melayu to be reinstated to what it was in 2002 before all this mess,” he said.
Wisma Yakin Traders Association president Datuk Maideen Kadir Shah said the 32 businesses operating in Wisma Yakin were also been hit with hard times and they hoped DBKL would take swift action to reinstate the businesses in Jalan Masjid India and its vicinity to its former glory.
Also present was Gepima president Mohamed Kathir Ali.