‘Prioritise youths when granting Old Town market lots’

The rental for a stall at Pasar Besar Jalan Othman is relatively low, says an ex-councillor. — Filepic

Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) should allow open competition for at least 70% of stalls at Pasar Besar Jalan Othman with priority given to youths.

A former councillor who did not want to be named, said the balance 30% should be allocated to the B40 group. The market has more than 500 stalls.

“It is time youths are given lots in the market. The seniors have enjoyed good business in the market for decades.

“The young should be given the opportunity now as there are fewer job opportunities available currently, ” he said.

The ex-councillor added that traders should not complain about the recent rent hike as it was still low in comparison to other commercial areas.

“Many businesses have closed down due to their inability to pay rent. They are now downsizing and keen to get a spot in the Old Town market.

“I hope MBPJ will open applications for stalls to the public, ” he said, adding although the rental had increased, the previous rate of between RM85 and RM140 was too low.

“The new RM400 rental is only imposed on those who sell fish, vegetables and chicken.

“The other stalls will be paying only about RM200. It is inclusive of stall space, unlimited water and electricity, free licence, cleaning cost of common areas and upgrades which will be done gradually, ” he said.

The former councillor added that the rent works out to less than 6% of the daily gross income of a stall which ranged from RM200 to RM1,000 per day.

“It should be noted that most are wholesalers and very few from the B40 group are operating stalls there. The B40 should be given special consideration and even lower rental but the rest should be paying the city council’s new rate.

“Even with Covid-19, the market had brisk sales for its fresh produce, ” he said. Meanwhile, Esham Salam representing MyPJ, a coalition of Petaling Jaya residents associations and Rukun Tetangga, said the market management should be strict with those who break the rules.

“MBPJ should ensure traders follow the regulations. They must not sublet their stalls, allow only locals do business there and ensure the public has a clean and safe environment to shop in, ” he said.

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