A DECADE after its development was greenlit, Pasar Mahkota Sentral in Cheras is finally open for business.
The 2,000sq ft market has 120 stalls selling wet and dry food items, precooked food and clothing, as well as a food court with 30 stalls.
The standalone market complex also has about 180 designated parking lots in its basement (which will open next month) and the surrounding area, not including about 100 more that come under Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) jurisdiction.
The market, which got its development order in 2010, was built to relocate traders from Bandar Mahkota Cheras Section 8 open-air market that operated from a carpark about 1km away.
MPKj wanted to reinstate the carpark to its original purpose.
Councillor Lim Kim Eng said the market was built as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project with a private company, and faced many technical issues that resulted in delays.
She said the company must return the market to MPKj in 2023, as per the concession contract.
Lim said about 70% of the 58 traders in the old market location have moved into the new market.
“Those that have yet to move out were the ones who only opened for business on specific days. I believe all the traders will move out soon.
“Although only 80 stalls are open today, all the lots have been taken up.
“Some traders are preparing to move into the new market. Perhaps in the next two weeks, all stalls will open, ” he said.
Lim said the market received its certificate of completion and compliance in July last year.
“The stall rental is RM300 a month. Each stall is fitted with its own electric and water meter.
“Every stall operator is also required to pay a management fee of RM200, which has been waived by the market management MALC Management Sdn Bhd for the year, ” she said.
Lim added that the food court started operations on Feb 22 and enjoyed a good number of customers.
“I believe it will also be a factor to attract customers to the market, ” she said.
Nasi lemak and baked goods seller Peggy Tan, 45, who was previously at the market in the carpark, is happy with the new location.
Business, she said, was slow on the first day but was hopeful that it would pick up soon.
“Not many customers are in the market today compared to the old place, but it is normal for any new location. I am sure the situation will improve, ” she said.
For Azmimah Mustaman, 48, the spot at the new market was like a dream come true.
She has been selling chicken and fish by the roadside in Semenyih and Sungai Ramal for two years and was thrilled to have a proper business location.
“With a proper location, I can do my business in peace, without fear of enforcement action.
“I stick out like a sore thumb here for running a stall in a Chinese dominated market, ” she added.
The market is open daily from 6am to 2pm, and closed on Mondays for cleaning and sanitising works.