Shops renting out recreational toys in Ipoh keen to reopen

Azrina (left) checking on a motorised toy car at her rented shop in Meru Raya.

TOY and recreational equipment rental operators at the Sultan Azlan Shah Roundabout in Meru Raya, Ipoh, are urging Perak government to come up with a standard operating procedure for them to reopen their business.

Azrina Abdul Kadir, 38, who acted as the spokesperson, said they had been facing financial difficulties since stopping operations for about six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The SOP for clothing and food sellers at markets are clear.

“We may have been overlooked even though the tourism industry is now being allowed to operate,” she told reporters.

“We understand the situation given the pandemic and we are prepared to follow the SOP strictly.

Motorised rides at a rented shop are being maintained regularly although they cannot be rented out.Motorised rides at a rented shop are being maintained regularly although they cannot be rented out.

“It is better to operate under strict SOP than not at all, so that we can at least get some income,” she said, highlighting that there were four such operators at the roundabout who had been affected.

“Most of us have been using our savings to survive,” she added.

Azrina said that without income, they were unable to pay rent for the shops where they stored the motorised toys.

“Some shopowners keep hounding us to pay the rent, which is about RM1,000 a month.

“Some even threatened to lodge a police report,” she said, adding that some of them had not been able to pay rent for the past four months.

“There are some owners who are more understanding and even gave a discount on the rent. But we also need to pay our workers’ wages,” she added.

Azrina said their toys and equipment also had to be maintained, especially when the equipment had not been running for some time now.

“People may think it is okay to just store our assets away.

“They do not know that the batteries can get damaged if the equipment are not used regularly.

“If these cannot be repaired, we have to purchase replacements,” she said, adding that she had lost about RM40,000 in revenue.

Housing, local government and tourism committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said the state government was waiting for the Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP), which manages the roundabout, to decide on a date and the SOP to reopen the premises.

“The state has no objection in allowing the operators to resume business. The clearance for such activities was only given recently in August.

“We hope PKNP can expedite its preparations so that the activities there can be restarted while ensuring the SOP is adhered to, to ensure the safety of visitors and the entrepreneurs,” she said.

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