Traders want lower rental at rebuilt Pasar Payang 1

The newly rebuilt Pasar Payang 1 will house 412 shoplots, including those selling kitchenware. — Bernama

A TOTAL of 400 Pasar Payang I traders are requesting the Terengganu government review rental rates for the new premises, which they claim are exhorbitant.

State Pasar Payang and Heritage Bazaar Traders Association chairman Ahmad Sukri Abdullah said the traders received a notice from Kuala Terengganu City Council (MBKT), indicating a rent increase of between 300% and 500%.

He said the excessively high increase would be a burden to the traders, especially those who rely fully on their sales at the market for their livelihood.

“The rental varies according to the type and size of the shop.

“For example, the rent for a kitchenware shop with an area of 3.05x3.05 sqm has increased from RM110 to RM400 a month, while the rent for a goldsmith shop with an area of 3.05x7 sqm has increased from RM380 to RM1,600.

“In the current uncertain economic conditions and with the rising cost of living, most traders are losing sleep over how to cope with the new rates,” he told Bernama at Pasar Payang 2.

Ahmad Sukri said that in addition to the new rental rates, the fee of RM1,600 imposed for shop signs was also too expensive.

He said he supported MBKT’s efforts to beautify Pasar Payang I with the installation of uniform signboards but hoped that its implementation would not burden traders.

“We at the association always supports the state government’s efforts to beautify the place and add value to attract more visitors to Pasar Payang I.

“But we are just small traders with modest incomes, and the RM1,600 fee imposed for installing the signboards is too high and needs to be reconsidered,” he said, adding that an appeal letter was sent to an MBKT representative on the matter.

Ahmad Shukri says rental has increased by between 300% and 500%.Ahmad Shukri says rental has increased by between 300% and 500%.

Kitchenware trader Saripah Ahmad said she did not expect such a high rent increase as the premises is owned by the state government.

Saripah said the number of customers had also decreased, except during school holidays.

With a net profit of about RM2,000 a month, she has to support her five children, including three who are still in school.

“The shop’s rental went up from RM110 to RM400 a month, which is very high,” she said.

“If it goes up to about RM200 or RM250, it would be acceptable.

“I also need to pay a deposit and for the electricity, water and signage amounting to RM3,530 to get the keys to the new shoplot.

“That doesn’t include the cost of wiring, moving items and other expenses that will amount to thousands of ringgit.

“It’s really stressful trying to raise the money,” she said, and called on the state government to hear the traders’ grievances and reduce the rates.

Pasar Payang I was demolished in August 2019 to make way for a new building.

It was completed in July of last year and is expected to start operating on July 1.

The two-storey building will house 412 shoplots, including goldsmiths, clothing stores, batik shops, handicrafts, kitchenware and cafes.

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