MCA: Maintain ‘Chinatown’

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Mar 2016

PETALING JAYA: Petaling Street is one of the iconic and historical places in the country which should be well maintained.

Rather than closing their shops, petty traders there have been urged to think outside the box and adapt to changes when it comes to managing their businesses.

MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon (pic) said there should be a proper plan to get more young people with creative minds to set up businesses in Petaling Street.

“To give it a ‘Chinatown’ image, products and services provided must be relevant.

“At the Taiwan night market, for example, you will see a lot of young traders with very creative designs, new products and new food.

“Petaling Street is an icon that should remain. It will be a great loss to Malaysia if we fail to maintain it well,” he said.

On Thursday, StarMetro reported that about 20% of operators in Petaling Street were expected to close shop because of high operational cost and poor business.

MCA SME bureau chief Datuk Ei Kim Hock said traders should strive to make changes instead of giving in to external factors.

“The business environment is ever changing and it is always up to the traders to sense and adapt to the changes.

“Petaling Street has had its good times and since the name is established, they (traders) probably have to make changes.

“It has been a tourist attraction all the while, so work with those from the industry to find out why business is slowing down,” he said.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Hamzah Rahmat said although the number of shops closing down was not significant, traders there should also relook their business models.

“The shops closing down are easily replaceable. Give it some time and things will recover.

“With the electronic visa system introduced by the Government, things might pick up again,” he said.

Hawkers and Petty Traders Association chairman Datuk Ang Say Tee said the slowing economy could be a contributing factor.

“This is a very tough year for traders and small businesses, as some have lost 50% or more of their income recently.

“It doesn’t only affect Petaling Street. Even those in Sungai Wang are badly hit,” he said, adding that Kuala Lumpur City Hall could assist traders in Petaling Street by not issuing summonses over petty matters.

“These people are already struggling to feed families. It would be sad if the little money they earn is used to pay compounds,” said Ang, adding that property owners could also help by reducing rental rates.

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