KUALA LUMPUR: With just two weeks before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, traders at the newly-relocated Ramadan bazaar in Jalan Raja are complaining that they are not making as much sales as previously.
Traders have filled their shops under two huge air-conditioned white tents at the iconic Dataran Merdeka but are hoping to return to the bazaar’s old location in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR).
Traditional kuih seller, Zolkarnain Che Ama, 60, who previously maintained a stall at Jalan TAR for more than 20 years, said although the new place was cleaner, his business was slower as many of his loyal customers were unaware of the new location.
“Many of my loyal customers do not know of the relocation to the new place.
“Jalan Masjid India and Jalan TAR are synonymous with those wanting to shop for their Raya goodies, but for the first time, we have been relocated.
“Some of my customers called me to check whether I have closed down my stall permanently but in fact it has just been relocated here,” he said.
On March 25, Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Shahruddin Md Salleh announced the relocation of the bazaar, which was a hit during the Ramadan month, following complaints from the owners of premises along Jalan TAR and Jalan Masjid India.
Zolkarnain also noted that sales was only good on the first day of opening but after that it was rather slow.
“At my old shop, I can get about RM1,000 per day but here it is nowhere there.
“I do not deny there are a lot more people now but the walkway is too narrow and they cannot cope with the number of visitors,” he said.
Tudung and baju kurung trader Ummi Aiman Tahir, 52, who also previously had a shop in Jalan TAR, said she preferred the old location.
“This place is too cramped with people, especially at night.
“Despite that, many do not stop at our shops because they might feel uncomfortable with the huge crowd.
“It is a one-way street and once they walk until the end, they won’t come back.
“Previously, I can make up to RM8,000 a week but now at the new location, sales is just slightly half of that.
“The authorities need to look into how they can make the place more comfortable.
“If it rains, there will be water clogging problems and during the afternoon, it is really hot under the tent.
“Sometimes the air-conditioning is not working all the time,” she claimed.
Baju Melayu seller Zackrim Musa, 33, said he also preferred the old location, saying that the area was near other places such as the Sogo shopping mall.
“Last time, shoppers can also go to other places such as Sogo but now it is quite a distance. The space here is smaller compared to Jalan TAR. I think it is not as strategic as the old area.
“During the day, sales are a bit slow so we have to try sell more at night,” he said.
Traffic police officer Mohd Amru Wahid, 36, said he brought his family along to buy treats for Hari Raya at the bazaar.
“We normally do our shopping at Jalan TAR but my friends told me that it has been relocated.
“So far, it is quite packed here even during the day.
“I wanted to see the new bazaar myself.
“The price is about the same but perhaps they could make it more systematic,” said Mohd Amru, who is from Cheras.
Another shopper Mohd Syazwan Shahmi, 41, said he was impressed with the new area.
“I think it is much cleaner here and everything is under the tent.
“We can find the things we need such as baju Melayu and kuih just within the area,” he said.
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