Chinatown hawkers against 94 new stalls
By FAZLEENA AZIZ
HAWKERS in Petaling Street are irked over the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) decision to add 94 new stalls in the area.The DBKL has given licences to members of Pengasih to do business there. (Pengasih is a a non-profit organisation that runs a drug rehabilitation centre)An old timer at the market who did not want to be identified is against the idea of having new stalls.“I do not like the idea because business here is already slow. If they add these stalls, the place is going to become cramped and tourists will have difficulty moving about or even just stand.“Also, DBKL did not even inform us or distribute flyers on the move,’’ he said.A hawker, who wanted to be known as just Simon, said that fewer people came to the area now.“Business here is bad and if they add more stalls, we can’t survive. With the present economic situation, this addition is just not right.’’He said that DBKL should have consulted the hawkers before even putting up the banners stating the opening of the stalls.In response, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan questioned Kuala Lumpur Hawkers Association vice-chairman Datuk Ang Say Tee for being indecisive on the matter.He said Ang had sent a letter to the DBKL endorsing the new stalls in May but was now against the idea.Hakim added that the new stalls would not affect the situation as the DBKL would rearrange and coordinate the market.A special meeting has also been scheduled for Oct 16 with DBKL, Bukit Bintang MP Fung Kui Lun and the hawkers association.Fung wants the mayor to show the letter of support from the association.“There are foreigners and illegal hawkers operating at the market. This is a clear example of the failure on DBKL’s part in implementing its enforcement.“Putting up these new stalls is going to mar the image of Chinatown as well as cause congestion.“We are not sure how many Pengasih members are involved and what kind of business they plan to conduct.“The KL traders and hawkers association have even lodged a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency because they feel there are elements of corruption involved,’’ he said.
My friend actually pointed out this matter last Saturday. Simply put, there is no way that DBKL can force its way into setting up shop for Pengasih / Malay traders in Petaling Street. You can actually guess that there is an ulterior motive of DBKL to put those things in motion. And if they were pushing to force that into Petaling Street, blood could be spilled. See, there are some dark things there like this small part of town has connections to the Hong Kong underworld (as murmurs from the dark would say) - which could spell trouble if word reaches them about this problem - robbing their business.
You see Chinatown is the hub of Chinese people and to put that in there shows the lack of consideration, apart from tourist attraction. Half of the identity is gone when you have many foreign workers working there.
One more thing that caught my attention is that everytime Chinatown is in the media spotlight, the person who always speaks on behalf is the vice-president, the MCA man called Ang Say Tee. But where is the president? Ah...if you remember MP Wee's press statement, the president is one Chan Kai Mun, lording over Petaling Street and has well, connections. Read Wee's archive press statement at the old Blogspot page.
Anyhow, DBKL has recently incurred the wrath of many citizens, particularly those in Kepong, Cheras and Setapak over the parking meter affairs. Many people think that it is cumbersome to charge them almost RM5 per day - that is $130 per month when economy is a bad turn. They are turning the screws at Hakim Borhan and his motley crew.
So therefore, DBKL better beware for people can be as dangerous as those shadow figures in Petaling Street!