Sunday, November 05, 2006

Let Petaling Street stay at it is!

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Petaling Street, infamous as a shopping haven for imitation goods, will be turned into a multi-racial culture and arts centre.

"The tourists who frequented the place should be used as the channel to introduce the various culture and arts of Malaysia's multi-racial society. Otherwise, Petaling Street – and even Kuala Lumpur – will be known to the world as an 'imitation city."

“We do not want such a negative trademark for our nation's capital."

“As such, the ministry is thinking of ways to change the image of Petaling Street," Rais Yatim said.

There is one thing for certain; convert Petaling Street by building shopping complexes or putting up exclusive & beautiful stores with marble and granite finishes, and you will find that 90% of the customers and visitors will be gone, forever and ever.

The Ministers just don't understand reality and never learnt from their mistakes. In Tampoi, Johor, a morning market place where many thousands visit everyday until the State govt build shophouses to replace them, and the retailers went bankrupt or for those smarties, they migrated their business to another wet market area. In various other places where the govt tried to upgrade the places by building nice and beautiful stores and shops, they too failed. Probably you can understand why Mamak shops are so successful; the customers love to sit on the sidewalk and drink teh-tarik and watch football, the English Premier League and European cup. I'm sure most if not all of them have nice TV at home, nice sofa settee and air-conditioned. Yet they prefer to be at Mamak stalls; it's never because of the food... mamak food are hell of expensive and full of ajinomoto.

Firstly, it is cultural for most Malaysians that they prefer the old ways, something we call ChinaTown style. People love to shop in Chinatown because they have fun and it trills. They enjoy the kind of atmosphere where there's a bit of rowdiness and loud bargaining. Even the foreigners love the atmosphere and the lifestyles. In fact, tourist visited Petaling Steet to shop those imitation products and to take photos. If they wanted genuine products, there's plenty in their own country and maybe, far more brands and better quality. They just love the atmosphere and the imitations products, and that's probably the only reason they are in Petaling Street.

Dr Rais, if you don't know how to enjoy the streetlife, then just stay at your palace and leave the Chinatown as it is. We thank you for doing nothing ... just collect your paycheque and make some money while you are still a minister.


kris said...

i agree people visit these places for the authencity. How can we differenciate one from another when such markets are almost the same copy around the world..*sigh*

Anonymous said...

actually, Petaling street is the last haven turf of fake goods for the Triads of KL.

If they wipe it out, it is as good as declaring war with the Chinese Triads there.

There is something sinister going on behind this issue, and it is going to be very interesting to watch.

Maverick SM said...

Shadowfax, you made it so scary.... but I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

its fine if rais wants to wipe out fake goods and ileagal stuffs..but changing petaling street into some 'multi cultural and arts centre' is a different issue....sounds more like he have problems with petaling street being a successful china sure he understands that taking away the streetlife will kill petaling fact its a perfect way to drive out all those chinaman shop owners and let some chronies come in...afterall petaling street is prime real estate...

O2Deprivation said...

Imagine how hard Singapore government is trying to bring back the street hawker scene at Orchard Road sometimes ago, to attract tourists from foreign countries that are so indulged in such an identity for Asian country. And now, we are demolishing it.

Learnt from others' mistakes. When it is gone, it is gone no matter how hard you want to imitate it.

What A Lulu said...

maverick, your example on tampoi is an excellent one. when the govt campurtangans with aspiration to "improve", it fails. without fail, it fails.
airasia is a top brand worldwide. go to the lonelyplanet forums, and the foreigners are often refering to it as the cheapest way to go around ASEAN countries.
Health tourism, with no help or roadshow from the ministry is a success in Penang.
when M'sians strike it on the own, they do muchx100... better than with help from the govt.

What A Lulu said...

with regards to the triads,
the counterfeit industry, esp the vcd sellers is an industry on its own. cripple that, and the hoods will turn to other crimes.

moo_t said...

If you recall the multi-million sun-roof, then you will know this is nothing but another round of gravy-trains project.

Maverick SM said...

Lulu, I agree.Force the VCD sellers out and they turned to robbery and felony.