Red shirt’ rally leader Datuk Jamal Md Yunos says he once applied for a business licence for Petaling Street but it was rejected. He now claims Malays are systematically discriminated against in the area.
A hawkers’ association has said Datuk Jamal Md Yunos is turning himself into a laughing stock and behaving petulantly, after the “red shirt” rally leader demanded that Petaling Street be opened up to Malay traders Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders’ association chairman Datuk Ang Say Tee broke his silence yesterday, just days after the September 16 “red shirt” rally and told Jamal that even the Malays were laughing at him. “What will people think? You can’t just simply say you want, and we hand it to you. The Malays are also laughing at his suggestion.
“He is behaving like a child, demanding for things from his mother after being told no,” Ang told The Malaysian Insider.
He also said Jamal could not make sweeping statements about the alleged “immunity” enjoyed by traders in the popular tourist spot known as Chinatown, accusing them of receiving favours from the authorities despite running illegal businesses.
Ang said the authorities conducted enforcement operations in the area periodically, the latest being last week. “We don’t condone the sale of counterfeit products, and if the traders insist on doing this and get arrested, they will have to deal with the authorities themselves.”
The rally last week turned chaotic when a group of protesters attempted to breach the barricade at Petaling Street, forcing police to use water cannon to control the situation. Chinatown had earlier been declared out of bounds by the authorities, and many businesses had closed that day out of fear of any untoward incidents. Jamal had said the rally goers were upset over the “immunity” Petaling Street traders enjoyed, with no action taken against them for operating illegal businesses.
He also accused them of selling counterfeit products and pornographic videos. He had also suggested that Malay traders be allowed to operate in Petaling Street instead of the area being monopolised by the Chinese. Jamal said he tried to apply for a spot in the area 10 months ago but was rejected. In disputing the Sungai Besar Umno division chief’s claims that businesses in Petaling Street were monopolised by the Chinese, Ang said there were Malay and Indian traders there, mostly running food and beverage stalls as well as selling newspapers. He said anyone who wanted to open a business in the popular stretch in downtown Kuala Lumpur needed to submit an application to the mayor but there was no guarantee that the application would be approved as all 700 stalls have been taken up. “You also have to take into account that too many new businesses in the area will affect the livelihood of existing traders who had been there for years.” – September 23, 2015.