Teluk Intan vendors feel the pinch from lower purchasing power

Nur Zalina’s partner has to dress as a clown to attract more customers to their souvenir stall in front of the Leaning Tower in Teluk Intan.

TELUK INTAN: Although they have moved their stalls nearer the popular Leaning Tower tourist attraction, the vendors in Teluk Intan here are an unhappy lot.

FMT did a tour of the night market and found the place was not as crowded as expected, with local vendors saying their sales had been on the decline for years.

Khadijah Hassan, 45, said since the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), she had not been able to earn much as buyers would always bargain for the lowest price.

“Over the years, the price of goods has increased and purchasing power has decreased. It has taken a toll on our sales.

“I have to pay more for the goods, and sometimes I do not even earn any clean profit from my sales as I have to sell my goods at half the price.”

Khadijah said she had been selling clothes and bags at various night markets around Teluk Intan to make ends meets.

“I have three daughters to think of and a high rental to pay for my lot. It is not that easy when the customers want cheap stuff.

Khadijah Hassan said her profits are hit when buyers drive a hard bargain.

“I have no choice but to sell at a lower price or they will go to other stalls.”

The local-born vendor said she had been managing the stall for about a decade but it was getting harder to earn a living.

Another vendor who wanted to be known as Nur Zalina, 50, shared the same feelings about decreasing sales due to the increase in prices of goods.

“In the past, I could earn about RM400 a day. Now, that has been halved,” the toy seller told FMT.

She said her partner sometimes had to dress up as a clown to attract the attention of tourists even though her stall is situated just in front of the famous local version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

“I have been selling toys for two years and the sales have been getting worse since last year.”

Meanwhile, Letchumy Dewasamy, 21, said she now had fewer customers compared to last year.

Letchumy, who hails from Kampar, has been helping out at her sister’s stall. She blame the poor sales on customers’ lower purchasing power.

“I am not sure whether it is because of GST but poor sales have hit small vendors like us.”