PETALING JAYA: A “mafia” has been in control of the yearly Ramadan street bazaar in the Masjid India area of Kuala Lumpur, say local businessmen, urging that the authorities take action against them.
Ameer Ali Mydin, head of the Masjid India Business Association, said: “There is a mafia there. If anyone lodges a report, they’ll be finished.” He said he had been threatened with physical harm in the past “just because I made noise over the matter”.
He told FMT: “Nothing was done. Everyone just wants to be a hero and deny their inaction during the crisis. So what is the difference between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan? It seems no one can stop this nonsense.”
Ameer said he had urged Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun to come to the area urgently to better understand matters at hand, as an “association” had been selling stall lots for years.
Fong has been embroiled in a controversy after news reports alleged that PPBM Youth member Noorhisyam Abd Karim had profited from the bazaar by charging hawkers as much as RM5,000 rent for one of the 80 lots licensed by City Hall (DBKL), although the city licensing fees and other charges amounted to only about RM6,000 in total.
Fong had said that the only reason he issued a letter of support for Noorhisyam was because he wanted to help traders who didn’t have a licence to set up stalls at the Ramadan bazaar.
Ameer said he had received feedback that “rentals” for the stalls could reach as high as RM18,000 during the last week of Ramadan.
A city licensing official said he had initially rejected the application for the bazaar but reversed his decision because of a letter of support from Fong. The MP later stated that his name had been misused.
Ameer said it was “naive” of Fong’s aide Sally Sian to ask traders to come forward to help investigations into complaints against Noorhisyam.
DBKL should not have approved the application for setting up the bazaar, Ameer said.
He said DBKL had managed the bazaar poorly, leading to traffic jams and littering.
DBKL should take responsibility and not hide behind politicians, he added.