M'sian traders feel shortchanged

Kota Baru (The Star/ANN) - Zahari Othman, 53, started his restaurant with big dreams, ploughing a lot of money into his business and renting a shoplot in Lembah Sireh for 2,000 ringgit (US$645) a month. Three years later, he realised he had gone in blind. Business has been poor.

"Before I rented this place I was impressed with the promise of massive development.

"But after sometime, I realised that nothing is happening with Kelantan River Bank Development project except for the hypermarket, main bus station and some shoplots.

"Those who visit the hypermarket will eat there.

"I really wonder when the promised infrastructure will come and help improve my business," said Zahari, whose restaurant is at the ground floor of a three-storey shoplot.

There are many others like him who feel shortchanged after buying or renting the expensive shoplots with the promise by the developer to build the integrated infrastructure that promised 2,400 shop-offices, a hotel, a golf course, luxury apartments and residential houses.

Now, the business community and people within the Lembah Sireh main business centre that began seven years ago doubt that the whole project can be completed by 2015.

A businessman who manages a locksmith booth at the hypermarket, Nik Mohd Tarmizi, 25, said business was slow and people only frequent the hypermarket.

"This area is simply dead after the hypermarket closes by 10pm. It is deserted at night because people have no reason to come here except to shop at the hypermarket.

Hypermarket patron Rosilawati Yaacob, 38, from Bachok about 30km from here, said the hypermarket was the only reason for her to visit the area.

"Apart from the shoplots, people come here to buy textile. Most of them are from the private medical college and Mara Polytechnic College. Apart from that, there is nothing else," she said.

Both the medical college and the polytechnic operate out of the shoplots.

Visitor Ramli Ahmad, 45, was disappointed with the infrastructure in the area.

"The only attraction for me here is a floating restaurant that is well-lit at night. The rest of the area, including the shoplots, are closed by 10pm.

"I believe people do not come here except to buy daily produce at the hypermarket," he said.

  • 2015 Nissan Murano aims for the style-forward crowd 9 hours ago
    2015 Nissan Murano aims for the style-forward crowd

    Nissan says its 2015 Murano crossover, only the second major revamp of the car since it debuted in 2003, draws its design cues from the “age of future space flight.” That’s probably taking it a little far, but the new Murano, based off the 2013 Resonance concept vehicle, is an exceptionally lovely machine, all fluid, curved metal on the outside, and flowing, soft-touch materials on the inside. Certain kinds of comfort and charms that were unheard-of outside of premium vehicles five years ago have definitely trickled down, and reached a kind of design apotheosis with this car.

  • Volkswagen brings new (ish) Jetta to New York along with Golf Sportwagen 12 hours ago
    Volkswagen brings new (ish) Jetta to New York along with Golf Sportwagen

    With its new President and CEO of America, Michael Horn, on stage in New York after just 100 days on the job, Volkswagen debuted its 2015 Jetta. You'd be forgiven for noticing little differences compared to the outgoing model, and in the words of Horn himself, the changes are indeed subtle. The most notable of those subtleties is the all-new 2.0 liter turbo diesel motor, offering 45 mpg highway and a modest increase of 10 hp. For VW, diesel is where it's at.

  • With Vantage GT, Aston Martin races below $100,000 12 hours ago
    With Vantage GT, Aston Martin races below $100,000

    Aston Martin is going downmarket, sort of. The 2015 Vantage GT, a sport-styled variant of Aston’s legendary flagship car, draws style and performance tips from their GT4 race cars, which will be running in North America this year. It’s also priced at $99,900, which shows that the market for these kinds of consumer sports cars has boomed in recent years.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...

  • StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends
    StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends

    Are you on the 4G or LTE mobile data network under StarHub? If so, you’ll have to start paying for the service.

  • Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes
    Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - More than 280 people, many of them students from the same high school, were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of a loud noise prior to the disaster.