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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 ― Traders at the new all-Bumiputera tech mall by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) can operate rent-free for six months, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today, saying the incentive will allow these entrepreneurs to keep prices low and give them the edge over their competitors.
The rural and regional development minister also said renovation and interior works for the shops were entirely borne by a federal vendor programme, which he said cost the traders almost nothing to set up their businesses at the mall often dubbed “Low Yat 2”.
“They get a temporary relief incentive like six month-free lease. This should give them the advantage.
“Means they can keep the prices competitive at the moment so they should be able to promote their businesses,” Ismail Sabri told the press after opening the mall.
The minister also said he was confident that the mall would be a success with the incentives.
For now, the MARA Digital Mall is situated at the third and second floor of the MARA-owned Atrium Busana mall on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman here, a known favourite shopping district patronised mostly by Malays.
Currently 36 vendors have been given the opportunity to set up their businesses here, with telecommunication giants like Apple, Samsung and Oppo all slated to open their shops by month-end.
Other renowned computer firms like Hewlett Packard and Acer have already begun operating today.
The 36 vendors were picked based on their “track records”, Ismail said, although he said MARA did not impose performance targets.
“They are businesses. They have their own key performance index. I am sure they want to succeed,” he said.
The minister first mooted the idea to set up the Malay-only tech mall after the violent racial brawl that occurred outside the popular Low Yat Plaza on July 22.
MARA later said it would look into the proposal to use its building for the mall dubbed “Low Yat 2”, despite criticism that the idea would only deepen existing racial prejudices.
MARA chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who is also Umno MP for Ketereh, insisted the idea was not racist and added that when making the proposal, Ismail Sabri had merely meant for the mall to provide Malay entrepreneurs the opportunity to venture into the telecommunications business.
Ismail said today MARA plans to open more tech centres nationwide in the future should the Mara Digital Mall here succeed.