Imbi market traders in limbo about move

The wet market area at Imbi market. — Picture by Choo Choy May
The wet market area at Imbi market. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 ― Following Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) letter dated March 16 to the traders in Imbi market to vacate and shift to the Integrated Commercial Complex (ICC) by April 1, there has been no further news.

Outside the market, a banner still hangs to announce the impending move to ICC.

A customer selecting fruits at Imbi market. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A customer selecting fruits at Imbi market. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Talk among the traders is the date for relocation could possibly be April 15 but according to fruit seller Wong Kwai Cheng, it's just speculation as nothing in writing has been received from DBKL.

Some of them like kuih and snacks seller Ng Yoke Kew says they are waiting for the letter from the authorities to address the issue of the Certificate of Fitness (CF) for ICC.

All around the market, you find regulars that have been patronising this place for many years for their breakfast. — Picture by Choo Choy May
All around the market, you find regulars that have been patronising this place for many years for their breakfast. — Picture by Choo Choy May

DAP MP for Bukit Bintang Fong Kui Lun told Malay Mail Online that he spoke to the ICC contractor yesterday on the building's completion and he expects the move to be after April 15.

Fong also insists that the move will only take place once the CF is obtained from the architect for ICC.

At the ICC, slaughtering of the chicken is banned. — Picture by Choo Choy May
At the ICC, slaughtering of the chicken is banned. — Picture by Choo Choy May

He also points out that even though the three floors of ICC are almost completed, there is netting placed over the higher floors as a precaution from any falling objects from the ongoing construction of the 7-storey building.

Chicken seller Chin Kim Meng will be heavily affected by the move as one of the conditions laid down by DBKL bans any chickens from being slaughtered at ICC.

This means he will have to utilise a friend's premises to slaughter and prepare the chickens before they are taken to his new chicken stall at ICC. As the chicken price is controlled, the additional costs to slaughter offsite will eat into his profits.

Business as usual at the yong tau foo stall at Imbi market. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Business as usual at the yong tau foo stall at Imbi market. — Picture by Choo Choy May

With uncertainty about the move, Chin also expressed that they are unable to stock up their produce for a smooth flow in their business. This is the same fate faced by Ngew Koo Tian who runs Kien Sang (Pin Kee) Medical Hall.

Even though some customers are still trickling to the market, Wong claims there has been a drop in fruit sales as others are avoiding the place since they think the traders have moved to ICC.

Crowds have flocked to Imbi market for their favourite Hainanese tea and kaya toast with the news of the impending move. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Crowds have flocked to Imbi market for their favourite Hainanese tea and kaya toast with the news of the impending move. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Since news of the impending move has circulated, cat lovers have also approached SPCA to help relocate the community felines that live at the market.

The association is arranging to bring the cats in by batches to vaccinate, neuter and be put up for adoption under their MissionHELP community project. A call for donations to assist the project has also been sent out. They are also looking for volunteers to foster the cats.

For more enquiries, visit SPCA's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SPCASelangor.

Ngew Koo Tian who runs Kien Sang (Pin Kee) Medical Hall is cautious in stocking up any medical herbs for his business due to the uncertainties around the move. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Ngew Koo Tian who runs Kien Sang (Pin Kee) Medical Hall is cautious in stocking up any medical herbs for his business due to the uncertainties around the move. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Sisters Crispy Popiah will be relocating to the upstairs food court at ICC. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Sisters Crispy Popiah will be relocating to the upstairs food court at ICC. — Picture by Choo Choy May
SPCA is also assisting to try and find homes for the community cats and kittens affected by the move. — Picture by Choo Choy May
SPCA is also assisting to try and find homes for the community cats and kittens affected by the move. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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