KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today called for an end to middlemen who monopolise business spaces and control lots at Ramadan bazaars.

In his speech at the National Level Traders and Small Traders Convention 2022 in Putrajaya, Anwar said this must end nationwide to allow traders to make a living, especially when many struggle to even secure basic funding to start a business.

“How many traders have difficulties securing basic funds to start a business? How many then encounter difficulties finding a spot to run their business from? How many local councils nationwide force traders and business owners to use agents? The licence is given to others and later transferred to the traders.

“And I believe the same goes for Ramadan bazaars too. Sometimes Ramadan bazaars are monopolised by certain groups. So those who want to do business, who get up in the morning, cook during the fasting month, who break fast in situations that are very difficult, are forced to pay not just the rental, but also the agents who secure them,” he said referring to the business lots.

“I want to stress not just for Kuala Lumpur or Selangor, but nationwide, stop this practice and ensure that the benefit reaches the bottom, and this is not at all hard. For traders and small traders, not hard at all. If this can be done, a huge part or part of the problem can be sorted,” he added.

Anwar said that during his meeting with Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) officers this morning, he was also informed of issues plaguing the Taman Keramat market, which was attributed to problems with the assigned developer, among other factors.

“I want you to know that I will not allow this. Early next year, if this is not settled, I will visit Taman Keramat personally and ensure that this does not continue,” he added.