‘Outsiders ruining our Deepavali business’

The Indian Small Traders Association of Johor wants city councils to help local traders earn a fair income for the upcoming Deepavali celebration.

Its president, D. Ravindran, said that members of the association have been subjected to unfair competition from organizers in other states authorized to hold Deepavali exhibitions in local malls.

Vimala says local traders need to hire RM7,000 to set up stalls at mall displays.

“We would like to seek the intervention of Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) and Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBIP) on this matter as the organizers are not from Johor.

“They have damaged the business of our petty traders by staging Deepavali exhibitions in the city on a rotating basis,” he told reporters at the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Temple in Johor Baru.

Ravindran claimed that the exhibition organizers were from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor who often sold poor quality clothes to visitors at low prices.

“Their goods are shipped in bundles and are of questionable quality and the majority of their workers are foreigners,” he said, adding that local traders affected by the Covid-19 pandemic were struggling to maintain their businesses. afloat.

“Non-Johorians have monopolized the market and the victims are petty traders struggling to pay rent and arrears to local councils, which these foreigners are not doing,” he added.

Textile trader I. Vimala, 55, said organizers also set high rent to deter locals from attending the exhibitions being held.

“Their modus operandi is simple. They organize their exhibitions in different malls every week, rotating around the city. The organizers are the same people selling the same cheap stuff to the public.

“They charge around RM7,000 for small local traders to be part of their exhibits which is absurd,” she said, adding that such a move would kill the local market if left unchecked.

Gurinder says it's unfair to bring in foreigners when they don't contribute to the local economy.Gurinder says it’s unfair to bring in foreigners when they don’t contribute to the local economy.

Another trader, Gurinder Birsingh, 64, said malls in the state should prioritize helping local traders and not opening up the market for foreigners to take advantage.

“We sell the same products with better quality, so why do they have to bring foreigners to the local market?

“It’s unfair because they use the premises to apply for the business license while the business is run by foreigners who don’t even contribute to the local economy,” he said.

Mayor of Johor Baru, Datuk Mohd Noorazam Osman, said MBJB had approved three Deepavali exhibitions in the city after receiving applications from organizers.

“The license granted is temporary, usually for promotional activities in the foyer of the shopping complex.

“They are given in accordance with MBJB policy approved in 1998 and after the organizer has met all requirements, including submission of all necessary forms,” ​​he said, adding that the board does not didn’t have the power to stop an exposure until it touched the sensibility. of race and religion.

Mayor of Iskandar Puteri, Datuk Haffiz Ahmad, however, said MBIP had not received any requests to hold exhibitions in areas under its jurisdiction.

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