Vendors at Mara Digital Mall have recently called out to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to revive the mall and give it a boost.
The project was first introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in 2015 to compete with Plaza Low Yat while creating more Bumiputera IT retailers, but it is now devoid of customers and which looks gloomy and deserted.
Responding to the matter, the prime minister said he has instructed Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) to continue with the MARA Digital project and to get more Bumiputera youth involved in the information technology (IT) industry.
In a statement, he said several MARA Digital centres had been established so far, namely in Shah Alam, Selangor; Kuantan, Pahang and Ipoh, Perak, while other places that had been identified were Larkin, Johor; Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu; Kota Bharu, Kelantan; Kuching, Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
He said, however, that when Pakatan Harapan took over the government following the 14th General Election in 2018, the MARA Digital initiative was shut down and new projects were discontinued.
“MARA Digital is very close to my heart. I came up with it to develop Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the field of IT and gadgets, whether in terms of selling products, repairing (equipment) and others,” he said.
What Malaysians think?
Meanwhile, the announcement from the prime minister has sparked a huge debate online, though most of them were criticisms.
Many netizens pointed out that the mall’s failure is mainly due to the race-based policy that makes it uncompetitive and is doomed to fail from the start.
On the other hand, others pointed out issues such as bad customer experience and uncompetitive prices the main reason for the mall’s failure.
You make nice nice also no point lar. People will see only one sentence on the products: Cheap or not. Right now the price is not competitive if you still insist that vendors only take from one supplier. Let vendors choose their own suppliers if u really wana help them.— fireflyyy (@meforevermy) August 16, 2022
“People go to Low Yat because they can be assured of selection, competitive pricing. MARA Digital was doomed from the start because it believed racial sentiment alone would be enough to sustain it,” a netizen said.
“Those who had been to MARA Digital Mall will understand why Malay-owned businesses cannot fight with Chinese-owned. They are rude and do not service or promote like they do in Low Yat. If they didn’t have the item you looking for, they won’t suggest to another shop there,” another netizen said.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!