By ELAN PERUMAL, JADE CHAN, and CHRISTINA LOW
THE holy month of Ramadan is here and as usual Muslims in the Klang Valley will break their fast at street bazaars in their neighbourhood. StarMetro visited three such bazaars in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam and found a lively atmosphere where people from all races come together to savour the food offered by traders.
THE Ramadan bazaar is back! Crowds by the hundreds are seen in the evening strolling through the many stalls set up at various areas all in the Klang Valley.
Obviously, the increase in fuel price and the higher cost of food stuff, ingredients and transportation have not slowed down the Ramadan bazaar business.
In Petaling Jaya, the stalls have been set up along Jalan 14/18 in Section 14, offering a variety of items like murtabak, satay, grilled fish and lamb, roti john, kebab, rendang, fried noodles, as well as cakes and kuih.
A quick survey revealed that most stall owners did not increase the prices of their food items as they wanted to maintain their business.
Among the more popular stalls is one run by Mohd Kassim M. Ismail, where a long queue was seen lining up to buy his Penang popiah basah (wet popiah).
“The customers who come to buy my popiah can still get it at the same price, at RM1 per piece.
“I can sell more than a thousand pieces a day during the Ramadan period,” he said.
Kassim attributed the popularity of his popiah to its good taste and authenticity, which he said is not as easy to get nowadays.
In Bangsar, although the crowd at the stalls were not too large on the first day of Ramadan on Monday because of the damp environment following a downpour, business was nevertheless catching up the following day.
Long queues of people can be seen at stalls selling ayam perchik, popiah and beriyani gam, as it remains a popular yearly favourite among the Bangsar residents.
In Shah Alam, heavy rain in the late afternoon on the first day of Ramadan did not damper the traders and thousands of their customers who braved the rain to shop at the Ramadan bazaar at the Shah Alam stadium car park.
Most of the traders set up their stalls by 4pm despite the rain and by 5pm when the rain stopped, people started to flock the area.
According to Sofiah Don, who sells Penang Laksa at the stadium bazaar, some of the traders had skipped business on the first day due to the bad weather but most of the stalls have started operation.
Sofiah said her business was not affected by the rain since she had her regular customers.
“I have been trading here for eight years during the Ramadan period and the rain is not a big problem,’’ she said
Helmi Hassan Dong, who came from Klang to sell Roti John, said this was his first year trading at the bazaar.
“Although the rain has dampen a otherwise good start, I think people are coming and hopefully I can sell about 100 pieces today,’’ he said.
Fauziah Ishak’s business faced the biggest risk compared with others as she was selling cold drinks, and who would need a cold drink on a wet day?
Fauziah said if not for the rain, her stall would be doing a rousing business.
“But, I have to keep myself busy promoting my drinks although the weather is wet and cold,’’ she said.
Ayam Percik seller Rosliana Ishak from Gombak said she expected to sell about 300 pieces of grilled chicken a day.
“I think my business will be okay,’’ she said confidently.
There will be Ramadan Bazaars at 24 areas under the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) jursidiction this year. They are:
1. Section 17/1A
2. Section 14/27
3. Lembag Subang
4. Meranti Apartments Sri Damansara
5. Section 6 Kota Damansara
6. Kg. Sungai Kayu Ara
7. Desa Mentari
8. Section 7 Kota Damansara
9. SS8 Sg. Way
10. Taman Medan
11. Section 8 Sg Jernih
12. Section 5 Kota Damansara
13. SS6/1 Kelana Jaya
14. PJS 6/3 Kg. Lindungan
15. Taman Sri Manja
16. Pasar Taman Dato’ Harun
17. Pelangi Damansara
18. Damansara Damai (Vista Business Centre)
19. Stesen Bas Jalan Othman
20. Kg. Baiduri 51A
21. Damansara Damai (Idaman Apartments)
22. Section 4 Kota Damansara
23. Prima Damansara
24. Bandar Utama
Source: The Star