Monday September 24, 2012
Balloting for Deepavali stalls in Brickfields will be held on Oct 2
By BAVANI M
APPLICATION for Deepavali bazaar lots in Brickfields will be open for registration from tomorrow to Sept 27 at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall Sports Club in Jalan Tun Sambanthan 1, Brickfields.
Those interested in applying for lots are invited on that day to fill up the required forms and balloting will be conducted on Oct 2 at Stadium Titiwangsa.
Details of applicants will be dropped into a ballot box and drawn in the presence of officers from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the public.
Unlike previous years, this year DBKL is ensuring that everything is done by the book with no more direct allocation to any particular NGO or organisation to ensure transparency and resolve allegations of middlemen raking in thousands of ringgit by sub-letting lots to third parties.
“It is now open to the public and NGOs can ask their members to apply directly as priority will be given to Kuala Lumpur residents,’’ Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said.
“The MACC will be monitoring the entire balloting process and anyone who is found to have sub-let their lots once awarded will be penalised,’’ he said.
In August, Raja Nong Chik warned Ramadan bazaar traders that those caught sub-letting their lots would be blacklisted from participating in future balloting, and would also have their lots confiscated and lose their deposit.
Every year cases of middlemen sub-letting lots to the highest bidder has been dominating headlines.
Last year, choice trading lots in the heart of Little India were sold to middlemen for as high as RM9,000 while in other areas the price ranged between RM2,000 and RM6,000.
Recently, traders along Jalan Tun Sambanthan had lodged a report with the MACC to investigate alleged misconduct in DBKL’s issuance of temporary business licences for the month-long Deepavali bazaar.
According to traders whose identities are kept confidential for security reasons, two middlemen had been going around the area collecting between RM2,000 and RM6,000 from the traders for every lot at the Deepavali bazaar since the completion of the Little India project about two years ago.
Sources told StarMetro that certain individuals had approached traders again last week by going from shop to shop despite Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib saying that bazaars would no longer be held in front of shops and on public walkways.
Meanwhile, Little India Action Committee chairman S. Pathava-chalam lauded DBKL’s and Raja Nong Chik’s move to do away with direct allotment for lots.
“This is fair and just and will ensure that genuine traders are given the opportunity to earn some extra income during the festive season,’’ said Pathavachalam.
“Now DBKL has to make sure that there is effective enforcement during the Deepavali period to ensure everything runs smoothly,’’ he said.
Dr R. Narkunan, who runs a clinic in Brickfields, said balloting abolishes the middlemen scourge and promotes equality. “It is the right thing to do and will restore public confidence in DBKL, Narkunan said.
Last year, DBKL provided 561 stalls under the NGO quota for traders in Brickfields. Out of that, 225 lots were allocated to Brickfields Business Community Society, 170 lots to Brickfields Petty Traders Association while the Indian Petty Traders Association Kuala Lumpur/ Petaling Jaya received 150 lots.
DBKL has identified two areas as a possible site for the bazaar and will be making a decision on the most suitable location soon.