It was initiated by Rural and Regional Development Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in reaction to the riot incident at the original Plaza Low Yat back in July.
A brief backgrounder, the whole mess was sparked when a guy (coincidentally a Malay) stole a phone from one of the shops there and was caught by the staff (coincidentally Chinese Malaysians) and handed over to the police.
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This eventually led to a large group of Malays descending upon Low Yat Plaza, claiming that Malays were being cheated by Chinese store owners there. The police had to take action.
Ismail, lover of turtles and a member of Umno the defender of the Malay race, reacted by saying that a Malay Low Yat had to be established, where Malays can do business and not be cheated by others.
MUST READ: I was at Low Yat Plaza, and this is my take on what happened
Anywhere else in the civilised world, this would be considered archaic mentality and a racist statement. But not in Malaysia, because this type of action is seen as protecting the rights of the bumiputera.
(Oh, but today, there is wannabe USA presidential candidate Donald Trump. And you can see how he is being criticised by the public and the media!)
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Instead of encouraging integration of the different races in Malaysia, this move actually promotes and encourages segregation even more.
So, now that the Malay Low Yat has begun operations, the media started to report the store owners there saying they can sell their IT products cheaper than usual, because rental is subsidised and significantly cheaper.
And it has also been reported that Ismail has called on the non-Malay Malaysians to patronise Malay Low Yat to give support to the businesses there. Wait a minute. How's that again?
MUST READ: A 'Bumiputera' Low Yat? Give me a break
First, you say non-Malays are cheating Malays. So you create a venue only for Malays to set up shop. Then you call on non-Malays to come and support the Malay businesses there.
Do you think non-Malays would consider shopping at the Malay Low Yat? I doubt they would. Who knows, they probably think the Malay store owners there would cheat them!
Ismail announced that rental for the first six months will be waived for the bumiputera store owners there.
Currently, there are about 40 stores operating at Malay Low Yat and the minister hopes they will prosper indefinitely. Certain quarters though, believe it won’t last beyond three months. But that remains to be seen.
As for the name of the place, it really isn’t Malay Low Yat. It’s actually called Mara Digital. And Mara, as most would know, is a government agency responsible for the development of bumiputera entrepreneurship.
As a lover of cameras and all things tech, the original Low Yat is a favourite haunt of mine. But now, I will definitely be heading down to Malay Low Yat to see if it is worth my patronage. Anyone care to join?
The opinions and views expressed in this article are personally those of the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of Astro AWANI.