KUALA LUMPUR: After overcoming last year's contra-flow lane problem in Jalan Tun Sambanthan, shopkeepers have a new sore point - - petty traders outside their shops, who are affecting business.
After a year of highlighting the problem to City Hall, they held a protest recently.
"More than 150 shopkeepers are affected by these petty traders," protem association president Dr R. Narkunam said.
He said shopkeepers pay high prices for operating licences to City Hall and middlemen who charge petty traders only RM50 each.
"We also have to pay rent, tax and staff salaries. The petty traders - - from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, sell the same products at much lower prices," he said.
"They should stay away from busy streets and sidewalks, especially with Deepavali coming in November."
Dr Narkunam said the businessmen had sent five letters to City Hall, government agencies and the police since July. "They told us to handle the issue ourselves".
"We sent letters to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Immigration, last year," he said.
Apart from Jalan Tun Samabanthan, the petty traders operate at the open market in Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, near the YMCA building and in parking areas.
"The situation inconveniences tourists, drivers, pedestrians and blind community, who are forced to walk on the main road," he said.
Textile trader Gejindernath Sharma, 74, said businesses had already suffered about 50 per cent losses, this year.
Jewellery shop co-owner Mohd Shameer Ar Abdul Wahab, 21, fears for the security of both his outlets along the same road.