Curtains for landmark

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KUALA LUMPUR — This Hari Raya will be laced with bittersweet memories for property owners and businessmen as it would be their last festive sale spree.

A fact difficult to come to terms with for many of them as this was the first shopping complex in the city 43 years ago.

This is after 62 of its registered strata title owners lost in their judicial review to challenge the validity of the intended compulsory land acquisition for the construction of the MRT Line 2 project last Thursday.

For Intan Adam Shah, 53, Kak Intan to her fellow Ampang Park neighbours, said the entire episode was tinged with sadness.

“My entire world collapsed when we lost our bid.

“For 25 years, I built my life around Ampang Park. By plying my trade here, I managed to put my kids into universities and provide for them to the best of my ability.

“But many of my friends and I have to pack up and leave for elsewhere to start afresh, a fact of life many of us have to deal with,’’ she said teary-eyed.

Intan intends to help as many traders to move on and help each other in their new endeavours.

“The ruling came at the worst time, a week before Aidilfitri, which demoralises fellow traders and pushes customers away from Ampang Park.

“But I kept telling them that we focus on our business and earn the best we can for Raya. Only after Raya will we rally back and view our options.

“The best way is for me to collect as many tenants and renters as possible and find a new place for us to set up shop. If we can’t keep the mall, at least we can keep the sense of camaraderie and community alive,’’ she said.

Anchal wedding gallery owner, P. S. P. Raja, 50, who has been operating in Ampang Park for 15 years, said he had made plans to move on.

“The decision to move to Kota Damansara and set up a new shop was not an easy one. We have been here for almost two decades and it is sad for us to close our doors but we need to face facts.

“The crowd is getting less and less. After the announcement to shutdown, we stopped receiving orders altogether,’’ he said.

Wan Kamal Izuddin Wan Kassim, 41, who operates Kebaya Collection for over eight years, said he will miss the gleaming look of satisfaction of his customers.

“I will definitely miss the Raya festive seasons here. Seeing families buy new clothes for their children has always been happy moments for me,” he said.

“Seeing this could well in fact be our last Raya here, I’m giving it my best to see my designs fly off the shelf,’’ he said.

Kamal, however, said they might still fight the court ruling.

“There might be hope yet for us as we plan to appeal the court’s decision but it depends on the will of the owners here to see it through,’’ he said.