Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pekan Rabu: Dr Mahathir has fond memories of Pekan Rabu

ALOR STAR: DURING the Japanese Occupation, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was a trader at Pekan Rabu, selling bananas and making tens of thousands of, well, “banana dollars”.

It is no wonder that Dr Mahathir has a certain fondness for the market in the centre of town.

He recently made his annual Aidilfitri shopping trip to the market to buy cookies and chat with traders.

Dr Mahathir said, in the early 1940s, he dabbled in small business, selling banana fritters, coffee, fruits and handicrafts.

“I earned between RM2 and RM3 per day and was happy to see so many people doing good business here,” he said.

Asked about the upgrading work of Pekan Rabu, Dr Mahathir said he welcomed the project which would make the premises more conducive for traders and their customers.

Dr Mahathir said Pekan Rabu receives many visitors daily and something needs to be done to make it more comfortable for all.

“The Pekan Rabu concept has unique strong points and positive features to attract local and international customers.

“As the products and branding here are getting better and more competitive, we need a prominent building to cater for the traders and visitors,” he said.

From a weekly market under an attap structure in Tanjung Chali in the 1920s to a multi-storey shopping arcade today, the market continues to attract and charm both locals and tourists.

The construction of a RM53 million complex, which will have 216 parking lots and 183 units of shops, will commence in November.

Pekan Rabu was officially opened by Dr Mahathir on Feb 25, 1978. It opens daily from 8am to 9pm.

Its 347 shops offer a wide range of goods and services, including crockery, jewellery, textiles, pilgrimage attire, wedding and bridal items, local delicacies and handicrafts.

*Taken from NST Online

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