Monday, 17 July 2017

(The Star) Businesses and homeowners expect boom along MRT Phase 2 line

KUALA LUMPUR: The MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line which will be launched today will not only connect the unconnected but also bring business potential and economic opportunities to millions of shops and homes along the alignment.

Small businesses operating near stations along the line are hopeful that the ease of access will draw in more customers while homeow­ners and developers are banking on the MRT to increase the value of their property.

Convenience shop owner Mohd Faeyqien Hanafi, 28, who operates opposite the Sri Raya MRT station, said there are several housing projects underway nearby.

“I decided to open a shop here less than a year ago because I could see the business potential,” he said.

Traders at the Suntex market, right opposite the Taman Suntex MRT station, are expecting business to get even better.

“I think customers will come. People like taking the MRT to travel around because it’s easier,” said wet market trader A. Mina, who has been operating there for over three decades.

The 60-year-old said traders have been told to temporarily vacate the area by Aug 1, because the site will be converted into a parking lot for the MRT station.

“After a year or so, we will move into a modern market building which will be built nearby. I think this will be better for business,” she said.

This optimism is also shared by vegetable seller Chen Kok Leong, 54, and coconut milk seller Akmal Hijas, 33.

But restaurant operator Normah Zainudin, 60, feared her business will suffer once they are relocated to the new market.

It will be two-storey high, with a wet market on the ground floor and a food court on the top floor, said Normah.

“I’m afraid there won’t be customers. Usually, they wouldn’t want to go to the second floor just to eat because it’s a hassle,” she said.

The line will also pass through more than a dozen major places of worship in the Klang Valley, inclu­ding Masjid Jamek Pekan at the Sungai Buloh station, Mega Chinese Methodist Church near the Surian station and the Masjid At-Taqwa at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail station.

The Pasar Seni station will see three major places of worship – the Masjid Negara, the Sri Maha Ma­­riam­man Temple Dhevasthanam and the Guan Ti Temple.

The launch of Phase 2 of the MRT SBK line involves the Seman­tan-Kajang route which covers 30km and 19 stations.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will launch Phase 2 in a ceremony that starts from 10am at the Tun Razak Exchange station.

After the ceremony, Najib will travel to Stadium Kajang station to celebrate with the rakyat by feasting on satay at the nearby stadium.

Phase 2 between the Kajang and Muzium Negara stations will be open to the public from 4pm today.

Connection between Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be opened from 6am tomorrow.