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Ismail Sabri: Bumi digital malls to be opened nationwide
Published:  Dec 15, 2015 5:10 AM
Updated: 5:58 AM

Bumiputera IT mall Mara Digital will be replicated nationwide, says Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, a week since the controversial mall opened its doors.

In a Facebook posting, Ismail Sabri said the expansion of Mara Digital will see the creation of more bumiputera IT retailers whom he claimed have been sidelined from other similar outlets.

"I don't mind if people do not want to support, but please don't try and sabotage and cause it to fail.

"Come what may, it will not weaken my spirit but I will take it as a challenge to defend the rights of Malay and bumiputera retailers," Ismail said.

His posting has attracted support from people who claimed that the IT sector has for far too long been dominated by non-Malays.

Others called on the retailers to ensure their products are up-to-date and competitively priced.

Retailers at the Mara Digital mall, launched Dec 8 , enjoy six months of free rental, but this move has invited brickbats.

Defending the move, Ismail Sabri said this is to allow retailers to gain a footing in the business.

"I expected to face challenges but I am most saddened that there are Malays condemning me about Mara Digital,” he said.

Apabila saya melancarkan mara digital yg khusus utk usahawan melayu/bumiputra sambutan dari org melayu/bumiputra amat...

Posted by Ismail Sabri on Monday, December 14, 2015

He claimed critics are afraid the free rental would drive prices down and increase competition for retailers at other malls, but is puzzled that consumers do not laud this.

"We should be happy that free rental is given to help the Malay retailers but I was ridiculed and condemned for trying to help the Malays," Ismail lamented.

Mara Digital courted controversy after Ismail earlier proposed the name 'Low Yat 2' to rival the original Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang, following a theft incident in July that led to a race riot .

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