The Mara Digital Mall initiative has recorded a turnover of RM18.4 million as of last November, Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
This, he said, proved wrong the cynics who said that the Mara Digital Mall would not last long.
"It (sales) is an encouraging amount. We also found tenants, who were given six months free rental, continuing their business, meaning the market is good," he told reporters after visiting the Mara Digital Mall at the Mara Building today.
He said the sales included RM1.02 million made by traders at the Anggerik Mall in Shah Alam, which was opened six months ago.
The Mara Digital Mall in Kuala Lumpur was launched on Dec 8 last year and now has 38 business lots, involving the participation of 27 entrepreneurs.
Ismail Sabri said five more Mara digital malls are scheduled to be opened next year, namely at Bangunan Air Melaka in Malacca; Plaza Paya Bunga in Kuala Terengganu; Plaza Larkin in Johor Baru; Bangunan Mara in Kuantan and in Kota Baru, Kelantan.
"Our target is for every state to have at least one digital mall by end of next year," he added.
Meanwhile, in BANDAR SRI JEMPOL, Ismail Sabri said the quality of Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) students would be maintained although the requirement for entry into the college had been relaxed.
The presence of quality teachers at the college would ensure the students' performance would not be affected, he said during the presentation of school aid for the 2017 session.
He said the condition for entry into MRSM was relaxed to allow more students from hardcore poor families and in the rural areas to study there.
"For students who are orphans, from hardcore poor families, whose parents are people with disabilities, or Orang Asli, the entry conditions have been relaxed for them,' he added.
A total of 1,256 students in the Jempol district received the aid, contributed by Jempol Education and Welfare Foundation, Jempol Umno and Espek Sdn Bhd.