KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15, 2015:
“What hurts the most is when our own people whacks me for developing Mara Digital,” lamented a minister today after taking a beating from critics.
In a Facebook page purportedly belonging to him, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob shared his despair over a certain group of people who mocked him for developing the new Mara Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, which was boasted to rival Plaza Low Yat in Bukit Bintang.
“I launched Mara Digital specifically to help Bumiputera entrepreneurs and it was well received by many. However, there are certain groups of people who have rejected it, and were against the idea when I first announced the development of Low Yatt 2.
“Some even mocked that the mall would only survive for three months. I do expect some challenges, but it hurts when it is our own people whacking me for developing it.
“I was blamed for giving six months rental payment exemption. The reason I gave the exemption is because I understand that it is hard for the dealers to gain much in the beginning since it is a new place,” wrote Ismail in a lengthy post via his official Facebook account.
Ismail opined that those who criticised him for giving such exemption were worried over the competition.
“They are worried that if the dealers at the new ICT centre are given free rentals in the beginning, the dealers will decrease the price of their goods, thus making it hard for dealers in other malls to compete.
“What’s boggles my mind is shouldn’t people be happy when the price of goods are discounted? We should be happy when we are trying to help our own Malay entrepreneurs. Instead, I am mocked and criticised for helping them,” he added.
Despite all the critics, Ismail added that he would not stop developing ICT centres nationwide to produce more Malay entrepreneurs specialising in the IT field.
The controversial Mara ICT Centre started operating after being launched last week and is expected to house 39 Bumiputera-owned retailers.