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Jonker Street Is Dying. So This German Traveller Bought Items From Every Stall To Support Local Business

Jonker Street Is Dying. So This German Traveller Bought Items From Every Stall To Support Local Business

Local businesses need our help more than ever

Kirat Kaur

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Times are tough – really tough.

With movement restrictions and physical distancing in place, many local businesses are suffering so every little bit of support counts.

So when a German traveller in Malaysia shared a video of his efforts to buy something from every vendor on the now-empty Jonker Street in Malacca, it was a touching moment.

In the 15-minute video, 29-year-old Ken Döscher (aka Ken Abroad) remarks, “It’s a little bit sad to see that almost no shops are open,” as he looked around the sparsely populated night market – a stark difference from the swelling crowds most Malaysians are familiar with.

“Yes, yes, because of this Covid-19, a lot of customers don’t come,” explained a mobile accessories stall owner in the video.

Ken tells TRP that he decided to do so after realising that the night market that was once bustling with people before the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March, is now deserted with only a handful of stalls open.

Malacca town, now a ghost town

One day before I filmed the video, I was on that night market and it looked really sad. I felt sad for all the vendors who came here, opened up their stall waiting for customers, but there were almost none.

Ken Abroad to TRP.
The once-teeming Jonker Walk is now a ghost town.
(Credit: Ken Abroad/YouTube)

Ken’s recording shows how the once vibrant Jonker Walk had turned into a sombre sight. Even with only a handful of people walking around, some stall owners still set up in hopes of making a sale.

Speaking to the vendors, many seemed resigned to the situation but were determined to remain upbeat.

Some stall owners even shouted across the street jokingly “Eh, you didn’t support me!” when Ken overlooked their stall.

Credit: Ken Abroad/YouTube

“The show has to go on,” remarked a vendor of a sunglasses stall, “some try to open stalls, try to survive, try to do business.”

This particular statement resonated deeply with the German YouTuber who indeed believed that we have to stay positive.

Ken, who found himself trapped in Malaysia after the entire world began shutting down borders in March, also chooses to remain upbeat despite the global lockdowns.

Ken Döscher, aka Ken Abroad
(Credit: Ken Abroad/YouTube)

Now it’s almost 8 months later and I am still in Malaysia because of the current situation in the world, which makes traveling to different countries very hard. But I am happy to be in Malaysia. I really enjoy traveling here and now I have the time to discover every part of Malaysia – which is great!

Ken Abroad to TRP.
Credit: Ken Abroad/YouTube

With this video, Ken hopes that more people will be inspired to help out local business and street vendors who are struggling to cope with the threat of Covid-19 and limitations of the CMCO.

I got the idea of making this video to support them, to spread some positivity and the message of how important it is to support local businesses during these times. Maybe this video encourages somebody to do the same…

Ken Abroad to TRP.

His small gesture had already brightened up the day of these local vendors, who were genuinely grateful by the support of a random traveller.

Credit: Ken Abroad/YouTube

It’s certainly sobering to see one of Malaysia’s most poplular tourist destinations turn into a ghost town due to forces out of our control, so it’s best we all lend a hand to those who need it.

Support your local businesses if you can, because right now – it’s all about #kitajagakita.

Watch the heartwarming video below:


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