KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) is set to open a third all-Bumiputera digital mall in Kota Damansara, Selangor, this year, federal minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri revealed today, barely a month after the first one was opened here earlier last month.
The rural and regional development minister said Mara has identified a potential space to house its third mono-ethnic information technology hub, which is expected to operate by year-end.
The bumiputera development agency has also confirmed that the outlet’s first Selangor branch in Angerik Mall, Shah Alam will operate by June, after Ismail scouted the venue last month.
“As long as they can offer the best services and competitive prices, I don’t see the harm in opening up the malls,” Ismail told reporters after holding a brief visit to the Mara Digital Mall here.
Malay Mail Online had asked the minister if Mara was jumping in too quick on the idea since it was too early to gauge the success of its first digital mall.
“From what the staff here told me they have done quite well and sales have gone up,” the minister added.
When opening the first Mara Digital Mall here last month, Ismail said the government agency mooted the idea of setting up more all-Bumiputera tech malls nationwide but only if the pilot project performed.
After his visit today, the minister declared the initiative a success, noting that all shoplots had been taken bar one, which he said delayed its opening due to logistical reasons.
He also said the success of the first Mara mall had prompted other states to express interest in having similar set-ups there.
"Malacca has already identified a building for us. Now we also have Terengganu expressing interest and with the strong support of the state government, I am sure we can make it happen," Ismail said.
The rural and regional development minister added Mara would focus on setting up the tech malls in buildings owned by the agency first.
Ismail said Mara will discuss later if it would apply the same business model — temporary rent relief and logistical sponsorship — to the other malls in the future.
It had given free rent for six months to more than 38 vendors at the first Mara Digital Mall here as part of its incentive to keep prices low and boost sales.
Ismail also said Mara will intensify its marketing and advertising from this month.