KUALA LUMPUR — Dec. 29, 2017: As Ampang Park faces its final countdown to its closure in two days time, 2017, an air of gloom and sadness filled the air as loyal customers and visitors stroll to have a last glimpse of Malaysia’s first mall and reminisce about nostalgic moments of old.
Most, especially the elderly, expressed sadness as they took pictures and bade farewell to the iconic mall.
Some went in and out of shops that were offering goods at half price, while others dropped by to ask where their favourite shops would be relocated to and yet some others chatted among friends, sharing sweet memories.
For some, it was a place to do grocery runs, buy clothes, eat out, pay bill, to do their banking, repair their handphones or bowl.
Shalina Tukiran, 47, a clerk at Public Bank on Jalan Ampang, has been shopping there since 1996 as it is near her office.
“We can find almost everything, from food to clothes and watches. We came here today to take one last picture with the Ampang Park sign in the background,” she said.
For some older women, Ampang Park brings fond memories of their meeting place.
“The youngsters will not feel the bitterness as much as we feel as we have been coming here since our school days,” said one.
A coffee shop owner from Sungai Petani who only gave his name as Ooi is in favour of the demolition of the mall to make way for an underground walkway for the Mass Rapid Transit line.
He said an efficient transportation and public infrastructure was more pressing than restoring an iconic mall to keep pace with development in the city.
“There are so many other malls in the city. In this case, I think convenience in public transportation triumphs over sentimental value.”
Ampang Park, which opened in March 1973, was developed by Low Keng Huat Brothers Realty Sdn. Bhd. for RM10 million. — Bernama