Some weeks back, the Malaysian Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob pulled the curtains off the newest IT spot in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city, it is located at the Medan Mara building along Jalan Raja Laut, for the locals, it is actually just behind the huge Sogo shopping complex. The set up of the new tech shopping spot was unfortunately a politicised one, which is kind of sad for the local tech community. Therefore, I decide to head to the mall and find out if it could get as bad that I could have imagined.
Entering the Car Park
Medan Mara isn’t exactly a new building as it already has a hotel and learning institution, hence the parking lot was kind of cramped and I had to head down to the third level of the basement to park my car. As you can see in the picture, I wasn’t quite fond of the type of parking spot I’ve gotten – an electrical platform that feels extremely small even for my mid-size sedan. Fortunately, the parking lot is well lit and I am happy about it.
Exploring Mara Digital
My early impressions of Mara Digital is that it is a mall by itself judging by reports, there were food outlets on the ground floor such as Subway, Dr Cafe and McDonalds, the concourse area has been dominated by Intel’s signage and a few phone telco kiosks were at the spot as well.
I then see the banner of the new so called tech spot located on the third floor of the building, if you aren’t particular enough, you would’ve thought that the entire mall was an exciting new tech shopping spot. Of course, I was a little dissapointed.
As I make my way up to the third floor, I was prepared to be bullied by people there as I do not see any other races than Malays, but I was wrong and some stall owners even smiled at me as I passed by them, and I know this place is safe and isn’t what most people would have thought to be.
The Third Floor
Mara Digital has obviously been renovated thoroughly to make way for the tech shopping spot, there were kiosks selling notebooks and smartphones, and I was relieved to see that there were some concept stores. Acer, Lenovo and HP were the early tenants there while Samsung and Oppo stores will be opening soon.
The entire floor space was bright and cheerful, while there are still empty kiosks there, it isn’t messy like the current IT malls I have seen, dealers and customers were chatting about tech products happily and thankfully, there was no ‘robotic’ salesperson saying words like ‘Yes sir’, ‘Screen protector, power bank’, ‘promo promo’ as I passed by kiosks and shops.
Image Credit: The Malay Mail Online
Sadly, I didn’t see the phone pictured above otherwise I would have done a first impressions of it. 🙂