Famous Tourism Spot, Jonker Street Turns Into Ghost Town After 95% of Businesses Close Down

Jonker Street in Malacca, Malaysia | The Road to Anywhere
source: The Road to Anywhere

One of the many heartbreaking pitfalls of the virus and the movement control order (MCO) that came along with it is that countless local businesses have been forced to shut down, and Malacca’s esteemed tourist hotspot has recently fallen victim.

The famous Jonker Street we all used to take weekend road trips to visit has officially announced that their businesses are dying on the Malaysia Business For Sale Facebook page.

Read it below:

Numerous shops at Jalan Hang Jebat have donned the “For Sale/Rent” banners in search of new tenants to take over their premises.

Datuk Gan Tian Loo, Melaka State Executive Council Member, stated that 95% of the establishments at the tourist-friendly street have been closed for over 8 months.

Even two well-known pharmacies, Watson and Caring, have completely shut down.

Out of 100 local eateries, only 5% are still holding on in hopes of staying alive to operate normally. Traders and hawkers in the night market are standing firmly by holding on to their lots up until today. Aside from these, popular franchises such as 7-Eleven and Family Mart seem to be open as usual.

The cause for the once over-crowded alleys retiring their canopies is one that comes with no surprise: the lack of tourism and income does not generate enough to keep up with rent, despite the 50% discount on the monthly rent of RM8,000.

With interstate travel still banned, the lively street has now transformed into a ghost town.

However, there still seems to be a glimmer of hope at the end of this dark tunnel. Datuk Gan reassures the public that he is positive that businesses will be up and running again.

He said, “Hopefully, Jonker Walk can be reopened by the end of this year with the high inoculation rate in the state.”

After perusing the comments of the social media post about 20 business that have been put up for sale, he would also like to clarify that none of the building owners were selling their property, merely seeking new rental occupants.

“It’s not the end for Jonker Walk,” the chairman stated.

Fret not, Malaysians. Our favourite chicken rice balls and cendols will hopefully make a comeback!