PETALING JAYA (April 24): It is perhaps the best time now to support local brands and retailers in light of the impact from the Covid-19 and Movement Control Order (MCO) on the retail sector in Malaysia. 

With many malls expecting to see a high turnover of tenants in the coming months, President of the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK) and 1 Utama Shopping Centre director Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok said it offers an opportunity to support local brands. 

"This is the time for us to step up and help our local brands’ presence. Now that there could be excess space and vacancies, we should reach out to our local brands in our malls," said Teo, adding that this could also avoid homogeneity of brands in malls.  

Teo was a guest at Facebook Live Fireside Chat titled "Will malls be empty in the new normal?" today.  He was joined by KIP Group of Companies CEO Valerie Ong and Sunway Malls and Theme Parks CEO HC Chan. EdgeProp Malaysia managing director and editor-in-chief Au Foong Yee moderated the discussion.   

“We can expect a faster turnaround of brands post-MCO. Besides, moving forward, people’s expectations and trends will change at a higher speed than usual. We will see new ideas and new concepts coming in more rapidly than before,” said Teo.

Meanwhile, KIP’s Ong pointed out that most of its malls are platforms for promoting local SME businesses including food and beverage traders.

“I don’t foresee our malls to have a big impact in terms of turnover. It is a low entry for them to take up a space in KIP Malls so they will probably stay on,” she said.

Positioned as a community-centric mall operator, Ong believes KIP Group has created a business model aimed at withstanding an economic downturn.

“We are very focused on our tenant-mix and seeking as many SMEs and local traders to come to our malls. Furthermore, a majority of them are offering essential goods and services which are mostly unaffected by the MCO,” she said.

Stay calm. Stay at home. Keep updated on the latest news at #stayathome #flattenthecurve

For the full report on the virtual Fireside Chat read the May 8, 2020 issue of pullout.

Stay safe at home and get more property insights at

Interested to know more about what’s happening in the property market? Click and watch our previous Fireside Chats:

"Will the Malaysian property sector survive this mother of all crises?" 

“Undervalued Properties: Opportunities or Risk?”

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