Pekan Rabu Alor Setar, Kedah Darul Aman

INTRODUCTION

"Pekan Rabu" which literally means Wednesday Market which is located in the middle of Alor Setar is well known among the local population and tourists from outside Kedah. The business complex is not only the pride of Malay entreprenuers in Kedah but also the pride of all Malay's in Kedah. Moreover the fourth Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, once was a trader in Pekan Rabu. Most tourists visiting Alor Setar make it a point to shop around at the Pekan Rabu Complex.

The complex costing RM 3.2 millions and was built in 1975 and renovated in 1995 with cost RM 6.5 millions. Phase 2 complex was built in 1990 with cost RM 2 millions. Pekan Rabu complex has  347 stalls with a variety of business and it has become one of the important landmarks of Alor Setar.

This shopping Complex which is situated in Jalan Tunku Ibrahim was officially opened on 25th. February 1978. Prior to the construction of this complex, the traders did their business in on open building with no walls and trading stalls were not properly arranged and scattered.

HISTORY

Pekan Rabu has its own unique history regarding its role in encouraging the Malays to take an active role in commercial activities.

Commercial activity at Pekan Rabu began after world War I on the initiative of Tunku Yaakob, a prince from the royal household Kedah, Whose aim was to see that the Malays can continue in trade in Alor Setar. It started as a weekly market in Tanjung Chali, situated between Jalan Pekan Cina and Jalan Pengkalan Kapal.

Tanjung Chali was the training groung for Malays in business. Tunku Yaakob pioneered this market to be a weekly market on every Wednesday in the early 1920s. This weekly market soon evolved into a daily market when business started to prosper. The State Government then decided to shift the market to it's present location in 1932 when it was obvious that the site was getting congested.

During the Japanese Occupation, Tun Dr. Mahathir studies were interrupted and he switch to trading at Pekan Rabu which has now become a compulsory stop in his annual Ramadhan pilgrimage to Alor Setar. Many years has passed since then and the boy who used to sell fruits and handicraft at Pekan Rabu is now Malaysia’s biggest “salesman” on the international stages.

Pekan Rabu is now open not just on Wednesday, but every day. From is humble beginning weekly market operating from an attap roofed shack, it has since expanded into a multistory arcade selling a wide range of from traditional delicacies like dodol durian to mengkuang mats and apparel.

TYPE OF BUSINESS

In principal Pekan Rabu is a trading place for Malay entrepreneurs. One has to become a member of the Pekan Rabu Cooperative in order to rent a stall in Pekan Rabu. The rental rates are between RM90 - RM300 monthly.

Various types of commercial activities are conducted in Pekan Rabu, ranging from local products to international commence. Opening hours are from 8.00 am to 9.00 pm daily and stalls remain open even on public holidays and festivals.

Phase 1 of the Pekan Rabu complex is a five story building which has 274 stalls, while phase 2 also has a five story building with 73 stalls. Among the various commercial activities in Pekan Rabu are :

1. Textiles / clothes 13. Barbershop
2. Food / Drinks 14. Music
3. Goldsmith 15. Watches
4. Fruits 16. Dried seafood
5. Vegetables 17. Driving School
6. Traditional cookies 18. Mirrors & Frame
7. Books / Magazines / Newspapers 19. Dentist
8. Handicrafts 20. Toys
9. Crockery 21. Glasses
10. Traditional Medicine 22. Bags
11. Costume Jewelery / Cosmetics 23. Pilgrims equipment
12. Tailor 24. Computers & Internet

FACILITIES

  Prayer hall.
Toilets.
Proximity to taxi stand, bus terminal, banks and hotels.
Public telephone.
Auto teller machine.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PEKAN RABU

Ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad was once a trader at Pekan Rabu. He will not fail to visit Pekan Rabu wherever he is in Kedah.
Ramadan sale at Pekan Rabu is on throughout the duration of the fasting month.
Auction of the raya cakes and cookies is held on the eve of Raya Aidil Fitri and Aidil Adha.
Saturday and Sunday is the busiest day of the week when the locals and people from outside Kedah do their shopping at Pekan Rabu.
Pekan Rabu was once the meeting place for the independence movement.

ROLE IN UPLIFTING THE ECONOMY OF THE MALAYS

  • To assist and uplift the Malay entrepreneurs achievement

  • To unite the Malay entrepreneurs.

  • To assist the Malay entrepreneurs write collectively so as to be able to compete with others races.

  • To overcome the problem of insufficient trading promises for the Malay entrepreneurs.

  • To produce more Malay wholesalers and entrepreneurs.

  • To provide an outlet for local products.

  • To streamline the Malay commercial activity and properly manage the marketing and infrastructure aspect.

  • To be a popular tourist destination.


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Any comment or suggestion please send to webmaster@pekanrabu.com Last edited : 08-Sep-2009 08:09