Last few hours for Ampang Park Shopping Mall

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Ampang Park Shopping Mall was packed today as shoppers went there to relive their memories with the nation’s first shopping mall.

Ampang Park will be closed for good tomorrow to make way for the Ampang Mass Rapid Transit station.

McDonald Malaysia branch at Ampang Park was particularly busy, and its former and current branch staff were gathered to revive their memories when it first opened its doors in 1989.

Its chief marketing officer Melati Abdul Hai said that Ampang Park branch has served several generations of not only customers but also its staff.

“It is really exciting to have our crew back together and to see that we have served so many generations of customers here. I myself grew up visiting Ampang Park and it is nostalgic to come back here for the last time with the McDonald’s Malaysia family.

“We cannot deny the closing down of Ampang Park is bittersweet for us, but it is also a symbol of progress. It means that we’re giving way for something bigger and better for the nation.

“The branch will be moved to Intermark Hotel to cater to those working and staying in the area with more digital features such as online ordering kiosks and cashless pay system,” Melati said.

McDonald Malaysia branch at Ampang Park was particularly busy, and its former and current branch staff were gathered to revive their memories when it first opened its doors in 1989. Pix by Nurul Shafina Jemenon

Former McDonald’s employee Azman Abdullah was one of the pioneer crew who started working at the branch and he also met his wife there.

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He was transferred from the McDonald’s Yow Chuan Plaza branch at the age of 27. He reminisced about the times when most of the orders had to be done conventionally.

“We had to check the ovens and fryers manually and constantly monitor the machines so that the orders weren’t overcooked. This is the place where I learnt to become independent as I was a shy person.

“However, the best memory is that I met my wife here as she used to frequent the branch after class,” Azman said while adding he and his wife have been married for 24 years.

Meanwhile, the building, with its narrow escalators and split-level floors, was buzzing with owners of the shops yelling discount items to clear their stock before moving to another venue or close their shop permanently.

The Ampang Park Shopping Mall was packed today as shoppers went there to relive their memories with the nation’s first shopping mall. Ampang Park will be closed for good tomorrow to make way for the Ampang Mass Rapid Transit station. Pix by Nurul Shafina Jemenon

Owners for record shop Love Music which opened in 1974, said the last few days of business seemed to have triggered many sweet memories and saw their customers coming to support their last operating day.

Ong, 67, and Tina, 64, who were welcoming their regular customers, said they were sad to close the shop but today seemed to be a joyous occasion as they were reunited with their former customers to purchase music CDs and cassettes.

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“We have been here for 44 years, and started as a cassette shop then progressed to vinyl and finally selling cd and dvd. The customers came from all over the country, and even from the United Kingdom.

“Yesterday a customer and his family from Ipoh came to visit the store as he used to frequent our shop when he was younger. It is the best feeling to know that your customers still remember the shop and came all the way just to relive their memories,” Ong said, adding that there were no plans to move their store.

Another shop owner, Lisa Anoar, 31, said she grew up at the ground floor of the shopping mall and there were no other malls that had such great relationship between the shop owners.

“Twenty years ago my mother opened a shop where I spent most of my childhood. I remember I used to have lunch and sat in front of the Speedy video shop across and nobody will scold me. We (the shopkeepers and owners) were like one big family. My children also grew up here.

“This place gave us a sense of unity that you cannot find elsewhere. You can trust each other and even I can open my own shop as the rent is cheap since the owner knows me well,” the boutique owner said, adding that she will be opened today until all her shawls were sold out.

The Ampang Park Shopping Mall was packed today as shoppers went there to relive their memories with the nation’s first shopping mall. Ampang Park will be closed for good tomorrow to make way for the Ampang Mass Rapid Transit station. Pix by Nurul Shafina Jemenon

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A customer Aminah Mat, 80, was seen trying on a shawl from a discount rack outside a clothing shop.

Aminah, from Petaling Jaya, said she used to

visit the mall when she was younger with her friends came to know about the mall closure when she was told by her granddaughter.

“I was shocked to hear that the mall is closing, so we decided to visit the mall today just to have a good time together,” she said.

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