Shah Alam appears to be slowly turning into a ghost city, with several high rise office buildings and malls becoming nearly abandoned.
Around five years ago, Plaza Perangsang was one of the busiest places in Shah Alam, catering to a lot of shoppers and office workers. But now it is almost empty, reported Free Malaysia Today.
In fact, the business district of Section 14 (where Plaza Perangsang is located), is virtually a ghost town.
A clerk assigned at the building’s maintenance and operations office revealed that most of those who rented the office lots were asked to leave a few years ago due to renovations.
“But the renovations never happened,” he said.
Some of its office lots are still occupied though, with a majority of them rented out by the Selangor bureau of the Inland Revenue Board.
Opened in 1988, Plaza Perangsang is one of Shah Alam’s major landmarks and is among the oldest high-rise buildings.
During its height of popularity, it housed Quality Hotel, the earliest notable hotel in Shah Alam.
Another victim of abandonment in the area is the building put up as Bank Negara’s Selangor office.
“Everybody has moved to Kuala Lumpur,” said the security guard posted there.
With less than 10 people working in it, Umno Selangor tower is apparently suffering the same fate as well.
Property expert Ernest Cheong said bad planning is to blame for the poor occupancy rates.
He explained that the problem was that the state government developed the Section 14 buildings instead of commercial developers, who, he believes, would have been better suited for city planning.
“There’s not even a pedestrian bridge linking Plaza Perangsang with the nearby PKNS mall,” he said.
Munirah Mohammad, a real estate agent specialising in Section 14 office rentals, said one of the reasons for the alarmingly low occupancy rates was the poor maintenance of the buildings.
“These buildings are pretty old, and the ceiling height is very low,” she said.
She added that most of the tenants have already relocated to more modern and better-maintained buildings such as the Naza Tower and Plaza Azalea.