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Food courts in Jalan Pudu are en­joy­ing roar­ing busi­ness not be­cause of good food but pros­ti­tutes who have no in­hi­bi­tions in ply­ing their trade.

The Star Malaysia - - METRO - By YIP YOKE TENG and VIN­CENT TAN metro@thes­

THE food courts in Pudu are at­tract­ing cus­tomers from near and far not be­cause of the food, but pros­ti­tutes, specif­i­cally Chi­nese na­tion­als.

It seems to be a con­tin­u­a­tion of the “Kuaci Se­duc­tion” that made head­lines about five years ago, where pros­ti­tutes sold kuaci as the pre­text for so­lic­it­ing at the Peng Hwa food court in Jalan Pasar.

The vice ring was re­ported to have been busted in 2008 and the food court was de­mol­ished.

How­ever, the “China dolls” have merely moved to other lo­ca­tions in Pudu and their busi­ness has gone big­ger and bolder.

The kuaci pre­text has been dis­carded.

The food courts, namely Kim Wah Cafe in Ace Elec­tron­ics Com­plex, Medan Sel­era Pudu in Jalan Yew and One-stop Food­court in Jalan Ge­lang are be­ing rec­om­mended in on­line fo­rums and through word of mouth as the places to go to look for pros­ti­tutes.

The pros­ti­tutes usu­ally start up a chat by ask­ing the men to buy them drinks. Most of the din­ers at these food courts are se­nior cit­i­zens.

As ex­pected, Ace Elec­tronic Com­plex does not of­fer any elec­tronic prod­ucts.

Its in­te­rior is dimly lit in red even dur­ing the day. All the shops are closed, save for one or two mas­sage par­lours.

Old men min­gling with the so­lic­it­ing women is a com­mon sight there.

The ser­vice of the these women is avail­able at all three food courts at any hour of the day. Even as early as 11.30am, some scant­ily dressed girls can be seen chat­ting with men over beer.

Many bud­get ho­tels found in the area are con­ve­niently used to fa­cil­i­tate the busi­ness, while many apart­ments, in­clud­ing those on the up­per lev­els of Ace Elec­tronic Com­plex are also used for the pur­pose.

Food op­er­a­tors at these food courts are not quite both­ered by the men­ace, in fact, they say it’s good for their busi­ness.

“It is morally wrong but the women do help us a lot in our busi­ness,” said a fe­male stall op­er­a­tor at Medan Sel­era Pudu who de­clined to be named.

“Now most of them go to the food court in Ace Elec­tronic Com­plex and our busi­ness has dropped,” she said.

Two fe­male se­nior cit­i­zens, when in­ter­viewed at the One-stop Food Court, said the res­i­dents could not do much about the sit­u­a­tion.

“It has be­come so no­to­ri­ous that ev­ery­one knows it is the place to go to look for pros­ti­tutes. We can­not do much about it. If you have a grand­fa­ther at home, just make sure he does not get too much pocket money,” said one of them, half in jest.

Cheras MCA head of public com­plaints bureau John Hon urged the au­thor­i­ties, es­pe­cially the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment and City Hall, to con­duct reg­u­lar raids in the area.

“They should also warn those who use their prop­erty for such pur­pose,” he added.

He said the bureau did not re­ceive com­plaints be­cause res­i­dents in Pudu had be­come used to vice ac­tiv­i­ties in their neigh­bour­hood.

“The main cul­prits, I would say, are the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties and their in­ef­fec­tive mea­sures,” he added.

Raj, 25, from Bangladesh, said he had been vis­it­ing the ACE Elec­tron­ics build­ing reg­u­larly for the past four years. In the be­gin­ning, he used to visit the place daily at var­i­ous hours.

“I stopped go­ing reg­u­larly be­cause it was cost­ing me too much to see a girl ev­ery day,” Ra­jiv said.

He said po­ten­tial cus­tomers could ne­go­ti­ate the price with the women. Ra­jiv who speaks very lit­tle English and no Man­darin, said lan­guage was no bar­rier.

“The girl will type in her ini­tial price on the hand­phone. If I feel it’s too high, I will type in a lower fig­ure. This con­tin­ues un­til we reach an amount we both agree on,” he said.

Raj said the pros­ti­tutes mainly con­ducted their busi­ness in the apart­ments above the busi­ness floors.

There are no “elec­tron­ics” shops in the build­ing. There is, how­ever, a travel agent on the first floor. It is sur­rounded by le­git­i­mate busi­nesses such as a tai­lor­ing shop, a gold and sil­ver deal­er­ship and a hand­phone shop.

The rest of the build­ing is dom­i­nated by dimly-lit In­ter­net cafes and the “food court” on the sec­ond floor.

An­other reg­u­lar, who wished to be known only as Chong, said there was a dif­fer­ence in prices for Chi­nese and non-chi­nese cus­tomers.

“If it’s a non-chi­nese cus­tomer, the pros­ti­tute will usu­ally give them a lower price. But for Chi­nese cus­tomers like my friends and I, the price may be set at RM150, or even RM200,” said Chong.

It was ob­served dur­ing “slow” hours, es­pe­cially in the af­ter­noon, women will come down to the sec­ond floor where they will ap­proach men drink­ing at the food court.

One girl when ap­proached in­tro­duced her­self as “Xiao Rong” in a clear Chi­nese ac­cent. In re­sponse to en­quiries about her fee, she typed “175” into her phone and showed it to this re­porter.

Ac­cord­ing to both Chong and Raj, there are two “shifts” at the ACE Elec­tron­ics build­ing.

Older women serve the clien­tele dur­ing the day, while younger ones rang­ing from their late teens to early 20s take over at night.

All the women are from China.

Open se­cret: The place is heav­ily guarded by pimps and bounc­ers.

Vice den: A com­mon scene in Ace Elec­tron­ics Com­plex, pros­ti­tutes ap­proach­ing cus­tomers and ne­go­ti­at­ing the price.

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