Magic’s gone from once-bustling Petaling Street, Kota Raya Complex

It has been years since I last visited Petaling Street, and even longer since I stepped foot into Kota Raya Complex, but I did just that three weeks ago.

And both places were disappointing.

Perhaps, visiting Petaling Street at 3pm robbed it of its charm. There was hardly any crowd (that’s a ‘positive’ in the Covid-19 era). But I remember there was always a crowd in the late afternoons.

The traders seemed tired and weary, and made half-hearted attempts to get me to visit their stalls. Maybe they sensed that I was just there only to have a look-see.

Even the famous ‘mata kucing’ stall was devoid of a queue. Probably because there were quite a few grumbles about how expensive a small bottle costs – RM4 for something that looked like it had less than 250ml.

To be fair, the bottle was fancy, not the usual mineral bottle types that most traders used.

I then passed a stall selling football jerseys. The supposedly top-grade fake was selling for RM95 – pre-haggling. One look and I could tell it was a poor copy, despite what the trader said.

As I walked from one end to the other, I saw a handful of ‘tourists’. A couple were negotiating prices for some watches, another was looking at some shoes, but the rest looked disinterested.

It was as if they were there to tick off an item on their list of ‘must-visit places’.

I then made my way to the Kota Raya Complex, the once standout shopping complex in the city … long, long ago.

As expected, it was dark and gloomy but had more ‘noise’ as the traders tried to grab my attention.

I had forgotten how cramped the inside of the building was. Foreigners, mainly from the Philippines, ran most of the shops in the upper levels.

After a quick tour, I exited and decided to head back home.

I had not planned to visit those two places, but I thought a trip down memory lane would be good, seeing as I had a great lunch at RexKL just a few minutes away.

The former cinema is now a thriving “all-day urban food hall and sustainable marketplace, housing a collective of social enterprises, urban food and retail merchants”.

One of its tenants is BookXcess. That is a great place to hang out and very Instagrammable!

The bookshop is situated right above the main hall in RexKL.

As I did not want to drive, I took the LRT to the city, the first time I had done so since September last year.

Although still wary about Covid-19, I enjoyed the trip as it meant no driving or looking for parking spots and I met some interesting people..

So, while my trip down memory lane was disappointing, I had a full tummy and made new friends.

For the record, this is the 80th edition of the Weekly Diaries that started when Malaysia entered the Recovery Movement Control Order in June 2020.


After her struggles with the MySejahtera mobile application, mum finally received her booster jab on Tuesday. That means every adult in the household is boosted!

That is important as Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had warned two groups – those above 60 and Sinovac vaccine recipients – that they would have their status changed to “incomplete” if they failed to get the booster shot by February.

There were 28,241 new cases in the past seven days, taking Malaysia’s total Covid-19 infections to 2,711,764.

There were 213 deaths in the past week, making it 31,044  Covid-related fatalities. That marked the third consecutive week that we had less than 300 deaths over a seven-day period.

On the recovery front, 33,426 patients received the all-clear. That made it 2,625,245 people who had beaten the coronavirus.

Worldwide, there are 273.9 million cases and 5.36 million fatalities.


A friend sent me this gingerbread recipe.


With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to bring back some of these traditions!


Another friend weighed herself, and this was the outcome.


This is an interesting read.


If you are watching your weight, here are 20 guilt-free Christmas recipes to try.


Christmas is a week away. So, here are Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn with Hangin’ Round the Mistletoe.

Until next week, stay safe.