Singaporeans prefer to shop in Johor Baru's livelier bazaar

Singaporeans prefer to shop in Johor Baru's livelier bazaar
S. Devendren offering various types of homemade murukku at his stall in Ipoh.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

JOHOR BARU - Singaporeans are making a beeline for the Deepavali bazaars here, hoping to pick up on tastier and cheaper festive treats.

One shopper, accountant J. Jayaram, 50, who keeps coming back to Malaysia to shop in preparation for the Festival of Lights, said he prefered to shop across the Causeway because the items are fresher and there are a lot of choices compared to bazaars and shops in Little India in Singapore. "Besides, the currency exchange is high."

"I spent over RM1,000 (S$326) here buying a variety of murukku, cookies, flowers, decorations and other items. I love the lively ambiance here compared to Singapore," said Jayaram.

Bank employee R. Ranjani, 30, said although the prices in Johor were about the same as those in Singapore, she still preferred the treats here, especially the murukku.

"I bought 8kg of murukku, which I will distribute to my colleagues who love the traditional treats during Deepavali," she said.

With murukku flying off the shelves, trader A. Kavita's special homemade, butter-flavoured treats have caught the attention of shoppers.

The 39-year-old said she added extra butter and used high quality ingredients to make her murukku, making it slightly more expensive than the rest.

"Most buyers will only look for the cheapest stuff and that is among the challenges for us selling homemade murukku.

"But I'm glad that many of my regular customers came back and put in orders, saying that our murukku is crunchier and softer," she added.

Trader S. Devendren, 32, said his stall offered three types of homemade murukku from Ipoh, including omapodi, Bombay mixture and spicy mixture murukku.

"Each packet is sold for between RM10 and RM20. As the only stall selling these types of murukku, we have sold about 200kg in the past two weeks. We have also received orders from companies and people wanting them as gifts."

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