KUALA LUMPUR - Shops selling school items in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman yesterday were packed with shoppers seeking uniforms, shoes and bags, just a day before the new school term starts today.
Gayatry Dewarajoo, a 35-year-old housewife, said it was only yesterday that she had time to shop for her three children's school supplies. They are in Form 3, Year 5 and Year 2.
"My husband works as an airport taxi driver and is the sole breadwinner. He is busy most of the time and shopping has to wait until we are financially stable."
Gayatry said she was fortunate as she had shopping vouchers to help her cope with expenses of almost RM1,000 (S$385) for her children, who attend three different schools -- national, Chinese and Tamil.
Her husband, Kumar Krisnan, 35, said although the shopping was done at the last minute, the budget and list of items to buy had been prepared earlier to avoid stress.
"I took time off on the new year so that besides shopping, I could take my children to enjoy some of the celebrations in the city."
Wan Jah, 43, of Ampang, said this year was the first time she opted to do last-minute shopping for her two children, who are in Form 3 and Year 3.
"I usually take my children shopping for their school supplies two months before school starts. But since I started working four months ago, I did not have the time."
She said last-minute shopping costs much more because she did not have time to look around.
Executive Norhaini Ali, 35, said she could not make early preparations for her daughter, who was in Year 2, because of work and caring for her year-old baby. "A drawback of shopping at the last minute is shortage of supplies and the shops are crowded."