Publika Night Market

When small home businesses were badly affected during the beginning of the Movement Control Order, it moved retired banker Jade Lee into launching The Artisans Haven, an artisan digital mall in mid-2020. The idea - launch a simple online mall to curate and promote affordable locally made products. At the same time, she wanted to help the underprivileged community by providing them with skills to produce goods that the commercial sector can support.  

Lee jumped on the chance when Publika Night Market started in January 2022 and offered five out of its thirty booths complimentary to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)/charities and artists who were affected by the pandemic.

“I realised that despite having an online store presence, our customers and the public wanted to see the actual products for themselves and meet up with the artisans. Publika has provided us with the opportunity to meet with our customers and followers,” she said.

Lee is in the midst of establishing Yayasan Artisan foundation to help promote homegrown artisan products, set up distribution avenues as well as recruit volunteers to be involved in this cause. 

“We want to encourage companies and their employees to buy these products for their own consumption or as gifts instead of commercially available items,” said Lee.

 

Vendors under The Artisans Haven that are participating at Publika Night Market include:

The Asli Co. Established in 2019, The Asli Co. empowers underprivileged stay-at-home Orang Asli mothers to earn a sustainable income by making modern handicrafts from home. The Asli Co. is an accredited social enterprise in Malaysia.

Beautiful Gate Foundation For The Disabled, an NGO catering to people with physical disabilities. Having grown to eight centers since its founding in 1993, its mission is to provide services to meet the different needs of the local disabled community.

• Artist Kirtanraw, a regular at Publika Art Market. Having been entranced by the intricacies of creating art since he was a child, Kirtanraw received an ‘A’ in Art in his Form 3 exams but saw his further education halted due to autism.

 

The Publika Night Market also features PichaEats, an NGO that began in 2016 with three college students asking: “How can refugee parents earn a sustainable living so that their children can go to school?”. Today, it is a food business partnering with marginalised communities to bring delicious home-cooked meals from various cultures around the world to homes and offices in Kuala Lumpur. One of the founders Suzanne Ling said it has collaborated with 25 chefs from Syria, Myanmar, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and has given back a total of RM2 million to chefs to pay for their living expenses and children’s education.

Publika Night Market, a modern take on the Malaysian Pasar Malam, takes place every Friday to Sunday from 4pm to 11pm at The Square, Publika. The programme to support charitable bodies and the arts community is in line with Publika’s parent company UEM Sunrise’s corporate social responsibility objectives and its support of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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