Wednesday, June 16

Sibu Night Market hawkers against proposed relocation


A NEW TRADING SITE?: The Butterfly Garden at Cross Street will be turned into the trading place for night market hawkers by May this year.

SIBU: Sibu Night Hawkers Association is against the proposed relocation of Sibu Night Market to Butterfly Garden.

Its chairman Sia Buong Sin has described the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC)’s proposal as “a step backward”.

“None of us are in favour of it; we feel that the existing place is good enough. We do not see any necessity to relocate,” he said when contacted yesterday.

SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King mentioned at last Tuesday’s council’s monthly meeting that the council would improve the condition in Butterfly Garden before the relocation in May.

He said a survey revealed that Butterfly Garden was big enough to cater to the current 176 stalls, if every stall followed strictly the approved size of 10 feet by 10 feet.

He added that the decision was made to lessen congestion along Market Street.

Sia foresaw lots of logistics problems if the night market hawkers were moved to Butterfly Garden.

“Foremost on the lists would be the loading and unloading problems, which would cause more congestion.”

He feared that their business would not fare well at the proposed new location.

“We were relocated to Butterfly Garden once during the time of the late Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, and our business slumped.”

Sia said they had held numerous dialogue sessions with SMC on the proposal.

“We were told the existing place would be used to construct a multi-storey car park. If it is true, we will have no qualms about relocating. But now, we were told it was to lessen congestion along Market Street.”

Sibu Night Market was set up by the council in 1973 to help low-income hawkers.

The stalls operate there from 5pm to midnight, offering a wide variety of products from food, bags, toys, shoes, clothes to watches and handicrafts.