Wednesday, June 16

Two camps on relocation of night market

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Rudy Anoi

Kenneth Numan

Jimmy Ngan

Aziz Pung Abdullah

SIBU: It was a tale of two cities as food lovers here give the thumbs-up to the relocation of the night market to the Butterfly Garden despite night market hawkers protesting the move.

A regular at Sibu Night Market, 53-year-old Aziz Pung Abdullah, said the proposed site was just a stone’s throw away and the distance would not make a difference to patrons craving for a wide range of local delicacies.

“Although the place may be slightly smaller, people will have no qualms about it as they can still find their favourite food there. What Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) is doing is for the good of the traders and their customers.

“Besides, the place is just within walking distance. So, I don’t foresee any adverse impact on anyone,” Aziz Pung told The Borneo Post yesterday.

On Tuesday, SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King said the Sibu Night Market presently sited at open car parking between Market Road and High Street here would be relocated to Butterfly Garden.

Tiong said the council will improve the Butterfly Garden by May.

Tanahmas Hotel senior sales and marketing manager Jimmy Ngan echoed Aziz’s view, suggesting that the road in front of the garden be sealed in the evening to provide more space for traders to ply their trade.

“When it is more spacious, people would be enticed to come. With the council making plans to convert the existing site (of night market) into a parking bay, this will certainly boost the business as customers won’t have to worry about finding parking space,” Ngan said.

He, however, said there were pros and cons to the proposal.

“With the stalls set up in the triangular shaped garden, traders and customers may find space constraint, rubbing shoulders could not be avoided then,” he figured.

A local blood bank officer Kenneth Numan, however, begged to differ, preferring the night market to stay put at the existing site.

“While there is no problem with the distance, the proposed place is much smaller and may cause inconvenience to patrons,” Kenneth argued.

On tourism front, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Sibu executive Rudy Anoi said the proposed site could do wonders provided there was good planning.

“This will certainly make it more conducive for tourists but maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene is of paramount importance,” Rudy stressed.