KOTA KINABALU: The hawkers of the soon-to-be demolished Tanjung Aru Food Court have submitted a memorandum to the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) in a bid to extend their stay at the premises.
As reported recently, the hawkers had received a notice on December 29 last year, whereby they were asked to move out and settle any remaining debts before February 28, which is the supposed eviction date.
In turn, the hawkers had been given a new place to conduct their business, which is at Anjung Perdana in Tanjung Likas. This unfortunately did not rest well with most of the hawkers.
It is understood that City Hall came to the Tanjung Aru Food Court on Thursday to collect all the chairs and tables.
To address this issue, twenty of the hawkers went to the City Hall headquarters on Friday. They were accompanied by Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) treasurer-general Terrence Siambun, who had assisted them in the submission of the memorandum.
“The hawkers have prepared a memorandum for the mayor (Datuk Yeo Boon Hai) to extend their stay at Tanjung Aru. The memorandum had also included some of their suggestions,” Siambun said when met by reporters.
He added that the hawkers are currently seeking clarification on the actual situation of the Tanjung Aru Food Court.
“They want to know whether or not they will be relocated back there once the renovation projects have been completed,” he said.
“We understand that City Hall had given these hawkers numerous notices. However, during a press conference that was held about a week ago, these hawkers have stated that they would like to postpone the relocation date.
“Following their request, Tanjung Aru assemblyman Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah has agreed to extend the relocation date until June or after the Hari Raya holidays,” Siambun said, adding that the hawkers are left confused.
Siambun explained the statement made by Yong was published in several local newspapers and thus it can be construed as an official statement.
Based on the visit conducted by Warisan leaders at Anjung Perdana on Thursday, the leaders have discovered that the area was much smaller and far worse than the old food court.
“At the moment, we have yet to see any signs of construction work at Tanjung Aru. Thus, these hawkers would like to request more time for them to continue their business there,” Siambun asserted.
“I hope that Yong will be able to bring this issue to the mayor,” he added.
Nanon, 58, was one of the hawkers who attended the meeting yesterday. He has been running a stall in Tanjung Aru Food Court since 2001.
“I would like to humbly ask the mayor to extend our stay here until Hari Raya. The new place is far too small and it will be hard for us to conduct our business there, so I hope that the mayor would be able to help us,” he said, adding that he still appreciates everything that the mayor has done to help them ease their burden.
Mildad Mohammad, 54, a Tanjung Aru hawker famous for his ABC Gunung, also shared his disappointment.
He said Anjung Perdana is very much lacking when it comes to its safety features. He pointed out that the sinks are placed very near to the sockets and fuse boxes, making it extremely dangerous for the hawkers to carry out their work.
After submitting the memorandum, the hawkers were also given the opportunity to sit for a short dialogue with City Hall director-general Datuk Joannes Solidau.
Joannes assured the hawkers that he will bring the matter to the mayor and that he will discuss with the engineers of Anjung Perdana to settle the said electricity hazard issue.
He also said that he will seek clarification from the relevant authorities regarding Yong’s statement on the postponement of the relocation date.