TAWAU: The Sabindo Sunday Market at Habib Sheikh Road here had its soft opening yesterday after the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) closed the 20-year-old Takada Sunday Market due to serious traffic and congestion and rubbish problems.
TMC president Datuk Ir Hj Amrullah Hj Kamal said stall operators of Takada Sunday Market were given the priority to operate at the Sabindo Sunday Market with a one-month grace period before it is open to others.
He said the TMC would build a new image for the Sabindo Sunday Market which has about 700 stalls.
Amrullah said the Takada Sunday Market was unable to cater to visitors anymore and the opening of the Sabindo Sunday Market was a historic moment for Tawau.
Motorists had parked their vehicles at the Takada Sunday Market indiscriminately and caused traffic congestion, and rubbish were strewn around at the end of the day.
With the slogan ‘Sayangi Bandar Tawau’ (Love Tawau Town), Amrullah said it should be ‘Sayangi Bandaraya Tawau’ (Love Tawau City) and stressed that he would make every effort to make Tawau a clean city.
The Sabindo Sunday Market, he said, will also serve as the platform to create cleanliness awareness for the district as more strict enforcement will be implemented with the cooperation from the police and other enforcement agencies under ‘Ops Payung Bersepadu’.
He said there are 704 lots allocated at the site and maybe extended if it becomes popular, adding that the Sunday market can become as popular as the Gaya Street Sunday Market in Kota Kinabalu.
Stall operators are responsible for the cleanliness of their own area, he said, and thanked the premises owners for allowing the Sunday market to be relocated there.
The market that will be managed by TMC will also give opportunity to local buskers to showcase their talents while visitors shop around, he said.
What is important, he said, is to keep the place clean always as there will be enforcement teams going around and CCTVs for enforcement, mobile toilets and more rubbish bins for public convenience.