MIRI: The presence of illegal traders at the Lutong Market here has sparked dissatisfaction among licensed traders.
In addition to breaking the law, the illegal traders were seen openly doing their trading which had affected the business of licensed traders.
In acknowledging these complaints, mayor Adam Yii said the illegal traders also made life difficult for licensed traders as they would occupy vacant lots without first asking for permission.
Their presence and activities also caused the number of licensed traders to dwindle.
These were among the matters highlighted by the traders during a meeting with the authorities at the market yesterday to thrash out the problems.
According to the mayor, the illegal traders offered competitive prices for their goods in order to win over customers, which the licensed traders were unhappy about.
As an immediate solution, the licensed traders suggested that enforcement be made more frequently.
Yii said the city council will take stern action including issuing summonses to the illegal traders operating in Lutong Market and other markets and tamu under its jurisdiction.
“There is no reason to think that we have been soft with them for too long as we have repeatedly issued warnings but they are still stubborn,” he said.
Yii said before taking any action, the traders who were found to be operating illegally would be advised and given a warning and issued a summons if they continued to refuse after being given a written warning or notice.
“The situation is that we have warned the hawkers many times and this time we will not hesitate to take action.
“The action taken is not to make the traders’ life more difficult but for the benefit of all parties especially consumers because most illegal traders operate on roadsides, parking lots and unsafe locations.”
He said the actions should not be politicised by certain parties as the problems had been going on for a long time.
He said the city council would make every effort to provide the traders a place in designated areas where the environment is more conducive for business.
Meanwhile, Yii reminded the licensed traders not to rent out their licence to others and traders who are found doing so will have their licence revoked.