Sunday, August 9

Night market hawkers welcome alternate day trading system

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Ha How Ing

SIBU: The night market or ‘pasar malam’ hawkers here are generally pleased with the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC)’s arrangement for them to operate on alternate days.

Ha How Ing, 43, who sells roasted chicken and barbecued sliced pork, said the alternate day trading has definitely reduced the number of hawkers trading at a time.

“This has given us more space to run our stalls. Previously our hawker stalls were placed quite close to one another,” he told The Borneo Post when met at the popular night market at Butterfly Garden here on Saturday.

He also said the alternate day training has since reduced the number of stalls selling similar types of food.

“For us, we have seven stalls selling almost the same type of food. But right now, only three are operating at a time.

“This has also boosted my business as I received more customers. I can now sell almost all the food offered at my stall and there are leftovers unlike before,” he said.

Ling Jiing Huang

Also sharing the same sentiment was Ling Jiing Hua whose business has also improved after SMC implemented the alternate day trading system.

“Maybe it’s also due to the lengthy ‘lockdown’, so people have the urge to go out and visit night markets to purchase some food,” he said.

The 26-year-old who operates a food stall selling buns and ‘siew mai’, said the night market is now more spacious and therefore allowed more cars to be parked around the area.

“Previously, the parking area was utilised by more than 180 hawkers and as such, those who wish to visit the night market had difficulty finding a place to park their cars,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kong Su Ching, 37, said the availability of space at the night market now allows her to park her car near her stall so that she can easily transfer her goods from her car to the stall.

Kong Su Ching

However, she lamented that her business has not picked up and was similar to when she operated her stall prior to the Movement Control Order (MCO).

The Butterfly Garden night market was reopened on June 20 following three months of ‘lockdown’ due to the MCO and the subsequent Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19 infection.

Only 82 out of 168 stalls are allowed to operate at the night market in line with the government’s directive that night market stalls must be kept 1.5 meters apart.

All visitors to the night market have to comply with the standard operating procedure of having their body temperature taken, wearing a face mask and to provide their contact details before entering the market.