KUCHING: Street hawkers operating in the vicinity of the Sungai Maong Bazaar at the Third Mile here have finally been given a designated spot as well as trading licences to operate.
With the relocation, the 15 hawkers will be operating just behind H&L Supermarket at the bazaar.
Present to witness the handover of the trading licences at the trading site on Monday (July 19) was Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang.
He said he was pleased and happy that the long outstanding issue of unlicensed street hawkers had been finally solved.
“Before this, the council faced a lot of problems trying to control the trading here as the hawkers occupied the parking space nearby and caused inconvenience to shopkeepers and visitors.
“But eventually, with the assistance of Councillor Amy Tnay, who sat down with the street hawkers, market people and shopkeepers, a solution has been reached.
“They have agreed to let Pertubuhan Seni Mempertahankan Diri Sah Kong Kuching (Sah Kong), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), manage the street hawkers so that they can trade in a proper manner,” Lo told reporters.
He said all parties concerned were glad that the matter had been settled.
“The market hawkers will start to operate from early morning until 1pm, while these street hawkers will operate from 1pm to 7pm daily.
“With this, there won’t be an issue of competing for business. There will be a win-win situation. So, everybody is happy and I am also happy,” said Lo.
“Business at the bazaar here has picked up so much that many people have requested to trade here.
“Although we want to see this place prosper, we must also balance between allowing business to operate and providing sufficient car park spaces without disrupting the traffic flow. We cannot satisfy everybody.
“That is why we are working together with Sah Kong under the chairmanship of Jimmy Khung so that the welfare of these hawkers can be taken care of.”
Lo, who is also the Batu Kitang assemblyman, urged the community to support the local hawkers by buying their fresh produce.
“I would like to encourage everybody to come over, but while we are enjoying ourselves, let us not forget to maintain the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as we are still facing the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.