SIBU: Better work and business environment are on the cards to help hawkers here revive their businesses that have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) is working to provide a better location and suitable working and business environment for hawkers to improve their business.
SMC chairman Clarence Ting Ing Horh said the council will hold a meeting with five hawker associations soon to get feedback on how to improve their businesses.
“Our stance is that the hawkers can make money to improve their livelihood. The main concern is how to improve their environment so that their business can be better.
“That is why we charge them cheap rent,” he said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Taman Selera Muhibbah Food Park upgrading project here, on Sunday(Nov 28).
Ting revealed that SMC was actively looking after the welfare of hawkers by providing a conducive trading environment for them.
Citing Taman Selera Muhibbah as an example, he explained that the place would be upgraded to accommodate more hawkers’ stalls (from 48 to 52 stalls).
“The project was proposed by the previous SMC chairman. When I took over, funds for the project were already there and expected to start work in November 2019.
“Our original plan was to complete it in November this year. However, due to the outbreak, we were unable to do so,” he said.
Ting said the project was expected to be completed in September next year.
“It will be a new food court and we hope people will enjoy the comfort of this place when it is completed,” he said.
He added that the council would build a temporary business site worth RM400,000 for the hawkers of Tiong Hua Market.
Ting noted that the old Tiong Hua Market building was not suitable for use due to cracks in the structure of the building.
“We do not yet have plans to build a new building but we are building a temporary site for hawkers in the market to do business first. It is expected to be completed by Chinese New Year next year,” he said.
Another project was the construction of a new Sungai Merah Market worth RM8 million to replace the present one.
“We will also improve the Jaya Li Hua Market at a cost of M700,000. On Taman Selera Harmoni, we want it to be a halal certification centre to attract more visitors not only from locals but also from abroad,” explained Ting.