BY NUR ASHIKIN LOUIS, MOHD ALIF NONI & RAMIDI SUBARI
KUCHING: In the last couple of months, Metrocity’s usually packed night market was left deserted amid the Covid-19 pandemic. On July 1, the Metroctiy N6 Youth Night Market was officially reopened, giving traders the fulfilment of getting back into business and the Kunchingites satisfaction of the night market experience.
However, the market’s operations have to be carried out in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in keeping with the new normal to keep Covid-19 a bay.
Traders/hawkers and their customers are still required to wear face masks (if they are not eating or drinking). Visitors must have their body temperature checked and they must stick to the one-metre social distancing. To ensure a smooth operation and observant to the SOPs, the number of visitors has been limited to 180 at any one time; the operating hours have been changed from 4pm to 10pm; and a maximum of 30 minutes is given per person to be at the market. Lastly, children aged 13 and below are prohibited to enter.
Amy Farahana Arbi, 20, cosmetics seller
‘I am so glad that I can resume my two-year-old business. During the movement control order (MCO), I had to sell my cosmetic products online.’
Norbaidiyah Amit, 30, sliced fruits seller
‘The new operating hours don’t give us enough time to set up our stuffs. However, I am still thankful to reopen my business because the closure during the MCO caused me to lose my income.’
Mohammad Azhar Morshidi, 43, apam balik seller
‘My ‘apam balik’ are takeaways so operating in the new normal is not difficult to adapt to. But with the limited number of visitors allowed into the market at any one time, the orders have declined.’
Mohammad Junaidi Hamdan, 27, cosmetics seller
‘For me, direct sales are better than doing it online so I am glad that the market is finally opened. Online business can be hard too because of certain processes like using the post office to post the products.’
Fatimah Jimam, 38, cake seller
‘I am so thankful that I can start selling here again. During MCO, I had to do my business online on cash-on-delivery (COD) and self-collect basis. It’s quite a hassle for me.’
Nur Ain Syahirah, 18, school leaver
‘Metrocity night market was my go-to place to hang out with friends but with the new SOP in place, we can only do takeaways.’
Nur Atirah, 16, student
‘The SOP is meant for the safety of everyone. With limited number of visitors allowed at the market, it would ultimately help prevent Covid-19 transmission.’
Abang Mohd Naim Firdaus, 20, fresh graduate
‘I hope visitors will comply with the SOP. It is no doubt troublesome but it is for the safety of everyone.’
Ismail Roslan, 33, customs officer
‘Customers have to adapt to the new hours, but on the bright side, those who finish work around 4pm or 5pm are now able to go directly to the market before going home.’
Mohd Azroff Yusup, 23, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) student
‘I am happy that the market has reopened but I am still worried about Covid-19. Thus, I will continue to comply with the SOP.’