Metrocity uptown closes amid surge in cases

Metrocity N6 Youth Night Market is closed until it receives approval from the relevant authorities. Photo: MOHD ALIF NONI
BY NUR ASHIKIN LOUIS & MOHD ALIF NONI

KUCHING: Metrocity N6 Youth Night Market here was instructed to close beginning today until further notice as the district recorded a surge in number of Covid-19 positive cases.

The Petra Jaya Hawkers Association president Mohamad Khairuzie Bolhassan said after that, the association which is in-charge of the night market or also known as ‘Metrocity Uptown’, would further discuss the matter with the relevant authorities.

He mentioned that the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) will review the standard operating procedures (SOPs) proposed by the association.

“SDMC has informed us that in red zones, premises are only allowed to operate with the approval of the authorities. Therefore I am going to meet with the Gita police chief to deliberate on the SOPs.

“We were also informed that the association must obtain written permission from either the SDMC or local councils so that it is easier for us to justify the night market’s operation to the members of the public.

“Until we receive a ‘black and white’ approval letter, we do not dare to open the night market,” he told New Sarawak Tribune today.

He stated the closure of the night market would affect the small traders especially those whose 100 percent sources of incomes are from operating at the night market.

One of the reasons that led to the closure of the night market, he explained, were complaints received from members of the public who argued about the night market’s operation when the Ramadan bazaars were not allowed to operate.

However, Khairuzie stressed that night markets are different from Ramadan bazaars.

“Unlike a bazaar, a night market is already an existing place which is established and has tenants registered with the local councils.

“We (Metrocity Uptown) operate every day. If the night market closes, our small traders would be affected.

“So far, alhamdulillah we are among the most strict night markets in terms of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and visitors’ entry control,” he pointed out.

The Metrocity N6 Youth Night Market has been in operation since October 2016 and presently with over 300 vendors.