Night market traders welcome reopening

Zainab Sidi is seen busy preparing her customer’s Yong Tau Fu at her stall. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Many vendors, including those at Uptown night market here are delighted by the reopening of eateries and businesses during phase two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

Cosmetics seller Amy Farhana Arbi arranged the merchandise at her stall. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

Amy Farahana Arbi, 21, owner of Amy Beauty, expressed her excitement at the reopening of Uptown after over two months of closure, despite admitting that business is still sluggish.

“I am excited that we can resume normal operations, but I anticipate that business will be slower than usual this time due to fewer people purchasing cosmetics as they have nowhere to go and hence do not bother purchasing such items,” she said.

Amy noted that the Uptown management was implementing stricter standard operating procedures in order to protect stall operators and visitors from the Covid-19 virus.

“The SOPs are stricter than it was before including ensuring that visitors have had at least their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine before entering and prohibiting minors from entering the premises,” she said.

Nur Azwin Shahrima sorting the bundle pants at her vendor. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

Meanwhile, Kartel Bundle owner Nur Azwin Shahrima, 30, said the market should remain closed to prevent further spread of Covid-19.

“I believe it should not be opened yet due to the increase in cases and the emergence of new variants, but given that the vendors here are still paying monthly rents, it would be a waste not to open our stalls,” she said.

Nur Azwin added that her business has flourished online during the pandemic compared to opening a physical store.

“Using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram really boosted our sales but now, we find it hard to sell when the management refuses entry to underage visitors since our regulars were largely youngsters.”

Yong Tau Foo owner, Zainab Sibi, 55, was very glad to learn that the market had reopened and stated that now small traders like her would be able to earn some income.

“I am pleased that Uptown finally reopens because I know a lot of my clients were waiting for it. Some of them even contacted me to order food during MCO but I cannot serve them due to several reasons.

“I hope that the other traders would get back on track now that Uptown has reopened and hopefully, we all could enhance our sales,” she said.

Zainab urged visitors to rigorously adhere to the SOPs to ensure there would be no Covid-19 cases detected at Uptown.

“I hope that the visitors will follow the SOPs closely to curb the spread of the virus here. Since we have experienced severe losses since last year, we cannot afford another closure,” she said.