Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING: Pelawan assemblyman David Wong Kee Woan must stop toying with the livelihood of traders at Sibu Sunday Market, Jalan Mahsuri if he is not interested in improving the market’s infrastructure and helping them gain more income, said Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

In a statement issued today, the Bintulu MP pointed out that Wong seems more interested in using the traders as “pawns in his quest” for higher political mileage.

“He seems to also dismiss the need for the market’s relocation, without considering the disadvantages in the current location.

“It has been known for some time that the current market’s location can no longer accommodate the increasing crowds, which has led to overcrowding and lack of parking spaces — contributing to traffic congestion in the area,” he stated.

Besides that, Tiong pointed out that to enable the hawkers to better conduct their trade and receive more customers, it is wise to move them to a more ideal location.

“With a new location, I believe that more business opportunities could be generated for hawkers in order for them to maintain a respectable livelihood.

“Therefore, it is disingenuous for some politicians to pour water on any measures to benefit the people,” he added.

The two new market locations in Jalan Indah and Jalan Lanang in Sibu are currently under preliminary review.

“For Jalan Lanang for instance, will be able to better serve hawkers coming from Sarikei and Bintangor. With more space for traders and parking spots, I believe the number of customers will also be more than the previous location.

“If these relocations are properly arranged and managed, I would personally support moving the markets. A more conducive environment is vital for hawkers and families doing their weekend marketing,” Tiong stressed.

Tiong also highlighted that with the current health consideration due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is doubly important for a new venue to be easier to keep cleaned and hygienic.

“In view of this, Wong should refrain from repeatedly making dismissive remarks to cause anxiety, as he and his colleagues should surrender their prejudices to consider the livelihood of hawkers instead of playing with sentiment with this issue.

“Instead of making the hawkers a political football, they should help them with their livelihoods in order to win their hearts,” he concluded.