The new site for the Sunday Market at Taman Indah.

SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will find an alternative site for its Sunday Market if a new site at Taman Indah fails to attract customers.

The Sunday market has been closed since March 18 when the movement control order came into effect. Traders will start operating at a new site in Taman Indah starting August 1.

The existing site is at Taman Mahsuri.

According to SMC chairman, Councillor Clarence Ting, some traders are not in favour of relocation.

He said they feared that they might lose their customers and that the new site was difficult for the public to access.

“They (public) would like somewhere nearer,” said Ting.

He assured that the council would ensure that the Sunday Market at its new site in Taman Indah would be popular among the people.

“However, if Taman Indah is found to be unsuccessful, the council will have to look for an alternative site to make the market a feature for years to come.

“The Sunday Market has, over 20 years, become an integral part of Sibu. It has become a must-go place for people during their weekend. SMC will ensure this Sunday market will continue to flourish in future,” said Ting.

He added that the market was relocated after consultations with Nangka assemblyman, Dr Annuar Rapaee, Sibu Resident Charles Siaw and the police.

“The dilemma was how to sort out the unlicensed traders. Through their BKSS applications, we listed them and sought them out,” he said.

At a dialogue conducted in “a peaceful manner”, he said he had also explained to the traders that the previous Sunday market venue was not big enough to hold all the traders.

“SMC was hard pressed to locate a suitable site and Taman Indah is an ideal place as it is big enough to house 114 traders,” he said.

This time, the traders would be issued with a temporary permit (not amounting to a hawker license).

“All these years, these traders have been operating every Sunday on a first-come-first-serve basis. Due to the limited space, we do not want the traders to quarrel over space. This time through their permits, they will be allocated a fixed location,” Ting explained.