SIBU: The newly-formed Sibu Hawkers Welfare Association is set to be the largest body for hawkers in town.
Its chairman, Tan Hong Kiang, said so far it had over 100 members and the number was expected to increase soon.
“There are between 3,000 and 4,000 hawkers in the town and we are open to just anyone of them to join us,” he told Sarawak Metro.
Tan and his new office bearers were sworn in at a ceremony on May 26 which was witnessed by Local Government and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh and Sibu Municipal Council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King.
The association is the fourth association for hawkers in the town.
“We are here to sincerely look into the interest of hawkers. What other hawker associations have failed to do, we can as we will be the most active one. Not only that, we are also very close with the council so this makes our job easier,” Tan said.
Taking an example of a quarrel between two traders at the central market last week, he said the matter was solved very quickly when it stepped in to help.
“If there is light malfunctioning problem at the central market, we will immediately look into it. If members request our help for funeral arrangements for their loved ones, we will do so in whatever capacity we can. We are also planning to give away study incentives to members’ children who excel in their studies,” he said.
On the name of the association which has the word “welfare”, he stressed that it did not mean that it would go out to raise funds from the public.
“We will not go out to source for money as we have the support from our nine advisers, including patrons. Our funds will come from those who are willing to donate to us. Our installation night was a great success as they helped us out financially. We hope they can continue to do so in the future,” said Tan, who sells porridge at the central market.
The association secretary is Kapitan Kong Hua Kwong, Wong Heu Huak is treasurer and his assistant is Ling Soon Ping.
Tan said hawkers who wanted to join the body can contact him at 0198868853.