15 illegal hawkers urge MPKj to issue temporary permits

Ibrahim (third from left) with Choo (fourth from left) and the other affected hawkers of Laman Niaga Bandar Mahkota Cheras.

ONLY five out of 20 hawkers operating from a green patch at Laman Niaga Bandar Mahkota Cheras (LNBMC) have been issued with temporary operating licence by Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj)

There is, however, no concrete decision as to the fate of the remaining 15, whose presence in Jalan Temenggong 7/9 has caused much dissatisfaction among business owners located opposite the hawkers.

Datuk Ibrahim Zulkifli, who spoke on behalf of the hawkers, said they would help the 15 by liaising with MPKj’s Licensing Department.

He said the affected traders operated on a strip of open land with shady trees designated by MPKj for commercial use.

Business owners in the area had blamed the hawkers for hogging parking space, thereby reducing the bays for customers visiting the shops. In addition, people are also double-parking and causing traffic congestion.

Ibrahim said the congestion was not entirely the hawkers’ fault, and pointed to the public’s lack of road etiquette.

He also refuted allegations that some of the hawkers reserved parking space for their customers and that they were involved in electricity theft.

He said the hawkers shared electricity bill with some traders at nearby shops and were not stealing electricity.

“I ask for cooperation from business owners here. If they are not satisfied about things, they can talk to us and we will work out a solution,” he added.

Durian seller Choo Kai Mun, who was one of the five who got the temporary licence, said he had been operating there for over a month and did not understand why the business owners picked on them.

“I am selling durians, he is selling pianos. One shop is a veterinary clinic and another is a tuition centre. There is no conflict of interest, we are all offering various businesses and services,” said Choo.

Bandar Mahkota Cheras Commercial Centre Association vice-chairman Dr Hoo Kie Ngie said residents were fed up with the hawkers for their unhygienic practices and haphazard stall construction which made them an eyesore.

“When we invested in our properties, the green frontage now occupied by the hawkers was one of the main attractions. It is gone,” he said.

He added that it was not the intention of the business community to chase the hawkers away, but preferred that they be relocated.

Dr Hoo suggested an empty space behind the children’s playground as the alternative.

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