Fate of Ramadan bazaars uncertain


  • Metro News
  • Friday, 27 Mar 2020

Large group of shoppers at the Jalan Raja bazaar in Kuala Lumpur last year. — Filepics

TRADERS who rely on Ramadan bazaars to earn extra income, are on tenterhooks.

This is because local governments in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor have yet to make a decision on the bazaars’ fate following the extension of the movement control order (MCO) until April 14.

All local councils told StarMetro that they were awaiting further instructions from the state and Federal governments.

The Selangor government, meanwhile, has stated that it will look to National Security Council for directives before making a decision.

Ramadan is expected to start April 24, subject to the sighting of the moon.

Kuala LumpurA Federal Territories Ministry source said minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan were still in discussion over the matter and that the general sentiment was that there might not be any bazaar this year.

“They are trying to weigh the pros and cons. In view of the fact this is a security issue, it is most likely going to be a no-no.

“Following the announcement of the MCO extension, we do not know how things are going to be after that but we have to be prepared for anything, ’’ added the source.

Every year, DBKL designates over 50 locations in the city with more than 4,000 trading lots for Ramadan bazaars.

Yesterday, Annuar announced that the government would provide a one-off payment of RM500 each to some 23,617 traders – totalling RM11.8mil – in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan to ease their burden during this challenging time.

Annuar hoped the money would help the traders who were part of the city’s lifeline.

Selangor

Klang Municipal Council’s (MPK) Licensing Department has been inundated with calls from traders on whether their permits for the bazaars in Jalan Taiping and Bazaar Juadah would be revoked.

Acting MPK president Elya Marini Darmin said, “I understand that the bazaars are popular during the fasting month and they give opportunities for traders to earn a living, but we have to weigh the matter with wisdom.

“As a local council, we will refer the matter to the state government to make a qualified decision, ” she added.

MPK Licensing and Hawkers Department director Azhar Samsudin said all lots were given out through a bidding process in the first week of March, with bids between RM3,500 and RM10,000.

Ramadan Bazaar Jalan Taiping is a popular destination among those shopping for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

It has 491 trading lots while the Bazaar Juadah, which charges RM5 per day for each trading lot, is set up in 45 locations with 1,900 lots in total.

It is learnt in 2019, MPK earned RM415,000 from Bazaar Juadah while the Jalan Taiping one brought in RM1mil.

Representatives from both Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) said they were waiting for directive from Selangor government.

MPSJ had 23 Ramadan bazaar sites with 1,810 lots in total last year.

Sixteen locations were under the council’s purview while the remaining seven, which were clustered Ramadan bazaar locations, were managed by a different entity.

MBPJ offered some 1,195 Ramadan bazaar lots across 19 locations in Petaling Jaya last year.

Kelana Jaya remained the most popular location, with 250 lots available at the largest bazaar in the city.

Meanwhile, Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has issued 1,770 permits for 31 locations in the city this year.

There are also an additional 12 locations being managed by private companies,

resident associations and the Village Community Management Council (MPKK).

Last year, MBSA issued 1,322 permits for 28 locations, mostly in highly populated areas.

“The bazaar will only be happening at the end of April. No decision has been made yet, ” said MBSA corporate communications head Shahrin Ahmad.

Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) Public Relations head Kamarul Izlan Sulaiman said the council allocated 1,569 trading lots last year across 47 sites in Kajang, Cheras and Bangi.

“From the total, 37 sites sold food while 10 sites sold fashion and home decor items.

“The number of lots and sites will not be much different this year.

“But we have to wait for the decision from the top management, ” he said.

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