FEDERAL Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa is not ruling out having Ramadan bazaars during the fasting month, but using a revised format to include good hygiene practices and reduced human contact.
“I have instructed Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) to look into introducing revised formats for Ramadan bazaars. We have to do away with the old ways of large crowds in compact spaces, ” he said.
“For example, the local authorities can look into reducing the number of bazaars and designate special areas as bazaar locations.
“Traders can pre-pack food to ensure there is less human contact (people picking up and putting back food).
“A bazaar reflects a crowded, festival-like atmosphere so we need to improve the way we work in light of current social distancing practices, ” he added.
Annuar said the ministry did not want to be reactionary and ban all Ramadan bazaars, as in the case of Singapore.
“We need to think of the needs of city folk and traders who are already making preparations, ” he said.
“New guidelines and standard operating procedures can be introduced, especially on personal hygiene and social distancing measures.”
Annuar also urged the public and authorities to learn from experience under the movement control order (MCO) and improve aspects such as personal hygiene, self-discipline as well as crowd and waste management.
“People should wash their hands frequently and local authorities should schedule public disinfection operations on a regular basis, not just during the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Use this opportunity to learn how we can better handle personal hygiene and manage public facilities, ” he added.
Meanwhile, Annuar said there was some misunderstanding on the public disinfection operations being carried out over the past few days.
“This is a new exercise involving many agencies, personnel, equipment and assets to ensure the operations are effective and correct disinfection materials are used, ” he said.
“While the demonstration of the exercise appears to have a ‘carnival-like’ atmosphere, the government does ensure that all proper measures such as social distancing are practised and prioritised.
“In the Federal Territories Ministry context, all heads of agencies have to work hands-on and be on the ground daily to ensure operations are carried out properly and to understand the problems faced by our personnel.”
Annuar was speaking to reporters after a disinfection operation at Diplomatic Precinct in Precinct 15, Putrajaya.
The exercise involved agencies such as PPj, Alam Flora, Fire and Rescue Department, police, Rela, Health Ministry and Malaysia Civil Defence Force.
Among the equipment used were high-pressure water pump, mist blower and water jetter.
Also present was PPj president Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim.