Sweet news for durian lovers

Takeaway only: Durian seller Ah Teik (foreground, left) attending to customers at his roadside stall in Lorong Susu, Penang. — MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star

DURIAN sellers in Penang are now allowed to reopen their stalls along the road to cater to takeaway clients.

However, buyers are still prohibited from choosing and asking the sellers to open the fruits to reveal the content of the durian, said Penang local government, housing development and town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.

“The public can only take away durian in prepacked plastic containers.

“They cannot wait by the stalls and have their fruits opened.

“There will also be no dine-in at the durian stalls as well,” Jagdeep told reporters at a durian stall along Lorong Susu in George Town.

He said prior to this, durian sellers were only allowed to carry out their business at nine public markets on the island and about 12 on the mainland.

“This was to control the crowd during the movement control order (MCO).

“But now, we allow the roadside traders to start selling durian only for takeaways.

“There are around 100 durian stalls on the island.

“This is for Phase 1, and as it progresses there will be changes.

“This move is part of the Penang Gradual Recovery Strategy to reopen the industry in stages.

“We need to help small businesses as they are the vulnerable groups, like hawkers and traders,” he said.

Jagdeep said both the local councils would draft a medium and long-term plan for the standard operating procedure (SOP) to sell durian.

“In Penang, we want to recover as a state for the businesses the soonest possible.

“While other businesses are waiting to recover, they operate throughout the year.

“Durian is a seasonal fruit, and we do not want to punish the sellers,” he said.

Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng said hopefully in the next phase, durian lovers might get to have the fruits opened in front of them.

“For now, this is progress and better than not being able to operate at all.

“We hope the customers follow the social distancing and other SOPs,” he said.

Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang was also present.

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durian , takeaway , Penang , movement control order , MCO


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