Thieves break into PJ market again

A FEW traders at Pasar Besar Jalan Othman in Petaling Jaya received a rude shock after finding their stalls ransacked and looted.

This was also the second blow for two traders, whose stalls were previously broken into after the enhanced movement control order (MCO) was enforced in Petaling Jaya Old Town from May 10 to 21.

Tea stall operator Mahendran G. Krishnan, 64, said his stall’s stainless steel storage compartment was prised open and his goods stolen when he checked his stall yesterday morning.

He had lodged a police report on May 19 after his stall was ransacked the first time.

He said this time, the thieves stole his gas tank and provisions.

“They stole essential things like Milo and sugar.

“I estimate the cost of damage to my stall at more than RM1,000.

“We are not rich people. Who is going to compensate me?” asked Mahendran who has been operating there for 15 years.

Jalan Othman market association vice-president Raja Ratnam, who was at the site yesterday, said the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Hawker Bylaw 2007 stated that traders were not allowed to instal any structure including closed-circuit television cameras at their stalls.

“There are no security guards here. MBPJ has to respond to this issue, ” said Raja.

Jamil (centre) showing how thieves prised open his stall’s storage compartment at the Pasar Besar Jalan Othman in Petaling Jaya.Jamil (centre) showing how thieves prised open his stall’s storage compartment at the Pasar Besar Jalan Othman in Petaling Jaya.

He added that thieves had taken advantage of the situation when the market was closed and sealed off during the enhanced MCO.

Brothers Sithique Hassan Liyakath Ali, 24, and Jamil Liyakath Ali, 32, who run a beverage stall at the market, were also victims of a break-in for the second time.

On May 13, Sithique lodged a police report that their refrigerator was smashed and some contents were stolen.

“My brother sent me the photos and because the area was in lockdown, I could not go to the market to check what happened, ” he said.

Yesterday, their stainless steel stall was also prised open and contents such as cigarettes and coins were stolen.

Flower seller Caroline Harolhadan, who has been trading at the market for 27 years, said she had not heard of break-in incidents at the market.

MBPJ could not be reached for comments at press time.

Meanwhile, Malaysians who have lost their means of income amid the Covid-19 pandemic, turned up to fill in job application forms to work at the market.

Among them were S. Nageswaran, 35, R. Logeswary, 33, T. Sures, 35, and R. Mallita, 60.

Nageswaran lost his job in the banking sector two months ago, while Logeswary, Sures and Mallita lost their jobs as salesperson, cook and senior citizen caregiver, respectively.

“Times are very hard for us. We have had no income for three months.

“We cannot just sit at home and do nothing, so why not try working at the market to earn some money?

“Since they are urging Malaysians to do the job, this is our only option to stay afloat, ” said Nageswaran.

Sarawakians Reagan Anjang, 37, and Semorata Endan, 47, lost their jobs in the hotel sector and also turned up to apply for jobs at the wet market.

“The salary is better than nothing, ” said Reagan.

On June 1, StarMetro reported that there were 1,000 job vacancies for Malaysians to take up at the wet market with an average salary of around RM2,000 a month.

The daily wage is between RM70 and RM80.

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