All’s not well on first day of facility’s reopening


Traders selling desiccated coconut at Pasar Besar Jalan Othman showing the cramped conditions of their new area, which formerly housed the poultry slaughtering operation.

ALTHOUGH Pasar Besar Jalan Othman is still being renovated, it reopened to the public on Saturday.

Only seafood sellers and a handful of mini grocery stalls were open on the first floor.

A check by StarMetro showed numerous lots still had broken tiles, pavements and dirty sinks.

Traders interviewed said they were unhappy that Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) had scattered them instead of grouping similar types of businesses in one location.

Some of the traders selling desiccated coconut are now located at the former chicken slaughtering lots, which are at the far end of the market.

Meanwhile, other traders were allowed to trade from their previous spots.

At the former chicken slaughtering area, chicken feathers could still be seen on the ceiling, raising the question of whether the market was properly cleaned and sanitised before reopening.

“We can only store about 80 coconuts at this new spot and the lots are located too close to each other.

Chicken feathers can still be seen on the ceiling, which raises the question of whether the market was cleaned properly before reopening.Chicken feathers can still be seen on the ceiling, which raises the question of whether the market was cleaned properly before reopening.

“Once we bring our coconut shaving machine, the place will be cramped and we are not sure if there will even be space for us to move about.

“Our stocks are replenished twice a week, hence we buy in bulk, about 2,000 coconuts each time.

“We need a bigger storage area.

“We lack manpower and rely on family members for help now. It is extremely difficult for us to carry these heavy loads from the lorry, walk through the market and unload the coconuts at the far end of the market,” said coconut seller CS Poh.

The fruit sellers were also facing a storage predicament.

YH Ho, 61, said it was important for fruit stalls to have grilles to prevent theft.

“We buy unripe bananas in bulk and we need to store them. We need to lock the stalls or the fruits will be stolen.

“However, MBPJ says grilles are illegal structures,” said Ho.

The fruit sellers also wanted to be gathered in one trading section instead of being scattered all over the place.

“Customers will be put off if they have to walk all over the market. If they don’t like the fruits I sell, they can always go to the neighbouring stall. We have worked this way for decades,” added Ho.

Flower seller H. Caroline does not only have to contend with slow business, the rent for her stall had increased from RM90 to RM280 but her workspace has been reduced.

“Now I am given a smaller space where I cannot even place my flower cart. And MBPJ has placed another stall beside mine,” she said.

Traders said MBPJ should have a two-way dialogue instead of just issuing orders.

When contacted, MPBJ councillor Suraise Gengiah said they would take note of all the complaints.
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