Night market traders over the moon

NIGHT market traders and vendors are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with announcement that night markets can reopen on Monday.

Abyss Chan, 40, who sells fried noodles and economy rice at the Bandar Baru Ayer Itam and Sungai Dua night markets, said vendors are overjoyed to hear that they can resume business once again.

“Many of us have already made preparations during the movement control order (MCO) itself, but hearing the official announcement for night markets to reopen is like a dream come true.

“I store dry food items at home and when I go back to operate, all I need to do is get fresh produce like meat and eggs and I am good to go.

“It is timely for us to reopen as we have not been earning for two months.

“We are all relieved, as the situation could worsen if we have to go without business much longer.

“Those who operate mainly at night markets are on the verge of closure.

“Before this, we did not operate a consistent number of hours and as such, we earn little.

“So many night market traders are on the verge of collapse and it is important for us to reopen to recover from the loss we have suffered in the previous months.

“But when we reopen our stalls, we will be cautious by wearing face masks and gloves as we definitely do not want another round of MCO, ” he said.

Another vendor selling socks and personal items who wanted to be known only as Khoo, 44, said she was happy that she could reopen her stall.

“I tried bringing my business online during the MCO but unfortunately it did not work for me.

“This is because the goods we sell at night markets are already reasonably priced and it is impossible for us to cover shipping costs for products worth a few ringgit.

“So, it is more practical and profitable to sell at our stalls physically, ” she said.

Penang Malay Night Market Traders Association adviser Abu Kasim Bakar, 54, said the traders in the association had expressed joy over the announcement.

“We have over 3,000 members on the island and mainland whose livelihood is also affected by the MCO and this is the best news in months for us.

“Many are thankful that they can finally sell again, while some others may have found other ways to earn a living since the situation forced them to take up other jobs.

“Regardless, we are all happy to hear this and at the moment, many of us are still in discussion with the Penang Island City Council on the procedures that we need to adhere to.

“But for the time being, most of our members are ready to commit 100% of effort when we reopen to ensure their own safety and of those who visit the night markets, ” he added.

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