Traders eager for a trouble-free environment

After a near three-month closure, morning and night markets in some areas started opening in stages from June 17. - Filepic

Traders in Johor want the authorities to have enforcement measures in place for the reopening of night and morning markets in the city and ensure the standard operating procedures (SOP) are not flouted

They said it would make it easier for the authorities to conduct enforcement and surveillance, leaving the traders to focus on doing business.

Night market trader Mohd Amin Hidros, 60, urged traders to follow the SOP during the recovery movement control order (MCO) and not create problems.

“This is a chance to resume business and make a living and we want to do it the right way under the current situation.

“During the initial MCO which was imposed from March 18, many traders faced hardship without an income. We do not want a repeat and must do all we can to prevent Covid-19 infections,” he said, adding that all traders must work with the authorities and adhere to the SOP.

“I believe there are traders who feel the strict SOP will deter customers from coming to the markets but this is necessary for everyone’s sake.

“The SOP at all business premises is the same to prevent the spread of the virus and must be taken seriously,” said Mohd Amin.

He has been operating a stall selling fried chicken for the past eight years.

He said discussions with the local authorities were still ongoing for smoother operations of the markets, especially in open locations.

He added that some of the busiest night markets were in Kampung Melayu Tampoi, Taman Suria, Bandar Baru Uda, Taman Cempaka and Larkin.

A morning market trader, who only wanted to be known as Safwan, said some stalls would remain closed to ensure social distancing was followed.

“Some have to make way for others. Space at some morning markets is limited and the SOP requires social distancing practices, with stalls being 1.5m to 2m apart from one another.

“As such, priority will be given to stall operators selling daily necessities such as poultry, meat, vegetables and seafood,” he said.

Safwan said those outside this category would have to refer to the respective local councils to find out where they could conduct business.

He said the most important factor now was to focus on managing the flow of people at the markets and adhering to the SOP.

“With the presence of enforcement personnel at these places, the people will feel safer knowing safety measures are in place.

“This in turn will make them come here regularly and our business will improve,” he said, adding that with enforcement officers seeing to compliance with the SOP, the traders could concentrate on doing business.

Johor housing and local government committee chairman Ayub Jamil said local councils were in charge of night and morning markets.

“This responsibility of ensuring they operated based on the SOP was handed over to the respective councils on June 10.

“After a near three-month closure, the markets in some areas, except for bazaars, started opening in stages from June 17 with the respective councils monitoring the situation,” said Ayub.

Before the MCO, Johor had 4,409 traders at the morning markets in 53 locations and 23,184 traders at night markets in 194 locations.

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