Move to allow hawkers to operate along main road irks residents

  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 09 Jul 2020

Motorists stopping by the road to buy food and drinks along Jalan 1/23e in Taman Setapak Indah cause traffic congestion in the area.

HAWKERS along Jalan 1/23e, Taman Setapak Indah, Kuala Lumpur may be happy to receive temporary licence to trade from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) but nearby residents are seeing red over this move.

The mushrooming of stalls along the main road is not sitting well with them.

Residents living behind the stalls complained of traffic congestion caused by motorists stopping by the roadside to visit the stalls.

Poor hygiene is another matter that residents are concerned with.

However, they feel helpless as Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa went to the site and handed temporary trading licences to the hawkers on July 2.

This act gave residents the impression that the hawkers were “allowed” to operate along the main road.

“It is hard for us to object when the minister himself handed the temporary licences to these hawkers.

“We still think that this is not a suitable location for them to trade.

“Motorists hog one of the two-lanes while buying their food and this causes traffic congestion in the area,” said Taman Setapak Jaya Neighbourhood Watch Committee (KRT) member Pang Seng Chong.

“Some of the hawkers also leave their old cars in the neighbourhood as storage space.

“Residents have also complained about oil stains in the drain and rubbish left by the roadside,” he said.

Taman Setapak Indah resident Ching Chee Khoon, 40, said the smell of fish sold at the stalls was too much to bear.

“The stall is located opposite Jalan 10c/6 which is nearby my house and the smell of fish is very strong.

“I also found several polystyrene boxes that were used to store fish left by the drain. Sometimes, traders blast music from their stalls at 5pm,” he said.

Another resident, Ng Wan Hua, 39, also found durian skin heaped up and dumped along Jalan 2/6.

“It is a huge pile of durian skin and it cannot be from any household.

“I suspect that they were left behind by traders from nearby stalls.

“It is not the first time that durian skin was left there,” she said.

Wangsa Maju MP Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew criticised the move to give the hawkers temporary licences on her social media account.

She said the move was done without prior consultation with her office and residents in the area.

When contacted, Tan said residents objected earlier when there were only a few hawkers but more hawkers came in during the conditional movement control order (MCO) phase.

“I sympathise with the hawkers who do not have a place to trade but allowing them to operate by the roadside, here, is not suitable.

“On July 4, I had a dialogue with residents in sub-zone 2 and they complained that the hawkers started selling raw meat and fish at the stalls.

“The residents association should come up with a memorandum and get signatures from affected residents to complain to DBKL,” she said.

When contacted, a DBKL spokesperson said that selling fish at the stalls was not allowed.

“The operators are supposed to sell cooked food and snacks for takeaway only.

“DBKL will investigate the matter and take action against traders who breached the conditions of their licence,” he said.

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