Plans to relocate Pasar Tamu due to overcrowding

Jalan Mahsuri Pasar Tamu is a busy trading place as shown in this picture taken before the MCO. - Filepic

SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) plans to relocate the Pasar Tamu in Jalan Mahsuri to Taman Indah here so that traders can comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) during the movement control order (MCO).

SMC chairman Clarence Ting said the existing site was overcrowded and measures under the SOP like social distancing was difficult to enforce.

He said some opposing the move were probably unaware of the situation faced, referring to questions raised on the rationale for the relocation of the weekend market.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is not over and all must adhere to the SOP. Our priority now is health concerns and preventing infections, ” said Ting.

He reiterated that moving the market to a bigger space was the right thing to do to safeguard people.

He said the market originally started in 2001, after the central market opened.

He noted there used to be illegal vegetable sellers along the back lane of Jalan Khoo Peng Loong and owing to this, the SMC hawker committee proposed to move them to Jalan Mahsuri.

“Initially there was resistance but after three months of strict enforcement, all the traders finally agreed to move, ” said Ting.

He recalled that during that period, the council was willing to consider giving space to illegal traders who were mostly vegetable farmers and whose selling prices was controlled by licensed hawkers.

“In order to help the farmers make a living, SMC allowed them to trade on Sundays.

He said now, after almost 20 years, the farmers were doing well and that some had even opened shops to sell their produce.

“Many traders from other districts have also set up stalls at the Pasar Tamu, crowding the site, ” he added.

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