THE Covid-19 pandemic that led to the movement control order (MCO) in March has taken a toll on the people, with some losing their jobs.
With jobs being scarce, the Selangor government has introduced a programme where temporary business licences are issued by the local councils to Malaysians who wish to set up roadside stalls to sell home-cooked food.This move is to ensure that they operate legally and adhere to regulations set by the respective local councils.
Under normal circumstances, those planning to set up a hawker stall would have to apply for a business licence in person at the relevant council. This process takes time.
With the licensing programme which started in June, council officers visit trading sites and licences are issued immediately.
This is to help those whose livelihood has been affected by the pandemic, to carry on with their businesses without any problems.
Selangor local government, public transport and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han said all local councils in the state were taking part in the programme and issuing temporary licences.
“I hope this move will help those who really need it and enable them to earn some money to support their families.
“Those who are given business licences must not misuse them, such as making profit from renting the licence out to others, ” said Ng.
He warned that this was a serious offence and stern action would be taken against culprits.
He said the hawkers must comply with the rules and regulations set by the respective local councils.
“They are also required to renew their temporary licences and there is no excuse not to do so.
“The renewal process at the councils may differ.
“Some may require the temporary licence holders to renew every month or every three months.
“Those doing business must find out the terms and conditions and take the necessary steps, ” he added.On a positive note, Ng said the state government had decided to extend the issuance of temporary business licences until Dec 31 next year.
At Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), a total of 503 temporary business licences for roadside hawkers in Subang Jaya have been issued since June to help them earn a living during the MCO.
Segar Ellugan, 59, who sells nasi lemak, said he was grateful to MPSJ for giving him a chance to operate a stall after losing his job a few months ago.
“I worked as a personal driver but due to unforeseen circumstances, my employer could not afford to pay me any longer and moved back to Johor after suffering business losses.
“Since then, I have been trying to find another job but to no avail.
“I was desperate as I have a family to take care and with my wife’s help, decided to sell nasi lemak near our house in Taman Kinrara, Puchong, ” said Segar.
“We are new to this area and hope business will pick up.”
Segar and five other roadside hawkers along Jalan TK 4/10 were given temporary business licences and will operate there until MPSJ finds a suitable location for them.
The licences were also issued to hawkers in Subang Jaya, Kinrara, Puchong, Putra Heights, Seri Kembangan and Sri Serdang.
The hawkers along Jalan TK 4/10 received their licence from MPSJ president Noraini Roslan.
She said the number of applicants for roadside stalls had increased since the recovery MCO was implemented on June 10.
“We want to help those affected by the pandemic to earn an income.
“MPSJ officers have been mobilised to go to trading sites and look into stalls that we can legalise, ” said Noraini.
“Instead of them coming to us, we are going to them.
“The pandemic has led to unusual times and the people need all the help they can get.
“Since June, our officers have been going to the ground to see to those operating roadside stalls.”
She said that when giving out licences, factors taken into consideration included the location of the stalls and traffic situation.
“We do not want stalls to pose an obstruction to traffic or cause congestion.
“We also do not allow too many stalls to operate at the same place.
“Otherwise it will become like a morning or night market and lead to congestion.
“The other factor taken into account is trading hours.
“If a particular site is a busy place, we do not want stalls to operate during peak hours and add to the problem, ” explained Noraini.
“For example, if the area is busy in the evening, then no permit to trade will be given for that time frame.”
She said the hawkers were also required to clean their stalls and trading sites daily after business.
Currently, there are three sessions for the stalls to operate; from 6am to noon, from noon to 6pm, and from 6pm to midnight.
For roadside stalls set up at unsuitable sites, Noraini said MPSJ would propose an alternative location for operators to move to, with licences issued.
She said MPSJ expected applications for temporary business licences to increase in the coming months.
She said in view of this, the council encouraged applicants to consider operating stalls at morning or night markets.
“We have quite a number of empty lots in our street markets and hope the hawkers will take them up, ” she said.
There are currently 191 empty lots at the Subang Jaya and Putra Heights night market and four available lots in the morning markets there.
In Puchong and Kinrara, there are 207 empty lots at the night markets and 53 at the morning markets while in Serdang and Seri Kembangan, there are 197 empty lots at the night markets and 18 at the morning markets.
Applications for the business licence can be made online via www.mpsj.gov.my from now until Sept 30.
Keeping tabs on hawkers
Over at Shah Alam City Council (MBSA), a total of 689 temporary business licences have been issued to date.
“The Licensing Department will carry out regular checks at the
sites to ensure hawkers follow regulations when conducting business.
“We also want to make sure no new stalls pop up at random, ” said MBSA Corporate Communications head Shahrin Ahmad.
He said stall operators must be present during business hours and not allow others to operate on their behalf.
Did you find this article insightful?
75% readers found this article insightful