Plan to give markets new life

(From right) Councillors Lim and Connie Tan talking to a trader about the plans to optimise the use of public market spaces.

AS the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect businesses, Penang Island City Council is extending a Request for Ideas (RFI) initiative for the public to share their thoughts on optimising the use of public markets.

Council hawker and market management sub-committee chairman Alan Lim said that via the RFI, they hope to find new ideas on putting market spaces on Penang island to good use.

“Currently, there are 28 public markets under the council and we are looking for feedback on how best to transform the use of these market spaces.

“This is especially needed at a time when Covid-19 has caused an increase in unemployment, especially in the manufacturing as well as food and beverage sectors.

“If we are able to implement new ideas, we can help existing traders and businesses besides creating new opportunities for the jobless, ” he said.

Lim was speaking after a walkabout with other councillors at Chowrasta market in George Town on Monday.

Lim said the council welcomed all types of proposals.

“Pulau Tikus market is one good example of optimal space use.

“In the morning, it is a market but at night, it transforms into a hawker food hotspot with a variety of stalls.”

Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng said they hoped the public could contribute ideas for the council to study.

“Public market sites are used for only a few hours in the mornings. In the afternoons, the places become quiet.

“We hope we are able to see more activities at these sites later in the day so more business opportunities can be created, ” he said after the walkabout.

Lim added that the council had received nine proposals from the public so far.

“The proposals involve mainly the markets in Balik Pulau so we hope more people can share ideas for the other markets in Penang, ” he said.

“For now, there is no deadline to the sharing of ideas so the public can take their time to think and review before coming forward.”

Lim said those who wanted to share their ideas may email or call 04-263 8818.

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