KL ‘free trading area’: MPs raise concerns on cleanliness, congestion over FT Ministry proposal


PETALING JAYA: Nine MPs in Kuala Lumpur have cautioned against a recent announcement by the Federal Territories Ministry to allow hawkers and small traders to do business at venues in the city that were previously off-limits.

In a joint statement on Thursday (Nov 12), they said that the ministry must ensure that the new policy was not abused.

"We welcome the minister's (Tan Sri Annuar Musa) enthusiasm in being business-friendly and providing trading opportunities for those in need.

"However, he must ensure that this policy does not contribute further to the problems of cleanliness and congestion in the city.

"Safety must also be of paramount consideration in the implementation of this policy," the statement read.

The Federal Territories Ministry had agreed to relax the location requirements for the issuance of licences to small traders and hawkers in Kuala Lumpur.

Annuar said those who had lost their job and wanted to start a business could apply for a temporary licence from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

“The licence will be issued immediately. I have urged DBKL to be flexible and let people trade at locations that were off-limits previously.

“As long as the stalls do not obstruct traffic or cause public nuisance, it should be allowed, ” he said.

The MPs urged for licence applications to be streamlined not just for hawkers but also other enterprises.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the closure of more than 30,000 semi-medium enterprises nationwide.

"The minister should streamline the applications to be business-friendly," the statement said.

Separately, the statement said that they were still waiting for a meeting to be called between Annuar and the KL MPs.

"It has been 16 days since our last statement.

"This meeting is very important for the planning and spending of DBKL 2021 Budget which will have a major impact on the welfare and wellbeing of KL folk," it said.

The joint statement was signed by the Tan Kok Wai (Cheras MP), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang MP), Teresa Kok (Seputeh MP), Dr Tan Yee Kew (Wangsa Maju MP), Lim Lip Eng (Kepong MP), Fahmi Fadzil (Lembah Pantai MP), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Setiawangsa MP), P. Prabakaran (Batu MP) and Hannah Yeoh (Segambut MP).

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