Two new centres for hawkers

(From second left) State trade and industry, and entrepreneurial development committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, Ahmad Azrizal and Sim looking at the plans in front of the restructured hawker centre in Jalan Kekabu.

HAWKER centres in Jalan Kekabu and Lengkok Batu Maung in Penang will soon be occupied by vendors following the completion of refurbishment works totalling about RM380,000.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) councillor Ahmad Azrizal Tahir said that the Jalan Kekabu site measuring 6,000sq ft would be able to accommodate 14 stalls.

“For now, six hawkers have confirmed they will be moving in with the rest shortlisted at a later date.

“This centre needs more

wiring work done and we expect it to be ready for hawkers by the end of January next year.

“The overall upgrading works cost around RM180,000,” he said at a press conference after a site visit.

Ahmad Azrizal said that after the hawkers moved to the centre, the space previously occupied by them would be used solely by raw and fresh food vendors.

“At the other centre in Lengkok Batu Maung which measures 6,000sq ft, 14 vendors have already moved in.

“We are looking to add four more vendors after a round of interviews with those waiting to get a licence.

“This centre received makeover and restructuring works worth RM200,000 as we had to redo its piping, roofing and electrical components,” he said.

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, who was present at the site, said both the centres would be proper places for hawkers to operate their stalls.

“As the pandemic has caused many to lose jobs, a lot of people are venturing out as hawkers.

“Some are setting up stalls by the roadside or at busy junctions near places with traffic and we do not want this.

“This can be dangerous and may obstruct traffic so we hope MBPP can prepare even more centres,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Azrizal said that in the Bayan Baru parliamentary constituency, MBPP had identified eight locations where hawker centres could be set up.

He said two had been established and the other six locations were under review.

“In the meantime, we urge the public not to open stalls wherever they like.

“If they want to become hawkers, they may visit the licensing office at the Esplanade and seek advice on finding a suitable location.

“This allows the council to interview them as well.

“We hope these hawkers will follow rules,” he added.

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