Sibu night market traders relieved to be back in business

Traders waiting for their turn to get tested for Covid-19 at the active case detection centre in Sibu town centre.

PISANG goreng (banana fritters) seller Ahmad Risauddin, 44, is relieved that the night market has been allowed to reopen after being closed for three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahmad, who was spotted queuing for a swab test at the active case detection centre in Sibu’s town square, said he had been waiting for news from the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) on the market’s reopening.

“It is good news that after three months of closure, we can start trading again.

“When the market was closed, I sold pre-loved clothes online as I needed income to support my family, ” he said.

He, however, expects business at the night market to be poor at this time.

“I foresee at least a 50% drop in business as people are still worried for their safety because the pandemic is still in our midst.

“But it is better to have some income than nothing at all, ” he added.

Another trader, Wong Ing Hook, 49, who is helping his mother sell women’s clothing at the market, agrees with Ahmad.

“During the temporary closure period, we had no income at all.

“Thankfully, my mother’s siblings helped tide us over the difficult period by giving money for us to get by, ” he said.

Wong said his family was relieved when SMC announced that the night market could resume business.

“Though the pandemic is still here, being able to open our stall for business is good enough. Otherwise, we don’t have income to survive, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Lamat, 62, is looking forward to the Ramadan Bazaar in Kampung Hilir.

“I hope the public will come and support us despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, ” said Ibrahim who runs a drinks stall.

The traders have to undergo a swab test before getting the green light to resume business.

The night market resumed operations on April 9 while Pasar Tamu Taman Indah reopened on April 10.

SMC, in approving the reopening of the night market and Pasar Tamu Taman Indah, has reminded traders and the public to comply strictly with the National Security Council’s standard operating procedures during the conditional movement control order.

These include wearing a face mask, checking their temperature, using MySejahtera to check in and practising physical distancing.

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