THIS year’s Ramadan bazaars in Petaling Jaya have seen a drop in the number of stalls — by 50% — following Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) decision to limit vendors to control the crowd.
The Kelana Jaya Ramadan bazaar at Jalan SS6/1, which used to be the most popular one in the city with over 200 stalls, only has 115 stalls this year.
A city council spokesperson said visitors to the bazaar were required to scan the MySejahtera App and were also given tags for them to shop at the stalls.
“Only two people are allowed to shop at one time at each stall. At Kelana Jaya, there are about 115 stalls, so we allow only 230 people at one time into the bazaar.
“Adults will be given white colour tags and children will get red colour tags.
“We also allow 10 food delivery riders to be inside the bazaar at any one time, ” said the spokesperson.
“In case there is a long queue of people waiting to enter, we will then impose a 10-minute time limit for each visitor to shop.
“We also have MBPJ’s mobile vehicle unit making regular announcements to remind the public to be cautious of the Covid-19 pandemic and to practise physical distancing, ” said the spokesperson.
All the 115 stall owners support cashless transactions by accepting e-payment through various platforms such as Maybank, GrabPay, Touch ‘n Go, Boost and Dego.
Amir Halim, 25, who has been frequenting the bazaar for the last few years, noticed that this time around, there were fewer stalls and a smaller crowd.
“I used to bring my friends from Singapore to this bazaar as they found it interesting, ” he said.
Nasi ambeng seller Zainal Ariffin, 42, said he was grateful that MBPJ allowed the bazaar to take place because other places where he used to trade such as Shah Alam were not open this year.
About 976 visitors patronised the Kelana Jaya Ramadan bazaar on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the bazaar at Section 14 Petaling Jaya was a quiet affair, unlike in the past.
Based on the city council’s record, about 30 stalls were given approval to operate here. However, fewer than 10 stalls were open yesterday.
Drinks seller Syarmimi Roslan, 31, said there was a lack of main dishes sold at the bazaar and this had affected her business.
“No main dishes such as murtabak, nasi campur or briyani are sold here. People come looking for main meals and they are not available. The bazaar does not look as lively as before, ” she said.
MBPJ had plans to introduce the drive-through Ramadan bazaar concept at Stadium Kelana Jaya SS7 and Damansara Damai community hall in PJU 10. However, there was no demand from traders to take up the stalls, so the city council did not proceed with the idea.
There are 21 Ramadan bazaars in the city with about 900 trading lots this year. MBPJ’s Ramadan bazaar theme is “Eco and Cashless Petaling Jaya Ramadan Bazaar 2021”.