HAVING anticipated overcrowding at Ramadan bazaars, Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) has implemented a system for the stalls and queues.
“We are careful about how Ramadan bazaars should be carried out, since there is a risk of Covid-19 infections in crowded spaces, ” said Subang Jaya mayor Noraini Roslan.
“The number of Ramadan bazaar locations was reduced to nine this year, compared to 15 in previous years.
“Some of the previous sites were deemed unsuitable due to lack of space for physical distancing.”
For this year’s Ramadan bazaar, she said MBSJ arranged the stalls along one side of the road while customers would queue on the other side.
“The check-in point is placed at one end of the road.
“That way, customers queuing to enter the bazaar will have already seen what each stall is selling and have an idea of what to buy (instead of browsing and making their decision later), ” said Noraini.
“Queue numbers are also issued at the check-in point, based on two customers per stall.
“So if a bazaar has 70 stalls, a maximum of 140 customers are allowed within the area at any one time.”
Unlike some other local councils and organisers that hired Rela personnel, Noraini said MBSJ officers were tasked with security and crowd control measures at Ramadan bazaars.
“Four officers each from the Enforcement and Licensing Departments are on duty at each Ramadan bazaar site.
“They are paid overtime for their efforts, ” she said, adding that all these measures were implemented since day one of Ramadan.
“While the queues are long, the feedback has generally been positive, with some residents saying the management of Ramadan bazaars this year is better compared to previous years.
“Children under 12 were initially discouraged from visiting Ramadan bazaars.
“But since the Selangor government has stated that children under 12 are not allowed at Ramadan bazaars effective April 18, visitors have complied with this directive.”
Noraini said this at MBSJ’s full board meeting, where it was also announced that an Aidilfitri bazaar would be held for two weeks before Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year.
“There are two kinds of Aidilfitri bazaars which MBSJ oversees and issues licences for.
“One is handled by private organisers and held at LRT stations or malls, ” said Noraini.
“Another is organised by MBSJ but managed by a third party, usually a traders association.
“MBSJ will issue a group licence to the association or organiser, and it is their responsibility to manage all aspects of the bazaar, including safety, crowd control, traffic and clean-up.”
The Aidilfitri bazaar this year will be held at Dataran Niaga Puchong Permai in Puchong from today until May 12.
“A total of 80 trading spaces have been approved.
“We feel that Dataran Niaga Puchong Permai is a suitable location as there is ample space for stalls and parking, ” said Noraini.
“Traders at the Aidilfitri bazaar are allowed to sell dry goods only, such as biscuits, clothes and household items.
“They are not allowed to sell cooked food and drinks.
“The same standard operating procedure applies, such as physical distancing, wearing face masks and contact tracing measures.”
Although the National Security Council had announced that Aidilfitri bazaars could be held until 2am, she said the one at Dataran Niaga Puchong Permai would be from 3pm to 11pm, as the state government had not given its approval for Aidilfitri bazaars to be held until the early hours of the morning.
On another matter, Noraini announced that MBSJ councillor for Zone 5 Nor Liyana Yahaya had passed away on April 25 due to illness.
“The state government will decide later on the candidate to replace her.
“The new councillor is likely to be from PKR, since that was the party that Nor Liyana had represented.
“For now, matters under Zone 5 will be managed by the area’s residents’ representative council, ” she said.