THE Masjid India Business Owners Association (Miba) and the Batu Road Retailers Association (Barra) are against any move by the government to introduce a street traders programme in Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Lorong TAR).
The associations will be submitting their protest to Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa to voice their unhappiness against the move that is expected to take place at the end of the lockdown.
They are annoyed after coming across a Federal Territories Ministry flyer inviting youths to apply for stalls in Lorong TAR, which will operate from 2m to 10pm Sundays to Fridays.
The programme is mooted by the ministry under its Wilayah Cakna 5.0 Initiative that will see 50 business lots offered to youths living in the city under the Kuala Lumpur City Youth Entrepreneur programme.
“We are against it. Even if they say it will only be implemented after the end of the lockdown, we know from experience that even with the strictest SOP in place, they (DBKL enforcement) will not be able to control them, ’’ said Miba president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin.
“Miba and Barra have always objected in all our meetings with DBKL and the ministry that we do not agree with traders operating on the road in front of our shops, ’’ he argued.
Ameer Ali cited various reasons for their objection, including sub-standard hygiene (practised by the traders), as well as the fact that it would be unfair to the shop operators in the area who pay one of the highest rental rates in the country.
“It is not fair to have people selling things in front of the shops that the business proprietors pay thousands of ringgit in rent for.
"And no matter what they say about enforcement, we know from experience it will not happen, ’’ he added.
Ameer Ali also pointed out the presence of illegal traders who tend to appear at these trading sites, and that DBKL had shown time and again their inability to regulate them in the past.
When contacted, a ministry spokesman clarified that the programme will not be rolled out during the current lockdown.
The spokesman said the initiative was to provide a chance for many to earn a living after losing their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is not meant for the current situation. How can it be when we are still under lockdown for Covid-19, ’’ added the spokesperson.
The issue came about when a flyer prepared by the ministry for the Wilayah Cakna programme went viral.
The flyer does not state any details pertaining to the kinds of businesses, merely saying priority will be given to youths aged 18 and above who are residing in Kuala Lumpur.
It added that canopies will be provided, while goods sold must be dry items and that no cooking allowed.
Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by June 15 through a website listed in the flyer.