SIBU Municipal Council (SMC) is looking at providing a better trading environment for hawkers to help improve their businesses that have been badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chairman Clarence Ting, in speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the upgrading of Taman Selera Muhibbah, said the council would also be meeting with five hawker associations soon to get their feedback on how their businesses could be improved.
Taking the example of Taman Selera Muhibbah, he said it would be upgraded to accommodate more hawkers, from 48 to 52 stalls.
“The project was mooted by the previous chairman.
“When I took over, funds for the project were already allocated and we were hoping to start work in November 2019.
“Our original plan was to have it completed in November this year. However due to the pandemic, we could not do it,” he said.
The project is now expected to be completed in September next year.
“We hope the public will enjoy the upgraded place,” he said.
Besides this, the council is nearing completion of a temporary trading site costing RM400,000 for the Tiong Hua Market hawkers.
The Tiong Hua Market building was declared unfit for use due to cracks on its walls.
“We don’t have plans yet for a new hawker centre, so we are building a temporary one first.
“It should be ready by Chinese New Year 2022,” he said.
The third project involves the construction of a new RM8mil Sungai Merah Market to replace the old one.
“We are also going to improve the Jaya Li Hua Market, which will cost RM700,000,” he added.
On the Muslim food court Taman Harmoni, Ting said the council wanted it to be halal-certified to attract customers nearby as well as those from outstation.