A TRADERS association in Overseas Union Garden (OUG) is questioning Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) involvement in matters pertaining to the morning market.
There are two associations managing the morning market in the township – Hujan Rahmat 2 Morning Market Traders Association and the relatively new Taman OUG Hawkers Association.
Hujan Rahmat 2 market traders association chairman Tan Kian Kok said DBKL’s Licensing Department officers had been going around asking traders to state their preference on which association should manage the morning market.
“The new association has no track record, yet DBKL officers are passing around a circular asking traders to vote for the association of their choice.
“To me, this is beyond their scope of work.
“DBKL should only be involved in licensing and stall allotment matters. It should not get involved in these matters.”
Kian Kok also complained about the reduction of trading lots, which saw old-timers’ lots being reduced and the reorganisation of the lots’ locations.
Nancy Tan, 70, who has been selling footwear in the area for 20 years, said she not only had her lots reduced from five to one but was directed to move to another location.
“I am in a wheelchair and the new location is not conducive for me.
“Why ask me to move after all these years?” she asked.
Clothes trader Jasudass Anthony, 51, who has been operating there for 30 years, also had his lots reduced from six to three and was told to relocate to the opposite side of the road.
“The new lot allocated to us is six metres long and six metres wide.
“They are too small. We need adequate space for our business,” he said.
Soya bean drink seller Allan Chooi, 57, said he was also asked to relocate to another spot and was miffed when told that it was because of complaints made by the public.
“I have been here for 16 years and have never once received any complaints.
“When I asked DBKL to furnish me with proof, they were not able to do so,” said Chooi.
Kian Kok said there were about 242 traders operating there previously, but the number has since increased to 473.
“In the past two months, we have seen many new traders coming into the area and we have no idea who they are or where they are from.
“We are concerned with the increase in traders as the market has become more cramped,” said Chooi.
The association is in the midst of collecting signatures to obtain members’ support for them to continue managing the market.
They are also planning to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on possible abuse of power.
Meanwhile, attempts to reach the OUG hawkers association to shed light on the issue were unsuccessful.
When contacted, Federal Territories MCA DBKL Affairs Bureau chief Banie Chin said that he was aware of the tussle between the two groups, adding that he had tried to get both associations to sit down for a discussion.
“But no one was cooperating so I decided to drop the matter,” said Chin.
DBKL Licensing and Hawker Development director Khairul Anuar Mhd Juri denied that the new licensing guidelines and allotment were interfering in any way.
“This is about reorganising the lots and nothing else.
“We will explain in detail via a statement soon,” he added.