Making Menu Rahmah work at upcoming bazaars

DBKL enforcement officers removing tables and chairs left overnight by traders at a site in the city, which is not allowed under the Free Trade Zone Initiative.

THE government should sell food items at subsidised rates to traders if Rahmah bazaars during Ramadan are to achieve its objective of helping the B40 group in the Klang Valley.

Federal Territory Bumiputra Petty Traders Association president Datuk Seri Rosli Sulaiman hopes the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry (KPDN) will consult relevant associations when engaging with local authorities on the matter.

“Ramadan bazaars give Muslim food traders the chance to make some extra money.

“Menu Rahmah offers meals priced at RM5 for the B40 group.

“In order for this to work, traders need to make some profit too.

“They can do so if they are able to buy food items at a subsidised rate,” he said.

Ramadan, or the start of the fasting month, is expected to begin on March 23.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub was reported to have said that the ministry had identified several areas with reasonable rent for Rahmah bazaars.

Rosli said that for the bazaars to succeed, the type of food, quality and portions offered must be reasonable.

“We have the kad prihatin penjaja (a traders’ discount card) that enables us to buy items at a subsidised rate from certain outlets.

“We hope the government can either offer a discount to card holders or channel cash directly to them,” he added.

When contacted for details, a Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) officer said Rahmah bazaars did not mean opening more bazaars in the city.

“It is about introducing Menu Rahmah at Ramadan bazaars.

“We will provide more information when we get details from the ministry,” added the officer.

On a related matter, DBKL has ramped up enforcement on traders operating under the former Federal Territories ministry’s Free Trade Zone initiative.

Some traders had violated the licensing requirements by leaving behind their mobile stalls, canopies and even tables and chairs at the trading site, causing obstruction.

Traders who had left behind their tables as well as mobile stalls found the items missing from the site when they came to resume business the next day.

Enforcement operations were carried out in Cheras, Taman Kas-Kas, Taman Connaught, Taman Cheras and Sentul.

Items obstructing people’s movement at bus stops, tactile blocks, parking bays and pedestrian walkways were seized and taken to the DBKL depot in Taman Miharja.

Enforcement was carried out under Section 46(1) the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974.

Commenting on the matter, Rosli said he fully supported DBKL’s move to remove the items.

“The agreement traders signed with DBKL says that they are not allowed to leave behind anything at the trading site.

“The number of abandoned stalls on the roadside is also increasing each day and has become an eyesore.

“If they cannot follow the rules, it is best the traders operate from inside a food court,” he added.

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