THE organisers of the 1Malaysia Pasar Sore (evening market) in Prima Setapak, Genting Klang had to learn the hard way that it does not pay to break the law.
After issuing repeated warnings to remove the illegal structures on the vacant land in the area, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement officers raided the place recently to demolish and remove the structures.
On top of that, the owners would have to bear the cost of the demolition and other expenses incurred as part of their punishment.
More than 80 enforcement officers and the police, armed with hammers and crowbars, knocked down the half-completed toilets that had been built on the land and used a crane to confiscate a shipping container belonging to the organisers of the market.
When news of the Pasar Sore got out, residents living in the area were upset and sought the help of Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong to stop the market from opening.
The residents were upset as another market in the area would worsen the already congested township and increase noise, traffic and crime woes that Prima Setapak was already experiencing.
The market, located some 100m away from the Genting Klang wet market, would be sited on a piece of vacant land that belongs to the Education Ministry.
At a press conference earlier in the week, DBKL socio-economic development deputy director-general Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz said City Hall had rejected the application from Koperasi Gabungan Pemuda KL Berhad to organise a 1Malaysia Pasar Sore in Prima Setapak as the site was not conducive.
“We understand that the organisers have got a permit to use the land belonging to the Education Ministry from the Land Commission. However, upon investigation, we found the site unsuitable for a bazaar,” added Amin.
He said the market would cause traffic congestion, noise pollution and hygiene issues as well, adding that residents in the area, including Wee, had written in to voice their unhappiness.
The issue was highlighted recently after Wee and several residents held a signature campaign to stop the bazaar from starting operations.
Amin said DBKL had stopped issuing licences for bazaars or night markets in Kuala Lumpur for the past two years. There are currently 99 night markets in the city.
“Our officers have also gone to the site to remove all the banners on the 1Malaysia Pasar Sore,” he added.
Apart from that, Amin announced that about 455 licences have been issued to petty traders for the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities.
According to him, DBKL received 504 applications this year since they opened the counter for registration on Nov 23 last year compared with 404 last year.
The traders will be allowed to trade at several areas within Kuala Lumpur till Feb 2 and the most number of traders will be in Cheras followed by Kepong.
Each lot will be rented out for between RM162 and RM280 and the traders have to pay according to the size of their canopies.
Amin also announced that DBKL had taken stern action against foreigners lurking around Jalan U-Thant following reports in local dailies on lack of hygiene in the area.
DBKL has placed its officers and a mobile office there to ensure the foreigners do not cause congestion.
The police have also set up camp to help DBKL control the situation of foreigners visiting their embassies along Jalan U-Thant.
Some 20 notices were issued to errant mobile traders who frequented the area, creating a mess there as well.