KOTA KINABALU: The announcement that all markets under the purview of City Hall here will be stopped temporarily for two weeks effective from yesterday has caused unhappiness among the markets’ traders and hawkers.
Mayor Noorliza Awang Alip said the night markets and weekly markets or tamu operations would be halted until April 30 following an increase in Covid-19 cases.
“The closure will depend on the pandemic situation from time to time, ” Noorliza said in a statement shared in City Hall’s Facebook page.
However, a lot of people had expressed dissatisfaction over the abrupt decision to halt the operation of the markets.
Some commented in the feedback section that the last-minute information had caused losses to stall operators, who did not know what to do with their fresh stocks which could not be sold now.
“They should think about the welfare of the traders. At least give them a couple of days to clear the raw stocks before closing the markets, ” one of the users said.
Gaya Street weekly Sunday market vendor Alexsandra Ken, who sells children’s clothing, was surprised by the order as there had been no clusters linked to markets.
“I am a bit fortunate because I do not sell fresh products, but I will still suffer in terms of losing my regular customers and income, ” said the 41-year-old mother of four.
On Friday, state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said while markets and stalls were still allowed to open in recovery movement control order areas, the operations would be based on risk assessments by local authorities in the respective areas.
Kota Kinabalu recorded 14 new Covid-19 cases on Friday.