CLOSING the Ramadan bazaars in Kota Setar district, Kedah, was inevitable in order to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, said Alor Setar City Council (MBAS).
Its assistant environmental health officer Khaled Shah Gulam Shah said the closure was done as per the National Security Council’s (MKN) instructions in curbing the spike of daily Covid-19 cases.
However, the council’s head of markets and hawkers management unit said there would be alternatives for bazaar traders to continue with their business.
“If they want to do business elsewhere, they don’t have to apply for a new licence during the fasting month.
“They can carry out their business at an open space with all SOP in place. But they must not be doing business in groups like how they conduct business in bazaars.
“They are also not allowed to conduct business at road shoulders, ” he said.
On Friday, Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the implementation of MCO in five districts in the state, namely in Kota Setar, Kuala Muda, Bandar Baharu, Baling and Kulim, until May 14.
At the Darul Aman Stadium where the main and biggest Ramadan bazaar is held this year, housewife Nur Idayu Zakaria, 26, was spotted checking out some clothes at one of the stalls for her only daughter Nur Iman Mohd Firdaus, five.
“We came all the way from Napoh to shop here. There are less choices there as compared to the bazaar here.
“If we find anything we like, we will buy for ourselves too, ” said Nur Idayu, who was accompanied by her self-employed husband Mohd Firdaus Ibrahim, 28.
State Information Department staff Saiful Haidar Salleh, 39, and his wife Rozayu Dali, 36, were also shopping for festive clothes for their children Haidar Rizqin, five, Haidar Qausar, nine, and Haidar Iskandar, 12.
Saiful said this was their first time visiting the Darul Aman Stadium to shop for Hari Raya clothes for their children.
“I hope that we will manage to buy baju Raya for them this trip.
“We had visited a few other bazaars but could not find suitable sizes for them.
“The clothes will be for them to wear during the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, ” he said.
Former part-time television crew member Ilaraz Rajmi, 30, said she opened a stall at the bazaar with her sister Ku Zetty Ku Othman, 46, to sell women’s and girls’ dresses as well as headscarfs.
“This is our first time venturing into the business of selling women’s and girls’ clothing at an Aidilfitri bazaar.
“The prices of women’s dresses displayed at my stall range between RM25 and RM89. For girls’ dresses, they are priced between RM25 and RM45.
“The prices for headscarfs are from RM15 to RM49.
“We also sell our products online, ” she said.
Stall assistant Nur Natasya Nazira said they started doing business two weeks ago.
“We sell clothes for boys and girls aged between two and 11 years old at very reasonable prices ranging from RM10 to RM35, ” she said.