JOHOR BARU: After the reopening of morning markets on Oct 1, the South Johor Hawkers and Petty Traders Association is now considering opening up pasar malam earlier than the November target.
The association’s chairman Datuk Yow Boon Choon said morning markets had already started operating at six locations here after Johor moved to Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
He said many traders, especially those selling apparel and hardware, wanted pasar malam to resume operating.
“After almost a week of running the morning markets, we received feedback from traders asking for the return of night markets as many of them have been fully vaccinated.
“The association will hold a committee meeting tomorrow to decide on the reopening of night markets based on our observations, feedback from the ground and discussions with the Health Department.
“If the matter is approved by the committee, we will reopen our night markets on Oct 15 with strict SOP in place,” he said yesterday.
Some of the pasar malam under the association are Taman Century, Taman Johor Jaya, Taman Ungku Mohsin, Taman Ehsan Jaya, Taman Puteri Wangsa, Taman Munshi Ibrahim, Taman Desa Tebrau, Taman Desa Cemerlang and Taman Pelangi Indah.
Yow said that strict SOP such as placing Rela personnel at the entrance and exit points of the morning markets and putting up signboards and walking guides for visitors have been put in place in accordance with the respective local council guidelines.
“About 50% to 80% of the morning market traders have returned so far and the compliance of traders and visitors have been satisfactory, as people are still cautious although they have been fully vaccinated.
“We are also in the midst of compiling the names of the fully vaccinated traders for submission to the local councils as requested,” he said.
Meanwhile, Johor Baru Trade Revolution Association vice-chairman Syed Mohd Ghazafi Abu Bakar said the plan was to reopen their pasar malam on Nov 2.
Together with the Johor Baru Malay Night Market Traders Association, they organise night markets at 14 locations such as Taman Setia Tropika Taman Dahlia (Tampoi), Taman Sri Bahagia, Bandar Baru Uda, Taman Rinting and Taman Tampoi Utama, he said.
He added that the association wanted to be cautious as some of the traders were still waiting to receive their second Covid-19 vaccine shots while others had yet to be fully vaccinated.
“Local councils such as the Johor Baru City Council have allowed morning and night markets to operate in September but as organisers, we want to keep our traders and visitors safe, which is why many of them are still hesitant to reopen.
“After checking with the traders, many are still not confident about it so we will wait for them to complete their vaccinations and other preparations before doing so next month.
“Moreover, reopening the night markets with only a small number of traders will also incur losses for us as we need to fork out money to make SOP preparations such as hiring Rela personnel and cleaners as well as putting up signboards,” he said.