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Majlis Perbandaran Sibu

Sibu Municipal Council considering galvanised fencing for central market
Tarikh : 05 Sep 2020  Sumber Berita: Borneo Post Online

Customers are seen at a section of Sibu Central Market.Customers are seen at a section of Sibu Central Market.

SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) is considering installing galvanised fencing at the central market for better crowd control and to keep out bad hats.

SMC market and petty traders standing committee chairman councillor Albert Tiang said the council’s building section is expected to come up with a budget towards the end of the month.

“The initiative to fence up the area was prompted by the Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) discussion in July. There are five entrances cum exits at Sibu Central Market but, unfortunately, there are also many ‘jalan tikus’ as the tape used to seal off these areas had been deliberately damaged by both hawkers and shoppers.

“So we are exploring (option) to fence up the area. It is not only to control the crowd but to prevent suspicious characters entering from the sides with intention to steal from the market,” Tiang told The Borneo Post.

He was commenting on recent complaints by traders that goods left overnight at the Sibu Central Market were carted away by thieves.

Tiang said SMC would gradually implement a zero goods left overnight policy as practised by all other markets within SMC’s jurisdiction – Rajang Park Market, Tiong Hua Road Market, and Grand Heights Market.

In this regard, hawkers will be given between six and nine months to gradually clear their goods from their stalls, he said.

“They are to only bring adequate quantity for their daily sales as stated in the market by-laws. And those who insisted on leaving their goods at the stalls overnight will do so at their own risk,” he explained.

He said security personnel at the market are tasked to safeguard SMC’s property and not hawkers’ personal items.

As for the most recent theft, which involved seven crates of live crabs and one crate each of sea snails and clams that a trader had left at the market overnight, Tiang said CCTV footage had been handed over to the police.

“The footage shows what is believed to be the suspect and his car. We are now waiting for the outcome of the police investigation,” he said.

Describing the market as one that never ‘sleeps’, he said SMC is considering two licences for a single stall – one for the morning and another for the afternoon or evening.

“Meaning when a hawker calls it for the day, he or she needs to clear the stall for the next person who comes in, whether in the late morning, afternoon, or evening.

“For example, some hawkers come as early as 3am to trade and finish trading by 6.30am. The whole idea is to maximise the usage of Sibu Central Market spaces at any time of the day,” he said.

He did not discount the possibility of having a night market within the central market, which would involve approved items for sale.