Malaysia’s own floating market in Mukah, Sarawak

Six of the seven floating market traders on their longboat at the symbolic launching. – The Star Pix

By John Isaac

BANGKOK is well known for its floating market. And now Kampung Tellian, a village in Oya, near Mukah, Sarawak, hopes to emulate it with its own market at the picturesque Sungai Tellian.

The floating market aims to be a centre where local traders, whose income had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, can sell agriculture products and seafood.

Tellian assemblyman Yussibnosh Balo launched the market, which has gained wide interest among the locals.

Seven native traders with their longboats were present at the launch.

Yussibnosh said the market was centrally located as Sungai Tellian was home to seven villages — Kampung Tellian Daya (Tellian Ulu), Seri Tellian (Tellian Tengah), Tellian Laut, Pegei, Sungai Ragei, Datu and Penakub Hilir.

He hoped the floating market, which would only start operations once the Covid-19 situation was under control, would become a tourist attraction.

According to The Star, he said the market was one of the seven components of the newly introduced development initiative, MukahXtra.

The initiative, which covers Xtra Culture, XtraTourism, XtraCreative, XtraYouth, XtraEconomy, XtraLocal and XtraSafe, aims to uplift the socio-economic development of the area.

According to Yussibnosh, efforts had been taken to ensure the locals were involved in the development process.

“This is one of the reasons for introducing the Tellian Floating Market, which is also to support the seven components, ” he said.

Yussibnosh hoped that once the market kicked off, it would take its cue from the Pekan Sabtu (Saturday Market) in Oya and operate during the weekends and on public holidays.

On the issue of the landing ground of the floating market being located on government road reserve, the assemblyman promised to discuss the matter with Sarawak Land and Survey Department soon.

He said there was also a need to protect Sungai Tellian and its surroundings from any polluting riverine activity as many tour boats cruised along the river.

He plans to introduce the floating market in other areas in Tellian constituency such as Sungai Petanak and Sebakong in upper Sungai Mukah.