By Chew Lip Song
THE Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) has been told to arrange a temporary site for hawkers from the Tiong Hua market to operate, pending the renovations there.
Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang said the 10 hawkers which previously ran their businesses from the first floor of the market, had ceased operations since the building closed on Sept 25.
“SMC needs to look into their plight as some of them have been left without any income more than than three weeks,” she said in a statement, adding that most of the operators had also paid the RM600 annual licence fees.
She also called on Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian to extend financial aid to the operators during this trying time.
Chang said the SMC can also consider renting a few shop premises along the nearby Jalan Chew Siik Hiong for the hawkers to resume their businesses.
This, she said not only would provide relief to the hawkers, but also to the premises owners who had been without any rental income due to the unfavourable economic condition.
Chang also revealed that the fresh produce traders from the market had seen their businesses slashed by around 50 per cent after their relocation to a temporary site.
In view of this, she called on the Public Works Department to quickly complete the report on the condition of the Tiong Hua market structure so that renovation can commence as soon as possible.
The five-decade-old building was closed following the discovery of cracks on its walls. Traders were moved to a temporary site pending investigations by the PWD for renovations and repair.