Less business at Sibu Central Market: Public feedback points at lack of parking, higher cost of living, hawkers’ attitude

A section of the Sibu Central Market.

SIBU, Aug 31: Lack of parking space, rising cost of living and unfriendly attitude of hawkers are some of the reasons given by members of the public on why they are not patronising the central market here.

Sibu Municipal Council chairman, Clarence Ting had at the council’s full board meeting yesterday said that business at the central market is dropping due to decreasing customers.

He also said that the council needs to act fast to prevent the situation from getting worse.

In response, members of the public give their view why they are shunning the market.

English language tutor Albert Tay said the poor attitude of the fishmongers is stopping him from going to the central market.

“I am paying good money to receive a bad attitude… Rather go to some places with friendlier sellers,” he said.

He gave an example of some fishmongers who purposely display the good and bigger prawns in front.

“But when you tell them that you want the front one, they will not allow you but they will instead scoop the ones facing them which are smaller and not so fresh,” he said.

Tay also complained of the lack of parking spaces in and around the central market.

“Parking is [terrible].. Need to compete with those going to UTC (Urban Transformation Centre),” he said.

An educationist who wanted to be identified as Madam Ting concurred with Tay.

“I have no idea about the price of the things sold there but my reason for not going there is the lack of parking space,” she said.

Originally there were 735 parking bays at the central market’s multi-storey car park.

However, the construction of UTC in 2015 occupied a total of 306 parking bays on the 4th and 5th floors of the building, leaving considerable less space for parking.

Meanwhile, at time of writing, there were about 62 responses on the story about Ting’s comments on the DayakDaily Facebook page.

Facebook user, Jarau Nyepa, opined that people are not going or seldom go to the central market as they can get their daily needs elsewhere.

“There are already many places to buy our daily needs which are available everywhere around Sibu town. Going down to the central market is not a choice now. Due to traffic jams, years ago people (coming) from the bus terminal will for sure take a break there but not now,” he said.

Facebook user, Mummy T’fanny Umang who is staying in Sibu Jaya about 25km from town, said the long distance puts her off from going to the central market.

Another Facebook user, Mo Jiu Lui said the costlier standard of living has caused people to be more prudent in their spending, so they avoid going to the market.

“Because everything is expensive now. Most people start planting their own vegetables, catching fish, hunting and gathering wild jungle products to cut spending on foods that can be obtained beside from markets,” he said. — DayakDaily