Old Market hawkers hold out for more attractive deal

Chen (seated right) at the press conference.

SIBU, March 29: Kanowit District Council (KDC) has been urged to expedite finding a better premise for some 50 hawkers currently plying their trade at the Kanowit Bus Terminal.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Kanowit chairman George Chen claimed many of these traders made barely enough for the day, with some earning less than RM5.

A proper facility would at least help attract the people to visit and buy from these traders especially since many of them have had to move out from the Old Multipurpose Market, he said.

While the hawkers have been instructed to move to a new market by April 1, many have refused to move until more shop lots are constructed at the area as they were of the opinion that the new market is located in an area that is considered quite remote, he alleged.

“KDC must resolve the matter urgently. As the local government, it is their responsibility to address issues pertaining to public wellbeing especially hawkers and traders,” he told a press conference here today.


Chen also questioned why the the Old Multipurpose Market, which had given so much for hawkers to make a descent living in the past, was now being rented out to a well-off business entity.

“Their excuse in saying that the Old Multipurpose Market had caused traffic jams had made the hawkers moved out, but now a supermarket is in place at the site. This is not acceptable.

“We seek valid and transparent reasons from the council on why the place is rented to established supermarket,” he continued.

Chen believed the delay in the RC Ramp project at Sedaya and Kanowit Town project is not helping to resolve the issue and provide an alternative good business spot for these hawkers.

“The locality is ideal as a temporary business spot as it is located at the ferry point that could pull crowds to do their shopping, but the delay poses another shortfall,” he lamented.

Chen said the traders were willing to relocate to a more ideal location but the council and authorities concerned should identify a new area so that a win-win situation could be achieved.

He disclosed that some of the hawkers had lodged a police report yesterday (March 28) over their predicament. They felt that they had been subjected to harsh and unfair treatment over the fiasco. — DayakDaily