Poor public response on reopening of Sibu night market during EMCO

Stall owners waiting for customers.

SIBU, April 23: It was a warm evening on Thursday but the reopening of the night market here saw cold response from the public.

The night market was allowed to open during this current period of Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) but only for stalls selling essential items like food and drinks.

Additionally, the operators have to wear face shields and gloves as part of the new standard operating procedures (SOP). The operating hours  are from 5pm to 8pm which is shorter as compared to the normal closing hour at 11pm.

Chairman of Sibu Municipal Council Clarence Ting, who visited the night market last night, lamented on the poor response not only from the traders but also the public.

“Out of 37 eligible traders, only 25 turned up. As for the response, business is generally reported as slow as there were roughly only 400 visitors,” he said.

The response among the traders on the need to wear face shields and gloves, he said were also poor.

Accompanying Ting during the site visit were the chairman for Petty Traders and Market, Councillor Albert Tiang and deputy chairman Councillor Augustine Merikan.

The reopening of the night market, he said was an opportunity for Muslim traders to do business.

“When the night market was closed earlier, some of the Muslim traders were complaining why those at Bandung Walk are allowed to trade during this Ramadan month. They said it was not fair for them,” said Ting.

The council, he said allowed the Muslim traders to set up their stalls much earlier at 4pm.

“This special consideration is only during the Ramadan period,” he said. — DayakDaily