SMC chairman worried over declining visitor numbers at Sibu Central Market

Sibu Central Market

SIBU, Aug 30: Business at the iconic central market here is dropping and Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) needs to act fast to address it.

Worried SMC chairman Clarence Ting said the council would need to change the concept of the market so that it would continue to be a go-to place for the public.

“We need to change the concept as the present one might not be relevant anymore. If we don’t act now, in future the hawkers might not make much business,” he said this at the council’s full board meeting today.

He noted that the younger generation does not visit the central market like the older generation and if this trend continues, the hawkers’ income might suffer.

“There are many stalls there. If your friend or friend-of-friends is one of the hawkers, go and ask them whether what I’ve said is true or not,” he told the councillors.

He said the council might have to revise the licence tenure for the hawkers and issue a five-year licence instead of one which the hawkers could hold for life.

Speaking at a press conference later, he said the council has to address the issue now before it worsen.

“I am not sure how much percentage the business there has dropped but the number of people going there has decreased. It is quite quiet now. Is it due to the season? I don’t know,” he said.

He added: “Right now is a good time to address the issue. I am very happy as just now the councillors have given their feedback on the issue but the council needs to do something to make people patronise the place and the hawkers will enjoy good business.”

He added that the council has received reports on the matter and he wants the councillors to come out with ideas to make the place as attractive to the public as before. — DayakDaily