SMC looking for solutions to waning business at Sibu Central Market

Sibu Central Market (file pic)

By William Isau

SIBU, Nov 29: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will seek to rejuvenate its central market as traders have been experiencing poor business.

Its chairman Clarence Ting said that they would form a central market committee to devise a concrete plan to make changes to the market.

“We need to come up with a new plan by January and next year we need to do changes as business has not been good right after the Covid-19 pandemic,” he revealed in his keynote address at the council’s full board meeting here today.

He noted that one-third or about 40 per cent of the fishmongers in the market had stopped trading due to bad business.

“We cannot leave it (fish section) empty. It’s just like a shopping mall where 40 per cent of the shops are not open for business and we are not doing anything,” he stressed.

Pork and vegetable sellers in the market, he said, are also not doing well as these items can be bought elsewhere. It was for this reason that people are no longer patronising the central market which houses 1,100 traders.

“We need big changes to the central market otherwise it will look like one block of ice where we sit down there and wait for it to melt. We have to do something because we cannot leave the central market like this—slowly letting it melt and melt,” he said.

Ting said if the council does not do anything to address the matter, the traders would suffer and start blaming it.

“If there are new ideas, I will call for meetings and all councillors will come and listen to the idea by January. By next year we need new changes. Because I can see (if nothing is done) the hawkers will complain to the YBs (people’s representatives) of no business. If there is no business, it is our fault; too much business they won’t say anything. They will find somebody to blame and SMC is the easiest one,” he added. — DayakDaily