SMC: We’re not to be blamed for hawkers’ stolen goods

Sibu Central Market hawkers are taking a risk by leaving their goods overnight at the market.

SIBU, Aug 3: SMC will soon strictly enforce the rule stating Sibu Central Market hawkers must not keep their goods overnight at their stall after the day’s trading.

The council came to this drastic decision after some traders complained of the theft of their goods due to lack of security at the market.

Recently, between seven to eight baskets of crabs weighing over 50kg had been stolen by someone.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) Market and Petty Traders Committee chairman Councillor Albert Tiang said today that the council was not to be blamed for the recent thefts, as it was already stated in the hawkers’ licence terms that they must not leave their goods overnight there.

Tiang said if they insisted on doing so, then it would be at their own risk.

“We are not trying to shirk away from our responsibility as it is already clearly stated in their licence 20 years ago when the market opened that they must bring home their goods after the day’s trading and not leave them at the market,” he pointed out.

He said traders at the council’s market in Jalan Tiong Hua and Grand Height have been strictly observing the rule by not leaving their goods overnight at their respective stalls.

“We will gradually implement the ruling next month that they will bring their items home. This is also not only to prevent theft but also from rodents from eating perishable goods,” he said.

On claims by the affected traders that the security guards at the central market were not performing their duty, Tiang explained that their duty was only to prevent vandalism of the council’s property at the market.

“The duty of the four to six security guards is never to look after the goods of the traders but (protect) the council’s property from vandalism and also to prevent people from creating disturbance in the market,” he said.

He also noted that it would be almost impossible for the guards to look after every one of the 1,100 stalls at night as the market is too big.

On the theft of the crabs, he said the council had handed over evidence to the police for further action.

“Screen grabs from the CCTV shows a man stealing the items at about 7pm that night. The matter is now with the police for action,” he said. — DayakDaily