Friday, May 16, 2008

Putting an end to hawkers’ woes - The Star

May 16, 2008

PENANG municipal councillors are visiting markets on the island to identify grievances of petty traders and hawkers.

In a initiative organised by the Penang Municipal Council’s public health standing committee, several councillors and the council’s licen-sing and building officials made their first stop at the Bayan Baru market complex yesterday.

Clogged drains, leaking roofs, illegal hawkers and the lack of security were among complaints expressed by hawkers and traders there.

Seeking solution: Sim (right) talking to Bayan Baru market traders.

“The security is horrible. Thieves break in daily to steal everything from bottled drinks to the doors of the metal cabinets,” said V.N. Rajkiran, 39, whose sister operates an apom stall in the market's food court.

A committee spokesman said the officials and councillors would be visiting other market complexes as well as night and morning markets on Penang island over the next few months.

Councillor Thanaletchumi S. Veeriah said there were many long-standing problems and it was time to get to work.

“We need have an in-depth discussion and comprehensive plan before we can embark on any big changes,” she added.

She said short-term problems such as broken hinges on toilet doors, licensing delays and rodent control could be settled first.

“We are eager to let the public see how we can meet their needs,” Thanaletchumi added.

Also visiting the market were Pantai Jerejak assemblyman Sim Tze Tzin, councillors Lim Cheng Hoe, Chua Kheng Ee, Mohd Ismail Ibramsa, Fauziah Mahadi and Tham Weng Fatt and Bayan Baru Market Traders Association chairman Loh Chai Seng.

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