By Jailani Hasan
LABUAN, Dec 15 — At least 299 vendors at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC), Pasar Sentral, here, have been left with no choice but to carry out their business at the five-foot way of the building following the extended closure of the wet and dry market beginning today.
The market, located on the ground floor, was ordered to close temporarily until tomorrow, following the emergence of a new cluster of Hujung Pasir, involving vegetable vendors, fishmongers and visitors.
Pasar Sentral UTC Hawkers and Vendors Association deputy chairman, Asmadi Ahmad claimed that the extended closure notice was issued only this morning (10 am), forcing all the vendors on the ground floor to move their goods to the UTC building’s five-foot way.
“These vendors, who are mostly elderly, are already struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis. They resumed their business as early as 5 am today but the extended closure (which they were unaware of earlier) forced them to sell their goods at the five-foot way amid the discomfort and heat.
“The vendors have incurred losses as they are unable to sell the goods they had bought yesterday for today’s business, as we were not informed earlier on the extension of the closure. We should have been notified at least a day before the extension,” he told Bernama.
The UTC building had been temporarily closed for the first time from Nov 4 to 6, then from Dec 10 to 14 but extended until Dec 16.
Asmadi disclosed that of the 299 vendors at the dry and wet market, only 149 vendors and workers have so far undergone the COVID-19 test.
“We cannot continue allowing the vendors to sell goods at the five-foot way as it may pose the risk of COVID-19 infection to others,” he said.
The association chairman Abdul Haadiy Mohamad Nazary said: “It was a shock for us here as the supply of fish and prawns arrived at the market earlier before the notice of extended closure was issued.
“The vendors were not able to prepare for the closure and early morning today, they had to sell the fish and prawns at certain fish stalls in the villages.” – BERNAMA