GEORGE TOWN – The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) is urging pasar malam organisers to enforce the COVID-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) as a survey in Bayan Baru today has exposed poor compliance which will cause the disease to spread.
“We saw a lot of people (at the Bayan Baru pasar malam) and we hope the Mahsuri Village Community Management Council (MPKK) as organiser will ensure there is physical distancing between the trader and customer.
“We don’t want another lockdown, so this shouldn’t be taken lightly. Peak hour is no excuse for not ensuring physical distancing. The organiser should take control,” mayor, Datuk Yew Tung Seang, told reporters after what he witnessed on Oct 22.
He recommended a rotation system for traders as a solution for overcrowding and admonished those who were not wearing the mask correctly.
He said he understands the challenges being faced by traders and it is for this reason a rental waiver for all 42 pasar malam and pasar pagi on the island will be proposed at the Finance Standing Committee meeting on Nov 18.
“We will discuss it at the meeting. It involves an overall rental value of RM8,320 per month,” he said.
The Bayan Baru pasar malam has 180 traders occupying a 300m stretch of road, and according to Mahsuri MPKK chairman, Syed Baharuddin Syed Hashim, they had planned to allow only two rows of traders instead of the four now after being allowed to reopen when the movement control order (MCO) ended.
“But many of the traders pleaded to be allowed to carry out their business because they haven’t jobs. We did try to extend the pasar malam but were met with opposition from residents,” he said.