KUALA LUMPUR – The air is alive with a festive mood as Muslims in the country are seen making last-minute shopping to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri tomorrow, although most of them will have to be content in celebrating the auspicious festivity away from their hometowns.
Bernama checks revealed that shoppers started to throng several morning markets and premises selling Aidilfitri goods as early as 7 am, while diligently adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOP) set to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
At Chow Kit market, here, visitors were seen queueing before being allowed into the premises while being monitored by members of the People’s Volunteer Corp (RELA) and local authority’s enforcement team to ensure compliance with the SOP of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which is in force today.
The same situation was observed at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman here and Section 6 market, Shah Alam, Selangor, both popular destinations for Muslims to shop for Aidilfitri related goods.
A shopper at the Section 6 market, Mohd Muizzuddin Abdullah, 29, said he started to queue at around 7.30 am and it took him more than an hour before he was allowed into the premises to buy condiments for the laksa dish as requested by his wife.
Checks also revealed that popular shopping malls listed in the Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system were still closed.
Some premises limit the number of visitors at any one time in addition to basic SOP such as wearing face masks, queueing and keeping physical distance.
These include the Kuantan central market in Pahang, limiting 170 visitors at a time, the Pekan Kota Sarang Semut morning market, Kedah that only allows 20 people at a time and the Larkin Sentral public market in Johor which limits 200 individuals at a time.
Meanwhile at Melaka market in Bachang, Melaka, in addition to limiting the number of visitors to only 20 people at a time, it also allocated a special aisle for senior citizens who are at risk to be infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Shoppers at Gerai Bawah Tali Api Manjoi, Perak and Taman Tun Sardon public market, Penang were seen following the strict SOP so much so that one of the shoppers, Rohani Rahman, 68, said she felt safe buying essentials at the market for the good compliance of the SOP shown by the people.
The same cannot be said for the Kepala Batas public market in Penang. Shoppers were seen thronging the stalls without any regards for the SOP, causing the presence of the police to check the situation.
In Negeri Sembilan, the ‘mantai’ (meat preparation) tradition continues.
One of the ‘mantai’ beef sellers at Seremban market, Daniel Zulkifli said he managed to sell about one tonne of beef as of 9.30 am today.