YOURSAY | Unrestricted hawker policy - short-term gains, long-term pains


Modified 21 Nov 2020, 11:20 pm

YOURSAY | ‘As if Covid is not enough, they want to trigger a leptospirosis or bubonic plague.’

Zuraida ticks off Kok for 'insulting' small traders

Kok: Zuraida unfit as minister for allowing chaos with KL 'free trade' policy

Brahminy Kite: Kuala Lumpur is already so dirty, and now these people want to make it worse by encouraging unsightly and unhygienic roadside food stalls.

Wouldn’t this encourage the breeding of rats that feed on remnant food? As if the Covid-19 pandemic is not enough, some politicians want to trigger a leptospirosis or bubonic plague.

If they want to sincerely help petty traders, do set up proper buildings with sanitary amenities, and train the hawkers in basic food technology.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, if you want to sincerely help the Malays, I suggest you invest in educating them so that they can manage their food business better.

And be sincere in helping them by having proper buildings and facilities which can be effectively sanitised for them to do business. Haven’t you learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic about the importance of hygiene?

Anonymous_15897060865429524: What are the "reasonable conditions"? Will they have access to clean water?

Will they be subject to hygiene standards and periodic food safety checks? Is there manpower to do that? Or will this cause the spread of food poisoning and other illnesses due to poor hygiene?

What about food waste disposal? How do we avoid clogged drains and garbage everywhere? Will this cause the spread of more diseases borne by rodents and other vectors?

How to avoid traffic congestion? Noise pollution? How do you remove these stalls when the time comes? Do you think they will close shop just like that?

Clearly, no thought has been given to this.

Jetson: As for the six months of allowing the people to set up a hawker stall in places which will be approved by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the plan needs to be thoroughly evaluated.

There are many occasions where we can see that we have a headless administration in charge. Looking at the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the way they were introduced shows very clearly the haphazard coordination between different government agencies.

There are issues of cleanliness and the removal of the hawkers after six months. Also, Zuraida, do you have a crystal ball that shows you the Covid pandemic could be over in six months?

Has the whole episode been thought through thoroughly and just not implemented on ideas plucked from thin air?

Yes, people need to have an income to get them through this tough time. Are there other better solutions to solve this problem? Is it possible for those who want to set up hawker stalls to get better locations which can be converted into permanent lots?

YellowMarlin8834: DBKL, this move, if not careful, will create more problems, such as hygiene, rat infestations, over-crowding and traffic congestion.

Zuraida, don't try to stir up racial sentiments. If your backdoor 113 MPs are truly concerned about the rakyat, why don't you agree to a pay cut for your more than 70 cabinet members?

Instead, the finance minister suggests the withdrawal of savings from EPF Account 1. This is, indeed, "kita jaga kita sendiri" (we take care of ourselves).

BlueLynx0975: As a former Shah Alam councillor, I certainly do not agree with this policy of free trade for all traders in our city as it will cause traffic congestion and cleanliness problems.

Some traders will even occupy proper parking lots for their business, and once their businesses are flourishing, it will not be easy to evict them.

Sinan Belawan: Challenging times require challenging solutions. The livelihood of small traders matters. This is only a temporary solution to enable small traders to put food on the table for their families.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh are more concerned about traffic than children who may go hungry to bed if small traders are denied space to trade. I am disappointed with the two DAP representatives who lack compassion.

PW Cheng: By doing this, they want to create an impression that they are caring, but they fail to understand the implications. This measure will be short-term gain but long-term pain as after six months, it will not be so easy to remove the hawkers.

The government also fails to understand that this measure is contributing to unfair competition for legitimate business people who are paying rent and all types of licence fees.

These business owners are also in a dire situation and need help. And you are only putting more pressure on them to close shop.

It looks like the government is helping illegal traders at the expense of legitimate businesses. Even worse, is that they don’t seem to understand that such actions are damaging to the rule of law and encourage illegal activities which will translate to problems that are difficult to solve later.

Good examples are issues of undocumented migrants, illegal maids, illegal gambling, illegal hawkers, illegal parking and a host of other illegal activities which you seldom or never find in a well-managed country.

I have not seen the same in Singapore, London, San Francisco, Paris or in any developed countries. For us and with all these unintelligent and poor planning, how are we going to be a developed country?

Enlightened Globalist: We are definitely going backwards as far as food safety is concerned. Next, these roadside stalls will be selling seafood, meat and who knows what. Don't be surprised if there is an uptick of food poisoning and even typhoid fever.

Food courts were initially set up to ensure that roadside hawkers were relocated to a central place. Hawkers could operate under hygienic conditions with clean water and proper waste disposal. Gradually, the streets were cleaned off roadside hawkers.

In the past, roadside hawkers were often unhygienic attracting rats, and also a hazard to traffic. For quick political expediency, the government is agreeing to this without considering the long-term consequences. Quick fixes seem to be our new motto.

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