Updated MCO SOP: ‘Pasar malam’ now allowed to operate

© Provided by Malay Mail Visitors throng the Putrajaya night market June 26, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 ― The government now allows night markets (pasar malam) to operate during the movement control order (MCO).

In the updated rules, night markets are allowed to operate between 4pm and 10pm.

Previously, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil urged the government to allow night markets to operate, as night market traders are among those who are struggling the most during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PKR communications director said in a Facebook post that he had received multiple calls from night market traders who shared their discontent on the ruling that farmers’ markets (pasar tani) are allowed to operate, but not night markets.

Fahmi argued that if the reason for the inoperation of night markets is the number of patrons or traders, then the government should reimplement SOPs for night markets which were allowed to open during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) — but with a reduced number of traders and restricted entry for the public.

“Night market operators and traders feel that they are being put aside because ‘farmers’ markets can, roadside vendors can, but night markets cannot’,” Fahmi said.

He added that if the government feels the reopening of night markets will result in many people being out of the house until midnight, then a change in timing could address this concern.

“There are operators who are willing to change the timing to the evening instead of night — for example, from 2pm to 7pm.

“They are willing to change from pasar malam to pasar petang (afternoon market). As long as they have a chance to trade,” Fahmi said.

He then suggested that traders with valid licences be included in the Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 under the Permai Assistance Package (Permai) and ease the renewal process of said licences by doing it automatically, without additional cost.

On January 23, Malay daily Harian Metro reported that night market traders are among the group of business owners who face an increased risk of folding if they are not allowed to operate during MCO 2.0.

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