Syazwani Hj Rosli
The Bandarku Ceria (BKC) programme was up and running again yesterday, after being temporarily suspended throughout the holy month of Ramadhan.
Vendors were seen pitching up their tents as early as 5am, while runners, cyclists, skateboarders and walkers who strictly followed social distancing took to the empty roads around the capital.
Last Saturday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) announced the re-opening of the BKC programme, but emphasised that only vendors and individual leisure activities would be allowed at present.
Members of the public were also reminded to adhere to the Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines such as observing social distancing and personal hygiene, and avoiding mass gatherings.
Vendor Hajah Masni binti Siawang, who sells barbecued food, said, “My business was put on hold during the temporary closure of the BKC programme. It felt strange at first, because my family and I were used to making preparations for Sundays.
“It was hard for us. We knew we had to find alternative sources of revenue to survive.”
Hajah Masni then came up with the idea of selling pre-Hari Raya snacks such as spring rolls and biscuits to earn some income to support her family. “We were operating on a very thin margin, but Alhamdulillah, we managed. The announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs felt like a load lifted off my shoulders,” she said.
“The BKC committee and staff from the Municipal Department also informed the vendors to keep the tents widely-spaced apart, and to observe social restrictions. We are grateful for their advice in ensuring the safety of the public. Insya Allah, we will do our best to cooperate.”
Ida Nazurah binti Haji Ahmad, who came with her family to enjoy the sights and sounds in the open air, told the Bulletin, “We were excited when the announcement was made last Saturday. My children got up early, because they couldn’t wait to get here. They were already cooped up at home, even before the temporary closure of the BKC, especially as Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar had been advising people to stay home in the previous months.”
“It might take time for everyone to adapt to the ‘new normal’, but I still look forward to seeing more people coming out for recreational activities on Sunday, while adhering to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines,” she added.