LABUAN (BERNAMA) – At least 299 vendors at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC), Pasar Sentral have been left with no choice but to carry out business on the sidewalk of the building following the extended closure of the wet and dry market which began yesterday.
The market, located on the ground floor, was ordered to close temporarily until today, following the emergence of a new cluster of Hujung Pasir, involving vegetable vendors, fishmongers and visitors.
Pasar Sentral UTC Hawkers and Vendors Association Deputy Chairman Asmadi Ahmad claimed that the extended closure notice was issued yesterday at 10am, forcing vendors on the ground floor to move their goods to the UTC building’s sidewalk.
“The vendors, who are mostly elderly, are already struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis.
“They resumed their business as early as 5am but the extended closure (which they were unaware of earlier) forced them to sell their goods on the sidewalk amid the discomfort and heat.
“The vendors incurred losses as they are unable to sell the goods they bought for today’s business, as we were not informed earlier on the extension of the closure. We should have been notified at least a day before the extension,” he told Bernama.
The UTC building had been temporarily closed for the first time from November 4 to 6, then from December 10 to 14 but extended until today.
Asmadi disclosed that of the 299 vendors at the dry and wet market, only 149 vendors and workers have undergone the COVID-19 test. “We cannot continue allowing the vendors to sell goods on the sidewalk as it may pose the risk of COVID-19 infection.”