KUALA TERENGGANU, April 17 — The temporary closure of the Tok Adis Ramadan Bazaar near Kuala Ibai here for failing to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) has forced traders to find an alternative source of income.
A 30-year-old trader, Muhammad Syahmi Badli Ramli, who sells flavoured drinks at the bazaar, said he was shocked by the closure announcement and planned to sell nasi lemak by the roadside at night as an alternative to survive.
“Of course, I am so disappointed because this is my first time doing business at a bazaar and I spent RM3,000 for the preparation. Now, I must quickly find other ways to generate income as the bazaar will be closed for two weeks.
“Furthermore, I also hired five workers to help me at the bazaar during the fasting month. If I don’t do business, they will lose their source of income. I will find a new site and sell nasi lemak,” he told Bernama today.
Muhammad Syahmi also hoped the temporary closure of the Tok Adis Ramadan Bazaar would be a lesson for all including customers, to always abide by the stipulated SOPs to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Over the last three days, I notice that visitors failed to practice physical distancing while queuing to enter the bazaar. Most of the traders have rented two lots to ensure our stalls are spacious enough so that visitors can comply with the regulations,” he added.
Terengganu State Health Department today confirmed that the Tok Adis Ramadan Bazaar has been ordered to close for 14 days until April 30 to enable its operator to take measures to ensure compliance with the SOPs by traders and customers.
Meanwhile, a noodle soup and ‘som tam’ (papaya salad) trader who wished to be known as Faridah said she suffered losses because she had spent RM10,000 to buy cooking supplies and business equipment.
“To get the RM10,000, I had to pawn my jewellery. Usually, it takes 15 business days to break even. But, now it is only four days and the income is less than RM4,000.
“Last year, we were unable to do business due to the Movement Control Order. So, I was hoping to earn more this Ramadan but I have to abide by the new directive (on the closure),” said the 42-year-old woman.
Faridah, who has been doing business at the bazaar for six years, hoped the temporary closure would be shortened so that she and the other 70 traders could resume their business.