JOHOR BAHRU, May 1  — As sad and disappointed as they are at the state government’s decision to close the Ramadan Bazaar @Mart Kempas here, the traders realise they have no choice but to accept it as part of efforts to contain new COVID-19 infections.

A roti john seller, Muhammad Zulhilmi Mahmud, 28, said they received news about the closure yesterday from the organiser, informing them that the site had to be shut down from today (May 1) until a date to be announced later.

“At first, I was sad because the traders here were just starting to get used to doing business again but we cannot be selfish. Despite being dissatisfied, we have to follow orders whether we like it or not.

“After this, we will operate at our own premises,” he said when met by Bernama at the bazaar recently. 

As for Mastura Sonhaji, 18, who sells fried chicken, she plans to find other alternatives to continue operating, be it at the night markets or a nearby Ramadan bazaar. 

“I was shocked when I found out that the bazaar would be closed down because the notice only stated that the bazaar was a high-risk area,” said Mastura, while admitting that the closure affected their income.

Meanwhile, Norliza Omar, 35, hoped the bazaar would not be closed for too long as the traders have to continue to seek income for the Aidilfitri celebrations, which are about two weeks away.

“Traders here may have also bought additional stocks for another two weeks, pity them,” said Norliza who sells multiple dishes at the bazaar.

Prevoiusly, state Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Ayub Jamil was reported to have said that four Ramadan bazaars in the state were ordered to be closed immediately as a precautionary measure after the sites were visited by individuals suspected to be COVID-19 positive.

The closures involved the Jalan Mata Kuching bazaar at Kampung Pasir and Mart Kempas bazaar under the Johor Bahru City Council, the Belatuk bazaar at Taman Scientex under the Pasir Gudang City Council and the Lok Heng bazaar under the Kota Tinggi District Council.


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