IPOH, May 4 — Mohamed Zaini Ismail normally sells fried chicken at the Klebang and Lahat night markets.
For the past 10 years, however, he sells ayam percik during Ramadan.
And this year, with the Covid-19 pandemic, he has managed to go ahead with his business thanks to the SMART [email protected] platform by the Perak state government.
It enables hawkers to ply their trade while consumers can buy their favourite food online.
Mohamed Zaini has managed to sell as much as 70 chickens daily.
“I receive orders from as far as Batu Gajah but as we are not allowed to travel more than 10 kilometres, I asked my customers to wait for my delivery person at the border between Ipoh and Batu Gajah,” said the 58-year-old.
Zaini admitted that he was worried about his livelihood following the implementation of the movement control order (MCO).
“There are many mouths that I need to feed.”
Mixed rice seller Amran Kamaruddin, 57, hoped his business would pick up after signing up for SMART [email protected]
Amran, who used to ply his trade at Stadium Perak during previous Ramadan, said his business suffered more than 50 per cent losses following the implementation of MCO.
“The people are wary of coming out to buy food,” said Amran, who now sells his food in front of his house at Kepayang in Fair Park.
Amran added that besides mixed rice, he also sold fried noodles and fried rice via the platform.
Drinks seller Muhammad Alif Rozi said it took him some time to get used to selling online.
“I have no choice but to follow with times as I cannot operate my stall due to MCO,” said the 26-year-old.
Alif said his delivery would start as early as 1pm and last order being 7pm.
Digital Perak Corporation Holdings acting chief executive officer Meor Rezal Fitri Meor Redwan said to date, some 3,000 hawkers in the state had signed up to use the platform.
“This is to help hawkers who are unable to ply their trade due to MCO,” he said.
Meor said under the platform, consumers could book their favourite food from the website and it would be delivered to them.
The hawkers, Meor said, were separated based on the local councils they operated from.
“This is due to delivery can only be carried out within a 10 kilometre radius,” he said, adding that the platform partnered Foodpanda Malaysia Sdn Bhd dan Grab Malaysia to deliver food.
There were also independent delivery persons to deliver the food for hawkers who could not sign up with the two major companies.
Meor also said the website was more popular among hawkers who were based in areas such as Ipoh, Perak Tengah and Kuala Kangsar.
“Since its introduction, we have recorded more than 150,000 visitors,” he added.