Oldest Ramadan bazaar in Malaysia beefs up on SOPs, determined to keep the tradition alive

The Kampung Baru Ramadan bazaar is amongst Malaysia's oldest Ramadan bazaars having been around for over 60 years. ― Pictures by Hari Anggara
The Kampung Baru Ramadan bazaar is amongst Malaysia's oldest Ramadan bazaars having been around for over 60 years. ― Pictures by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 ― One of Malaysia’s oldest Ramadan bazaars in Kampung Baru, is beefing up on preventive measures as with operations allowed after a hiatus last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Federal territory Small Malays Businesses and Hawkers Association  (PPPKMWP) secretary Sharin Darus, the Ramadan bazaar located along Jalan Raja Alang, Kampung Baru has been around for over 60 years now.

“This is among the oldest Ramadan bazaars in Malaysia.

“Since the Fifties and Sixties, the Kampung Baru Ramadan bazaar has been well known amongst locals, especially the Malay community, as it is like a tradition where they would come here to buy food and drinks for breaking fast.

“Although back then, some would recognise it as ‘Pasar Lorong Sempit’ due to its narrow alleyways.

“This bazaar has its own traditional values and that is why we need to preserve it,” Sharin told Malay Mail.

The bazaar is well known amongst the locals and Malaysian prominent figures.
The bazaar is well known amongst the locals and Malaysian prominent figures.

Sharin said that the wide range of food offered at the bazaar attract not just the local residents but also some of Malaysia’s prominent figures as well.

“The Sultan of Selangor has visited here before.

“Even some of our former prime ministers have come to the bazaar, such as Datuk Seri Najib Razak and also Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was also an avid visitor to the bazaar.”

Local authorities will monitor the bazaar closely to prevent SOP violations.
Local authorities will monitor the bazaar closely to prevent SOP violations.

Meanwhile, PPKMWP chief Datuk Haji Mohamad Abdullah saidthey are currently beefing up on preventive measures and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) at the bazaar.

“After discussions with the Kampung Baru Development Corporation (PKB), they’ve decided to give us the mandate of handling the Kampung Baru Ramadan bazaar.”

“We want the iconic bazaar to keep going as local sellers are also yearning for it to be continued.

“Strict SOPs will be placed at the bazaar as implemented by the National Security Council,” Abdullah said.

Temperature screenings at the entrance of the bazaar.
Temperature screenings at the entrance of the bazaar.

Due to the strict SOPs, PPKMWP lowered the number of vendors allowed at the bazaar from the usual 200 spots to a mere 140 due to the need to adhere to social distancing measures.

Vendors and operators will also have to submit medical tests such as typhoid injections and swab test results prior to opening shop.

“We as organisers hope that vendors can give us the best cooperation in ensuring a smooth sailing Ramadan bazaar during this pandemic.

“We will do our best in making sure the best preventive measures are taken and we hope and pray that there will be no Ramadan bazaar cluster in the future.

“If all goes well, we can set a benchmark for future Ramadan bazaars to follow,” Abdullah said while urging visitors and vendors to always abide by the SOPs.

Many small local vendors and businesses have been affected over the past year, especially during the month of Ramadan due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, the Kampung Baru Ramadan bazaar will be closely monitored by local authorities  with  mandatory temperature screenings at the entrance and social distancing measures in place amongst visitors and vendors.

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