GEORGE TOWN, April 6 — The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) is setting up a digital platform to help local hawkers, traders and markets during the movement control order (MCO) period and after, Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang announced.
He said the city council is looking for a medium to long term solution to help traders remain in business.
“We call on all to get ready for digitalisation that will be happening soon,” he said in a joint press conference with local government exco Jagdeep Singh Deo and Seberang Perai City Council Mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud.
He said the platform will start with hawkers and small traders before it is expanded to Ramadan bazaars and markets.
He said hawkers and small traders have been badly hit by the MCO and the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“The RM500 one-off aid is being disbursed to the hawkers and small traders now. We realise how badly this impacted them, so we will look at digitalisation to help them further,” he said.
Jagdeep said this initiative is still being researched, with the final outcome to be announced soon.
He said the one-off cash payment of RM500 has already been disbursed to 4,083 licensed hawkers on April 3, while the remaining 2,874 will receive the aid on April 15.
He also announced that MCO compliance rate for all businesses on the island is now at 99 per cent, up from 95 per cent.
“A total 36,635 premises were inspected as at April 5 and out of these premises, a total 36,278 complied with the MCO,” he said.
He said most of the wet markets on the island have been working with Village Community Management Council and Rela volunteers to ensure social distancing is adhered to.
In Seberang Perai, Jagdeep said a total 53,103 business premises have been inspected since March 18, with a total 52,577 complying with the MCO.
“MCO compliance rate for all businesses in Seberang Perai is also 99 per cent in which the public is adhering to social distancing and the entrance to markets were controlled,” he said.
He added that MBSP has also closed down 526 premises that failed to comply with social distancing rules.