Penang council insists its online platform not affected by Putrajaya’s Ramadan bazaar ban

Penang mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang speaks to reporters after a walkabout at the Rifle Range Market in Air Itam April 14, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang speaks to reporters after a walkabout at the Rifle Range Market in Air Itam April 14, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, April 16 — Putrajaya’s decision to bar all Ramadan bazaars, both physical and virtual, does not affect the Penang Island City Council’s (MBPP) Jom Beli Online (JBO) platform for hawkers and part-time food sellers, Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang asserted today.

He said the MBPP has been firmly against any form of bazaars, farmers market or night markets here since the first day of the movement control order (MCO).

“The JBO platform is different; the Ramadan Bazaar sellers can prepare their food from home and the delivery service will pick up from the address they provide and deliver it directly to customers,” he said when contacted.

He said the hawkers and sellers who signed up for the JBO need not be in central kitchens and could remain at their respective existing stalls while Ramadan sellers could operate from their homes.

MBPP launched the JBO @ MBPP platform last week in collaboration with Penang-based food delivery company, Delivereat.

Earlier today, MBPP councillor Nicholas Theng explained in a press conference that [email protected] was introduced to help as many hawkers and small traders as possible while still complying with the MCO.

Theng said e-hailing giant Grab had met with MBPP to propose an e-Bazaar idea where three central kitchens had to be set up on the island.

“Their proposal was to place 20 sellers in one site which means it can only benefit a total 60 sellers in the island when we have 1,553 Ramadan sellers on the island,” he said.

He said MBPP did not agree with the proposal as it would mean gathering about 100 people at each central kitchen, especially during peak hours, which was against the MCO.

“We had proposed to Grab that they join the JBO platform in terms of allowing hawkers to register to sell online and Grab deliver the food but they were not agreeable to this,” he said.

He said MBPP is open to collaborate with any food delivery service willing to be part of the [email protected] platform by providing the delivery service for hawkers on the island.

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