KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — The Selayang wholesale market, otherwise known as the Kuala Lumpur wholesale market, will be closed from today to prepare for Covid-19 screenings of wholesale market traders and workers.
This is despite the government saying yesterday that the wholesale market will remain open after it announced a lockdown on areas within its vicinity.
“The wholesale market was closed as of yesterday evening to make way for the screening exercise.
“These are the orders that we have received,” said authorities on the ground when met.
When asked when the wholesale market will reopen, the authorities were unable to reveal further details.
“We don’t have information on when the wholesale market can resume business because the screening only began yesterday,” they added.
It was reported yesterday that Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government has decided to impose an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) on the area surrounding the Selayang wholesale market upon the advice of the Health Ministry. The two-week order is in effect until May 3.
Ismail Sabri clarified that only the surrounding residential neighbourhoods are affected, while the market itself will operate as usual during the EMCO period.
Following checks by Malay Mail at a nearby market, several market traders said they had to resort to getting their supplies from Pasar Borong Harian Selayang, since the Selayang wholesale market is closed.
However, upon arriving at Pasar Borong Harian Selayang, they were informed that this market too had been ordered to cease daily operations until further notice.
“I usually get my fresh produce at the Selayang wholesale market, but today, it’s closed so I came here. But now it’s closed too.
“But I’m just going to get what I can from the traders who are clearing out from this market,” said a trader from Pasar Awam Bukit Sentosa who requested not to be named.
Another trader said he was puzzled as to why both the Selayang wholesale market and Pasar Borong Harian Selayang were closed.
“Usually, we go to the Selayang wholesale market, but it’s closed.
“My boss called one of the traders there and they told him that they are not open today,” said a trader who wanted to remain anonymous.
According to Pasar Borong Harian Selayang Malay Traders Association president Shaharudin Dorani, the notice was received yesterday evening, which did not allow enough preparation time to shut the following day’s business operations.
“They informed us quite late yesterday, and because of that, we could not inform everyone in time that they were not allowed to carry on with today’s operations.
“They should have told us earlier. Now many traders are stranded with the goods they brought, many came from outstation,” he said when met at the market.
He added that Pasar Borong Harian Selayang traders are still being screened at the moment. Out of 756 traders, 145 traders have been screened from the meat section, while the remaining sections have yet to complete their screening.
“Prior to this screening being conducted, two positive cases were recorded when some of the traders brought their workers for screening on their own accord.
“After that, they ordered the rest of the traders to undergo screening as well,” he added.
Another traders’ association representative Yap Chin Chon said Pasar Borong Harian Selayang was ordered to shut due to positive cases recorded in the last two weeks.
“We were informed that there were a total of 28 total positive cases from both the Selayang wholesale market and this market.
“We are not sure if the number at this market has increased from two weeks ago, but that’s what they told us,” said Yap when met at Pasar Borong Harian Selayang.
Market traders were seen clearing out Pasar Borong Harian Selayang earlier at 6am when they were informed that the market was to be shut today.
Catfish wholesaler Muhammad Norazlan, or popularly known as Mat Keli, said he was frustrated with this last-minute decision as he was now stuck with customers’ orders for the day.
“They need to stick to what they have decided with market operations.
“Now we’re all confused, and many traders are stuck with their supplies. For me, I have to send this order to Batang Kali, and I don’t even know if I can get past the police roadblocks,” he said when met.
The eight parcels in Kuala Lumpur that will be under the EMCO are as follows: Parcel A (Jalan 6/3A, Pusat Bandar Utara), Parcel B (Jalan 6/3A and 9/3A, Pusat Bandar Utara), Parcel C (Jalan 2/3A, Pusat Bandar Utara), Parcel D (Jalan 2/3A, Pusat Bandar Utara), Parcel E1 (Taman Sri Murni Fasa 2, Jalan 1/2D), Parcel E2 (Taman Sri Murni Fasa 1, Jalan 1/2D), Parcel E3 (Taman Sri Murni Fasa 3, Jalan 1/2B) and Parcel F (Taman Batu View and Taman Batu Hampar).
The government had previously imposed five EMCOs, with the first in Simpang Renggam in Johor, the second in Sungai Lui in Selangor, and the rest in Kuala Lumpur.
Four of the EMCOs were extended to April 28, while the EMCO was lifted for all seven affected villages in Sungai Lui except for a tahfiz school and a house which will be on an extended EMCO until April 28.
The EMCOs, which involve the closure of all entry and exit points to an area, have so far resulted in more Covid-19 cases being detected in the affected locations.