SOP for reopening markets to go through NSC this Saturday, says FT minister

A general view of the market along Jalan Raja Bot near Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur April 28, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
A general view of the market along Jalan Raja Bot near Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur April 28, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa will present the standard operating procedures on the reopening of markets nationwide to the National Security Council (NSC) this Saturday.

He said the proposal is for market vendors who have yet to get the government’s permission to reopen business and will include wet markets, open markets as well as weekly markets.

“Based on what I’ve been, told I’ve taken the matter to the ministers’ meeting and we decided to provide an SOP for the NSC to decide on. The SOP is ready and since there is no meeting today and tomorrow, it will be on Saturday.

“This SOP will apply to those who haven’t been able to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic and will include daily markets, wet markets and open markets,” said Annuar during a live telecast on Facebook today.

Annuar said he visited the markets in Jinjang and Kepong and spoke to the Chinese vendors there who have struggled to earn a living since the movement control order (MCO) was called in March.

Under the MCO, many wet markets and all night markets and bazaar Ramadan were forced to close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Annuar said that one of the key areas for reopening markets was cleanliness — vendors must ensure the premises are cleaner than before the MCO.

He said markets in and around Kuala Lumpur were perceived as “filthy”.

But he also said that funding to improve the markets will come from the respective local city councils.

“I’ve instructed the city council to look at 70 areas and if these places have clogged drains, broken roofs and have other needs for maintenance or upgrading, then do the necessary in the next two weeks.

“Right now these places are filthy and we don’t want to project that image on tourists. The city council will station between five to 10 people at these market areas when they reopen to ensure social distancing and order.

“Besides that, we will arrange the stalls in the markets in a new fashion to suit the current times. This will be to ensure proper distancing and no crowding in the markets,” added Annuar.

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