PUTRAJAYA, Dec 3 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced new initiatives for hawkers and petty traders involving an allocation of RM48.5 million for micro financing programme and another RM25 million for the implementation of Night Market Transformation.

He said under the micro financing programme, the hawkers and petty traders can apply for Shariah-compliant microcredit financing with a zero per cent profit rate from Bank Rakyat.

The programme offers microcredit financing of between RM10,000 and RM50,000 with a repayment period of up to five years, he said when launching the 2021 Keluarga Malaysia Hawkers and Petty Traders Day and the National Night Market Transformation Programme here.

“No profit rate will be imposed on the applicants, only a management cost of one per cent will be charged on their collection,” he said. 

The prime minister said the loan can be used by the hawkers and petty traders to revive their businesses, such as working capital, purchase of equipment or hardware or payments of salary, rent and utility bills.

“So, I call on the Malaysian Family hawkers and petty traders to take this opportunity to revive and ensure the survival of your respective businesses,” he said.

On the Night Market Transformation Programme under the purview of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Ismail Sabri said the allocation of RM25 million would enable it to be implemented in stages at 50 main night markets nationwide starting next year.

He said the programme would focus on various elements of the new norm with emphasis on safety and health components, such as the appointment of Night Market Marshals to boost public confidence.

The prime minister also expressed hope that the local authorities and the state governments would follow suit and adopt the night market transformation approach. 

The Night Market Transformation Programme is a standardisation of night market operations, involving the use of tents, apron and traders’ hat, besides ensuring compliance with the night market guidelines set by the ministry and the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the National Security Council, which includes self-sanitation to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Night Market Marshals will function as the authority to monitor compliance with the given guidelines and SOP while ensuring smooth operations of the night markets.

At the event, Ismail Sabri also announced an allocation of RM100,000 for the Association of Malay Hawkers and Petty Traders Malaysia. — Bernama