Ting Ching Hee – Photo by Peter Boon
SIBU (March 12): Ting Ching Hee, a pork seller here, hopes the state government can provide some form of assistance to those affected by the temporary closure of their stalls for cleaning and sanitisation.
The acting chairman of the Sibu Pork Dealers Association bemoaned they still had bills to foot, including paying their workers’ salaries.
“The temporary closure has a big impact on us pork sellers, as we do not have income during this period. On top of that, we still have operating costs like our workers’ salaries that we need to settle. We also have to dispose of any unused items (from our stalls). Furthermore, we need to engage someone to grind at least one inch off the top of the wooden chopping boards (as requested by the authorities).
“You see, all this costs money. Therefore, we hope the state government can consider to provide some form of assistance to help tide us over through this period,” he told reporters when met during a cleaning and sanitising exercise at the Sibu Central Market today.
Ting also revealed they were uncertain as to when they could resume operations.
“We don’t know (when we can start trading again) because it is up to the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) to decide. On our part, we have to clean and sanitise our stalls as instructed,” he said, adding that even the freezers had to be cleaned.
When asked if he also had to dispose of pork, he simply nodded.
According to Ting, there are 14 pork stalls in the market here.
During the exercise, Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) and DVS Sibu personnel were on-hand to monitor.
A memo from DVS said pork sellers and pork shop owners are to dispose of all contaminated pork products, deep-clean and sanitise related items as well as sanitise the premises during this exercise, which is being held for SMC and Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) pork markets.
Separately in a Facebook post today, SMC chairman Clarence Ting noted that Tiong Hua Road Market’s pork stall sellers were grinding their chopping stump to get rid of any traces of African Swine Fever.
“I am happy to see these traders are cooperating with SMC and DVS directives to make their stalls safe,” he said.
Clarence (second left) visits the SMC abattoir. – Photo via Facebook/Clarence Ting
He also visited the SMC abattoir.
“Went to check the cleaning-up process and currently, they have sprinkled chlorine powder to sanitise the whole abattoir. Tomorrow, the staff will wash the whole abattoir and ask DVSS to inspect,” Clarence said.
Clarence also dropped by the Sungai Merah Market on his way to the abattoir.
“All the butchers in Sungai Merah are eager to open, so they did clean up. The Central Market pork stalls also cleaned up simultaneously this morning. This is round one of the cleaning up and we will wait for DVS to inspect to decide if further cleaning is needed,” he said.