The photo taken on May 27, showing the stretch of Jalan Khoo Peng Loong. – Photo by Peter Boon
SIBU (May 28): The idea to relocate the iconic night market from Butterfly Garden to Jalan Khoo Peng Loong augurs well with local folk.
However, they said several issues need to be address if the proposal is greenlit.
File photo of the iconic night market at Butterfly Garden. – Photo by Peter Boon
When contacted for his views, businessman Simon Tiong called the proposed location a ‘beautiful site’ for the night market.
“However, many issues need to be taken into consideration. For example, does the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) want it as part of a tourist attraction; a green environment for food stalls; rubbish management and so on — it is the place where Sibu was built,” he said.
Former Sarawak United National Youth Organisation (Saberkas) Nangka branch secretary Mohd Safree Mohd viewed the relocation as a good effort, given that the council is studying the matter from various angles.
As a frequent visitor to the night market himself, he stressed the importance of the arrangement of trading lots, including the distance between each lot and proximity to the parking area for visitors’ convenience and comfort.
Touching on cleanliness, Mohd Safree figured it would be easier for SMC to clean up after the night market closes for the night.
“Sibu needs to have infrastructure changes such as a night market area for petty hawkers as it is a tourist attraction. The unique thing in Sarawak, and thus Sibu, is that there is a night market that operates every night of the week,” he said.
Meanwhile, local youth activist Abdul Taib Rosli is all for the relocation of the night market, as the present site tends to get crowded due to the increasing number of hawkers.
“If the hawkers are to be relocated to the new area, there are some aspects that need to be emphasised such as the traffic route. This is because we don’t want the traffic situation to become congested and disturb traffic flow.
“I also think if the hawkers are moved to the area, it will be good because the council can reorganise trading zones such as those selling food, drinks and merchandise,” he said.
He reckoned that a reorganised layout for trading could even lead to the an increase in cleanliness and waste management.
Abdul Taib also suggested that SMC could add street lights or decorative lights to liven up the area.
“Right now, Jalan Khoo Peng Loong looks rather gloomy and lonely at night.”
During SMC’s full council meeting last week, it was reported that the council was looking into the proposal to relocate the night market from Butterfly Garden to a new site at Jalan Khoo Peng Loong.
SMC market and petty traders standing committee deputy chairman Councillor Augustine Merikan had said the proposed location was rather quiet, which made the relocation suitable to make the place livelier.
For the record, Jalan Market here was the initial site of the night market, which first opened in 1973, for about 40 years before it was relocated to its current site in 2012.