Hawkers Spill onto Sidewalks, Parking Lots to the Dismay of KL Residents
by: The Beat Asia
March 03, 2023
Empowered by the city’s Free Trade Zone (Wilayah Bebas Berniaga, in Malay) initiative, hawker businesses have been taking spaces reserved for cars and people, such as parking lots, roadsides, and sidewalks, angering residents of Kuala Lumpur.
On March 3, Bernama published the first of a three-part series about the concerns of city dwellers, with this one focusing on the obstruction of street food businesses on thoroughfares that makes life harder for commuters and motorists in Kuala Lumpur. Several of the concerns include the unpleasant smell of used cooking oil thrown in sewer drains and stalls blocking commuter pathways.
Nurul Syahirah Muhammad, a private sector employee, expressed in the report the frustration and possible dangers commuters face in having to go around the stalls as they block designated loading and unloading areas. “Having to walk a distance is such an inconvenience to us, and there is also a risk of being hit by other vehicles, especially motorcycles,” she was quoted as saying.
Another person interviewed by Bernama expressed frustration on the road hawkers’ effect on the perception of Malaysia having a “third-class” mentality.
Jalan Rada Muda Musa and Tunku Abdul Rahman, Desa Pandan, Wangsa Maju, and the area around Brickfields are some of the affected areas.
Dr. S. Gobi Krishna, senior lecturer at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Urban and Regional Planning Department, expressed that government intervention is necessary to make sure that said issues don’t prolong. He also called for clearer procedures and standardised tents so everyone can see hawker stalls with the proper license to operate.
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