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New electrical upgrade, "Kg Air night market to reopen next week: DBKK"
Published on: Friday, May 20, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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City Hall tested the new decorative lights put up around Jalan Kg Air 2 where the night market is held.
City Hall (DBKK) is gearing up to reopen the Kg Air night market next week, almost six months behind the others in Kota Kinabalu.

The night markets in Sinsuran and Segama – as well as the Api-Api Night Food Market on Jalan Gaya – have been operating since October when Covid-restrictions nation-wide began to ease.

A spokeswoman for the agency’s Licencing Department said it held back the return of the Kg Air hawkers to upgrade the electrical system in the area where their stalls were set up.

She explained that such basic infrastructure had previously not been available to them.

The agency’s technicians fashioned a trench for the cables servicing the area for the Kg Air night market.

“Before this, they had to pay some of the proprietors here to ‘tumpang’ (make use of) the direct supply to the shops nearby,” she said.

“It was either that or rent a socket from an individual who ran a mini gen-set so that the hawkers could operate the equipment at their stalls.”

She said concerns about the potential electrocution hazards posed by either method had been raised to City Hall, on and off, over the years.

“In the interest of minimising this risk, we decided to step in and have our technicians install a centralised bank of sockets for the vendors.”

She said it took some time for City Hall to receive the necessary clearance for this facility. 

The relevant body only recently acknowledged that the electrical fixtures were safe for the hawkers to use, according to her.

Aside from the power-points, the spokeswoman said action had also been taken to “uplift the appearance” of Jalan Kg Air 2 where the night market was held.

She said decorative streetlights had been put up in a bid to improve the illumination and beautify the common areas there.

“Now that this work is done, all that remains is for us to finalise the dimensions of the floor-space for each stall and go over the existing list of stall-operators to determine who among them are still active and who are not.

“We hope to get through all this and allow the vendors to resume their business before the Harvest Festival public holidays.”

The spokeswoman was responding to queries from two Kg Air hawkers who wanted to know when they would be allowed to reopen their stalls.

One of the pair wrote to the Mayor about this in March, asking whether she would consider waiving the fee imposed on vendors for the duration of the night market’s closure.

Kg Air hawkers can now make use of a centralised power-points.

She submitted the names of 135 other stall-operators who supported her letter.

City Hall charges hawkers RM60 monthly to occupy a lot at the night market.

The spokeswoman said the agency had enlisted the input of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing about these monies.

“So far, we have not received any instruction from the State Government to stop collecting this fee,” she said.

“The charges which we have collected, to date, may be credited to those who have settled them.

“If we decide to do this, then the amount in their accounts will be brought forward and only deducted once the market reopens.”

MARI wanted to know why Kg Air night market hawkers were being held back while their peers in other parts of the State Capital could proceed with their business.

“Up to now, I have yet to receive an official response from City Hall about this,” she said on May 19.

“My stall in Kg Air is my only source of income and I have found it difficult to support my family over the half -year that the market has been closed.”

CHIN said his late-father had run a clothing stall at the Kg Air night market for decades.

“I took over this business when he decided to stop a few years ago,” he said.

“I have been hounding City Hall over the past few months to find out when I can go back to earning a living.”

At first, he was informed that the market was closed to accommodate the work involving the electrical supply for the stalls.

“When I phoned the Hawker Division last month, I was told that there was still no word from the agency’s top management as to when stall operators would be allowed back.”

He berated City Hall for practising double-standards in the way the night markets around Kota Kinabalu were being run.

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