Govt urged to allow wet markets to open at 6am

The change in market operation hours during the MCO would affect traders and buyers


THE government is urged to allow wet markets to start operations at 6am for the people’s convenience.

Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said the change in market operation hours during the Movement Control Order (MCO) would affect traders and buyers, and hence called on the National Security Council (MKN) to review it.

“I strongly urge MKN to reconsider the wet market operation hours and allow them to start at 6am along with every other business.

“Clearly this man does not do the marketing in his household. If he did, he would know that most people, especially working people, go to the market as early as 5am to complete their purchase, head home and then get ready for work or school (which starts this week),” Rajiv said in a statement yesterday.

He said it has almost been a year into the various forms of MCO but the government is still going around in circles in developing comprehensive and reasonable standard operating procedures.

Last week, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said wet markets and pasar tani (farmers’ markets) can operate from 7am to 2pm.

Pet stores and veterinary clinics are allowed to open from 6am to 8pm, among a list of rules during the MCO 2.0.

“It is utterly ridiculous that every other business including laundry services and pet stores are allowed to start at 6am but not an essential service such as the wet market and farmer’s market,” Rajiv said.

He said many market traders and residents in his constituency have voiced their dissatisfaction with the ruling, adding that the one-hour change of time can significantly impact their income and people’s convenience.

Among other directives, Ismail Sabri said the supply and sale of food activities are allowed through take-away, drive-through or delivery from 6am to 8pm.

Hospitals, clinics and medical laboratories can operate on a 24-hour basis or per their operating licence.

Meanwhile, pharmacies and convenience stores can also operate from 6am to 8pm.

The minister also said petrol stations can operate from 6am to 10pm, while stations located along highways will be allowed to operate 24 hours a day.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced that Penang, Selangor, the Federal Territories, Melaka, Johor and Sabah will undergo the MCO from Jan 13-26.

The government has banned interstate travel nationwide. In areas where MCO is enforced, inter-district movement will also not be allowed.

Muhyiddin also said five economic sectors — manufacturing, services, trade, plantation and construction will remain operational.

For other sectors or services that are not listed as essentials, he said a work-from-home order is enforced.

He said supermarkets, healthcare services including clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and banks are allowed to operate in the MCO areas with high alert.

Read our earlier report

Stricter measures for MCO 2.0