E-bazaar delay makes for further bleak Ramadan for traders

HAS the annual turf war for Ramadan bazaar lots in Kuala Lumpur cost traders the opportunity to eke out a living during the Covid-19 crisis?

This is one of the conclusions one can make following the Federal Territories Ministry’s snail’s pace in adopting the e-bazaar concept to ensure traders will still be able to do business this fasting month.

It is understood that while the Federal Government was in the midst of putting together e-Ramadan facilities with the co-operation of e-delivery and e-transport service providers last month, Kuala Lumpur City Hall and the Federal Territories Ministry were not in sync with the plan, insisting on some form of physical bazaar.

This probably explains why there were conflicting statements coming out of Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa in recent weeks.

The former has been rightfully uncompromising saying all physical Ramadan bazaars are banned, while the latter was mulling a new concept of bazaars that inculcated a little bit of the traditional bazaars but with stricter rules on social distancing and hygiene.

And while states such as Selangor and Penang had already started getting prepared for the implementation of e-bazaars, which use a closed kitchen concept, the Federal Territories Ministry was still setting up a task force to study Ramadan bazaar alternatives.

With Ramadan starting in just over a week from now, it would be impossible to register or onboard the 3,000 or so traders on the e-bazaar application, according to a senior official of one of the companies engaged to offer e-bazaar services.

Full Story: thestar.com.my