The Gerbang Malam night market reopened its doors for the patronage of Ipohites who were raring to go on Wednesday (September 15).
This followed a hiatus of nearly four months due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Ipoh Echo’s visit to what would have been a bustling tourist spot in the heart of the city saw an underwhelming presence of visitors, although several stall operators selling a variety of apparel were seen having returned to their usual business affairs under the new normal.
Ahmad Irwan Othman, chairman of the Gerbang Malam Traders’ Welfare Association, said that they had negotiated with Ipoh City Council (MBI) to extend the operation hours of the night market.
“This is in order to let Malaysians know that Gerbang Malam, one of the signature spots in Ipoh, is now reopened under the new normal with full adherence to SOPs.
“We’re aware that public reception is still rather low among members of the public in regards to the reopening, but should operation hours be extended, more stall operators could make a comeback in earning income and gain more traction with the public by knowing that we fully comply with the government’s health and safety guidelines,” he added.
Also present was the Mayor of Ipoh, Dato’ Rumaizi Baharin, who told reporters that MBI is only allowing a rotation of the 120 traders there via even and odd number slots, involving 60 traders each rotation.
“Although the council welcomes visitors to Gerbang Malam, we discourage bringing senior citizens and children along as they’re under high risk of getting infected with the deadly virus.
“Hopefully, Gerbang Malam resuming business affairs aids in spurring the local economy here in Ipoh and lessens traders’ burdens,” he added.
Umi Bidin, who owns a shoe stall there, expressed her gratitude towards the government and MBI for reallowing operations of Gerbang Malam.
“We still need to resume under strict adherence to SOPs as underlined by the authorities, but we see this as an opportunity to regain what we had lost in the duration of the lockdown.
“Thus, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we feel happy and relieved that we can operate once more,” she said.
Rosdahlia Zahirah, an Ipohite who was visiting the market, expressed her joy over the reopening of Gerbang Malam.
“It’s up to us now to put a stop to the pandemic which is transitioning into an endemic in the very near future. With more and more sectors beginning to welcome the general public after such a long time, the least we can do is to be SOP-abiding citizens,” she opined.
Meanwhile, MBI is undertaking works to install roofs and helifans as an upgrade to provide comfort and convenience for both traders and visitors of Gerbang Malam.
“As of the latest development, the roof design is being reviewed and will be finalised by the council in the nearest time frame,” Rumaizi mentioned.
Gerbang Malam now operates from 6pm to 10pm daily.
Address: Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh