By: Zaki Saleh
The proposal to relocate roadside hawkers at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Recreation Park or better known as the Polo Ground, has received a positive reaction from the public who want the issue of congestion there to be addressed.
Although the presence of these hawkers enlivens the environment of the recreation park, it needs to be managed regularly.
This is because, without control, it is feared that over time this location will be filled with more hawkers and the park’s function as a leisure location will turn into a food place.
The situation worsens when these groups of hawkers do business in the parking area instead of a dedicated business lot.
This parking is an offence under Section 50(3) of the Road Transport Act (APJ) 1987 because the parking lot is public property.
No individual can force or prevent another individual from using the parking space.
If convicted, this perpetrator can be fined a maximum of RM2,000 or imprisoned for no more than six months as stipulated in Section 119 (2) APJ 1987.
Through comments from Ipoh residents received by Ipoh Echo, many want the Ipoh City Council (MBI) to be firm on this issue.
Most of them do not deny the presence of hawkers allowing visitors to have fun while buying food.
Private worker, Amalina Abu Bakar said, the congestion that occurred at the Polo Ground was caused by the attitude of a few visitors who stopped their cars in the middle of the road.
These selfish people take the easy way out and are willing to let other drivers wait until they are done buying.
“Many behave in such a way that it causes anger in other visitors.
“There are also hawkers who don’t care and pretend not to be sensitive to the congested streets with long lines of cars,” she said.
Another visitor, Osman Afandi said, the Polo Ground is a leisure area and not a place to sell food as the presence of these hawkers is seen to be increasing.
“The hawkers seem to want to monopolise the roadside area when this is a recreational area.
“When there is congestion we should not agree to things that trouble others,” he said.
The experience of being scolded by individuals believed to be hawkers was experienced by Ahmad Zahari Khalis when he returned to Ipoh on holiday recently.
Ahmad who currently lives in Kajang, said he did not know that he had parked his car in the parking space used by the hawker.
“I was with my family while eating at the Polo Ground and was forced by a man to move my car immediately.
“I thought he was one of the hawkers there before a small truck took the parking space I left.
“While that is a public parking lot and not a night market site or for sales,” he lamented.
Yesterday, the MBI held a briefing session on the relocation of Polo Ground hawkers chaired by the City Secretary, Ahmad Munir Ishak at the MBI Operations Room.
A total of 60 traders around the Polo Grounds will be concentrated in one area that will become one of the food hubs and attractions for outside visitors in the city of Ipoh.
The briefing session was also attended by Canning assemblyman, Jenny Choy and a representative to the Housing and Local Government Committee Chairman, Sandrea Ng.