By Aida Aziz
IPOH: The Ipoh City Council (MBI) denies the claims made by several vendors at Sultan Abdul Aziz Recreation Park (Padang Polo) that they are biased and discriminatory by only offering specific hawkers slots at the new location.
Ipoh Mayor, Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, stated that they remain committed to placing hawkers in the new location known as Saji Sejahtera@Polo.
However, due to space constraints, MBI is unable to relocate or offer the new location to everyone, including new hawkers.
He added that priority is given to existing hawkers, and MBI has conducted studies and surveys around 3 to 5 years ago.
“Therefore, new vendors have been added to the reserve list.
“MBI still adheres to its previous commitment to relocate unlicensed hawkers to a new location not far from the current one.
“The new location is expected to be fully ready in February 2024, known as ‘Saji Sejahtera @ Polo.’
“If the old hawkers decline or are no longer operating their businesses, hawkers from the reserve list will be offered,” he said in a statement clarifying the matter.
Meanwhile, Rumaizi also dismissed claims that beverage hawkers are not allowed or offered to operate businesses at the new location.
“It is inaccurate to say that at the new location, hawkers selling beverages are not offered.
“From MBI records, hawkers doing business in Padang Polo come from various areas such as Tanjung Rambutan, Meru, Desa Aman, Chemor, Manjoi, and some even come from outside the Majlis area.
“There is no discrimination against vendors from Taman Cempaka or Meru.
“Until now, no hawkers in Padang Polo have been officially offered to move to the new location, as claimed,” he added.
Furthermore, MBI consistently strives to assist small vendors around the city, including in Padang Polo.
However, he mentioned that the increasing number of unlicensed vendors over time certainly complicates efforts to place them in suitable areas.
Recently, the media reported that some hawkers in Padang Polo claimed that the promise to relocate all of them to a new location as previously assured, has only remained a promise.