Hawkers were angry with a contractor who had started earthworks in the midst of the food bazaar.
SENAWANG: A free-for-all almost erupted at the Taman Sri Mawar Ramadan Bazaar today when a group of hawkers charged at contract workers who had dismantled their stalls in order to dig a ditch in which to lay electric cables.
However, Senawang state asssemblyman P Gunasekaran (DAP) arrived at the scene in time to prevent the fisticuffs. He had gone there to see the workers’ supervisor to plead with him to delay the earthworks until after Ramadan.
The problem started yesterday afternoon when the hawkers arrived at the location only to find that some of their stalls had been dismantled and part of a ditch had been dug where some of the stalls once stood.
“At least four of the traders were unable to sell the foods they had prepared,” Gunasekaran said.
“Other traders were affected as well because the dust from the ditch got into the foods they were selling whenever the wind blew.”
He said all of the hawkers had each paid RM97 to the Seremban Municipal Council (SMC) for a licence to operate a Ramadan stall at the location.
One of the hawkers, Roslina Yusof, wept as she told FMT what happened yesterday.
“When I arrived here, I found my tents and tables had been dismantled and put under a tree. I had prepared 200 murtabaks and 200 packets of chicken rice, but was not able to sell anything yesterday. And this is the only source of income for me.”
Another hawker, Mohd Noor Azrul, said he tried to sell from his van, but was not able to make much business. “Customers shied away because of the dust blowing from the earthworks,” he said.
“Why couldn’t the contractor just wait for another three days before commencing the work?”
After an hour-long discussion with Gunasekaran today, the contractor’s representative did agree to stop work until Hari Raya.
Jamaluddin Ahmad, who chairs the Taman Sri Mawar 2 Residents Association, said the contractor did not give any notice to the hawkers before commencing the earthworks yesterday.
“This place was gazetted as a location for the Ramadan Bazaar. Yesterday, a few hours before the Ramadhan hawkers turned up to start their daily business, the workers just came and dug up the earth.”