Did You Know
Did You Know
PETALING JAYA - The decision not to have Ramadan bazaars, be it physical or virtual, will cost millions in profits for thousands of petty traders.
But instead of whining and complaining, some are taking it in their stride and coming up with alternatives, knowing that the unprecedented move was to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease.
KL Food Truck Entrepreneurs Association president Muhammad Azlan Abas said some 70 of its food trucks made almost RM1mil over a period of 10 days during last Ramadan.
"Last year near Dataran Merdeka, we had 70 food trucks with 40 Ramadan bazaar lots. We took turns to run the lots and churned out nearly RM1 million (S$326,000) in sales."
Azlan, 39, who runs a fruit shake named Nangka On Wheels and Ohana, suggested that the authorities provide a plot of land where they could park their food trucks for this Ramadan and use riders.
"The authoritative decision now is that we must conduct our business from our homes or premises and use delivery riders," he said.
Azlan, who used to rent bazaar plots in the city before getting a food truck, said Ramadan would bring the biggest profits of the year.
"Kuih sellers can easily rake in RM5,000 a day and those who are selling clothes can make a clean profit of RM200,000 a month in areas where there are many shoppers," he said.
Small trader Helmi Sham of Bandar Baru Bangi, who sells chicken rice at Ramadan bazaars, said he could earn RM1,000 daily throughout Ramadan.
A few kuih sellers in Petaling Jaya, who take up Ramadan bazaar plots every year, said they would now use private e-commerce platforms.
Nasi Ayam Lapopey seller Zainal Bojet from Kuching said one had to be positive in conducting business.
"Just because there is no Ramadan bazaar does not mean that we can't sell.
"We can run our business online and use the e-commerce platforms such as Helpy's Bazaar Ramadan Online in small towns to sell our products," said Zainal in a short video message.
Federal Territories Bumiputra Traders and Petty Traders Association of Malaysia president Datuk Seri Rosli Sulaiman said most of their members had accepted the fact that there would be no Ramadan bazaars this year.
"It is something that we have foreseen. Can you imagine the queue because customers have to practise social distancing?
"As much as we want profits during Ramadan, most of our members are of the opinion that it is not worth the risk, even in e-hailing.
"Ideas such as pack and pick, and drive-through are just not feasible in this pandemic situation.
"For example, there is a very high risk of contracting the disease when so many riders gather together," Rosli said, adding that they had informed Kuala Lumpur City Hall to carry forward the amount paid to next year.
Nur Iswandy Yakop, a private e-commerce platform Helpy founder with 10 Bazaar Ramadan online for towns nationwide, said he hoped the authorities would list down the guidelines on the pick-up of food sold from home vendors to customers during Ramadan.