Jumaat, Februari 05, 2010

Penang, the demonstrators have gone for prayers

Thanks, Jonson. Over in Penang, the demonstrators have gone for prayers and they are expected to march later to Komtar to hand in a memorandum complaining against enforcement action against (illegal) Malay small hawkers and food stall operators.

Perkasa leader Ibrahim Ali was spotted arriving and entering the mosque.

A couple of days earlier, the Penang local government released the following statistics: of the unlicensed hawkers the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) had acted on in 2008 and 2009, only 1,600 were Malays compared to 2,809 Chinese and 443 Indians.

Of the illegal structures considered for demolition by the George Town District Office in 2008, only three belonged to Malays, while in 2009 only two were of Malays.

So far this year the authorities have acted on two illegal structures belonging to Malays - a tree house in Tanjung Bungah and an eatery in Gelugor. Both have been offered alternative sites

In 2008 and 2009, some 88 per cent of the state’s contracts though open tender were awarded to Bumiputra companies, while 76 per cent were given to Bumiputras through call for quotations (for smaller projects).

That said, I hope the state government will look into loan schemes and more conducive sites for small food operators, bearing in mind that Penang hawker fare and street food are among the main attractions for visitors to Penang. It would also be timely to provide more assistance and support for small traders given the economic slowdown all around us.


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