Several business associations want Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to reconsider allowing traders to set up temporary stalls.

Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, in a joint statement with Malaysia Retailers Association, Malaysia Retail Chain Association, SME Association of Malaysia, Batu Road Retailers Association and Building Management Association of Malaysia, urged the government to reconsider the policy.

“Although the intention is noble for a ‘quick-fix’ in addressing the critical unemployment situation and loss of livelihood, any temporary trading site at this juncture is not the right move, ” it said.

The group said temporary traders should not unfairly compete and handicap businesses that are permanently located at licensed premises that have all the safety, health and hygiene infrastructure in place.

They also expressed concern over unlicensed hawkers growing from one stall to become large groups situated at unsuitable locations, which might cause problems in terms of safety, traffic and hygiene.

“Many of them are located right in front of shops, blocking access and that can be detrimental to their business.

“There is reluctance on the part of the local authority to carry out enforcement and eventually these petty trading groups may become permanent and even set up as licensed premises, ” they added.

The group called for the authorities to identify appropriate places to start new temporary petty trading sites or utilise abandoned premises rather than creating new locations.

“These locations should have proper parking and accessibility, without harming the business and threatening the survival of licensed businesses housed in permanent premises, ” said the joint statement.

Meanwhile, nine Kuala Lumpur MPs issued a joint statement asking the Federal Territories Ministry to monitor the issuance of the licences to prevent abuse.

“We welcome the ministry’s business-friendly policies that provide more opportunities for the people in these trying times.

“The pandemic had caused many small and medium enterprises to close down.

“As such, the minister should extend the licence application to other businesses too, ” they said in the statement.