`Need for traders, hawkers to be under one roof’
BINTULU: The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) hoped that the state governments of Sarawak and Sabah would help get all hawkers and small traders in their respective states to register with the ministry in order to facilitate a proper delivery system to help them prosper.
Its Deputy Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim said that in Peninsular Malaysia, hawkers and small traders came under the purview of a single authority – Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
“But in Sarawak and Sabah, we have to work harder because we need the cooperation of the local councils, district offices and Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) for instance (to get to the hawkers and small traders),” she told reporters during a working visit to Pasar Utama Bintulu yesterday.
She explained that by registering with the ministry, the hawkers and small traders would be able to enjoy various benefits such as insurance coverage and training programmes.
Rohani added that Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had called on Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang sometime last month to talk about the need for such cooperation.
“The faster we get the information, the faster we can come out with the plans to assist small traders and hawkers.”
On Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M), Rohani said following a meeting with Jabu recently, MDTCC would build at least one KR1M per division for a start.
“For Bintulu, we are still waiting for a consultant to come down and to scout for the best location. It will be at the town centre.
“The KR1M here will be run by a local trader and will be built as soon as possible, pending reports from the consultant.”
On her visit to the market, Rohani said it represented an effort by MDTCC to touch base with the hawkers and small traders.
“Apart from that, we also want to create greater awareness among the traders and consumers on their collective responsibilities.
“For consumers, we want them to be our eyes and ears by giving feedback.”
Rohani also disclosed that MDTCC had received lots of complaints on the calibration issue under the Weights and Measures Act 1972.
She said under the Act, each weighing scales must be calibrated by the Metrology Corporation once a year and properly sealed with expiry date sticker.
Therefore, she advised consumers to alert MDTCC officers should they stumble upon any traders flouting this requirement so that appropriate action could be taken.
Among those accompanying Rohani were MDTCC Bintulu branch chief Mohamad Drahman, Metrology Corporation Malaysia Sdn Bhd Bintulu branch manager Richard Milai and a representative from Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) Ranggau Minggang