9 July 2022
By Stephen Ng
If not because of the way how the property owner of a nearby building had chased out these retailers in Sri Damansara, we would not have a brand new wet market.
A trader, who prefers to remain anonymous, said that their state assemblywoman, Elizabeth Wong should not evade the retailers due to the misunderstanding that was caused by certain individuals in the past.
"We are happy with the efforts of the Yang Berhormat to get for us a wet market to carry out our business," she said. "Before this, we were asked to leave the old wet market within just two days.
"Of course, at that time, some people were angry with the state government for not helping to solve the problem, but there is no reason for her to use another route to evade us."
A smile soon appeared on her face when she expressed her gratitude to Wong and her team for their efforts to build a wet market.
Credit to Whom Credit is Due
Credit to whom credit is due. Knowing the anger expressed by the traders towards Wong a few years ago, I have to say that Wong was not at fault, but to evade the people was not the way for her to handle angry voters.
Now that they are no longer squatting in makeshift stalls by the roadside, these traders are happy to welcome back their state assemblywoman.
This is one of the major contributions by Wong since she was elected as state assemblywoman in 2008. There are, of course, other tasks that she was supposed to carry out, one of which involved the title of homes (still 'Hakmilik Sementara' after more than 40 years) in Desa Jaya.
Unlike her senior, Selayang MP YB William Leong, who kept people in Taman Daya updated regarding their individual title, Wong should have more frequent meetings with the people to update them of the progress. No one expects her to solve the problem overnight, but at least, she keeps them updated at all times.
After winding up the developer's company, Leong managed to kill two bird with one stone. He solved an abandoned apartment project in Taman Daya and individual titles were released to the rest of the house owners after 30 years. Nothing was done when Barisan Nasional was in power.
New Market, New Image
Now that Sri Damansara residents have a new wet market, they expect the place to be kept clean at all times. It will hopefully be the place they get their weekly groceries.
This would not only attract housewives but the entire family to the place for breakfast, provided they have good food and the place is kept clean.
I would not bring my children to the wet market in Desa Jaya (poorly managed by Selayang Municipal Council) because it is always wet and dirty. Even if I want to bring them there, they would not even step into the wet market themselves!
But Sri for Damansara wet market, chances are, I will return to the hawker centre with my family to have our meals here, especially when the Malay stall operators are back from their long weekend, after Hari Raya Haji. With the open air ventilation, the place is comfortable even on a hot day.
Speaking to one of the stall operators, who prefers to be known as Rani, I told her it is important that the floors are not wet. If the floor is slippery and wet, old people have the tendency to fall and break their their bones.
Cleaning should not be left to the end of the day, but the traders themselves should have a pail and a mop ready at all times, to ensure that their own area is safe for the old folks.
Hygiene, comfort and fair prices are after all the reasons why young professionals choose to pick their groceries from the supermarkets. This is something for the traders here to learn if they want to attract the younger generation.
It is about time for wet market stall operators to move with the times. For example, with this lady, Rani, I can pre-order my curry powder and just drive through to pick up the items. If she can offer payment using Touch N Go, it would be even more convenient for both parties. All I need to do is to send a message, "Rani, prepare for me the fish curry powder 100 g. Here is the payment via Touch N Go." Her Whatsapp is 016-2542604 (Rani/Rempah). <--click this to send her a Whatsapp message
I am sure the other traders can do the same. Here is where Integrity is very important. One reason why the supermarkets are doing well is because when we buy any item, we know we are not shortchanged. Many of us have weighing balances at home, and the moment we know a trader is cheating on us, that would be the last time we visit the stall.
Award Winning Market
The question now is whether the Petaling Jaya City Council and the management team will turn this place into an award winning wet market.
If there are incentives for the traders to keep their stalls clean, I am sure they will
compete to keep the place clean at all times for the sake of their customers. Even a month's free rental is good enough for most stall operators.
Meanwhile, with so much vegetable wastes generated, I think MBPJ should encourage and teach single mothers to recycle food wastes into organic fertiliser. This could be a good source of income for them.
After buying our ingredients from the wet market, we tried out our Shakshuka: