Damansara Utara MP Tony Pua today ensured that the livelihood of five underprivileged vendors will not be affected after being shifted to new lots as the Taman Megah Ria Market observes a “non-competition” policy.
Pua, who visited the market with MBPJ’s councillor Tiew Way Keng today, said the five vendors are selling products which others do not sell.
“For instance an elderly woman (who was asked to shift) is selling eggs. So if anyone wants to buy eggs, they must get it from her no matter where her stall is,” he said.
“It’s not that after the shift a row of vendors will be benefit while the other rows will be discriminated,” he added.
Pua said the main concern is to increase the traffic flow of the market and make space for every vendor.
Tiew, who came under fire for directing the lot swap, stressed that the council has agreed to refurbish the middle row to make it more accessible to the five underprivileged vendors.
“In fact, the middle row is nearer to the washroom and the wheelchair-bound vendors do not need to go so far again,” she said.
The lot swap, according to her, was supported by majority of the vendors and patrons as the middle row which houses both vegetable and fruits stalls have always been congested.
“Some patrons have complained of snatch theft during peak hours,” she said.
However, both Pua and Tiew agreed for a new dialogue to be held next Friday to resolve the matter.
NGO Beautiful Gate Malaysia executive director Sia Siew Chin, who claimed to have helped wheelchair-bound vendor Cha Seak Nee in acquiring the lot, said Cha might have been misled in the matter.
“Actually everybody will be benefit after the lot swap,” she said, adding that Cha had initially agreed to the swap.
On the other hand, MBPJ’s disabled councillor Anthony Thanasayan has lodged a police report against Tiew for abuse of power.
The report was made at SS2 police station at around noon today.