Press Statement By Irene Chang:
I refer to the recent news on the relocation of Tiong Hua Market to the temporary structures to be constructed at the site opposite Doremart Supermarket at Chew Siik Hiong Road and urge SMC to reconsider if the proposed venue is really suitable.
At the outset, the idea of relocating Tiong Hua market to the site seems ideal given that the nearer vicinity of the wet market to the shops might boost the business of the hawkers.
However, SMC needs to consider that currently there is only one road of entry at that part of the commercial centre and which is located beside Doremart Supermarket. The entry point is usually congested with traffic and Doremart Supermarket shoppers. If the market is moved to the area, it can be expected that the traffic would be heavier and the area would generally be more crowded and congested.
A pertinent consideration which should be made is whether the expected heavier traffic would block the path of the ambulances making their way to Rejang Medical Centre located behind the shops. This morning when I was at the site, I noticed the route of an ambulance coming from Brooke Drive direction to turn at the roundabout into Langsat Lane and into Chew Siik Hiong Road at Doremart Supermarket before turning into Rejang Medical Centre. It is naturally expected that the ambulances would usually turn at the roundabout into Langsat Lane as that is the shorter and faster route for ambulances carrying patients to the medical centre. The alternative route would be for the ambulances to proceed straight down along Dr Wong Soon Kai Road to make a U-turn at the traffic light before Sibu Gateway and before proceeding to the medical centre. Usually there would be a heavy traffic along this latter route, especially during the weekends. Hence, it is expected that the ambulances in times of emergencies would choose to turn into Langsat Lane and into the road of entry at Doremart Supermarket. Now if this road of entry is congested by traffic of those people who need to do their marketing at Tiong Hua Market and at Doremart Supermarket, it is expected that the ambulances carrying patients would be blocked from proceeding smoothly and quickly to the medical centre. This would be putting the patients’ lives at risk.
I therefore urge SMC to reconsider and to plan carefully first and take into account the overall situation if the relocation to the proposed site would cause any serious undesirable consequences in hindering the medical center in carrying out their emergency services. I urge SMC to sort this out with the medical centre concerned and maybe provide an alternative route for the ambulances during emergencies. It would also be good if SMC can get the feedback of the hawkers and the nearby shop owners first before putting their plan into action in order that all contingencies may be taken into consideration with solutions being provided for before full implementation.
And since by this coming 26th September 2021, Tiong Hua Market would have been closed for a year, I urge the authorities to expedite on a well thought out and proper plan for the construction of a better place than the one which the hawkers are currently putting up with. SMC should also inform if the proposed plan would include sufficient space to accommodate the food and beverage hawkers, some of which have been out of work for nearly a year. The affected 34 hawkers have already suffered tremendously caused by both the pandemic and the displacement of their trading venue and SMC should therefore do all they can to resolve their concern.