KUALA LUMPUR: Muslims around the country on Saturday (April 2) thronged markets, bazaars and shopping centres as they made final preparations to buy essential items in preparation to usher in the holy month of Ramadan beginning on Sunday (April 3).
Traders raked in good sales from weekend shoppers who mostly sought basic necessities.
Shoppers and traders expressed gratitude and regarded the Ramadan month this time as more meaningful seeing that the country was now in the transition to endemic phase which has seen some standard operating procedures (SOP) relaxed.
A Bernama check in Putrajaya saw the people thronging the Precinct 8 Public Market here as early as 8am to buy fresh items such as seafood, chicken, meat and vegetables.
Generally, they complied with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) by scanning their MySejahtera app, wore face masks and used hand sanitiser provided before entering the premise.
There was also a huge crowd at Chow Kit Market here on Saturday and the influx of vehicles to the market caused traffic congestion in Jalan Pahang, Jalan Raja Alang and Jalan Raja Bot before traffic police personnel stepped in to control the situation.
In Selangor, the Pasar Moden Section 6, Shah Alam was a hive of activity with its traders association chairman Ismail Kamarudin saying that some customers came in as early as 4.30am on Saturday.
In Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, the merriment of the ‘mantai’ tradition which had become the tradition of the state for Ramadan and Aidilfitri was evident again this year with the public making long lines to buy beef since early in the morning.
Butcher Mohd Fadhil Asnawi Zaaidin, 30, who had been in the business for four years, said he provided seven cows for ‘mantai’ at the Ampangan Market here this time with his counter open since dawn.
In Melaka, Alor Gajah folks made preparation for Ramadan by buying their daily essentials at reasonable prices at the Malaysian Family Sale Carnival ‘Mantai Ramadan’ at Taman Melaka Perdana here.
Housewife, Nor Azizah Hassan, 54, suggested that the government held the carnival more often specifically during the month of Ramadan to help the people obtain items at a cheaper price.
In Johor, the crowd thronged wet markets, including the popular Larkin Public Market in Johor Bahru, with traders having their hands full since early this morning.
Some even almost ran out of items to sell such as vegetable seller Zalini Yasin, 52, who also hoped such a situation would go on to further boost their business which had been dull for the past two years.
In Penang, dry goods and coconut trader at the Jelutong Public Market, Mohamad Sadik Mydin, 45, said essential items such as onions, potato, spices and coconut milk were very much sought today.
“The public started buying provisions to be kept at home so that they don’t have to go to the market every day because the Covid-19 numbers are still high,” he said, adding that his daily sales went up by 20% in the past two days.
At the Alor Setar Main market in Kedah, the roads were congested with vehicles as early as 9am and the public flocked to buy necessities while traders at the Ramadan Bazaar site at the Darul Aman Stadium grounds here were seen making early preparations as well.
Drinks trader, Muhd Subri Harun, 54, said he took out a bigger capital this year compared to last year because he expects more people at Ramadan bazaars as the country was now in the transition to endemic phase.
In Terengganu, Ramadan bazaar trader Azimah Taib, 48, she was looking forward to a livelier bazaar environment, especially towards the end of the fasting month.
Azimah, who had been selling grilled fish at the Gong Badak Ramadan Bazaar since 2012 said, with the advent of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, those staying outside the state would normally visit the bazaar to obtain Terengganu cuisines including the products she sold.
In Kelantan, besides wet markets, a stall selling beef in Kampung Jambu Merah, Melor, Kota Bharu became the focus of customers.
Butcher Zakaria Awang, 69, said that he slaughtered 10 cows today since 3am to meet the demand of customers.
In Pahang, Nor Hafsah Omar and her husband Muhammad Syafik Ab Rahman had their hands full to keep up with bookings for ‘cincau’ jelly (grass jelly) from customers.
The couple, who had been operating the business for the last three years said 400 packets of cincau jelly and 300 bottles of cincau drinks had been prepared for sale to customers and sale agents in addition to placing them at supermarkets around Kuantan from on Sunday.
At the Sena Main Market, in Kangar, Perlis, meat trader, Abdul Mutalib Ghani, 45, said the number of visitors to the market on Saturday had gone up compared to normal days and the crowd had not stopped coming in since the market was opened.
In Perak, visitors started to buy their basic necessities as early as 7.30am at the main market at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Ipoh on Saturday. – Bernama