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(From second right, front) Tiang, Tiong, Ting (sixth right, front), Nazatusyima (eighth right, front) and other councillors and SMC staff pose with hawkers during the handover of the new barbeque kiosks. ― Borneo Post
(From second right, front) Tiang, Tiong, Ting (sixth right, front), Nazatusyima (eighth right, front) and other councillors and SMC staff pose with hawkers during the handover of the new barbeque kiosks. ― Borneo Post

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SIBU, Sept 3 ― The night market at Butterfly Garden here can pride itself as the first in the state to utilise stalls fitted with high-efficiency particulate air (Hepa) filters to reduce smoke emission from its barbeque stalls.

According to the councillor-in-charge of night market, Raymond Tiong, the installation of the filters is to help reduce smoke emission and improve the town’s cleanliness.

“Sibu Night Market is the first night market in Sarawak to make use of stalls fitted with Hepa filters to reduce smoke emission from the barbecuing.

“As you all know, smoke from the barbecuing affects others in the night market. The primary objective of this new approach is to preserve and conserve the environment,” he told reporters during a symbolic handing over of the new kiosks to nine barbeque stall operators yesterday.

Adding on, Tiong reckoned that other councils in the state may soon follow the move.

Councillor Nazatusyima Bujang, who is in charge of the Bumiputera section of the night market, hoped the kiosks will improve the socio-economy of the hawkers.

“Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) is providing stainless steel kiosks to barbecue stall operators at the night market to make them more presentable and attractive to visitors,” she pointed out.

According to her, the modern kiosks could help entice visitors to the night market and give them greater confidence to frequent the stalls.

“This is one of the initiatives to help hawkers in the night market. We hope that these hawkers will look after the new kiosks and keep them in a secured area behind the Inland Revenue Board office at Jalan Pulau, after use,” she added.

Meanwhile, SMC Public Health, Environment and Municipal Services Standing Committee chairwoman Rhoda Ting said the project was initiated during the term of former council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic had delayed the implementation.

“The main purpose of this project is to reduce or even eliminate smoke emission from barbecuing.

“If you go to the night market, you can see lots of smoke which is actually not good for health and environment. And then, the floor surface is also greasy where SMC has to flush the area every two weeks.

“So we hope with the new kiosks, we can reduce smoke emission and improve the cleanliness of the place,” Ting said.

The funding for the project came from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development.

Among those present were SMC market and petty traders standing committee chairman councillor Albert Tiang; Public Health, Environment and Municipal Services vice-chairperson Councillor Jenny Ting; and councillor in charge of ‘Pasar Basah and Borong Indah’ Jiram Mardan. ― Borneo Post

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