The Selangor state government may consider limiting the operating hours of hypermarkets to only eight hours, in a move to help petty traders in sub-urban areas.
Selangor state executive councillor Datuk Teng Chang Khim said that there were complaints from petty traders in Kuala Selangor that they could not compete with hypermarkets.
Currently, Tesco is the only hypermarket in Kuala Selangor while Giant is due to open in a few months’ time.
“Kuala Selangor is a small town in Selangor, but we can see big companies have started their operations here.
“There is no doubt that the Giant operations will benefit Kuala Selangor citizens and the district itself, but it will also have an impact on the business of petty traders here,” he said.
The Sungai Pinang assemblyman said there is currently no specific law by the state government to safeguard the business of petty traders.
He said among the many ideas raised were the eight-hour limit, which would mean that the hypermarkets in Kuala Selangor may operate between 10am to 6pm only.
“I have raised the matter in the state exco meeting and it is still in discussion.
However, it is just an idea at the moment,” he said.
He added that the Selangor government is also considering many other options.
According to Teng, the proposal is not unusual, as it has been practised in developed countries like Australia.
“They have been protecting the economy of local citizens by limiting the operation hours of hypermarkets, so that petty traders can have (some) breathing space,” he said.
When asked if the proposed idea would keep investors in the state away, Teng said: “We welcome all investors into Selangor but at the same time, we have to take care of our own rakyat.”
Meanwhile, when contacted, Klang and Pantai Merchants Association chairman Tan Chow Cheng said he is not aware of the matter.