FESTIVE pomp and splendour is a boon to most business operators who would look forward to making big profits but yet there could be a small minority who might not be lucky enough to reap the benefit of such occasions.
For some shop owners along Jalan Tun Sambanthan, the battle to stay afloat is an annual affair, especially during Deepavali.
The spat between the shop or business owners and Kuala Lumpur City Hall is yet again about temporary stalls occupying the pavement fronting their business premises.
The business operators claim that they stand to lose up to 60 per cent during Deepavali when the shops are pushed into inconspicuousness when temporary licence holders occupy the pedestrian walkway blocking the shop entrance.
To some extent, from my observation the temporary traders mostly sell similar wares as sold in the shops, and perhaps cheaper too.
Obviously with the "legal" temporary licences going for a song and minus the rentals, it would be feasible to offer merchandises at a far more competitive price.
The situation is pretty quirky, as in the earnestness to help small traders, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall might have lose sight of how one man's gain is another man's loss.
It is an annual excursion of sort for me when I walk the entire length of Jalan Tun Sambanthan but when shopping gets into a frenzy, I would avoid driving into Brickfields weeks before Deepavali when the stalls come by.
Walking around safely is indeed a challenge for even the able-bodied and I can only imagine how an arduous task it would be for the visually impaired to get around in Brickfields for a whole month when what they thought was their right of way is hijacked by the temporary traders.
In a spirit of "live and let live", City Hall's decision to move the temporary traders away from the shops is much welcomed.
The argument that the pavement belongs to the government and as such the shop owners have no right to oppose the temporary traders there defies civic consciousness or was I wrong to assume that the pavement was for the public?
And keeping the traders off the road is easier said than done.
Human greed knows no bound and an extra foot on the ground could translate into more profits and so the unscrupulous people who are in for a quick buck is a perennial issue.
The hullabaloo with regard to temporary stalls come festive season is an annual headache and we see the same issues surfacing, each time with a more vociferous voice.
Even when dedicated trading spots are created weeks before Deepavali in Brickfields, the trading in front of the shops never stops, come festive season.
The point I am making is there must not be gains at the expense of others' losses and the safety issues plaguing the visually impaired are almost always overlooked.
Therefore, City Hall's respect for the voice of the masses and treating the issue without political interference is just what we need.