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GOOD NEWS : They need to pay only RM50 for five years starting June 1
KUALA LUMPUR: Petty traders and hawkers who are registering their businesses for the first time or making their yearly renewals will pay only RM50 for five years starting June 1.
Previously, sole proprietors had to pay RM150 and joint proprietors RM300. In addition, the compound for late renewals will be reduced by half.
These “goodies” were announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on behalf of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and the Companies Commission Malaysia last night at the 1Malaysia Gathering
of Petty Traders and Hawkers, which drew more than 15,000 people from all over the country.
Najib, in his speech, also said the ministry wanted to update its registry to provide a cluster insurance scheme for traders. He said the details of the scheme would be revealed soon.
“Small-time traders don’t have social security benefits so they have to carry the burden of footing the bill for medical treatments. For those with irregular incomes, the government must consider their health in good and bad times,” said Najib to rising cheers from the crowd.
He said many traders have grouses about registering their small businesses, and explained registration was a necessary process to ensure the government was able to channel aid to the intended targets.
“Where there is room for improvement, the government is continuously working towards reducing the burden of traders.”
Najib said the government had done much for the welfare of traders.
“On financial aid, bodies like Bank Rakyat, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Agro Bank and the SME Bank offer micro credit facilities to all traders. We also have bodies like Tekun which have been giving loans from as low as RM500 since it was set up 10 years ago," he said, adding it has provided loans amounting to more than RM2 billion to more than 200,000 borrowers.
There is also Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, which offers loans for female traders which has seen a 9.5 per cent loan recovery rate.
He said these initiatives mirrored the government's intention of supporting traders, whose numbers exceed one million, so they could expand their businesses gradually.
He cited examples of successful businessmen who started from humble roots including Datuk Yusuf Taiyoob, whom Najib dubbed Malaysia's Kurma King.
Earlier in his speech, Najib praised the gathering for showing a peaceful picture that was in stark contrast to the Bersih 3.0 demonstration.
"What is the use of street demonstrations, if they are only for making statements? The statement made by traders tonight is quite great."
He said the gathering was proof of the strength in the number of traders gathered and that although they could've taken to the streets, they chose to obey the laws.
He said peaceful gatherings were possible and as a group that played an important role in contributing towards the country's economy, they have a right to "decide the country's future and direction when the time comes".
Najib also said traders wouldn't have suffered millions of ringgit in losses if organisers of Bersih 3.0 had heeded his advice and held their rally in either Stadium Merdeka or Stadium Bukit Jalil.
He added last night's gathering was not to show that traders were behind the government but it was the government's responsibility to ensure traders' welfare.
After the event, Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who were dressed in blue and red T-shirts and donning white caps bearing the 1Malaysia logo, tried their hand at making teh tarik and roti canai at the booths set up at Dataran Merdeka.
Present were Domestic Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Federal Territories, Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and Coalition of Malay Petty Traders and Hawkers Associations Malaysia president Datuk Ramli Norani.