GEORGE TOWN: SIX years ago, Mohd Fairus Saad applied to the Penang Island Municipal Council for a permit to operate a food stall.
The council rejected his application and advised him to get a better job since he had a degree from a local university.
However, the 33-year-old was adamant about starting his own food stall and decided to set one up beside his house in Pesiaran Gurney, here.
The enterprising Fairus received a rude shock last Thursday when he found the council’s demolition derby knocking down his stall.
“I was at home resting when suddenly, at about 11am, my neighbour who also has a stall in the area called me. I went outside and found council workers tearing down the zinc roof of my stall,” he said.
Fairus was disheartened by the loss of his main source of livelihood.
“When I applied for a permit, the authorities rejected it, and now they have torn down my stall. I just don’t know what to do after this,” he said.
Another stall owner who suffered a similar fate was Ramlah Ahmad, 75.
While the younger Fairus ran his stall at night, Ramlah operated from 9am to about 10pm daily.
With the help of her son Mohamad Zambri Md Shid, 33, their modest stall has been fairly well patronised for the past 20 years.
“Now it’s all gone. The council said we were operating illegally and had issued a notice for me and Fairus to cease operations,” she said in tears.
“But I had never received any notice to do so.”
Fairus also said he never received any notice to stop his business.
Meanwhile, council public health and licensing alternate chairman Ong Ah Teong said the council had issued notices to the stall owners for setting up their stall on council land without permit.
“The stalls are on council land and we have the right to tear down any illegal stall,” he said.