Jerudong beach vendors lament over lack of parking

National 3 minutes, 9 seconds


ALMOST all of the 120 vendors at Jerudong Beach market, some of them boat owners and fishermen, have recommended the government to provide parking spaces for their boats and trailers in an effort to ease their fishing business.

The issue of lacking parking spaces for boat owners to park their boats and trailers was raised recently at the Sengkurong Community Hall.

In a previous report, Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer, Mohd Sunadi Hj Buntar was quoted that the District Office has identified some of the owners’ abandoned boats, around the vicinity of the market and the beach.

To date, the owners of 32 boats have been identified, while the owners of 12 boats, 32 trailers as well as 15 boats with trailers attached to them were yet to be identified.

Under section 12 of the Minor Offence Act, a person who abandoned a vehicle without lawful authority can be fined a minimum of $1,000 if found guilty.

Several vendors and fisherman at the Jerudong beach market were interviewed by The Brunei Times yesterday to find out the reasons that they should have proper parking spaces for their boats and trailers.

One of the vendors, Hjh Suboh Tusin, 68, said that she is aware of the Minor Offence Act but chose to park her four fishing boats and trailers at the Jerudong Beach because of the unavailability of parking spaces for boats.

“I have four boats. But I only have one car. It took 20 minutes to travel from my house to here. If I were to tow one boat, it took me half an hour depending on the traffics. Imagine if I were to tow four boats daily,” said the 68-year-old mother of three.

She also added that it was dangerous to tow boats on the road because of the possibility of accidents. Another vendor, Hjh Amnah Hj Abas, 62, said that it was impossible for her to bring her seven boats home every evening. “We need to have proper places to park our boats and trailers because we are bringing in fresh fish daily,” she said. “I live in Sinarubai. My husband and I only have two cars. If we were to tow all of the seven boats, we have to get through six traffic lights,” said Hjh Amnah.

Meanwhile, a full-time fisherman, Hjh Norhani Hj Nudin, 52, said that she knew about the offence of abandoning her fishing boats and trailers. However, she has no other choice because of the limited space in her house.

“I don’t have a big compound area in my house. How can I fit all my five boats inside?” she said.

She added that fishing has been the main source of income for her family. She appealed to the authority to ease their burden by considering a parking space for boats and trailers in the future.

A veteran fisherman, Hj Abd Hamid Hj Tamin, who has been in the business of selling marine life since 1978, said that he raised the issue of lacking boat parks during the meeting at the Sengkurong community hall last week.

The 72-year-old said that he has eight boats. Only three of them are still operating. Each boat required him to hire two workers to catch fishes.

His workers and him have to go to the sea as early as three in the morning and reached land in the afternoon daily.

“I live in Mulaut which is eight kilometers away from here. To tow three boats or eight boats in a day is not easy. I have tried it before. It was tiring. I wish there is a designated areas for us to park our boats and trailers here,” said Hj Abd Hamid.

Over a brief telephone interview, Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer, Mohd Sunadi said that the relevant authority will consider finding ways to solve the problems.

The Brunei Times