Vendors protect Jerudong Beach

National 3 minutes, 6 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

JERUDONG beach vendors are united to support the government’s effort to ensure the area be free from unsightly rubbish and even take it upon themselves to clean the beach daily before they open for business.

However, the vendors who set up camps near the beach are not allowed to do business since they do not have legal Miscellaneous License.

Vendors can be fined up to $10,000 under Section 3 and Section 7 (1) of the Miscellaneous License Act in chapter 127.

Around 55 vendors claimed that they have applied for slots in the beach market in the past. Due to limited spaces, they have to set up their own camps on the side road of the parking area of the beach market which denies them a legal license.

To date, there are 120 vendors doing business at the Jerudong Beach market, according to the Brunei-Muara District Office’s recent report during a meeting at the Sengkurong Community Hall.

One of the vendors, Hj Abdullah Hj Bakir, who participated in the cleaning campaign organised by the Brunei-Muara District Office last week, insisted for the government to consider allowing them to sell in the area.

He stressed that since the beach is where they make their livelihood then “ cleaning the beach is our priority”, said the 67-year-old.

Keeping the beach area spick-and-span is not the only effort coming from the vendors to make the beach inviting.

To preserve the beauty of Jerudong beach, Hj Abdullah and other vendors have built a small “garden” behind their camps by the beach and set up pillars made of Kayu Nibong (Oncosperma tigillarium – a species of palm tree).

"We built these pillars because to stop cars, boats and trailers from parking by the beach," he added.

“We even bought beach tables and chairs so the public can relax,” said Hj Abdullah.

In terms of controlling the dumping of garbage, there is a specific waste disposal area set up by the vendors. The piles are to be collected and removed at the end of the day.

Another vendor, Mazin Tinggal, 57, who conducted a survey to find out how many vendors wanted to do business beside the beach, said that majority of the vendors prefer the location because it has so much potentials.

"There were 2,000 tourists whovisited this area last year when I asked one of the tourist agency," he said.

Mazin noted that tourists staying at a nearby hotel visited the beach when they wanted to get seafood.

"We do not mean to go against the law. But where should we go? This is our only source of income," said Mazin.

Another vendor, Rambai Hj Ujan, said that they should be allowed to do business by the Jerudong Beach because the area has attracted a lot of customers as far as from Belait District.

“It is our beach. We want to keep it clean. This business is one way for us to become entrepreneurs,” she said, adding that vendors plan to make the Jerudong Beach a tourist destination in the future.

Kg Jerudong village head Hj Md Rais Hj Ishak agreed that the vendors by the beach at Jerudong are not polluters.

The area by the beach was supposed to be a “temporary” place of business for the vendors while waiting for permanent locations for them, he added.

The government is planning to introduce a “special” location for vendors who live at any villages to do business in an effort to encourage more people to do business. However, he did not disclose the location and when it would be introduced.

“This is part of the government’s initiative to motivate more Bruneians to become entrepreneurs and at the same time, to deter people from violating the law,” said the village head.

The Brunei Times