Rantau Panjang's duty-free traders mull going online due to floods
RANTAU PANJANG: More than 70 traders operating at the popular duty-free zone here fear that another round of floods may permanently cripple their business.
After being forced to suspend trading when floods struck in November and December, the traders are now mulling going online instead to sell their wares.
Trader Khairul Abdullah, who has been selling snack food with his sister over the last three years, said the floods have already forced them to shut down twice since November.
"Like other traders here, we don't blame anyone. We accept the annual floods as fate.
"But many of us suffer huge losses when we have to close for almost two weeks in November and December.
"We're now thinking of alternative methods to solve our problem." said the 23-year-old.
Khairul and his sister, who are from Kampung Rantau Panjang Lama, are now thinking of going online. But they have yet to decide on what to sell.
Should they decide to take their business online, they would be following the footsteps of fellow trader Hanif Arif, 31, who has already done so.
Hanif, who sells kitchen appliances, said he, like many other traders here, had to make the shift as they could no longer sustain the losses which come with each monsoon season.
"Although the floods strike only at the end of the year, it's enough to make us think that it's time for a change in 2021.
"We have to move forward so that we won't be limited to just selling our wares here.
"And if another round of floods come, we won't be as badly affected in terms of finances as we'd have a backup income," he said.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has already issued an orange-level warning of heavy rain for several areas in Pahang and Johor, until tomorrow.
In a statement today, its director-general Jailan Simon said a yellow-level weather alert was also issued for several other districts in the two states, as well as in Kelantan and Terengganu for the same period.
He said that the orange-level weather warning involves Kuantan, Pekan and Rompin districts in Pahang; and Segamat and Mersing in Johor; while the yellow-level warning covers the Lipis, Jerantut, Temerloh, Maran and Bera districts in Pahang; and the whole of Kelantan and Terengganu.
During this period, strong winds can occur in coastal areas in the east coast states of the Peninsula.
Jailan said strong northeast winds of more than 60 kph, with waves of up to 4.5 metres, are expected to occur in the waters of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Sarawak, the Federal Territory of Labuan, and Sabah during the period.
The phenomenon, he said, could pose a risk of overflow of seawater on the coast and at estuaries in these areas. - NST