"The market is now in a good and clean condition, but the traders should change their approach while serving buyers. Keep their surroundings clean and not muddy. We hope that the traditional market would be able to compete with malls, retail markets, modern markets, and supermarkets," the president remarked here on Friday.
The president inaugurated the Tengah Market in Pontianak after it was set ablaze in 2015. Also present on the occasion were First Lady Iriana, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito, Chief of Presidential Staff Teten Masduki, and West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis.
"Once again, I urge all traders in this market, if you want to draw more buyers, be friendly and smile as well as keep it clean and secure. No more pickpocketing. Buyers should be served well and made comfortable in our market, so that they know that the traditional market is at par with malls," President Jokowi explained.
However, the head of state admitted that several traditional markets had lousy buildings that were dirty and dark.
"The market is so dark even when buyers visit during the day. That is why buyers prefer to go to modern retailers, supermarkets, modern markets, or malls," he pointed out.
On the occasion, the president engaged in a conversation with a traditional food trader Rizki Putri Utami.
"Frankly, in the past, this market was not this clean, Sir. Now I see a lot of changes. There is a prayer room now and also clean toilets," Utami remarked.
"True, it is clean? I will check it out. This is the responsibility of the traders and the market`s management," Jokowi noted.
Jokowi also inquired about the number of buyers in the market.
"This is important whether the figure has increased or decreased? Do not say that after it was renovated and cleaned up, the buyers felt uncomfortable," the president noted.
"Not bad, Sir. In my opinion, it has increased, Sir," Utami stated.
In addition to the Tengah Market, the president inaugurated five other traditional markets in the region: Jungkat Market and Pangkalan Mas Jungkat Market in Mempawah District that can accommodate 155 traders, a semi-modern market in Singkawang to hold 104 traders, the Kapuas Raya market in Sintang to house 156 traders, and Tebas Market in Sambas to accommodate 194 traders.
Reported by Desca Lidya Natalia
EDITED BY INE/a014