(Kelantan, Kota Bharu, 19 Apr) Non-Muslim traders in Kelantan confirm that they are affected by the 15-minute prayer break. They are not allowed to operate during prayer break including hawkers who are selling Chinese prayer items.
The uproar over 15-minute prayer break saw state government giving conflicting statements.
Kelantan state exco member Datuk Abdul Fatah Mahmood said that all night traders are required to stop selling for 15 minutes during prayer break, including non-Muslims. On the other hand, Kelantan state exco member Datuk Anuar Tan clarified that non-Muslims are not affected by the policy.
Non-Muslim traders in Kuala Krai night market are affected by the policy. They are banned from trading during the 15 minute prayer break.
Traders cover their goods with canvas
There are about five non-Muslim stalls out of 50 stalls in the Kuala Krai night market on Wednesday. The non-Muslim stalls are selling Chinese prayer items, fruits, Chinese herbs, fresh flowers and dim sum. The traders are both locals and also from other states.
Li Guo Hua, a trader who has been operating for about 20 years, said the regulation started few years ago. All traders including non-Muslims are to stop operating during prayer break.
“Traders normally cover their goods with canvas. If we do not over, enforcement officers from district councils would not allow customers to come to our stalls. Or the customers are allowed to look at the goods without any transaction until prayer break is over. Prayer break is about 10 to 15 minutes.”
Li mainly sells Chinese herbs, dried food and can food.
He said to some extent, business would be affected. Many people are shopping during night hours and they are not allowed to purchase during prayer break.
Du Guo Xin, a trader selling Chinese prayer items has also been selling in Kuala Krai night market for about 10 years. He said all traders are to stop selling during prayer break. He feels that the break to some extent affects business.
District council officers notify by blowing whistles
A Bo, a Thai trader who has been selling for more than 10 years, said like other traders, she would take a short break during prayers.
Local council officers would blow whistles. They would start the first round of whistle about 15 minutes before prayer time, informing traders to get ready for a break. A second round of whistle would be blown 10 minutes before prayers as reminders.
Majority of residents are aware of the regulation. They normally would not come out and shop during prayer break.