I received a call at 1 am. At that hour, there is bound to be bad news. This morning, I called back the number and was told that the Bintawa Hawker Food Centre is on fire again-3rd time in two months’ time.
As I had appointments in the morning, I went through my lunch break at a fast speed to find time to see what assistance I could rendered.
When I walked towards the stall, I heard a loud voice shouting to another, “Your daughter is here.” I cant help but smile. The Bintawa folks are a loud and jolly lot. They are not only friendly when you get to know them but they can be very helpful too.
Even the owner of the stall where the fire started tried to be smile. I listened to their problems, the back of the shop was set fire at 12.20 am and luckily, a group of people who knew them alerted them before putting out the fire.
A broken down refrigerator was burned, part of the walls and the canvas that hung from the ceiling. If the fire was not seen or put out on time, I dread to think of the consequences.
I look at the owner’s face. She is worried but she tried not to show it. Despite what has happened, she did not want to accuse anyone without evidences although she believed that someone have purposely done it. 3 times at different shops within two months. The message is all too clear to see, someone wanted to burn the place down.
These are simple folks, trying to earn an honest living. It is not an easy job. And if the place were to be burned, what are they going to do.
The place is under the MBKS. I hope the good Mayor will have a sentry send to the place to ensure that the place will not be burned. There is a police station nearby. The police should patrol the area more often.
I told them the lot (by then, a group has gathered) that I will be writing to the Mayor to see that something is done to ease their worries. And I hope the police would be able to catch the culprits if they patrol the place more often. Security is what these people need. Earning a living for them is already hard enough and to have this threat of the place burned down hovering over their heads is certainly not fair.