The Yogyakarta Special Region Government has explained the reasons behind the relocation of Malioboro street vendors due to occur at the end of January to February, ignoring the wishes of the street vendors who want the relocation to take place after Eid Fitr’.
The Regional Secretary of Yogyakarta Special Region Kadarmanta Baskara Aji explained that the timing of the relocation is to allow tourists to be aware of the new location during the Eid holiday.
“With Eid approaching, the desire for shopping is high, of course, they will look for a place to shop in Malioboro. In fact, people all over Indonesia know that the shopping will be moved to a place not on the road, but at a proper place,” said Aji during an audience with the Special Committee for Malioboro street vendors at the Provincial Regional People’s Representative Assembly on Wednesday 26th January.
Aji continued that his party guarantees that the government will continue to assist the marketing of Malioboro street vendors by installing road signs for tourists who want to shop.
“Later, we will open from Jalan Mataram to enter this location. There are questions from street vendors on why they are placed in the back area. Actually, the back area is accessible for tourists who enter from the west door. Entering from the east door will make them look like they’re from the front. Later the parking will be in the east,” he explained.
His team is also planning to invite street musicians to play at the Malioboro street vendors’ relocation site, with the aim of making this location crowded with visitors.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Yogyakarta Cooperatives and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Service Srie Nurkyatsiwi said the total number of Malioboro street vendors to be relocated is 1,838. A total of 799 street vendors will be relocated to the former Indra Cinema Building and the rest are relocating to the former Tourism Office Building.
The relocation process itself begins on 26th January, starting with Wilujengan (gratitude) and a draw. The street vendors are planned to start moving in early February.
“Last night was the last night of registration, then the draw began until the end of January and the target for completion is mid-February. The sooner the better,” said Nurkyatsiwi.
Previously, this Wilujengan activity was responded to by Malioboro street vendors, namely the chairman of the angkringan (food stalls) Padma Yati Dimanto, who said that he could only surrender if the relocation continued.
Dimanto regretted the government’s haste to relocate Malioboro street vendors as they can still be beautified without having to be moved from the two locations.
“The hope is that these street vendors ask for a minimum delay until Eid is over. We have been in a slump for two years until now, it hasn’t finished yet. So we can get some supplies when relocating later,” Dimanto added.