Roadside peddlers on the outbound lane of the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ Complex in Johor Baru. PIC COURTESY OF READER

THEY peddle anything from cold drinks to snacks and cigarettes. Some even take illegal bets. They attract punters by offering higher payouts than those given by legal betting outlets.

But, these peddlers have become a nuisance and the bane of motorcyclists from Singapore.

They congregate in droves at the outbound lane of the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ Complex doing a brisk business.

A frequent traveller, who declined to be named, urged authorities to act before an accident occurred along the stretch.

“There is rubbish strewn along the 500m-long stretch, thrown by the peddlers and their ‘patrons’. I believe these peddlers are under the protection of tontos as they seem to be ‘untouchable’ even though (many people) have lodged complaints against them with the Johor Baru City Council,” he told the New Straits Times.

Jack Lam, 31, a manager who commutes to Singapore daily, said the peddlers were there mainly between 7pm and 11pm.

He said more would “pop up” on weekdays, compared with weekends.

“Other riders buy from them while waiting in the massive traffic jam at the Causeway, because these riders crave for a cold drink and smoke. I have not witnessed any accidents, but there were near misses and these peddlers are blocking the road.”

City council Mount Austin Zone councillor Dr Lim Yak Hong said he had received complaints on the matter, and promised to launch a probe.

“Firstly, we need to determine whether the stretch of road is under the jurisdiction of the (council). This (peddling on the lane) is clearly not in accordance with the by-laws under the Town Council Act. I will go to the site with an enforcement team to check on the complaint. Notice will be served to these peddlers if they are unlicensed.”

He said it was unclear how many peddlers would be doing business at the spot at any one time, but the number ranged from three to 10, depending on the time and day.

88 reads