Crowds form at popular markets in lead up to Hari Raya
Some tried to avoid queueing at Geylang Serai, only to find long lines at Tekka
Crowds formed at popular markets over the weekend as many flocked there in preparation for Hari Raya Aidilfitri next weekend.
Some who wanted to avoid the long queues at the popular Geylang Serai market went to Tekka wet market in Little India, resulting in long lines of people waiting to enter the equally popular market, Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported.
Housewife Razimah Abdul Razak, who lives in Woodlands, told Lianhe Wanbao: "I heard on the radio in the morning that there were long queues at Geylang Serai market with waiting times of up to an hour, so I decided to shop at Tekka market instead, but I didn't expect there would be queues there too."
Those who are celebrating the end of the fasting month next Sunday would have to do so under the circuit breaker, which means that the gatherings and the usual visiting of relatives and friends during the festival will not be allowed.
Despite this, people are eagerly preparing to celebrate with family members living in the same household, or in hopes that they can gather again when restrictions are eased.
Madam Anne Noraini Wan Josoh, 54, who runs a food business from home, said crowds had started forming at Geylang Serai market as early as last week.
Madam Noraini, who went to the market three times last week, said that when she left the market around 8am on Saturday, the queue extended all the way to Millage, a condominium nearby, and the waiting time was more than 30 minutes.
"It's really the queuing to enter that (is difficult) because of all the temperature checks and checking of the ICs," she said, adding that the crowding inside the market itself is not as bad due to crowd control.
Geylang Serai market is one of the four popular wet markets with restricted entry based on the last digit of shoppers' NRIC numbers in a bid to control crowds there.
Mr Muhammad Noor Kadir Ali, who runs a stall selling chicken at Tekka market, said some shoppers told him they were visiting the market more often to avoid the entry restrictions at Geylang Serai market.
But large crowds may not necessarily translate to better sales, he said.
"I'm just worried because with the circuit breaker, those celebrating cannot go out and they buy less because there won't be much celebration."