Seems to be true in Malaysia, according to this article from Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency. Money quote: "Hawkers and petty traders are important because their existence keeps the city lively. From early in the morning to late at night, they work hard to make a living. This is their source of income," says Kuala Lumpur Federal Territories Minister Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique. "It is time for us to care about their welfare and future."