Entertainment outlets and musicians sing the blues

Sivakumaran says live entertainment should be allowed at bars, pubs and restaurants.

LIVE entertainment outlet owners want the government to prepare a standard operating procedures (SOP) so that they can reopen.

Persatuan Pengusaha Restoran, Bar dan Hiburan (Rebah) pro-tem committee chairman Datuk Sivakumaran Nair said live bands were not allowed to perform at such outlets.

“The way we see it, there should be no difference between restaurants, bars and live entertainment outlets, ” said Sivakumaran during a press conference organised by the association in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

He noted that while spa and massage centres were allowed to reopen on July 1, nothing was announced for the live entertainment sector.

Sivakumaran pointed out that social distancing would likely be better implemented in bars and pubs.

He said owners were at their wits’ end as they still had to pay their staff and rental.

“The longer outlets are unable to restart their business, the more affected owners, staff and musicians will be. It is a matter of survival, ” he said.

Pertubuhan Ahli-Ahli Seni Malaysia president Ahmad Satiman Ismail said almost all of its 200 members had not been able to earn an income since March 18, when the movement control order (MCO) was implemented.

“Since the MCO, no live performances have been allowed.

“With the recovery MCO, busking is now allowed, even indoors. So we don’t understand why live performers are still unable to go back to work, ” he said.

Food and entertainment outlet operator Roy Selvaraj who is also Rebah pro-tem secretary, said discussion was needed on the reopening process.

“Stage performances should be allowed with limits on the number of patrons according to the size of the venue.

“We will comply with the SOP as long as we are allowed to operate, ” he said.

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