TRADERS under the "Wilayah Bebas Berniaga” or Free Business Region (FBR) programme need not be vaccinated for Covid-19 in order to be eligible for temporary business licence, says Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
The Federal Territories Minister said this would prevent unfair conditions, as they would be unable to trade until their turn is up for the vaccination.
He said this to a query during a press conference in Putrajaya on Monday (April 5).
The FBR programme is originally scheduled to go on for six months until April 15 and has been extended by another four months.
“Until then, we will continue to provide the facilities and convenience to encourage people to do business, especially during Ramadan.
“Traders will want to capitalise during this period as businesses will boom. As the economy is just recovering, we don’t want to disrupt their business, ” said Annuar.
He said the ministry’s stand remains on putting the people first and maintaining a friendly policy towards temporary traders.
However, he stressed that the leniency shown by authorities did not mean that crucial aspects like hygiene, traffic obstruction, typhoid shots for food handlers will be compromised.
“We will make it easier for temporary traders under the FBR programme by giving them a licence before getting the typhoid shots. They are then given a grace period to get it, ” he said.
He added those who are licensed under the FBR programme must be mentally prepared to accept changes once the programme period is over.
“I want Kuala Lumpur City Hall to make an assessment so that a decision can be made on what comes next after this.
“We know a certain number of businesses will like to remain doing what they are doing now so we must try to take them to the next level.
“By this, we can look for a location to construct proper stalls, for example. This is to enable entrepreneurs to have a better place to do business, ” he said.
There are about 5,000 small traders under the FBR programme.
A total of 4,000 have been licensed and the remaining are backlog cases due to the overwhelming demand.