PETALING JAYA: The planned self-service system for mamak restaurants should be extended to other eating outlets, said the Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association.
This ruling should not be enforced just on mamak restaurants because this would be unfair, said association president Syed Jamarulkhan Kadir.
We support the governments move but it needs to apply the ruling to all restaurants and not for just one type of restaurant, he said, commenting on reports that the Home Ministry requires mamak restaurants to run their operations on a self-service system.
Minister Datuk Azmi Khalid had said on Wednesday that all mamak restaurants should be well prepared to carry out the system by Jan 1, 2006. The move, he said, is aimed at reducing their dependence on foreign workers.
Azmi said foreigners would only be allowed to hold positions such as cooks, cleaners and general workers.
Ops Kilat Restoran (Operation Lightning Restaurant), to act against errant restaurant owners, nabbed 75 foreigners in 351 restaurants on Tuesday. Some had manned the cashiers counter while others acted as managers.
It is difficult for mamaks to convert fully to self-service because, for better taste, some mamak food, such as dhosai has to be freshly made, said Syed Jamarulkhan.
Syed Jamarulkhan, who claimed that none of the Indian foreign workers employed by the association members were illegals, also questioned the fairness of implementing the conditions on restaurant workers.
He said most foreign general workers are paid a minimum of RM800 a month an cooks at least RM1,500. Local general workers are paid up to RM1,000 monthly and cooks up to RM1,800.
However, deputy president Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said restaurant operators were having difficulty in hiring locals because many of them were not interested in working in nasi kandar restaurants.
He said the association had appealed to the Government to postpone the self-service system by a year.