Some still choose to stay cautious

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 03 May 2020

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians longing to lepak at their favourite shop, sipping teh tarik, would just have to wait a little longer as some coffee shop owners said they are not reopening yet despite getting clearance to do so under the conditional movement control order (MCO).

“We are happy that we are allowed to open.

“But if, by a stroke of bad luck, one of the customers infects someone else, who will bear the consequences? We can’t afford this, ” said Petaling Jaya Coffee Shop Association president Cheah Poo Kuang yesterday.

“And in case something happens, or if the standard operating procedure (SOP) is not followed properly, we may get fined by the authorities, ” he added.

Cheah said he would not be reopening his restaurant in Sunway Mentari for dine-in but take-away was available.

Similarly, he said he had advised association members to think carefully before reopening their outlets.

“We may consider opening up completely once the MCO has been lifted, ” he added.

Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar managing director Burhan Mohamed said his 12 outlets would remain only for takeaway orders until further notice.

“Safety of the staff and customers come first, ” he said, adding that many of his customers had asked him when they could come to enjoy their teh tarik.

“I told them that they can order their teh tarik and drink it in the car. Once they are done, they can return the glass, ” he joked.

Burhan expressed concerns about opening up outlets for dining in.

“For example, if the SOP is not followed, then we have to pay the fine or close the shops. We want to avoid that, ” he said.

“Secondly, when customers come in, we have to take their details. What if they don’t provide us with the correct information? And if something happens, how do we help authorities track them down?

“We have waited this long; why not just wait a little longer when things are better?”

Burhan said while businesses need customers to survive, it was more pertinent to be responsible.

“We are losing money. Businesses need money to survive but we want to be responsible. The safety of our customers and employees is more important than money, ” he added.

In George Town, Penang Hawker Association chairman Datuk Lam Tong Ying said allowing customers to dine in was not advisable considering the risks of Covid-19 infections.

“Most of our coffee shops are small and cramped, some with up to 10 stalls inside.

“We have to be vigilant in our battle against Covid-19. The small additional profit of having a few more customers dining inside the coffee shop will not be worth the risk.

“It is better that we maintain the practice of allowing only take-away to protect ourselves and the customers, ” he said.

“We have not reached a ‘desperate’ economic situation and business is still manageable, so let’s not risk it, ” he added.

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