PETALING JAYA: As the new football season begins in major European leagues, mamak restaurants are getting ready to welcome fans to watch games at their joints.
Watching games in big groups was once popular – especially English Premier League (EPL) games – but with the spread of Covid-19, the situation would not be as “loud” or festive as before.
The restaurants, however, were given a slight boost as the government announced recently that they would be allowed to close at 2am.
Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurants Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said that they would show the games until 2am.
“Maybe the local councils can allow us to extend our opening hours on days there are matches that end in the morning. We are not asking for 24 hours, but until the end of the matches.
“This is part of our culture. Even though most people have their own televisions, they would still prefer to go to the mamak stalls to watch the games,” he said.
There are about 10,000 mamak eateries all over the country.
Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar managing director Burhan Mohamed said their branches will show the games, though he says t it would not be as merry as before.
“Previously, 10 people could sit at one table but that is not possible now because of all the SOPs we have to follow. Nowadays there are fewer people.
“The customers are also aware of the restrictions.
“Some people still like to watch their games at the restaurants because it is like a stadium, but it won’t be like before,” he said.
The EPL, which kicked off on Saturday night has a big following among Malaysians who can be very passionate about their teams.