Sabah business community happy to be allowed to operate

KOTA KINABALU: Businesses were off to a quiet start on the first day of the movement control order, just a day after the streets in the city here were jammed with vehicles as people rushed to complete tasks and tie up loose ends.

Many businesses and offices under essential services were open as usual but the atmosphere was quieter here as well as in main towns in Sabah as the two-week MCO began yesterday.

For many business owners, the current MCO requirements are not much different from the standard operating procedure under the conditional MCO that was already in place since October last year.

Among them is the “working from home and only 30% of administrative staff at the office” rule, which continues to be adopted.

“We are really thankful that this MCO (unlike the one in March last year) allows us to do business as usual, ” said Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Datuk Michael Liu.

“As long as businesses are legal entities, they can operate, ” Liu said, adding that they just need to observe the SOP to function normally.

“This is important for us, ” he said, adding that they should be able to cope with the current MCO.

For coffeeshop owner Darrel Chin, the reverting to “no dine-in” is not a problem as they have become used to it already.

“This is the third time for us. The first was during the first MCO in March and then conditional MCO in October. Business still goes on, ” he said.

With the current MCO, most activities are allowed under professional services provided by engineers, lawyers, architects, accountants, financial consultants, estimators, surveyors, pharmacists, counsellors, geologists, dieticians and dentists.

Also allowed are services of veterinarians, medical doctors, specialists and others registered with their respective professional bodies.

However, tourism activities are not allowed while hotels can only take in guests and allow room service while facilities such as restaurant, gym and swimming pool should remain closed.

Meanwhile, Sabah police have set up 50 roadblocks at strategic locations, including at inter-district entry and exit routes, to enforce the MCO.

State Internal Security and Public Order chief Asst Comm Khalid Saion said some 4,000 personnel from the police, Armed Forces, Rela and Civil Defence Force would be on duty at the 24-hour roadblocks.

“There are also 250 monitoring teams to ensure the public comply with the prescribed SOP, and to conduct spot checks at selected locations, ” he said, adding that those crossing districts would need a letter from their employer or permission from the police.

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Sabah , movement control order , MCO , covid-19


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