KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 21 Opposition lawmakers have asked the Government to review its standard operating procedures (SOPs) to allow eateries to operate within normal hours as stated in their business licences during the current movement control order.
The 21 Pakatan Harapan, Warisan, Pejuang and Independent MPs said, in a joint statement Monday (Jan 18), that the operating hours should not be limited to 8pm, considering that dining-in was already prohibited and the sale of food was restricted to takeaways, drive-thru, or home delivery.
"The current operating hours for food and beverage outlets make it difficult for those who need to buy food after working hours.
"Allowing traders to operate according to their business licence will help revive their economy, generate income for food delivery riders, and encourage people to stay home as they can place orders from home without being limited to 8pm," the 21 said.
The group urged the National Security Council (NSC) to immediately improve this SOP as it affected traders who can only depend on their daily wages for a living.
"In addition, we also urge the government to extend the moratorium for at least another six months.
"Compared to first phase of the MCO, traders may be even more badly affected now as they are forced to bear the payment of rent and workers’ salaries without a moratorium like before," said the group.
The 21 include Penampang MP Datuk Darell Leiking, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Sepanggar MP Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin, Sungai Buloh MP R. Sivarasa and Pulai MP Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub.
In announcing the MCO that began on Jan 13, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that sundry shops, convenience stores and eateries in movement control order (MCO) areas will be allowed to operate from 6am to 8pm.
Eateries include restaurants, food courts, kiosks and hawkers, and such services are only limited to takeaways and deliveries.