ALOR SETAR: The northern chapter of a hotel association is requesting that hotels in movement control order areas in Kedah be allowed to continue to entertain dine-in for Ramadan buka puasa buffets.
Chairman of the Kedah/Perlis chapter of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Eugene Dass said the breaking of fast (buka puasa) dinner is a form of domestic tourism for hotels and an important revenue stream.
“We’re aware of the re-imposition of MCO in the five districts in Kedah, which incidentally are where the majority of the hotels are located.
“The hotels have stocked up and hired additional staff for Ramadan buka puasa buffets, which is one way for us to recover some of the revenue we have lost during this dreadful pandemic, ” he said in a statement here.
Dass said the association understands the need for the authorities to impose the MCO to safeguard public health in view of rising infections, but it hopes that these hotels could be exempted as they have been severely affected by the pandemic.
He said the affected hotels will extend their fullest cooperation to the authorities by sustaining best practices to prevent and contain the pandemic at their premises.
He added that there are about 17 hotels in Kedah currently offering Ramadan buka puasa dine-ins.
On April 30, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said five districts in Kedah were placed under MCO following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
Kota Star, Kuala Muda, Bandar Baharu, Baling and Kulim were placed under MCO from May 1 to 14.
Dass said the association will seek the help of Kedah tourism committee chairman Mohd Firdaus Ahmad in its appeal to the government to continue allowing Ramadan buka puasa dine-ins.
Mohd Firdaus, when contacted yesterday, said he was aware of the issue and would request that the National Security Council (NSC) consider the matter.
“All matters regarding the MCO, standard operating procedure and any relaxation on it, are under NSC jurisdiction, ” he said.