PETALING JAYA: Malaysians tend to eat late, so the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas) is hoping that restaurants will be allowed to operate longer hours.
“With the latest SOP (standard operating procedure), we will need to close by 8pm – but people usually come out to buy their dinner later than that, ” said its vice-president C. Krishnan.
“Delivery services are likely to stop taking orders around 7.30pm, which will affect our business, ” he said, referring to the latest announcement that restaurants would be allowed to open from 8am to 8pm under new rules to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ruling will be enforced from Tuesday until June 7.
Krishnan advised diners to order their dinner early.
Primas members, he said, would follow the rules strictly and play their part in curbing the spread of the virus.
He also voiced concerns about the safety of the staff in the services sector.
“I hope we could be prioritised for vaccination since we are serving the public as well, ” said Krishnan, adding that many restaurateurs were struggling to stay afloat.
He said many of the members had been making losses in the past 13 to 14 months.
“I hope the government can provide us with some forms of financial aid to help to cover overheads, ” he pleaded.
Educational counsellor Joyce Lim, 24, said she also hoped the government would allow eateries to operate for a longer period.
“Closing at 8pm is a bit too early, perhaps 9pm or 10pm would be good.
“It would be hard for those who are working to get their dinner if the eateries need to close by 8pm, ” she said.
An analyst who only wanted to be known as Priya was of the view that there should have been a full lockdown instead.
“But expediting the vaccination programme seems to be the way out, ” said the 25-year-old.