PETALING JAYA: Several associations representing shopping malls, retailers and other businesses want the Selangor Mentri Besar to adopt targeted lockdowns based on buildings, instead of imposing district or statewide lockdowns.
The associations which made this call were the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO), Malaysia REIT Managers Association (MRMA) and Malaysian Association of Theme Park and Family Attractions (Matfa).
“We would like to reiterate that the enhanced movement control order is an appropriate tool to be imposed on critically infected and specific targeted areas, instead of a blanket lockdown of the entire district and state.
“This sledgehammer approach unnecessarily harms and destroys lives and livelihoods in areas where the incidence of the pandemic is within control,” the associations said in an open letter to Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari on Saturday (July 10).
The groups said data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) have helped to craft precise and targeted responses in Kuala Lumpur, where the lockdown is confined to buildings instead of districts.
“Our call is for Selangor to also adopt this targeted lockdown to minimise and avoid unnecessary and unequivocal damage to the economy.
“This is especially detrimental, as Selangor is the main economic and manufacturing hub of the entire nation,” they said.
The associations said data from the Health Ministry showed that only 0.8% of Covid-19 cases from April 9 to May 28 are attributed to shopping malls.
“This remarkably low incidence rate is due to the stringent adherence of SOPs implemented by the malls and shops.
“As such, there is absolutely no basis for shopping malls and standalone shops to be closed. It is tantamount to punishing those who diligently abide by the SOPs instead of being encouraged and rewarded,” they said.
The associations said they cannot afford to have the businesses in Selangor to be in such jeopardy, as many have gone bust and many more are already now seriously considering giving up.
“We earnestly plead for a fighting chance for us to survive.
“We thus call upon the Mentri Besar to review and abandon the district or statewide lockdowns and adopt targeted lockdowns based on building by building levels, just like in Kuala Lumpur,” they said.