Malls call for targeted lockdowns in Selangor

PETALING JAYA: Several groups representing shopping malls, retailers and other businesses want the Selangor Mentri Besar to adopt targeted lockdowns based on buildings instead of district or state-wide.

The groups are the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, Malaysia Retailers Association, Malaysia Retail Chain Association, Bumiputra Retailers Organisation, Malaysia REIT Managers Association and the Malaysian Association of Theme Park and Family Attractions.

“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,” they said in an open letter to Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari yesterday.

The groups said that data analytics and artificial intelligence had helped to craft precise and targeted responses in Kuala Lumpur where the EMCO was currently 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 groups said data from the Health Ministry showed that only 0.8% of Covid-19 cases from April 9 to May 28 were attributed to shopping malls.

“This remarkably low incidence rate is due to the stringent adherence of standard operating procedures implemented by the malls and shops.

“As such, there is absolutely no basis for shopping malls and standalone shops to be closed,” they said in the letter.

“It is tantamount to punishing those who diligently abide by the SOP instead of being encouraged and rewarded.”

The groups added that they could not afford to have businesses in Selangor to be in such jeopardy as many had gone bust while many more were already now seriously considering giving up.

“We earnestly plead for a fighting chance to survive.

“We 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 added.

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