Groups: Give clearer guidelines on reopening

PETALING JAYA: Businesses want a clear standard operating procedure that allows them to operate, especially sectors that have already received their vaccinations, say key industry players.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said no matter what movement restrictions were in place, businesses – especially, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – should be allowed to operate, but with strict prevention measures.

“We cannot remain under lockdown for a long period of time, and they cannot restrict us any longer under various forms of movement control orders.

“Businesses want the government to reopen the sectors, but with strict adherence to the SOP,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Kang said that those who had already been fully vaccinated should also be allowed to operate as usual.

“If they haven’t received their complete Covid-19 doses, those groups should wait a bit longer,” he added.

Malaysia Retail Association vice-president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin said that the government must have clear protocols for all phases of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

“They must spell out very clearly which businesses are allowed to operate and which are listed in the negative list,” he said.

He urged the government not to be fixated on dividing sectors between essential and non-essential, but instead devise a better framework for them to operate in.

“Some do not understand why the authorities allow stationery shops to open but not a car wash.

“The authorities need to take another look at which businesses are allowed at this point,” he added.

Ameer Ali also said that each sector has already given its SOP proposal to the relevant authorities.

“If they need more, they can always come to us and have a stakeholder meeting directly,” he added.

Malaysian Employers Federation president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman concurred, saying that the government should reveal its full SOP now that the enhanced MCO has been lifted in Selangor and KL.

“So far, there is no clear directive on the matter yet – we have to see what the current situation is.

“They need to clarify and update us so there won’t be any confusion,” he added.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said since the government has lifted the enhanced MCO, it should consider allowing dine-in at restaurants.

“They can restrict it to two people per table and impose any other relevant regulation. This is not about us making money, this is about survival,” he added.

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