Some glad to reopen, some have to wait it out


PETALING JAYA: There have been mixed reactions from business operators in states under Phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) following the latest list of permitted activities and businesses.

Some are happy they can finally reopen for business while others whined that they have to continue to wait until their state achieves at least 50% vaccination rate among the total adult population.

“It has been almost three months and I can finally reopen my gallery,” said furniture retailer Stephen Wang, whose outlet is in Serdang.

Wang, 46, who has been in the business for about two decades, said he was happy that some of the customers’ orders could be delivered from today onwards.

“Some furniture items have been kept in our store since June. I have called up my staff and informed them to come in and get it delivered to our customers,” he said, adding that all his staffers, who are down from five to three, have already gotten their first jabs.

Sales supervisor Akmal Sahar, 40, said he was glad to have received a call from his manager to resume work at an electrical appliances store in Shah Alam.

“All this while we have been doing our sales online. But when it comes to more expensive electrical appliances such as fridges, televisions and air-conditioning units, customers still prefer to see the product first,” he said.

Yesterday, the government released the latest list of activities and businesses allowed to operate from today in states under Phase 1 of the NRP.

The economic activities allowed in Phase 1 states are subject to at least 50% of their adult population being fully vaccinated.

As of yesterday, the Phase 1 states and territories are Kedah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor and Putrajaya.

The Phase 2 states include Penang, Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Sabah, while the Phase 3 states are Perlis, Sarawak and Labuan.

M. Kumaran, 45, who runs a car wash place in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, was also happy to reopen his business.

“It has been tough having to close for over two months. My workers complained and want to work but there was nothing I could do other than giving them food from time to time.”

Kumaran said things are not the same for his younger brother Kumar who runs a car wash place in Melaka.

“We are both living in Phase 1 states but he still cannot reopen because Melaka’s vaccination rate is still below 50%,” he added.

Hair salon operator Lee Melissa shares the same blues as her shop in Bukit Beruang, Melaka remains close.

“It’s a let-down, especially when my husband and I still have to pay for our premises’ rental monthly,” Lee said, adding that all her staffers are fully vaccinated.

Pharmacist Felicia Lai, 24, who works in Klang, said she is closer to buying her first car as car dealers can open now.

“I will book a test drive on my next day off after a much-needed haircut,” said Lai, who is fully vaccinated.

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