ALOR SETAR: Businesses in Kedah are breathing a sigh of relief following the state’s transition to Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall president Datuk Cheng Lai Hock said the move bodes well for the business community as many have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is a relief for everyone in Kedah. The situation here in the past two weeks has seen a downward trend of cases,” he said.
Cheng, however, reminded the public to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedure and take extra precautions to prevent another wave of infections.
Federation of Malay Hawkers and Small Traders Association (Gapema) Kedah chapter president Baharudin Mohamad Ali said they were thankful to the government for allowing more freedom for the people in the state.
“It is a big relief for us. With the easing of more restrictions, it will give entrepreneurs a chance to boost their business, which has been severely impacted for almost two years,” he said.
Baharudin said even with the lifting of restrictions, it would take some time for them to recoup their losses, and added that he hoped the government would extend the loan repayment moratorium so they would be able to cope with rising costs.
Kedah moved to Phase Two of the NRP yesterday, following which there are no more states in the country in Phase One.
Melaka and the Klang Valley, which covers Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor, have moved into Phase Three.
Masrupawan Nuri Alwani Abd Ghani, 32, said she was looking forward to an uptick in her pastry business in Sungai Petani.
“I hope my business can bounce back as my sales team now can cover more places. All my sales agents have been fully vaccinated,” she added.
Eugene Dass, chairman of the Kedah/Perlis Malaysian Association of Hoteliers (MAH), said with Langkawi now in the tourism bubble pilot project and mainland Kedah in Phase Two, it would definitely help the hotel sector in the state.
“A lot of businesses and events can now be held at hotels with strict SOP compliance,” he said.
However, he warned hotels not to let their guard down by allowing unvaccinated guests to participate in any activities or functions at their premises.
There are about 50 hotels in Kedah and Perlis that are members of MAH.