MCO 3.0: Association pleads for longer restaurant opening hours, with dine-in capacity of two per table

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A customer packs food to go at Syed Bistro Restaurant in Puchong June 14, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A customer packs food to go at Syed Bistro Restaurant in Puchong June 14, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas) today said that with the restaurant business in dire straits, businesses under its purview need the aid of the government, in every way possible.

In a statement today, Primas president J. Suresh called for the government to allow restaurants to open from 6am to 10pm, and allow dine-in customers with a limit of two people per table.

He said that Primas is also requesting an automatic bank loan moratorium for a minimum of six months, which would not affect credit scores; rental assistance from the government in the form of a grant; and a 25 per cent levy discount on foreign workers work permit,

“If the lockdown continues for a longer period of time, more than 50 per cent of the operators will be closing down their businesses. As a ripple effect, operators and their businesses may lead to bankruptcy,” said Suresh.

He also said that based on a survey conducted with 1,000 restaurant operators, it was revealed that 80 per cent of the restaurants said they would only be able to operate for another two months with their current savings and resources.

He added that only 20 per cent of them had managed to secure financial assistance from SME Corp Malaysia, banks or other financial institutions; while only 25 per cent managed to get rental discounts from their landlords.

Currently, under the third movement control order (MCO 3.0), restaurants are allowed to operate from 8am to 8pm, but are not allowed to have any customers dining in.

While many are trying to survive using delivery applications to get food orders, reports of thousands of businesses permanently shutting down have been ongoing since MCO 1.0 last year.

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