KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — A group of 21 Opposition MPs have urged the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government today to review its standard operating procedures (SOP) and allow food and beverage outlets to remain in business past 8pm.
The MPs said this is particularly important as dining-in remains prohibited under the ongoing movement control order (MCO) with only take-aways permitted, which affects consumers and traders alike.
“The current operating hours for food and beverage outlets is inconvenient for those seeking to purchase meals after work.
“Allowing businesses to operate per their licences will help to recover the economy, generate the income of food deliverers, and encourage the people to stay at home,” they said in a statement.
The MPs also called upon the National Security Council to rectify the SOPs as it has an impact on traders who are dependent on their daily livelihoods.
“We also urge the government to extend the loans moratorium for at least another six more months.
“Compared to the first MCO last year, traders may be even more badly affected this time round as they are forced to postpone their rental payments and workers’ salaries should there be no moratorium,” they said.
The group consists of 21 MPs including Datuk Darell Leiking (Warisan — Penampang) Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Bersatu — Muar) Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman (Warisan — Sepanggar) Hannah Yeoh (DAP — Segambut) Yeo Bee Yin (DAP — Bakri) Baru Bian (PSB — Selangau) R. Sivarasa (PKR — Sungai Buloh) Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (Amanah — Pulai) Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah (Pejuang — Kubang Pasu) Teo Nie Ching (DAP — Kulai) and Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (PKR — Kota Belud)
The other MPs include Datuk Mahfuz Omar (Amanah — Pokok Sena) Khalid Abdul Samad (Amanah — Shah Alam) Maszlee Malik (Independent — Simpang Renggam) Maria Chin (Independent — Petaling Jaya) Wong Shu Qi (DAP — Kluang) Teresa Kok (DAP — Seputeh) Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad (Amanah — Kuala Selangor) Dr Lee Boon Chye (PKR — Gopeng) Kasthuriraani Patto (DAP — Batu Kawan) and Nor Azrina Surip (PKR — Merbok).
On Thursday Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision requiring restaurants and eateries to close by 8pm would remain unchanged under the second phase of the MCO, which began on January 13 and is set to end on January 26.
He added that the government may consider downgrading the MCO to a conditional MCO in the event the number of Covid-19 infections drop, with more leniency for outlets should that happen.