Movement control order vague, complain shop owners

A worker pasting a notice by City Hall to close the food stalls along Jalan Cenderasari in Kuala Lumpur for two weeks.

KUALA LUMPUR: Many business owners find Putrajaya’s movement control order (MCO) announced yesterday to be ambiguous.

They want the government to properly explain the policy so that businesses can plan ahead for the next two weeks until the order is lifted on March 31.

Abdul Malik Abdullah, who owns the D’Tandoor chain of restaurants, said many did not understand the order, adding it was “relatively new in Malaysia”.

“People don’t know if they can do business or not. The explanation given by the government was really short and there was not enough information for us to move forward.

“A lot of employers are confused,” he said at a press conference by a coalition of business owners and entrepreneurs.

Malik is also the joint chairman of the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat — formed last night — for NGOs and entrepreneurs.

He also hoped that the government could meet the business community to iron out the details and listen to their views.

Such details, he added, must then be conveyed to the people, blaming the panic buying witnessed last night on the lack of information to the people.

“We need to work together with the government to cushion the calamity we are facing.”

The MCO, announced last night by Prime MinIster Muhyiddin Yassin, stipulates that all offices and businesses, among others, are to be closed to curtail the spread of Covid-19, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Grocers, public markets and sundry shops will remain open.

Restaurants and eating places are to be closed but food delivery services and take-outs will continue.

Malaysian Retail Chan Association president Garry Chua said many of the association members were left confused.

“They keep asking me (to explain). Even mall owners are unsure if they are supposed to close.

“These things need to be made clarified,” he told FMT.