A trade group coalition, Industries Unite had called out to the government to allow pubs and nightclubs to be allowed operate in states that are under Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
According to Malay Mail, the group had in an open letter to Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob said despite most states had moved into Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), nightclubs and pubs remained on the negative list.
“There is absolutely no information on the route to exit the negative list. We feel that the negative list may have inadvertently not been abolished and it is of utmost urgency to do so.” read the letter.
The group, which is a coalition of 117 trade associations and chambers of commerce, as well as associations from the retail and hospitality sectors, stressed that business should be allowed to resume under strict compliance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“With the opening up of inter-state travel and domestic tourism currently, we envisage the opening up to international tourism soon and the entertainment sector including nightclubs and pubs will be sought after by international tourists as well.”
“If this sector is being allowed to be destroyed and does not rehabilitate sufficiently to operate, our country will lose out one of the perks for international tourists in competition to our neighbouring countries as a travel destination.” they said.
Meanwhile, the group believes that there is at least 150,000 to 250,000 direct and indirect jobs which are at stake if nightclubs and pubs are “totally annihilated”.
They then warned of a “tsunami of unemployment claims” should authorities continue to extend the closure of nightclubs and pubs, and other businesses under this category, with no viable exit roadmap in place.
Since the start of the first movement control order (MCO) last year, most entertainment centres such as karaokes, pubs and nightclubs have been order to remain shut.
However, some of them with restaurant licences have been allowed to reopen, but functioning only as a restaurant.
It was reported that over 1,000 entertainment centres have permanently shut down due to the prolonged closure.
Previously, government officials claimed that entertainment centres are dark and enclosed, which makes it difficult for the authorities to monitor, as well as that the premises are cramped.
However, businesses stressed that they are capable of employing strict SOPs in line with government regulations.
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