Monday, September 26, 2022
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Nightclubs and pubs are still in cold storage despite most businesses being allowed to operate

It has been 2 years since the Covid-19 pandemic started in Malaysia and most of us have gotten used to this new normal with the SOPs and social distancing guidelines. The majority of the economic activities had also been allowed to operate as soon as the country steps into Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

However, there’s one sector in which the authorities have yet to give the green light to operate and it is nightclubs and pubs.

According to the latest National Security Council (NSC) SOPs, nightclubs and pubs fall remained under the negative list and are strictly prohibited, but the NSC left it to the local authorities to define a nightclub or pub.

Source: FMT

“Business licences in every state are issued by the local council, so they will know the details better, on how the business is carried out,” a representative from the NSC was quoted saying by The Vibes.

The representative added that if the local council rejects a licence application because the business is considered a pub, “you cannot do anything about it”.

Source: FMT

Under this SOP, nightclub and pub business owners were forced to shut their businesses indefinitely without a clear guideline on when they are allowed to operate again.

That said, what is the definition of nightclubs and pubs?

Brian Gomez of Merdekarya recently had his application to hold live music performances at his restaurant was rejected by the local council with the reasoning that indoor busking is prohibited by current SOPs.

The matter was then clarified by Petaling Jaya City councillor Derek Fernandez, who said the local council’s interpretation of nightclubs and pubs include activities that take place inside a pub or nightclub with an entertainment licence or inside a restaurant that sells alcohol “incidental to its main food activities”.

He then explains that some businesses can be easily defined as being either a pub or restaurant, but it ultimately depends on the “predominant purpose” of the business.

While this confusion over the definition of nightclubs and pubs causes a stir, nightclubs and pub operators continue to suffer without a clear guideline from the authorities on when and how they are allowed to operate.


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