Malaysia is gradually moving out from the movement restrictions and businesses are now allow to operate provided they comply with the SOPs.
However, almost 200 nasi kandar and Indian Muslim (mamak) restaurants in Penang are at risk of shutting their business due to they being unable to hire sufficient workers to operate their business.
According to Utusan, the Indian Muslim Community Organisation Malaysia president Mohamed Rizwan Abdul Ghafoor Khan said mamak restaurants in Penang are lacking of 20,000 foreign workers to jump start their business.
He added that some restaurants owners are not operating, while some do not allow dine-in due to lack of human resources.
Meanwhile, he said that many restaurant operators were forced to repatriate their foreign workers during the movement control order last year and some workers went back for holiday but are stranded in their home countries.
“We appeal to the government to relax the entry requirements for foreign workers like before because we really need workers.”
“We have opened job offers to locals. Unfortunately, there is no response. That is why we still need foreign workers, especially from India.” he said at a press conference yesterday (22 October).
At the same time, Rizwan said mamak restaurant operators are also offering employment opportunities to the locals with a minimum salary of RM1,800 a month, along with various other benefits.
“With the overtime pay, local workers are able to earn a monthly income of around RM2,000 to RM2,500 a month.” he said.
Meanwhile, Nasi Kandar Hameediyah owner, Ahamed Seeni Pakir Abdul Sukkor admitted that they had been issued a RM10,000 fine for violating the SOPs last week.
Ahamed explained that a few of his workers went out for prayers and when they came back, due to the overwhelming crowd waiting to be served, they forgot to check in on the MySejahtera app again.
“We are severely short-handed, and we can’t blame our workers because they had immediately jumped in to serve our waiting customers.” he was quoted saying by The Star.
In response to the matter, Rizwan and Ahamed appealed to the federal government to allow the food and business industry to bring in more foreign workers to cope with the needs now.
They stressed that they would an extra pair of hands to ensure compliance to the SOPs, apart from serving customers.
“We understand that the authorities have to be strict with the SOPs, but they must also understand the pressure we are facing.” they said.