PETALING JAYA,Oct 22: The majority of restaurant operators in the Klang Valley have been left to sustain losses since Putrajaya implemented a conditional movement control order in the region on Oct 14.
Aside from earnings dwindling by almost 80% compared to before the CMCO period, some restaurants have been forced to close because they cannot afford the daily operating cost.
Kamarulzaidi Kamis, owner of West My Plate in Puncak Alam, Selangor, said his new business had only just entered the recovery phase after the initial MCO in March, but will now have to bear losses again because of a lack of customers.
“The restaurant’s sales have dropped by 50% to 70%. It was only just improving since the MCO previously,” he told FMT.
He said he was planning to shut his restaurant down temporarily as he was forced to use his monthly wage as an executive in a newspaper company to bear his business operating cost.
“People say the CMCO doesn’t affect the economic sector, but this is the reality. My salary is spent supporting the restaurant’s operations. I’ve been thinking about closing for the next week, because staying open costs money,” he said.
Kamarulzaidi said most restaurants rely on office workers for their source of income, adding that the government’s latest work-from-home directive would further affect their earnings.
Mirzatul Balkis Hamir Hamzah, manager of Bulan Atap Merah in Kampung Melayu Subang, Selangor, shared Kamarulzaidi’s sentiments, saying her restaurant has been empty since the CMCO came into effect.
She said the public was now more afraid of eating in restaurants, causing her daily earnings to drop by 80%.
“All the more now that the government has ordered certain workers in both the public and private sector to work from home from Oct 22 (today). This will surely affect our income if we continue operating,” she said, adding that her restaurant has been closed since Monday.
She said they were forced to close after sustaining heavy losses, adding that this was the only way to prevent them from laying off workers and bearing more losses.
Mirzatul said she was hoping that Putrajaya would not extend the CMCO beyond Oct 27, saying an extension would see many restaurant operators shuttering operations and workers losing their jobs.
The government had announced that some one million office workers in states under CMCO would be required to work from home, following the rise in Covid-19 cases.
Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this will affect about 800,000 workers in the private sector and 200,000 civil servants, adding that this will go on until the CMCO ends.
Malaysia recently recorded more than 800 infections for four days in a row since last Saturday, while 732 cases were reported yesterday.