Blanket ban on all forms of Ramadhan bazaars

There will be no e-bazaars during the fasting month. However, regular e-hailing deliveries will continue to operate

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by TMR FILE

ANY form of Ramadhan bazaars is strictly prohibited, including the earlier initiative of e-bazaars, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

“Any form of businesses linked to Ramadhan bazaars or stalls, including pick-ups and drive-through, are prohibited. There should not be any further issues on this,” Ismail Sabri said in his daily Movement Control Order (MCO) briefing yesterday.

The prohibition was made amid concerns that pick-ups from bazaars will create a lot of traffic and health hazards.

On Monday, the government announced a nationwide prohibition on Ramadhan bazaars throughout the MCO period. However, several states, including Selangor, Pahang and the Federal Territories, had announced that Ramadhan e-bazaars will operate via drive-through, pick-up and e-hailing deliveries.

Ismail Sabri had previously said e-hailing deliveries for Ramadhan e-bazaars will be allowed to operate, while the government considers options for the other two concepts.

The decision has now been reversed.

However, regular e-hailing deliveries for registered food vendors will be allowed to continue to operate.

The third phase of the MCO is in effect from April 15 to April 28, extended into the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan, which is expected to begin on April 24.

Meanwhile, local authorities stopped over half a million vehicles for checks on Wednesday due to heavier traffic on roads despite stricter measures imposed under the third phase of the MCO. Ismail Sabri said the police had set up more than 800 roadblocks nationwide on Wednesday and conducted checks on 558,548 vehicles.

Over 11,000 individuals have been arrested to date for disobeying the coronavirus-related restrictions.

“There has been a serious increase in the number of vehicles on roads. I would like to remind the public that restrictions under the MCO are still in place. Those who defy orders will be punished,” he said.

He added that there have also been reports of non-essential businesses operating without permission from the government.

“Companies are only allowed to operate if they have approval from the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

“Without it, they are not allowed to run, and action will be taken against them if they have violated the MCO,” Ismail Sabri said.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last week announced an extension to the MCO by another two weeks as the country continues to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the government agreed to allow several economic sectors to operate in stages. Malaysia has one of the highest tallies of coronavirus infections in South-East Asia, with over 5,000 confirmed cases and more than 80 deaths. New infections, however, have slowed in recent weeks.