Business is thriving again

Continuous aid have helped the people, especially traders

by TMR / pic courtesy of Utusan Malaysia

THE reopening of economic sectors on top of the lifted travel restrictions has boosted businesses and given a breath of fresh air to small traders.

In Kangar, Perlis, traders admitted that their businesses have been thriving especially with the return of tourists to the state.

Food and clothes seller Juliana Arshad, 42, said the return of interstate travel has brought back hope to traders, especially in Padang Besar, who rely heavily on tourists from outside of Perlis.

She said throughout the previous Movement Control Order (MCO) period, she had to turn to other means of generating income like selling fish, to cope with the cost of living as well as to support other existing commitments.

“Now, with the reopening of state borders as well as the economy sectors, our businesses are improving although many have yet to fully recover.

“Thanks to the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who is wise in making decisions besides giving much assistance during the MCO period,” she said.

Juliana added that with business picking up again, she can now rehire employees.

Meanwhile, restaurant operator Zainudin Bhukari, 44, was also grateful to the government for the various actions taken to recover the country’s economy.

He said the continuous aids given have helped the people, especially traders.

“During the pandemic, our businesses were slow and I had lost about 50% of my employees. Now, we can rehire them and give opportunities to more people who have lost their jobs.

“Apart from that, the Wage Subsidy Programme under Social Security Organisation (Socso) had also helped employers to continue operating. Many of my restaurant employees have also received benefits from the job placement programme launched under Socso,” he added.

Roti canai seller Irwan Kamis, 40, said his business is thriving again after the reopening of the economy sector and he is now able to recover the losses incurred during the MCO.

Boom time for eateries

AZIZI Abu Bakar, 39, who has been working as a cook for almost 20 years faced the biggest challenge of his life when he lost his job throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) following the Covid-19 pandemic.

For months, Azizi had no source of income when an eatery in a university where he worked was forced to halt operations temporarily due to the MCO.

However, he could finally breathe easy again following the reopening of the economy sector which also brought back businesses to restaurants and eateries.

He said when his workplace closed temporarily, he worked at various other restaurants during the first and second phases of the National Recovery Plan, however, the salaries that he received were much lower than what he used to earn.

“We understood that at the time, employers had to cut salaries as there were not many customers because dine-ins were not allowed. At the time, I was badly affected. Moreover, there were several months during the MCO that I could not work.

“Praise to God, our situation now is back to normal with customers returning and bringing life back to restaurants. The reopening of the economy has helped us tremendously in earning a living again,” he said.

Now that businesses have reopened, we can see that eateries are alive again and employees are being paid full salaries again

Restaurant worker Nor Hisham Kamis, 36, said he is earning full pay again of RM80 a day when the restaurant where he works is again filled with customers dining in, just like before the MCO.

At the same time, he thanked the government for providing various aids throughout the challenging MCO period.

“During the MCO, we were forced to ‘take a break’ before returning to work in the first and second phases of the MCO, albeit with much lower salaries because there were not many customers.

“When customers were not allowed to dine in, restaurants became gloomy. Now that businesses have reopened, we can see that eateries are alive again and we are being paid full salaries again, too,” added the father of two.

Meanwhile, Nur Saana Syaza Mohd Sofian, 18, said restaurants are thriving since the reopening of interstate travel.

“Praise to God, businesses are doing well again and we as workers are also excited to serve again,” said the restaurant worker.